EPA Rules Put on Hold

January 30, 2017

A Presidential directive from January 20, 2017, entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” has frozen the release of many pending regulations. All rules affected by the directive will be held pending further review. This action was not available for public comment due to the use of the good cause exception, claiming that opening the directive for public comment would be “contrary to the public interest.”

The following EPA rules will be held for review until March 21, 2017.



Federal Register Citation

Title

Publication Date

Original Effective Date

New effective Date

81 FR 74927

State of Kentucky Section 1425 Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Primacy Approval

10/28/16

1/26/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 95047

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New York Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality and Nonattainment New Source Review; Infrastructure State Implementation Plan Requirements

12/27/16

1/26/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 95041

Air Plan Approval; KY; RACM Determination for the KY Portion of the Louisville Area 1997 Annual PM2.5

12/27/16

1/26/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 95043

Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS

12/27/16

1/26/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 95051

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Louisiana; Redesignation of Baton Rouge 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area to Attainment

12/27/16

1/26/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 95480

State of Kentucky Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II Program; Primacy Approval

12/28/16

1/27/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 95475

Air Plan Approval; Illinois; Volatile Organic Compounds Definition

12/28/16

1/27/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 95473

Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District

12/28/16

1/27/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 95472

Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, South Coast Air Quality Management District

12/28/16

1/27/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 729

Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Attainment Plan for the Idaho Portion of the Logan, Utah/Idaho PM2.5 Nonattainment Area

1/4/17

2/3/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 2760

Addition of a Subsurface Intrusion Component to the Hazard Ranking System

1/9/17

2/8/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 2237

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Rhode Island; Clean Air Act Infrastructure State and Federal Implementation Plans

1/9/17

2/8/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 89746

Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018

12/12/16

2/10/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 89674

Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

12/12/16

2/10/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 3171

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Control of Air Pollution from Visible Emissions and Particulate Matter

1/11/17

2/10/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 89868

Determination of Attainment of the 2012 Annual Fine Particulate Matter Standard; Pennsylvania; Delaware County Nonattainment Area

12/13/16

2/13/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 3639

Air Plan Approval; TN Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS

1/12/17

2/13/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 3637

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Alabama; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard

1/12/17

2/13/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 5182

Revisions to the Guideline on Air Quality Models: Enhancements to the AERMOD Dispersion Modeling System and Incorporation of Approaches to Address Ozone and Fine Particulate Matter

1/17/17

2/16/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 91839

Air Plan Approval; Michigan; Part 9 Miscellaneous Rules

12/19/16

2/17/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 94262

National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List: Partial Deletion of the North Penn Area 6 Superfund Site

12/23/16

2/21/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 93624

Determination of Attainment of the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards; Mariposa County, California

12/21/16

2/21/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 85438

Adequacy of Washington Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Permit Program—Direct Final Rule

11/28/16

2/27/2017

3/21/2017

81 FR 95477

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Louisiana; State Boards

12/28/16

2/27/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 952

Pesticides; Certification of Pesticide Applicators

1/4/17

3/6/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 1206

Air Plan Approval; Georgia: Procedures for Testing and Monitoring Sources of Air Pollutants

1/5/17

3/6/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 2230

Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties, Issuance of Compliance or Corrective Action Orders, and the Revocation/Termination or Suspension of Permits; Procedures for Decisionmaking

1/9/17

3/10/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 2239

Approval of Arizona Air Plan Revisions; Ajo and Morenci, Arizona; Second 10-Year Sulfur Dioxide Maintenance Plans and Technical Correction

1/9/17

3/10/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 4594

Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air Act

1/13/17

3/14/2017

3/21/2017

82 FR 5142

Revisions to National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Operating Mill Tailings

1/17/17

3/20/2017

3/21/2017

Tampa RCRA and DOT Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Tampa, FL, on February 7–9 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Dallas RCRA and DOT Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management in Texas and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Dallas, TX, on February 14–16 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Chicago RCRA, DOT, and IATA Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Chicago, IL, on February 14–February 16. If you ship dangerous goods by air, get your required training at Transportation of Dangerous Goods: Compliance with IATA Regulations on February 17. To take advantage of these offers, click here or call 800-537-2372.

43 Recent Environmental Enforcement Cases in Minnesota

In its ongoing efforts to promote environmental compliance, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency concluded 43 enforcement cases in 24 counties throughout Minnesota during the fourth quarter of 2016. Penalties from all 43 cases totaled just under $260,000. In all of 2016, the MPCA completed 146 cases, totaling $1,173,948.

Environmental enforcement investigations often take several months, and in highly complex cases more than a year. Although, in rare instances, they can involve courts, they are most often negotiated settlements where the goal is compliance with environmental rules. Fines issued are targeted to match the environmental harm, economic advantage gained or environmental corrective actions.

In addition to these 43 recently completed cases, the MPCA also has 52 ongoing enforcement investigations, 17 of which were opened as new cases during the fourth quarter of 2016. Not all investigations lead to fines or other official action.

Imposing monetary penalties is only part of the MPCA’s enforcement process. Agency staff continue to provide assistance, support, and information on the steps and tools necessary to achieve compliance for any company, individual, or local government that requests it.

Click here for a list of enforcement actions.

Lakehaven, Washington, Water and Sewer District Fined $29,000 for Sewage Treatment Violations

The Lakehaven Water and Sewer District in south King County, WA faces a $29,000 penalty from the Washington Department of Ecology for failing to meet pollution discharge limits in its water quality permit.

The violations occurred at the district’s Lakota Wastewater Treatment Plant in Federal Way between June 2015 and August 2016. The facility serves more than 70,000 people and discharges treated wastewater to Dumas Bay in central Puget Sound.

“The pollution limits in the plant’s permit protect public health and Puget Sound,” said Heather Bartlett, Ecology’s Water Quality Program Manager. “While the district is taking steps to fix the problems, the extent of the violations is the concern.”

Violations

The treatment plant informed Ecology of 29 violations in regular monitoring reports:

  • Fecal coliform (13) – an indicator of bacteria and pathogens.
  • Total suspended solids (9) – a measurement of fine-sized particles.
  • Total residual chlorine (7) – a disinfectant.

Bacteria can place people’s health at risk, high solids can indicate turbidity which can harm fish gills, and chlorine can be toxic to aquatic life.

Actions to correct

The district saw only partial success with several steps taken to improve the plant’s performance, including:

  • Adjustments to a chemical mixture added to improve the removal of suspended solids.
  • Improvements in handling solids as they are removed from the wastewater.
  • Adding chlorine disinfection—and post-treatment de-chlorination—to temporarily augment an aging ultraviolet light disinfection system.

The district is in the process of replacing the plant’s ultraviolet light disinfection system and continues with long-term improvement planning.

“The district takes its obligation to safeguard the environment very seriously,” said John Bowman, Lakehaven Water and Sewer District General Manager. “In addition to investing in substantial near-term infrastructure improvements to enhance plant performance, we remain committed to working closely with the Department of Ecology and our consultants to manage our two treatment plants in full compliance with the discharge permits issued for their operation.”

Louisiana Man Charged with the Illegal Disposal of Used Oil

Investigators within the Criminal Investigation Section of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality charged a Carencro man for the illegal disposal of used oil into state waters.

Roshell Wayne Darjean, 41, is alleged to have illegally discharged 5–10 gallons of used oil into a ditch near Arista Drive in Carencro on Sunday, January 22.

Initially, the Lafayette Hazmat Team, Carencro Fire Department, and Lafayette Sheriff's Office responded to a spill near the intersection of Cockpit Road and Gendarme Road and found oil coming from a storm drain and leaking into a nearby coulee. Hazmat crews deployed absorbent materials and other cleanup agents to contain the substance and contacted LDEQ. LDEQ CIS personnel further investigated the incident and discovered that Darjean had been performing maintenance work on an 18-wheeler at his residence where he discharged between 5 and 10 gallons of used oil in a ditch which drained to Bayou Carencro.

“Disposal of used motor oil onto the ground or into a ditch is a senseless crime,” said Dr. Chuck Carr Brown, LDEQ Secretary. “In most cases, individuals can take their used oil to an auto supply store and properly dispose of it for free with no harm to the environment.”

According to LDEQ’s website, “Over 200 Louisiana locations have volunteered to collect used oil from the public. Major participants include companies such as Texaco, Wal-Mart, Exxon, Speedy Oil Change and Tune- Up, Jiffy Lube, Minit Oil Change and The Oil Exchange.”

If convicted of illegally discharging used oil to Bayou Carencro, Darjean faces a possible fine of not less than $2,500 (no more than $25,000 per day of violation) or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

El Paso De Robles Fined for Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent Violations

California’s Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) Executive Officer issued a $495,000 penalty against the City of El Paso de Robles on Friday, January 20.

The penalty stems from the City’s violation of effluent limits prescribed in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. The violations occurred from October 3, 2013, through June 27, 2016. The Permit authorizes the City to discharge treated effluent to the Salinas River. The City was unable to achieve compliance for various pollutants during the upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant.

The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, also known as the California Water Code, applies to such waste discharges for the protection of water quality and public health. For NPDES discharges such as the City’s, the Water Code requires the Regional Water Board to penalize effluent violations by imposing monetary penalties for no less than the mandatory minimum amount of $3,000 per violation.

The California Water Code also provides for a portion of such penalties to be used for supplemental environment projects (SEPs). SEPs are projects that can be included as part of an Administrative Civil Liability penalty to enhance the beneficial uses of the waters of the State and provide a benefit to the public at large.

The Regional Water Board and City have agreed to direct $255,000 of the total penalty to SEPs related to the Paso Robles groundwater basin. These SEPs may include support for sustainable groundwater management efforts, groundwater sampling, or assistance to disadvantaged communities to help resolve drinking water issues. The remaining portion of the penalty goes to the Cleanup and Abatement Account.

“Ensuring adequate treatment and control of wastewater discharges to our surface waters is a key component of the Board’s responsibility to protect water quality,” said Regional Water Board Chairman Jean-Pierre Wolff. “While the City has experienced a very difficult time in complying with its permit’s protective standards, it has also turned a significant corner by upgrading its treatment plant to reduce violations and put the City on a path towards exemplary performance.”

“In addition,” Wolff said, “it is both our and the City’s desire that the funds directed toward the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin will substantially offset the violations by improving our collective capacity to more fully understand, protect, preserve and bring to sustainability the basin as a vital water resource.”

California Central Coast Water Board Reaches Settlements with Farming Operations for Violations of Agricultural Order

The Central Coast Water Board reached settlements with the owners of four farms who failed to enroll in the Water Board’s Irrigated Lands Agricultural Order. The four cases were assessed penalties totaling $127,965.

“The vast majority of farmers on the Central Coast enroll in the Agricultural Order and work diligently to meet its requirements,” said Jean-Pierre Wolff, Chairman of the Central Coast Water Board. “When even a small number of farmers fail to enroll, they create an unfair business and regulatory playing field. Failure to enroll in the Agriculture Order is a serious violation with significant consequences. The Water Board will continue to use its enforcement authority to ensure that all farming operations are enrolled so that requirements are applied fairly.”

The Agricultural Order requires farmers and landowners to implement management practices and conduct monitoring and reporting to ensure that farms are not polluting surface water or groundwater. All owners of commercial irrigated farmland are required to enroll and comply with the requirements in the Order.

The Central Coast Water Board assessed penalties and reached settlements in four cases, as summarized below:

H.D. and Carol M. Perrett, who farm eight parcels totaling 1,827 acres, reached a settlement requiring the payment of $35,340. Half of the settlement amount is to be paid to the State Water Resources Control Board’s Cleanup and Abatement Account; the other half will go to the Bay Foundation of Morro Bay for the Central Coast Groundwater Assessment and Protection Program.

Mary Terrones Morales, trustee for the Jose Avila Morales and Mary Terrones Trust, who farms two parcels totaling 15 irrigated acres, reached a settlement requiring the payment of $7,000. The money is to be paid to the State Water Board’s Cleanup and Abatement Account.

George Amaral, George Amaral Ranches, and Dorothy Metzger as trustee for the Dorothy Metzger Trust, farm six parcels totaling 527 acres, and reached a settlement requiring the payment of $47,590. Half of the settlement is to be paid to the State Water Board’s Cleanup and Abatement Account, and half will go to the Bay Foundation of Morro Bay for the Central Coast Groundwater Assessment and Protection Program.

George Amaral, George Amaral Living Trust, and C&G Farms, farming three parcels totaling 356 irrigated acres, reached a settlement requiring the payment of $38,035. Half the settlement is to be paid to the State Water Board’s Cleanup and Abatement Account, and the other half will go to the Bay Foundation of Morro Bay for the Central Coast Groundwater Assessment and Protection Program.

The non-profit Bay Foundation of Morro Bay manages the Central Coast Groundwater Assessment and Protection Program. The purpose of this Program is to protect, restore, and enhance water quality by providing assistance to local water agencies and disadvantaged communities. Priorities for this Program include safe drinking water and sustainable groundwater management.

New York CAFO Permit Renewal to Promote Water Quality Protections on New York Farms

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos recently announced the renewal of two general permits for technical programs designed to reduce the potential for water pollution on large livestock farms. The permits, developed with input from the agricultural and environmental communities, provide new requirements for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) to ensure proper management of nutrients while increasing water quality protection.

"DEC has been working with stakeholders for more than two decades to balance environmental, agricultural, and civic interests in order to protect the environment while developing workable protections for New York's farmers," said Commissioner Seggos. "The permits are an important measure to safeguard public health and the environment. I thank everyone involved for their thoughtful input throughout this process."

These new permits provide farmers with a better understanding of permit terms and conditions to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. In addition, Governor Cuomo's recently announced proposal for the $2 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 will invest unprecedented resources for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and other water quality protection across the state, including funds for ensuring proper management and storage of nutrients such as manure on farms.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "The Governor's historic clean water initiative will be an important contribution of resources to our permitted livestock farms as they strive to maintain nutrient recycling year round. This proposed new source of funding also builds on the Governor's plan for a robust $300 million Environmental Protection Fund, which is critical to the growth and development of the State's agricultural industry and to ensuring the quality and sustainability of our natural resources for years to come."

DEC developed the initial renewal drafts after nearly two years of outreach and communication with stakeholders. The draft permits were made available for public comment December 23, 2015 through February 7, 2016. Throughout this process, DEC held numerous meetings with stakeholders to hear their concerns. DEC also received hundreds of written comments.

Since 1995, DEC has worked with the CAFO Workgroup, an active technical working group including the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Cornell University experts, farmers, civic groups, and environmental groups to develop and implement a robust CAFO program.

"New York Farm Bureau was a major collaborator in a workgroup with ou