EPA issued a final response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's remand of the 8-hour ozone standard. The remand directed EPA to consider the potential beneficial effects of ground-level ozone pollution in shielding the public from potentially harmful solar radiation, known as UV-B. After carefully considering the scientific and technical information available when the standard was issued in 1997, in addition to public comments on the November 2001 proposed response to the remand, EPA has reaffirmed the 8-hour ozone standard.
EPA MAKES AVAILABLE DRAFT GUIDANCE ON THE TECHNICAL SUPPORT DOCUMENT (TSD) FOR TITLE V PERMITTING OF PRINTING FACILITIES
EPA is making available for public review a draft of their pending guidance on the design of air permits for the printing sector. Some approaches in the draft TSD would be potentially available to other industry sectors as well.
The technical support document provides guidance to state and local permitting authorities on how they can choose to more efficiently design such permits while ensuring that they still meet all substantive and procedural requirements of the Clean Air Act, including, as applicable, the operating permit regulations EPA promulgated as part 70 of title 40, chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations. While not mandatory, EPA would recommend that permitting authorities use this guidance where allowed by their regulations and as their resources and needs dictate.
In no instance would this guidance allow sources to not comply fully with any applicable requirement; it only presents more flexible and/or efficient approaches for doing so. Where state regulations allow, the guidance is potentially useful in streamlining the permit issuance process and minimizing the subsequent need for permit revisions. EPA believes that the draft will also advance high priority goals within the Agency to: (1) encourage pollution prevention; (2) assure adequate public participation; (3) promote equal or better environmental protection; and (4) facilitate opportunities for sources to comply in a smarter, more efficient fashion.
A draft of this guidance is available on the Internet for public review. EPA does not intend to respond to individual comments, but rather to consider comments and information from the public in the preparation of a final guidance document.
The review period for this document will close on January 21, 2003. Any comments on the draft guidance must be submitted to EPA by that date.
The draft guidance can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/. Comments should be sent to Michael Trutna, Information Transfer and Program Integration Division (C304-03), U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC, 27711, (919) 541-5345, fax (919) 541-4028, or email@example.com.
For further information contact Michael Trutna at the above address or Gary Rust, Information Transfer and Program Integration Division (C304-04), U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC, 27711, (919) 541-0358, fax (919) 541-4028, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information on monitoring or testing issues, please contact Barrett Parker at (919) 541-5635 or email@example.com.
OVER $100 MILLION IN FINES AND SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS FOR FATAL WASHINGTON STATE GASOLINE PIPELINE EXPLOSION
On Dec. 11, the Olympic Pipeline Co. (OPL) and the Equilon Pipeline Corp. (EPC), which is owned by Shell Oil Co. along with individuals Frank Hopf of Woodlands, Texas; Ron Brestson of Kent, Wash.; and Kevin Dyvig of Buckley, Wash., all pleaded guilty to federal charges in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle. They each had alleged roles in a June 10, 1999, gasoline pipeline explosion that caused three fatalities, released approximately 236,000 gallons of gasoline and caused serious environmental damage in Hannah Creek and Whatcom Creek in Bellingham, Wash.
OPL agreed to plead guilty to felony violations of the Federal Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act (FHLPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Rivers and Harbor Act. EPC agreed to plead guilty to felony violations of the FHLPA and the CWA. Hopf and Brentson agreed to plead guilty to felony violations of the FHLPA and Dyvig agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the CWA. The plea agreement calls for OPL to pay a $6 million criminal fine, a $5 million civil fine, spend approximately $15 million ensuring the safety of its pipelines in Washington State and serve five years' probation. Under the agreement, EPC will pay $15 million in criminal fines, $10 million in civil fines and EPC's parent company, Shell, will develop a $61 million pipeline integrity program for its pipelines in the United States. With total criminal and civil fines combined, this is the largest pipeline case ever brought in the United States.
When sentenced, Hopf and Brentson each face a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. Dyvig faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in prison and/or a $100,000 fine, when sentenced.
This case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Bellingham, Wash., Police Department. Investigative assistance was provided by EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office in Seattle.
NORTH CAROLINA OIL REFINERY AND THREE INDIVIDUALS PLEAD GUILTY IN OIL POLLUTION/TAX EVASION CASE
High Rise Services Co. Inc., of Leland, N.C., and three individuals: Andrew Jackson Simmons, Jr., of Wilmington, N.C.; Anthony Paul Norris of Leland, N.C.; and Terry Ray Hill of Rocky Point, N.C., all pleaded guilty on Dec. 9 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in Wilmington. The federal charges related to the operation of High Rise's business of re-refining used oils into useable products and cleaning storage tanks.
High Rise pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act, the unlawful discharge of oil onto the shoreline and into surface waters, and improper storage of used oil. When sentenced, the company could receive a maximum fine of $2 million or twice the gain that resulted from the violations. The plea also calls for the company to pay restitution, publish a public notice of violation, make public speeches regarding its violations, develop a compliance program and conduct annual training for management and staff.
Simmons pleaded guilty to the negligent discharge of oil, failing to report a spill and tax evasion. When sentenced, he could receive a maximum sentence of up to 16 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $850,000. Norris pleaded guilty to the negligent discharge of pollutants and making false statements to the Coast Guard. When sentenced, he could receive a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison and/or a fine of up to $350,000. Hill pleaded guilty to tax evasion and when sentenced, could receive a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000.
Releasing oil into surface waters can make the waters unfit for recreation and drinking and can cause significant harm to fish and wildlife.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, the U.S. Coast Guard Criminal Investigation Division, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Investigative assistance was provided by EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.