- 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
CONNECTICUT COMPANY TO PAY $3 MILLION FOR WATER VIOLATIONS
MacDermid Inc., a chemical manufacturer in Waterbury, Conn., pleaded guilty to four felony violations of the Clean Water Act and was sentenced on Nov. 28 to pay a $2 million fine and $1 million for supplemental environmental projects. MacDermid manufactures over 1,000 chemicals used for metal treating, plating and other purposes.
The plant wastewater is required to be pre-treated before being released into the Waterbury city sewer system, and the company is required to submit to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) concerning the level of chemicals contained in the treated wastewater it releases. For eight years or longer, MacDermid engaged in a set of unlawful practices, such as discarding wastewater samples that had high levels of pollutants and failing to report analyses of such samples, which led to the falsification of its DMRs. As a result, wastewater with unacceptably high levels of copper and zinc was released into the Waterbury sewers. The release of wastewater with high levels of copper and zinc into sewer systems can cause damage to sewage treatment plant equipment and also kill bacteria needed to digest and properly treat sewage at sewage treatment plants.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation
Division with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement
Investigations Center and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's
Office in Bridgeport.
FUGITIVE NOX, SO2 EMISSIONS NO LONGER COUNTED IN DETERMINATION OF MAJOR SOURCE
EPA no longer will count certain fugitive emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and other air pollutants considered nontoxic in determining whether a facility is a "major source" of air pollution subject to state operating permit programs.
Under a final rule published Nov. 27, state Title V permitting programs need not provide that sources in categories subject to Section 111 or 112 standards promulgated after August 7, 1980 must include fugitive emissions in determining major source status. Sources must, however, continue to include fugitive emissions of all hazardous air pollutants in determining major source status under section 112 of the Act.
Fugitive emissions are those that are not emitted from smoke stacks, process vents or storage tanks. They arise from leaks or pumps, valves, storage piles, and other facilities to which emissions control measures are not applied.
Facilities still must count fugitive emissions of toxic air pollutants in determining whether they are major sources. Under the Clean Air Act, toxic air pollutants are those known to cause or are suspected of causing cancer or other serious health effects.
Facilities are also still required to count fugitive non-toxic emissions covered by federal new source performance standards issued before Aug. 7, 1980.
The rule change will allow Arizona and New York to continue operating their permitting programs, according to the EPA official. Arizona and New York already had eliminated the requirement to count the fugitive emissions from their programs and would have lost approval for their programs if the Nov. 27 rule had not been issued.
According to an EPA fact sheet, states that have retained the fugitive emission requirement may keep it or remove it from the definition of major source in their operating permit program.
The final rule is available on the Internet at
$20 BILLION EMISSION TRADING MARKET GOES ONLINE
EPA announced the latest innovation in air emissions trading, the Online Allowance Transfer System (OATS). This time saving, online system will enable participants in the sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) markets to record trades directly on the Internet instead of submitting paper forms to EPA for processing.
A trading unit is called an allowance and is equivalent to one ton of air emissions. EPA's tracking systems, which currently hold allowances with a combined current value over $20 billion, record official SO2 and NOx allowance transfers under existing emission cap and trade programs. Anyone anywhere in the world can participate in the market, and hundreds of companies, brokers and individuals are already engaged in trading.
" EPA expects this online system will streamline and accelerate emission trading, saving industry and government time and money," said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. "The cap and trade approach has already proven to be extremely successful in air pollution control, and today's online breakthrough will make it even better."
Emissions cap and trade programs ensure that environmental goals are met, while providing companies an alternative to the installation of costly pollution control technologies in complying with the law. It was first used nationally by EPA in its acid rain program to reduce SO2 and then utilized by the Northeastern states to reduce NOx, Southern California to reduce SO2 and NOx , and Chicago to reduce volatile organic compounds, the prime ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone (smog). These cap and trade programs effectively reduce air pollution by setting a permanent cap on emissions, then allowing trading within that cap. As a prerequisite to trading, however, EPA requires rigorous monitoring and reporting standards, and mandates that companies pay automatic fees to the government for any emissions above the legal limit. Rigorous monitoring is essential to ensuring certainty and consistency in the program, making sure that each allowance traded represents one ton of emissions, regardless of where it is generated. It is this certainty and consistency that enables creation of a robust market for allowances, free from the need for government review and approval of transactions. EPA emphasizes, however, that no matter how many allowances a utility holds, it will not be allowed to emit emission levels that would violate the national or state atmospheric (ambient) health-protection standards.
Both EPA's acid rain program and the Northeastern NOx Budget Program have reduced emissions faster than would have occurred with more conventional approaches. The acid rain program has reduced SO2 emissions by six million tons per year from 1980 levels, and the cost has been 75 percent below original projections by industry. EPA expects that by the program's full implementation date of 2010, emissions from power plants will be half of their 1980 levels, improving lakes and streams damaged by acid rain and delivering more than $50 billion per year in health benefits to Americans. The Northeastern Program has reduced NOx emissions by more than 50 percent from 1990 levels. Under an EPA rule, this type of NOx control program may expand to as many as 19 states in 2004.
Additional cap and trade programs have been proposed by Congress to reduce electricity industry emissions in the United States, and dozens of countries around the world are considering implementing such programs.
For information on registering for access to online trading, visit http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/transfer/index.html
For further technical information on online trading, contact:
Janice Wagner of EPA's Clean Air Markets Division at 202-564-9118
(email@example.com), or visit the Clean Air Markets web site
PBT PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS REPORT RELEASED
EPA has released a report on cross-office, multimedia program
activity concerning the restrictive use, release and manufacture
of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) pollutants has
been released. PBTs such as mercury, dioxins/furans and PCBs are
the primary focus, with added emphasis on how EPA and its
partners are monitoring PBTs and preventing new PBTs from
entering the marketplace. With a national and international
focus, this second annual report reinforces EPA priority goals
that aim to prevent PBT contamination at the source, making sure
the quality of our air, water and land are preserved for future
generations. The report is available at EPA's PBT Chemical
Program web site http://www.epa.gov/pbt/whatsnew.htm.
RSPA EXTENDS COMMENT PERIOD ON PROPOSED RULEMAKING FOR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
In response to delays caused by recent terrorist events, the U. S. Department of Transportation's Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) has extended to Feb. 1, 2002, the comment period for its proposal on the applicability of its hazardous materials regulation to hazardous materials loading, unloading and storage. The initial closing date for submitting comments was Nov. 30, 2001.
"Mail operations have been significantly disturbed in recent weeks due to terrorist activities. Not only do we want to provide commenters sufficient opportunity to submit their issues in response to delays they may have encountered; we also want to ensure that we receive and evaluate as many comments as possible," RSPA Administrator Ellen Engleman said. "In addition, we will now be looking for comments on the proposed rule to include perspectives on hazardous materials transportation security."
RSPA published the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on June 14, 2001. Comments will be considered before issuance of a final rule, which will clarify the applicability of RSPA's hazardous materials regulations to specific functions and activities and the relationship of the regulations to programs and regulations administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
RSPA is responsible for the safe and secure movement of hazardous materials to industry and consumers by all modes of transportation, including pipelines; coordination of rapid response to transportation emergencies; and advancement of science and technology for national transportation needs.
Parties interested in commenting on the proposed rule should forward two copies of their comments to: Dockets Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room PL 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001, reference Docket Number RSPA-98-4952 (HM-223). Comments can also be submitted electronically through the Dockets Management website at http://dms.dot.gov, or faxed to (202) 493-2251.
The updated notice was published in the Nov. 27, 2001 edition of
the Federal Register.
COMMENT PERIOD ON ELECTRONIC RECORDS RULE EXTENDED
EPA is extending by 60 days the comment period on its proposed rule for establishment of electronic reporting and electronic records. On August 31, EPA proposed conditions under which the agency would allow submission of electronic documents and maintenance of electronic records to satisfy federal environmental reporting and recordkeeping requirements in EPA's regulations. The comment period is being extended by 60 days to provide the public with additional time to evaluate and comment upon the complex provisions of this proposed rule. The comment period will now close on January 28, 2002.
In order to be considered, written comments on the proposed electronic reporting and electronic records rule must be submitted on or before January 28, 2002. Comments provided electronically will be considered timely if they are submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time) January 28, 2002.
Address comments to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement and Compliance Docket and Information Center, (Mail Code 2201A), Attn: Docket Number EC-2000-007, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460. Commenters are also requested to submit an original and 3 copies of their written comments as well as an original and 3 copies of any attachments, enclosures, or other documents referenced in the comments. Commenters who would like EPA to acknowledge receipt of their comments should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. All comments must be postmarked or delivered by hand by January 28, 2002. No facsimiles (faxes) will be accepted. Public comments and supporting materials are available for viewing in the Enforcement and Compliance Docket and Information Center, located at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, (Ariel Rios Building), 2nd Floor, Room 2213, Washington, DC 20460. The documents are available for viewing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. To review docket materials, it is recommended that the public make an appointment by calling (202) 564-2614 or (202) 564-2119. The public may copy a maximum of 266 pages from any regulatory document at no cost. Additional copies cost $0.15 per page. The rule and some supporting materials are also available electronically on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov
EPA will also accept comments electronically. Address comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Electronic comments must be submitted as an ASCII, WordPerfect 5.1/6.1/8 format file and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. Comments in electronic format should also be identified by the docket number EC-2000-007. Electronic comments will be transferred into a paper version for the official record. EPA will attempt to clarify electronic comments if there is an apparent error in transmission.
For further information, contact David Schwarz (2823), Office of Environmental Information, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460, (202) 260-2710, email@example.com or Evi Huffer (2823), Office of Environmental Information, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460, (202) 260-8791, firstname.lastname@example.org