EPA

Two EPA Announcements – CWA Section 401 Certification Rule and the Risk Management Plan (RMP) Rule

June 1, 2021

 

May 27, 2021, from two separate U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcements:

EPA intends to reconsider and revise the 2020 CWA Section 401 Certification Rule

Congress provided authority to states and Tribes under CWA Section 401 to protect the quality of their waters from adverse impacts resulting from federally licensed or permitted projects. Under Section 401, a federal agency may not issue a license or permit to conduct any activity that may result in any discharge into navigable waters unless the affected state or Tribe certifies that the discharge is in compliance with the Clean Water Act and state law, or waives certification.

EPA intends to reconsider and revise the 2020 CWA Section 401 Certification Rule to restore the balance of state, Tribal, and federal authorities while retaining elements that support efficient and effective implementation of Section 401. While EPA engages with stakeholders and develops a revised rule, the 2020 rule will remain in place. The agency will continue listening to states and Tribes about their concerns with implementing the 2020 rule to evaluate potential administrative approaches to help address these near-term challenges.

The agency’s process of reconsidering and revising the 2020 CWA Section 401 Certification Rule will provide an opportunity for public and stakeholder input to inform the development of a proposed regulation, and will include sustained dialogue with state and Tribal co-regulator partners and local governments around these issues. EPA will begin a stakeholder engagement process in June to hear perspectives on this topic and how to move forward. More information will be available at: www.epa.gov/cwa-401.

 

EPA, Region 7, public listening sessions on the RMP Rule

Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act Amendments requires EPA to publish regulations and guidance for chemical accident prevention at facilities that use certain hazardous substances. These regulations and guidance are in the Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule, which requires facilities using extremely hazardous substances to develop a Risk Management Plan that:

  • identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident,
  • identifies steps the facility is taking to prevent an accident, and
  • spells out emergency response procedures should an accident occur.

These plans provide information to local fire, police, and emergency response personnel to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in their community.

The Region 7 EPA announced two upcoming virtual public listening sessions on the Agency’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule. The RMP rule has been identified as an action for review under Executive Order 13990: Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis.

The listening sessions will give people the opportunity to present information, and provide comments or views pertaining to revisions made to the RMP rule since 2017. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will also participate in the listening sessions and receive comments on their Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, which contains similar requirements to the RMP rule.

Virtual public listening sessions will be held on:

  • June 16, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.
  • July 8, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

For more information on the public listening sessions:

https://www.epa.gov/rmp/forms/virtual-public-listening-sessions-risk-management-program-rule.

Submit written comments via the docket at: http://www.regulations.gov,  Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2021-0312 until July 15, 2021.

EPA Region 7 serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nine Tribal Nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 11:17 am

SCS Engineers Technical Bulletin Published – Federal Plan for Landfill EG Rule – May 24, 2021

May 24, 2021

SCS Engineers Technical Bulletins

 

SCS Engineers periodically prepares SCS Technical Bulletins – short, clear summaries of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and plans. On May 21, 2021, the EPA published a Federal Plan to implement the new Emission Guideline (EG) rule for municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. The Federal Plan is published under Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 62, Subpart OOO.

Read, share, download the Federal Plan for Landfill EG Rule Tech Bulletin here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 5:22 pm

EPA Announces $66.5 Million in Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Funding

May 17, 2021

Scissortail Park in Oklahoma City was once a Brownfields. Now it is a source of pride for the City and the site for the 2021 Brownfields Conference!

 

Partial Reprint from EPA Announcement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the selection of 151 communities to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants.

This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in or serving small communities.

The grant announcement includes:

  • $8.8 million for 11 Multipurpose Grants, which will provide funding to conduct a range of eligible assessment and cleanup activities at one or more brownfield sites in a target area.
  • $42.2 million for 107 Assessment Grants, which will provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
  • $15.5 million for 36 Cleanup Grants, which will provide funding to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites owned by the recipient.

The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here:  https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants


 

I want to learn more about the 2021 Brownfields Conference.

Please spend some time with our experts as they help you negotiate funding, regulatory compliance, and helpful tools that will help your community prepare to remediate brownfields and other properties with a past into affordable housing, mixed communities bolstering economic development, stadiums, recreation facilities and parks, logistics centers…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

As your business grows, it might generate EPA defined hazardous waste

May 10, 2021

 

Fast-growing small to medium-sized businesses that use common chemicals and generate waste may be at risk for fines because they’ve grown into unfamiliar regulatory territory. Recently while helping a small business experiencing rapid growth, it occurred to me that many small and mid-size businesses generate waste that meets the EPA’s definition of “hazardous waste,” and the EPA is uncompromising when it comes to managing and disposing of hazardous waste.

While there are somewhat complicated requirements for storing hazardous waste at businesses and facilities, understanding them to maintain reasonable insurance rates and a safe work environment is worth every minute of your time. You’ll not only avoid fines, but your workers can easily avoid creating unsafe work conditions. My blog intends to help simplify the regulations to begin looking at your business as it is growing.

 

First, let’s define the terminology.

  • Solid Waste is any solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous materials abandoned or intended for disposal.
  • Hazardous Waste is a subset of solid waste considered hazardous due to its toxic, corrosive, reactive, or ignitable nature.
  • Listed Hazardous Waste is hazardous waste based on its chemical composition and use (regardless of testing results). Examples – used dry cleaning solvents, out-of-date pesticides, used paint solvents.
  • Characteristic Hazardous Waste is hazardous waste that is toxic, corrosive, reactive, or ignitable based on testing. Examples – contaminated soil where the source of contamination is unknown, spent acid or bases, waste paint and solvent mixtures of unknown composition.
  • A Generator is anyone or any company that generates hazardous waste,
    • Large Quantity Generator (LQG) – generates more than 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs.) of waste per month (depending on the materials, this is about two to five 55-gallon drums).
    • Small Quantity Generator (SQG) – generates more than 100 kg (220 lbs.) per month (less than one 55-gallon drum) but less than 1,000 kg.
    • Conditionally Exempt SQG (CESQG) – generates less than 100 kg per month.

There are exceptions to these terms, but these are the basics to help the average business manager understand a complex and complicated set of regulations.

 

The basics of understanding hazardous waste storage and management

There are many requirements for storing and labeling waste and issues related to safety, like not storing acids in metal containers or storing two incompatible wastes close together that could react and cause a fire or explosion.

For our purposes, remember that you must have a single dedicated hazardous waste storage area, and the storage area is subject to many design, construction and operating requirements.

Each type of Generator has a storage time limit and must dispose of hazardous waste from a facility or business before the deadline. Large Quantity Generators have 90 days from placing the first waste in the storage container (accumulation start date), and Small Quantity Generators have 180 days. It is mandatory to write the accumulation start date on the container label when the first waste goes inside.

 

Realistic Safety Protocols

For small to medium-sized businesses Generators, it isn’t practical to have employees carrying small containers of waste to a storage area each day or at the end of each shift. It’s inefficient and could lead to the accidental mixing of incompatible wastes. It is better to have one or two trained staff responsible for placing wastes in storage containers and keeping the labels current. To help, the EPA allows for “Satellite Accumulation” of hazardous waste at the point of generation (the shop, workstation, etc.). A facility can have multiple Satellite Accumulation areas, but each area must meet these requirements:

  1. Storing no more than 55-gallons of hazardous waste at any one Satellite Accumulation area (certain highly toxic chemicals are limited to 1 quart).
  2. Containers must be in good condition, compatible with the waste (e.g., no acids in metal containers), and kept closed unless transferring the waste to a storage container.
  3. Label all containers with “hazardous waste” and other terms describing the contents.
  4. Do not combine containers from different Satellite Accumulation areas, except in the hazardous waste storage area and after checking the labels.
  5. There is no time limit for storage within the Satellite Accumulation area as long as the volume is below the threshold for the type of waste.
  6. The accumulation start date applies only to the bulk waste containers in the hazardous waste storage area.

 

A Growing Small Business Case Study

As mentioned earlier, let’s discuss the real-world example that got this blog started. A company started a metal container painting operation and was not familiar with hazardous waste regulations. Like many, starting as a very small operation, they were lucky, and the business grew larger over a short period.

Along with growing business comes a growing facility to accommodate it, but managing all the change creates an opportunity for some things to slip between the cracks. Employees didn’t know they could not toss partially filled paint and solvent containers in the facility’s dumpster.

During an EPA inspection, the company was subject to an enforcement action for failing to characterize their waste and improper disposal of hazardous waste, among other violations. The inspection results spurred business fines, and although the EPA has the option of pursuing criminal charges, they did not in this case.

 

Simple, Practical Steps to Compliance

Upon review of the records, tour of the facility, and understanding the workflow, the company took the recommended actions creating satellite accumulation areas and a hazardous waste storage area. Starting with establishing the storage area first, we also obtained an EPA ID number for the facility.

The next important step is training employees on the hazardous waste requirements pertaining to their jobs. Because some of the paint is water-based (typically non-hazardous), the facility now trains its employees to separate water and solvent-based paints and waste products, saving on disposal costs.

The company knows it is growing at a rate that will generate more than 1,000 kg/month of paint and solvent waste; therefore, it makes sense to register as a LQG. One employee is now in charge of hazardous waste management.

There are five bulk paint stations and a touch-up operation for small parts, so six satellite accumulation areas are now functioning. Each area has a 30-gallon waste container to prevent accidental accumulation of more than 55 gallons. Busy painters tend to put waste in buckets if the drum fills before their shift ends. At the end of each shift, the hazardous waste manager checks each satellite accumulation area and transports full or nearly full containers to the hazardous waste storage area.

For less than the cost of the final negotiated fine and legal fees, the facility has a compliant program and is receiving very favorable regulatory inspections.

 

If you want to dive into the details of this topic, this link to an EPA Frequently Asked Questions webpage may be of interest: https://www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/frequent-questions-about-hazardous-waste-generation.

 

Jim Oliveros of SCS Engineers, Florida.

About the Author: Jim Oliveros, P.G is a Project Director in SCS Engineers Environmental Services practice. He has over 35 years of experience in the environmental consulting field, including hazardous waste permitting, compliance, and corrective action. Jim is experienced in conducting assessment and remediation of contaminated properties, completing multimedia compliance audits, assisting with waste stream identification, characterization and management; and, federal and state regulatory policy. He embodies SCS’s culture of delivering great results to his clients, on time and within budget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Comment on EPA’s Draft Interim Guidance on PFAS Destruction and Disposal – Deadline February 22

February 9, 2021

SCS Engiineers provides regulatory updates for industrial clients

EPA is releasing the interim guidance for public comment. The guidance provides information on technologies that may be feasible and appropriate for the destruction or disposal of PFAS and PFAS-containing materials. It also identifies needed and ongoing research and development activities related to destruction and disposal technologies, which may inform future guidance.

The interim guidance addresses PFAS and PFAS-containing materials including:

  • Landfill leachate containing PFAS.
  • Soil and biosolids.
  • Solid, liquid, or gas waste streams containing PFAS from facilities manufacturing or using PFAS.
  • Textiles, other than consumer goods, treated with PFAS.
  • Spent filters, membranes, resins, granular carbon, and other waste from water treatment.
  • Aqueous film-forming foam (for firefighting).
  • The interim guidance is not intended to address the destruction and disposal of PFAS-containing consumer products, such as non-stick cookware and water-resistant clothing.

The agency is also providing guidance on testing and monitoring air, effluent, and soil for releases near potential destruction or disposal sites. EPA’s interim guidance captures the significant information gaps associated with PFAS testing and monitoring and identifies specific research needs.

The interim guidance is intended to assemble and consolidate information in a single document that generally describes thermal treatment, landfill, and underground injection technologies that may be effective in the destruction or disposal of PFAS and PFAS-containing materials.

As further research and development occur on this issue, EPA will incorporate this increased knowledge into future versions of this guidance to help decision-makers choose the most appropriate PFAS disposal options for their particular circumstances. EPA will review and revise the interim guidance, as appropriate, or at least once every 3 years.

See the EPA website: EPA Interim Guidance on Destruction and Disposal of PFAS.

Comments must be received on or February 22, 2021.

Instructions: All submissions received must include Docket ID No EPA-HQ-OLEM-2020-0527 for this rulemaking. Comments received may be posted without change to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/ (EPA’s preferred method). Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Agency website: www.epa.gov/pfas. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center, OLEM Docket, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: EPA Docket Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004. Open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.
  • Comment to NWRA and SWANA (see below).

 

Industry Comments on EPA’s PFAS Draft Interim Guidance

 

According to Waste Dive, the document is the first such federal guidance on the destruction or disposal of PFAS or PFAS-containing materials. It describes the available science used in three major techniques: deep well injection, landfilling and thermal treatment. Acknowledging uncertainty about potential environmental effects, the EPA proposed the interim storage of PFAS-containing waste until further research can “reduce the uncertainties associated with other options.”

Industry groups such as the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) said they are analyzing the document and discussing with their members, such as SCS Engineers what the interim guidance means for daily landfill operations. The trade groups will submit comments on the document by the Feb. 22 deadline.

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCS Technical Bulletin – EPA’s Request for Inactive CCR Surface Impoundments Information

February 4, 2021

SCS periodically prepares Technical Bulletins to highlight items of interest to our clients and friends who have signed up to receive them.  We also publish these on our website at https://www.scsengineers.com/publications/technical-bulletins/.

Our most recent Bulletin entitled EPA Seeks Feedback On Inactive Surface Impoundments at Inactive Electric Utilities summarizes the EPA’s request for comments and information pertaining to inactive impoundments at inactive facilities.

Operators and owners who may be affected by forthcoming decisions around inactive CCR surface impoundments include electric utilities and independent power producers who generate CCR within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 221112. Though the EPA states “other types of entities … could also be regulated” and advises those wanting to confirm if the regulation applies to them to read the applicability criteria and comment. Landowners with a legacy surface impoundment on their property purchased from a utility will want to review the proposed definitions closely.

SCS Engineers will continue to post timely information, resources, and presentations to keep you well informed. These include additional guidance, industry reaction, and webinars for our clients.

Visit our website for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

EPA Webinar: Landfill Surface Emissions Monitoring and Measurement Virtual Workshop

January 28, 2021

EPA will host two virtual half-day sessions on Tuesday, January 26, and Thursday, January 28, 2021, to explore recent air emissions measurement and monitoring developments from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills.

The sessions are designed to provide an opportunity to share and learn more about surface emissions monitoring and measuring technologies. This virtual workshop is open to the public, with the primary audience including MSW landfill owners/operators, federal and state regulatory agencies, and environmental consultants.

Register Here

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Banner at or John Evans at .

Session II – Thursday January 28, 2021; 1:00 to 4:30 PM (EDT) 

The final rule applies to both major and area sources and contains the same requirements as the Emission Guidelines and New Source Performance Standards (EG/NSPS), promulgated in 1996. The final rule adds startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) requirements, adds operating condition deviations for out-of-bounds monitoring parameters, requires timely control of bioreactor landfills, and changes the reporting frequency for one type of report.

The hazardous air pollutants (HAP) emitted by municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills include, but are not limited to, vinyl chloride, ethyl benzene, toluene, and benzene. Each of the HAP emitted from MSW landfills can cause adverse health effects provided sufficient exposure.

 

NSPS/NESHAP Compliance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 1:00 pm

EPA Webinar: Landfill Surface Emissions Monitoring and Measurement Virtual Workshop

January 26, 2021

EPA will host two virtual half-day sessions on Tuesday, January 26, and Thursday, January 28, 2021, to explore recent air emissions measurement and monitoring developments from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills.

The sessions are designed to provide an opportunity to share and learn more about surface emissions monitoring and measuring technologies. This virtual workshop is open to the public, with the primary audience including MSW landfill owners/operators, federal and state regulatory agencies, and environmental consultants.

Register Here

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Banner at or John Evans at . Register once for both sessions.

Session I – Tuesday January 26, 2021; 1:00PM to 4:30 PM (EDT)

Session II – Thursday January 28, 2021; 1:00 to 4:30 PM (EDT) 

 

The final rule is applicable to both major and area sources and contains the same requirements as the Emission Guidelines and New Source Performance Standards (EG/NSPS), promulgated in 1996. The final rule adds startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) requirements, adds operating condition deviations for out-of-bounds monitoring parameters, requires timely control of bioreactor landfills, and changes the reporting frequency for one type of report.

The hazardous air pollutants (HAP) emitted by municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills include, but are not limited to, vinyl chloride, ethyl benzene, toluene, and benzene. Each of the HAP emitted from MSW landfills can cause adverse health effects provided sufficient exposure.

 

NSPS/NESHAP Compliance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 1:00 pm

U.S. EPA Landfill Surface Emissions Monitoring and Measurement Virtual Workshop

January 11, 2021

SCS Engiineers provides regulatory updates for industrial clients

EPA is hosting a free workshop in January on landfill monitoring and emissions. The workshops are scheduled twice, over half-day sessions. These sessions will include presentations highlighting the latest technological developments for monitoring and measuring landfill gas emissions.

Dates and Times: Register once for both sessions.

  • Session I – Tuesday, January 26, 2021; 1:00PM to 4:30 PM (EDT)
    • 1:00 to 1:15 – Introduction Day One and Workshop Details
    • 1:15 to 1:45 – EPA Presentation – Current Landfill Monitoring and Measuring Regulatory Requirements
    • 1:45 to 2:30 – Bridger Photonics
    • 2:30 to 2:40 – BREAK / STRETCH
    • 2:40 to 3:25 – Sniffer Robotics
    • 3:25 to 4:10 – Elkin Earthworks
    • 4:10 to 4:30 – Q&A and Closing
  • Session II – Thursday, January 28, 2021; 1:00 to 4:30 PM (EDT) 
    • 1:00 to 1:10 – Introduction Day 2
    • 1:10 to 1:55 – Scientific Aviation
    • 1:55 to 2:40 –  GHGSat
    • 2:40 to 2:45 – BREAK/STRETCH
    • 2:45 to 3:30 – mAIRsure
    • 3:30 to 4:20 – LI-COR
    • 4:20 to 4:30 – Closing

 

Register Here

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Banner at or John Evans at .

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCS Technical Bulletin: A Summary of the CCR Final Rule Revisions

September 25, 2020

electric utilities and powerplants - scs engineers

SCS periodically prepares Technical Bulletins to highlight items of interest to our clients and friends who have signed up to receive them.  We also publish these on our website at https://www.scsengineers.com/publications/technical-bulletins/.

Our most recent Bulletin summarizes the

CCR Rule Revisions – A Holistic Approach to Closure Part A: Deadline to Initiate Closure and Enhancing Public Access to Information

 

This Bulletin provides information on these revisions, as follows:

  • Surface Impoundment Alternative Closure Provision Timelines
  • Unlined Surface Impoundment Requirements
  • Unlined Surface Impoundment Cease Receipt of Waste and Initiation of Closure Deadline
  • Annual Groundwater Monitoring and Corrective Action Report Requirements
  • Requirements for Publicly Accessible CCR Internet Sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am