Oil Filters Stringently Regulated

October 25, 2005

Discuss
á
In Florida, used oil filters are more stringently regulated than the federal standards at 40 CFR 279.á DEP regulations which became effective in June 2005, ban oil filter disposal in landfills, require generator registration, and set standards for how the filters are stored, such as the requirement for storage containers to be sealed, in good condition, and be labeled ôUsed Oil Filters.öá The regulations also set standards for used oil transporters and recyclers.
á

OEPA Revises Hazardous Waste Classification Guidance

Discuss
á
The Ohio EPA has published new guidance that is intended to assist generators in the state with hazardous waste evaluation by clarifying some types of information and sources of documentation you can consider and document when relying upon generator knowledge in determining if a waste is hazardous.á The guidance, called: Use of Generator Knowledge In Complying with OAC rule 3745-52-11, Hazardous Waste Evaluation, is available online. The other option is to get your waste tested in accordance with SW-846, which was streamlined by the methods innovation rule.

DOT Requirements for Waste Samples with Preservatives

Discuss
á
There are two letters from the Department of Transportation regarding sample preservation. The first letter states that DOT does not consider samples preserved according to EPA requirements to be DOT hazardous materials (unless the sample meets the definition of a hazardous material without preservation). Not having to ship environmental samples as hazardous material should greatly reduce the cost of shipping by air.
á
The second letter addresses the inconsistency between the EPA requirement for a container holding a sample to be analyzed for volatile organic compounds not to contain any free headspace and the DOT requirement that samples shipped by air that contain free headspace. It explains that if the VOA vial is placed in a container with free headspace, the DOT requirements will be satisfied and the samples can be shipped by air.

EPAÆs RCRA Training and Storage Area Checklists

Discuss
á
EPA Region 9 has published a RCRA training checklist that you can use to determine which of your facility personnel must receive hazardous waste training. The Agency also published a chart that compares EPA, OSHA, and DOT training requirements based on job function. Once you have determined who needs training, they can be trained at any of Environmental Resource CenterÆs nationwide RCRA training seminars, webcasts, or in a highly customized session at your facility, EPAÆs checklist includes requirements for both large and small quantity generators as well as recordkeeping requirements.á Also see EPAÆs storage area checklist.

Crushing Universal Waste Lamps

Discuss
á
Although most states do not allow crushing universal wastes lamps by waste generators, a few do. For example, in Florida, lamp crushing using a drum top device is allowed provided certain procedures designed to minimize worker exposure to mercury are implemented, and the crushed lamps will be recycled. For details, see Florida Lamps.


Hospital Environmental Assessment Template

Discuss
á
This environmental compliance and pollution prevention tool was developed for an Office of Environmental Compliance and Assistance (OECA) grant to the University of New Hampshire Pollution Prevention Program. The tool includes state specific tools for CT, RI and NH.á This tool is not all-inclusive and it does not include all Federal hospital requirements or preferable practices. In addition, you should also always check with your state for any additional state requirements.


New Jersey Issues Global Warming Regulations

Discuss
á
Acting Governor Richard J. Codey bolstered New JerseyÆs efforts to combat global warming by classifying carbon dioxide as an air contaminant. Codey's action made New Jersey one of the first states in the nation to take such a step.á This action enables the Garden State to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program to stabilize and reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, a leading cause of global warming.
á
The adopted regulations amend several air pollution control rules, reflecting current scientific consensus that carbon dioxide is an air contaminant. The revision lays the groundwork for regional initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide.
á
"Today's announcement is a critical first step in New Jersey's ongoing efforts to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions," said DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell. "Because the Federal government has failed to take action to address the issue of global warming, the states are left to confront the serious consequences of rising greenhouse gas levels.á New Jersey is pleased to be part of a nine-state team that is working diligently to develop a regional strategy for controlling carbon dioxide emissions."
á
RGGI is a cooperative effort by nine states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.á Other participating states are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In addition, Pennsylvania, Maryland, the District of Columbia, the Eastern Canadian provinces and New Brunswick are participating as observers in the initiative.
á
RGGI recently prepared a draft greenhouse gas reduction plan for review by stakeholders.á Central to this plan is the implementation of a multi-state cap-and-trade program with a market-based emissions trading system. The proposed program would require electric power generators in participating states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.á
á
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps the sun's heat in the atmosphere, contributing to a rise in the earth's average temperature and in sea levels. The state's designation is based on existing and projected adverse impacts on the environment, ecosystems, wildlife and human health resulting from climate change. According to the NJDEP, global warming is a serious threat to New Jersey, with projections forecasting average temperature increases between two and 10 degrees F by 2100. Such a severe climate change could contribute to air quality problems by exacerbating smog and ozone problems in the summer.
á
New Jersey is especially vulnerable to sea level rise (due primarily to thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of polar ice caps) and increases in the intensity of extreme weather events because of its gently sloping, highly developed coastline.á These consequences could have serious impacts on New Jersey's environment and coastal communities. There is a strong scientific consensus that severe consequences would result if action is not taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.á
á
The adopted rules will appear in the Nov. 21, 2005 New Jersey Register. To learn more about the cooperative effort by Northeastern states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, see the RGGI web site.


Winter Energy-Efficiency Tips

Discuss
á
In the face of higher winter energy bills, EPA is encouraging you to be more energy efficient.á The Agency recommends five places to look and practical advice for energy savings:á sealing and insulating; heating efficiently; changing lights; powering down home electronics; and use of Energy Star products.
á
According to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, ô[B]y taking a few common-sense steps to conserve our home energy use, we can get the most out of our energy dollars and keep more money in our pockets."
á
The average American household spends $1500 annually on energy -- a number that may go up as much as 50% this year.á Almost half of that energy goes to heating and cooling your home.á Lighting and appliances represent about a quarter and home electronic products like computers, TVs and cell phone chargers take a significant and growing share of what is left.á There are ways to become more energy efficient in all these areas.
á
1. Seal up your home -- One of the most cost effective ways to reduce energy bills is to air-seal holes, cracks and openings in your home and then add insulation to stop the flow of heat through the walls and ceiling.á Consider the following steps from EPA's Home Sealing Do-it-yourself Guide.
  • áááááááá Weather-strip and insulate your attic hatch or door to prevent warm air from escaping out the top of your house
  • áááááááá Seal holes in the attic that lead down into the house, such as open wall tops and duct, plumbing, or electrical runs
  • áááááááá Weather-strip doors and windows that do not seal tightly.á Use foam gaskets around electrical outlets (under the plates) to reduce drafts
á
2. Heat your home wisely -- Your heating system works hard during the winter to keep you warm.á When it is working at top performance and your heating ducts are delivering warm air to your rooms effectively, you will be more comfortable and save money.
á
Replace your furnace air filter before the heating season begins as a dirty filter reduces air flow which makes your system work harder to deliver air to the registers.á Also, cover the filter slot with a piece of wide tape to keep air from getting in around filter edges without passing through the filter.
  • áááááááá Be sure air ducts are delivering all the warm air they can. If you can see the duct seams where the metal comes together, seal these joints with shiny foil tape with a UL-181 label (this label is very important.) or duct mastic (also called duct sealant).á This is especially important for the ducts that you can see in your basement or attic.
  • áááááááá Set back your thermostat when you're asleep or away.á When used properly, an Energy Star qualified programmable thermostat with four-temperature and time settings can save you $100 each year on energy.
  • áááááááá Call a heating contractor to service your system.á Fall is a good time to have a service technician look at your heating system to make sure that it is running properly to keep you warm this winter without adding unnecessary costs.á Ask your contractor to check your duct system.
á
3. Change a light -- Lighting our homes can represent 20% of home electricity bills and is one of the easiest places to start saving energy.á If every household changed a light to an Energy Star one, together we'd save enough energy to light 7 million homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of 1 million cars.
  • áááááááá Replace the five most frequently used lights, or the bulbs in them, with one's that have earned the Energy Star, and save more than $60 each year in energy costs
  • áááááááá Start with one light and take the Energy Star Change a Light Pledge
á
4.á Power down computers and electronics products when not in use -- Computers and other electronics account for an increasing energy load in most homes, and often use energy even when switched off.
  • áááááááá Activate your computer's power management features, so it powers down when sitting idle
  • áááááááá Unplug battery chargers and power adapters when they finish charging, or are not in use.
  • áááááááá Consider using a power strip that can be turned off when you're done using (or at bedtime) your computers, printers, wireless routers, and other electronics
á
5.á Look for many products that have earned the Energy Star -- The Energy Star is on more than 40 different kinds of products the home, including lighting, home electronics, heating and cooling equipment and appliances.á Energy Star qualifying products provide the features and performance you want while helping you save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • áááááááá Look for Energy Star qualified products when you are in the market for new products for your home
  • áááááááá Check with your local utility about rebates


EPA Orders Truck Stop to Monitor Drinking Water

Discuss
á
EPA ordered Speedy's Truck Stop in Lupton, Ariz. to monitor its drinking water for nitrates, lead, copper, organic chemicals, and inorganic chemicals as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
á
The Agency discovered the violations during a routine site inspection in April 2004.á Speedy's Truck Stop which supplies water to more than 2,000 people per day is considered a small drinking water system and is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act to monitor tap water for contaminants.á If contaminants are detected in water samples above EPA drinking water standards, the facility is required by federal law to notify the public they serve.á The order also requires Speedy's to report sampling water sampling data to the EPA. Failure to comply with the order could result in fines of up to $32,500 per day, per violation
á
"Protecting public health is our top priority.á Public drinking water systems that fail to monitor cannot ensure the quality and safety of our tap water," said Alexis Strauss, water division director for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region.á "We will continue to oversee Speedy's efforts to monitor and supply its users with safe, clean drinking water."
á
Since 1993, the EPA has required small public water systems to monitor drinking water regularly for contaminants, some of which include lead, copper and nitrates. If contaminants are detected above the drinking water standards systems are required to correct the problem through treatment.


EPA Orders Subdivision to Monitor Drinking Water

Discuss
á
The EPA has ordered the Alma Ranchettes Cooperative, a Chandler subdivision, to monitor its drinking water for lead, copper, arsenic and nitrates, amongst other contaminants, as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
á
The Alma Ranchettes Cooperative Water System, which serves 32 residents and co-owners, is required to submit a water sampling plan within 30 days and begin sampling water for contaminants within 60 days and every month thereafter.á The order also requires the Alma Ranchettes Cooperative to hire a certified operator to run the system and report sampling data to residents and the State. Failure to monitor could result in fines of up to $27,500 per day.
á
"Public drinking water systems are responsible for the quality of our tap water; when systems fail to monitor, we cannot ensure safe drinking water.á Protecting public health is our top priority," said Alexis Strauss, water division director for EPAÆs Pacific Southwest region.á "We will continue to oversee Alma Ranchettes efforts to monitor and supply its users with safe, clean drinking water."
á
EPA realizes the technical and financial challenges facing small water systems and strongly encourages small systems in Arizona to work with the Monitoring Assistance Program, which provides technical expertise and monitoring assistance to small water systems throughout the state.


World Water Monitoring Day Commemorated on the Banks of the Anacostia River

Discuss
á
October 28, 2006 was World Water Monitoring Day, culminating a month of water quality monitoring activities in which educators, families, scouts, volunteer water monitoring organizations and government professionals have been taking water quality samples, sharing data, and educating their communities about water quality. The day coincided with the 33rd anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which was celebrated along the Anacostia River by students, government leaders and representatives from local environmental groups participating in a water monitoring activity. ôWe commemorate this landmark clean water legislation by taking part in a global effort to monitor water quality,ö said EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock. ôLet's take this opportunity to rededicate ourselves to learning more about the condition of our nationÆs waters, and to reaffirm our commitment to protect and restore them. We must continue to work together for clean water, today and every day.ö Peacock joined officials from the Earth Conservation Corps, AmericaÆs Clean Water Foundation, and the International Water Association as a featured speaker at the event. Students from the Washington, D.C. area joined with Earth Conservation Corps members to demonstrate water monitoring techniques along the banks of the Anacostia. World Water Monitoring Day gives youth and their families the opportunity to get involved and learn about the health of their local watersheds by participating in water monitoring activities. Between Sept. 18, and Oct. 18, 2005, citizens around the world visited local streams, rivers, lakes or wetlands to test for basic water quality indicators such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, clarity and pH. The results will be posted on AmericaÆs Clean Water Foundation website at http://www.acwf.org/ .


ARCO Terminal Services Pays $900,000 to Settle Clean Air Act Violations

Discuss
á
EPA and the Department of Justice settled with ARCO Terminal Services Corporation for air pollution violations at the Port of Long Beach, Calif. The violations were discovered during routine records reviews of ARCO's emissions reports.áá The EPA identified 294 violations committed by ATSC between 1995 - 1999 for emitting excessive volatile organic compounds, the components of smog.
á
"The EPA is ensuring that all emissions sources at ports comply with Clean Air Act requirements" said Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator of the EPA's Pacific Southwest Region.á "ARCO has agreed to play a role in reducing diesel exhaust at the Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports, setting a positive example and improving air quality in the surrounding communities."
á
Under the terms of the consent decree ARCO Terminal Services Corporation will:
  • áááááááá pay a $225,000 fine
  • áá ááááá use control equipment during all ship loadings at its Long Beach piers to control air pollutionáá consistent with South Coast Air Quality Management District regulations
  • áááááááá invest in a $675,000 supplemental environmental project at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to control diesel exhaust from cargo handling equipment, such as fork lifts, rubber tire gantry cranes, and trucks
á
The environmental project will result in a reduction of diesel particulate and other pollutants from cargo handling equipment and trucks operating in the surrounding area.
á
ARCO Terminal Services Corporation owns and operates a marine loading facility in Long Beach, where petroleum products are loaded on and off onto docked marine vessels and later transported to other terminals or refineries for distribution or further processing.
á
South Coast Air Quality Management District regulations prohibit marine vessel loading of petroleum products in South Californian waters unless volatile organic compound emissions are controlled by 95% or unless volatile organic compounds are below 2 lb/1000 barrels.á The expanded use of emission controls during all ship loadings, required by the settlement, will result in significant decreases of these compounds into the surrounding community.


Energy Savings Boost Companies onto List of Best Workplaces for Commuters

Discuss
á
Intel, QUALCOMM, and Oracle lead the 2nd annual list of Best Workplaces for Commuters from the Fortune 500 Companies.á EPA is recognizing these companies for their role in offering excellent commuter benefits that reduce fuel consumption, vehicle emissions and traffic congestion across the country.
á
Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) is an innovative partnership that provides a way for employers to encourage energy conservation by offering commuter benefits, such as subsidized transit passes and vanpool vouchers, telework and rideshare programs, bike lockers, showers, and an emergency ride home.
á
Almost 600,000 employees receive commuter benefits from BWC's list of Fortune 500 companies.á This results in the reduction of approximately 270,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to eliminating emissions from more than 53,000 cars each year and saving nearly 30 million gallons of gasoline, or $88 million at today's gas prices.
á
Employers large and small are making a difference with BWC.á Participating employers in the BWC program offer commuter benefits to more than 2.8 million employees nationwide, including nearly 600,000 employees from Fortune 500 companies.á Overall, the program conserves 146 million gallons of gasoline and prevents the release of 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, while saving commuters more than $400 million annually at current gas prices.
á
The companies recognized have met EPA's National Standard of Excellence.á In addition, EPA is showcasing its "Top 20 List."á The companies on this list offer these commuter benefits to the highest percentages of their U.S. workforce.
á
To meet the National Standard of Excellence for commuter benefits and qualify as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters, employers must provide:
  • ááááá At least one primary commuter benefit, such as a monthly transit/vanpool pass subsidy or a significant telecommuting program;
  • ááááá At least three supporting commuter benefits, such as carpool/vanpool incentives, lockers/showers for bikers or walkers, compressed/flexible work schedules, or on-site daycare;
  • ááááá A central point of contact, who actively informs employees of available commuter benefits; and
  • ááááá Access to an Emergency or Guaranteed Ride Home Program.
á
For the second year in a row, Intel is topping the list. Intel earned its number-one spot by offering a high caliber of commuter benefits to 92% of the company's workforce.



EPA Fines Arizona City $6,000 for Failure to Submit Water Monitoring and Reporting Data

Discuss
á
The EPA recently fined the city San Luis, Ariz. $6,000 for failing to comply with an administrative order to submit drinking water monitoring and reporting data.
á
The city failed to meet a June 1 deadline for monitoring and reporting chemicals found in its drinking water.á The agency uses the data to evaluate and prioritize contaminants on the drinking water contaminant candidate list--a list of contaminants being considered for potential new drinking water standards as required by the national Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule.
á
"The variety of potential contaminants in drinking water is of continuing concern to us.á Through this type of monitoring, we work with public water systems nationwide to determine what contaminants need to be regulated in the future," said Alexis Strauss, water division director for EPAÆs Pacific Southwest region.á "This helps us ensure public water systems will continue to provide safe drinking water."
á
San LuisÆ system, which serves over 20,000 customers with drinking water, is required to monitor for contaminants in addition to those regulated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and report the results to the EPA.
á
The Unregulated Contaminated Monitoring Rule program requires public water systems serving over 10,000 persons, along with a select number of smaller water systems, to monitor for unregulated contaminants in drinking water.á The rule is designed to assist the EPA in determining which new contaminants should be considered for future regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.


EPA Announces Drinking Water Agreements with 24 Domestic Airlines

Discuss
á
EPA has reached settlements with 11 major domestic airlines and 13 smaller airlines to ensure the safety of the drinking water used by their passengers and crew.á The settling airlines have agreed to routinely monitor the quality of water on their airplanes.á The action came after an EPA investigation of 327 U.S. and foreign flag airlines at 19 airports in 2004 found total coliform contamination in the drinking water in 15% of aircraft.
á
Total coliform is an indicator that other disease-causing organisms (pathogens) could be in the water and could potentially affect people's health.á The settlements require the airlines to regularly monitor aircraft water systems; notify EPA and the public when tests reveal contamination; and regularly disinfect aircraft water systems and water transfer equipment.á The orders also require each airline to study possible sources of contamination from outside of the aircraft.
á
The information will help the traveling public make informed decisions.á Passengers with compromised immune systems or others concerned may want to request canned or bottled beverages.á EPA will update its information and advice to the traveling public as soon as new information is available at:á http://www.epa.gov/airlinewater
á
"EPA and these airlines worked together to establish new practices for protecting the health of the flying public," said Grant Nakayama, EPA's assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance.á "We will continue to monitor the safety of water on airlines that use U.S. airports while the agency develops regulations specifically for airline drinking water."
á
Settlements were reached with:á AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Aloha Airlines, American Airlines, America West, ATA Airlines, Champion Air, Continental Airlines, Continental Micronesia, Falcon Air Express, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Miami Air International, Midwest Airlines, North American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Pace Airlines, Ryan International Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, USA 3000 Airlines, and World Airways.á The 11 major domestic airlines who have settled are members of the Air Transport Association, whose 14 members account for 90% of U.S. air travel.
á
EPA is negotiating agreements with Omni Air International and the three remaining members of the Air Transport Association:á Delta , JetBlue , and Southwest.á EPA will continue to work with smaller, regional and charter airlines to ensure drinking water quality with agreements similar to those reached with airlines that belong to the Air Transport Association and the National Air Carrier Association, and Air Carrier Association of America. Meanwhile, EPA is developing regulations for water that is served onboard aircraft.

EPA Decides Not to Modify Air Toxics Standards for Three Industries

Discuss
á
Based on a recent analysis showing that current air toxics standards for cooling towers, ethylene oxide sterilization plants, and magnetic tape manufacturing operations protect public health, EPA is proposing that further emission controls are not necessary.á EPA issued separate national rules to limit emissions of toxic air pollutants from these facilities in 1994.
á
Since 1990 EPA has issued 96 hazardous air pollutant regulations that require 174 industry source categories to eliminate 1.7 million tons per year of hazardous air pollutants.á The Clean Air Act requires EPA to assess the impact of its air toxics standards eight years after they are issued.á EPA must require additional emissions reductions if the review shows that the standards do not sufficiently protect human health or the environment.á The agency also must require additional reductions if new emission-control technology or pollution prevention practices have become available.á EPA will take comment on the proposals for 60 days after notice is published in the Federal Register.
á
  1. Ethylene Oxide Sterilization:á EPA's 1994 air toxics standards limit emissions at commercial sterilization facilities that use ethylene oxide to sterilize heat- and moisture-sensitive products and as a fumigant to control microorganisms or insects.á After these facilities implemented the standards, EPA analyzed their remaining air emissions to determine whether they pose a risk to human health or the environment.á The analysis found that the risks to humans, as well as ecological effects from these facilities, are low enough that further controls are not warranted.á The technology assessment did not find any advancement in emissions control or prevention practices.á Under the existing standards, these facilities will continue to reduce hazardous air pollutants by 1,000 tons per year.

  2. Industrial Cooling Towers:á EPA's 1994 air toxics standards for industrial process cooling towers eliminated the use of chromium-based water treatment chemicals that EPA suspects causes cancer or have other serious health or environmental effects.á The rule prevents 25 tons per year of chromium from being emitted into the air.á As a result of the rule, the cooling towers Industry substituted several chemicals for chromium, including three other toxic air pollutants:á methanol, ethylene thiourea and chloroform.á After implementation of the 1994 standards, EPA conducted a risk assessment to determine whether current air emissions posed a risk to human health or the environment.á The risk assessment found that the risks posed by current emissions from cooling towers are low enough that further controls are not warranted.á The technology assessment did not find any advancement in emissions control or prevention practices.

  3. Magnetic Tape Manufacturing:á EPA's 1994 air toxics standards limit emissions at facilities that manufacture magnetic tape, including audio and video tape for consumer use.á After these facilities implemented the standards, EPA analyzed their remaining air emissions to determine whether they pose a risk to human health or the environment.á The analysis showed a low risk from each of the six magnetic tape producing facilities in the country.á The technology review found that no new emissions controls or pollution prevention practices have become available for this industry.á Under the existing standards, these facilities will continue to reduce hazardous air pollutants by 2,300 tons per year.á



Lucite to Spend Over $19 Million to Settle Clean Air Act Charges

Discuss
á
The Justice Department and the EPA have reached a major Clean Air Act settlement with Lucite International, Inc. requiring the chemical manufacturer to install pollution controls on three emission sources at its Memphis, Tennessee plant, which will eliminate 6,500 tons of pollution each year.á Under the terms of the settlement, Lucite will install an estimated $16 million worth of new pollution controls, in addition to paying a civil penalty of $1.8 million and performing a supplemental environmental project worth $1.3 million.
á
EPA alleged that the company violated CAA provisions of the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs), and the Protection of Stratospheric Ozone.á The settlement resolves allegations that the company violated the CAA at its Memphis facility.
á
"The settlement demonstrates our commitment to aggressively enforcing the laws that protect our environment and our citizens," said Kelly A. Johnson, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "This agreement will significantly improve the air quality for the people of Tennessee."
á
Lucite will install a $16 million dual absorption control system on its Sulfuric Acid Regeneration Unit, which will result in the elimination of approximately 2,500 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions per year, to comply with NSPS standards.
á
In addition, Lucite will implement a supplemental environmental project to reroute emissions from two other plant emission sources.á This will result in a 90% reduction of previously permitted emissions from these sources.á Implementation of this project will cost Lucite approximately $1.3 million.


Public Water System Face Compliance Date for New Arsenic Standard

Discuss
á
New federal drinking water standards designed to lower the levels of arsenic in drinking water, take effect Jan. 23, 2006, for PennsylvaniaÆs public water systems, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said.
á
The federal law lowers the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for arsenic from 0.050 milligrams per liter (mg/L), or 50 ppb, to 0.010 mg/L, or 10 ppb.
á
ôThe department has been working aggressively to make sure drinking water suppliers understand the federal requirements and have in place the mechanisms they need to meet the new standard,ö McGinty said. ôEnsuring a smooth transition will strengthen public confidence in the systems that supply our public drinking water.öá DEPÆs outreach efforts have been ongoing for years as the new standards were being developed and finalized.
á
The EPA adopted the new standard for arsenic in drinking water Jan. 22, 2001. The rule became effective Feb. 22, 2002. The date by which systems must begin complying with the new standard is Jan. 23, 2006. DEP incorporates by reference federal MCLs as state MCLs, making them applicable here.
á
DEP has been working with community water suppliers and nontransient, noncommunity public water suppliers --- those that serve water to at least 25 of the same people for more than six months in a year, but not year round --- to help bring their operations into compliance ahead of the effective date.
á
The department sent letters to all public water system operators in July informing them of the change, and DEP staff members have been in direct contact with systems identified as having arsenic levels above 0.010 mg/L in past monitoring. According to historical information, about 90 of a total of 3,340 systems (or about 3%) have arsenic levels above 0.010 mg/L.
á
Efforts were made to inform these systems about various grants and other programs available to offset the costs of installing treatment, such as DEPÆs Growing Greener grants for innovative technologies and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Development AuthorityÆs funding, and about EPAÆs Arsenic Treatment Technology Research Demonstrations and Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program.
á
Initial compliance monitoring for arsenic will begin after the Jan. 23 effective date for the new MCL. State regulations require water systems in violation of the MCL to issue public notification and conduct more frequent monitoring as interim measures until treatment is provided to reduce the arsenic levels or a new source is brought on line.
á
Some studies have linked long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic in drinking water to cancer of the bladder and lungs. Short-term exposure to high doses of arsenic can cause other adverse health effects, but such effects are unlikely to occur from PennsylvaniaÆs public water supplies that are in compliance with the existing arsenic standard of 0.050 mg/L.
á
EPA set the current standard of 0.050 mg/L in 1975, based on a Public Health Service standard originally established in 1942. A March 1999 report by the National Academy of Sciences concluded standards should be strengthened further to protect public health.
á
Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks and soil, water, air, plants and animals. It can be released into the environment through natural activities such as volcanic action, erosion of rocks and forest fires, or through human activities.


EPA Seeks Additional Comments on Mercury Rule

Discuss
á
EPA is granting requests for additional comment on the first-ever rule to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. Finalized in March, 2005, these rules will result in approximately 70% reductions in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants when fully implemented. These rules, combined with the Clean Air Interstate Rule, will lead to significant benefits for our environment, improve public health and promote development of new technologies. This action responds to petitioners' requests for additional comment on certain aspects of EPA's 112 Revision rule and the cap and trade Clean Air Mercury Rule. EPA is granting the public additional time for comment on portions of its 112 Revision rule, the methods EPA used to assess the amount of utility-attributable mercury levels in fish tissue and the public health implications of those levels, and the legal issues underlying the decision. The agency will also take comment on certain aspects of the Clean Air Mercury Rule, the cap-and-trade approach that EPA will use to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. The Clean Air Mercury Rule creates a market-based cap-and-trade program that will permanently cap utility mercury emissions in two phases. The first phase of the rule will reduce emissions to 31 tons beginning in 2010. Emissions will continue to decline, reaching a second phase cap of 15 tons when the program is fully implemented. These mandatory declining caps, coupled with significant penalties for noncompliance, will ensure that mercury reduction requirements are achieved and sustained. EPA will take comment on the notices for 45 days after the notices are published in the Federal Register and will hold a public hearing two weeks after publication.


$445,960 Penalty for Clean Air Violations

Discuss
á
EPA Region 5 has reached an agreement with Indianapolis Casting Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Truck and Engine Corp., on alleged clean-air violations at the company's iron foundry in Indianapolis.
á
"To improve air quality in the Indianapolis area, Indianapolis Casting has agreed to fund the retrofitting of 139 diesel-powered city buses with emission control devices," said Regional Administrator Thomas V. Skinner. He said the company will also pay a $445,960 penalty.
á
The agreement resolves EPA allegations that Indianapolis Casting made major modifications to its plant significantly increasing volatile organic compound emissions without getting construction and operating permits. In addition, EPA alleged that the company did not comply with lowest achievable emission rate requirements and requirements to offset its increased emissions by making reductions elsewhere.
á
In a related action, EPA ordered Indianapolis Casting to get appropriate permits for its unpermitted core machines, and to operate proper air pollution control devices while the core machines are in operation. The order also requires testing, operation and maintenance of those control devices according to federal standards.
á
The primary VOC emitted by Indianapolis Casting's core machines is triethylamine, a hazardous air pollutant. Short-term exposure to triethylamine vapor can cause eye irritation, corneal swelling, halo vision and skin and mucous membrane irritation. The effects have been reversible when exposure stops.
á

$61,351 Penalty for Septic System Violation

Discuss
á
The Oregon DEQ has issued a $61,351 penalty against 3 G, Inc. of Hood River, which owns and operates the Mt. Hood Mobile Home Park and Restaurant at 6600 State Highway 35, Mt. Hood, for discharging of sewage on the propertyÆs grounds. As owner of the property, 3 G is responsible for insuring that its septic system functions properly.
á
After a Hood River County Health Department inspection of the property, the county informed 3 G in May and August 2004 that its septic system was failing and in need of repair. The county also advised the company that it must obtain a Water Pollution Control Facilities (WPCF) permit from DEQ. The company did not apply for the permit.
á
In March 2005, DEQ and county staff inspected the property and found that the repairs had not been made. Officials also observed sewage discharging from a concrete septic pumping station serving 11 mobile homes and that sewage had surfaced from the tank and the systemÆs drainfield. Nearby, a septic tank serving 7 mobile homes and the restaurant had a crushed top and no lid.
á
DEQ rules prohibit the discharge of untreated sewage directly or indirectly to the ground surface. Sewage that seeps into the ground can contaminate groundwater sources such as wells. Raw sewage contains harmful bacteria and other pathogens dangerous to humans, aquatic life and the environment, causing waters to be unfit for human consumption, recreational, commercial and agricultural uses. The open top of the septic tank posed an additional threat to the safety of children on the property.
á
In April 2005, DEQ issued 3 G a notice about the violation, including a compliance schedule to eliminate the discharge of surfacing sewage, treat and post the contaminated areas, repair the failing septic system and apply for a WPCF permit. The company did not submit plans, repair the failing septic system or apply for and obtain a permit. Inspections by county officials in May, June, July and September 2005 confirmed that the pump station tank continued to discharge sewage to the ground surface.
á
Of the $61,351 penalty amount, $49,351 is the economic benefit the company received by failing to repair the septic system and apply for a WPCF permit. A significant portion of the penalty could be reduced if 3 G brings the system into compliance.
á
In addition to issuing the civil penalty, DEQ has ordered 3 G to immediately cease discharging sewage onto the ground surface and, by Nov. 7, 2005, submit system construction plans and submit a complete application for a WPCF permit. Within 60 days of permit issuance, the company must complete the new systemÆs construction. Failure to comply with the order could result in additional penalties.

á

Public Comment Period on Proposed Water Quality Rule Changes

Discuss
á
The Oregon DEQ is proposing to revise the stateÆs rules for water quality criteria for turbidity and other standards, and is seeking public comments on the proposed revisions through Wednesday, Dec. 7. The rule revision is part of DEQÆs periodic update of water quality standards to ensure protection of designated beneficial uses such as clean water for swimming and drinking as well as healthy habitat for fish and other aquatic life.
á
Turbidity is a measure of cloudiness in water. It can be caused by soil erosion, waste discharge and runoff. High turbidity levels mean that water bodies have a denser amount of particles in the water. Turbidity may adversely affect a wide range of aquatic species, including endangered fish.
á
A complete copy of the proposed rule changes is available on DEQÆs Web site as well as at DEQ Headquarters, 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland.
á
As part of these rule changes, DEQ is also proposing to revise wording for statewide temperature criteria for natural lakes, oceans and bays, cool water species and the Borax Lake chub; correct errors and clarify language to the stateÆs temperature rules and several other standards rules; and repeal a requirement for alternate mixing zones.
á
DEQ is proposing the turbidity rule changes to incorporate current scientific data that best addresses the effects of turbidity on beneficial uses of water bodies. The revisions are designed to better address current conditions and also include tighter restrictions on limited-duration exceedances of turbidity standards, and language that promotes greater uniformity in applying the rule.
á
OregonÆs turbidity standard was adopted in the 1970s and last revised in limited fashion in 1991. The proposed rule changes would:
  • ááááá establish maximum and monthly average turbidity criteria
  • ááááá continue to allow limited duration exceedances of the criteria, depending on the circumstances
  • ááááá describe how compliance may be determined, with clarification on the application of criteria to ponded systems such as reservoirs
á
The repeal of the alternate mixing zone requirement is recommended because the EPAá disapproved this rule. It is therefore not an effective water quality standard under the federal Clean Water Act and is not being implemented.
á
DEQ is accepting public comments on the proposed rule changes by mail, fax and e-mail through 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7. Send written comments to Tom Rosetta, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Division, 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390. Comments may also be faxed to Rosetta at (503) 229-6037 or e-mailed to rosetta.thomas.n@deq.state.or.us.
á
Groups affected by the propose rules include small and large businesses, communities and public agencies that conduct activities that may increase turbidity in state waters.
á
DEQ developed the proposed rule changes over the past two years and after consulting with external and internal technical and policy advisory groups, as well as with stakeholders such as government agencies, environmental groups, industry representatives and other water user interest groups.á


Florida DEP Appoints Gregory Strong as Northeast District Director

Discuss
á
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Colleen M. Castille and Deputy Secretary Allan F. Bedwell today announced the appointment of Gregory Strong as DEPÆs Director for the Northeast Regulatory District. Mr. Strong will begin as the Northeast District Director on December 1, 2005.
á
ôThe Department is pleased to appoint Gregory as the District Director for Northeast Florida, where his experience with environmental regulations will bring new insight to our regulatory programs,ö said Secretary Castille. ôHis appreciation of FloridaÆs environment will help strengthen our efforts to protect the StateÆs natural resources.ö
á
Most recently, Mr. Strong has been working in environmental marketing for the Veeder-Root Company, where he developed marketing strategies, business plans and economic forecasting models for environmental products. Previously, he worked as the Manager of Regulatory Affairs for MacDermid, Inc. and the Director of Environmental Compliance with The Torrington Company, Inc.
á
ôGregory has a considerable background in regulatory and environmental affairs,ö said Bedwell, who oversees DEPÆs statewide regulatory programs. ôHis management experience and knowledge of ecological issues will provide leadership and support for his staff.ö
á
Mr. Strong received a Bachelors Degree in Biology from Florida State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Recently, he earned a Masters in Business Administration from MIT Sloan School of Management.
á
ôWith this opportunity comes a responsibility to protect Florida and its natural resources,ö said Strong. ôI look forward to applying my knowledge and experiences to this new challenge, and working with my staff to preserve northeast Florida for the future.ö
á
DEPÆs Northeast District is responsible for twenty Florida counties ranging from the Atlantic coastal plain to the bordering counties of Georgia. The district focuses on issues ranging from air quality to waste management. For more information about the DEPÆs Northeast District, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/northeast/.


How Do You Loose a 1,500 Pound Piece of Lead?

Discuss
á
And, why would someone throw it away?
á
Republic Services of Ohio II, LLC, has agreed to pay a $16,470 civil penalty as a settlement for violations at its East Sparta landfill. The companyÆs Countywide Recycling and Disposal Facility accepted and disposed of a 1,500-pound piece of lead -- a hazardous waste not allowed in municipal solid waste landfills.
á
In November 2004, Republic became aware that a rolloff box containing the lead was mistakenly transported and disposed at the landfill. The company promptly notified the Stark County Health Department and Ohio EPA of the incident and began excavating the disposal area in hopes of removing the lead. Approximately 7,300 tons of waste was searched but the lead was never found.
á
The Stark County Health Department, the primary landfill enforcement agency in the county, cited the landfill for the violations in May 2005. In addition, Ohio EPA cited American Spring Wire Corporation, the source of the lead, for illegally transporting hazardous waste.
á
Republic will pay $13,176 to Ohio EPA's environmental protection remediation fund and $3,294 to Ohio EPA's clean diesel school bus program. To prevent future occurrences of this kind, Republic also will evaluate and revise Countywide's PCB and hazardous waste prevention and detection program. The compan
y's revised program will be submitted to Ohio EPA for review and comment.

Plating Company Settles Hazardous Waste, Water, Air Violations for $90,000

Discuss
á
P&J Industries Inc. will pay a total of $90,000 in civil penalties for hazardous waste, surface water discharges and toxic release reporting violations in an agreement with Ohio EPA. The violations occurred in 2004 at its two Toledo facilities. P&J Industries operates a zinc and zinc-nickel automotive parts electroplating business and a chrome and chrome-nickel plating business in Toledo.
á
In February 2004, Toledo's Division of Environmental Services reported a yellow precipitate in Shantee Creek. OEPA and Toledo DES traced the source of the material to P&J Industries' facility where a roll-off container was leaking waste into a storm drain that discharged into the creek. The company cleaned the drain, creek and creek bank. Ohio EPA followed up with an inspection that found a number of hazardous waste violations, including disposing hazardous waste into Shantee Creek without a permit and failing to operate the Lewis Avenue facility in a manner that minimized releases of hazardous waste.
á
In October 2004, Toledo DES and OEPA discovered unlabeled containers of waste and waste piles at the company's 1270 Progress Ave. facility. OEPA cited the company for several hazardous waste violations including storing hazardous waste without a permit and failing to evaluate some waste to determine if it was hazardous. Upon subsequent sampling, the unevaluated wastes were determined to be non-hazardous.
á
The company has corrected the violations. The settlement with OEPA requires the company to conduct daily inspections for discharges to the water and report and clean up any discharges within an hour of discovery.
á
Also in 2004, an OEPA inspection found the company had not filed reports or paid the filing fees for the state and federal Toxic Release Inventory for 2001, 2002 and 2003. The company submitted the reports and paid the fees on Dec. 20, 2004. In the settlement, the company agreed to pay $65,600 for the hazardous waste violations, $14,400 for the surface water discharge violations and $10,000 for the toxic release reporting violations.


Landlords Cited for Lead-Based Paint Violations; $107,030 Penalty Proposed

Discuss
á
EPA 5 has filed a 90-count complaint against Veselko Leko, Vinko Leko and V & V Management, Chicago, for allegedly failing to warn tenants of four rental apartment buildings that their homes may contain lead-based paint hazards. A $107,030 penalty has been proposed.
á
The Federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule requires that landlords and sellers of housing constructed prior to 1978 provide each purchaser or tenant with a lead hazard information pamphlet, any information and reports concerning lead-based paint in the property, and a lead warning statement to be signed by the parties.


EPA Reduces IUR Reporting Requirements for 1,2,3-propanetriol

Discuss
á
EPA is amending the list of chemical substances that are partially exempt from reporting requirements under the Inventory Update Rule. Based on information in three petitions requesting the addition of 1,2,3-propanetriol, to the list of substances in 40 CFR 710.46(b)(2)(iv), the Agency determined that there is at least one site manufacturing 300,000 lb or more; that there is sufficient current evidence of low hazard; and that more information on 1,2,3-propanetriol would not further the AgencyÆs understanding of this chemical at this time. Therefore, the EPA decided that IUR processing and use information for 1,2,3-propanetriol (CASRN 56-81-5) is of low current interest.
á

DOT Exemptions Now Known as Special Permits

Discuss
á
Under Title VII of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)ùôThe Hazardous Materials Safety and Security Reauthorization Act of 2005ö (Pub. L. 109-59), 119 Stat. 1144 (August 10, 2005), amended the Federal hazardous materials transportation law by changing the term ôexemptionÆ to ôspecial permitö and authorizes a special permit to be granted up to two years for new special permits and up to four years for renewals. A database of all special permits as well as a listing of frequently cited special permits is available on DOTÆs web site.
á

DOT Lists 2005 Penalties

Discuss
á
DOTÆs Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration recently published a comprehensive list of penalties that the Agency issued in June 2005.á A large number of companies were cited for not having or adhering to hazmat security plans. Other common violations were failure to close packages in accordance with manufacturerÆs instructions, improper marking and labeling, improper packaging, and failure to train hazmat employees. In June, DOT civil penalties totaled $237,125 for 38 violations. As of the end of June, the Agency had collected $1,065,016 in civil penalties.


Emissions Test for Electric Generating Units

Discuss
á
The EPA is proposing to revise the emissions test for existing electric generating units (EGUs) that are subject to the regulations governing the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and nonattainment major New Source Review (NSR) programs. Comments must be received on or before December 19, 2005. For more information, contact Ms. Janet McDonald, Information Transfer and Program Integration Division (C339-03), EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, 919-541-1450; fax number: (919) 541-5509, or e-mail at mcdonald.janet@epa.gov. (Federal Register: October 20, 2005 [Proposed Rules], Page 61081-61103).


Revision to General Pretreatment Regulations Proposed

Discuss
á
EPA is requesting comments on whether to amend the list of pollutants in the general pretreatment regulations for which removal credits are available to add certain pollutants. The pollutants that the Agency would add are those that EPA previously has determined, after an exposure and hazard screening, would not require sewage sludge regulations. EPA is also soliciting comment on options to amend the æconsistent removalÆ provision in the removal credits regulations that would be consistent with a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals