EPA to Identify Non-Hazardous Materials That Are Solid Waste

January 05, 2009

 To do so, the agency must determine which non-hazardous secondary materials are considered “solid waste” under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). If a non-hazardous secondary material is not a “solid waste” under RCRA and is burned in a combustion unit, then the unit that burns that material would be subject to applicable CAA Section 112 requirements. On the other hand, if the material is considered a “solid waste,” then the unit that burns the material would be subject to CAA 129 requirements.

Accordingly, the Agency is seeking comments through this Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on which non-hazardous secondary materials are or are not solid waste under RCRA. This will assist the Agency in developing standards under Sections 112 and 129 of the CAA.

The meaning of “solid waste” as defined under RCRA is of particular importance because Section 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) states that the term “solid waste” will have the meaning “established by the Administrator pursuant to RCRA.”

EPA Revises NESHAP for Ferroalloy Production Facilities

 This final rule affects 40 CFR 63 and became effective on Dec. 23, 2008.

In the final rule, EPA is revising the area source category list by changing the name of the ferroalloys production category to clarify that it includes all types of ferroalloys. EPA is also adding two products (calcium carbide and silicon metal) to the source category. EPA is issuing final national emissions standards for the control of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) for area source ferroalloys production facilities. The final emissions standards for new and existing sources reflect EPA’s determination regarding the generally available control technology (GACT) or management practices for the source category.

EPA Releases Clarification on Spent Oil Shale

The NODA clarifies that oil shale from aboveground operations is not considered a Bevill waste excluded from the pertinent regulations under RCRA Subtitle C. The NODA also provides analytical data on the characteristics of spent shale from aboveground retorting operations, indicating that such waste is unlikely to exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic and, thus, is unlikely to be a hazardous waste.

Oil shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock that can be heated, vaporized, cleaned, and upgraded to form synthetic crude oil. This synthetic oil can be used as an alternative energy source for traditional crude oil.

EPA Issues Final Rule to Include Fugitive Emissions in the Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review for Sources in All Industry Groups

EPA has finalized revisions to the Dec. 31, 2002, New Source Review (NSR) Improvement rules to change the requirements of the major NSR programs regarding the treatment of fugitive emissions. 

The final rule requires fugitive emissions be included in determining whether a physical or operational change results in a major modification only for sources in the source categories that have been designated through rulemaking pursuant to Section 302(j) of the Clean Air Act. Also, this action expands on guiding principles for determining fugitive emissions for purposes of NSR and Title V permitting related to the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) principle.

Entities potentially affected by this action include sources in all industry groups. The majority of sources potentially affected are expected to be in the following groups.


Industry group



Electric Services


221111, 221112, 221113, 221119, 221121, 221122

Petroleum Refining



Industrial Inorganic Chemicals


325181, 325120, 325131, 325182, 211112, 325998, 331311, 325188

Industrial Organic Chemicals


325110, 325132, 325192, 325188, 325193, 325120, 325199

Miscellaneous Chemical Products


325520, 325920, 325910, 325182, 325510

Natural Gas Liquids



Natural Gas Transport


486210, 221210

Pulp and Paper Mills


322110, 322121, 322122, 322130

Paper Mills


322121, 322122

Automobile Manufacturing


336111, 336112, 336211, 336992, 336322, 336312, 336330, 336340, 336350, 336399, 336212, 336213



325411, 325412, 325413, 325414


211, 212, 213


Agriculture, Fishing, and Hunting

111, 112, 113, 115



Pennsylvania to Implement Clean Air Interstate Rule

Pennsylvania moved ahead with its plans to implement the federal Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) on January 1 after a federal court reversed an earlier decision that struck down the rule.

On December 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to fix flaws in CAIR but did not set a deadline. In the meantime, the rule will be implemented.

“The court’s decision is a positive outcome for Pennsylvania's air quality, as it will allow residents of the commonwealth to benefit from the CAIR emission reductions while EPA addresses the flaws the court identified with the rule,” Acting Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said. “The decision will allow Pennsylvania to move forward with our state implementation plans to meet ozone and fine particulate standards and to improve visibility while reducing regional haze.”

CAIR is designed to reduce air pollution from power plants in the commonwealth and in states downwind of the plants where air quality is affected by the emissions. EPA estimates that in 2010 CAIR would reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions across the multistate CAIR region by 44.6%, or 1.2 million tons, and sulfur dioxide emissions by 71%, or 3.6 million tons.

One implication of the new court decision is that owners and operators of Pennsylvania power plants covered by the CAIR must be prepared to meet the requirements as of January 1. A federal implementation plan will govern the power plants until the EPA approves the commonwealth’s CAIR state implementation plan.

On July 11, the same federal court had vacated the entire federal CAIR regulation, but widespread concerns about adverse implications for short-term air quality and other harms led the court to reconsider.

The court’s decision came in response to a petition filed with the court by the EPA in September requesting a rehearing. Pennsylvania joined other states in recommending that the CAIR not be vacated. The states argued that though there are flaws in CAIR’s cap-and-trade process to reduce air pollution, the short-term benefits of reducing air pollution using the first phase of the program weigh in favor of leaving it in place while the EPA works to correct the flaws. The court did not set a deadline for EPA to remedy the flaws it previously identified in CAIR, but the court warned the federal agency that it did “not intend to grant an indefinite stay of the effectiveness of this court's decision."

EPA Publishes List of Substitute Materials Under Its SNAP Program in Effort to Protect the Stratospheric Ozone

EPA has published a list of materials that can be used to replace ozone-depleting materials in a number of uses. 
The list of substitute materials is made available under EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. The determinations concern new substitutes for use in the refrigeration and air conditioning, fire suppression and explosion protection, and foam blowing sectors.

EnviroFlash Provides Air Quality Information Online

EnviroFlash sends air quality information, such as forecasts and advisory notifications, to subscribers via e-mail. Based on Air Quality Index forecasts, EnviroFlash messages let subscribers know when air quality is good—or when it’s time to take steps to reduce their exposure to pollution. This is important information for sensitive populations like children, elderly citizens, and people who suffer from cardiac problems or respiratory illnesses, like asthma. Subscribers can choose to receive forecasts every day or only when air quality is poor.

More than 200 cities in 34 states currently use the service through EPA partnerships with state and local governments. In the newly added area of Southern Nevada, EnviroFlash messages such as particulate matter (dust) and ground-level ozone air quality forecasts are now available.


EPA Decides to Designate Areas Not Meeting Standards for Fine Particle Pollution

“These designations are an important step in our steady march toward cleaner air,” EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said. “We will continue working with our state and tribal partners to meet these air quality standards.”

EPA closely reviewed recommendations from states and tribes along with public comments before making its decision to designate 211 counties and parts of counties as not meeting EPA’s PM 2.5 standards. These areas, called nonattainment areas, include counties with monitors violating the standards and nearby areas that contribute to that violation. Affected states and tribes will be required to take steps to reduce the pollution that forms fine particles. The vast majority of U.S. counties and tribal lands are meeting these standards but will need to continue working to maintain clean air.

In 2006, EPA strengthened the 24-hour fine particle standards from 65 micrograms per cubic meter to 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air to protect public health. Nationwide, monitored levels of fine particle pollution fell 11% from 2000 to 2007. Fine particles can either be emitted directly, or they can form in the atmosphere from reactions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Exposure to fine particle pollution can cause a number of serious health problems, including aggravated asthma, increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits for respiratory and cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and premature death.

EPA Issues Direct Final Rule to Reference New ASTM Standard in Phase I Site Assessments

EPA has issued a direct final rule to amend the Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries to reference a standard practice recently made available by ASTM International, a widely recognized standards development organization. Specifically, this direct final rule amends the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule to reference ASTM International's E2247-08 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property” and allow for its use to satisfy the statutory requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries under CERCLA.


EPA Requests Nominations to the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology

EPA is inviting nominations from a diverse range of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT). It is anticipated that vacancies will be filled by late spring 2009. Additional sources may be utilized in the solicitation of nominees.

NACEPT is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). EPA established NACEPT in 1988 to provide independent advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental policy, technology, and management issues. Members serve as representatives from academia, industry, non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments. The EPA Administrator appoints members for two-year terms with the possibility of reappointment. The Council usually meets three times annually, and the average workload for the members is approximately 10 to 15 hours per month. Members serve on the Council in a voluntary capacity. However, EPA provides reimbursement for travel expenses associated with official government business.

EPA is seeking nominations from all sectors, including academia, industry, non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments. Nominees will be considered according to the mandates of FACA, which requires committees to maintain diversity across a broad range of constituencies, sectors, and groups.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate nominees:

  • Extensive professional knowledge of environmental policy, management, and technology issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to examine and analyze environmental issues with objectivity and integrity.
  • Senior-level experience that fills a current need on the Council.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication, and consensus-building skills.
  • Ability to volunteer approximately 10 to 15 hours per month to the Council’s activities, including participation on teleconference meetings and preparation of text for Council reports and advice letters.


Nominations must include a resume and a short biography describing the professional and educational qualifications of the nominee, as well as the nominee’s current business address, e-mail address, and daytime telephone number. Interested candidates may self-nominate. 

RGGI States’ CO2 Auction Continues Strong Performance

All of the 31,505,898 allowances offered for sale on Dec. 17, 2008, were sold at a clearing price of $3.38 per allowance.

RGGI, Inc. reported that 69 participants from the energy, financial, and environmental sectors took part in the bidding, indicating continued strong performance for RGGI CO2 allowance auctions. The demand for the allowances was robust at 3.5 times the available supply.

The approximately $106.5 million in proceeds produced from this auction will be distributed to all 10 RGGI states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) in proportion to the CO2 allowances offered for sale by each state. The states will invest those funds in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.

“The RGGI auctions continue to be the place where market participants come to buy the allowances they need,” said Pete Grannis, chair of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. board of directors. “Once again, the results prove that distributing allowances via auctions in a carbon-dioxide, cap-and-trade program can be successful. We look forward to developing a partnership with the Obama Administration to create a strong federal climate action plan.”

Potomac Economics, RGGI’s Market Monitor, reported that the second auction was administered in a fair and transparent manner. They also noted in their report that, “the auction generated a result that is consistent with competitive bidding.”

John Rapanos Will Pay $900,000 for CWA Violations

John A. Rapanos and related defendants have agreed to pay a civil penalty and recreate approximately 100 acres of wetlands and buffer areas to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) at three sites in Midland and Bay counties, Michigan, according to a joint announcement by the Justice Department and EPA.

Rapanos has agreed to pay a $150,000 civil penalty and will spend an estimated $750,000 to mitigate for 54 acres of wetlands that were filled without authorization under the CWA. Rapanos also has agreed to preserve an additional 134 acres of wetlands that were unaffected by the unauthorized activity. Under the agreement, the preservation of these areas will be enforced via a conservation easement held by the State of Michigan.

“After litigating this case for a number of years, we are pleased to reach a settlement that so strongly benefits the environment and serves the public interest,” said Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

“This longstanding case demonstrates that EPA continues to vigorously pursue violations of the Clean Water Act that adversely affect wetlands,” EPA Regional Administrator Lynn Buhl said. “The settlement will benefit the environment in Bay County by preserving a substantial amount of wetlands that play a vital role in water quality, flood control, and fisheries.”

The original enforcement action was filed against Rapanos in 1994 and the case drew national attention after the District Court ruling was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and subsequently sent back to the U.S. District Court for further proceedings. Rapanos challenged EPA’s findings that the filled wetlands were under federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The litigation determined that Rapanos did fill wetlands under federal jurisdiction.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Rapanos attempted to level three different parcels of land by uprooting vegetation and filling low spots with sand and dirt. He also dug an extensive network of ditches to dry out the sites, which resulted in excavated dirt being sidecast into wetlands. The parcels of land were intended to be developed for a shopping mall and residential homes.

There is a parallel criminal matter that is still pending and is not affected by the settlement under the agreement.

The proposed consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court in Detroit, is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval. 

Kyocera Fined $1.4 Million for Hazardous Waste Violations

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) reached a $1.4 million settlement with Kyocera America Inc., approved by the San Diego County Superior Court on December 12 for violations at a Kyocera facility in San Diego. The facility, which manufactures ceramic semiconductor packages, routinely generates and treats hazardous wastes in its operations. The settlement resolves a civil complaint filed Sept. 13, 2007, on behalf of DTSC by the State Attorney General, that alleges numerous hazardous waste violations were found during DTSC inspections in 2003 and 2005.

"Compliance with the Hazardous Waste Control Law is critical to protecting our environment and averting health risks to workers and the community," DTSC Director Maureen F. Gorsen said. "This settlement exemplifies the department's continuing efforts to sustain environmental safety and compliance with existing law."

Negotiations have been ongoing since August 2005, after DTSC referred the civil enforcement case to the Attorney General's Office. Among the facility's alleged violations were treatment and storage without authorization, tank storage of incompatible hazardous wastes, and failure to train employees and maintain emergency response equipment.

The judgment requires Kyocera to pay $1,038,000 in civil penalties, $200,000 as a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) payable to the San Diego River Conservancy, and $162,000 in reimbursement of DTSC's investigatory and enforcement costs. The SEP will fund the purchase, installation, and maintenance of four wireless environmental sensors and associated equipment to assess, monitor, and address the long-term impacts of pollutants to public health and water quality in the San Diego River Watershed.

Consent Decree Filed Against Washington State Utility Company Seeks $500,000 Under the Oil Pollution Act

The Department of Justice will receive comments related to the Consent Decree for a period of 30 days.

The United States, the State of Washington, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians filed a complaint concurrently with the Consent Decree alleging that on Nov. 3, 2006, the Crystal Mountain Emergency Generation Facility, an electrical generating facility owned and operated by Puget Sound Energy, Inc., in Pierce County, Wash., discharged approximately 429 barrels of diesel fuel into waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines.

The complaint seeks natural resource damages under the Oil Pollution Act. Under the Consent Decree, Puget Sound Energy will pay $512,856.59 for natural resource damages and $49,614.47 to reimburse damage assessment costs.

CERCLA Consent Decree Filed Against Simon Wrecking Co. in Pennsylvania for $550,000

In this proceeding, the United States filed a CERCLA claim for reimbursement of costs incurred in connection with response actions taken at the Malvern TCE Superfund Site in Chester County, Pa. Pursuant to the Consent Decree, the Defendant agrees to pay $550,000 in reimbursement of costs previously incurred by the United States.

Comments may be filed with the Department of Justice for a period of 30 days following the notice appearing in the Federal Register.

EPA Proposes $157,500 in Fines for Moo Town Dairy’s CWA Violations

EPA has issued an administrative complaint and proposed a civil penalty of $157,500 to Moo Town Dairy near Sulphur Springs, Texas, for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The dairy is a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). The violation alleged is for an unauthorized discharge of pollutants to an unnamed creek, a tributary of Running Creek, which eventually discharges to Lake Fork Reservoir. The discharges resulted from improper operation and frequent overflow of a manure collection pit, stormwater runoff from an open lot, a carcass disposal area, commodity storage barns, and silage bunkers.

“EPA will continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s environmental laws through a strong enforcement program,” EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. “When these facilities fail to follow the rules, immediate actions will be taken to ensure compliance with the law.”

In October 2007, EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) conducted an inspection of the facility. The inspection revealed numerous permit violations, including unauthorized discharges of pollutants to waters of the United States.

On Nov. 26, 2007, EPA issued a cease-and-desist administrative order, which required the dairy owner to address the permit violations identified during the October 2007 inspection.

EPA and TCEQ inspectors conducted a follow-up inspection of the facility in June 2008. The inspection revealed that the facility had not addressed many of the violations identified during the previous inspection in October 2007. The new violations include continued unauthorized discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States due to improper operations and overflow of a manure collection pit.

On June 27, 2008, EPA issued a real-time cease-and-desist administrative order requiring the facility to immediately stop all unauthorized discharges of pollutants originating from the improperly managed and overflowing manure collection pit. The order requires all wastewater from the silage bunkers and commodity storage area drain to storage lagoons as well as the cleanup of all areas where polluted water has pooled, including the facility property and the adjacent property to the west through which the unnamed tributary flows.

Based on these findings, EPA has proposed to assess a civil penalty of $157,500 and orders the owner and operator of the Moo Town Dairy to immediately take action to bring the facility into compliance with the CWA.

Alaska Property Owner and Contractor Will Pay $30,600 for Wetlands Violations

Quality Asphalt Paving, Inc. (QAP) of Anchorage, Alaska, and Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corp. (KIC) of Kotzebue has reached a combined $30,600 settlement with EPA for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The violation involved placement of fill material into wetlands adjacent to Hotham Inlet, without a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Permit. QAP has agreed to pay a $19,125 penalty, and KIC has agreed to pay a $11,475 penalty.

According to EPA, in July 2006, fill material was discharged onto approximately 7 acres of wetlands during gravel mining activities. The site is located on Pipe Spit approximately 8 miles northeast of Kotzebue, Alaska. KIC owns the parcel and was the material supplier for a construction contract that QAP was working under for the State of Alaska. QAP conducted work prior to issuance of a Corps Permit to KIC and also conducted work beyond the area authorized in the permit.

In August 2007, with EPA approval, QAP removed the unauthorized fill material and regraded, and revegetated the site as required under the Corps’ Cease and Desist Order issued in September 2006.

According to Greg Kellogg, EPA’s Alaska Operations deputy director, the wetlands of Alaska provide important habitat for fish and other wildlife, which supports the state’s economy.

“Construction activities in the wetlands of Alaska should be undertaken after careful planning and obtaining the necessary permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Kellogg said. “If you conduct work in jurisdictional wetlands, you must obey the law or face fines.”

Both QAP and KIC have received previous permits and were aware of the CWA requirements, and, according to EPA records, QAP has been involved in previous alleged CWA violations. This penalty action will serve as a deterrent against future violations of the CWA by QAP and KIC and other land owners and businesses.

The Climate Registry Announces Three Upcoming Climate Policy Forum Events

The Climate Registry will be continuing its Climate Policy Forum series with the following events in the next several months:



The Climate Policy Forum series brings together representatives from business, government, and academia to interactively discuss climate policy issues, including mandatory emissions reporting policies and how they will affect businesses. These forums are especially timely with President-Elect Barack Obama now setting a new course for emissions reporting and a federal cap-and-trade system. The Climate Policy Forums will bring together the same type of comprehensive group that is influential to regional, national, and international climate policy and how it specifically affects the Southeast, West, and Midwest.

Attendees will learn about policy issues and how they affect business and industry in the region. Attendees will have the chance to discuss these issues with government leaders and industry peers. To accommodate an interactive setting like this, seating is limited. 

The Climate Registry is a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories, and Native Sovereign Nations that sets consistent and transparent standards to calculate, verify, and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions into a single registry. The Registry supports both voluntary and mandatory reporting programs and provides comprehensive, accurate data to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA Region 5 to Host Webinar on Using Compost as a Stormwater BMP

EPA Region 5 has scheduled a webinar on the innovative aspects of using compost as a stormwater best management practice (BMP). This webinar will focus on how stormwater managers can use compost blankets, berms, and filters as a tool to reduce stormwater runoff and improve soil quality. The guest speakers will discuss their experiences using compost as a BMP as well as offering additional ideas on how it can be used on landscapes to manage stormwater runoff.

Speakers for the webinar will include:

  • Amy J. Sausen, Environmental Project Coordinator, The Bruce Company of Wisconsin
  • Dwayne Stenlund, Office of Environmental Services, Turf and Erosion Control Engineering Unit, Minnesota Department of Transportation


Once your request is approved, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing additional instructions.

This webinar is one of a series of webinars that EPA Region 5 is hosting to support the use of these BMPs, and thus increase the recycling of organic waste materials. 

York Casket Fined $65,000 for Air Permit Violations

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined the York Casket Co. $65,428 for ongoing violations of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act.

The Manchester Township wooden casket manufacturer operates a number of spray booths to apply sealer and lacquer in order to give its products a finished appearance. Under the terms of its federal permit, York Casket is required to minimize air emissions by incinerating the fumes from the finishing process before releasing them to the atmosphere. York Casket has had problems meeting those limits.

The fine reflects a failure to meet emission requirements from 2004 to 2007. The penalty also addresses excess air emissions that occurred because of malfunctions, the company’s failure to train employees on controlling air emissions in a timely manner as required by their DEP permit, and to report this failure in a required report.

The company has resolved the violations by making operational improvements to the incinerator and revising the company’s Reasonably Available Control Technology plan, which requires a company to evaluate all possible air pollution reduction measures and to implement those that are determined to be “reasonably available.”

Previous fines totaling $67,000 were issued in 2003 and 2004. York Casket has been on the U.S. EPA’s High Priority Violations list, due to the size of the facility and the nature of the emissions.

FedEx Freight Fined for Hazardous Waste Violations

In June 2006, Ohio EPA conducted a compliance evaluation of Rocal, Inc.'s new facility (3186 County Road 550, Frankfort). During the inspection, Ohio EPA learned that Rocal had been doing business with FedEx Freight East. Ohio EPA inspectors spoke with FedEx personnel about their waste management practices and determined that FedEx Freight East had accepted hazardous waste from Rocal and transported that waste without a hazardous waste manifest, as required by law. The waste was transported between two Rocal facilities in Frankfort from approximately Jan. 1, 2006, to June 15, 2006.

Ohio EPA determined that FedEx Freight East had failed to obtain a required U.S. EPA ID number prior to transporting the hazardous waste and had failed to keep records required of transporters. Ohio EPA has since determined that the company's violations have been abated due to the fact that the hazardous waste was ultimately shipped off-site to a permitted hazardous waste facility.

The majority of FedEx Freight East's civil penalty ($11,200) goes to the state's hazardous waste cleanup fund. The remaining portion of the penalty ($2,800) will go toward Ohio EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Fund. This fund helps retrofit school buses with pollution control equipment to reduce particulate emissions from diesel engines.

Ready Mix Company Fined $7,000 for Air Quality Violations

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) fined an East Bay concrete ready mix company $7,000 this month for failing to inspect its heavy-duty diesel fleets for 2007 and 2008.

An ARB investigation showed that personnel of Berkeley-Oakland Ready Mix, subsidiary of Hanson Aggregates, failed to inspect and maintain records for their diesel truck fleet, as required by California law. Annual smoke tests are required for diesel truck fleet, in conjunction with ARB's roadside smoke inspection program; the law ensures that all vehicles are properly maintained, tamper-free, and free from excessive smoke.

"Diesel truck inspections and maintenance are part of doing business in California," ARB Chairman Mary Nichols said. "Customers expect businesses to follow the law."

As part of the settlement, the Berkeley-Oakland Ready Mix is required to:

  • Guarantee that employees responsible for conducting the inspections attend a mandatory California community college class on diesel emissions and provide certificates of completion within one year
  • Provide documentation to ARB that the inspections are being carried out for the next four years
  • Revise all heavy-duty truck engine software with the latest Low-NOx (oxides of nitrogen emissions) programming
  • Ensure that all diesel trucks meet federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labeled with an emission control label


Berkeley-Oakland Ready Mix will pay $7,000 in penalties: $5,250 will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, providing funding for projects and research to improve California's air quality. The Peralta Community College District will receive $875 to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges. The remaining $875 will go to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority to fund low-interest loans for owners of off-road, diesel-powered construction vehicles.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems.

Environmental News Links

Trivia Question of the Week

Which of the following changes were included as part of EPA’s new final rule impacting facilities that must file a Tier II Hazardous Chemical Inventory Report by March 1, 2009?
a. The NAICS code has replaced the SIC code used to identify your facility classification.
b. The chemical or common name of a chemical as it is identified on its MSDS is the name that must be used on the Tier II form.
c. The Tier II form and its instructions have been removed from the Code of Federal Regulations.
d. All of the above.