December 13, 2002
EPA is working on a proposed rule that may temporarily suspend the February 17, 2003 deadline for a facility to amend its SPCC plan to conform with recent amendments published on July 17, 2002 (see http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WATER/2002/July/Day-17/w16852a.htm).

For additional information, see http://www.epa.gov/oilspill/spccguid.htm#cook

On November 26, 2002, the following letter was sent to numerous stakeholders who have raised concerns with the deadlines in the Final SPCC rule.

"Dear [Stakeholder],

The purpose of this letter is to announce that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working on a proposed rule that would temporarily suspend the February 17, 2003 deadline for a facility to amend its Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan to conform with recent amendments to the rules governing those plans and the August 18, 2003 deadline for implementing such amendments. See 40 CFR 112.3(a), 67 Fed. Reg. 47042 (July 17, 2002). We plan to propose the suspension (the duration of which is still under consideration) in a direct-final rule, with the possibility of one 6 month extension of that date should it prove necessary. During the period of the proposed temporary suspension, we plan to conduct the fact-finding and other work necessary to propose and finalize new compliance dates for these facilities.

Should you have any questions about this letter, please contact Hugo Fleischman at 703-603-8769, or Mark Howard at 703-603-8715.


Michael B. Cook, Director
Office of Emergency and Remedial Response"


Hershey Canada Inc. has been charged with an incident where almost 23,000 liters of milk was discharged into the Rideau River at Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada.

The charges allege the milk was spilled from the company's chocolate manufacturing and processing plant on December 5, 2001.

Hershey Canada Inc. faces one count under section 30(1) of the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA), which relates to discharging a contaminant that may impair water quality, and one count under section 30(2) of the OWRA, involving failure to forthwith notify the Ministry of the Environment.

The first court appearance date has been set for December 18, 2002 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Perth.


EPA's National Environmental Compliance Assistance Clearinghouse, referred to as the Clearinghouse, makes it even easier to find environmental compliance assistance tools and resources through improved navigational features.

The Clearinghouse is being relaunched, after first being launched in 2000 and provides links to more than 5,000 tools and resources developed by EPA, states, trade associations and other assistance providers. In addition to serving as a national repository of compliance assistance tools, interactive features allow visitors to exchange ideas and results with colleagues on a topic-specific bulletin board. EPA and state project planning and initiative information is also available. An easy-to-use online form enables Clearinghouse compliance assistance providers to quickly link the Clearinghouse to their compliance assistance tools and resources. Compliance assistance providers and the regulated community alike will find the Clearinghouse a valuable resource.

The Clearinghouse can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/clearinghouse .


A new voluntary pilot project has been developed by EPA, entitled Sustainable Futures, to encourage the application of pollution prevention principles during the development of new chemicals submitted as premanufacture notices (PMNs) under section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Certain expedited review under section 5 of TSCA is proposed as an incentive to PMN submitters. The goal of this pilot project is to encourage pollution prevention and the development of inherently low hazard chemicals. Furthermore, the Agency seeks to gain additional data and experience regarding the pollution prevention, risk reduction, and source reduction benefits of use of hazard, exposure, and risk screening methodologies such as EPA's Pollution Prevention Framework in new product development efforts.

Comments are solicited on or before June 9, 2003. Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier.

For general information contact Barbara Cunningham, Acting Director, Environmental Assistance Division (7408M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460 0001; telephone number: (202) 554-1404. For technical information contact: For New Chemicals Program regulatory information: Kenneth T. Moss, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-9232; e-mail address: moss.kenneth@epa.gov. For information about P2 Framework and Training or Workshops: Bill Waugh or Maggie Wilson, Risk Assessment Division (7403M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone numbers: (202) 564-7657 or 564-8924; e-mail addresses: waugh.bill@epa.gov or wilson.maggie@epa.gov


EPA announced the availability of 1999 Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) data through the U.S. Bureau of Census.

The PACE survey is the only comprehensive source of information on pollution abatement expenditures for U.S. manufacturing, mining and electric utility industries. The survey reports 1999 pollution treatment, disposal and recycling capital expenditures and operating costs totaled $6.2 billion and $16.8 billion, respectively. Additionally, pollution prevention expenditures totaled $2.8 billion; outlays for pollution prevention are reported as totals only. Additional details, by environmental medium and industry group, also are available. The expenditures reported are for U.S. manufacturing, mining and electric utility industries, and do not include depreciation, research and development expenditures, or lost productivity.

The survey was conducted by the Bureau of Census, with EPA sponsorship, and is available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/ma200-99.pdf.


EPA announced that it has finalized a rule to improve the New Source Review (NSR) program. EPA also announced a proposed rule to provide a regulatory definition of "routine maintenance, repair and replacement." These actions will offer facilities greater flexibility to improve and modernize their operations in ways that will reduce energy use and air pollution, provide incentives to install state-of-the-art pollution controls and more accurately calculate actual emissions of air pollution. These improvements will also remove perverse and unintended regulatory barriers to investments in energy efficiency and pollution control projects, while preserving the environmental benefits of the NSR program.

After a comprehensive review of the program, EPA issued a Report to the President on NSR in June 2002. This report concluded that the program as currently administered has impeded or resulted in the cancellation of projects that would maintain or improve the reliability, efficiency or safety of existing power plants and refineries. EPA also concluded that, at existing industrial facilities outside the energy sector, NSR discourages projects that improve capacity or efficiency and do not increase emissions. Instead of being a tool to help improve air quality, the report indicated that NSR has stood in the way of making numerous environmental improvements at many facilities across the nation. Based on these findings, EPA recommended a series of improvements to help address these problems. The final and proposed rules implement these recommendations.

The final rule improvements are the culmination of a 10-year process. During this period, EPA implemented pilot studies and engaged state and local governments, environmental groups, private sector representatives, academia and concerned citizens in an open and far-reaching public rulemaking process. Last summer the nation's governors and environmental commissioners, on a bipartisan basis, called for NSR reform.

Additional information and copies of both the final rule and the proposed rule are available on the web at http://www.epa.gov/nsr/