EPA has created a website to provide access to non-binding
general policy, guidance, and interpretive documents. The
collection has been developed to assist state and tribal
officials, representatives of companies and organizations that
must comply with environmental regulations, and individuals who
are concerned with how environmental regulations and statutes are
being implemented or enforced. The collection presently contains
guidance documents issued since January 1, 1999. Visit the
website at http://www.epa.gov/guidance/index.html.
U.S., INDIANA REACH ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS WITH GUIDE CORP. FOR FISH KILL ON THE WHITE RIVER
The U.S. Department of Justice, EPA, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the state of Indiana announced that Guide Corp. will pay more than $10 million to settle a civil lawsuit over one of the largest fish kills in Indiana history. The company, an automotive lighting manufacturer, agreed to pay $6 million into two White River restoration funds, $2 million to reimburse the costs of agencies that responded to the fish kill, and $2 million in civil penalties.
In a separate action, Anderson, Ind.-based Guide Corp. agreed to plead guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. Guide Corp. will pay more than $4.1 million in criminal penalties, asset forfeiture, and restitution, under a plea agreement with the Justice Department.
The United States and Indiana in April 2000 filed a civil lawsuit against Guide Corp. and Crown EG, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio, alleging that over several weeks beginning in December 1999, the companies discharged toxic wastewater from an automotive parts facility in Anderson, Ind. These toxic discharges killed more than 100 tons of fish and other aquatic creatures along more than 40 miles of the White River, from Anderson to downtown Indianapolis.
Guide Corp. is one of the world's largest manufacturers of automotive lighting. Its parent corporation is Lightsource Parent Corp. Crown EG, Inc. was hired to operate Guide's wastewater treatment plant.
The White River restoration funds called for under the civil settlement will pay for ongoing efforts to restock the river with fish and for projects to restore natural resources and enhance the conservation and the recreational value of the river. These projects will be implemented by natural resource trustees of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the state of Indiana. A citizens' council will advise the trustees on the restoration projects.
The civil settlement also requires Guide Corp. to complete a compliance audit of its Anderson facility, take steps to bring the plant into compliance with environmental regulations, and submit a compliance report to the EPA and the state.
Following the White River fish kill, the United States Attorney's Office in Indianapolis and the EPA began a separate criminal investigation. The federal Clean Water Act contains both civil and criminal provisions, and under the Act, it is a crime for a company or an individual to knowingly or negligently take certain actions that result in water pollution.
Guide Corp. admitted in a criminal plea agreement that it committed seven misdemeanor violations of the Clean Water Act by negligently discharging pollution to the Anderson, Ind., sewage treatment plant. For these environmental crimes, the company will pay $1.9 in criminal penalties, $1.9 million in asset forfeitures, and $275,000 restitution for damaging the Anderson treatment plant. Forensic support from EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center established the link between the fish kill and discharges from Guide Corp.'s automotive facility. The U.S. Attorney's Office is continuing its criminal investigation into the events surrounding the fish kill.
The government's civil case against Crown EG is pending. The
civil settlement with Guide Corp. will undergo a 30-comment
EPA LAUNCHES WATERS WEB SITE
The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new web site http://www.epa.gov/waters , featuring access to information about water quality listed by geographic area. Called WATERS (Watershed Assessment, Tracking and Environmental Results), the site incorporates the U.S. Geological Survey's National Hydrographic Dataset, and provides unified access to water quality information from several state and EPA databases, including EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Database and its new National Water Quality Standards Database.
At this time, users can find information on waters classified by states as impaired (those waters not attaining water quality standards) in all states except Alaska, and on the purpose or use of each waterbody (such as whether or not it is designated for protection as a drinking water supply, for recreational use, or for fishing) in 16 states. Users can also search for water quality information for a particular body of water by clicking on an interactive map, which is currently available for 11 states.
EPA will update WATERS as new information becomes available,
eventually covering all 50 states, and will add links to data on
ambient water quality, drinking water quality, polluted runoff,
fish consumption advisories, facility discharge outfalls, and
EPA ALLOWS USE OF SOME OZONE-DEPLETING SUBSTANCES IN LABORATORIES
In a direct final rule and proposed rule of March 13, 2001, EPA published quantity allowances for ozone-depleting substances (ODS) for use by laboratory operations. Many labs must perform tests and test calibrations that require the use of ozone-depleting substances. Some 15 metric tons of ozone-depleting substances were supplied to laboratories within the United States in 1999 under the de minimus allowance exemptions permitted under the international Montreal Protocol and domestic Clean Air Act. Although there is no specific limit on the quantities that may be produced or imported for laboratory use for CY 2001, the quantities must meet certain exemption criteria as specified in Appendix G of 40 CFR 82.
The ODSs that are most commonly used by laboratories are CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-112, CFC-113, CFC-114, CFC-115, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, and hydrobromo-fluorcarbons. Some of the environmental regulations and test methods that still specify ODSs are:
- The Clean Water Act: Methods 502.2, 524.2, 551.1, 601.1, 624,
5035 CLP for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in water, 418.1,
- The Clean Air Act: Methods TO-14, TO-15 for VOCs in air.
- RCRA/CERCLA - SW-846 Test Methods 8021B, 8260 for carbon
tetrachloride in soil and solid waste.
- OSHA - Methods 1020, 1003, 1018, 5026.
For further information, see Federal Register, Vol. 66, No. 49,
pp. 14760-14770 (direct final rule); 14771-2 (proposed rule),
March 13, 2001
REMINDER: BEFORE FILING YOUR FORM R, CHECK FOR PBT REDUCED THRESHOLDS
In October 1999, EPA added seven chemicals and two chemical compound categories to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under EPCRA Section 313. They also lowered the reporting thresholds for 18 chemicals and chemical categories that meet the EPCRA Section 313 criteria for persistence, bioaccumulation, or toxicity (i.e., PBT chemicals). The chemicals and their reporting thresholds are listed below. The lower thresholds for PBT chemicals can also be found at 40 CFR 372.28. The new thresholds apply for the reporting year beginning January 1, 2000.
|Chemical Name||CAS No.||
Reporting Threshold (lb)
|Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)||01336-36-3||
Chemical Compound Categories:
- Dioxin and dioxin-like compounds (Manufacturing; and the processing or otherwise
use of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds if the dioxin and dioxin-like compounds
are present as contaminants in a chemical and if they were created during
the manufacturing of that chemical). Reporting threshold: 0.1 grams. This
category includes only those chemicals listed below:
CAS No. Dioxin / Dioxin-Like Compounds 67562^39^4 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-Heptachlorodibenzofuran 55673^89^7 1,2,3,4,7,8,9-Heptachlorodibenzofuran 70648^26^9 1,2,3,4,7,8-Hexachlorodibenzofuran 57117^44^9 1,2,3,6,7,8-Hexachlorodibenzofuran 72918^21^9 1,2,3,7,8,9-Hexachlorodibenzofuran 60851^34^5 2,3,4,6,7,8-Hexachlorodibenzofuran 39227^28^6 1,2,3,4,7,8-Hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin 57653^85^7 1,2,3,6,7,8-Hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin 19408^74^3 1,2,3,7,8,9-Hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin 35822^46^9 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-Heptachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin 39001^02^0 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9-Octachlorodibenzofuran 03268^87^9 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9-Octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin 57117^41^6 1,2,3,7,8-Pentachlorodibenzofuran 57117^31^4 2,3,4,7,8-Pentachlorodibenzofuran 40321^76^4 1,2,3,7,8-Pentachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin 51207^31^9 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzofuran 01746^01^6 2,3,7,8 Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin
- Mercury compounds. Reporting threshold: 10 pounds.
- Polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Reporting threshold: 100 pounds.
PACs are found in very low concentrations in fossil fuels, heavy oils, tars and asphalt. Many of the PACs are products of incomplete combustion and are released as emissions from boilers, stationary engines and turbines, and other fuel-burning equipment. Some PACs have also been detected in emissions from rubber processing operations. The new reporting threshold for PACs is 100 pounds. A facility is required to report releases of PACs if it manufactures, processes, or otherwise uses more than 100 pounds during the reporting year. The de minimis exemption has been eliminated for all PBT chemicals; therefore, use of any material that contains PACs (or other PBT chemicals) must be reviewed to determine whether the threshold has been exceeded. This category includes only those chemicals listed below:
Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act:
- July 1
- Form Rs or Form As are due for Section 313 toxic chemicals (40 CFR 327). Voluntary revisions to these forms are due by July 31
Toxic Substances Control Act:
- July 1
- Written annual document log must be prepared for facilities that, at any one time, use or store at least 45 kg of PCBs in containers or transformers or 50 or more large high or low voltage capacitors (40 CFR 761.180).
DON'T WASTE IT -- RECYCLE
Here is a list of useful contacts for those "hard to recycle" items we frequently encounter at work and at home:
- Used videotapes: Mail to Eco-Media Recycling Centers, 5427 E. La
Palma Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92807.
- Discarded Tyvek (Priority and Express mail) envelopes: Call
(800) 44-TYVEK to receive a Tyvek Recycling Pouch. A pre-paid,
pre-addressed label is affixed to the pouch, so all you have to
do is drop the pouch in the mail once it is filled with the
- 3.5" Diskettes: Unwanted diskettes can be donated to USA City
Link Project, Attention: Floppies for Kids, 4060 Highway 59,
Mandeville, LA 70471.
- Transparencies: Call (800) 952-4059 and 3M will send you all the
information you need to get your transparency film to their
- Used Stretch Film and Plastic Grocery Sacks: Trex Company of
Winchester, VA wants it, and they will pay you $60-$120 per ton
for used PE film, and they pay freight costs. Trex Co. mixes
stretch film with waste wood and turns it into a decking product
called Trex Easy Care Decking. Call 1-877-319-9795 for more
- Ceiling Tiles: Call 1-888-234-5464 or visit http://www.ceilings.com