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.)
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))
May 4, 2001: Existing sources subject to the hazardous organic NESHAP for the synthetic organic chemical industry must comply with 40 CFR 63 Subparts F and G by this date (40 CFR 63.100(p)(1) and 63.100(p)(1)(ii), and 63.100(p)(2))
May 15, 2001: Producers, importers, and exporters of Class II controlled substances must submit a report to EPA on the production, import, and export of those chemicals during the previous quarter. (40 CFR 82.13(n))
May 19, 2001: Semiannual reports are due for sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant emission controls under 40 CFR 63, Subpart G, for synthetic organic chemical manufacturing industry production processes. (40 CFR 63.152(c)(1) and 63.152(d)(1))
May 26, 2001: Employers subject to process safety management
standards must update and revalidate the hazard analysis of their
process conducted pursuant to 29 CFR 1910.110(e)(1). (29 CFR
EPA CLARIFIES MEANING OF IMPORTED PCBs
EPA has issued a final rule clarifying the circumstances under which polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes generated in U.S. territories can be returned to the continental United States for disposal in EPA-approved facilities.
PCBs are a class of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals used primarily as fire retardants in electrical equipment and other equipment components. A provision of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) banned the manufacture, use, processing, and distribution in commerce of PCBs unless EPA could find that a particular activity did not pose an unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment.
EPA has historically treated as imports the transfer of PCBs from locations outside the U.S. customs territory. The agency has determined, however, that its previous interpretation of the definition of "manufacture" is not mandated by TSCA and that it results in inequitable treatment among different areas within the United States.
For more details or to read the final rule, visit
CHICAGO AUCTION AIDS MARKET-BASED APPROACH TO ACID RAIN REDUCTION
EPA and the Chicago Board of Trade announced the results of the ninth annual acid rain auction held Monday. This auction is an important part of EPA's innovative, market-based program that uses economic incentives to achieve cost-effective reductions in acid rain emissions.
"The auction is part of an innovative trading program that signals a shift from EPA's historic mode of command and control regulation to one that harnesses the incentives of the free market to reduce acid rain emissions," said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. "This successful market approach has reduced acid rain emissions by 22 percent more than required by law. To build on this progress, we look forward to working with Congress on a strategy for utilities that will further reduce acid rain emissions by controlling SO2 and nitrogen oxides."
The auction, which gives private citizens, brokers and power plants the chance to buy and sell sulfur dioxide (SO2) allowances, is part of EPA's program to significantly reduce acid rain by cutting nationwide SO2 emissions from power plants in half.
An allowance gives affected sources (mainly existing electric power plants) the right to emit one ton of SO2 per year. A plant's total annual emissions cannot exceed its allowances. Allowances are transferable, allowing market forces to determine their price. If a source reduces its SO2 emissions more than required, it will have left-over allowances it can sell to another utility or bank for future use. By providing for such transactions, total emission reductions will be achieved in the most cost-effective manner, and the utility industry will have the flexibility to choose among various options for reducing emissions.
EPA emphasizes that no matter how many allowances a utility purchases, it will not be allowed to emit levels of SO2 that would violate national or state ambient health-protection standards.
SO2 allowance trading, combined with a national emissions cap, is cost-effective: current cost estimates are 75% lower than those originally predicted. Acid deposition in the eastern U.S. has declined, resulting in some improvements in lakes and streams.
Since EPA's acid rain program began in 1995, it has reduced annual SO2 emissions from power plants by five million tons from 1990 levels. When fully implemented in 2010, the program will reduce SO2 emissions from power plants by 8.5 million tons annually.
The Clean Air Act established an annual national cap on SO2 emissions. Each year, EPA grants allowances to utilities to match that cap. However, a limited number of those allowances are withheld and auctioned. Proceeds from the auctions are returned to utilities in proportion to the allowances withheld. In addition to allowances offered by EPA, private parties may offer allowances for sale in the auction. Privately offered allowances are sold only after all EPA allowances are sold.
The auction, conducted by CBOT, included two "vintages" of allowances. Vintage describes the earliest year an allowance may be applied against SO2 emissions. In addition to year 2001 allowances, the Clean Air Act mandated that EPA auction additional allowances seven years in advance to help provide stability in planning for capital investment. These advance allowances will be usable in 2008.
In a related program, EPA is working with states in the Northeast to extend the SO2 cap and trade approach to achieve reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), another key component in the formation of acid rain, and also a contributor to the creation of ground-level ozone (smog). EPA is operating a NOx trading program for the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC), a group created by Congress in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments to better coordinate the efforts of northeastern states in reducing air pollution. In 1999 and 2000, OTC's trading program reduced NOx emissions by over 50% from 1990 levels. Like the SO2 program, the OTC NOx Budget Program is delivering these reductions at costs lower than originally predicted.
Detailed results of this year's acid rain auction and information
about how the trading program works are available on EPA's web
site: http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/auctions/. For further
technical information, call Jeffrey Levy of EPA's Clean Air
Markets Division at 202-564-9727.
DELAWARE, NEBRASKA COMPANIES FINED OVER $1 MILLION
UtiliCorp United, Inc., of Delaware and PeopleService, Inc., of Nebraska each pleaded guilty on March 15 to five counts of violating the Clean Water Act by failing to ensure that employees filed accurate wastewater discharge monitoring reports. UtiliCorp was fined $1 million and PeopleService $100,000. In addition, PeopleService must develop and implement an environmental compliance plan.
In 1995 and 1996, UtiliCorp was a contract manager for 22 wastewater treatment facilities in Nebraska. PeopleService was a subsidiary of UtiliCorp which ran the facilities. In 1997 PeopleService became an independent company and continued to manage the facilities.
Most of the fines will go towards environmental projects in Nebraska, $150,000 by the State of Nebraska Environmental Trust and $750,000 by Back to the River, Inc.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation
Division, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, the
Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Attorney General's Office.
It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Omaha and the
Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.
MONTANA MAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH CLEAN WATER ACT, MONEY LAUNDERING AND FRAUD VIOLATIONS
David A. Phillips was arrested on March 13 in Missoula, Montana. He was charged on March 9 in a 27 count indictment for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act and for fraud and money laundering.
The indictment charges that Phillips was the owner and operator of Mountain Valley Ranch near Phillipsburg, MT, and that he was responsible for the unpermitted discharged of pollutants into Fred Burr Creek and for the destruction of wetlands immediately adjacent to the creek. Phillips allegedly directed construction and development activities at the wetlands, including the excavation of several ponds, ditches, trenches and drains and the discharge of dredge and fill materials into wetlands without a permit. Wetlands are important habitat for migratory birds, they are important habitat and breeding grounds for aquatic species and they serve a vital environmental function by removing pollutants from surface waters.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation
Division and the Internal Revenue Service with the assistance of
EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being
prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Missoula.
CALIFORNIA MAN GUILTY OF ILLEGAL HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS DISPOSAL
Olumbamidele Dada, of Pasadena, Calif., pleaded guilty on March 13 to violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by illegally disposing of hazardous materials.
In 1994, Dada arranged with a shipper in Wilmington, Calif., to transport thousands of containers of chemicals to Nigeria for resale. The highly toxic, corrosive and flammable chemicals, which were old and declared to be "retrograde," were purchased from the U.S. military. Dada never completed the transportation of the chemicals and they were left at the shipper's facility where the containers began to leak in 1999. The shipper was ordered by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Los Angeles County Fire Department to perform a clean-up which cost approximately $90,000.
When sentenced, Dada faces a maximum sentence of up to five years
in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. The case was
investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the
Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Coast Guard and
the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Health Hazardous
Materials Division. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's
Office in Los Angeles.
DAYLIGHT TIME BEGINS SUNDAY, APRIL 1, FOR MOST AMERICANS
Most of the nation will return to daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday, April 1, when clocks will be set ahead one hour. The change will provide an additional hour of daylight in the evening.
Under law, daylight saving time is observed from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. This fall, the nation will return to standard time starting Sunday, Oct. 28.
The federal law does not require any area to observe daylight saving time. But if a state chooses to observe daylight time, it must follow the starting and ending dates set by the law.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta reminds Americans to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they change the time on their clocks.
In those parts of the country that do not observe daylight time, no resetting of clocks is required. Those states and territories include Arizona, Hawaii, the part of Indiana located in the Eastern time zone, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
Daylight saving time is a change in the standard time of each time zone. Time zones were first used in the United States in 1883 by the railroads to standardize their schedules. In 1918, Congress made the railroad zones official under federal law and assigned the responsibility for any changes that might be needed to the Interstate Commerce Commission, then the only federal regulatory agency. In the Uniform Time Act of 1966, Congress established uniform dates for daylight saving time and transferred responsibility for the time laws to the U.S. Department of Transportation.