$1 Million Fine for Industrial Storm Water and Wastewater Violations

November 14, 2005

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In the largest Clean Water Act case ever taken against a soft drink bottler, the Seven-Up/RC Bottling Company of Southern California has agreed to pay more than $1 million in criminal and civil fines for industrial storm water and wastewater violations at its soft drink bottling plants in Vernon and Buena Park, Calif.
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Under the terms of this global settlement, which concludes three years of investigation into both Seven-Up facilities by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles and the EPA, the Seven-Up/RC Bottling Company of Southern California will pay a $600,000 criminal penalty and a $428,250 civil penalty.
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Attorneys for Seven-Up appeared in United States District Court in Los Angeles to enter guilty pleas to 12 counts of violating the Clean Water Act. "[This] settlement reinforces EPA's commitment to protect public health by holding Seven-Up accountable for their illegal discharges into the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers," said Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency's Pacific Southwest Region. "We will continue to protect our waters and human health and prosecute those who violate our environmental laws."
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United States Attorney Debra Wong Yang stated: "The health of our citizens and our environment are of paramount importance. We strive to keep our waters clean and ensure that business does its part to protect the environment. I am pleased that the Seven-Up/RC Bottling Company has taken responsibility for its actions. The criminal fine paid by the company will benefit several environment programs that will benefit all citizens of Southern California."
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Polluted runoff is the leading cause of water pollution in the Los Angeles area.á Storm water runoff can carry pollutants from industrial sources, metals, oil and grease, acidic wastewater, bacteria, trash, and other toxic pollutants into nearby water sources.á The EPA requires industrial facilities to prevent water pollution by complying with federal and state water pollution requirements.
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The Regional Water Quality Control Boards in Los Angeles and Santa Ana, the Orange County Sanitation District, the city of Vernon, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works assisted the EPA and the United States Attorney's Office in their investigation.
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EPA Finalizes Phase 2 Ozone Implementation Rule

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EPA issued rules and guidance to state, local, and tribal governments on how to develop plans to reduce ozone pollution in areas that do not meet EPA's health-based standards. "This rule signifies EPA's commitment to working with communities to develop cost effective plans," EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum said.á "As our ozone rule and other clean air rules take effect, Americans will be able to work, exercise and play in cleaner, healthier air."
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The Phase 2 Ozone Implementation Rule outlines emissions control and planning requirements for states to address as they develop their plans showing how they will reduce ozone pollution to meet the 8-hour ozone standard.
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The reduction of ozone pollution is an important element of EPA's national clean air strategy.á The strategy includes EPA's recent Clean Diesel Program to reduce pollution from highway, nonroad, and stationary diesel engines, the Clean Air Interstate Rule to reduce pollution from power plants in the eastern United States, and the Clean Air Visibility Rule that cuts emissions to protect visibility in national parks, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas.
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A recent EPA analysis of the benefits of meeting the 8-hour ozone standards found that moving from 2000-2002 monitored ozone levels to full attainment of the 8-hour standard would yield substantial health benefits.á This analysis indicates that attaining the 8-hour ozone standard would each year prevent hundreds of premature deaths, thousands of hospital admissions, hundreds of asthma emergency room visits, more than one million restricted activity days, and more than 900,000 school absences.
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Ground-level ozone, a primary ingredient in smog, is formed when volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides react chemically in the presence of sunlight.á Cars, trucks, power plants, and industrial facilities are primary sources of these emissions.á Ozone is unhealthy to breathe, especially for people with respiratory diseases and for anyone who is active outdoors.
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The Phase 2 Rule requires states to demonstrate through modeling that nonattainment areas will attain the 8-hour standard as expeditiously as practicable.á These demonstrations must include data on reasonably available control measures and reasonably available control technologies.á The rule also outlines new source review requirements for areas not meeting the 8-hour standard.
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The Phase 2 rule also includes a requirement that certain areas now using cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline (RFG) must continue to use RFG until they meet the 8-hour standard and are designated as attainment.á In addition, areas that were previously reclassified as "severe" for the 1-hour standard and did not attain the 1-hour standard before it was revoked must continue to use reformulated gas at least until they attain the 8-hour standard.
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EPA finalized the Phase 1 ozone implementation rule on April 15, 2004.á The Phase 1 rule provided a process for classifying areas based on the severity of their ozone problems and established deadlines for state and local governments to reduce ozone levels.á It also established a process for transitioning from implementing the 1-hour standard for ozone to implementing the more protective 8-hour ozone standard.
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Rule Eases Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Transition

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To facilitate the transition to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD), EPA is providing a 45-day extension for terminals and retail outlets to comply with the 15 ppm standard, moving the retail compliance date to Oct. 15.á During this extended transition period, diesel fuel meeting a 22 ppm level can be marketed as ULSD at the pump.á The agency does not expect to adjust the schedule again.
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This 45-day extension does not affect the start date for refineries to be producing ULSD fuel.á The reason for the extension is that some in the fuel distribution industry had indicated that on the current schedule, ULSD may not be available at a small number of retail outlets. The impacts of the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes are not a factor in this action.
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The revised transition dates will cause some manufacturers of diesel engines and vehicles to delay their introduction of the 2007 models that must use ULSD exclusively.á However, because these changes will help ensure the universal availability of ULSD, the engine and vehicle industries have indicated that these limited changes are acceptable.
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The direct final rule helps ensure that the full environmental benefits of this Clean Diesel Program will be achieved.á
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EPA Adopts Amendments to Aircraft Engine Emission Standards

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EPA is amending its existing emission standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx) for new commercial aircraft engines.á Nearly all aircraft engines previously certified or in production already meet or exceed the new, more stringent standards, which will apply to engines used on commercial aircraft for small regional jets, single-aisle aircraft, twin-aisle aircraft, and 747s and larger aircraft.á General aviation and military aircraft using commercial aircraft engines subject to this rule will also contribute to NOx emission reductions.á This action will bring the United States aircraft standards into alignment with international standards, which became effective in 2004.á
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Changes Made to EPA Fuel Additive Program

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The gasoline deposit control program, established in July 1996 to ensure U.S. gasoline supplies contain detergent-like additives to reduce tailpipe emissions, has been amended to improve compliance and maintain the environmental benefits of the program.á The revisions include clarification of maximum concentration levels of fuel deposit control additives and changes to reporting requirements.á As a result of this program, vehicle emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides have been reduced by more than 595,000 tons annually.
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Listing of Ozone Depleting Substitutes in Foam Blowing

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EPA is proposing to determine that HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b are unacceptable for use in the foam sector under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program under section 612 of the Clean Air Act.
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Specifically, EPA is taking two actions. First, in response to a court decision upholding a challenge to EPA's July 2002 final rule finding HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b acceptable subject to Narrowed Use Limits in three foam end uses, the EPA is proposing to find HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b unacceptable as substitutes for HCFC-141b in the foam end uses of commercial refrigeration, sandwich panels, slabstock, and ôother foams.ö Second, in the July 2002 final rule, EPA withdrew a proposed action to find HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b unacceptable as substitutes for CFCs in all foam end uses.á EPA is now issuing a new proposal to find HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b unacceptable as substitutes for CFCs in all foam end uses. Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before December 5, 2005.
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The published versions of notices and rulemakings under the SNAP program are available on EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Web site.
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Information Concerning the Current and Predicted Use of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b

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EPA is making available for comment the report ôThe U.S. Phaseout of HCFCs: Projected Servicing Needs in the U.S. Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Sector.ö EPA will accept comments on the data through January 3, 2006.
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The next major milestone for the HCFC phaseout occurs on January 1, 2010, when, pursuant to EPA regulations, no person may produce HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b except for use in a process that results in the transformation or the destruction of the HCFCs; for use in equipment manufactured before January 1, 2010; or for export using either Article 5 allowances or export production allowances. In addition, no person may import HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b other than transshipments, heels, or used HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b except for use in a process that results in the transformation or destruction of the HCFCs or for use in equipment manufactured prior to January 1, 2010. EPA plans to issue regulations before January 1, 2010, to set the level of the cap on production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b that would go into effect on that date.
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Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management

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The SAICM Preparatory Committee is accepting comments on its draft high-level declaration through November 11. The declaration, which describes the reasons an international chemicals management strategy is needed, would be made by environment ministers, chief executives of chemical companies, and heads of nongovernmental organizations who have been working to develop SAICM since November 2003 with the United Nations Environment Program and other international organizations.
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The declaration is one of three documents that make up SAICM. The other two, which are still being negotiated, are an overarching policy strategy describing SAICM's scope, objectives, and other key elements, and a Global Plan of Action, listing more actions that countries, environmental organizations, private companies, and other parties could take to achieve SAICM's goals. Comments can be sent to the preparatory committee via e-mail to kristina.teglund@sustainable.ministry.se or by fax to (468) 1003 8007.
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EPA's Compliance Assistance Dialogue on the Gold and Copper Processing Industries

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EPA is inviting all interested parties to join an informal dialogue on compliance assistance efforts for the gold and copper processing industries. In January 2004, the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) worked with EPA regions and other program offices to propose a list of potential priorities in the Federal Register.á OECA then selected the mineral processing and mining industry as one of its six national priorities for FY05 to FY07. Currently, the Office of Compliance in OECA is leading an effort to identify ways to assist the gold and copper processing sectors with environmental compliance. Those who have an interest in these industries, who may represent the trade associations, states, universities, non-governmental organizations or other companies, are invited to participate in a set of informal teleconference meetings to help us identify the best compliance assistance approaches.
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Through these informal teleconferences, EPA wants to achieve four objectives: (1) discuss environmental issues encountered by both the regulators and the industries; (2) collect compliance assistance materials that are currently available; (3) determine if additional compliance assistance tools are needed; and (4) gather information necessary to develop such tools. Because EPA is conducting inspections at many mineral processing facilities; the Office of Compliance will focus the assistance dialogue only on compliance assistance and will not discuss issues related to any inspection and enforcement actions.
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If you are interested in participating in these compliance assistance discussions, please contact Emily Chow at (202) 564-7071 or chow.emily@epa.gov by November 14, 2005 to receive additional information. The first teleconference is scheduled for November 16, from 11-12:30 pm (Eastern).á
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ItÆs Time for Radon Testing - Radon is Leading Cause of Lung Cancer among Non-Smokers

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With the weather turning chilly, itÆs time for the list of fall chores. And right up there along with installing the storm windows and getting the heating system checked should be testing the radon levels inside your home.
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Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of those deaths occur among people who have never smoked.
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Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It is harmless when dispersed into outdoor air. But when it becomes trapped inside buildings, it can be harmful at elevated levels. It typically moves up through the ground to the air in your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. This means any home can have a radon problem, whether it is new or old, well-sealed or drafty, with or without a basement.
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Conducting a radon test is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk of radon because you canÆt see it, smell it, or even taste it. Fall and winter are the best times to conduct a test because doors and windows are closed against the cold, which ensures a more accurate radon reading.á Radon test kits are easy to use and inexpensive. They are available at hardware stores and home centers.
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For best results, EPA recommends that the radon test be conducted in the lowest livable level of the home, such as the basement, during the colder months of the year. Tests can also be taken during other times of the year if windows and doors have been closed for 12 hours prior to testing.
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EPA recommends that houses with radon levels of four picocuries or more should be vented to prevent accumulation of the gas indoors. A variety of methods can be used to reduce radon in homes. Sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation is a basic part of most approaches to radon reduction. EPA does not recommend the use of sealing alone to limit radon entry. Sealing alone has not been shown to lower radon levels significantly or consistently.
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In most cases, a system with a vent pipe and fan is used to reduce radon. These "sub-slab depressurization" systems do not require major changes to your home. They prevent radon gas from entering the home from below the concrete floor and from outside the foundation.
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The cost of making repairs depends on how your home was built and the extent of the radon problems. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs like painting or having a new hot water heater installed. The average price for a contractor ranges from $500 and $2,500.
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To learn more about how to receive a discounted radon home test kit or for more information about radon, and how to contact your state radon office, go to http://www.epa.gov/radon, or call 1-800-SOS-Radon.
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EPA Cites Developers for Storm Water Violations

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EPA cited three real estate development companies for Clean Water Act violations during construction of housing developments in southeastern Pennsylvania. EPA alleges violations of federal environmental regulations designed to reduce polluted storm water runoff from construction sites.
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In separate complaints, EPA proposes a $137,500 penalty against Gambone Development Co. for violations at a development in Hatfield Township, Pa.; a $42,000 penalty against Glenn Farms LP for violations at a development in East Norriton, Pa.; and a $54,000 penalty against Reserve at Springton LP for violations at a development in Spring Township, Pa.
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EPA also cited the Christiana Town Center LLC construction company and its owner, Frank Acierno, for Clean Water Act violations during the construction of the Christiana Town Center shopping mall in Christiana, New Castle County, Del.
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EPA seeks a $157,500 penalty for the companyÆs alleged violation of requirements designed to reduce polluted storm water runoff from construction sites. Sediment-laden storm water runoff from this site flowed into Eagle Run, a tributary of the Christiana River.
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According to EPAÆs complaint, the Christiana Town Center LLC performed construction activities on the 137-acre site from April 2002 through September 2004 without implementing erosion control and storm water pollution prevention measures required by state and county authorities. Among other violations, the construction company allegedly failed to stabilize disturbed soil in construction areas; failed to stabilize construction entrances; and failed to properly maintain the siteÆs silt fence, sediment traps, and storm water management basin.
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Improperly managed storm water runoff from construction sites often contains high levels of sediment and suspended solids, and may also contain oxygen-demanding compounds and other pollutants. Under the Clean Water Act, operators of construction activities must get a permit from EPA or the state environmental agency before discharging storm water runoff into waterways. These permits require an erosion and sedimentation control plan that specifies using controls such as sedimentation basins and traps, silt fencing, and soil stabilization.
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U.S., International Partners Pledge Faster Greenhouse Gas Reductions with Methane Program

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United States government officials and their counterparts in 16 countries committed to accelerated action to recover and use methane as a clean energy source at the second annual Methane to Markets Partnership meeting, which concluded Nov. 4.á Key actions include the addition of Ecuador as the 17th member of the partnership and a commitment from the partners to increase participating countries and the number of projects worldwide.
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"We're making substantial progress in developing the programs and technologies necessary to promote energy security and reduce global methane emissions," EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum said.á "The international collaboration and action we've seen this week lays the groundwork for additional success."
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To date, 17 countries have joined the Methane to Markets Partnership and committed to advancing cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a source of clean energy.á Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 23 times as effective as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere.
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By 2015 the Methane to Markets Partnership has the potential to deliver annual reductions in methane emissions of up to 50 million metric tons of carbon equivalent or recovery of 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas. If these projections are achieved, they could stabilize or reduce global atmospheric concentrations of methane.á This would be equivalent to cutting the greenhouse gas emissions of 33 million cars, planting 55 million acres of trees, eliminating emissions from 50 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants; or providing enough energy to heat approximately 7.2 million households for one year.
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Key outcomes of the second annual Methane to Markets Partnership meeting include:
  • áááááááá Announcement of a Methane to Markets Project Expo, highlighting project opportunities, successes, and methane recovery and use technologies, to be held in 2007
  • áááááááá Development of action plans that will serve as the basis for accelerated action by partner countries and Project Network members
  • áááááááá Addition of a new Agriculture Subcommittee to address methane emissions, particularly through manure-management practices
  • áááááááá Expansion of the partnership to include Ecuador as the 17th member, which means that Methane to Markets now represents more than 60 percent of global methane emissions
  • áááááááá Commitment by all participants to substantial expansion of the Project Network, with a focus on enrollment of more private companies, development banks, and others
  • áááááááá Identification of funding sources for a range of methane recovery projects across the globe.
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For more information, visit the new Methane to Markets Partnership web site.
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EPA Sues Scottsdale Developer for Filling and Diverting the Santa Cruz River

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EPA announced that the Justice Department has filed a Clean Water Act complaint on its behalf in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix against Scottsdale developer George H. Johnson and his companies, Johnson International, Inc. and General Hunt Properties, Inc. for filling and diverting the Santa Cruz River.
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The alleged violations arose from the defendants' extensive grading and land-clearing activities in 2003 and 2004 on the King and La Osa Ranches in Pinal County, Ariz.á The ranches lie within the Santa Cruz River flood plain.á According to the complaint, the defendants diverted and filled over 100 acres of the river and its tributaries, including Los Robles Wash, without the required Clean Water Act permit.
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The stretch of the river that flows through the ranches is of particular ecological significance. Prior to the defendants' land-clearing activities, perennial flow in the stretch supported one of the Sonoran Deserts wettest riparian forests, including one of its last remaining mesquite bosque forests.á These forests are vital to the survival of the desert's wildlife.
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"The Santa Cruz River is one of the most important waterways in southern Arizona.á It sustains numerous cities and farm lands, and is crucial to the health of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem," said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA's Water Division for the Pacific Southwest region.á "EPA is committed to protecting valuable water resources by enforcing the safeguards of the Clean Water Act and holding violators accountable."
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The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of dredged or fill material into the nation's waters without a permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Act.á The EPA jointly administers the 404 program with the Corps and works with the Corps to evaluate the permit applications.á The permit is available only to a project that avoids impacts to the aquatic environment to the maximum extent practicable and mitigates for the unavoidable impacts.
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The suit seeks injunctive relief to remedy the environmental damage caused by the defendants' alleged illegal activities.á The defendants also face civil penalties of up to $32,500 per day per violation.
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Government and Business Leaders to Promote Green Highways Idea for Environmental Good

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Top officials at the EPA and Department of Transportation met with leaders and experts in the transportation industry to develop a roadmap for achieving environmentally friendly highway improvements.
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The first-ever Green Highways Forum aimed to invigorate dialogue about ways to protect public safety and the environment when designing and building highways.
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Executives and staff in the fields of transportation planning, engineering, construction and operations, and environmental planning and policy from all levels of government, private corporations, and non-profit organizations were to attend the three-day conference.
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ôTransportation is essential in our lives, and EPA is committed to working with our partners to show that environmental protection and economic success can, and do, go hand in hand,ö said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. ôGreen Highways is the vehicle to coordinate environmentalism and transportation û we are literally taking environmental stewardship on the road.ö
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The mid-Atlantic forum discussions will help shape a national Green Highways Initiative, intended to increase visibility about projects and actions demonstrating highway safety and environmental stewardship. Plans include establishing a Green Highways Clearinghouse as a non-profit organization that will serve as the primary source of information about the initiative and all its related activities.
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Highways and other transportation infrastructure such as parking lots and bridges are linked to water and air pollution problems. In addition to tailpipe emissions, dust and dirt from highway construction and maintenance operations can affect local air and water quality, and storm water runoff from parking lots and roadways can carry pollutants into streams and rivers. There are negative consequences for wildlife habitat when wooded areas are cleared for new roads or widening of highways. Destruction of critical wetlands has been another major consequence of road-building.
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Last June, EPAÆs mid-Atlantic regional office hosted a meeting in Philadelphia where executives from various federal and state agencies and industry groups discussed the principles and elements they would promote as part of a Green Highways initiative. About 80 people attended that meeting and provided input that has led to the three-day forum.
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ôWe know that there are state agencies and local governments who are committed to using environmentally-conscious practices as they improve their infrastructure; and the work they're doing shouldnÆt be overlooked,ö said Donald S. Welsh, EPAÆs mid-Atlantic regional administrator. ôWith the expertise and innovation our industry partners bring, we have an opportunity to showcase projects and programs that will benefit many communities and the environment for years to come.ö
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The forumÆs sponsors envision one day seeing signs posted along major streets and highways labeling those that are green for their environmental benefits such as The next 90 miles is a Green Highway made with 80 percent recycled materials; restoring 4,000 wetland acres, naturally cleansing storm water runoff; and offering alternative fuels at truck stops.
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Louisiana-Pacific Houlton OSB Joins Environmental Performance Track Program

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Louisiana-Pacific Houlton OSB, has become the 33rd New England member of EPAÆs National Environmental Performance Track program, which recognizes environmental excellence.
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The Performance Track program recognizes and rewards facilities that voluntarily exceed regulatory requirements, use formal environmental management systems, work with their communities and set three-year goals for improvements in environmental performance. Since the programÆs start in June 2000, Performance Track membership has grown and produced solid environmental results. The program has more than 370 members in 46 states and Puerto Rico.
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Louisiana-Pacific Houlton OSB manufactures ôoriented strand boards,ö an engineered panel product used in construction. The company joins a diverse group of facilities that represent the manufacturing, electronics, government, pharmaceutical, paper, service, and energy sectors within New England.
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"Performance Track members like Louisiana-Pacific Houlton OSB show the regulated community and the public that environmental leadership and business success can go hand-in-hand,ö said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. ôBy joining with these leaders, we can achieve a level of environmental responsibility that surpasses what we might accomplish through regulation and enforcement alone. I challenge other New England facilities to learn more about Performance Track and to join this group of environmental leaders.ö
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ôThe Maine Department of Environmental Protection is very pleased that Louisiana-Pacific Houlton OSB has stepped up to participate in the Performance Track program and looks forward to working with them to help the organization fulfill their goals,ö said Ron Dyer, director of the Office of Innovation and Assistance at Maine DEP.
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Performance Track members make commitments to environmental improvements over the course of the next three years. These commitments fall under a wide variety of categories, including energy use, water consumption, discharges to water, materials use, air emissions, waste generated, and land preservation.
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EPA New EnglandÆs Performance Track members have achieved significant improvements in their environmental performance since 2001. Collectively, they have:
  • áááááááá Decreased their use of energy by more than 92,000 million British thermal units (mmBtus)
  • áááááááá Decreased water consumption by 651 million gallons
  • áááááááá Decreased the use of materials by almost 6,000 tons
  • áááááááá Decreased solid (non-hazardous and hazardous) waste by almost 4,100 tons
  • áááááááá Decreased air emissions by more than 260,000 tons
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In addition, the 15 facilities participating in New EnglandÆs ôEnergy Challengeö decreased their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 9,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCO2E) in the first year of the challenge, which was 2004.
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Pesticide Export Violations Settlement Includes $268,288 Penalty

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EPA Region 5 settled with Dow Corning Corp. and Aegis Environmental Management Inc., Midland, Mich., on alleged violations of federal rules on the sale and export of pesticides. A $268,288 penalty has been assessed against the companies as part of the settlement.
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According to the EPA order, Dow Corning (the distributor) and Aegis (the registrant) sold and exported the pesticides AEM 5700 Antimicrobial Agent, AEM 5772 Antimicrobial Agent, Dow Corning 5700 Antimicrobial Agent and Dow Corning 5772 Antimicrobial Agent without proper labeling.
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An EPA inspector collected labels and shipping records from samples of pesticides packaged, labeled and released for shipment from a Dow Corning facility at 3901 S. Saginaw Road in Midland to Korea, Thailand, Columbia, Peru, Taiwan, Belgium, and Japan. The labels were written entirely in English and lacked translation, as required, of certain key pesticide information into the predominant language of the countries receiving the products. Dow Corning has since revised its labeling of international pesticide shipments.
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EPA registers all pesticides and pesticide products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
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Maricopa Ordered to Restore Pond and Wetlands

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The EPA has found Maricopa Limited, Inc. in violation of sections 402 and 404 of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) for excavating a ditch to drain a pond and adjacent wetlands; in so doing, they discharged excavated material into the pond and wetlands and caused sediment-laden water to enter salmon-bearing Little Campbell Creek. EPA has ordered Maricopa to restore the affected pond and wetlands (approximately 1.5 acres) and implement storm water pollution prevention measures.á
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"Wetlands serve important functions such as purifying water and providing habitat for fish and wildlife," said Marcia Combes, Director of EPA's Alaska Office in Anchorage. "EPA is serious about protecting wetlands and how important it is to get a dredge and fill permit prior to doing any work in waters of the U.S. including wetlands."
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Maricopa Limited, Inc. must submit a draft work plan for approval by EPA within 30 days of receiving the order. The work plan must include removal of unauthorized fill material discharged into the pond, revegetation of disturbed portions of the pond and its outlet ditch, and re-establishment of an ordinary high water level in the pond. Maricopa Limited, Inc. has agreed to submit the required restoration work plan.
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Dassault Falcon Jet Wins First Environmental Award

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Dassault Falcon Jet of Little Rock was presented the Arkansas Department of Environmental QualityÆs (ADEQ) first Arkansas Environmental Stewardship Award (ENVY Award) Tuesday, November 8.á ADEQ Director Marcus C. Devine made the presentation at the Arkansas Environmental FederationÆs annual fall conference in Hot Springs.
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ôI am pleased to award the first annual ENVY Award to a company that supports the idea that running a successful business and protecting the environment are not adversarial concepts. We can have both a healthy environment and a healthy economy,ö said Devine. ôI want to commend Dassault Falcon Jet, as well as our other four finalists, for their efforts to make the Natural StateÆs environment even better than it already is.ö
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Dassault Falcon Jet operates an aircraft manufacturing facility at Little Rock National Airport. The company was nominated for the ENVY Award based on its efforts involving waste minimization and pollution prevention in its manufacturing process.
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Last year Dassault Falcon Jet documented nearly $700,000 in waste treatment savings by reducing volatile organic compounds by 17 percent, decreasing the amount of pre-treated wastewater by 32 percent and cutting hazardous waste generation by 14 percent. The facilityÆs pollution prevention and waste minimization efforts also have been recognized nationally and internationally by the EPA and the International Organization for Standardization.
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In addition to Dassault Falcon Jet, the other finalists for the Envy Award were:
  • áááááááá Baxter Healthcare Corp. of Mountain Home, for waste minimization and recycling activities
  • áááááááá Gene Lichliter of Hot Springs Village for his work on an anti-litter summit meeting earlier this year
  • áááááááá Little Rock Wastewater Utility, for several public outreach activities
  • áááááááá The ôNature Callingö mulch production program of the Village Wastewater Co. at Bella Vista
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Nicknamed ôThe ENVY,ö the ADEQ award was created to recognize the work of individuals, businesses, industries, farms, or government agencies which significantly helped the Arkansas environment.
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The establishment of the annual award was announced in September. ADEQ employees and programs are not eligible for the award.
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Violations Found during Trash Truck Inspections

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As part of an ongoing statewide effort to ensure trash haulers comply with environmental and safety laws, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection found 33 environmental violations on 26 of 98 trash haulers using two landfills.á The inspections took place at Shade Landfill in Shade Township, Somerset County, and Laurel Highlands Landfill in Jackson Township, Cambria County. All of the violations were against haulers, not the landfills.
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ôOur goal is to make sure that waste is managed in an environmentally sound manner, and that haulers use the greatest care to ensure safety on our highways,ö DEP Southwest Regional Director Ken Bowman said.
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Trash haulers must get authorization from DEP through Act 90, the stateÆs Waste Transportation Safety Act, to haul trash in Pennsylvania. DEP inspectors look at compliance history, and if outstanding violations exist or there is an inability to comply with Act 90 regulations, the state can revoke authorization.
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In addition to checking the Act 90 authorization, DEP inspectors look for fire extinguisher and sign violations, drivers not properly managing waste during transportation, leaking loads, improper covers over the waste, trucks that are overweight or otherwise overloaded, and log book or record-keeping violations.
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As a result of the inspections, DEP issued seven summary citations, 14 field notices of violation, and 12 written warnings. Violations included problems with signs, leaks, waste containment, and vehicle waste enclosures.
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A single vehicle may have more than one violation. Seven trucks did not have valid written Act 90 authorizations.
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For more information, visit DEPÆs Web site, Keyword: ôTargeting Trash.ö
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Air Quality Permit Violations Total $10,800 in Penalties

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The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued penalties totaling $10,800 to Georgia-Pacific West, Inc. (Georgia-Pacific) for violating air quality permit standards at its Toledo pulp and paper facility in Lincoln County.á The violations occurred during particulate matter emission testing in August and September 2004.á
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Georgia-PacificÆs Title V air quality permit requires the company to continuously monitor various operating parameters and to perform semi-annual testing of the plantÆs particulate matter emissions.
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Emission tests conducted in August and September 2004 showed compliance with the emission limits for the recovery furnaces and one smelt dissolving tank but also showed violations of the emission limits for the lime kilns and one smelt dissolving tank. Georgia-Pacific performed maintenance on the pollution control equipment on the lime kilns and smelt dissolving tank and retested to come into compliance with the limits.
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Georgia-Pacific is liable for a civil penalty assessment because it violated Oregon and federal environmental standards. DEQ has assessed $3,600 for exceeding the standard for the combined lime kilns, and $7,200 for exceeding the standard for its smelt dissolving tank #2.
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Recycler Pays $2,000 Penalty for Open Burning of Prohibited Materials

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Patrick D. Redman, doing business as RedmanÆs Recycling, of Kennewick, Wash., has paid a $2,000 Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) penalty for illegally burning prohibited materials at a salvage yard at Smith Frozen Foods Inc.

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A DEQ air quality specialist visited the property on Nov. 16, 2004, after receiving a report from the local fire department and a citizen complaint about a large plume of dense black smoke coming from a fire that burned for 12 hours on Nov. 14-15. The air quality specialist saw charred remnants of machinery parts, oil filters and wiring at the property.
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Redman informed DEQ that the fire started when flames from a blow torch he was using to cut scrap metal at the site ignited some nearby cardboard and spread to a scrap and waste pile. Although Smith Frozen Foods, the property owner, contracted with Redman to recycle metal stockpiled in the companyÆs salvage yard, DEQ has no evidence the company authorized the burn. Given that Redman made no attempt to extinguish the fire, he was issued the penalty for causing and maintaining an illegal open burn.
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Oregon law strictly prohibits the open burning of machinery parts, oil filters, wiring, and any materials that normally emit black smoke or noxious odors into the atmosphere when burned. Smoke produced from burning prohibited materials creates a nuisance and poses a threat to the environment and public health. áToxic chemical exposure could have resulted from the material burned by Redman.
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Delaware Begins Rulemaking to Control Pollution from Power Plants

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The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary John A. Hughes announced the agency is initiating a rulemaking to reduce emissions from DelawareÆs older, high-emitting-coal and residual-oil fired power plants.á The announcement also acknowledges that Delaware, through DNREC and the Public Service Commission, is participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This could result in greenhouse gas controls or offsets being required to reduce or offset carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in Delaware.
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The reason for developing a new regulation is to protect public health, safety, and welfare. Asthma attacks, respiratory disease, heart attacks, and premature deaths are among the serious public health problems caused by air pollutants from the electric power sector.
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ôOne of my goals has been to reduce mercury and other pollutants from our power plants,ö said Governor Ruth Ann Minner. ôThese plants are among the largest sources of toxic emissions in our state and this initiative is important to improving our air quality and protecting public health,ö said Governor Minner. ôI encourage our power generating companies to work with DNREC on solutions that are environmentally protective, make economic sense and assure reliability of our power supply.ö
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ôThe new regulation will target power plants that are between 25 and 51 years old,ö said DNREC Secretary, John A. Hughes. ôIn addition to developing a regulation to reduce emissions, I have asked my staff to work with the utilities on ways to encourage the repowering of these units. Repowering would not only clean up air emissions, but it would increase energy efficiency, and provide Delaware citizens with more reliable power.ö
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Pollutants to be reduced by the regulation include nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and mercury. NOx is one of the key air pollutants that cause DelawareÆs ground level ozone problem, and an associated larger regional ozone problem that covers much of the eastern United States. Both NOx and SOx are significant contributors to DelawareÆs fine particulate matter problem, the associated larger regional fine particulate matter problem, and the regional haze problem.
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Fine particulate pollution from U.S. power plants cuts short the lives of an estimated 23,600 people each year. The EPA estimates that the average number of life-years lost by individuals dying prematurely from exposure to particulate matter is 14 years. Hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer each year from asthma attacks, cardiac problems, and respiratory problems associated with fine particulate from power plants. The elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease are most severely affected by fine particulate pollution from power plants. Also, people who live in metropolitan areas near coal-fired plants feel their impacts most acutely.
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According to EPA projections, the current federal rules, including the Clean Air Interstate Rule and the Clean Air Mercury Rule, will not lead to ozone and fine particulate matter attainment in Delaware and will not reduce emissions from DelawareÆs power plants. In fact, EPA modeling projects show that under these federal rules, power plant emissions in Delaware will increase.
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ôSince the federal governmentÆs Clean Air Interstate Rule will likely not result in any substantive emission controls on Delaware utilities, the need for statewide enforceable regulatory controls has never been more apparent,ö said Secretary Hughes.
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DNRECÆs Air Quality section will be convening a workgroup within the next two months to begin drafting the proposed regulation. The workgroup will include industry and citizen representatives as well as technical staff. The general public will have opportunities to comment during the regulatory process. The goal is to have a final regulation ready for adoption by fall 2006.
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Landlord Fined $2,000 for Asbestos Violations

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The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has entered into an administrative consent order with Luis Tirado to address asbestos violations at his two-family property at 43 Strong Street in Springfield. Mr. Tirado will pay a $2,000 penalty for failing to properly remove asbestos prior to replacing a boiler.
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On February 2, 2004, MassDEP received a complaint from tenants at the property alleging that work had not been performed properly when their boiler had been replaced. A MassDEP investigation tracked the contractor from a license plate on an unmarked van that appeared on video taken by the tenants on the day that the work occurred. The contractor told the MassDEP that he informed Mr. Tirado that the asbestos needed to be removed prior to boiler replacement. The contractor eventually bowed to Mr. TiradoÆs plea for a new boiler and performed the asbestos work illegally. The contractor is the subject of a separate enforcement action with MassDEP.
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Mr. Tirado was required by MassDEP to hire a licensed asbestos contractor to decontaminate the basement and test the air before anyone was allowed to re-enter. The cost of the clean up was approximately twice that of a conventional asbestos removal operation. In addition to the $2,000 penalty, MassDEP suspended $6,700. The suspended penalty will be imposed upon Mr. Tirado if he violates the MassDEPÆs asbestos regulations again within one year
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ôMr. Tirado was well aware of his obligations prior to performing the boiler replacement. In the end, Mr. Tirado will have paid much more than if he had complied in the first place,ö said Michael Gorski, director of the MassDEPÆs Western Regional Office in Springfield.
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Property owners or contractors with questions about asbestos-containing materials, proper removal, handling, packaging, storage and disposal procedures, or the asbestos regulations are encouraged to contact the appropriate MassDEP regional office for assistance.
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MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.
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Landfill to Pay Penalty for Disposing of Hazardous Waste

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American Landfill, Inc. has agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty as a settlement for accepting hazardous waste at its Waynesburg, Ohio landfill.á In March and May 2005, the landfill unknowingly accepted and disposed of 40 cubic yards of hazardous wastewater treatment sludge filter cake. Hazardous waste is not allowed in municipal solid waste landfills.
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The problem was discovered in June 2005, when Ohio EPA inspected City Plating in Cleveland ù the company generating the waste. An inspector found the metal plating company had modified an electroplating line to include the use of a zinc-nickel alloy solution. Waste generated from the zinc-nickel solution is considered hazardous and must be disposed at a licensed hazardous waste facility.
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American Landfill was not aware that City Plating changed its electroplating process prior to its being discovered by Ohio EPA. Due to the elapsed time and the physical state of filter cake, the landfill was unable to locate and remove the 40 cubic yards of disposed hazardous waste. American no longer accepts waste from City Plating.
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Ohio EPA cited City Plating for failing to manage and properly dispose of hazardous waste. In addition, the Stark County Health Department (the primary landfill enforcement agency in the county) and Ohio EPA cited American Landfill for accepting and disposing of the waste.
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American will pay $5,000 to Ohio EPA's environmental protection remediation fund. To prevent future occurrences of this kind, American also will evaluate and revise the landfill's PCB and hazardous waste prevention and detection program. The company's revised program will be submitted to Ohio EPA for review and comment.
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Agreement Reached on Mercury and Sulfur Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants

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After several months of negotiation, government leaders, conservation groups, and New HampshireÆs largest electric utility have reached an agreement to mandate significant reductions in mercury from coal-fired power plants in New Hampshire.
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Sponsored by Representative Larry Ross (R-Peterborough), chairman of the House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee, and co-sponsored by at least a half a dozen legislators from both parties, the proposed measure, if passed, would require that technology be installed to remove at least 80 percent of the mercury from the state's coal-fired power plants and reduce sulfur emissions upwards of 90 percent.
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"The proposed law will help preserve the environmental quality of New Hampshire, which is of direct economic importance, while allowing the state to have a diverse energy mix and maintain reasonable costs for consumers," said Representative Ross.
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The proposed law goes further than the proposed federal mercury rule. Under the federal measure, utilities with coal-fired power plants would have to meet a 70 percent target removal for mercury by 2018. Bob Scott, director of the state's Air Resources Division at the Department of Environmental Services and one of the stakeholders involved in the negotiations notes, "This proposal is a win-win situation for both the environment and the economy. It is the successful culmination of a collaborative process involving government leaders, the regulated community, and environmental groups."
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"By reducing mercury emissions, the measure will have a positive influence on our state's wildlife," noted Joel Harrington, Vice President of Policy for New Hampshire Audubon and one of the stakeholders involved in the negotiations. "And, by decreasing the emissions of sulfur, which contributes to acid rain, this proposal will positively affect our state's forests and help facilitate ecosystem recovery."
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The agreement would prohibit Public Service of New Hampshire from participating in a proposed federal mercury cap and trade system, but provides incentives to achieve reductions before 2013 and to maximize the removal capability of the control technology beyond 2013. To accomplish this, the company has agreed to install wet scrubber technology, which is a proven, commercially available technology that is capable of achieving mercury and sulfur removal of 80 percent or more.
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"This initiative is truly a model New Hampshire solution," said Gary Long, PSNH president and chief operating officer. "By implementing this plan we will achieve a rarity-a significant improvement in air quality at a small cost to our customers. And, importantly, Merrimack Station will continue its important role as a key producer of economically-priced electricity for our customers in New Hampshire."
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Signing on to the consensus agreement are the state's two largest environmental groups: New Hampshire Audubon and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. The agreement has also been endorsed by the New Hampshire Lakes Association, a stakeholder organization, and the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association.
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The agreement was shepherded over the summer by the NH Department of Environmental Services, the NH Office of Energy and Planning, New Hampshire Audubon, and New Hampshire Lakes Association. Specifically, it proposes to do the following:
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  • áááááááá Remove 80 percent of the mercury from PSNH's Schiller and Merrimack Stations by the year 2013, which is in line with a bill introduced in the last legislative session.
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  • áááááááá PSNH will install wet scrubber technology at Merrimack Unit 1 and Merrimack Unit 2 no later than July 1, 2013. Scrubber technology is one of the best technologies on the market to significantly remove mercury. The scrubber technology addresses a multi-pollutant strategy by reducing other emissions, in particular sulfur, a pollutant that causes regional haze leading to respiratory illnesses such as asthma.á PSNH will submit all necessary applications for permits within one year of passage of the proposed bill.
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  • áááááááá After the scrubber technology is installed and once a consistent level of mercury reduction is achieved, that level of removal will be sustained into the future.
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With this bill all mercury and sulfur reductions will be accomplished on-site at PSNH coal-fired power plants. The previously considered legislation allowed the company to utilize alternative off-site mitigation measures to meet the mercury reduction targets.
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EPA Fines Oil Producer $40,000 for Oil Spill and Water Violations

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EPA fined Andrew Saied $40,000 for Safe Drinking Water Act and oil spill prevention violations at its facility located on the Navajo Nation near Shiprock, N.M.á Saied, operating an oil extraction facility under the name of Hart Oil and Gas, failed to have in place a plan to prevent oil discharges at two units where drainage from the facilty leads to intermittent streams or channels, including Salt Creek Wash, which is approximately 750 feet away and discharges into the San Juan River.
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EPA also found that the facility failed to test underground injection wells to ensure the safety of the drinking water aquifer.á The facility also failed to repair or close wells that failed mechanical integrity tests, failed to submit annual disposal and monitoring reports to the EPA, and failed to appropriately fund the financial responsibility trust to ensure proper closure and abandonment of injection wells.
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"Federal oil spill prevention requirements help ensure a tank failure or spill does not lead to oil spilled into rivers and streams. áSimilarly, the underground injection requirements protect ground water -- a vital source of drinking water within the arid lands of the Navajo Nation," said Alexis Strauss, the Water Division director for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "We believe it is critical for companies to comply with these environmental protection measures, and will ensure Hart Oil and Gas returns to compliance."
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The company has above-ground storage tanks that store 1,320 gallons of oil or oil products.á Spill prevention regulations require such non-transportation related facilities that store large amounts of oil to have a spill prevention plan that addresses the facility's design, operation, and maintenance procedures to prevent spills from occurring.
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The plan must also measures to control, contain, clean up, and mitigate any effects an oil spill might have on rivers and streams.
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Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA issues underground injection control permits for a variety of purposes, including oil and gas-related wastewater disposal.á UIC permits authorize the specific waste to be injected, as well as prescribe operating parameters to ensure protection of underground sources of drinking water.
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The oil and gas production industry accounts for a large proportion of the fluids injected into the subsurface. When oil and gas are extracted, large amounts of oily salt water, or brine, are also brought to the surface.á Contaminated salt water can be very damaging when discharged into surface water, thus it is typically injected into similar formations from which it was extracted.
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Water Systems Must Prepare for New Arsenic Rule