July 27, 2020
EPA has finalized a rule that streamlines and modernizes the review of permits by the Agency’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) for the first time in nearly three decades. The final rule provides more flexibility to regulated parties, states and tribes, and the public.
“Over the years, the scope of responsibilities for EPA’s EAB has changed and the permitting appeal has become too lengthy,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Making the reviews more streamlined and the judicial review more prompt will lead to better certainty and a fairer process for both those applying for EPA permits and for the public.”
The Agency’s rule
streamlines the often-lengthy permitting review process before the EAB by expediting certain timelines of the prior process and imposing new, targeted deadlines.
Over the past 27 years, EAB’s role in permit appeals has changed as more states and tribes assumed permitting authority under EPA’s statutes. In an effort to streamline and modernize the permitting process, the final rule clarifies the EAB’s scope of review and makes permits effective more quickly by expediting administrative appeals through the following measures:
- Establishes a 60-day deadline for the EAB to issue final decisions once an appeal has been fully briefed and argued, with a one-time 60 day extension;
- Limits the availability of filing extensions to one request per party, with a maximum extension of 30 days; and
- Streamlines the amicus process.
On November 6, 2019, EPA proposed changes
to the EAB to facilitate speedy resolution of permit disputes and additional reforms to streamline the current administrative appeal process. The rule finalized today incorporates extensive input received during the public comment period.
The EAB was created in 1992 to hear administrative appeals. At that time, the number of EPA-issued permits was increasing. Over the past 27 years, EAB’s role in permit appeals has changed as more states and tribes assumed permitting authority under EPA’s statutes. This has dramatically reduced the number of EPA-issued permits and, in turn, the number of permits appealed to the EAB.
Safely Get Your EHS Training at Home or in Your Office
To help you get the training you need, Environmental Resource Center has added a number of dates to our already popular live webcast training. Stay in compliance and learn the latest regulations from the comfort of your office or home. Webcast attendees receive the same benefits as our seminar attendees including expert instruction, comprehensive course materials, one year of access to our AnswerlineTM
service, course certificate, and a personalized user portal on Environmental Resource Center’s website.
Upcoming hazardous waste and DOT hazardous materials webcasts:
15 Penalties Issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued 15 penalties totaling $209,279 in June for various environmental violations. A detailed list of violations and resulting penalties is at https://go.usa.gov/xEQJn.
Fines ranged from $3,000 to $35,191. Alleged violations included operating without an air quality permit, failure to comply with requirements of a stormwater permit, and conducting unlicensed asbestos abatement.
DEQ issued civil penalties to the following organizations and individuals:
- BDZ Developers, Inc. dba BDZ Construction, $3,000, Portland, (heating oil tank)
- City of Rainier, $35,191, Rainier, (stormwater)
- Columbia 410 LLC, $13,480, Molalla, (air quality)
- Farnes, John, $3,000, Oregon City, (solid waste)
- Ferndell Estates, LLC, $26,009, West Linn, (stormwater)
- Frederick Homes, LLC, $15,127, Portland, (asbestos)
- Iron Fist Construction, LLC, $21,600, Portland, (asbestos)
- R. Simplot, $10,091, Portland, (stormwater)
- MHC Mt. Hood Village, LLC, $11,200, Welches, (stormwater)
- Northwest Soil & Tanks, LLC, $7,800, Salem, (heating oil tank)
- Prologis, $18,397, Portland, (stormwater)
- Schneider, Tony Sr., $5,295, Portland, (solid waste)
- Silliman, David J., Katherine Coen, Janice Roth and Diane Niemeyer, $22,522, Veneta, (stormwater)
- Tillamook RV Park, $11,767, Tillamook, (stormwater)
- Western Rock Resources LLC, $4,800, Amity, (stormwater)
Organizations or individuals must either pay the fines or file an appeal within 20 days of receiving notice of the penalty. They may be able to offset a portion of a penalty by funding a supplemental environmental project
that improves Oregon’s environment.
Penalties may also include orders requiring specific tasks to prevent ongoing violations or additional environmental harm.
Large Penalty for Illegal Storage of Hazardous Waste
A Federal court ordered Robert Carville to pay $369,693 in restitution to the EPA in clean-up costs for removing hazardous wastes illegally stored at a former tannery.
Carville owned and managed the Carville National Leather Corporation for ten years prior to its closure. The family run business operated from 1976 until September 2013. Carville knowingly stored hundreds of gallons of hazardous waste on site (including chromium, lead, and both ignitable and corrosive chemicals) after it went out of business. Following the closure, Carville moved out of state, abandoning hundreds of containers of hazardous chemicals, many of which were labeled “corrosive,” “acidic,” and “hazardous. Carville lacked a permit to store the chemicals.
Given the proximity of the tannery to multiple residences and a creek, EPA deemed it a Superfund site. The court sentenced Carville in July 2019, after he pleaded guilty to violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (49 U.S.C. § 6928(d)(2)(A)). The court deferred determination on restitution until now.
The EPA Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation.
Manufacturer Cited for Selling Illegal Emission Control Defeat Devices
EPA announced a settlement with GReddy Performance Products, Inc., a motor vehicle parts manufacturer and distributor, for violating the Clean Air Act. EPA alleged the company manufactured and sold auto aftermarket parts known as defeat devices
, which bypass or render inoperative required emissions control systems. GReddy Performance Products, based in Irvine, California, will pay a penalty of $60,000.
Between 2016 and 2018, GReddy Performance Products sold 231 aftermarket exhaust systems designed to defeat the emissions control systems of gasoline-powered cars. These systems increase emissions of harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are associated with health problems including heart and lung ailments like chronic bronchitis and asthma.
“Companies that deal in aftermarket defeat devices are violating federal law,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “In an on-going effort to address air pollution, EPA has vigorously pursued and prosecuted companies who attempt to circumvent emission controls. Today’s settlement will help reduce pollution and protect communities that struggle with poor air quality.”
Pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter create poor air quality. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are particularly at risk for health impacts due to exposure to these pollutants.
Vehicles are a significant contributor to air pollution, and aftermarket defeat devices that disable emission controls exacerbate this problem. To address that, EPA has developed a National Compliance Initiative
that focuses on stopping the manufacture, sale, and installation of defeat devices on vehicles and engines.
If you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling or installing illegal defeat devices, or tampering with emissions controls, you can report it to EPA by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
EPA Initiative Continues to Improve Safety of Ammonia Refrigeration Facilities in New England
Although anhydrous ammonia is an effective refrigerant, it is also a toxic chemical that can injure or kill people when accidentally released. The death of a worker at the Stavis Seafood plant in South Boston in 2016 is the most tragic example recently here in New England.
In 2018, the EPA launched a pilot initiative to improve compliance with the General Duty Clause (GDC) of Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act at New England facilities with small ammonia refrigeration systems. Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act aims to prevent accidental releases of substances that can cause serious harm to the public and the environment. Larger ammonia refrigeration facilities are subject to the Risk Management regulations issued by EPA, but facilities that use fewer than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia are subject to the three duties of the GDC instead. Region 1 estimates that approximately 80% of the ammonia refrigeration facilities in New England have fewer than 10,000 pounds of ammonia and so are subject to the GDC instead of the RMP regulations. Facilities that fail to comply with the requirements put facility personnel, employees of adjacent businesses, emergency responders, and the local population and environment at risk of harm from such releases.
Through its GDC Initiative, EPA Region 1 is working to improve compliance with the first GDC requirement -- that facilities must identify hazards that may result from accidental releases using appropriate hazard assessment techniques. EPA has completed three rounds of the GDC Initiative and has started a fourth. The effort features extensive compliance assistance activities, which have reached hundreds of facilities. This has included ammonia safety trainings in all six New England states, an ammonia refrigeration webinar, training specific to ice rinks, ammonia table-top emergency response exercises, and informative letters and emails to facilities with ammonia refrigeration systems and their contractors.
So far, EPA has also issued information request letters to 50 companies and entered into Expedited Settlement Agreements (ESAs) with seven facilities that had not yet completed process hazard reviews. In the latest two rounds, East Bay Ice Co., Inc. (East Providence, RI), Coke Northeast (East Hartford, CT), and United Natural Foods, Inc. (Chesterfield, NH) each resolved a GDC violation with a significantly reduced penalty for completing a process hazard review with assistance from a third-party expert and meeting with emergency responders to plan for a potential release from the facility. As a result, all 50 of the facilities thus far have reported that they are now in compliance with the first duty of the GDC, 34 of those (including the ESAs) occurring after the start of outreach about the Initiative. Also, EPA learned from course evaluation forms that more facilities planned to conduct a process hazard review.
Most refrigeration facilities also have an obligation to report presence of certain chemicals, including anhydrous ammonia, to emergency planning and response agencies under Section 312 of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The goal is to ensure that emergency responders and planners know what chemicals are on site should they need to respond to an incident and that people in the community can get information about chemicals in their neighborhood. EPCRA Inventory Forms (Tier II forms) are due annually by March 1 for the preceding year. In the next year, the region expects to conduct more compliance assistance and issue info. request letters to more facilities.
New EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Aircraft
EPA has proposed emissions standards
for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. This action will align U.S. standards with the international carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), making domestically manufactured aircraft competitive in the global marketplace. This proposal also sets a precedent with the Trump Administration being the first to propose regulating greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft.
“This standard is the first time the U.S. has ever proposed regulating greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Along with the Affordable Clean Energy and Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicle rule, this is the Trump Administration’s third major action to take sensible, legally defendable steps to regulate greenhouse gases, while safeguarding American jobs and the economy.”
The ICAO standards were developed with significant input from EPA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and U.S. and international aviation industries. Typically, three out of four aircraft manufactured in the U.S. are sold overseas. These standards will help ensure consistent standards across the world, and most importantly allow U.S. manufactured planes, such as commercial and large passenger jets, to continue to compete in the global marketplace.
The implementation process provides significant lead-time to designers and manufacturers of aircraft covered by the standards. The proposed GHG standards would apply to new type design airplanes on or after January 1, 2020 and to in-production airplanes on or after January 1, 2028. They would not apply to already manufactured airplanes that are currently in-use.
After EPA promulgates the final rule with the standards, FAA will complete a subsequent rulemaking to enforce these standards. At that point, FAA could begin to certify airplanes of U.S. manufacturers. This process will take some time, and it is critical that EPA complete this part of the process so that the U.S. standards are in place well in advance of 2028, when the ICAO standards go into effect for in-production airplanes.
Under the Clean Air Act, in 2016 EPA found that emissions of GHGs from engines used in certain aircraft causes, or contributes to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare. These findings triggered a requirement for EPA to promulgate standards addressing GHG emissions from the engines of affected aircraft. Today’s action begins the process of following through on that requirement.
Environmental Resource Center Update
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have combined our Safety and Environmental Tips of the week. This issue includes some of the latest recommendations for you to keep safe at work and at home in this evolving event.
The health and wellbeing of our employees, customers and our communities is what matters most to all of us. To continue to serve you, our seminars have been converted to live online webcasts. You can find a list of upcoming live webcasts at this link
If you have enrolled in a seminar in August, in many cases the seminar will be held on approximately the same dates and at the same times via online webcast. We will contact you by phone or email regarding the details on how to attend the class. On-site training and consulting services are proceeding as usual. If you wish to convert these to remote services, please call your Environmental Resource Center representative or customer service at 800-537-2372.
Because many of our live and on-site training sessions have been postponed or canceled, we have staff available to assist you in coping with COVID-19 as well as your routine EHS requirements. If you have EHS staff that have been quarantined, we can provide remote assistance to help you meet your ongoing environmental and safety compliance requirements. For details, call 800-537-2372.
$317,000 Fine for Unpermitted VOC Emissions
A North Smithfield, Rhode Island, laminating and coating facility has taken steps to reduce its air emissions to settle claims by the EPA that it failed to comply with the terms of its Clean Air Act permit. The facility, formerly owned by Dartex Coatings, Inc., a subsidiary of Trelleborg, constructed an enclosure around its laminating line and paid a penalty of $317,000 to resolve charges by EPA that it had operated in violation of its Clean Air Act permit by failing to properly capture emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The new owner, Custom Coatings, Inc., purchased the facility from Dartex on May 19 and now operates the facility at 22 Steel Street. Under an agreement with EPA, Custom Coatings will install and operate a new thermal oxidizer designed to destroy the captured VOC emissions from the facility.
"The changes made at this facility will help protect the health and safety of workers and the surrounding community," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "EPA is dedicated to working with entities across New England to address important air pollution issues, such as controlling VOC emissions."
The case stems from inspections EPA conducted of the facility in which EPA determined that Dartex was not capturing 100% of the VOCs emitted from the laminating machine, as required by its permit.
While working to sell its facility, Dartex agreed in negotiations with EPA to install a permanent total enclosure around the entire laminating line to address the capture issues the agency identified. EPA and Dartex entered into an agreement addressing Dartex’s liability for civil penalties arising from the violations. After the sale, Custom Coatings agreed to install and operate a new thermal oxidizer at the facility.
Dartex coated various products for the medical, outerwear and water/sewer industries. Custom Coatings will be laminating and coating splicing tapes for coated abrasives. While the coatings contain volatile organic compounds, which contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, also known as smog, the coatings used by Custom Coatings are expected to contain fewer chemicals than those used in past coating processes.
Ground-level ozone can irritate the respiratory system, causing coughing, irritation or a burning sensation in the throat. It can reduce lung function, such that people can experience chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath. Ozone can aggravate asthma and trigger asthma attacks. People with lung diseases, such as asthma, older adults and children and adults who are active outdoors are at greater risk.
$1.2 Million Penalty for Unauthorized Wastewater Discharges
Monterey Mushroom, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Spawn Mate, Inc., agreed to a $1,169,425 settlement with the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board for unauthorized discharges of process wastewater and polluted stormwater from two facilities located in northern Monterey County into unnamed tributaries of Elkhorn Slough.
Between Jan. 8, 2017 and April 19, 2017, the company discharged a combined total of approximately 4,634,245 gallons of process wastewater and/or polluted stormwater from two mushroom growing facilities located in Royal Oaks into the tributary. The wastewater contained ammonia, excessive nutrients, and suspended and floating material, which can harm water quality and aquatic habitat.
“We work hard with dischargers to prevent these types of spills,” said Dr. Jean-Pierre Wolff, chair of the Central Coast Water Board. “We take these violations and threats to the environment very seriously. This settlement demonstrates our collaborative commitment with dischargers to protect and restore our region’s waters.”
Under the settlement agreement, $599,775 of the settlement funds will pay for a supplemental environmental project, which consists of a pilot project for 1,2,3- trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP) household-level water treatment for up to 20 disadvantaged community households in unincorporated areas of northern Monterey County, where residents rely on groundwater wells with high levels of 1,2,3-TCP in drinking water. The objective of the household-level water treatment is to effectively treat 1,2,3-TCP to levels below the drinking water standard.
The Central Coast Water Board is responsible for protecting and restoring water quality in a 300-mile-long coastal region, from southern San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to the northern part of Ventura County. Protecting aquatic habitat in streams and groundwater is essential to ensuring water quality and protecting the health of humans and wildlife.
Final Rule for the Safe Transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail Tank Car
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), issued a final rule
authorizing the bulk transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail. Specifically, the rule will permit the bulk transportation of LNG in DOT-113C120W9 (DOT-113) specification tank cars with enhanced outer tank requirements and additional operational controls. The publication complies with Executive Order
13868 (EO 13868), “Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth,” issued in April 2019.
“The Department’s new rule carefully lays out key operational safeguards to provide for the safe transportation of LNG by rail to more parts of the country where this energy source is needed,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
With FRA approval, LNG has previously been authorized for transport by rail in a portable tank. Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations have also authorized the transportation of other flammable cryogenic materials for many years in DOT-113 tank cars. Importantly, this final rule also incorporates newly designated additional safety requirements, such as an enhanced thicker carbon steel outer tank.
also requires remote monitoring of the pressure and location of LNG tank cars. In addition, to improve braking, the rule requires a two-way end of train or distributed power system when a train is transporting 20 or more tank cars loaded with LNG in a continuous block, or 35 or more such tank cars of LNG anywhere in the train consist. Furthermore, the rule requires railroads to conduct route risk assessments to evaluate safety and security.
EO 13868 recognized the growth of energy production in the U.S., coupled with an increased global demand for U.S. natural gas. The rule prescribes regulations that reflect best practices and best-available technologies, sets increased regulatory certainty, and provides policies that promote America’s natural resources.
$11,350 Fine for Air Quality Violations at Rochester Plant
Kerry Inc., a maker of food ingredients and flavors, paid an $11,350 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for a series of air-quality violations at its facility in Rochester.
The facility operates under an MPCA-issued permit that regulates air emissions of pollutants. The primary emissions are particulate matter from drying food ingredients and packaging the dried ingredients. Wet scrubbers are used to control emissions from the dryers, and fabric filters are used to control emissions from material handling. The facility also has emissions from natural gas combustion from the dryers, boilers, and space heaters.
An MPCA inspection in August 2019 found that the facility
- Hadn’t been operating its pollution control equipment properly
- Wasn’t keeping proper records of the performance of that equipment
- Failed to notify the MPCA that it was installing new equipment as required by the permit.
In addition to paying the civil penalty, the company has completed a series of corrective actions to prevent further emissions violations, including:
- Submitting a plan for ensuring the operation of all control equipment when process equipment is operating
- Recording natural gas usage and submitting the records to MPCA, as required by the permit
- Submitting a plan for ensuring control equipment is operated in accordance with the company’s air emissions permit
Nursing Facilities Cited for Failing to Implement Covid Respiratory Program
OSHA has cited healthcare company OHNH EMP LLC for violating respiratory protection standards following an inspection initiated after the company reported the coronavirus-related hospitalization of seven employees.
OSHA inspected three OHNH EMP facilities in Ohio: Pebble Creek Healthcare Center in Akron, and Salem West Healthcare Center and Salem North Healthcare Center in Salem. OSHA cited each location for a serious violation of two respiratory protection standards: failing to develop a comprehensive written respiratory protection program and failing to provide medical evaluations to determine employees' ability to use a respirator in the workplace. OSHA also issued a Hazard Alert Letter regarding the company's practice of allowing N95 respirator use for up to seven days and not conducting initial fit testing. The agency has proposed $40,482 in penalties.
"It is critically important that employers take action to protect their employees during the pandemic, including by implementing effective respiratory protection programs," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. "OSHA has and will continue to vigorously enforce the respiratory protection standard and all standards that apply to the coronavirus. As Secretary Scalia has said, ‘the cop is on the beat.'"
"OSHA's investigation found that, although the company was making efforts to protect its employees from the coronavirus, it had not fully implemented an appropriate respiratory protection program," said OSHA Cleveland Area Office Director Howard Eberts. "Employers are and will continue to be responsible for providing a workplace free of serious recognized hazards. In issuing this citation, OSHA relied on one of its preexisting standards that protect workers from the coronavirus."
Draft Ozone Precursor Emissions Rules Released for Public Comment in New Mexico
After over a year of unprecedented public outreach and stakeholder collaboration and thousands of hours of work by staff and members of the Methane Advisory Panel
, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) released a draft version of the state’s first ozone precursor rules for an informal 30-day public comment period.
NMED’s draft rules target oil and natural gas equipment that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Regulating these emissions will result in a co-benefit of reducing emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
“Putting these rules into place will ultimately mean cleaner air and a healthier environment for New Mexicans,” said Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “Using the best available science, collaborating with subject matter experts and the public, and employing innovative solutions to a pressing environmental issue – the team at the Environment Department has done outstanding work to get us to this point.”
The public comment period on the draft rules is not regulatorily required and is meant to ensure the public can participate in the regulatory process to the maximum extent possible. Once NMED receives and considers public input, it will draft regulations for consideration before the Environmental Improvement Board, which will entail a formal public comment period and participation process.
NMED and the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD), which also released draft rules, worked closely together throughout the process to ensure the draft rules are complementary and do not result in redundant or conflicting requirements.
The draft rules are available here
. You can provide input on the draft rules to: email@example.com
or to Liz Bisbey-Kuehn, NMED Air Quality Bureau, 525 Camino de los Marquez, Santa Fe, NM 87505 by 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2020.
NMED and EMNRD will cohost a virtual public meeting on the rules from 4-6 p.m. August 6.
Strict PFAS Standards Adopted in Michigan
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced that Michigan will adopt a ruleset creating some of the nation’s most comprehensive regulations limiting PFAS contamination in drinking water.
“All Michiganders deserve to know that we’re prioritizing their health and are continuing to work every day to protect the water coming out of their taps,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Michigan is once again leading the way nationally in fighting PFAS contamination by setting our own science-based drinking water standard. As a result, we will be better protecting Michiganders across our state.”
Following 15 session days in front of the Michigan Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), this ruleset passed the final oversight step in the rule-making process launched by Gov. Whitmer in March 2019.
The ruleset takes effect seven days after filing with the Secretary of State and is expected to become official Aug. 3, 2020. The new rules will provide drinking water standards for public water systems to achieve.
“Under the direction of Governor Whitmer, we’ve reached this critical milestone for the safety of Michigan’s drinking water,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark. “These rules represent the input from a diverse group of stakeholders who helped us shape regulations that are practical, science-driven and, most importantly, protective of public health. We remain committed to working together to root out PFAS contamination, protect at-risk populations and drive down exposure levels.”
Michigan’s first-ever regulations limiting seven PFAS chemicals in drinking water will cover roughly 2,700 public water supplies around the state and exceed the current US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance on the chemicals.
The following Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) were proposed by EGLE and adopted by the legislature:
Drinking Water MCLs for PFAS
Drinking Water MCL
Parts per Trillion (ppt)
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), EGLE and other state agencies that make up the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), conducted a year-long review of current scientific and health data about PFAS and consulted several academic, environmental and business stakeholders in the development of the rules.
The new rules followed the Administrative Rules Process handled by the Environmental Rules Review Committee, Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules (MOAHR) and JCAR. The rules were also subject to a public comment period.
The new drinking water standards also have an immediate effect on Michigan’s existing groundwater clean-up criteria of 70 ppt for PFOS and PFOA. The new groundwater standard will be 8 ppt for PFOA and 16 ppt for PFOS. The new drinking water and groundwater standards will also result in 42 new sites being added into MPART’s portfolio of ongoing PFAS investigations. Half of the new sites are landfills and more than a dozen are former plating or manufacturing sites. Many sites are also the subject of ongoing EGLE investigations into other forms of contamination. Summaries of the new sites will be posted on the MPART web site after the rules become official. Additionally, MPART will schedule a series of regional webinars to provide more information regarding next steps in the state’s investigation into PFAS contamination at these sites.
Additional investigations may also be pursued based on monitoring data required of public water systems under the new rules. Roughly 30 public water systems were found to have total PFAS results of 10 ppt or higher during MPART’s 2018 statewide sampling program and ongoing surveys. Compliance with the new standards at those systems and others will be determined based on a running annual average of sample results. Investigations near the public water systems with PFAS detections will be prioritized for further assessment and sampling by EGLE to determine potential PFAS sources and any potential risk to both public and private drinking water.
“We’ve communicated with many of these public water systems along with other stakeholders during the period we were developing these rules so this change in status will not come as a surprise,” said Steve Sliver, executive director of MPART. “The PFAS levels previously detected at these sites and supplies have not necessarily changed, but the state’s regulations have become much more protective and give us a new tool in our shared mission of protecting people’s drinking water.”
In anticipation of these new rules, many public water supplies have already acted to reduce PFAS levels in their drinking water supply. MPART agencies like EGLE and MDHHS will assist public water systems to bring their water into compliance over the next several months.
Known to scientists as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS are a group of potentially harmful contaminants used in thousands of applications globally including firefighting foam, food packaging and many other consumer products. These compounds also are used by industries such as tanneries, metal platers and clothing manufacturers.
California Air Resources Board to Streamline Aftermarket Parts Exemption Process
The California Air Resources Board adopted
an updated and streamlined approach to the current procedures for exemptions from California anti- tampering laws for add-on and modified “aftermarket” parts.
This approach was developed in response to rapidly evolving vehicle technology. CARB worked cooperatively with the aftermarket parts industry to update its regulations to address today’s advanced vehicle technology while still protecting the integrity of the systems that controls harmful and toxic emissions.
”These new requirements address recent and more advanced technologies that didn’t exist when the procedures were first written,” said CARB Assistant Executive Officer Annette Hebert. “This is a positive outcome that will benefit consumers and industry and result in faster access to approved aftermarket parts.”
Aftermarket parts are modifications that were not part of the design of the vehicle or engine when originally certified for sale in California. Any parts that have the potential to impact emissions are subject to the protections of California’s anti-tampering regulation, and require an exemption from CARB prior to being sold in the state.
Aftermarket parts are typically installed by consumers to improve performance, add functions, or for aesthetic value. Permission to install parts such as superchargers, turbos, air intakes, and exhaust systems is given only after a thorough engineering evaluation and testing demonstrates that the parts will not impact the performance of the vehicle’s emissions controls.
Over 200 applications for aftermarket parts are submitted annually and that number is expected to grow in the coming years. Since the last amendments to the aftermarket process in 1990, there have been revolutionary changes in the design of new vehicles and emission control systems. CARB staff recognized the rapid advancements in engine and drive train engineering and made updating its evaluation and review process of aftermarket parts a priority.
The improvements adopted today will clarify exemption requirements by presenting a more detailed description of CARB review criteria and providing uniform information to manufacturers regarding testing requirements. The streamlined application and review process will allow products to get to the market faster. The new process will commence in 2021.
Free Amazon HD 10 Tablet with RCRA and DOT Training
Annual hazardous waste training is required for anyone who generates, accumulates, stores, transports, or treats hazardous waste. Learn how to manage your hazardous waste in accordance with the latest state and federal regulations. Learn how to complete EPA’s new electronic hazardous waste manifest, and the more than 60 changes in EPA’s new Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. Environmental Resource Center’s Hazardous Waste Training
is available via live webcasts. If you plan to also attend DOT hazardous materials training
, call 800-537-2372 to find out how you can get your course materials on an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet at no extra charge.
Trivia Question of the Week