For registrants not qualifying as a small business or not-for-profit organization, DOT is proposing to increase the fee to $1,975 (plus a $25 administrative fee) for registration year 2007-2008 and increase the fee to $2,975 (plus a $25 administrative fee) for registration year 2008-2009 and following years. The fee increase is necessary to fund the national Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grants program at approximately $28,000,000 in accordance with the Administration's Fiscal Year 2007 budget proposal to Congress. PHMSA is also proposing to eliminate the expedited telephonic registration option. Because the number of telephone registrations has steadily decreased with the addition of the internet registration option, the DOT believes that this registration option is no longer necessary.
EPA Revises RQs for Carbamate Hazardous Wastes
All of the substances are listed as hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
States Issue Model Regulations to Reduce Global Warming
New Jersey Department of Environmental Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson and New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Jeanne M. Fox announced that New Jersey and six other states have released a set of model regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants. New Jersey is a participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cooperative effort by Northeastern states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions - a greenhouse gas that causes global warming.
The regulations establish a mandatory cap-and-trade program to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants, the first such program of its kind in U.S. history. The program relies on a market-based approach to curb power plant emissions, while at the same time promoting energy efficiency.
"Global warming is one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time," said Commissioner Jackson. "This market-based strategy will serve as a national model for reducing greenhouse gas pollution."
"This regional approach will put us on a path to address our contribution to global warming in a way that will help to expand economic growth in our state and make us more economically competitive. The more wisely we generate and use electricity, the better our competitive position," said President Fox. "Together with our fellow Northeast states, we will have a compounded impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by generating more energy with clean and renewable fuels and by using energy more efficiently in our homes and businesses."
In December 2005, the governors of seven states (New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine) reached a landmark agreement outlining the key components of a program to address global warming. The agreement established under RGGI specified that the states would work to create draft regulations, which would be subject to public meetings and a 60-day comment period. The model set of regulations reflects and incorporates many of the comments received. New Jersey will use the model rule as a starting point for writing its own regulations to implement the program.
Under the plan, regional CO2 emissions from power plants will be capped at 121 million tons per year beginning in 2009 through 2015 (a level approximately equal to 1990 emissions), and will be reduced to 10% below this level by 2019.
The cap-and-trade program established under the model rules sets limits on power plant emissions across the region, but does not restrict the emissions of any single power plant. A power plant must hold an emissions credit, known as an "allowance," to cover each ton of its emissions. It can purchase more allowances to cover more emissions, but since the number of allowances is fixed, there are fewer allowances remaining to cover other plants' emissions. As a result, emissions from plants across the entire region cannot exceed the regional cap.
The program outlined in the model regulations provides additional flexibility by allowing power companies to meet some reduction requirements through the use of offset credits, which represent approved emissions reductions achieved outside the electric sector. Examples of offset credits include energy efficiency measures to reduce natural gas consumption in the building sector and the capture of methane from landfills.
Under this mechanism, electric generators would purchase these allowances, and the funds generated would be used to support additional energy efficiency, clean energy technology investments and consumer rebates to protect low-income consumers. New Jersey has stated its intention to dedicate a significantly larger portion of allowances to support consumer benefits.
These regulations and New Jersey's participation in RGGI reflect New Jersey's ongoing commitment to improve air quality and reduce pollution. In December 2005, New Jersey adopted new rules to reduce ozone, fine particles and toxic air pollution by establishing new, cleaner vehicle emission standards. The vehicle emission rules adopt the California low emission vehicle standards for CO2, and apply them to new vehicles delivered for sale in New Jersey starting Jan. 1, 2009.
Washington Announces Recycling Fees for Electronic Products
These services are to be provided to households, small businesses, small local governments, charities and school districts. Electronic products to be included are televisions, computers, computer monitors and laptop and portable computers.
The Department of Ecology (Ecology) recently announced draft fees that electronic manufacturers must pay to satisfy the requirements of the law.
The agency is starting phase two of its electronic product recycling rule development. The first two issues to be addressed are processor performance standards and electronic product recycling plans.
On August 31 Ecology will host one conference call for each issue: 8:30 to 10 AM processor performance standards; 11:00 am to 12:30 pm electronic product recycling plans. Anyone who is interested is invited to join the conference call.
Pesticide Container and Containment Rule
EPA is required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act to promulgate regulations prescribing procedures and standards for container design and the removal of pesticides from containers prior to disposal. Information on this page will help registrants, refillers, retailers, commercial applicators and custom blenders to comply with the requirements of this rule.
The final regulations include five sections, which are described below:
- Nonrefillable Containers: This section addresses "one-way" or disposable containers and applies to pesticide registrants. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize human exposure during container handling and facilitate container disposal and recycling.
- Refillable Containers: This section applies to containers that are intended to be refilled and reused more than once and applies to pesticide registrants. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.
- Repackaging: This section, which describes procedures and other safeguards for repackaging pesticide into refillable containers, applies to pesticide registrants and anyone who refills pesticide containers for sale (registrants, formulators, distributors and dealers). These regulations are intended to minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, codify safe refilling management practices and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.
- Labeling: The labeling segment includes instructions for how to properly clean pesticide containers and a statement identifying the container as nonrefillable or refillable. Pesticide registrants are required to ensure that labels include the specified information. Pesticide users are required to comply with the instructions on the labels.
- Containment Structures: This section establishes standards for secondary containment structures at certain bulk storage sites and for containment pads at certain pesticide dispensing operations. Pesticide dealers who repackage pesticides, commercial applicators and custom blenders have to comply with the requirements. The purpose of these standards is to protect the environment from leaks and spills at bulk storage areas and from contamination due to pesticide dispensing operations.
Water Quality Trading Training Workshop
The Environmental Trading Network (ETN) is hosting a training workshop on water quality trading on Aug. 22-24 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The goal of the workshop is to explore and develop a workable trading framework that could be adapted for application in the Ohio River Basin. Nationally and internationally recognized experts will provide participants training on basic principles underlying market-based approaches, practical criteria for design and evaluation of market-based programs that advance water quality improvements, EPA's trading policies, up-to-date tools for design and implementation of trading programs, and case examples of existing trading programs. U.S. EPA provided grant funds to support this training.
EPA Cites Mittal Steel for Clean Air Act Violations
EPA Region 5 cited Mittal Steel USA Inc. for alleged clean-air violations at the company's steel mill in Burns Harbor, Ind.
EPA alleges that in 1994, Mittal modified a coke oven battery, resulting in a significant increase in sulfur dioxide emissions, without getting a state permit that would have required the best available technology to control the emissions.
"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. Mittal has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.
Exposure to sulfur dioxide can impair breathing, aggravate existing respiratory diseases like bronchitis and reduce the ability of the lungs to clear foreign particles. Sulfur dioxide can cause acid rain and contribute to fine particle pollution. Children, the elderly and people with heart and lung conditions are the most sensitive to sulfur dioxide.
New Energy Performance Standards Will Lead to Better Plant Efficiency
EPA published its first energy efficiency ratings for corn refineries and cement plants. The ratings will enable those industries to cut energy usage, save money and prevent greenhouse gases.
The plant energy performance indicators (EPIs) made available by EPA as part of a national energy performance rating system are the first of their kind for these manufacturing facilities. They provide critical information for driving energy savings by enabling the comparison of energy efficiency for a specific facility in the United States to that of the entire industry.
"By making smart energy choices, millions of Americans are saving billions each year," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "President Bush and EPA are improving our nation's environmental and energy outlook, in part, by offering leading U.S. industries efficiency solutions that make sense for our environment and their bottom lines."
U.S. cement manufacturers and corn refiners spend more than $2 billion annually for 626 trillion british thermal units of energy. If energy use for both of these industries was reduced by 3%, the energy saved could produce electricity for 187,000 households - preventing the emissions of more than 3 billion pounds of greenhouse gases.
Based on the input of simple plant-level information, the energy efficiency of cement plants and corn refineries is scored from 1 to 100 and compared to the average and "efficient" plants in the industry. In order to receive an efficient rating, a plant must achieve a score of 75 or better. Now, corporate energy directors can establish meaningful goals for reducing energy use in these plants and better manage their companies' energy costs.
EPA worked with the cement and corn refining industries to develop Energy Star plant energy performance indicators. The performance indicators measure an entire plant's energy use, a critical step in strategic energy management. The indicators enable companies to determine how efficiently each plant is using energy as compared to the industry as a whole, and whether better energy performance could be expected.
EPA works closely with manufacturing industries to promote effective energy management and provides tools and assistance necessary to reduce energy use. Many participating companies have reported substantial environmental, cost and energy savings while receiving recognition for their leadership.
EPA conducts focuses for the motor vehicle, food processing, glass, petroleum refining, cement, corn refining, and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries along with a separate focus for the water and wastewater treatment facilities operated by local governments and sanitary service companies. An EPI for automobile assembly plants was released in 2005. All EPIs can be downloaded from the Energy Star web site.
Energy Star is a voluntary, market-based partnership designed to offer business and consumers effective energy efficiency solutions for saving energy, money and the environment. In 2005, Americans with the help of Energy Star saved about $12 billion on their energy bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 23 million cars.
$2.57 Million Penalty for Oil Spill
The Department of Justice reached a settlement with Mid-Valley Pipeline Company (Mid-Valley) and pipeline operator Sunoco Pipeline L.P. (SPLP), requiring the companies to pay a $2.57 million penalty relating to a January 2005 spill that dumped more than 260,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers.
The complaint and consent decree also address the government’s claim under the Clean Water Act against Mid-Valley and the pipeline operator, Sun Pipe Line Company (Sun), for the spill of 63,000 gallons of crude oil due to pipeline corrosion on Nov. 24, 2000, into Campit Lake in Claiborne Parish, La. The settlement requires Mid-Valley and Sun to pay a federal civil penalty of $300,000 for that spill.
The consent decree, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, represents the combined efforts of both the U.S. and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which is party to the settlement.
“Today’s agreement demonstrates the Justice Department’s on-going efforts along with other federal and state agencies, to enforce our environmental laws,” said Sue Ellen Wooldridge, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division. “The spill in the Kentucky River was serious, and today’s settlement will ensure that the defendants are being held responsible for their actions.”
“This settlement underscores the commitment of both the Environmental Protection Agency and our state partners to maintain an aggressive enforcement program that protects human health and the environment,” said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Regional Administrator. “This joint effort shows once again that, working together, we can achieve decisive, and very effective, results.”
Mid-Valley and SPLP will pay $1.4 million to the United States, and $1.17 million to Kentucky in penalties for the Kentucky spill. In addition, Mid-Valley and SPLP will perform measures to enhance future spill response preparation, and will reimburse the commonwealth for response costs of more than $120,000. The defendants have already reimbursed federal response costs of at least $234,000. The settlement also requires Mid-Valley and SPLP to donate $230,000 to a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the environment of Kentucky.
The spill in Kentucky from the Mid-Valley Pipeline occurred on January 26, 2005, as a result of a girth weld failure in 22-inch diameter pipe that had been laid in 1950. The oil spill harmed hundreds of migratory waterfowl. The oil slick was over 17 miles long and reached the Ohio River.
The settlement resolves claims asserted in the complaint – filed jointly with the consent decree – pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act and the Kentucky environmental law. This settlement is in addition to the approximately $9.5 million defendants spent on their response action to clean up the Kentucky spill. The Clean Water Act makes it unlawful to “discharge oil or any hazardous substances into or upon the navigable waters of the United States [or] adjoining shorelines” and makes owners, operators, or any person in charge of onshore oil facilities which illegally discharge oil or hazardous waste liable for civil penalties.
The $300,000 penalty for the Louisiana spill is in addition to the $2.2 million spent by the defendants in response costs and restoration, and to the over $26,000 reimbursed for federal response costs.
The penalty money paid to the United States for these spills will be deposited in the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
Federal Court Backs States in Power Plant Pollution Case
A federal appeals court in Chicago agreed with New York and other states that the Clean Air Act requires coal-fired power plants to install pollution controls when plant modifications result in increased pollution emissions. This decision gives a major boost to eastern states’ efforts to reduce air pollution from power plants in the Midwest.
In a case brought by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, other state attorneys general and the federal government against the Cinergy Corporation of Ohio, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit unanimously ruled that air pollution must be measured based on yearly power plant emissions rather than the hourly rate of pollution - as the company contended. The court, in an opinion authored by Judge Richard Posner, found that Cinergy’s interpretation would "open a loophole that would allow pollution to soar unregulated."
"This is a resounding environmental and public health victory," Attorney General Spitzer said. "New York has been especially hard hit by the devastating impacts of dirty air. Acid rain has damaged our lakes and streams, while scores of children suffer from asthma attacks every day. Today’s decision squarely rejects the arguments made by the coal plant owners to delay the installation of pollution controls necessary to save lives and clean up the environment."
At issue in the case is the New Source Review provision of the Clean Air Act, which requires power plants and manufacturing facilities to install modern pollution reduction controls whenever they modify their plants in a way that increases air pollution. Attorney General Spitzer has sued the owners of coal-fired power plants in six states who have violated the law by not upgrading their pollution controls. In response, the federal government has attempted to relax clean air standards and a coalition of attorneys general has successfully litigated to protect the integrity of the Clean Air Act in court.
New York sued Cinergy in 2001 after Cinergy walked away from an agreement with the federal and state governments that would have required the company to slash air pollution from 10 coal-fired power plants in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. One of Cinergy’s responses to the lawsuit was that its air pollution should be measured based on the speed of the emissions rather than the actual increase in pollution. The court strongly rejected Cinergy’s argument.
Peter Iwanowicz, Vice President for the American Lung Association of NY said: "This decision is an important legal as well as public health victory. The decision will assure that power plant operators must cut the unhealthful pollution belched from their smokestacks. This pollution triggers asthma attacks in children, puts the lives of seniors with lung disease at risk and makes it difficult for otherwise healthy New Yorkers to breathe."
Neil F. Woodworth, Executive Director of the Adirondack Mountain Club said: "This critically important legal victory in Attorney General Spitzer’s efforts to get strict enforcement of the Clean Air Act will mean much less acid rain, mercury and smog in New York and the Adirondacks. It will also mean that more polluting coal-burning power plants upwind of New York will have to finally clean up their act."
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Robert Rosenthal, Eugene Kelly, Michael Myers, and Jared Snyder, under the direction of Peter Lehner, chief of the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau.
EPA Cites Sturgis Iron and Metal Hazardous Air Pollutant Violations
EPA Region 5 cited Sturgis Iron and Metal Co. Inc. for alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company’s secondary aluminum production plant in South Bend, Ind.
EPA alleges that Sturgis operated a sweat furnace with an afterburner at the facility without complying with federal testing, planning, notification and recordkeeping requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that the furnace meets emission standards for hazardous dioxins and furans.
Dredging Company Fined $735,000 for Ocean
EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NCAA) recently reached two settlements with San Rafael-based Dutra Dredging Company, requiring the company to pay a combined $735,000 fine for ocean dumping violations.
The company will pay a $450,000 EPA fine and pay NOAA $285,000 to fund projects to protect and restore the natural environment of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
After reviewing trip disposal data, the EPA and NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary discovered that the company leaked or dumped dredged material from its disposal vessels over 200 times from 1999 through 2003, while en route to the EPA’s designated deep ocean disposal site 55 miles offshore of San Francisco in nearly 10,000 feet of water.
“More than 200,000 cubic yards of dredged material were discharged outside legally authorized areas -- much of that in sanctuary waters. Since the violations occurred, we have worked with Dutra to improve monitoring systems to ensure these kinds of violations do not happen again,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “We are especially pleased that a substantial amount of the penalty will directly fund restoration work in the marine sanctuaries.”
“This is an exemplary action of two federal agencies working together toward ocean protection,” said Farallones Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Maria Brown.
The violations occurred during eight U.S. Army Corps of Engineer maintenance projects, where a total of nearly 2.5 million cubic yards of sediment were dredged from navigation channels in Oakland and Richmond Harbors and Bodega Bay, and include:
- 30 instances of disposing more than 86,000 cubic yards of dredged material outside the specified disposal site
- 108 instances of barges seriously leaking during transit – including in sanctuary waters – totaling over 115,000 cubic yards
- One instance of traveling directly through the Farallon Islands disturbance exclusion zone
The dredged material was approved for disposal under the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act and the EPA’s ocean dumping rules, which authorize disposal of dredged material at specific EPA-designated locations.
To reach the disposal site, barges of dredged material must be towed by a tug through portions of the protected waters of the Monterey Bay and the Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries. The EPA and the national marine sanctuaries have strict rules against spilling or leaking mud from barges while en route through the sanctuaries to the disposal site. Barges are also required to stay outside a 3 mile diameter "exclusion zone" around the Farallon Islands to avoid disturbing seabirds and marine mammals that live and feed around the islands.
New Trend Isn't a Fad but a Sea Change for Business
Going above and beyond environmental regulatory requirements may not seem like a cost-saving measure, but 48 facilities in fact have seen real benefits in their bottom line. T
The renewing Performance Track facilities must continue to meet all environmental regulatory requirements even while committing to additional ones. The companies have pledged a wide range of environmental improvements. For example, 38 renewing members have committed to reduce their waste generation over the next three years, 30 facilities plan to reduce energy use, 30 facilities pledge to reduce their water use, and 19 facilities have committed to reduce their air emissions. Additionally, 19 of 48 renewing members chose to implement EPA-defined regional and national environmental priorities (15 selected water use, three selected priority chemicals, and one chose to address greenhouse gases).
The Performance Track participants come from such diverse industries as manufacturers of paper, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals; healthcare organizations; resorts; and government agencies, among others.
The National Environmental Performance Track program recognizes facilities that work with their communities, set three-year goals for continuous improvements in environmental performance beyond regulatory compliance, and have internal systems in place to manage their environmental impacts. Since the program's inception in 2000, Performance Track membership has grown to 400 members in 46 states and Puerto Rico, and those members have made 1,500 commitments to the environment. To date, Performance Track members have collectively reduced their water use by 1.9 billion gallons, conserved nearly 9,000 acres of land and increased their use of recycled materials by nearly 120,000 tons all while saving money and helping to protect the environment.
EPA Helps Bring Clean Energy to Market
Working through one of its premier public-private voluntary programs, EPA and a number of partners joined to launch an innovative clean-energy project that will bring power to more than 2,500 homes in Utah.
EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program has joined forces with Salt Lake City-area partners to launch the Salt Lake Valley Landfill Gas Energy Project. The ribbon-cutting ceremony in Salt Lake City brought together officials from EPA, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Murray City, Murray City Power, DTE Biomass Energy, Landfill Energy Systems (LES), and the Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management Facility to mark the grand opening of this ground-breaking energy project.
“Working with partners in industry as well as state and local governments, EPA is promoting the use of renewable, or green energy – while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” stated Robert E. Roberts, EPA Region 8's regional administrator. “Using methane gas from landfills as an energy source is one way to promote a better environment and energy security.”
DTE Biomass Energy and LES worked cooperatively with Murray City Power and Murray City to develop a project that captures landfill gas from the Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management Facility. This summer, three reciprocating engines were installed that produce three megawatts of clean power. The project will provide enough electricity to power over 2,500 homes in Murray City.
The Salt Lake Valley Landfill Gas Energy Project is the second such project to be launched in Utah. EPA is working with its partners to identify other projects that will provide a clean and secure energy source.
LMOP is a voluntary assistance and partnership program that promotes the use of landfill gas as a renewable, clean energy source. Landfill gas is the natural by-product of the decomposition of solid waste in landfills, and is comprised primarily of carbon dioxide and methane. By preventing emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, through the development of landfill gas energy projects, LMOP helps businesses, states, energy providers, and communities protect the environment and build a sustainable future.
EPA Cites Dow Corning for Air Permit Violations
EPA Region 5 cited Dow Corning Corp. for alleged Clean Air Act violations at two of its production processes at in Midland, Mich.
EPA alleges Dow Corning failed to operate air pollution control devices that restrict emissions of volatile organic compounds and particulates (smoke, dust, ash) in the manner required by its state operating permit and state regulations. In addition, EPA said Dow Corning failed to comply with record-keeping requirements.
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. Dow Corning has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.
Home Construction Company Penalized $13,750 for Wetlands Damage
The MassDEP has penalized John A. Barcelos, Trustee of J.A.N.C. Realty Trust, $13,750 for violations of the Wetland Protection Act on residential property located on North End Boulevard of Salisbury Beach, MA.
The Salisbury Conservation Commission issued approval to the Trust allowing it to build an elevated boardwalk on a private parcel in 2002. MassDEP inspected the work in March 2006 and determined that construction impinged on state-owned property. In addition, two concrete block walls, a fence, a patio block walkway, a paved brick pad and the deposition of brick stone were constructed on the primary frontal dune of the barrier beach; none of those elements had been approved by the local Order of Conditions. Some of the work affected the ability of the dune to function and increased the area of dune erosion.
Coastal dunes serve an important role in storm damage prevention and flood control by supplying sand to coastal beaches. Coastal dunes also protect inland coastal areas from storm damage and flooding from storm-elevated seas. Activities that interfere with or impede the ability of coastal dunes to function can lead to increased vulnerability of inland coastal areas.
Barceolos has now agreed to remedy the violations through restoration of approximately 1,400 square feet of dune and to conduct follow-up monitoring. MassDEP has agreed to suspend $11,250 of the penalty provided compliance is met within one year.
"Anyone working in proximity to a coastal dune, or any coastal resource area, needs to be aware of the dynamic and fragile nature of a coastal dune system, particularly on a barrier beach," said Richard Chalpin, director of MassDEP's Northeast Regional Office in Wilmington. "By going beyond what was originally approved, the activities conducted at this site increased erosion and created a condition of dune instability which increased the potential for other properties to be subject to increased storm damage."
Vermont Issues Multi-sector General Permit
On August 18, Vermont became one of the last states to issue its multi-sector general permit for storm water discharges. The multi-sector general permit is a federally mandated national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit that covers new and existing discharges of stormwater associated with certain types of industrial activity In Vermont.
This general permit protects water quality by requiring that the regulated industrial activities undertaken by both private and municipal entities be conducted in a manner that prevents and minimizes contamination of stormwater runoff. The permit is required by private and municipal industries identified on the MSGP standard industrial classification (SIC) code list that have a stormwater discharge to either a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) or to waters of the state.
Developer Fined $7,500 for Sewer Construction without Approval
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) penalized the developer of a Haverhill residential subdivision $7,500 for commencing construction of a sewer connection prior to receiving permit approval.
Northern Oaks, LLC, which is based in Merrimac, applied to MassDEP in November 2005 for a permit to construct 623 feet of eight-inch sewer, a duplex pump station and 292 feet of four-inch force main. Within three weeks, MassDEP notified the company not to commence construction without a valid permit. An inspection by MassDEP in late December 2005 noted, however, that work on the sewer connection had begun.
"MassDEP's role in regulating wastewater and sewer connections serves as an important check not only in controlling the flow within a larger system, but also ensures that the proper safety measures are in place," said Richard Chalpin, director of MassDEP's northeast regional office in Wilmington. "Any developer looking to construct a sewer connection and pump station has got to allow a certain amount of time for regulatory oversight during the planning and design phase."
MassDEP continued to review the company's permit application and has since agreed to issue the developer the approval pending compliance with the order. Northern Oaks has agreed to fully comply with conditions within that permit and all other environmental regulations at the site, or face additional penalties.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Issues over $226,000 in Fines during Second Quarter of 2006
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) concluded 35 enforcement cases totaling $226,010 in penalties during the second quarter of 2006. The cases occurred at facilities in 25 counties throughout Minnesota. The following is a brief summary of the 35 cases completed during the second quarter of 2006:
- $35,000, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Soudan State Park, for missing compliance schedule dates from a previous enforcement action.
- $22,500, Key Construction Inc. & Bradburn Wrecking Company Inc., Wichita, Kan., for asbestos violations.
- $19,000, Central Soils Remediation, dba AB Environmental, Belle Plaine, for air quality violations.
- $18,000, High Plains Dairy, Eugene Hoyer, Rice, for feedlot violations.
- $13,871, Smith Foundry, Minneapolis, for air quality violations.
- $12,600, Corn Plus, Winnebago, for above ground storage tank violations.
- $10,000, City of New Ulm and MR Paving, New Ulm, for stormwater violations.
- $10,000, Dean and Richard Khanke, dba Northtown Auto, Mankato, for hazardous waste, solid waste and air quality violations.
- $10,000, Flood Brothers Inc. & Q-Prime, Jordan, for hazardous and solid waste violations.
- $9,000, Little Pine Dairy LLP & Renaissance Dairy LLP, Gorman Township, for feedlot violations.
- $8,100, Geneva Lakeshore Additions; Freeborn Construction Inc., Geneva, for stormwater violations.
- $6,600, HC Holdings, dba Homecrest, Wadena, for hazardous waste violations.
- $6,000, North Koochiching Area Sanitary District, International Falls, for wastewater violations.
- $5,100, Thielen Bros., Eden Valley, for multimedia violations.
- $5,075, Northshore Mining Company, Silver Bay, for air quality violations.
- $4,510, United Taconite LLC, Eveleth, for water quality violations.
- $4,500, Waste Application Systems, Jackson, for feedlot violations.
- $4,320, ABA Water Systems Inc., Plainview, for water quality violations.
- $4,200, Thomas Smith, dba Metropolitan Land & Snow, St. Paul, for solid waste violations.
- $3,848, Cirrus Design Corp., Duluth, for hazardous waste violations.
- $3,725, Gemini Inc., Cannon Falls, for water quality violations.
- $3,500, The Sanctuary LLC, Stillwater, for water quality violations.
- $3,250, Synovis Life Technologies Inc., St. Paul, for hazardous waste violations.
- $2,600, Gary Bridgeford Leasing Company, Clay County, for stormwater violations.
- $2,361, John Seitz, dba Wes' Plumbing and Heating, Bemidji, for individual sewage treatment system violations.
- $2,000, DCCI Land Plannerd Inc., Oak Park Heights, for water quality violations.
- $1,500, Merit Enterprises Inc., Isle, for hazardous waste violations.
- $1,400, Hermantown Molding & Millwork, Hermantown, for hazardous waste violations.
- $1,250, Ainsworth Engineered LLC, Bemidji, for air quality violations.
- $950, Mann Excavating & Trucking Inc., Deer River, for individual sewage treatment system violations.
- $850, Shepard Excavating & Septic Service, Laporte, for individual sewage treatment system violations.
- $850, Schluender Construction Inc., Monticello, for individual sewage treatment system violations.
- $850, Shawn Wageman, Wright & Cass counties, for individual sewage treatment system violations.
- $600, Twin Pines Construction Inc., Benedict, for individual sewage treatment system violations.
- $600, American Crystal Sugar Company, Crookston, for air quality violations.
For questions on specific enforcement cases, contact Stephen Mikkelson, information officer at 218-855-5001, or 1-800-657-3864.
Golf and Swim Club to Pay Record Penalty for Violating Ohio's Drinking Water Regulations
In a case brought by Ohio EPA and Attorney General Jim Petro, a Stark County judge has ordered the owner and operator of Meadowlake Golf and Swim Club in Canton to improve its drinking water system and pay a record $300,000 penalty for intentionally violating Ohio's drinking water regulations.
Stark County Court of Common Pleas Judge Roger Lile sided with the state and ordered defendants Meadowlake Corporation and Meadowlake Ltd., to obtain a public water system license; perform state-mandated monitoring of water quality; inform the public of all violations; and upgrade its well, install approved treatment or connect to an approved drinking water system.
The judgment resolves a five-year legal effort to force Meadowlake to comply with Ohio's drinking water regulations. During that time, Meadowlake repeatedly failed to properly treat and monitor its drinking water and failed to notify the public of its problems.
"Meadowlake ignored Ohio EPA's orders and let its drinking water flow unchecked for too long," said Ohio EPA Director Joe Koncelik. "We hope Judge Lile's ruling results in immediate improvements so that Meadowlake's customers can be assured they are drinking clean water."
Meadowlake's public water system serves patrons of the golf course, swimming pool, restaurant and snack bar. While there is no indication that anyone became ill from drinking the water, some recent water samples tested positive for total coliform bacteria, which may indicate the presence of potentially harmful bacteria. Rigorous treatment, monitoring and reporting are required to ensure a safe drinking water supply.
BFI Waste Systems Fined $32,500 for Violating Radiation Protection Plan
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined BFI Waste Systems $32,500 for violating its radiation protection plan at the company’s Imperial Landfill in Findlay Township, Allegheny County.
“Failure to monitor for radioactive waste is a serious violation that is unacceptable to this department and area residents,” DEP Southwest Regional Director Ken Bowman said.
“What makes this case particularly troublesome is that the department provided instruction and guidance to BFI staff on implementation of the plan,” Bowman said. “That it wasn’t done properly warrants a significant penalty.”
Under state law, a radiation protection action plan (RPAP) must be developed, approved and implemented at all landfills in Pennsylvania to ensure that radioactive materials are identified and disposed of properly.
During a March 8 inspection, DEP staff observed several serious violations, including improperly calibrated monitors, an audio alarm shutdown, improperly completed contamination surveys, undocumented radiation detection events and waste trucks that were permitted to traverse the scale-mounted radiation detection system at speeds too high to effectively detect radioactive materials that might be being hauled.
Only radioactive material that decays rapidly and does not jeopardize human health or the environment may be disposed of at Imperial Landfill.
If vehicle radiation levels exceed predetermined values, the facility operator must ensure that the material is properly identified and returned to the point of origin or disposed of at a licensed low-level radioactive waste facility.
Asphalt and Concrete Plant Fined $9,800 for Air Quality Violations
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has imposed a $9,800 fine against Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. of Bellefonte, Centre County, for air quality violations at asphalt concrete plants it owns in Spring Township, Centre County; and Mill Hall Borough, Clinton County.
"Hawbaker needed to improve its ability to control dust emissions and adopt better administrative procedures,” DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell said. “The company has done that, and all violations have been corrected."
DEP inspections conducted in 2005 and this year found multiple violations of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and air quality regulations at Hawbaker’s Pleasant Gap Plants No. 1 and 2. The violations included excessive dust emissions from a conveyor and unpaved haul roads, excessive dirt drag-out onto state Route 64, failure to analyze recycled oil samples in a timely manner, and failure to submit an air quality plan approval extension in a timely manner.
The only violation documented at the Mill Hall plant earlier this year was Hawbaker’s failure to submit a fuel certification report in a timely manner.
The fine was paid to the Clean Air Fund, which finances air quality improvement projects throughout the commonwealth.
Minnesota’s Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program Fully Approved
Coastal states must develop programs, backed by enforceable authorities, to implement a suite of management measures that will control runoff from six categories of sources: forestry, agriculture, urban areas, marinas, hydromodification (shoreline and stream channel modification), and wetlands and riparian areas. Despite being one of the last five states to participate in the nationwide program, Minnesota developed a fully approved state program more quickly than any other participating state or territory.
Vermont Proposes to Revise Hazardous Waste Regulations