DOT Relaxes Hazardous Material Shipping Regulations

February 04, 2008

 Most of the amendment is intended to provide relief to industry by eliminating, revising, clarifying, or relaxing regulatory requirements.

PHMSA is adopting a new proper shipping name and identification number for fuel blends composed of ethanol and gasoline. The rule includes updated references to consensus standards, revises and clarifies certain hazard communication requirements, and clarifies transportation requirements applicable to dry ice, detonator assemblies, and explosives. PHMSA is also expanding exceptions from regulation for small quantities of hazardous materials. Other changes include:

  • Updated provisions incorporating consensus standards issued by the Chlorine Institute and the Compressed Gas Association (49 CFR 171.7, 173.301, 178.337–9, and 178.337–10).
  • A definition for “household wastes” to clarify the current exception in the HMR for transportation of such materials (49 CFR 171.8, 173.12 and 173.134).
  • Revisions to the hazardous materials table to harmonize certain entries with international standards (49 CFR 172.101) by removing, adding, and revising certain proper shipping names.
  • Revised hazard communication provisions to address shipping paper requirements for marine pollutants, marking requirements for limited quantities, proper shipping name markings on packages, and labeling of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) (49 CFR 172.203, 172.315, and 172.406).
  • Clarification of the requirements applicable to the transportation of dry ice on aircraft, detonator assemblies, and packagings authorized for the transportation of certain explosives (49 CFR 173.24, 173.61, 173.62, 173.217, 175.30, and 175.900).
  • Clarification that a shipper must use a carrier with a safety permit to transport hazardous materials for which safety permits are required as specified under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 173.22).
  • Clarification of the segregation requirements for hazardous materials transported by motor carrier (49 CFR 177.848).


2007 Ranks Among the Warmest Years on Record

The Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), a part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, claims that 2007 ties with 1998 as the second-warmest year on record, but the National Climatic Data Center, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), puts 2007 in fifth place. And to muddle things further, the two agencies use different baselines for comparison: GISS says 2007 was 1.026 F above the mean temperature for 1951–1980, while NOAA says 2007 was 0.99 F above the average temperature for the entire 20th century.

Regardless of the rankings, the two agencies agree that the eight warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998, making the past decade a clear record-breaker. And as GISS notes, the warmth in 2007 occurred despite solar irradiance (the amount of energy Earth receives from the sun) reaching a minimum and a strong La Nia episode (a cooling in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean) developing late in the year, both factors that would tend to push down global temperatures. The year 2007 started with a warming boost from an El Nio event, which is a warming in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean, but that phenomenon faded quickly, confounding some predictions for 2007 to be a record-breaking year.

Both GISS and the United Kingdom’s Meteorological Office (Met Office) agree on a separate matter: that 2008 will probably be cooler than 2007, but will still be among the warmest years on record. Both agencies expect the continuing La Nia to hold down global temperatures, while GISS also notes that solar irradiance will still be near its minimum. The Met Office expects 2008 to be the coolest year since 2000, but it uses yet another temperature baseline for comparison.

Sales of Compact Fluorescent Lights Jump to 20% of the Market

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy newsletter announced that the sales of Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) nearly doubled last year, according to EPA estimates. Energy Star-qualified CFLs use approximately 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. In 2007, 290 million CFLs were sold, and the energy-saving bulbs now account for about 20% of the light bulb market in the United States.

The sale of CFLs has been on the rise since 2006, when their market share jumped from 5% to almost 11%. Energy Star retail partners such as Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, Costco, Menards, Ace Hardware, and Sam’s Club have played an important role in educating consumers about the importance of saving energy and the value of these products. The campaign has collected more than 1 million pledges so far.

If every U.S. household replaced just one light bulb in their homes with a CFL, the United States would save more than $600 million each year in energy costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars.

U.S. Wind Power Capacity Surged 45% in 2007

. The rapid growth shatters all previous records and boosts the total U.S. wind power capacity by 45% in only one year. The growth even exceeded the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) expectations for 4,000 MW of new capacity. In fact, wind power provided 30% of the new generating capacity installed in the United States in 2007. The total U.S. wind power capacity is now at 16,818 MW, with wind projects located in 34 states. AWEA estimates that in 2008, U.S. wind power facilities will generate 48 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, or about 1% of the nation’s electricity needs. AWEA expects similar capacity growth in 2008, although factors such as the availability of new wind turbines could have an impact on growth. The trade association tallies 3,520 MW of new wind power capacity currently under construction.

Texas leads the states in terms of new wind power capacity installed in 2007, with 1,618 MW of new capacity, further cementing the state’s lead in total installed wind power capacity. Among the largest projects built in 2007 are the 264-MW Peetz Table and 300.5-MW Cedar Creek wind plants, both in Colorado; the 198-MW and 161.7-MW Twin Groves I and II wind plants in Illinois; the 205.5-MW Fenton Wind Power Project in Minnesota; the 221.1-MW Klondike III wind plant in Oregon; the 232.5-MW phase II of the Buffalo Gap wind plant in Texas; and the 204.7-MW White Creek Wind Power Project in Washington. The 56.7-MW Bluegrass Ridge wind farm is also noteworthy, as it’s the first utility-scale wind facility in Missouri. 

Wind turbines are also getting bigger, as the largest turbine employed in last year’s wind projects was a 3-MW Vestas turbine, installed in California and Texas. In October 2007, Clipper Windpower established the Centre of Excellence for Offshore Wind in the United Kingdom to develop a 7.5-MW offshore wind turbine, called the “Britannia Project.” At about the same time, American Superconductor Corporation teamed up with TECO-Westinghouse Motor Company to develop a 10-MW generator for use in offshore wind turbines.

Wyoming Panel Backs Carbon Capture

After that statement, a Wyoming legislative committee endorsed two proposed measures dealing with carbon capture and sequestration in the state.

The Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Interim Committee endorsed proposals that would give the state Department of Environmental Quality regulatory oversight of CO2 storage in the state and recognize that surface owners control the underground voids where the gas would be stored. Both proposals will be considered by the Legislature when it meets in February.

Freudenthal told a panel of lawmakers that carbon capture and sequestration will be vital to Wyoming’s economy, which is heavily dependent on producing coal for power generation facilities in the state and elsewhere.

Burning coal produces carbon dioxide, which scientists say contributes to global warming. Growing concern over global warming has led to the idea of capturing carbon dioxide and injecting it into vast, deep geological formations where it can’t be released into the atmosphere.

The federal government will be involved in developing policy and regulation of carbon capture and sequestration, so it is important that Wyoming have some influence over what happens, Freudenthal said.

“The best way to do that is to have something in place first, instead of having the federal government come and say ‘Well, you’re not doing anything now, do exactly what we tell you,’” he told reporters after addressing the panel. “I think we have a better chance of defining how this issue is treated in a way that makes sense for Wyoming if we act now.”

Freudenthal said it was important that lawmakers not become bogged down in details and delay acting on the proposals. “I think this nation’s going to be at this issue for a long time,” he said. “Start with some small steps and then you move forward.”

Freudenthal and state DEQ Director John Corra said DEQ is equipped to handle regulation of sequestration facilities. They also said it should be clear that the carbon proposals not include the practice of pumping CO2 underground while drilling for oil and gas. Oil and gas companies use the CO2 to recover oil and gas that cannot be brought to the surface under conventional drilling practices and some CO2 is trapped underground in the process.

Regarding ownership of the underground voids where the gas would be stored, Freudenthal said there is going to be a “major transfer of wealth in this country” as a result of carbon capture and sequestration. “I would rather that wealth go to our citizens than to the federal government,” he said.

Laurie Goodman, president of the Landowners Association of Wyoming, suggested that the proposals needed clarification to better protect landowners from possible liability should something go wrong with the underground storage. “Somewhere, the surface landowner needs to be held harmless,” Goodman said.

Massachusetts Dry Cleaning Company Assessed $15,756 Penalty for Environmental Violations

Fabric Cleaners, LLC, operator of a dry cleaning facility in Milford, Mass., has been assessed $15,756 in penalties by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for violating Air Pollution Control, Hazardous Waste Management, Industrial Wastewater, and Massachusetts Contingency Plan regulations.

Based on records reviews and inspections conducted in 2006, MassDEP determined that the company failed to notify MassDEP of a release of Tetrachloroethene found at its location, failed to comply with operational requirements for its dry cleaning machine, and discharged industrial wastewater (washing machine wastewater) to a storm drain without approval from MassDEP or the EPA.

In a recently finalized consent order, the company agreed to comply with all applicable requirements and pay a $3,150 penalty. An additional $12,606 penalty was suspended pending compliance with the order and in deference to the company’s Small Business designation.

“All businesses, regardless of their size, must comply with applicable regulations,” said Lee Dillard Adams, deputy director for MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester.

Broken Thermometer Prompts Emergency Response for Mercury Release

A thermometer broken during a nursing class on Jan. 23, 2008, prompted a response from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Emergency Response Section (.  The nursing class was being held at the Eldon Career Center in Jefferson City, Mo.

The department was contacted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, who had been contacted by the Miller County Health Department. Career center staff had contacted the local health department to report that a student in a nursing class dropped and broke an oral thermometer, releasing several beads of mercury. An instructor cleaned up the mercury, placed it in a container designed for medical wastes, and then triple bagged that container.

The department dispatched state on-scene coordinators from Jefferson City to the school to conduct follow-up air testing and collect the mercury. Tests showed no residual mercury on the desk or floor, and mercury levels in the air were found to be well within acceptable limits.

Metallic mercury is liquid at room temperature and has no odor. It was once commonly used in thermometers, barometers, switches, and blood-pressure measuring devices. When spilled, some of the metal will evaporate into the air and can be carried long distances. Mercury is toxic when inhaled. Improper clean up with a vacuum, paintbrush, or household cleaner increases exposure by dispersing the mercury into the air.

Short-term exposure to high levels of mercury vapors may cause serious health effects including lung damage, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, as well as increases in blood pressure or heart rate, skin rashes, and eye irritation. Symptoms from chronic or long-term exposure can develop in just a few weeks. Tremors, decreased eye-hand coordination, memory problems, insomnia, and irritability can develop quickly. If these symptoms are not correctly identified and exposure is not prevented, then permanent damage to the nervous system can occur.

The Department of Natural Resource’s Environmental Emergency Response section is called to the scene of more than 300 emergencies each year, including fires, traffic accidents, leaking storage tanks, and other incidents that could have a negative environmental impact. The department’s 24-hour spill line receives more than 1,600 incident reports annually.

Fourth Annual Environmental Excellence Awards Presented

The NY DEC established the Environmental Excellence Awards in 2004 to recognize ingenuity, creative partnerships, and leadership efforts that achieve noteworthy environmental, social, and economic benefits for the state. The program has now honored 25 winners.

The six 2007 winners represent industry, local governments, and an environmental advocacy group. The names of the winners and a brief description of their projects follow.

Ecovation and Breyers Yogurt Co., North Lawrence Facility (St. Lawrence County)

The yogurt plant teamed up with Ecovation, an Ontario County-based company, to deploy a “bio-gas” production system to treat factory waste. Essentially, the process converts dairy waste into a methane-rich gas. The process spurred Breyers to install a new energy facility to help power the plant. Now, the plant is on track to replace about 30% of its annual fuel oil usage with renewable “bio-gas.” In addition, it is accepting dairy byproducts from other nearby dairy plants—such as acid whey from a cheese plant and condensed lactose from another facility—thereby, reducing waste generation in the surrounding community. Breyers also joined with Clarkson University to research the energy-conversion process to improve the plant and to provide information to other facilities.

Delphi Thermal Systems, Lockport (Niagara County)

The automobile parts and electronics supplier developed an alternative metal alloy that allowed them to do away with a chromium coating used for air-conditioning evaporators. It eliminated generation of a hazardous waste sludge, and it allowed the company to raise an industrial wastewater-treatment plant. It also addressed a significant pollution issue related to vehicle demolition. In addition, Delphi was able to close and remove chemical and petroleum storage tanks associated with the old coating material.

Syracuse City School District

The district has implemented a “Going Green” agenda in 30 schools that involves education efforts and recycling and tracking of materials. Cafeterias switched to paper bags from petroleum-based foam trays, and, in the 2006–2007 academic year, 500 tons of paper were collected and recycled. The district also employed “vermicomposting” to reduce cafeteria waste. This involves using ventilated bins containing earthworms and various types of bedding material (paper, peat moss, or other) to turn kitchen waste into a dark, nutrient-rich conditioner for soil. As a result of its efforts, the district estimates it has saved 8,500 trees, 231,500 gallons of oil, and 350,000 gallons of water.

Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board (Fulton County)

Faced with a malfunction that produced greenhouse gas leaks, sapped efficiency, and posed a potential explosion risk, the board chose a non-conventional solution. It constructed a new dual-membrane cover to replace a defective cover for a unit known as an anaerobic digester (which breaks down organic materials into methane and other gases), marking the first application of this technology in the state. The result: Dangerous conditions were eliminated, greenhouse gas emissions were reduced, and expenses for electricity declined 26%.

The Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Chapter

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) developed the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program aimed at detecting, eradicating, and managing infestations of invasive plants. Working with state agencies, other nonprofit groups, academic groups, and volunteers, TNC has made presentations, developed public-service publications, produced videos, and made other efforts to spread the news about the dangers of invasive species. Volunteers also have served as monitors for 182 waterways and have eradicated tons of garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, purple loosestrife, and other invaders from Adirondack roadsides.

IBM East Fishkill (Dutchess County)

Despite not being legally obligated to do so, the IBM semi-conductor plant put on line a new wastewater treatment system that reduced the discharge of nitrates by 67%. Using a distillation process, the new system recovers and recycles ammonia-laden wastewater, which directly reduces the amount of ammonium hydroxide and nitrates produced at the plant.

Koch Foods to Pay Penalty for Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Violations

Koch Foods in Fairfield, Ohio, has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty after it failed to meet Ohio EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements.

TRI is a database that contains information about specific toxic chemical releases, transfers, waste management, and pollution prevention activities from manufacturing facilities throughout the United States.


If companies meet certain requirements, they must file TRI reports annually. Koch Foods, which processes various meat food products, uses ammonia, glycol ethers, and nitric acid. The company did not file its reports or pay the required fees on time for 2004 and 2005. The reports and fees were submitted in June 2007.

Of the $10,000 penalty, $8,000 will go to Ohio EPA’s Division of Air Pollution Control to administer air pollution control programs; the remaining $2,000 will go to Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus Fund.

Paper Mill Signs on to Partnership Project That Will Measure Environmental Footprint

How does an industrial facility measure its impact on the surrounding community? Additionally, with a voluntary commitment to sustainable practices, can the same industrial facility improve its environmental, economic, and social “footprint” over time?

These are the questions Washington’s Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Port Townsend Paper Corp. (PTPC) will explore under a new partnership called the “Industrial Footprint Project.” The Port Townsend, Wash., mill has volunteered, along with four other pulp and paper mills in the state, to provide baseline data to Ecology on a range of environmental, economic, and social indicators.

Stakeholders, the participating mills, and Ecology will use the data to create a scoring system to establish a “footprint” measurement for each facility. The footprint will serve as a baseline to help companies set targets for improvement over time.

“Ecology is pleased that Port Townsend Paper has volunteered for this project,” said Laurie Davies, manager of Ecology’s Solid Waste and Financial Assurance Program.

“We are excited to be on the cutting-edge of our industry in terms of going beyond compliance to evaluate and track environmental, social, and economic indicators,” said John Begley, president and CEO of PTPC.

Environmental data to be collected includes waste streams, recycling, emissions, water consumption, and the purchase of raw materials. One part of the project will be a carbon challenge—asking each facility to voluntarily reduce or improve the efficiency of purchased fuel and electricity usage. On the economic side, some data analyzed will include jobs provided and the costs of goods and services. Social indicators may include community involvement, health and safety records, or good neighbor efforts.

“The goal of this project is to develop indicators that measure sustainability practices at these facilities. We hope the project will help us improve the way we do business,” said Davies.

The Port Townsend Paper family of companies employs about 800 people in Washington and Canada and produces more than 320,000 tons of unbleached kraft pulp, paper, and linerboard annually at its mill in Port Townsend. The Port Townsend mill has 315 employees and generates 99.9% of its own energy at an on-site power plant—with 78% of that energy coming from biomass fuels. PTPC also manufactures approximately 1.8 billion square feet of corrugated products each year at its three Crown Packaging plants, two BoxMaster plants, and one TekPac Packaging plant in British Columbia and Alberta.

Four other pulp and paper mills also joined Washington State’s Department of Ecology in similar partnerships in 2007.

$1.6 Million Settlement for Rochester Hazardous Waste Site

On Jan. 16, 2008, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced a settlement with eight private and public entities requiring them to reimburse the State of New York nearly $1.6 million for costs from the cleanup of the Rochester Fire Academy, a hazardous waste site in Monroe County. The eight entities, including Bausch & Lomb, DuPont, Eastman Kodak, and Xerox, disposed of hazardous waste at the site from 1954 to 1980.

“My office will hold all polluters—even the nation’s largest corporations—accountable when they contaminate New York State. By recovering the costs from the cleanup of the Rochester Fire Academy site, this settlement will help our state rehabilitate other hazardous areas,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “The settlement we achieved finally puts to rest a debt long owed to the State of New York. The dangerous pollutants that put the community at risk have been removed and now those responsible have paid the price.”

The 18-acre Rochester Fire Academy site was opened on Scottsville Road in Rochester in 1954 to train firefighters to combat a range of hazards. During its operation, private and public entities in the area sent waste solvents, petroleum products, and other flammable substances to the site for use in training exercises. In 1980 and 1981, sampling conducted at the request of the DEC found high levels of toxic chemicals, including lead and cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), contaminating soil and groundwater at the site.

As a result of this contamination, the DEC listed the Fire Academy as a hazardous waste site under New York State’s Superfund program. The DEC determined that the site posed a significant threat to public health and the environment and required cleanup. The City of Rochester, with partial funding from the Superfund program and working cooperatively with the DEC, cleaned up the site by removing polluted soil and treating contaminated groundwater.

The Attorney General’s office and the DEC joined forces to track down the parties that had sent hazardous waste to the Fire Academy site for use in firefighter training. On Nov. 15, 2005, the Attorney General’s office sued eight private and public entities who sent waste to the site—Bausch & Lomb, E.I. du Pont de Nemours, Eastman Kodak Company, Xerox Corporation, Chloride Power Electronics, Rochester Gas & Electric, The University of Rochester, and Monroe County—for their liability under federal and state hazardous waste laws to reimburse the state for the cleanup costs it incurred at the site. The settlement announced today by the Attorney General ends that lawsuit and requires the eight entities to collectively reimburse New York State $1.57 million.

The funds will be paid as required by a federal consent decree entered by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. Money collected in the settlement will be deposited in the State Superfund, where it will be used to help fund cleanups at other contaminated sites. Under DEC oversight, the City of Rochester continues to monitor the Rochester Fire Academy site for pollution impacts.

DOE Offers $30 Million for Developing Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles

The PHEVs must be able to travel at least 10 miles using only their electric drives, although DOE would prefer vehicles that come closer to achieving the goal of a 40-mile electric range. The vehicles must be comparable to current production vehicles in terms of emissions, safety, comfort, and performance, and the projects must either involve a high-volume vehicle manufacturer or a company with the capability of producing vehicles in high volumes.

The selected projects are intended to address many of the critical barriers to achieving DOE’s goal of making PHEVs cost-competitive by 2014 and ready for commercialization by 2016. PHEVs with a 40-mile electric range would satisfy about 70% of all the average daily travel in the United States. DOE will fund up to half the cost of the selected projects, providing $7 million in fiscal year 2008 and an additional $23 million in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, subject to congressional appropriations. The first round of applications is due on February 13, and a second round will be due on April 30.

Detroit Auto Show Features New Hybrid and Diesel Models

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), which just wrapped up in Detroit, Mich., featured not only next-generation plug-in hybrids and electric and fuel cell vehicles, but also fuel-efficient hybrid and diesel models that may soon hit showroom floors. The Saturn division of General Motors Corporation unveiled the 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode hybrid, which will go on sale later this year. The SUV will be the first front-wheel-drive vehicle to incorporate GM’s two-mode hybrid system, combining two small electric motors into an advanced transmission. Featuring a V-6 direct-injection engine, the new hybrid SUV is expected to achieve a 50% increase in fuel economy over the non-hybrid version. In contrast, the current Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid features a simpler motor/generator and achieves only a 20% improvement in fuel economy over the non-hybrid version. The Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode will accelerate to 60 miles per hour in about 7.3 seconds and can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while meeting strict California emissions standards.

Honda displayed its fuel cell vehicle and the CR-Z hybrid sports car concept that was first unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show. Honda President Takeo Fukui did, however, announce that Honda plans to introduce a future hybrid sports model based on the CR-Z concept. According to Fukui, Honda will also introduce a new hybrid small car next year, featuring a newly developed hybrid system that is more lightweight and compact. Honda expects the new hybrid to achieve a high fuel economy at a more affordable price.

Like many other automakers, Honda is also shifting toward clean diesel engines that take advantage of the ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel that is now available throughout the United States. Honda announced that it will incorporate a turbo-charged clean diesel engine in an Acura model next year. Toyota is following suit, including a note in its plug-in hybrid announcement, with plans to soon offer a clean diesel V8 in its Tundra pickups and Sequoia SUVs. Meanwhile, Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz is looking toward the future. The company unveiled two versions of a compact SUV concept, each powered by a four-cylinder clean diesel engine, as well as a diesel hybrid concept and a gasoline hybrid concept.

Drilling Complete on Australian Hot Dry Rock Project


Hot dry rock technology was invented to draw energy from deep underground areas where geothermal heat is abundant, but no water exists to carry the heat to the surface. To tap the energy in this hot dry rock, a well is drilled into it and water is injected at high pressure, forming fissures in the rock to create a geothermal “reservoir” consisting of water-impregnated fractured rock. At least one “production” well is then drilled into the reservoir to draw the hot water back to the surface. A completed facility would direct the hot fluid from the production well to a power plant, which would extract the heat from it to produce power, after which the cooled fluid would be injected back into the ground.

Geodynamics has been trying for years to establish a geothermal reservoir deep below the surface of the Australian outback. The company successfully completed its first well, Habanero 1, back in 2003 and established a reservoir late that year, but suffered multiple problems drilling its first production well, Habanero 2, which was eventually abandoned. The company began drilling its new production well, Habanero 3, in mid-August 2007, but encountered problems by late October and suspended drilling. Drilling resumed in late November and proceeded until the drilling was finished on January 22. The well first intersected the fracture zone at a depth of 13,716 feet, at which time a hydraulic connection was established between Habanero 1 and 3. Drilling then continued to the target depth of 13,850 feet.

All that remains for the well’s completion is to insert a liner into the well to maintain its integrity and then add the valves and piping needed to control the well. At that point, the company will be able to perform flow testing on the reservoir to confirm that the two wells can produce hot geothermal fluid at the temperature and flow rate needed to sustain a geothermal power plant.

California Urges EPA to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Industrial Equipment


“Millions of industrial machines in mines, on farms, and construction sites spew massive quantities of unregulated greenhouse gas pollution,” Attorney General Brown said. “The EPA has not regulated the emissions from these vehicles and engines—just like it has failed to curb greenhouse gases from cars, ocean-going vessels, and aircraft.”

Among the wide range of non-road vehicles and engines that the EPA is authorized to regulate are the following: construction and farm machinery, logging equipment, outdoor power equipment, recreational vehicles, lawn and garden equipment, marine vessels, aircraft, and locomotives. Attorney General Brown recently filed separate petitions to the EPA calling for aircraft and ocean-going vessel regulations. Locomotives are excluded from today’s petition because regulating train emissions involves different technological and legal issues.

The engines and vehicles cited in the petition emitted 220 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2007—an amount equivalent to the emissions from 40 million cars. Mining and construction equipment accounted for 32% of these emissions, followed by agricultural and industrial equipment. According to the California Air Resources Board, there are approximately 17.8 million of these machines and engines in California.

According to EPA data, the emissions from snowmobiles, golf carts, riding lawn mowers, agricultural equipment, and off-road vehicles are growing at a faster rate, 49% between 1990 and 2005, than greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles or aircraft. These vehicles emit more greenhouse gases than all domestic aircraft.

California asserts that the U.S. EPA has the authority and duty to adopt national greenhouse gas emissions standards for the entire sector of non-road engines and vehicles. California is petitioning the EPA to:

  • Make a determination that greenhouse gas emissions from non-road sources contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health and welfare.
  • Adopt greenhouse gas emissions standards, under Section 213 of the Clean Air Act, for new non-road vehicles and engines.
  • Adopt the regulations that are necessary to carry out these emissions limits.

Other states, government agencies, and national environmental organizations that are joining California in petitioning the EPA today include: Connecticut, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Jersey, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the International Center for Technology Assessment, Center for Food Safety, and Friends of the Earth.

There is a wide range of technologies and operational procedures that can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Auxiliary power units reduce the need for idling engines to heat or cool vehicle cabs.
  • Electrification and hybrid technology can increase efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reflective paint on trucks and truck cabs can reduce the use of air conditioning.
  • Low-carbon fuels, low viscosity lubricants, and onboard oil purification systems can improve engine efficiency.
  • Alternative air conditioning equipment and refrigerants can curb greenhouse gases.
  • Lighter body materials improve the efficiency of off-road vehicles and power boats.

In 2006, California adopted the groundbreaking Global Warming Solutions Act, AB 32, which requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020—approximately a 25% reduction. To date, the EPA has failed to issue any regulations covering greenhouse gas emissions. The agency has also blocked California’s attempt to set automobile greenhouse gas emissions standards.

Two Men Indicted for Dumping Biodiesel Waste


The investigation began October 2007, when an anonymous call was received by the Missouri Department of Conservation stating that a tanker truck was observed backed up and discharging its contents into Belle Fountain Ditch in Hermondale, Mo. Upon arrival, state and federal emergency responders found that an undetermined amount of decomposing glycerin that had been generated from Natural Biodiesel Plant LLC was released into the Belle Fountain Ditch. Approximately 100,000 fish and other aquatic life were killed.

A federal indictment, filed Jan. 9, 2008, alleges that James Raulerson and James Raulerson Farms knowingly discharged or caused to be discharged pollutants, namely glycerin, methanol, and oil into the Belle Fountain Ditch, a water of the United States.

EPA Region 7 Administrator John B. Askew said, “EPA supports the growth of the renewable fuels industry, however, workers need to be environmentally responsible. EPA will take whatever steps are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act.”

EPA hopes these actions will result in greater compliance and improved water quality by sending a clear message about the importance of protecting our nation’s waters.

Fortune 500 Corporations Surpass EPA Green Power Goals

 These purchases surpassed the goals set by EPA’s Green Power Partnership and equal the avoided carbon dioxide emissions of more than 570 million gallons of gasoline each year or the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly 670,000 average American homes annually.

“EPA applauds our Fortune 500 partners for protecting our environment by purchasing green power,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “By voluntarily shifting to renewable energy, EPA’s environmental partners are proving you don’t need to wait for a signal in order to go green.”

Intel Corporation now leads the nation among EPA Green Power Partners as the top buyer with a purchase of 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours per year. PepsiCo is second, followed by Wells Fargo & Company, Whole Foods Market, The Pepsi Bottling Group, and Johnson & Johnson. Cisco Systems and Kohl’s Department Stores recently made sizable purchase increases to place them at seventh and eighth on the list, respectively. Rounding out the top ten green power purchases are Starbucks and DuPont Company.

EPA’s Green Power Partnership works with more than 850 partner organizations to buy green power voluntarily as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use and to support the development of new, renewable generation resources nationwide. Overall, EPA Green Power Partners are buying more than 13 billion kWh of green power annually.

Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and biogas, as well as low-impact hydropower. Green power resources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies and produce no net increase to greenhouse gas emissions.

Below is the final ranking of EPA’s Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge, listed in descending order of purchase size.


Partner Organization

Green Power


Intel Corporation






Wells Fargo & Company



Whole Foods Market



The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc.



Johnson & Johnson



Cisco Systems, Inc.



Kohl’s Department Stores






DuPont Company






IBM Corporation



Office Depot



Safeway Inc.



Sprint Nextel






Nike, Inc.



FedEx Kinko’s






Advanced Micro Devices / Austin, TX Facilities






The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. / Operations


23 (tie)

Liz Claiborne, Inc. / NJ Corporate Headquarters


23 (tie)

Lockheed Martin Corporate Headquarters Buildings


23 (tie)

State Street Corporation



Baxter International Inc.



Applied Materials, Inc.



GE Healthcare / Headquarters



ARAMARK Parks & Resorts



General Motors / Service Parts Operations



Dell, Inc.



Macy’s, Inc. West Division



State Farm / Austin Operations Center



Apple Computers / Austin, TX Facilities



The Coca-Cola Company



Oracle Corporation / Austin Facility



United Parcel Service (UPS) / 4 CA Facilities


38 (tie)

Pitney Bowes


38 (tie)

Raytheon / Aurora, CO



Roche / Palo Alto & Pleasanton Sites



Lockheed Martin / Palo Alto Facilities


42 (tie)

Agilent Technologies / Santa Clara location


42 (tie)

Yahoo! Inc. / Santa Clara Sites



Time Warner Cable - Central Texas



FedEx Express / Oakland Hub Facility



3M / Austin, TX Facilities



GE Healthcare Technologies - Surgery



Autoliv / Ogden Facility



GE Money - Corporate Payment Services



Monsanto / Agracetus Campus



John Deere Co. / Dallas, TX Facility



Lockheed Martin / Plant 1 - Sunnyvale, CA



GE Energy / Inspection & Repair Services


EPA has also announced an update to its other Top Partner lists, including its National Top 25 list, which includes 11 Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge partners. The U.S. Air Force moved back up to No. 3 nationally. HSBC North America jumped to the 10th spot, by recently increasing its green power purchase to 300 million kilowatt hours per year. New to the National Top 25 list are two Texas cities—the City of Dallas at No. 9 and the City of Houston at No. 12.

Supermarket Chains in New England Join EPA’s GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership

Two supermarket chains have joined with EPA to show that protecting the stratospheric ozone layer is cool—literally. 

EPA and the supermarket, refrigeration equipment, and chemical refrigerant industries launched the new GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership—a voluntary program to promote green technologies, strategies, and practices that protect the stratospheric ozone layer, reduce greenhouse gases, and save money.

Whole Foods and Hannaford Brothers are two of the ten founding partners nationwide who have pledged to go above and beyond regulatory requirements by establishing an inventory of current refrigerant emissions that may affect climate change and the stratospheric ozone layer, and then setting reduction targets for these emissions. Partners will also participate in an industry/government research initiative to assess the performance of cutting edge “green” technologies in terms of energy efficiency, reduction of ozone-depleting refrigerant charges, and minimization of refrigerant leaks.


To counteract the depletion of stratospheric ozone, which protects earth’s citizens from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, partners guarantee to use only ozone-friendly alternatives and advanced refrigeration technologies in all new and remodeled stores.

EPA believes that GreenChill partners’ adoption of advanced refrigeration technologies will lead to increased energy efficiency and reduce operating expenses to the industry by more than $12 million annually.

EPA Rule Covers CRT Recycling In and Out of the United States

Recycled televisions and computer monitors, known as cathode ray tubes (CRTs), often end up in another country as unusable and broken. That can be a problem because CRTs contain hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium, and mercury. An EPA goal is to make sure that the destination-country is aware that the recycled materials are on their way.

January 29 was the one-year anniversary of the CRT Rule in the United States, which is intended to encourage recycling and reuse of CRTs and CRT glass. The rule requires that recyclers notify EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., when they plan to export used and broken CRTs. EPA will then notify the receiving country of the shipment. However, if the CRTs are intact, instead of broken, and destined for reuse, the recycler must send a one-time notification to EPA before exportation. In this case, there is no requirement to notify the receiving country.

The exporter must keep copies of the normal business records of these exports for three years. Persons and businesses that fail to meet one or more of the conditions of the CRT Rule may be subject to enforcement action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The CRT Rule also covers recycling in the United States. In many cases, the recycler will disassemble the CRTs for its glass, lead, or plastic components. The rule exempts CRTs from all hazardous waste requirements, if the recycler complies with certain conditions for packaging, labeling, and storage. So, in general, the CRT Rule makes it easier to recycle CRTs than if the CRTs had to be handled as hazardous waste.

The rule does not affect households or non-residential generators of less than 100 kilograms (about 220 pounds) of hazardous waste in a calendar month.

By implementing the CRT Rule, EPA has encouraged the recycling of used CRTs and CRT glass, which is more beneficial to the environment than disposal. Through the CRT Rule, EPA is streamlining hazardous waste management requirements for CRT tubes and glass.

The proper recycling of CRTs preserves landfill space, saves energy and conserves resources, allows the recovered glass to be reused in other ways, and reduces the amount of leaded glass in landfills. The lower energy consumption achieved through CRT recycling also lowers the emission of GreenHouse Gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere, a major contributor to global warming.

Televisions and computer monitors represent the bulk of the universe of CRTs. While the precise number of CRTs is not known, there are millions of CRTs entering the waste stream each year. In 2005, approximately 80% to 85% of discarded CRTs ended up in landfills. Because CRTs contain on average four pounds of lead, in addition to other toxic materials such as brominated flame retardants, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic, proper recycling of CRTs avoids the possible release of these toxics into the environment.


Waste Oil Recycling Facility Fined for PCB Violations

EPA issued a $42,075 penalty against a New Haven, Conn., waste oil recycling facility for violating federal regulations covering the storage and handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Active Oil, Inc., has a permit, issued by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, to recycle waste oil. Its permit requires that all waste oil accepted by the facility be sampled for the purpose of identifying any contamination, including PCBs. It is illegal to recycle waste oil containing PCBs at concentrations of 50 parts per million or greater.

In December 2003, Active Oil accepted a shipment of waste oil without sampling it before placing it into one of its receiving tanks. This resulted in the failure to detect PCB contamination that was present in the waste oil. The contamination eventually spread to all three of the facility’s receiving tanks and to its bulk storage tank because the tanks are interconnected. Some of the contaminated waste oil was subsequently loaded by Active Oil onto another company’s truck as part of a commercial transaction.

The entire facility had to shut down for a significant period of time to address the contamination in its tanks. Active Oils’ acceptance of the PCB-contaminated waste oil with PCB concentrations in excess of 50 parts per million caused it to violate the PCB storage requirements. Facilities that store PCB waste must obtain EPA approval. Also, loading the PCB-contaminated waste oil onto another company’s tank truck as part of a commercial transaction constitutes an illegal distribution of PCBs.

Active Oil has since remedied the PCB contamination at its facility and is no longer in violation of the federal PCB regulations.

“All waste oil recycling facilities should be careful to ensure that the waste oil they accept does not contain PCBs,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “Federal PCB regulations help ensure that companies handling PCBs protect their employees, the public, and the environment from exposure.”

PCBs are persistent in the environment and are suspected carcinogens. Exposure to PCBs can cause liver problems and skin rashes.


EPA Orders Bali Hai Villas Ltd. to Correct Stormwater Violations on Kauai

EPA ordered Bali Hai Villas Ltd. to comply with Clean Water Act requirements at its residential construction project in Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii. The company failed to implement stormwater pollution controls outlined in its stormwater permit at the Princeville area construction site.

“This company was previously cited for similar issues at the site and should have taken action to follow through with improved stormwater management measures,” said Alexis Strauss, Water Division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Stormwater discharges from construction projects must have pollution controls in place as erosion and sedimentation causes severe pollution problems for our coastal waters and coral reefs.”

In September 2007, EPA inspectors found the company had failed to install adequate control measures to prevent soil-filled and sediment-filled stormwater from running off the site. Specifically, the inspectors cited deficiencies with the site’s sediment tra