November 16, 2001

Clean Air Act

  • November 29: Sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant emission controls under 40 CFR 63, Subpart G, for synthetic organic chemical manufacturing industry production processes must submit semiannual report. (40 CFR 63.152(c)(5)(i))

Safe Drinking Water Act

  • December 16: Public water systems that serve a population of 10,000 or more must comply with national primary drinking water standards for disinfectants and disinfection byproducts
  • December 17: Public water systems that serve a population of 10,000 or more must comply with requirements for total trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, bromate, chlorite, chlorine, chloramines, and chlorine dioxide
  • December 17: Public water systems that serve at least 10,000 are subject to enhanced filtration and treatment requirements


EPA has announced the selection of 31 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Showcase pilots as part of the implementation of the second round of RCRA Cleanup Reforms which EPA announced on Jan. 11, 2001.

The RCRA Showcase Pilots illustrate innovative efforts in RCRA Corrective Action cleanups at facilities nationwide and stimulate others to explore similar efforts to speed up progress toward EPA's cleanup goals. Those goals are to control human exposures at 95 percent of the 1,714 high priority baseline facilities and to control migration of contaminated groundwater at 70 percent of these facilities by 2005. The scope of innovations is broad and includes multi-regional and sector-based approaches, new technologies or new applications of existing technologies, electronic information transfer and documentation, streamlined administrative process, brownfields redevelopment tools, risk-based performance standards and enhanced stakeholder involvement. The RCRA Showcase Pilots provide an opportunity for program implementors, regulated industry and other stakeholders to field test innovative approaches to expediting cleanup, to focus resources and expertise at one or multiple sites and to showcase sites that can transfer lessons learned to other similar situations across the country. The pilots also provide an opportunity for establishment of unique and beneficial partnerships and maximum public awareness of the innovations.

For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/correctiveaction.


EPA Administrator Christie Whitman signed the first of three scheduled regulations designed to reduce adverse environmental impacts, especially impacts on fish and shellfish, from cooling water intake processes at industrial facilities and power plants. The final rule governs the design, capacity, and construction of new structures at an estimated 121 new manufacturing and electric generating plants over the next 20 years.

Manufacturing and electric generating facilities often withdraw water from bays, rivers, and lakes to remove excess heat from the manufacturing processes and electric generation. The cooling water intake process can damage fish and sea life when the intake structures are not properly designed and constructed.

The rule and two more rules scheduled over the next three years, are required by the Clean Water Act. The rule is technology-based, although it is flexible: sources are not required to use certain technologies, but can innovate and adapt based on local circumstances. It is expected to cost less than $47 million annually, with no impact on the nation's energy supply. The rule and additional information are available at http://www.epa.gov/ow, under "What's New."


Small businesses and other interested parties are encouraged to obtain an easy-to-use reference guide on pollution prevention called "Why should you care about preventing waste? -- The Pollution Prevention Pocketbook.

This resource was recently developed by EPA in collaboration with the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange. The guide highlights exceptional national and regional pollution prevention resources and provides steps to identifying opportunities, implementing change and measuring waste reduction successes. The goal is to conserve resources and to promote more efficient, and profitable, business practices.

Copies of the Pollution Prevention Pocketbook are available by calling EPA's Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse at 202-260-1023, or via email at ppic@epa.gov. More information on EPA's pollution prevention program is available at http://www.epa.gov/p2


Guide Corp. (Guide), an automotive lighting manufacturer in Anderson, Ind., was sentenced on Oct. 12 after pleading guilty to seven criminal negligence charges under the Clean Water Act. Guide was fined $1,956,000, ordered to pay $275,000 in restitution to the city of Anderson, and forfeited $1,956,000 to the United States, to be used to benefit the environment. As part of its sentence, Guide was required to submit a plan for a comprehensive environmental and training program to the Office of Federal Probation and Parole. Guide was also required to serve five years probation, during which time it must comply with all environmental laws or face additional legal consequences.

The case involved a 1999 pollution event which killed more than l00 tons of fish along a 40-mile stretch of Indiana's White River, from Anderson to Indianapolis. The company improperly discharged to the Anderson treatment plant approximately 1.6 million gallons of wastewater containing toxic concentrations of dimethyldithiocarbamate, the active ingredient of the wastewater treatment compound HMP-2000, as well as breakdown products such as carbon disulfide. In addition, the company negligently failed to test any of the discharged wastewater to determine if it contained concentrations of HMP-2000 or carbon disulfide. The toxic concentrations of pollutants in the wastewater interfered with the operation of the Anderson sewage plant, resulting in the pollution and fish kill in the White River.

In June the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Indiana settled civil claims against Guide arising from the fish kill, with Guide paying a total of over $10 million in clean-up costs, reimbursement and penalties. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office in Indianapolis, Ind.


Michael J. Kuhn, former superintendent of the Bay City, Mich., wastewater treatment plant, was sentenced on Oct. 18 to six months imprisonment and six months home confinement for knowingly violating the Clean Water Act. Kuhn ordered employees to discharge untreated sewage sludge into the Saginaw River and also falsified records. Kuhn also was ordered to pay a $6,000 fine and a $300 special assessment.

The plant employees pumped sewage sludge into an emergency outfall ditch that flowed to the Saginaw River. Subsequently, on Kuhn's order, an employee falsified a data record, while subsequently certifying the accuracy of the falsified data to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Pumping sewage sludge into surface waters carries the risk of infection for people who come in contact with the water and can harm fish and wildlife. The case was investigated by the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit.


Under a proposed civil settlement with the United States, Sprint United Management Co. will resolve violations it found in a voluntary audit of 1,100 of its cellular and paging-related facilities in compliance with the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). Upon completion of its audit, Sprint informed EPA it had violated EPCRA Section 3ll and Section 312 by failing to notify the appropriate officials of the presence of sulfuric acid, lead and/or diesel fuel at 258 facilities located in 37 states.

Under EPCRA, facilities that produce, use, or store hazardous chemicals in threshold quantities are required to submit a Material Safety Data Sheet for each chemical and an annual emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form to the state emergency response commission, local emergency planning committee and local fire departments. These requirements allow emergency responders to prepare for accidents, including having the necessary protective equipment and training.

Sprint's audit also revealed noncompliance with the CWA's Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan requirements at 203 of its facilities located in 23 states. SPCC plans are required to help present or contain spills and keep hazardous chemicals from polluting streams, rivers and other bodies of water.

Sprint will pay a civil penalty of $250,075, equal to the economic benefit it gained from delaying compliance. The consent decree was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The proposed settlement was reached under EPA's Audit Policy which allows the Agency to reduce or eliminate penalties for companies that promptly disclose and correct violations. Companies seeking information about the Audit Policy should visit http://www.epa.gov/oeca/ore/apolguid.html or contact Leslie Jones, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, at 202-564-5123.


Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Regional Director Robert Yowell announced that General ElectricÆs Capitol Railcar Repair plant in Sayre, Bradford County, plans to reduce lighting costs by implementing suggestions made during a recent DEP pollution prevention and energy efficiency (P2E2) site assessment.

"All types of businesses can save money and help the environment by reducing energy use," Yowell said. "The simple changes made by General Electric in Sayre serve as a perfect example for others to follow."

A four member DEP team visited the plant in August, and made recommendations on how the plant could reduce pollution and energy.

"We felt the recommendations DEP provided were very beneficial in helping us reduce energy consumption and waste generation," GE Environmental Engineer Justin O'Shea said. "And we have shared our successes at this plant with our sister facilities so the entire company can benefit."

GE is in the process of installing energy efficient fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts in offices and other plant areas, which will reduce lighting costs and provide improved illumination.

In addition, GE improved the plant's compressed air system simply by lowering line pressure by 20 pounds per square inch. This should result in a 10 percent decrease in electrical costs related to compressed air, a substantial savings since annual electric costs often exceed a compressor's purchase price.

Engineers at the plant also plan to evaluate on-site power generation using a microturbine and waste liquid propane from tank cars.

Through DEP's P2E2 site visit program, staff work with all types of businesses to identify and implement energy efficiency improvements through the site visit program, low-interest loans for projects, and grants to conduct energy assessments of buildings and processes.

For more information on pollution prevention, visit DEP at http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/pollprev/pollution_prevention.html