February 1, 2002 - Annual report due for facilities subject to new source performance standards under 40 CFR 60, Subpart Eb, located within a large municipal waste combustor plant
February 14, 2002 - Producers or importers of a Class I controlled substance must submit fourth quarter reports to EPA
February 14, 2002 - Importers or exporters of used Class II
controlled substances must report 2001 levels of such substances
OWNER OF WASHINGTON STATE BUSINESS SENTENCED
Randy Jones, the owner of Northwest Recycling, a used oil and anti-freeze recycling business in Spokane, Wash., was sentenced to five years probation and was ordered to pay $20,000 in cleanup costs for the illegal storage of hazardous waste in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Jones pleaded guilty to illegally storing approximately sixty 55-gallon drums of ignitable concrete sealer and bonding plaster waste that he had been paid more than $10,000 to dispose of by local construction companies. This ignitable waste was legally a hazardous waste, and Northwest Recycling was not licensed to store or dispose of hazardous waste. The storage of ignitable hazardous wastes by unlicensed facilities presents a potential fire hazard.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation
Division and the State of Washington Environmental Crimes Task
Force. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in
MURPHY OIL REQUIRED TO SPEND OVER $12 MILLION TO REDUCE POLLUTION AND PAY $5.5 MILLION IN CIVIL PENALTIES
The Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney's office in Madison, Wisconsin, EPA, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice announced a proposed settlement with Murphy Oil USA, Inc., which will dramatically cut sulfur dioxide ("SO2") emissions from the company's Superior, W.I. refinery, and will also improve Murphy Oil's programs to monitor and repair leaks of volatile organic compounds and to prevent oil spills. Murphy will also pay a $5.5 million civil penalty, the largest ever leveled in Wisconsin in an environmental enforcement case; the State of Wisconsin will receive $750,000.
In Orders issued on May 18, 2001, and on August 1, 2001 after a ten-day trial, Chief United States District Judge Barbara B. Crabb found Murphy Oil liable for substantial violations of Clean Air Act emission limits and permitting requirements as well as water permit, oil spill containment and waste handling requirements. Most importantly, Judge Crabb ruled that Murphy Oil violated the Clean Air Act when it made major modifications at its refinery without obtaining the required Prevention of Significant Deterioration ("PSD") permits, part of EPA's New Source Review program. She specifically found that, when Murphy Oil obtained a PSD permit exemption from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, it had "withheld information knowingly and intentionally and that if it had submitted the withheld materials, they would have been material to the [WDNR's] decision making process."
Murphy Oil obtained a PSD permit exemption by withholding necessary information from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources when it submitted a permit application. Specifically, Judge Crabb found that Murphy Oil "withheld information knowingly and intentionally and that if it had submitted the withheld materials, they would have been material to the (WDNR's) decision making process."
The settlement, which resolves Murphy Oil's Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations prior to the penalty phase of the trial now scheduled for March 2002, requires the company to:
- install and operate a tail gas treatment unit to substantially reduce SO2 emissions from the sulfur recovery unit at the refinery;
- apply for and obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit;
- comply with stringent SO2 emission limitations until the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources determines what the "best available control technology"("BACT") is for the sulfur recovery unit;
- implement a comprehensive and improved refinery-wide program to minimize the emission of volatile organic compounds ("VOCs") from the refinery's pumps and valves for five years;
- undertake measures to bring certain oil storage tanks into compliance, including measuring certain containment areas and increasing their capacity, if necessary; and
- undertake two environmentally beneficial projects at a cost of approximately $7.5 million over a five-year period to further reduce SO2 emissions from other refinery process units.
The consent decree only resolves Clean Air Act New Source Review violations at the sulfur recovery unit it does not preclude EPA or the State of Wisconsin from investigating and bringing enforcement actions for violations of New Source Review requirements at other units at the refinery, if any.
The new control technologies and programs to be implemented by Murphy Oil at its refinery will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds, both which can cause serious health problems for the young and elderly.
"As a consequence of Murphy Oil's violations, the company has been emitting SO2 from its sulfur recovery unit up to 20 times the level that would have been allowed if it had applied BACT or complied with New Source Performance Standards," said U.S. Attorney Grant Johnson. "This agreement requires the company to comply with stringent pollution control standards, just as its competitors do."
Wisconsin Attorney General Jim Doyle said, "The State continued to work closely with the federal government in the prosecution of this case. We are pleased this consent decree will significantly reduce the SO2 emissions from the refinery and improve the air quality for the citizens of Superior."
The agreement will be filed with the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Wisconsin, and is subject to a 30-day public
comment period and final court approval.
U.S. AND N.J. ANNOUNCE CLEAN AIR ACT COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT SETTLEMENT WITH PSEG FOSSIL LLC
The Justice Department, EPA, and the State of New Jersey announced a major Clean Air Act settlement involving PSEG Fossil LLC under which the company will spend over $337 million to install state-of-the-art pollution controls to eliminate the vast majority of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from its Mercer and Hudson coal-fired power plants in Jersey City and Hamilton, N.J.
The combined effect of the pollution controls will reduce the company's emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 90 percent and its emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by more than 80 percent. Overall reductions will be at least 36,000 tons of SO2 and 18,000 tons of NOx per year. These decreases represent 32 percent of all the SO2 and 20 percent of all the NOx emitted from stationary sources in New Jersey, and 19 percent of all the SO2 and 5 percent of all the NOx from all sources in the state, including cars and trucks.
The settlement lodged with the United States District Court in Newark resolves federal and state allegations that the Hudson and Mercer plants are unlawfully operating because they were modified without installing necessary pollution controls and obtaining proper permits required by the "New Source Review" program of the Clean Air Act.
At the Hudson and Mercer stations PSEG Fossil will install flue gas desulfurization devices (also called "scrubbers"), which use the control technology capable of removing SO2 from power plant emissions, and selective catalytic reduction systems ("SCR") to control NOx. The company will also undertake a program at both stations to upgrade the effectiveness of its existing control devices for particulate matter (PM) and will install one additional particulate control device which will eliminate over 1,000 tons per year of that pollutant. In addition, the company will retire pollution emission allowances and credits that PSEG Fossil or others could use to emit additional pollution into the environment.
"PSEG negotiated in good faith and demonstrated a willingness to put litigation considerations aside and to act quickly to improve the health of New Jersey's citizens and the quality of air they breathe. We hope other utilities follow PSEG's lead," said Tom Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. Sulfur dioxide and NOx are significant contributors to acid rain; NOx also increases low level ozone which causes smog; fine particulate matter causes haze. All of these pollutants cause severe respiratory problems and exacerbate cases of childhood asthma.
Given the significant expense and engineering complexity of the work agreed to by PSEG Fossil, installation of the controls will be in phases beginning with optimization of PM controls in 2002, installation of SCRs beginning in 2004, and installation of scrubbers beginning in 2006. All work will be complete by 2012.
In addition to the pollution reductions secured by the settlement, PSEG Fossil has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1.4 million and to spend at least $6 million on three additional projects that will partially offset the impact of past emissions: it will take steps to reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide by 15 percent; contribute to New Jersey's ongoing efforts to recover and use methane gas from landfills; and develop technology to reduce and monitor emissions of mercury from its plants.
This settlement is the latest in a series of cases that the Administration has undertaken to bring the power plant industry into full compliance with the Clean Air Act. This week's announcement represents the second judicial settlement under the power plants enforcement effort; the first settlement being with Tampa Electric Company in January 2001. EPA has also entered into agreements in principle with Cinergy and Virginia Electric Power Company. In a related announcement last week the Justice Department concluded that EPA's New Source Review enforcement actions are consistent with the Clean Air Act and its regulations.
The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and
final court approval.
FINAL MOBILE6 EMISSIONS MODEL IS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC
EPA is making available the final version of MOBILE6, which will become EPA's official highway vehicle emission factor model for hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen.
The new MOBILE6 model includes the most up-to-date science, information and tools available to predict emissions from cars and light duty trucks. The new model also provides more flexibility to states to generate accurate information that can be used in creating their state air quality plans and assessments of transportation activities. Because the results of MOBILE6 are expected to be more accurate than current modeling efforts, it will allow states to plan and implement control measures in a more cost effective manner, ensuring improved air quality benefits. This new model is the first major revision to MOBILE since MOBILE5a was released in 1993.
EPA is required by the Clean Air Act to periodically update its motor vehicle emissions model. It took five years to develop the MOBILE6 model which is based on actual emissions testing of tens of thousands of vehicles. The model was extensively peer reviewed by scientific and technical experts, including the National Academy of Sciences, academics and industry.
MOBILE6 includes several changes from the MOBILE5 version. For the first time, the new model includes: improved emissions effects of air conditioning and high acceleration driving; explicit gasoline sulfur effects; improved durability of vehicles and a revised ratio of cars to SUVs, minivans and pick-up trucks in the fleet to better reflect the growth in sales of light-duty trucks on the road.
An official notice of the release of MOBILE6 will be published in
the Federal Register soon. The MOBILE6 model, user guide and
support documents are available at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/m6.htm
EPA RELEASES 2001 HAZ WASTE REPORT INSTRUCTIONS AND FORMS
An electronic version of the 2001 Federal Hazardous Waste Report Instructions and Forms is now available for use. Some states will use these instructions and forms as-is; other states require the use of their own forms.
Beginning on page 89 of the Hazardous Waste Report Instructions and Forms (link below) is a list of the all the states and the contact information for that state. Also in that file is a list of states that intend to use their own forms and instructions.
The 2001 Hazardous Waste reporting cycle covers hazardous waste activities during calendar year 2001. The forms are to be completed and are returned to the state (or region, if applicable) between January and March.
Hazardous waste generators and TSDFs must report information on the quantities, type, and management of generated hazardous wastes and the quantities, type, and management of hazardous wastes received from off-site. Several changes have been made to the instructions and forms this year. Notably, the "IC" form has been replaced with a new site identification form.
2001 Hazardous Waste Report Instructions and Forms Adobe Acrobat PDF File http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/data/brs01/ins-frms.pdf
Changes Made to Forms and Instructions Adobe Acrobat PDF File
EPA ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVE TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE AMERICA'S WATERWAYS
President Bush will include $21 million in his 2003 budget for a new EPA initiative to protect, preserve, and restore waterways across the country. This effort was announced by EPA Administrator Christie Whitman during a visit to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
The Administrator announced as part of this community?based initiative, EPA will target up to 20 of this country's most highly-valued watersheds for grants. EPA will be working cooperatively with state governors, tribes and other interested parties on this initiative. This program will also support local communities in their efforts to expand and improve existing protection measures with tools, training and technical assistance.
"As we mark the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act this year, we have much to celebrate and many challenges left to face with regard to our nation's water resources," Whitman said. "I have heard a watershed defined as "communities connected by water," a good reminder that we all live downstream from someone. I am proud to say that the Bush Administration needs no reminding of that fact.
"President Bush understands the importance of watershed protection and he is taking action to make America's waterways cleaner and healthier for the families that enjoy them," Whitman continued. "In his 2003 budget, President Bush has included $21 million for a new EPA initiative to copy successful approaches and techniques to protect highly valued watershed resources throughout the country. With the President's commitment to watershed protection, I am confident that we can preserve and protect our precious waterways for future generations."
Whitman noted that the program "recognizes the important role that states and local communities have in helping to achieve our common goals, by giving them the power to do what works."
Water quality problems including habitat loss and alteration, nutrient enrichment, pathogens, and invasive species continue to harm watersheds nationwide. These problems prevent our resources from meeting water quality goals and deprive the public of economic, recreation, and drinking water opportunities. The problems are complex and require local assessment, involvement and commitment. This investment will capitalize on the lessons learned from existing community-based protection efforts. Information on the watershed program is available at http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed