April 12, 2002

EPA has issued a final determination not to list as hazardous certain wastes generated from the production of paint. The Agency is making this determination under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which directs it to determine whether certain wastes from the paint production industry may present a substantial hazard to human health or the environment.

EPA proposed concentration-based listings for certain paint waste solids (K179) and liquids (K180) on February 13, 2001 (66 FR 10060). However, following a review of the public comments and supplemental analyses based on public comments, EPA has determined that the paint wastes identified in the February 13, 2001 proposal do not present a substantial hazard to human health or the environment. Therefore, EPA is making a final determination that these paint wastes are not listed hazardous wastes.

In addition, because the identified paint wastes are not listed hazardous wastes, EPA is not promulgating Land Disposal Restriction (LDR) treatment standards for these wastes, designating these wastes as Comprehensive, Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) hazardous substances with reportable quantities (RQs), or designating any of the constituents in these wastes as new Appendix VIII constituents.

This final determination, which is effective May 6, 2002, appears in April 4, 2002, Federal Register, pages 16261?16283


Clean Air Act

  • April 22, 2002 - Existing sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant emission controls under 40 CFR 63, subpart H, for equipment leaks from Groups II and IV chemical process units must submit semiannual report to EPA.
  • April 30, 2002 - Fossil-fuel fired steam generating units subject to new source performance standards for electric utility steam generating units must submit quarterly reports for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and opacity emissions.


EPA along with the U.S. Department of Justice announced it has settled a case with a Pawtucket, R.I. manufacturing company for alleged violations of federal environmental regulations.

Cooley, Inc. manufactures coated fabrics used to make tarps, boats, water booms, signs and other items. In this case, EPA found that, in the 1990s, the company violated the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Air Act (CAA).

With this consent decree, Cooley will pay a penalty of $325,000 and implement a supplemental environmental project (SEP) that is expected to cost approximately $1.6 million.

Among the RCRA violations alleged were that the company did not get a permit for treatment and storage of hazardous waste, that it handled and managed its hazardous waste improperly, that it failed to train its employees in hazardous waste management, and that it kept inadequate records.

The alleged CAA violations happened beginning in 1991 and 1993 when the company modified a coating line that uses volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and thus increased potential VOC emissions.

Cooley carried out the modifications without obtaining the necessary preconstruction and operating permits from the state of Rhode Island. Cooley is also alleged to have violated the new source performance standards (NSPS) by failing to comply with certain record keeping requirements relating to VOC usage. VOCs are a key component in smog and the manufacturing sector is a major VOC emitter in New England.

Cooley officials have been cooperative during EPA's investigation and development of this case and EPA officials applauded the unique supplemental environmental project they will undertake.

The SEP involves implementation of a recycling program that converts polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other thermoplastic wastes, such as carpeting, into flooring products. The SEP is intended to reduce the amount of PVC and thermoplastic wastes disposed of in landfills and incinerators and to reduce the demand for virgin plastic resins.

Under the Decree, Cooley will implement the SEP in consecutive phases over five years. In addition, Cooley must successfully recycle at least 25 million pounds of waste that would otherwise have been thrown away.

In signing the decree, the company admitted neither guilt nor innocence in the case. The decree also requires Cooley to disclose the technology it will use to implement the SEP to the public and other businesses by placing a disclosure statement on its web site and by publishing a notice in trade journals that the disclosure statement is available.


EPA and the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) released a report showing the continuing success of the NOx Budget Program, a market-based emissions trading program for reducing nitrogen oxide emissions in the Northeast.

NOx is a prime ingredient in the formation of ground level ozone (smog), which can irritate the respiratory tract, impair breathing ability and cause various other respiratory problems. In a unique partnership between federal and state government, the OTC asked EPA to help implement the program when it began in 1999. In 2001, the third year of the program, nearly 1,000 sources in nine participating states and Washington, D.C., reduced NOx emissions 12 percent below allowable emission levels. Moreover, emissions were more than 60 percent below 1990 levels.

The program represents the first application of a "cap and trade" emission reduction mechanism to an issue other than acid rain, where the trading strategy has been used successfully nationwide since 1995 to control sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants. The same cap and trade mechanism is the basis of President Bush's recently announced Clear Skies Initiative for reducing sulfur dioxide, mercury and NOx from power plants.

The OTC was created by Congress in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments to better coordinate the efforts of northeastern states in reducing NOx emissions. The "2001 OTC NOx Budget Program Compliance Report" can be found at http://www.sso.org/otc/ or http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/cmprpt/index.html. For further technical information, contact Kenon Smith at 202-564-9164 (smith.kenon@epa.gov).


EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced that President Bush is submitting the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. Additional legislation to amend existing U.S. laws needed to implement POPs and two other related treaties are also being submitted to Congress. President Bush endorsed the treaty in a Rose Garden Ceremony on April 19, 2001. The treaty was signed by Whitman on behalf of the United States in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 23, 2001.

During last year's Rose Garden ceremony, President Bush said "This treaty shows the possibilities for cooperation among all parties to our environmental debates. Developed nations cooperated with less-developed nations. Businesses cooperated with environmental groups. And now, a Republican administration will continue and complete the work of a Democratic administration."

The Stockholm Convention targets twelve toxic chemicals which persist in the environment for long periods of time, accumulate in the food chain, and travel great distances. The 12 POPs include certain pesticides, industrial chemicals and unintended byproducts of combustion such as DDT, PCBs and dioxin.

"Concerted global action addressing these 12 toxic chemicals and pesticides will provide significant protection to the health of many Americans, particularly Alaskan residents and those who live around the Great Lakes," said Whitman. "Taking strong steps to reduce these chemicals will also have significant benefits for the health of millions of people throughout the world, especially in developing nations," she continued.

The legislative package will implement three important international environmental agreements that are essential to protecting environmental and human health in the United States and the world: The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, (signed in Stockholm, May 23, 2001); the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (signed in Rotterdam, September 11, 1998); and the Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Persistent Organic Pollutants (signed in Aarhus on June 24, 1998). The legislative package submitted to Congress also includes amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

The Stockholm Convention is intended to eliminate or restrict the production, use and/or release of twelve chemicals that, due to their persistence in the environment, can affect human health throughout the globe, regardless of the location of their use. The Convention obligates all participating countries to take measures to eliminate or restrict the production, use and trade of intentionally produced POPs; to develop action plans to address the release of byproduct POPs, such as using best available techniques to reduce emissions of POPs from new sources; and to address the safe handling and disposal of POPs stockpiles and wastes. Background documents are available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/.


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is requesting public comment on proposed regulations regarding the packaging and transportation of radioactive material.

The agency's current transportation regulations are based, in part, on those developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a worldwide standard-setting organization. The IAEA periodically revises its transportation standards to reflect scientific and technical advances, and the NRC accordingly updates its own regulations to be compatible with those of IAEA. This revision is being coordinated with the Department of Transportation, which is the lead federal agency for transportation regulations in the United States and the U.S. competent authority for interaction with the IAEA.

Issues to be addressed in this rulemaking were published in the Federal Register for comment in July, and public meetings were held in Rockville, Maryland; Atlanta, Georgia; and Oakland, California.

There are 19 issues discussed in the proposed rule, 11 of which are designed for consistency with IAEA standards and the remainder were NRC-initiated.

Four issues in the proposed rule attracted a high level of public interest during discussions at the meetings and through comments on the Internet web site. The issues concern:

  1. radionuclide exemption values, namely, whether to adopt IAEA's uniform dose-based standard versus using the current concentration-based standard;
  2. special package approvals, namely, whether NRC should propose a standard for review of large-object packages, such as the Trojan reactor vessel, rather than review each request on a case-by-case basis through exemptions;
  3. change authority for Part 71 certificate holders, namely, whether such certificate holders can safely make limited changes to the design of a transportation package, as permitted for reactor and spent fuel storage facility licensees; and
  4. single versus double containment requirements for plutonium packages.

One issue recently added to the proposed rule involves event reporting requirements.

The NRC staff is particularly interested in public and industry comments related to costs and benefits resulting from the proposed requirements, as well as operational data on exposures that might result.

The proposed rule will be discussed in detail at a series of upcoming public meetings, the dates and locations of which will be announced separately.

Interested persons may submit comments within 90 days of publication in the Federal Register, expected shortly. The proposed rule is available on the NRC web site, at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov. Comments may be submitted directly on the web site, or by mail to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, 20555-0001, Attn: Rulemaking and Adjudications staff.