New Rules for Flying With Lithium Batteries

January 07, 2008

Effective Jan. 1, 2008, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) amended the rules that apply to the spare lithium batteries you may carry with you aboard airplanes. Spare batteries are considered those that you carry separate from the devices they power. When batteries are installed in a device, they are not considered spare batteries. The following rules apply to spare lithium batteries:

  • You may not pack a spare lithium battery in your checked baggage.
  • Even though IATA recommends carrying your devices with you in carry-on baggage, if you must bring one in checked baggage, you may check it with the batteries installed.

The following quantity limits apply to both your spare and installed batteries. The limits are expressed in grams of “equivalent lithium content.” Eight grams of equivalent lithium content is approximately 100 watt-hours; while 25 grams is approximately 300 watt-hours.

  • Under the new rules, you can bring batteries with up to 8-gram equivalent lithium content. All lithium ion batteries in cell phones are below 8-gram equivalent lithium content. Nearly all laptop computers also are below this quantity threshold.
  • You also can bring up to two spare batteries with an aggregate equivalent lithium content of up to 25 grams, in addition to any batteries that fall below the 8-gram threshold. Examples of two types of lithium ion batteries with equivalent lithium content over 8 grams but below 25 are shown below.
  • For a lithium metal battery, whether installed in a device or carried as a spare, the limit on lithium content is 2 grams of lithium metal per battery.
  • Almost all consumer-type lithium metal batteries are below 2 grams of lithium metal. But if you are unsure, contact the manufacturer.

Examples of extended-life rechargeable lithium batteries (more than 8 but not more than 25 grams of equivalent lithium content)

  • 130 watt-hour “universal” lithium ion battery         
  • 160 watt-hour lithium ion battery
Type of Battery/Batteries


In Checked Baggage


In Carry-On Baggage
Lithium metal battery, installed in a device (up to 2 grams lithium) Permitted 1 Recommended 1
Spare lithium metal battery (not installed in a device) (up to 2 grams lithium) (up to 2 grams lithium) Forbidden Permitted in carry-on baggage 2
Lithium metal battery, spare or installed(over 2 grams lithium) Forbidden Forbidden
Lithium-Ion battery installed in a device (up to 8 grams lithium equivalent content) Permitted 1 Recommended 1
Spare Lithium-Ion battery (not installed in a device) (up to 8 grams lithium equivalent content) Forbidden Permitted in carry-on baggage 2
“Special case”Up to 2 Lithium-Ion batteries, spare or installed (between 8 and 25 grams aggregate lithium equivalent content) Spare batteries: forbidden! Installed in devices: permitted 1 Spare batteries: permitted 2Installed in devices: permitted 1

1. Although you may carry some devices and installed batteries in checked baggage, carrying them in carry-on baggage, when practicable, is preferred. In checked baggage, ensure that devices remain switched off, either by built-in switch/trigger locks, by taping the activation switch to the “off” position, or by other appropriate measures.

2. Be sure to take protective measures to prevent against short-circuits. 










EPA Widens Window on Regulatory Process

The Environmental Protection Agency has added new features to one of its most popular websites for environmental regulatory information.  Its user-friendliness has been enhanced with easily accessible ways to search and comment on EPA regulations and significant guidance documents, as well as to learn how environmental regulations are written. The site also includes new sections for finding regulations and related documents, plus regulatory history, statutory authority, supporting analyses, compliance information, and guidance for implementation. Also, for the first time, searches for regulatory information can be conducted by environmental topics, such as water or air, or by business sectors, such as transportation or construction.

Energy Bill Requires Low Impact Development Practices for Federal Projects

The recently signed Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires that, "The sponsor of any development or redevelopment project involving a federal facility with a footprint that exceeds 5,000 square feet shall use site planning, design, construction, and maintenance strategies for the property to maintain or restore, to the maximum extent technically feasible, the predevelopment hydrology of the property with regard to the temperature, rate, volume, and duration of flow."

This new requirement is in Section 438 entitled "Storm Water Runoff Requirements for Federal Development Projects." EPA’s Office of Water staff has announced that it will work with an interagency committee led by the Federal Environmental Executive to help develop appropriate implementation procedures.

Missouri 2008 Environmental Calendar

. Highlights include reminders for your Emission Inventory Questionnaire, Large Quantity Generator's Quarterly Reporting, and EPCRA's Tier II Reporting. Each calendar month is divided into four topics: Hazardous Waste, Air, Water, and Other so that you can identify, at a glance, important dates for your specific business. Although it is tailored to Missouri regulations, facilities in other states will find valuable information in the calendar.

EPA Fines Saipan Company $26,000 for Pesticide Violations



The EPA cited the company for allegedly selling and distributing an unregistered water disinfectant “Tosoh Cube.” The product, a 12% sodium hypochlorite solution, was imported from Japan and sold to hotels and other businesses in Saipan for private water system disinfection. The products, labeled almost entirely in Japanese, lacked directions for use, precautionary statements, and other labeling required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

“In order for a company to sell a disinfectant, it must be registered with the EPA,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director for the EPA Pacific Southwest region’s Communities and Ecosystems Division. “Registration ensures that the products will have proper labeling, including instructions, warnings, and first-aid information. Without the required label, there’s no way for a consumer to know how to use the product effectively or to protect themselves from harm.”

The company discontinued all sales of the unregistered product and shipped it back to Japan. Existing customers were notified to discontinue use of the product.

Sodium hypochlorite is an extremely corrosive disinfectant that, at its full strength, can cause severe damage to the eyes and skin. Disinfectants are considered pesticides under FIFRA, which regulates the production, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States.

Distributors and retailers are responsible for ensuring that all pesticides distributed in the United States fully comply with federal pesticide regulations. 

Air Pollutants Clear Out as Clean Air Programs Close In

 The data, which provide a view of recent gasoline property trends, are mainly from EPA's reformulated gasoline (RFG) and anti-dumping programs. Highlights of the report include:

  • Gasoline sulfur decreases—Average annual sulfur content in all gasoline dropped from about 300 parts per million (ppm) in 1997 to about 90 ppm in 2005.
  • RFG nitrogen oxide (NOx) reductions exceed requirements—RFG exceeded applicable NOx performance standards during both Phase I (1998–1999) and Phase II (2000 and beyond).
  • RFG toxics reductions exceed requirements—On average, Phase I RFG complied with Phase II standards, and toxic performance still improved with the transition to Phase II standards.
  • Conventional gasoline NOx and toxics emissions decreased—Between 1998 and 2005, the summer NOx emissions of conventional gasoline were reduced by 5.7%, while summer exhaust toxics were reduced by 4.7%.
  • Ethanol use in RFG increased and MTBE use decreased—In the summer of 1996, about 11% of the RFG sold contained ethanol while virtually all the remainder contained MTBE. By the summer of 2005, the ethanol share increased to about 53%, with corresponding decreases in MTBE.

Radon Second Only to Cigarette Smoking in Causing Lung Cancer

During January, National Radon Action Month, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General are urging Americans to test their homes for radon, a cancer-causing radioactive gas that claims tens of thousands of lives each year.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking in the United States and in the world. When radon is trapped in buildings and concentrations build up indoors, exposure becomes a concern. Breathing indoor air with radon can damage lung tissue and lead to cancer.

“Many people are not aware that breathing radon can cause lung cancer, but the science is strong,” said EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh. “Radon-related deaths can be prevented. Our hope is that people will understand the potential health risk and test their homes for radon and fix any problems they find.”

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women in the United States, taking the lives of more women each year than breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers combined. One in five women diagnosed with lung cancer has never smoked. Of the approximate 17,500 to 20,000 never-smokers diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States each year, more than 60% of them are women. The National Academy of Sciences and the EPA estimate that in the United States, radon in homes causes 21,100 lung cancer deaths each year and 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who never smoked.

Perhaps homes have not been tested because you can't see, smell, or taste radon. Yet, it may be the most potent carcinogen in your home. Although testing for radon is encouraged when selling or buying a home, recent consumer research indicates that up to 80% of American homes still need to be tested for radon. The good news is a simple home radon test, costing less than $25, can detect it.
Radon is naturally occurring and comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks entering homes through cracks in basements and foundations and floor drains. Radon can build to unhealthy levels, especially during colder months when windows and doors are kept closed.


EPA Settlement With NJIT Will Promote Green Chemistry in Local School

A unique agreement between the EPA and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark will help usher “green chemistry” into school laboratory experiments at the institute and other colleges and high schools in the area. These green chemistry experiments involve the innovative use of new techniques and technologies in lab experiments, which minimize the need to use reagents, usually some type of solvent, to produce chemical reactions.

The agreement grew out of an EPA complaint in which the Agency cited the school for violating federal rules that govern how to handle hazardous waste. It requires NJIT to spend at least $125,000 to showcase greener lab practices and to measure the amount of solvents and energy reductions that can be achieved when practices, such as microwave technology, are used in school laboratory experiments rather than traditional chemistry practices. NJIT must also pay a $31,740 penalty.

“The agreement to adopt green practices in the lab is innovative and trend-setting,” said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. “This institution of learning has itself learned a valuable lesson and is now endeavoring to go beyond merely complying with regulations by setting a good environmental example for other schools to follow.”

As part of its project to benefit the environment, NJIT will purchase equipment to help three local high schools get started using enhanced microwave technology—and through publications, seminars, and the Internet—promote this faster, cleaner, and less polluting lab technique to science educators throughout New Jersey.

The alleged violations that EPA observed during its inspections of NJIT’s facilities included failure to:

  • Determine which of the wastes that it generates are hazardous wastes
  • Obtain a permit to store hazardous wastes, or take the required steps to exempt itself from this permitting requirement
  • Keep hazardous waste containers closed
  • Have a contingency plan and minimize the risk of fires, explosions, and the release of hazardous wastes and hazardous waste constituents

NJIT has since corrected these violations.

Over the past seven years, EPA has inspected more than 58 colleges and universities and issued administrative complaints with penalties totaling more than $2.7 million against more than 20 colleges and universities in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S, Virgin Islands.  Educational institutions can self-report violations and get relief from a portion of the penalties as a result.

City of Ashton, Idaho, to Pay $10,000 for Federal Clean Water Act Violations

The City of Ashton, Idaho, has reached a $10,000 settlement with the EPA for alleged Clean Water Act  (CWA) violations at the city’s wastewater treatment facility. The city owns and operates the permitted facility that discharges treated wastewater into an unnamed perennial stream, which is a tributary to Spring Creek. These water bodies are part of the Henry’s Fork River watershed.

Between January 2002 and April 2006, the facility had numerous effluent limit violations. Permit violations occurred when the discharge from the city’s facility exceeded limits set for fecal coliform bacteria, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), E. coli, pH, and total residual chlorine.

According to James Werntz, Idaho Operations Office Director for EPA, wastewater treatment plants can degrade Idaho’s water quality if permit limits are exceeded.

“Cities like Ashton provide a valuable service to their community by treating wastewater, but they need to strictly follow their permit limits,” said Werntz. “Otherwise, rivers like the Henry’s Fork can be needlessly harmed by pollutants.”

The city’s facility is part of a sanitary sewer system that receives domestic wastewater from residential and commercial sources. The facility serves a community of approximately 1,100 people.


Court Rules in EPA’s Favor to Enforce Agreement and Collect From Delinquent New Jersey Company

EPA sent the Champion Chemical Company a clear message with a ruling by the U.S. District Court that it will be penalized for failing to honor the terms of a legally binding agreement with the Agency.  It defaulted on that agreement and now must pay EPA not only the past due amounts, but more than $6 million in penalties.

“This case proves that EPA does not take agreements with companies that violate federal laws lightly,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. This most recent case is a testament to EPA’s hard work to uphold the principles of the Superfund process.”

Champion failed to make payments required under a consent decree that both Champion and Imperial Oil had entered into with EPA in 2001. Under the consent decree, the settling parties had agreed to make monthly payments to the United States of $12,500, as well as other amounts as specified in the decree. EPA filed a motion to enforce the decree in spring 2007. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled last month that Champion must pay $7,174,667 to EPA.

Imperial Oil Co./Champion Chemicals Superfund site consists of 15 acres that have groundwater contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PCBs, and metals, among other contaminants. Additionally, the surface soil is contaminated with heavy metals including chromium, lead, and arsenic, as well as PCBs. To date, the site has been addressed by EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. EPA has conducted numerous cleanup activities at the site, including the removal of a waste clay pile and removal of arsenic contaminated soil from adjoining residential properties.

Bellevue Project Fined for Water Quality Violations

The Washington Department of Ecology has fined Land Holding, LLC, of Seattle, Wash., $16,000 for violating conditions of a permit issued to prevent polluted discharges from construction sites.

The violations occurred at the company’s six-acre Parkwood Lane project at 3615 163rd Ave. SE in Bellevue. Ecology received reports of muddy water entering Vasa Creek in 2006 and early 2007. The penalty cites the project for:

  • Failing to prevent vehicles when leaving the site from tracking dirt and mud onto adjoining streets where it can wash into storm drains.
  • Failing to install equipment to remove sediments from stormwater entering an on-site treatment system.
  • Allowing the soil in cleared areas to remain exposed to rain erosion without adequate stabilization measures.
  • Failing to comply with a Notice of Violation issued by Ecology in June 2007 that required corrections to these and other problems.

“These safe practices—if followed—help prevent polluted runoff from construction sites,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, who supervises Ecology’s Water Quality Program at the Northwest Regional Office in Bellevue. “Everyone working on projects one acre or larger has an obligation to use these same protections and take them into account when planning each stage of the work.”

Stormwater discharged from the project flows to Vasa Creek, a Lake Sammamish tributary with various fish runs. Muddy water interferes with the ability of fish and other aquatic animals to draw oxygen from the water.

Wachusett Mountain Associates, Inc., Assessed $8,500 for Air and Solid Waste Violations

Wachusett Mountain Associates, Inc., of Princeton, Mass., has been assessed $8,500 in penalties by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for Air Pollution Control and Solid Waste Management regulations that occurred at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton.

On April 26, 2007, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) District 8 Forest Fire Warden observed smoke from the Princeton Fire Tower. Upon further investigation by DCR and MassDEP, it was determined that an employee of the company had been burning a pile of debris including logs, construction material, pressure-treated lumber, sod, and plastics on a nearby site. This activity violated open-burning regulations and solid waste disposal regulations. While the company had an open-burning permit from the local fire department, that permit did not authorize the burning of material other than forestry debris.  

In a recently finalized consent order, the company agreed to comply with applicable regulations and pay the $8,500 administrative penalty.

"The rules governing open burning of brush during certain times of the year do not extend to the burning of other materials," said Lee Dillard Adams, deputy director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester. "The mistake made in this case was to burn other types of material, including pressure-treated lumber and non-wood materials. These provisions are in place to protect our air quality."

EPA Fines Hunt Building Co. for Colorado Stormwater Pollution

The EPA has fined Hunt Building Co. of El Paso, Texas, $39,000 for stormwater violations at the Buckley Housing Project on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. Hunt Building Co. has already paid the fine.

EPA inspections of the Hunt construction project during 2006 and 2007 revealed sediment loading into detention ponds that discharge into area waterways. Sediment was also observed on Buckley Road/Airport Boulevard. The EPA inspections found that stormwater inspections had not been conducted as frequently as required by the site permit.

EPA Region 8 Legal Enforcement Director Michael Risner said, “EPA is taking this action to prevent stormwater pollution and to deter future violations of federal laws designed to protect valuable water resources.”

Stormwater runoff can carry high levels of pollutants—such as sediment, oil and grease, suspended solids, nutrients, and heavy metals—into waterways.

EPA found that Hunt’s stormwater pollution prevention plan did not adequately describe the best management practices that would be implemented at the site and did not contain all the required information as outlined in the permit, including total area of soil disturbance, best management practices being implemented, and an updated sequence of activities.

Inspections by EPA and the City of Aurora revealed that numerous best management practices were not in place or were not being maintained. This lack of best management practices resulted in the cited sediment loading.

EPA took this action because it retains authority to implement the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program at federal facilities in Colorado.

EPA Approves Plan by Northeast States to Lower Mercury Levels in Fish

EPA has announced the approval of a Northeast states’ plan designed to lower mercury levels in fish throughout New England and New York. The plan calls for a 98% reduction from 1998 levels of mercury from atmospheric sources in order to make mercury levels in fish low enough for the states to lift fish consumption advisories.

For several years, the Northeast has experienced elevated levels of mercury in certain fish species that has resulted in thousands of fish consumption advisories at lakes and rivers across the region. 

Thanks to the high level of collaboration with the Northeast states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, as well as the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, there is now a scientific basis for taking specific actions to ratchet down the release of mercury into water bodies.

To establish the mercury reduction targets, each state carefully analyzed fish tissue, evaluated information on atmospheric sources of mercury, and estimated the level of reduction needed to meet the target levels in fish. Given the consistency of mercury levels in fish throughout the region and the regional consistency of mercury inputs from the atmosphere, EPA believes the collaborative approach among the states is a logical and effective way to address the problem.

The plan was reviewed jointly by EPA regional offices in Boston and New York. The establishment of this mercury reduction plan builds on a number of ongoing efforts by the Northeast states to lower mercury levels.

City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Agrees to Make $250 Million in Improvements to Sewer System

The City of Fort Wayne, Ind., has agreed to make an estimated $250 million worth of improvements to resolve longstanding problems with overflows from its sewer system, announced the Justice Department and the EPA.

The city's sewer system, which serves approximately 220,000 people, transports the city's sewage for treatment at a wastewater treatment plant prior to discharging it into area rivers and streams. Overflows from the city's collection system discharge raw sewage directly into rivers and streams and can be a major source of water pollution. Fort Wayne's overflows currently number approximately 60 per year.

Improvements to the city's sewer system, to be implemented under the consent decree, will reduce the number of overflows to approximately one per year on the St. Joseph River and four per year on the St. Mary's and Maumee Rivers. The city also will pay a penalty of $538,380, which will be divided evenly between the United States and the State of Indiana. The city also has agreed to spend $400,000 on a supplemental environmental project to eliminate failing septic systems, and the city can reduce the portion of the penalty to be paid to the state by undertaking further reductions in the number of failing septic systems.

All the improvements to be made under the consent decree will provide major public health and environmental benefits. The injunctive relief provided under the settlement will reduce the volume of Fort Wayne's untreated combined sewer overflow discharges by 900 million gallons in an average year.

"With today's consent decree, the City of Fort Wayne is taking an important step toward complying with the Clean Water Act," said Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "We are pleased that we have reached a resolution to these matters, and that the city has agreed to make the necessary improvements and committed funds to ensure significant improvements to reduce untreated sewer discharges."

The Justice Department has alleged that these discharges violate the Clean Water Act because they exceed limitations and conditions in the city's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits or are otherwise unpermitted. Further, the Department has alleged a number of other violations by Fort Wayne, including the failure to comply with monitoring and reporting requirements of its permit and the failure to meet effluent limitations at the pipe leading from the city's wastewater treatment plant.

The consent decree was lodged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. 

Settlement Reached for City Parcel PCB Cleanup

The Washington Department of Ecology and three former owners of the City Parcel facility on North Cook Street have reached three separate settlements in the case to clean up PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) at City Parcel.

The settlement agreements, called Consent Decrees, are with Richard Boyce, Jerry Overton, and Paul Gisselberg, who are responsible for cleaning up the site. The agreements require each of the responsible parties to contribute money toward that effort.

Boyce owned the site when it was a transformer repair and recycling operation until 1974. Overton leased the property from Boyce and operated Spokane Transformer until the property was sold to City Parcel’s owner, Paul Gisselberg, in 1980.

The pollution resulted from the transformer operations, but under the state’s cleanup laws, past and current property owners also are held liable.

The total settlement amount from Boyce, Overton, and Gisselberg is about $270,000. The site cleanup is estimated at more than $1 million. The state will need to shoulder the remainder of the bill.
Additionally, the Consent Decree with Gisselberg requires him, as the current owner, to record a lien against the City Parcel property and activate an environmental covenant to restrict the way the land can be used. Gisselberg also is required to grant Ecology access to the property to conduct the cleanup.

Results of investigations at the site show extensive PCB contamination in soils in the gravel parking area and alley. Investigators also found contamination inside the building in dry wells and drain lines. A dry well outside the building also is contaminated with PCBs. Sampling indicated that PCBs are not in the groundwater at the site.

PCBs are a mixture of man-made chemicals historically used as insulating fluids, coolants, and lubricants in transformers, capacitors, or other electrical equipment. PCB production ended in the United States in 1977, because they build up in the environment and can be harmful to human health.

Exposure to PCBs can cause a number of health problems from skin rashes to liver and thyroid damage and birth defects. Other PCB effects that scientists have observed in animals include changes in the immune system, behavioral alterations, and impaired reproduction.

Because the parties were unable to reach agreement on studying and cleaning up the site, Ecology used state funds to conduct a study to characterize the contamination. Ecology then prepared a cleanup action plan in 2004 and invited the public to review and comment on all the documents.

Boyce, Overton, and Gisselberg failed to comply with requirements to clean up the site, so Ecology took legal action against the parties.

Ecology expects to start work in 2008 to remove tanks, dry wells, and drain lines, as well as remove contaminated soil. In addition, any liquid PCBs that are found will be incinerated off-site and land use restrictions will be applied to the property. For example, the site may be restricted to industrial purposes only.

Montana Couple Pays Penalties to Resolve Underground Storage Tank Violations

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has received a total of $14,100 in administrative and civil penalties in settlement of its enforcement action against Darryl and Lori Bjork for violations of the Montana Underground Storage Tank Act at Mulligan's Conoco in Kalispell, Mont.

In October 2005, the DEQ cited the Bjorks for multiple violations including failing to perform release-detection monitoring and maintaining records on the four underground storage tank (UST) systems; operating the tanks without a valid operating permit; and failing to file a compliance inspection report within the required time.

The DEQ assessed a maximum $4,100 administrative penalty for the violations but allowed the Bjorks to pay a minimum of $3,300 with the remainder to be suspended as long as the couple complied with the order. They failed to submit monthly leak detection records as required and were assessed the remaining $800 for failing to comply with the order.

The Bjorks again violated the order by failing to obtain a reinspection within the time frames established in the order. In March 2007, the DEQ filed a judicial action with the Eleventh Judicial District Court in Flathead County seeking a civil penalty of $19,500. In a negotiated agreement, the Bjorks agreed to pay a civil penalty of $10,000.

The DEQ is reminding tank owners that it is unlawful to dispense fuel from non-permitted tanks. Tank owners are required to conduct monthly release detection monitoring and maintain monthly records for at least one year. 

Pennsylvania DEP Approves American Ash Recycling Process Request

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has approved the application by American Ash Recycling of Pa. Inc. to process municipal waste incinerator ash for use as cover at landfills.

“This approval authorizes AAR to remove metal from incinerator ash generated during the burning of municipal waste at the York County Solid Waste and Refuse Authority's facility in West Manchester Township and then send the ash to landfills, where it will be used as daily cover,” said DEP Southcentral Regional Director Rachel Diamond.

In October, DEP denied AAR’s request to renew its general permit for processing and beneficial use of treated ash, citing problems with the product’s performance and application, along with the company’s failure to meet the beneficial use standards outlined in DEP’s regulations.

The approval of the application allows for the recovery of ferrous and non-ferrous metals from incinerator ash for recycling, according to Diamond.

In addition, DEP imposed additional restrictions on the processing operation, such as requiring AAR to store all ash within buildings or containers to prevent wind dispersal of the ash and limiting the amount of ash on-site to no more than 4,900 tons. AAR is also required to submit an ash control plan and a stormwater management plan within 30 days and to submit a study evaluating the feasibility of relocating the operation to alternative sites.

EPA Terminates Negotiations With Dow Chemical on River Cleanups


"EPA does not believe that the deal Dow is offering goes far enough," said Ralph Dollhopf, associate director for the Superfund Division of EPA's Regional Office in Chicago. "Key issues that are paramount for protecting human health and the environment remain unresolved. EPA simply will not accept any deal that is not comprehensive."

Last October, EPA called for 60 days of negotiations under provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), or Superfund. Superfund specifies the process in which a remedial investigation and feasibility study must be conducted, as well as the design and execution of a cleanup plan. Last month, EPA extended its Dec.10, 2007, deadline to resolve remaining issues and reach a final agreement.

"I am extremely disappointed with this outcome," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "EPA approached negotiations with high hopes and realistic expectations. Our team put in many long hours of good faith efforts that came to an unfortunate end today. EPA is now reviewing its options for ensuring that dioxin contamination in the river system and the Midland area can be fully addressed."

The targeted area begins upstream of Dow's Midland, Mich., facility and extends downstream to the Saginaw River, its floodplains, and Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron.

Under Superfund, an investigation and study are necessary to evaluate the nature and extent of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants from a site and assess the risks they present to human health and the environment. It also would require that enough data be developed to evaluate a range of cleanup options.

Dow's Midland facility is a 1,900-acre chemical manufacturing plant. Dioxins and furans are byproducts from the manufacture of chlorine-based products. Past waste-disposal practices, fugitive emissions, and incineration at Dow have resulted in on- and off-site dioxin and furan contamination.

EPA Launches Water Indicator Webpages

The EPA mid-Atlantic Water Protection program uses the environmental indicators tool to measure progress in reaching its goals toward water quality improvements. The primary use of an indicator is to characterize current status and to track or predict significant change. 

Water and Energy Reuse at Research Center

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash., reuses water and saves energy to help lower its overall operating costs. Due to the high need for washing glassware and other research equipment, they have identified washing processes where water can be used to pre-wash other areas, thus reducing overall water consumption. For washing processes that require high-temperature water, the heat from the water is captured and used to pre-heat other processes, thus reducing overall energy consumption. The research center looks inward for innovation and relies upon internal staff to identify and implement both the water- and energy-efficiency improvements.

Pep Boys Pays $154,000 for Air Violations

Pep Boys Company has agreed to pay $154,000 in penalties to the Air Resources Board for selling all-terrain vehicles in California in violation of state air quality standards.

"Retailers who sell engines not certified to meet California standards will be held fully accountable for their actions," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Compliance with our regulations is a crucial step toward improving air quality and protecting public health."

In December 2006, Pep Boys sold and offered for sale Baja Motorsports' Storm 125cc ATVs to California customers. After becoming aware that the ATVs failed to meet California emissions requirements, the company reported its violations and settled the case.

Evaporative emissions from off-road recreational vehicles are a major source of hydrocarbon emissions in the state, especially during the summer ozone season. California has dramatically tightened emission standards for off-road mobile sources and the fuels that power them because they contribute to both ozone-forming pollutants and carbon monoxide.

New Mexico to Hold Meetings on New Truck Idling Regulations

The meetings will include information about the regulation’s role in reducing air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. The effort to address idling through air quality regulation implements a portion of Governor Bill Richardson's Executive Order 2006-069.

At the Open Houses, Environment Department staff will be available to discuss the development of the idle limitation rule and the related benefits to air quality, health, and climate change. The Environment Department is soliciting comments on the rule until March 1, 2008.

The events will be held as follows:
Santa Fe: From 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, January 9, in Conference Room 240 at the New Mexico Environment Department, Air Quality Bureau, 1301 Siler Road, Building B in Santa Fe.
Las Cruces: From 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, January 16, in the Board of Trustees Room at the Mesilla Town Hall, 2231 Avenida de Mesilla in Mesilla.
Gallup: From 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, January 23 in the Octavia Fellin Public Library Meeting Room, 115 W. Hill Avenue in Gallup.
Santa Rosa: From 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, January 30 in the City Hall Meeting Room, 244 S. 4th St. in Santa Rosa.

For more information, contact Robert Spillers, NMED Air Quality Bureau, at (505) 476-4324 or Marissa Stone, NMED Communications Director, at 505-827-0314.

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Trivia Question of the Week

What is the world’s fastest growing energy source?

a. Coal
b. Wind
c. Ethanol
d. Photovoltaic solar