March 09, 2001

Be sure to check here first to find out what to add to your to do list for the next few weeks. (While helpful, please note that this list may not be inclusive of all deadlines affecting your facility and should not be relied upon as your only source of information.)

March 15, 2001: Annual reports are due from facilities conducting hazardous waste treatability studies. (40 CFR 261.4(f)(9))

April 1, 2001: Consumer confidence report must be prepared by community drinking water systems that sell water to other community water systems. (40 CFR 141.152(d))

April 16, 2001: Deadline for compliance with NESHAP standards for existing sources in the pulp and paper industry. (40 CFR 63.440(d))

April 22, 2001: Existing sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant emission controls under 40 CFR 63, subpart H, for equipment leaks from Groups II and IV chemical process units must submit semiannual report to EPA. (40 CFR 63.175(e)(7)(ii) and 63.175(e)(8))

April 30, 2001: Fossil-fuel fired steam generating units subject to new source performance standards for electric utility steam generating units must submit quarterly reports for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and opacity emissions. (40 CFR 60.49a(i)-(j) and 60.49b(v))


The U.S. EPA and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) announced an innovative agreement to cut air pollution and save $825,000 at a New Hampshire paper mill. Under the agreement, Groveton Paper Board Inc. of Groveton, NH, will install alternative pollution controls at its paper mill that will reduce air pollution four times more than controls normally required by federal law.

The agreement is the first in New England developed under an expedited process for federal/state environmental innovation laid out in the national EPA/State Agreement to Pursue Regulatory Innovation. In the EPA/State Agreement signed in 1998, EPA committed to responding to state proposals for innovative projects within 90 days. Formal EPA approval of the Groveton Paper agreement came last week, within the 90 day response deadline.

Under federal rules effective in April 2002, Groveton would have been required to install a $1 million system to capture and incinerate emissions of airborne methanol. Working cooperatively with DES, the company realized that because of the unique characteristics of the plant, it could achieve significantly more pollution reduction by treating process water at the plant to remove methanol. This alternative treatment will result in four times the methanol emissions reductions -- a reduction of an estimated 42 tons per year versus 11 tons from incineration -- and additionally reduce 20 tons per year of other hazardous air pollutants. At the same time, the process water treatment technology costs $175,000, a savings of $825,000 from the incineration requirement.

"This agreement for the Groveton plant is a great win-win situation. The environment will be cleaner, and the company will benefit," said Ira W. Leighton, acting regional administrator for EPA's New England office. "This agreement also shows that EPA can move quickly and cooperatively when state agencies have smart ideas for improving environmental protection."

"This is a remarkable success that saves Groveton Paper Board an incredible 80 percent of its initially-expected costs and demonstrates once again that the interests of environmental protection and economic growth can go hand-in-hand," said NH DES Commissioner Robert Varney. "This project illustrates how cost-effective pollution prevention can be, an approach that we hope will be emulated by other companies throughout the region."

"This agreement is the result of the collaborative efforts of Groveton Paper Board, the DES and EPA," said Thomas Pitts, resident manager at Groveton Paper Board. "The DES worked shoulder to shoulder with us to find an innovative and cost-effective approach to reduce our emissions. They went beyond simply enforcing rules, they helped us solve the problem. We are also pleased with the quick response of the EPA. We can now begin to implement our plan and reduce emissions sooner."

To embody the agreement, the state of New Hampshire will issue an alternative air permit to Groveton Paper Board, specifying a timeline for completion of the alternative controls. The permit is expected to be finalized this summer.


EPA Region 5, the city of Cleveland and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency launched a pilot project to cut health risks from toxic air pollutants in Cleveland.

EPA, in consultation with the Cleveland Public Health Department, will immediately take steps to form a group comprised of interested residents, businesses, industry, environmental organizations and city personnel to guide the project's implementation.

"Working closely with the city of Cleveland air pollution control program and the state of Ohio, EPA will assess and reduce air toxics in Cleveland to improve the quality of peoples' lives," said EPA acting Regional Administrator David A. Ullrich. "We plan to take the success achieved in the Cleveland project and apply it to other communities across the country."

The project is a nonregulatory, voluntary effort that will address air toxic risks from outdoor and indoor sources such as consumer products, small and mid-sized businesses, cars, trucks, and buses, and activities in homes and schools.

EPA chose Cleveland for the project because it is centrally located and has typical levels of air toxics for a mid-sized city. While risk reduction will benefit the whole city, EPA will focus its efforts in the St. Clair/Superior and Slavic Village (North and South Broadway) neighborhoods. EPA released its integrated strategy to combat urban air toxics in July 1999.

"Ohio EPA supports the toxic air pollutants project and its focus in the St. Clair/Superior and Slavic Village neighborhoods," said Ohio EPA Director Christopher Jones. "These neighborhoods appear to be good candidates for such a project and we will continue to work in a coordinated effort with U.S. EPA, the Cleveland Public Health Department and the neighborhoods to reduce the risks from toxic air pollutants throughout the city."

EPA's strategy presents a framework for addressing air toxics in urban areas, including plans to conduct initiatives at both national and local levels that will address specific pollutants and identify and address specific community risks.

Air toxics include benzene, dioxin, mercury, formaldehyde, chlorinated solvents, pesticides and volatile organic compounds that cause, or may cause, cancer or other serious health effects.


Once a violation has been discovered, a company has 21 days from the time of that discovery to disclose the violation to EPA. Companies should make the disclosure to the EPA Regional Office where the affected facility is located. In the event of violations affecting more than one Region, companies should contact Leslie Jones, EPAÆs National Audit Policy Coordinator, at (202) 564-5123.

The disclosure should identify the means of discovery, type of violation, facility location, and how it meets the conditions of the policy. EPA encourages companies to refer to the Optional Form for Disclosure Submittal (http://www.epa.gov/oeca/ore/checklist.pdf) to assist in determining what in-formation EPA may seek about the violation(s). Documents concerning the development of the Audit Policy, settlements under the policy, and related publications can be obtained by contacting the Audit Policy Docket at (202) 564-2119 or visiting http://www.epa.gov/oeca/polguid/enfdock/docketC9401.html.