The American Bar Association’s Section of Environmental, Energy, and Resources (SEER) is hosting its 50th Spring Conference virtually, April 27-30, 2021.
SCS Engineers is a Gold Sponsor of the conference, and SCS Senior Vice President of Environmental Services, Mike McLaughlin, PE, JD, is participating in the conference, which will consist of a series of webinars, networking events, expert insight panels, and more.
This virtual conference celebrates the past, examines the present, and challenges us to make the future better. This year’s conference will have a special focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the practice of law, and environmental justice issues.
All environmental, energy, and resources practitioners are invited to attend as the conference marks its 50th anniversary. Since 1971, the Spring Conference (once known informally as the Keystone Conference) has been a leading forum for the discussion of current issues in environmental, energy, and resources law.
Sponsorship opportunities are currently available at the Gold, Silver and 50th Anniversary Legal Leader levels. For more information about sponsorship, contact Dana Jonusaitis.
Section members can earn up to 11 hours of CLE credit in 60-minute states—and 13.2 hours of CLE credit in 50-minute states. And, if you are unable to attend any sessions in real time, they can be viewed at a later date on demand.
Highlights of the conference include:
The EPA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires landfill operators to maintain post-closure care for 30 years, though states will adjust the term according to when they determine ending this care will not threaten human health or the environment. Industry stakeholders say it’s not enough guidance because it does not provide how states should assess for impact on human health or the environment, nor how to determine when to transition from active post-closure care to custodial care. Regulators tend to default to an extension of terms. Again data collection plays a significant role in determining the post-closure care term.
“The whole purpose of the post-closure care term is to provide enough time for landfills to become stable. One way to assess is by determining if functional stability has been achieved, which entails looking at performance metrics like leachate management, settlement, landfill gas control, and groundwater monitoring,” says Bob Gardner, of SCS Engineers.
Looking at these metrics, once it’s determined that functional stability has been achieved, these active systems may be able to be turned off, with only passive controls like cover remaining in place.
Monitoring may be done less frequently or not at all. “EPA acknowledges that back in the 1980s, it did not know how systems, primarily liner systems, would perform under new Subtitle D rules. But based on monitoring of these systems over the past 25 years, we know that they perform well to prevent migration of contaminants to groundwater,” says Gardner.
Read the Waste360 article Stakeholders Call for More Certain Landfill Post-closure Care Terms
Investigate why over 600 landfills use SCS eTools® to track, report, and store important data.
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs announced the release of the Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The Agenda reports on the actions administrative agencies plan to issue in the near and long term. Of note:
The EPA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding possible revisions to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle D part 258 regulations for municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills that may provide regulatory flexibility to encourage accelerated waste decomposition in the presence of water. In light of advances in landfill technology, the EPA is considering whether to revise part 258 to create new national standards for the management of liquids in “wet” landfills and bioreactor landfills, including the possibility of removing the prohibition on the addition of bulk liquids, to foster accelerated waste decomposition. Through the ANPRM, the EPA requested information and data on the performance of bioreactor landfills and wet landfills, including information on appropriate liquids management. In addition, the EPA requested comments on whether new national standards for bioreactor landfills and wet landfills are appropriate, and if so, what regulatory changes the EPA should consider in developing any proposal.
This proposal address the agency’s residual risk and technology review (RTR) of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills. The MSW Landfills NESHAP, subpart AAAA, was promulgated pursuant to section 112(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) on January 16, 2003. The NESHAP established emission limitations based on maximum achievable control technology (MACT) for controlling emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and helped implement the Urban Air Toxics Strategy developed under section 112(k) of the CAA. The HAP emitted by MSW landfills includes, but are not limited to, vinyl chloride, ethylbenzene, toluene, and benzene. This action implements the residual risk review requirements of CAA section 112(f)(2) and the technology review requirements of CAA section 112(d)(6). The statute directs the EPA to promulgate emission standards under CAA 112(f)(2) if such standards are required to provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health or to prevent, taking relevant factors into account, an adverse environmental effect. Any such standards are to be promulgated within 8 years after the promulgation of MACT standards under CAA section 112(d). CAA section 112(d)(6) requires the EPA to review and revise the MACT standards as necessary, taking into account developments in practices, processes and control technologies, no less often than every 8 years. Pursuant to a court order, the EPA is obligated to complete the final action by March 13, 2020. In consideration of this deadline, which also applies to 19 other RTR source categories, we established an internal schedule for this RTR to be proposed and finalized prior to the consent decree deadline. The EPA currently plans to complete this action by July 2019.
The EPA finalized the Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills on August 29, 2016 (81 FR 59276). The requirements for state and federal plans implementing the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills Emission Guidelines are specified in subpart B – 40 CFR 60.20-60 (referred to as the implementing regulations), which is cross-referenced in the emission guidelines issued by the Agency.
In August 2018, the EPA proposed changes to the implementing regulations governing emission guidelines under a new 40 CFR part 60, subpart Ba. This action aligns the regulatory text in the MSW Landfills Emission Guidelines with a cross-reference to the new subpart Ba for the timing requirements of state and federal plans.
By asking good questions Chris Jimieson, PE, Senior Geological Engineer at SCS Engineers challenges his clients to think critically about how their facility could be better prepared to navigate a spill response. The answers help a facility’s spill contingency plan become more tailored to best serve that particular facility while meeting the necessary regulatory requirements.
Each facility is different, so the best means of preparedness should fit the operational structure and practices of the facility to ultimately limit your facility’s potential vulnerability during a spill. Chris takes his readers through several examples and ideas of useful tools and processes that help them become better prepared, such as adding infographics as attachments to a spill contingency plan.
His advice is directed toward the printing industry but is applicable in many industries.
Chad Milligan, P.G. of SCS Engineers is presenting a holistic approach to water quality treatment at mines.
About the Presentation:
Disposal of produced fluids from industrial processes is becoming more challenging with time. Options such as surface discharge through NPDES or trucking can be cost prohibitive, requiring an evaluation of alternative methods such as disposal via deep will injection.
Such problems have arisen for three coal mines in Illinois. Two of the mines generate high chloride native groundwater that infiltrates the mine and is then pumped to surface retention ponds prior to treatment and disposal. The third mine generates fluids from multiple sources including a coal fire power generating plant and a coal combustion residual landfill. These fluids will be also stored in surface retention ponds prior to treatment and disposal.
An evaluation was performed of the treatment and disposal of native groundwater infiltrating the mines using a holistic approach. The approach includes an evaluation of the water quality by assessing the chemical and physical characteristics of water, water quantities, water treatment system, geochemistry, and applicable disposal well characteristics. Current evaluations have identified specific minerals that may be precipitating within the disposal well diminishing well capacity and biological fouling originating within the mine itself that has substantially increased pretreatment filtering costs.
The treatment and disposal of produced powered generating fluids has introduced a new level of review by not only including the general physical and chemical characteristics of water treatment, but also the review and evaluation of the plant-wide water budget identifying the source of fluids within the plant, and also a thorough characterization and review of solid waste regulations such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
This presentation will compare the source and treatment options of the produced waters from these three coal mines.
About Chad Milligan
Chad Milligan is a licensed professional geologist in the states of Kansas, Louisiana, and Illinois. He has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Chemistry from Emporia State University and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from Wichita State University. Chad is responsible for the permitting and regulatory compliance of Class I and Class II disposal wells, Class III salt solution mining wells, LPG storage caverns, and Class V cavern stabilization wells.
SCS Engineers provides a free guide to the most common environmental reports due at the federal and state levels. Each guide includes an overview of the reporting due along with the date each state requires submission.
When SCS says free, we mean it. No need to submit your company name, no endless email trail will follow; these are free guides to download and share with others from the compliance experts – SCS Engineers.
Click to download or share each state guide:
If your state is not listed, contact the nearest SCS office to speak with a compliance professional in your area and in your business sector; SCS is nationwide.
If you have questions or need help sorting out details such as which reports apply to your business or step-by-step support on how to prepare your reports in the states listed above, contact our regional professionals.
Learn more about Ann
Ann O’Brien 1-773-775-6362
Learn more about Cheryl
Cheryl Moran 1-608-216-7325