DOT Extends Hazmat Registration Deadline

June 12, 2006

The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration is extending until July 31, 2006, the validity of all hazardous material registrations with an expiration date of June 30, 2006, for those who 1) engage in any activity after June 30, 2006, that requires registration and 2) renew their registration by July 31, 2006. A letter documenting the extension is being mailed to each registrant holding a certificate with an expiration date of June 30, 2006, who has not already renewed its registration for a period including the 2006-2007 year.

Any person who has already received a registration certificate for a registration period that includes the 2006-2007 registration year is unaffected by this extension. The extension is being granted to those persons who need to renew for periods beginning July 1, 2006, (but have not yet done so) because of an unanticipated delay in the distribution of the 2006-2007 registration brochure. This delay may not allow sufficient time for many persons to submit the registration statement and receive a new certificate of registration by June 30.

 Payment by credit or debit card will enable you to print the newly issued certificate at the end of the Internet session. Payment by ACH (electronic check) typically takes one or two days to process, but a certificate will be e-mailed to you promptly upon confirmation of the payment.

Don’t know if you need to register? Need to learn more about the DOT hazardous material regulations? 

Storm Water Rule Revised to Comply with Energy Policy Act

 This action, implementing an amendment to the Clean Water Act passed in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, modifies water permitting program regulations to clarify that uncontaminated storm water discharged from oil and gas field activities does not require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

This rule encourages voluntary application of best-management practices for oil and gas field construction activities to minimize erosion and control sediment to protect surface water quality during storm events. It also retains the right of states to regulate these activities under other laws and authorities.

EPA will work with government, citizens, and industry to promote the importance of storm water management at oil and gas sites as it implements its rulemaking activities. This rule is effective June 12, 2006.

TRI Program Adopts Reporting by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes

If you are currently working on your SARA Title III (Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know) Form R or Form A, this is the last year that you will be able to classify your facility using the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code system. Beginning with reports due July 1, 2007, owners and operators of facilities subject to Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting must identify their principal business activities using North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for releases and other waste management activities for the 2006 calendar year. In the past, principal business activities were reported using Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, so identifying industrial codes is not a new requirement. EPA is not adding or deleting industry groups subject to reporting requirements, but rather is simply identifying the NAICS codes that are subject to TRI. The Office of Management and Budget plans to update the NAICS system every five years. The next update is scheduled for 2007. TRI-covered NAICS codes, if affected by these updates, will be revised accordingly.

EPA Announces New Voluntary Water Efficiency Program

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson will announce on June 12, 2006, a new voluntary water efficiency program that will help consumers identify water-saving products and services. The program will promote the efficient use of water while maintaining high performance standards.

WashingtonProposes New Spill Prevention and Response Readiness Rules

The proposed rules establish spill prevention and response standards for facility and vessel operators who transfer oil to or from vessels. The draft rules would require operators to follow safe oil transfer practices to prevent spills. Under the proposal, some vessels and oil-handling facilities would be required to deploy an oil-spill containment boom prior to transferring oil. In addition, the new rules would expand Ecology's current oil transfer inspection program, adding more field inspectors to oversee fueling activities.

 The proposed rule focuses on early spill response actions, staging response equipment throughout the state, and conducting scheduled and unannounced spill readiness drills.

"Oil spills, especially those that happen during oil transfers, can and should be prevented," said Dale Jensen who manages spill prevention, preparedness and response activities for Ecology. "Our goal is to prevent oil spills to Washington waters and ensure that if a spill does occur, a clear plan is in place to minimize environmental and economic damage."

Written comments and questions regarding the proposed rules can be submitted to Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, Wash., 98504-7600, or faxed to 360-407-7288. For specific comments or questions about the draft oil transfer rules, contact Jason Reichert at 360-407-7390 . Comments and questions regarding the proposed oil spill contingency plan rules can be director to Elin Storey  at 425-649-7111.

New Rule on Cooling Water Intake Systems

. This action sets standards for cooling water intake structures at new oil and gas extraction facilities either at offshore or coastal locations. The rule applies to an estimated 124 new rigs and platforms expected to be built over the next two decades. These facilities could require as much as 20 million gallons of water a day to cool the equipment.

Derived from Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act, this is the final action of a three-phase process that began by implementing requirements for new facilities, but did not include offshore or coastal oil and gas facilities. The second rule addressed existing power plants that use more than 50 million gallons of cooling water per day.

Cooling water intake structures at existing manufacturing facilities and certain power generators will continue to abide by section 316(b) requirements established on a case-by-case, best professional judgment basis through the water permitting program. The final rule does not change the regulatory requirements for facilities subject to the first and second regulations.

Boeing Lauds One Cleanup Program

EPA releases Scrap Tire Cleanup Guidebook

It is estimated that more than 290 million tires are scrapped each year in the United States. While 80 per cent are being reused, millions have been accumulating in stockpiles over the past several decades.

The new "how-to" guidebook, written for tire manufacturers, state and local government, regulators, auto recyclers and collectors, contains practical solutions including:

Examples of scrap tire cleanup programs and funding
Legal considerations and property issues
Cost recovery
Local and regional markets for scrap tires
Cleanup planning
Selecting contractors
Project management

Large scrap tire stockpiles present a risk to human health and the environment for several reasons. They provide an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, which carry and transmit life-threatening diseases such as encephalitis, West Nile and Eastern Equine virus, and dengue fever in some regions.

Stockpiles can also catch on fire as a result of lightning strikes, equipment malfunctions or arson. State, federal and local agencies have spent tens of millions of dollars over the past few decades responding to tire fires.

In addition to the guidebook, many resources are available to those tackling a scrap tire problem, including presentations from several scrap tire forums, information on technical issues concerning scrap tires, and end-use markets.

Marine Shale, Recycling Park, and Southern Wood Piedmont to Pay $15 Million for Hazardous Waste and Other Violations

The Department of Justice, the EPA, and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) announced two settlements that will lead to substantial cleanup of hazardous substances at facilities owned by Marine Shale Processors Inc. and Recycling Park Inc. in Amelia, La.

The first settlement is with Marine Shale, Recycling Park, and John Kent Sr. under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); the Clean Water Act; the Clean Air Act; and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The second settlement is with Southern Wood Piedmont Company and Rayonier Inc. under RCRA and CERCLA related to the Marine Shale and Recycling Park facilities.

Under the proposed settlement and judgment with Marine Shale, Recycling Park and Mr. Kent, the Court will enter a $6.2 million judgment for penalties in favor of the United States and LDEQ and against Marine Shale and Recycling Park. A separate $6.2 million in bond proceeds from Marine Shale will be transferred to LDEQ for the closure and remediation of the contamination at the Marine Shale and Recycling Park facilities. An additional $850,000 letter of credit posted by Marine Shale will also be transferred to LDEQ and used for the cleanup of the Marine Shale and Recycling Park facilities.

In addition, Marine Shale, Recycling Park, and Mr. Kent are prohibited from owning or controlling a majority interest in or participating in the management of any business involved in waste management or recycling. The three parties are also required to provide access as required for investigation, closure and remediation at the Marine Shale and Recycling Park facilities and agree to a number of institutional controls and deed restrictions necessary to assure the implementation and effectiveness of the remedial actions to be taken at the facilities.

After EPA and LDEQ certify that the cleanups at the Marine Shale and Recycling Park facilities have been completed, the governments have the option of receiving the proceeds from the sale of the properties to satisfy the civil penalty judgment.

Under a separate proposed consent decree with Southern Wood Piedmont and its parent Rayonier, the two companies have agreed to perform a corrective action and cleanup at the Recycling Park facility located near the Marine Shale facility by placing a protective cap over the hazardous constituents in accordance with a work plan approved by EPA and LDEQ. The two companies will also pay $200,000 toward the cleanup at the Marine Shale facility.

"This joint enforcement action will bring to a favorable conclusion 16 years of litigation against Marine Shale and provide substantial funds for the cleanup of the remaining hazardous constituents at the Marine Shale and Recycling Park facilities," said Sue Ellen Wooldridge, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "I am pleased that federal and state agencies have worked together to bring these facilities into compliance with our environmental laws and to focus cleanup efforts to reduce risk to the public from these sites."

"The protection of the environment is a priority for all who expect to enjoy nature's bounty and a healthy life," said Donald Washington U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. "We conclude this lengthy litigation with the promise that my office will remain vigilant and aggressive in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting those who would harm our environment."

"This agreement will bring what area residents have been waiting for: a cleanup that will demolish the old facility, including the kiln, and put the property back into productive use," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said.

"We believe that the proposed settlements, if approved, would resolve a complicated set of disputes in a manner that would benefit the people and environment," said Hal Leggett, LDEQ Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Compliance. "We are now on a path that we hope will lead to the return of these properties to uses that will be positive for St. Mary Parish and the community."

In 1990, the United States and the state of Louisiana filed civil complaints against Marine Shale to stop violation of several environmental laws and recover civil penalties for Marine Shale's illegal operation of a hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility. After trials in 1994, the district court awarded the United States and the state $8 million in civil penalties. On appeal in 1996, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed $4 million of the civil penalty award to the government, but remanded the remaining $4 million of the award for further district court proceedings. Later that year, Marine Shale terminated operations at its facility.

Du-Kane Asphalt Fined $11,000 for Opacity Violation

EPA Region 5 has reached an agreement with Du-Kane Asphalt Co. on alleged clean-air violations at the company's bituminous asphalt manufacturing plant in Addison, Ill.

The agreement, which includes an $11,000 penalty, resolves EPA allegations that Du-Kane failed to maintain and operate its pollution control equipment as required by EPA regulations. This caused the plant to exceed its 20% limit on opacity, or the amount of light obscured by visible particles such as smoke, ash and dust.

In a related action, Du-Kane agreed to an EPA-approved plan to improve the operation of its emission controls and to do monthly visible emission readings for one asphalt manufacturing season.

An EPA inspector discovered the excessive emissions during a test last October. The test was done in response to a citizen complaint regarding visible emissions from the facility.

Accident at Romic Facility in California

EPA responded to a hazardous materials release that occurred Monday night, June 5, 2006, at the Romic facility located at 2081 Bay Rd. in E. Palo Alto, California.

Approximately 4,000 gallons of used mixed solvents began reacting inside a tanker around 9:00 p.m. The chemical mixture was released in the form of an aerosol/fine mist that settled over an area of approximately 2 acres, including an adjoining empty lot, Bay Road, a PG&E substation, and a wetlands area, south of Cooley Landing. The East Palo Alto Police Department issued a shelter in place around 10:45p.m. It was lifted about an hour later after the problem was contained and there was no longer a threat to the surrounding community.

“Romic is being responsive, and is currently addressing the cleanup of Bay Road,” said Janet Yocum, the EPA’s on-scene coordinator. “The company is working with the EPA and the county to address the remaining impacted areas to ensure that the community is protected and the cleanup is complete.”

The contents of the 4,000 gallon tanker consisted of several different used solvents blended by Romic on-site. According to the manifests, the blended wastestreams consisted of hydroxylamine, monoethanolamine, toluene and acetonitrile.

EPA contractors are collecting samples of the deposited material for off-site analysis and characterization. Romic and EPA contractors continue to monitor the air. The impact to the wetland area is thought to be minimal. Department of Fish & Game and county officials have been notified, and will assist with a wetlands impact evaluation to determine any need for wetlands cleanup.

The San Mateo County Environmental Health and County Hazardous Materials Team, the East Palo Alto Police Department, and County Office of Emergency Services all responded to the incident.

EPA Cites Michigan Power Plant for Clean Air Act Violations

EPA Region 5 has cited the city of Wyandotte, Mich., for alleged clean-air violations at its municipal power plant, 2555 Van Alstyne.

EPA alleges the plant failed to comply with emission limits in its state operating permit and in state regulations on opacity, which is the amount of light obscured by particulates such as smoke, dust and ash. The plant was also cited for excessive releases of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide.

"EPA's mission is to protect public health and the environment," said Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur. "We will take whatever steps are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act."

These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company. Wyandotte has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.

$13,090 Penalty for Failure to File Form R for Lead

The company, located at 2448 East 25th Street in Los Angeles, allegedly failed to submit timely, complete, and correct reports detailing the amount of lead released at its facility during calendar year 2002. EPA inspectors discovered the violations during a routine inspection.

"Facilities that use toxic chemicals such as lead must follow our reporting rules so that area residents and emergency response personnel are informed of possible chemical hazards in the local environment," said Enrique Manzanilla, Communities and Ecosystems Division Director for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "This penalty should remind others that we are maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices and are serious about enforcing community right-to-know laws."

Federal community right-to-know laws require facilities processing more than 100 lbs. of lead to report releases of this chemical on an annual basis to the EPA and the state. P. Kay Metal, Inc., exceeded this threshold in 2002, and allegedly failed to submit a release report to the EPA.

P. Kay Metal, Inc., processes lead in connection with its solder bar and wire manufacturing operations. Exposure to this chemical can cause high blood pressure, digestive problems, muscle and joint pain, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems, increased chance of illness during pregnancy, and harm to a fetus, including brain damage or death. Exposure to low levels of lead can severely harm children.

Each year the EPA compiles the information submitted to it from the previous year regarding toxic chemical releases and produces a national Toxics Release Inventory database for public availability. This TRI database includes detailed information on nearly 650 chemicals used by over 23,000 industrial and federal facilities.

Arizona to Revise Soil Remediation Standards

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is considering revisions to the Soil Remediation Standards Rule (Arizona Administrative Code R18-7-201 through 209). This rule identifies cleanup standards for any soil remediation conducted pursuant to applicable programs identified in Title 49 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

The DEQ has provided the documents listed below to facilitate stakeholder discussion and comment.
Soil Remediation Rule Proposed Amendment Documents:

Indiana Enforcement Online

 New documents are added on a cycle around the middle of the month. Using a web-based form, you can search a database of published actions and orders. Your search results will return as a hyperlinked list of documents. If an enforcement action or order appears on that list but is not hyperlinked, that means the document will be published with the next cycle. It’s a great way to find out if your company, its vendors, or any other site of interest to you has had recent environmental violations subject to enforcement actions in Indiana.

Get Caught Recycling

The Kansas Department of Health and the Environment is sponsoring a “Get Caught Recycling” contest with more than $18,000 in prizes. Both companies and individuals are encouraged to apply. The top prize is a $2,500 Learning Quest Scholarship.

Canoe Trip, Courtesy of the NYDEC Conservationist

Conservationist magazine announced the “I Love the Conservationist Contest” in which you can win any one of many great prizes and fabulous vacation getaways. Paddle away in a new canoe, enjoy a free weekend at an Adirondack lodge, hit the links with a free golf outing, snap photos on your new digital camera, or hit the trails with a new back pack. 

Revisions to Louisiana NPDES Program

The Louisiana DEQ has made a large number of changes to its NPES regulations as part of the Agency’s permit streamlining program.

Water Conservation Practices

The Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality has published 20 fact sheets profiling common conservation practices that both homeowners and businesses can use to protect water quality. The fact sheets include detailed instructions, diagrams and color photos about installation and maintenance.

Licensed Site Professional Penalized $4,000 for Faulty Report

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) penalized James D. O’Brien $4,000 for making false, inaccurate and/or misleading statements in a report concerning the extent of oil contamination at a property at 76 Arsenal Street in Watertown.

As a Massachusetts Licensed Site Professional (LSP), O’Brien is one of several hundred environmental professionals who offer companies and individuals consulting services to identify whether oil or hazardous materials at a property adversely impacts air quality, groundwater, surface water, and soil; and, if chemicals are found, whether they pose a risk to public health and the environment.

“While MassDEP has confidence in the privatized program, the importance and integrity of LSPs are critical to its success,” said Richard Chalpin, director of MassDEP’s Northeast Regional Office in Wilmington. “The public pays for and expects the LSP to perform with expertise and professionalism, and to provide complete and accurate information about environmental contamination.”

O’Brien failed to fully identify the extent of contamination in soils and groundwater at the site, potentially resulting in the exposure of future site occupants to contaminants in soil and indoor air. MassDEP alleged that a report bearing O'Brien's signature and license seal contained false, inaccurate and misleading information and O’Brien misled the property owners and others who might need to rely on the report when he certified that the site investigation met regulatory standards and was thorough and complete.

The owner of the Watertown property, MSI Realty Trust, which retained the services of O’Brien, was not a party to the order. MSI Realty Trust is proceeding with site assessment and cleanup actions under a separate enforcement order, and is obligated to submit a revised assessment report to MassDEP by August 2006.

Toxic Algae Found in Nebraska Lakes

Although it technically is not a true algae, what is commonly referred to as toxic blue-green algae refers to certain strains of cyanobacteria that produce toxins. These toxins were found in a number of Nebraska lakes in 2004 and 2005.

Toxic blue-green algae, which is dangerous to both humans and animals, can dominate the algal populations of a lake under the right combinations of water temperature, low water depths, and nutrients (such as, high nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations from wastewater discharges and runoff from agricultural land and communities). 

Storm Water Management Video

 It originated from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and is now being used by several other city and state environmental agencies. The campaign has proven effective in informing the public about storm water management and what individual citizens can do to help. Its fun, and at the same time, educational.

Terminix to Pay $80,000 for Unsafe Pesticide Application

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced an $80,000 settlement with Terminix International stemming from a botched cocoa-bean fumigation that exposed nine employees to the pesticide methyl bromide.

"We found it disturbing that Terminix put employees to work with one of the world's most hazardous pesticides without appropriate oversight or training," Commissioner Jackson said. "What should have been a routine warehouse fumigation went badly awry, and only by sheer luck did the employees survive."

Terminix dispatched nine employees on May 12 and 13, 2004, to fumigate cocoa beans stored on pallets in a 500,000 cubic-foot area of the Lyons & Sons Inc. warehouse in Pennsauken.

The Terminix crew covered rows of the 18-foot stacks of cocoa beans with plastic tarps and sealed them. The crew's supervisor, who was licensed to perform commercial fumigations, then wrongly inserted a hose into the side of each covered stack and pumped in a total 1,037 pounds of "Meth-O-Gas 100," which contains the active ingredient methyl bromide.

When done properly by following explicit directions on the methyl bromide label, as required by law, the liquid pesticide is applied either with a vaporizer or into evaporation pans positioned at the top of the stack so it is evenly distributed as a gas. The tarps should remain sealed for 12 to 24 hours to eradicate any infestations of insects or other pests. The law also requires employees to wear self-contained breathing apparatus during certain phases of the application and to test the air before allowing employees to re-enter the area to remove the tarps.

Instead, under their supervisor's direction, the untrained Terminix crew - none of whom wore the required safety gear - began removing tarps at least four hours too early and were immediately overcome by the toxic fumes. The DEP's Pesticide Control investigators determined that the fumigation, from start to finish, represented a gross misapplication of methyl bromide, and all safety requirements for protective equipment and air testing had been ignored.

Two of the employees suffered severe injuries. Three others also required medical treatment following the mishap.

Methyl bromide can irritate and burn the eyes and skin on contact, and exposure can permanently damage the nervous system. Overexposure can cause headache, nausea, vomiting, tremors, slurred speech, dizziness and convulsions. Very high levels can result in rapid loss of consciousness and death.

Soon after the incident, the DEP's Compliance and Enforcement investigators cited Terminix for a host of pesticide-control and air-pollution violations. Further, the warehouse fumigation prompted the DEP to conduct an overall assessment of the fumigation industry in New Jersey. Also, as a result of the Terminix case, the DEP set a national precedent by regulating the release of air toxics from transient fumigation processes. Future fumigation licenses will include air-pollution-control requirements.

In addition to the $80,000 payment, the settlement agreement prohibits Terminix International and any of its subsidiaries and franchises from participating in New Jersey's commodities-fumigation industry for at least a year. After the suspension has lapsed, Terminix can request the DEP's permission to again perform these commercial fumigations - provided the company hires a consultant to review its operations and ensure its ability to comply with all regulatory requirements.

PM Testing Fined for Hazardous Waste Violation

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) fined the metal finishing company $103,000 for carelessly handling toxic waste, for violating state regulations, and for endangering human health and the environment.

Ecology issued the penalty to PM Testing Inc. which tests, cleans and finishes metal products for the military and the aerospace industry. PM Testing uses corrosive and toxic acidic-process baths in processes that contain chromium, soap/alkaline solutions, paints and solvents, paint strippers and photo chemicals.

Ecology inspected the facility in January 2006 and found many violations of state and federal dangerous waste regulations. Inspectors found two dozen containers of toxic products and wastes that were not properly identified. They found wet floors and inadequate ventilation over open vats of chromium-laden toxic waste.

In addition, Ecology inspectors found acidic liquids dripping from the ceiling and pooling on top of the chemical barrels and floors within the chemical process area. They found incompatible substances kept together, risking explosion or fire. Ecology also found wastes that were being stored longer than permitted by state regulations.

Ecology issued the fine after several failed attempts to convince the company to comply with state environmental regulations. Ecology has been inspecting the company in this location since 1999 and many of the violations that it found in January were repeat violations. In February, the agency ordered the company to make fixes, but compliance has been slow.

Toxic-waste handling problems at the facility have potential to contaminate air, soil and groundwater, and may risk worker health, according to Darin Rice, manager of Ecology's hazardous waste and toxics reduction program.

"Our inspectors found outdated, risky practices and disregard for hazardous waste handling regulations," Rice said. "Other businesses in this industry comply with Washington's environmental and public safety regulations and we expect PM Testing to do likewise," Rice said. Rice said his inspectors have coordinated their findings with the state Department of Labor & Industries for possible worker safety issues at the site, and with Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, another regulator of the facility.