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EPA Cites Mercury Marine For Clean Air Violations
EPA has cited Mercury Marine for alleged clean-air violations at the company's Fond du Lac, WI, aluminum recovery plant.
EPA alleges that Mercury Marine failed to comply with federal operating, planning, notification, reporting, testing and recordkeeping requirements for its plant. EPA said the company should have tested for dioxin and furan emissions.
These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company. The company has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.
EPA To Begin Cleanup At Connecticut SiteEPA will begin a cleanup this week at the Carvill Combing Co. site in Plainfield, CT. The agency estimates total contract cost for the cleanup at $960,000.
The former textile plant was abandoned in the late 1970s and is contaminated with asbestos. EPA will remove asbestos-contaminated material from the dilapidated building.
Earlier this week, EPA contractors began removing accessible asbestos prior to demolition of the building. The demolition will be conducted in a manner that minimizes the volume of the asbestos-contaminated demolition wastes. Drums and containers recovered from the building will be characterized and disposed of at an EPA-approved disposal facility.
Steel and other salvageable construction material will be segregated, stockpiled, and transported off-site to be recycled. Debris containing asbestos will be loaded into lined dump trailers before being transported off-site for disposal at an EPA-approved facility. Demolition debris containing asbestos will be wetted down to minimize dust, and air monitoring will be conducted during the removal activities to protect surrounding residents.
Earlier this summer, EPA posted signs and installed a temporary chain-link fence around the site to restrict access to the work area. EPA also received permission from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to temporarily close a portion of the Moosup Valley State Park trail in order to access the site while conducting the cleanup.
Approximately 113 tons of material containing asbestos and roughly 240 tons of miscellaneous demolition debris will be removed and transported off-site for recycling and/or disposal at a permitted facility. The removal work is expected to take three months.
Ohio EPA Adopts New Source Review Reform Rules
Ohio EPA has adopted rules to address EPA's New Source Review (NSR) Reform rules promulgated on December 31, 2002 and the EPA NSR Reform Reconsideration changes promulgated on November 7, 2003. These rules are being adopted after a public participation process that included NSR Reform Discussion Group meetings, an interested party comment period, and a formal proposal and public participation process.
California Water District Receives EPA Award
EPA recently presented the East Bay Municipal District (EBMUD) in Oakland, CA, with a first-place award for its outstanding and innovative achievements in wastewater treatment and pollution prevention.
The EBMUD has been a national leader in adopting innovative strategies to protect the environment and to encourage pollution prevention. The district has focused their efforts primarily on pollutants such as mercury that affect the San Francisco Bay. Through a mercury reduction pilot program developed with the University of California's Berkeley campus, the district collected over 1,000 pounds of mercury waste last year, including 300 pounds of elemental mercury.
Last year the district required dental facilities that handle mercury to install equipment that removes up to 95 percent of the mercury before discharging to the wastewater treatment plant.
The EBMUD has encouraged industries to eliminate discharges of wastewater containing toxics. As a result of these efforts, more than 64 percent of the area industries recycle or evaporate their wastewater, resulting in no discharges of polluted wastewater to the public sewer system.
The EBMUD treats wastewater received from more than 13,000 commercial and industrial facilities in CaliforniaÆs Alameda and Contra Costa counties. In addition, the EBMUD provides water to more than 1.3 million customers.
Proposed Canadian Law Carries Substantial Fines
Ontario polluters may soon face more immediate action and financial penalties of up to $100,000 a day under new Canadian provincial legislation introduced earlier this week.
The proposed legislation would impose penalties on those responsible for illegal spills or emissions with fines of up to $20,000 a day for individuals and $100,000 a day for corporations. The penalties would be assessed by Environment Ministry officials within a few days of a spill. Fines are currently handed down by the courts.
The proposed "you spill, you pay" law was conceived to encourage polluters to clean up quickly and to take steps to prevent further discharges.
The new legislation was developed following Ontario's Industrial Pollution Action TeamÆs request for an overhaul of the ministryÆs handling of offenders along a pollution-prone stretch of the St. Clair River known as "Chemical Alley."
The proposed legislation would also place the onus on the officers and directors of an offending company to prove that every reasonable step was taken to prevent the spill. Convictions would result in sentences ranging from fines against a company to as much as five years of jail time for company directors and officers.
The proposed legislation would also create a special community cleanup fund to be used to pay for cleaning up spills and repairing the ensuing environmental damage.
Oregon Facilities Cited For Hazardous Waste Violations
The Oregon DEC recently cited several facilities for a variety of violations, including improperly crushing fluorescent lamps, abandoning waste in a landfill, failing to properly complete hazardous waste manifests, accumulating hazardous waste for more than 90 days, and failing to update the emergency contact list in a contingency plan. Details of the violations are available online at http://www.deq.state.or.us/news/prDisplay.asp?docID=1535.
Oregon has a self-disclosure policy that can reduce penalties if you notify the state of potential violations before they find them.
EPA Chief Vows To Reduce Diesel Emissions
The nation's top environmental officer suggested that diesel smoke may soon be a thing of the past.
Mike Leavitt, administrator of the EPA, told the audience at a Phoenix clean-air awards ceremony that diesel smoke could be almost nonexistent within a decade. The result would be cleaner air and fewer health problems nationwide.
Leavitt was a last-minute addition to the Clean Air Campaign's annual awards meeting, held to recognize Phoenix-area companies for efforts to reduce driving. He noted that the recent non-road diesel rule could pave the way to phase out the smoke and odor created by diesel engines over the next decade.
The improvements resulting from the diesel clean-up regulations will begin in 2007 and continue during the following decade, potentially reducing the sulfur content in diesel fuel.
New York Hazardous Waste Assessments
The Return of Special Assessments on Generation, Treatment or Disposal of Hazardous Waste in New York State forms are now available online. Instructions and downloadable copies of the form are available on New YorkÆs Department of TaxationÆs website at http://www.tax.state.ny.us/Forms/hazardous_waste.htm.