These simplified standards aim to increase the collection and recycling of CRTs. According to EPA, safely recycling CRTs saves energy and conserves resources, allows the recovered lead to be reused, and reduces the amount of lead in landfills.
"A discarded CRT represents an opportunity lost," said EPA Assistant Administrator Susan Bodine. "This rule will help encourage the reuse and recycling of CRTs, which puts these resources back to productive use, rather than into the nation's landfills."
CRTs are the video display components of televisions and computer monitors. The glass in CRTs typically contains enough lead to require managing it as hazardous waste under certain circumstances. Under the previous regulations, businesses and other organizations were sometimes unsure about the proper way to recycle or dispose of this equipment. That uncertainty sometimes prevented CRTs from being recycled and reused. EPA is changing CRT waste management requirements to eliminate this confusion so that more CRTs will be reused and recycled. About 57 million computers and televisions are sold in the United States annually, although many new models do not contain CRTs.
Under the new regulations, used, unbroken CRTs are not regulated as hazardous waste as long as the following conditions are met:
1. CRT containers are clearly labeled regarding contents
2. CRTs are safely transported in containers designed to minimize releases
3. CRTs are stored in a building or container designed to minimize releases
4. Recyclers and collectors store CRTs on-site for less than one year before recycling them
Used, broken CRTs also are not regulated as hazardous waste as long as certain good-housekeeping practices are followed. Processors recycling the glass must follow the same simplified requirements as for unbroken CRTs, except that the glass must be processed so that lead is not volatilized. CRT glass that has been processed and sent to a CRT glass manufacturer or a lead smelter also is unregulated as long as it is stored for less than a year.
Exporters shipping broken or unbroken CRTs to another country for recycling must notify EPA and receive written consent from the receiving country through EPA before shipments may be made. This requirement is similar to those applicable to exporters of hazardous waste, which are at 40 CFR 262. In addition, exporters shipping used, unbroken CRTs to another country for reuse as computers must submit a one-time notification to EPA.
The new rule will become effective immediately in states that do not have RCRA authorization, such as Iowa. In other states, the rule will become effective if and when it is adopted by the state.
EPA Recognizes Green Computers and Monitors from CTL, Dell, & HP
EPA recently announced that more than 60 desktop computers, laptops, and monitors from three manufacturers as part of an EPA-funded effort to identify high-performance, environmentally friendly computer equipment. All of the products meet the new Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) “green” computer standard.
Compared to traditional computer equipment, EPEAT-registered computers have lower levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury to better protect human health. They are more energy efficient, thereby reducing emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases. They are also easier to upgrade and recycle. In fact, manufacturers must offer safe recycling options for the products when they are no longer useable.
“EPEAT is a cutting edge, market-based tool that will push continuous improvement in environmental protection,” said Jeff Scott, EPA’s waste division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “The environmental benefits of EPEAT are tremendous, from reducing toxics and packaging, to energy use, to end-of-life recycling. EPEAT helps close the loop on the growing impact computers have on our environment.”
The three-tiered EPEAT rating system includes 23 required criteria and 28 optional criteria. The optional criteria are used to determine if the equipment receives EPEAT bronze, silver, or gold recognition.
"EPEAT makes it possible for purchasers to identify and buy green computers, laptops, and monitors," said James Gulliford, assistant administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. "EPA's leadership in developing these new environmental standards has spurred the manufacturing of greener computers."
“This initial list of EPEAT-registered computers is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Jeff Omelchuck, executive director of the Green Electronics Council, which manages the EPEAT program. “Other manufacturers are currently redesigning and registering products. We’re thrilled to see the race to the top as manufacturers compete to develop the greenest possible computers.”
While EPEAT was originally designed to benefit large-volume purchasers such as government agencies, corporations, and colleges and universities, EPEAT also makes it possible for individual consumers to review environmental considerations before making their own purchases.
EPEAT was developed over a three-year period in a consensus-based, EPA-funded process that included more than 100 representatives from environmental groups, government agencies, large-volume computer purchasers, subject matter experts, electronics recyclers, and manufacturers. When developing the standard, the group integrated a variety of existing environmental standards and requirements into the EPEAT standard, including:
- The most recent U.S. Energy Star energy efficiency requirements
- EPA’s Plug-In Guidelines for Materials Management
- Rechargeable Battery Recycling Coalition recommendations
- Coalition of North Eastern Governors Model Toxics in Packaging legislation
- European Union restriction on hazardous substances
- EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment requirements
- EU battery directives
- Various global environmental labeling standards
Although the EPEAT rankings were only recently released, EPEAT is already specified in almost $32 billion worth of computer contracts, including contracts issued by the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, NASA, Minnesota, Massachusetts, the City of San Jose, Kaiser Permanente, and Premiere, a healthcare purchasing alliance with more than 1,500 hospitals, and more than 41,000 other healthcare sites.
“Like organizations across the country, we are increasingly concerned about the environmental impacts of our purchases, particularly our electronic purchases,” said Dmitriy Nikolaev, environmental purchasing specialist with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “EPEAT makes it much easier for us to specify affordable, high-quality, high-performance, and environmentally preferable equipment.”
"As a health care company, Kaiser Permanente is well aware of the connections between environmental issues and human health,” said Lynn Garske, Kaiser Permanente environmental stewardship manager. “We recognize the potential human health impacts associated with the materials found in traditional computers. As a result, we are very pleased to be one of the first private sector companies to use the EPEAT green computer standard, in addition to other environmental criteria, in our computer purchasing practices.”
EPA estimates that over the next five years, purchases of EPEAT-registered computers will result in reductions of:
- More than 13 million pounds of hazardous waste
- More than 3 million pounds of non-hazardous waste
- More than 600,000 MWh of energy – enough to power 6 million homes
EPA Updates Hazardous Waste Regulations
EPA recently reviewed its hazardous waste RCRA regulations to find outdated and inaccurate information. No new requirements were established in this rule; however, EPA simplified compliance by removing the outdated data. For example, in the definition of ignitable hazardous waste (D001), the former regulations referred to Department of Transportation definitions from the 1980 Code of Federal Regulations for ignitable compressed gases and oxidizers. Because DOT had revised its regulations, the original EPA references did not link to the current CFRs. Therefore, in this rulemaking, EPA has adopted the full text of the definitions of ignitable compressed gases and oxidizers from DOT’s 1980 regulations.
Mapping Gasoline Requirements across the US
Federal and state regulations play an important role in determining gasoline composition around the United States. Multiple sources of information on these programs were used to develop reliable, up-to-date maps showing gasoline requirements imposed by various regulations.
$5,850 Penalty for Failure to Submit Pesticide Production Report
The company, which produces sodium hypochlorite for swimming pool disinfection, was subject to an EPA action last year due to similar violations.
“Pesticide production reports are important to the EPA. With the information contained in these reports, we can identify companies producing cancelled products, assist inspectors in the field, and more closely monitor pesticides produced for the U.S. market,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest region.
Under the law, companies must report their annual pesticide production to the EPA by March 1.
Amerigas Propane, LP Fined More than $28,000 for Failure to File SARA Tier II Reports
EPA ordered Amerigas Propane, LP (Amerigas) to pay $28,495.95 for failure to file a Tier II, Inventory of Hazardous Chemicals Report, to the state emergency response commission (SERC), local emergency planning committee (LEPC), and local fire department. In addition to the penalty, Amerigas has agreed to perform a supplemental environmental project (SEP) that will provide $28,752 to pay for emergency response equipment for Dallesport Fire Department.
The failure to file the Tier II Inventory of Hazardous Chemicals Report with appropriate agencies is a violation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act ).
For 2001 through 2004, Amerigas failed to file the inventory reports with the SERC, LEPC and fire department with jurisdiction over the facility. Amerigas’s propane facility is located in Klickitat County in Dallesport, WA.
"These laws help communities prepare for and respond to chemical accidents," said Mike Bussell, director of EPA’s Office of Compliance & Enforcement in Seattle. "They also help reduce the likelihood and severity of accidental chemical releases that could harm the public and the environment."
Amerigas sells propane and stores approximately 600,000 pounds of propane at its site in Dallesport, Wash. Propane is a liquefied petroleum gas that is flammable, colorless, non-corrosive and non-toxic, but can be an asphyxiant if it replaces oxygen. Propane is listed as a hazardous substance under Occupational Safety and Health Act.
EPA Cites Two Companies for Selling Off-Spec, Misbranded Pesticides
EPA is seeking financial penalties totaling nearly $1.5 million in separate complaints against the Topaz Turf Corporation in Holtsville and Southern Chemical Supply, Inc., in Bohemia, which used Topaz as its supplier. EPA is alleging the companies distributed off-spec and misbranded pesticides to the public since at least October 2003. In addition, the agency charged Topaz with selling an unregistered pesticide and failing to maintain and furnish production records. EPA also alleges that Southern made misstatements in the sale of the pesticides.
Pesticide products, in this case weed killers, contain a percentage of active chemical ingredients that are approved by EPA for a specific end-use. By law, these registered formulations must match the information on the product label, which must have the correct EPA product registration numbers.
EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg said, “Companies that sell pesticides that are misformulated, unregistered or misbranded to unsuspecting customers and telemarketers that make misstatements are not only doing a disservice to the public and the environment, they are shooting their businesses in the proverbial foot.”
On February 28, EPA issued stop sale orders against Topaz and Southern based on the findings of joint inspections of the Holtsville and Bohemia facilities with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The stop sale orders and complaints against the two companies resulted from an EPA and state initiative to investigate pesticide producers, distributors and telemarketers on Long Island.
NYSDEC Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said, “New York State is committed to enforcing the stringent pesticide laws and regulations in order to ensure the protection of public health and the environment. DEC was pleased to work with EPA in this investigation into the alleged illegal distribution and misbranding of herbicides and will continue to work with our partners on the federal, state and local levels to bring violators to justice.”
Topaz wrote EPA on April 11 indicating that it had conducted an investigation of the problems in manufacturing and documentation that were uncovered by EPA and the state and the company said that these problems have been corrected. Southern wrote EPA on March 29 that it had implemented procedures to minimize the risk of any misstatements by its sales force.
The complaints are seeking $797,500 from the Topaz Turf Corporation and $702,000 from Southern Chemical for multiple violations of federal law. The owners/operators of both companies may request a hearing to contest the allegations in the complaints, enter into settlement discussions and present documented proof of compliance with the applicable federal environmental regulations.
EPA Cites County for Wetlands Destruction
EPA last week issued an administrative compliance order to Fallon County, Mont., for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The order cites discharges of dredged and fill material to Baker Lake, Upper Baker Lake, and surrounding wetlands, in violation of CWA section 301(a), which prohibits the discharge of a pollutant unless authorized by a permit. The order includes compliance measures to correct the environmental damage.
"The Clean Water Act requires that dredge and fill activities be permitted in order to protect wetlands and the quality of our nation's waters," said EPA's assistant regional administrator Carol Rushin. "EPA will pursue those who engage in unauthorized projects to ensure compliance with the law."
The discharges of dredged and fill material began in or about January 2005, when Fallon County (or people acting on its behalf) performed construction work on Baker Lake. These activities included the excavation of approximately 11,000 feet of lakeshore, including wetland vegetation, and stockpiling of the excavated material below the lake’s ordinary high-water mark. Other violations included placing fill material below the ordinary high-water mark in certain places and in the lakebed in front of a private residence. Additional work was done later in the year, including activities at Upper Baker Lake. Some of these activities, including installation of a boat ramp, occurred after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ordered the county on February 17, 2005 to cease and desist from any additional unauthorized discharges.
These unauthorized activities resulted in the destruction of more than 8.6 acres of wetlands surrounding Baker Lake and additional impacts at Upper Baker Lake. Both lakes provide habitat for waterfowl, songbirds, and aquatic wildlife and play an important role in water quality maintenance, groundwater recharge, ecology education, recreation and aesthetics.
Fallon County allegedly discharged dredged and fill materials into waters of the U.S. without a permit, which is required by section 404 of the Clean Water Act. "Dredged material” means material that is excavated or dredged from waters of the U.S. “Fill material” means any material used for the primary purpose of replacing an aquatic area with dry land or changing the bottom elevation of a water body. Dredged and fill materials are pollutants within the meaning of the Clean Water Act and harm waters into which they are discharged. Dumping dredged or fill materials into waters can have adverse impacts on fish and wildlife habitat and can adversely affect the plants or insects they rely on as food sources.
A permit from the Army Corps of Engineers is required before performing any work that results in discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S., which include rivers, lakes, streams, and certain wetlands. The impacts of these alleged violations could have been avoided if Fallon County had consulted with the Corps prior to commencing its activities.
The order requires Fallon County to remove all dredged and fill material that was discharged as a result of the violations and restore the impacted areas of Baker Lake, Upper Baker Lake and their wetlands to pre-impact conditions and grade. Prior to doing the work, Fallon County must submit for EPA’s approval a restoration plan that details how the removal and restoration will be accomplished.
Respondents who fail to respond to EPA orders are subject to additional enforcement actions, including civil enforcement lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in federal court.
EPA Cites Champion Packaging for Operating without a Permit
EPA Region 5 has cited Champion Packaging and Distribution Inc. for alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company's facility in Woodridge, Ill.
EPA alleges that Champion built and operated a plant that emits methanol, a volatile organic compound and hazardous air pollutant, without first getting state construction and operating permits.
The company makes a variety of products at the facility, including automotive windshield washer fluid and bleach. Windshield washer fluid contains methanol.
"EPA's mission is to protect public health and the environment," said Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur. "We will take whatever steps are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act."
These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company. Champion has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.
Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, or smog. Smog is formed when a mixture of air pollutants is heated in the sun. Smog can cause a variety of respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain. People with asthma, children and the elderly are especially at risk, but these health concerns are important to everyone.
Woodridge is located in metropolitan Chicago, which does not meet the national outdoor air quality standard for ground-level ozone.
Short-term exposure to methanol can result in blurry or dim vision as well as damage to the nervous system. Long-term exposure can cause headache, giddiness, insomnia, gastric disturbances, visual disturbances and blindness.
EPA Cites Ahlstrom for VOC Emissions
EPA Region 5 cited Ahlstrom Engine Filtration LLC for alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company's facility in Taylorville, Ill. The agency alleges that Ahlstrom violated its state construction permit by failing to meet 98% control efficiency with its thermal oxidizer used to reduce volatile organic compound emissions from a paper saturator.
These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company. Ahlstrom has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.
EPA Seeks Better Awareness in Proper Handling of Hospital Medical Waste
Washington Waste Handler Agrees to Improve Practices after Serious Spill
A Tacoma-area waste handler and recycler, Emerald Services, has agreed to pay $42,000 and to improve its facility to prevent the toxic materials it handles from potentially harming the environment.
Along with paying the penalty, Emerald signed a "stipulated order" with the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) under which the state will defer an additional $86,000 penalty as long as Emerald implements the changes ordered.
On August 30, 2005, Emerald accidentally spilled 250 gallons of recycled solvent product that contained toluene -- a toxic, flammable solvent. The spill entered a stormwater collection vault at Emerald's facility. Emerald did not completely remove all of the spilled material from the vault due to a combination of operator error and problems with the design of the stormwater system. Vapors from the solvent built up and, on September 13, ignited in an explosion and fire. The incident forced an emergency evacuation of the facility and a response by firefighters, who were able to stop the fire. No one was injured in the incident.
The spill of toxic chemicals into a stormwater collection system poses a threat to the environment because most stormwater systems, including Emerald's, discharge into public waters. In this case, the facility's stormwater discharges into Tacoma's drainage system and eventually to the Blair Waterway and Commencement Bay.
The penalty is based on the threats to human health and the environment from the spill, according to Kerry Graber of Ecology's hazardous waste program. It is also based on Emerald's failure to promptly report the spill, its inadequate cleanup of the spill, and on other violations of the company's state dangerous-waste permit and its industrial stormwater permit.
As part of the stipulated order, Emerald is taking steps to meet and exceed the performance standards in its dangerous-waste and stormwater permits, Graber said. Emerald has agreed to a number of operational and structural changes designed to improve stormwater controls, product management, stormwater monitoring, and control system inspections.
Graber said Ecology seeks a high level of hazard prevention at facilities that manage dangerous waste as a business. The stipulated order achieves this by improving dangerous-waste management, product management, and stormwater pollution prevention by mutual agreement with the company.
"Emerald provides an important service to Washington businesses that pay for proper handling of wastes," Graber said. "We are encouraged to see Emerald's willingness to step up and make fixes to protect the environment and to avert future dangerous situations."
Jerry Bartlett, vice president of Emerald Services said, "Emerald is pleased to enter into this agreement with the Department of Ecology to ensure that our facility continues to meet and exceed all applicable regulations. We are extremely grateful that no injuries occurred as a result of this unfortunate spill and no actual release to the waterway occurred or involved any dangerous waste management units."
Wetlands Violations in Massachusetts Lead to $36,375 Penalty
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has penalized Roberto Loam & Equipment Corporation $36,375 for the illegal alteration of more than a half-acre of wetlands. The violations were observed at the end of Republic Road in Billerica, where the company operates a wholesale and retail commercial operation involving loam and topsoil.
Wetlands are crucial in controlling stormwater runoff, filtering groundwater and protecting water supply sources, as well as serving as vital habitat for fish and other animals. Significant activities that could affect or alter wetland areas require the proper notification, review and regulatory approval.
"MassDEP sees the filling of wetlands as a serious problem. In this instance, the company's actions resulted in significant ecological damage from the runoff of sediment from this property," said Richard Chalpin, director of MassDEP's northeast office in Wilmington.
Roberto Loam has agreed to full restoration and monitoring of all impacted resource areas and MassDEP has agreed to suspend $6,375 of the penalty provided that full compliance is achieved by October 31, 2012.
5,000 Penalty for Storing Hazardous Waste More Than 90 Days
Materials Unlimited, a division of Tek Specialties, Inc., has agreed to pay the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a $5,000 penalty for violating hazardous waste management regulations at its facility on Baldwinville Road in Templeton.
During a routine inspection conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) in December of 2005, an inspector determined that the company had accumulated hazardous waste at its facility in excess of the 90-day prescribed accumulation period, as prescribed by MassDEP regulations. In a recently finalized consent order, the company agreed to comply with applicable regulations and pay the $5,000 penalty.
"Hazardous waste regulations require companies that generate hazardous wastes to properly manage those wastes and dispose of them on a regular basis. Large quantity generators of hazardous waste are held to a 90-day limit, by which time wastes must be properly disposed of," said Martin Suuberg, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester. "In this case, the company has acted quickly to come back into compliance."
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Fines Companies More than $1.7 Million for Freshwater-Wetlands Violations
NJ DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced penalties totaling more than $1.7 million against two developers and a land-clearing company for separate violations of freshwater-wetlands regulations in Mercer, Morris and Salem counties.
“Freshwater wetlands play a vital role in protecting drinking-water supplies, providing habitat for significant populations of fish and wildlife, and preventing erosion and flooding,” Commissioner Jackson said. “The penalties imposed in these three cases should leave no doubt about the strength of our resolve to conserve New Jersey’s environmentally sensitive wetlands and keep them healthy for future generations.”
In Mercer County, the DEP assessed a $630,000 penalty against Beazer Homes, New Jersey Division, for multiple violations of a freshwater-wetlands permit the DEP issued in 2000 to allow development of Wellington Manor at Hopewell, a subdivision on Pennington Road in Hopewell Township.
The DEP determined that Beazer Homes developed two acres of freshwater-wetland transition areas above what the permit authorized, failed to construct three acres of freshwater wetlands to compensate for the loss of wetlands, failed to implement appropriate soil- and sediment-control measures on the site, and failed to file deed restrictions ensuring that natural areas would forever remain undeveloped.
In addition to the fine, the DEP requires Beazer Homes to immediately correct all violations and return the affected area to its original condition.
In Morris County, the DEP issued a $763,500 fine to developers Anthony and Golnaz Mortezai and Deerfield Estates/Resamir Estates for violating freshwater-wetlands and stream-encroachment permits on the construction sites of their Mount Olive housing development.
DEP inspectors found that the developers overcleared vegetation in exceptional-resource-value freshwater-wetland transition areas, failed to implement approved soil- and sediment-control measures, failed to file required deed restrictions, failed to purchase mitigation credits to offset development of regulated areas, and submitted inaccurate plans when they applied to the DEP for permits required to develop the site.
The DEP has suspended the developers’ freshwater-wetlands permit for permit application inaccuracies and for ongoing violations that were degrading a high-quality waterway and causing sedimentation of local streams and water bodies.
DEP’s enforcement order also requires immediate steps to prevent degradation of water quality and restore cleared areas to their original condition.
In Salem County, the DEP took enforcement action against Stella Oldmans, LLC, and Edward Stella Jr., of Oldmans Township, for clearing up to 15 acres of freshwater wetlands and rerouting a stream on his Route 130 property.
In addition to issuing a $378,000 penalty, the DEP ordered Stella to restore the site by regrading and replanting and returning the stream to its original location. Stella agreed to suspend clearing and grading activities at the site until the company submits a site restoration plan.
Safe Drinking Water Act Annual Report
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the national law that ensures the quality of America's drinking water and furthers EPA’s mission to protect human health and safeguard the environment. The Safe Drinking Water Hotline answers questions about federal drinking water regulations and standards, source water protection, and the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program.
The questions reflected several “hot topics” and initiatives, including boil water advisories, consumer confidence reports, and hurricane-related water emergencies. The report also includes an update on recent changes in the regulations.
Truck Association to Hear about SmartWay Transport Program
The PAA represents the more than 1,200 new car and truck dealers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The SmartWay kit will help reduce emissions, idling, and fuel consumption.
Pennsylvania Offers $500 Rebates to Reduce Costs of Green Vehicles
Hybrid electric vehicles save consumers money through increased fuel efficiency, which in turn reduces America’s need to import oil from foreign countries. Greater fuel efficiency also translates into lower emissions of air pollutants.
“Each of us can make a difference by demanding cleaner cars that get better gas mileage,” Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said. “Increased efficiency and fuel conservation are necessary first steps in breaking America’s dependence on imported oil and cleaning the air we breathe.”
This is the second round of funding for the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Rebate Program, offered through the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant program administered by DEP. The initial rebate offering was so popular that the program issued $1.5 million in rebates in less than 10 months.
The governor’s 2006-07 general fund budget expands funding for alternative-energy initiatives by $3 million, including funding to restart the rebate program under AFIG.
To qualify for the $500 rebate, the hybrid electric vehicle must be registered in Pennsylvania and operate primarily within the commonwealth. The rebate will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funds are available. Rebate request forms and required documentation must be submitted no later than six months after the vehicle is purchased.
Rebates will be provided only for the purchase of the cleanest and most fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. These “full hybrid” vehicles use the hybrid technology to significantly increase fuel economy while significantly reducing emissions. “Mild hybrids” that use the hybrid technology to increase a vehicle’s power and performance rather than significantly reducing emissions will not qualify for the rebates.
To claim the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Rebate, vehicle purchasers must submit a completed form to: Department of Environmental Protection, HEV Rebate Program, P.O. Box 8772, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8772. Rebate forms, along with additional information about the program, can be obtained by calling Cleo Arp, Grant Officer, at 717-772-8912.
$65,000 for Illegal Disposal of Hazardous Waste near Elementary School
Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo announced nearly $65,000 in fines and three years' probation as part of a no-contest plea by a chrome-plating company facing criminal charges for the improper handling of hazardous materials. Palace Plating, Inc., pleaded to one count of illegal disposal of hazardous waste and one count of illegal treatment of hazardous waste. As part of the plea agreement, the company agreed to pay nearly $65,000 in fines to be divided among the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, California’s general fund, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the Los Angeles County Fire Department Health Hazardous Materials Division, and the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Palace Plating is located across the street from an elementary school in south Los Angeles. Parents have claimed that conditions at the company created health problems for students at the school.
In addition to the financial penalties, Palace Plating was placed on 36 months' probation and was ordered to comply with all statutes, regulations and orders from the LA County Fire Department, DTSC and the California Environmental Protection Agency related to the treatment, handling, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste and materials. Palace Plating also entered into a separate consent order with DTSC that requires the company to pay an additional $60,000 in penalties to DTSC. Under the consent order, DTSC will oversee the cleanup of contaminated areas of the site and will continue oversight of hazardous waste management at the facility.
“Palace Plating operated outside of the law to the detriment of the health of our children and their families,” said 9th District City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who also serves as the AQMD governing board member for the western cities of Los Angeles County. “This is unacceptable, and by holding them accountable for their actions we are sending a clear message that we will not look the other way when industry threatens to endanger the welfare of our communities.“
The prosecution of Palace Plating grew out of Delgadillo’s Chrome Platers Initiative, launched in October 2003 to inspect suspected industrial polluters and prosecute violators. Composed of representatives from the California Environmental Protection Agency, DTSC, city and county fire departments, the state Air Resources Board, the Watershed Protection Division of the city’s Bureau of Sanitation, and the Department of Building and Safety, the initiative has inspected 47 chrome-plating sites. Violations found during those inspections have resulted in more than $300,000 in fines and penalties. Task force members re-inspect violators to measure compliance rates and will refer persistent violators to the city attorney’s office for prosecution. The inspections include on-site asthma screening and treatment for students through a Los Angeles Unified School District and Los Angeles County Health Department program. Inspections also continue to be conducted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District to ensure compliance with air quality regulations.
Guidance to Control Non-Point Source Pollution from Hydromodification
EPA has posted draft guidance that will provide technical assistance to states, territories, tribes, and municipalities for managing hydromodification and reducing non-point source (NPS) pollution of surface and ground water. The document describes examples of practices that can be used to reduce NPS pollution from activities associated with channelization, channel modification, dams, and stream bank and shoreline erosion. Implementation of the guidance will result in increased use of scientifically sound, cost-effective hydromodification management measures, and will support states in their efforts to implement their non-point source control programs. For additional information contact Chris Solloway at 202-566-1202.
Significant Changes to the 2007 IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations
Each year, IATA revises its Dangerous Goods Regulations for the transport of dangerous goods (hazardous materials) by air. The 48th edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations will include several changes, which are summarized below. The following list is not exhaustive, but highlights the most significant modifications by section number:
1 – Applicability
1.2.3 – Exceptions. The conditions under which dangerous goods may be regarded as not subject to the regulations (e.g., when carried for provision of medical aid to a patient during flight and search and rescue) have been extensively revised to clarify the requirements and application.
1.5 – Training Requirements. A new section, 1.5.5 – Instructor Qualifications, has been added to specify requirements for instructors of dangerous goods courses.
Table 1.5.A has been amended to add "Mail" and "Stores" following "Cargo" to identify that anyone engaged handling/loading such items -- e.g., company materials (COMAT) -- must receive dangerous goods training.
2 – Limitations
2.3 – Dangerous Goods Carried by Passengers or Crew. Paragraph 188.8.131.52, which applies to solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) in checked baggage has been revised to require that the checked baggage must be marked to identify how much dry ice it contains. A new paragraph, 184.108.40.206, specifies the conditions under which passengers and crew may carry consumer electronic devices containing fuel cell systems.
2.3 – Dangerous Goods in Airmail. Provisions for shipping infectious substances in airmail have been revised to clarify that only Category B and exempt patient specimens are permitted.
2.9.2 – State Variations. Canada, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States have amended their state variations.
2.9.4 – Operator Variations. A number of operators have added, deleted, or changed variations.
3 – Classification
Classification revisions from the 14th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations to align the criteria in the transport regulations with those for hazardous substances as set out in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling Chemicals (GHS). Changes include moving the closed-cup flash point for flammable liquids to 60C and revisions to LD50 and LC50 values for toxic substances.
4 – Identification
4.2 – List of Dangerous Goods. Revisions to the List of Dangerous Goods include:
- continuing separation of substances that have both liquid and solid form to have
- separate UN numbers
- deletion of a number of gas entries
- two previous proper shipping names for UN 3373 — diagnostic specimens and clinical specimens — have been deleted
- UN 3468 hydrogen in a metal hydride storage system revised from being forbidden to permitted on CAO
- new entry, UN 3473, fuel cell cartridges containing flammable liquid
4.4 – Special provisions
A66 (UN 3269 polyester resin kit) has been revised to allow organic peroxides in such kits only if the peroxides are permitted aboard passenger aircraft.
A131 (UN 1040 ethylene oxide) has been revised to clarify that ethylene oxide may still be transported on either passenger or cargo aircraft as prescribed in the special provision, even though ethylene oxide is shown in the Dangerous Goods List as forbidden.
A146 (new UN 3473 fuel cell cartridges) provides additional information on what constitutes fuel cell cartridges and their design criteria.
A151 (UN 1845 carbon dioxide, solid (dry ice)) excepts dry ice from the per-package limits in columns J and L for shipper-loaded units.
A152 (UN 1977 nitrogen, refrigerated liquid) excepts "dry shippers" containing non-dangerous goods from the DGR. A152 replaces Special Provision A800, which was deleted.
5 — Packing
220.127.116.11 – Contains new provisions setting out the requirements for cylinders as packagings for liquids or solids.
202 – Has been revised to reflect new provisions for open and closed cryogenic receptacles.
203 / Y203 – Revised to add provisions for plastic aerosols.
214 – Has been added to address the requirements for UN3468, hydrogen in a metal hydride storage system, which are now permitted aboard CAO.
313 – Has been added to address the requirements for UN 3473, fuel cell cartridges, containing flammable liquid.
602 – Has been revised to add provision for other dangerous goods in Classes 3, 8 or 9 to be permitted when used to preserve or stabilize specimens. Substances used must be allowed as dangerous goods in excepted quantities.
904 – Has been revised to reflect the new provisions for dry ice in a shipper-prepared unit load device.
6 – Packaging Specification & Performance Tests
6.1.9 – New provisions added for the design and construction of plastic aerosols.
6.4 – Requirements for closed cryogenic receptacles added.
6.4.4 – The testing method and criteria for aerosol containers has been expanded.
7 – Marking & Labeling
18.104.22.168 – Option on limited quantity packages to have the UN number placed inside a diamond shape. However, if this is done, certain requirements with regard to the mark apply.
22.214.171.124 – New note added to clarify that minor variations in design of hazard labels is acceptable.
126.96.36.199 – Clarification to state that if package dimensions are inadequate, hazard labels may be applied to the package a different shape.
7.2.7 – New provision added to require overpacks to have orientation arrows if they contain liquids in single packagings with end closures.
7.3 Label Specifications – The design of the symbols on the Division 2.3, Division 4.1, Division 6.1, Class 8 and Class 9 hazard labels have been revised to align with the design shown in the UN Model Regulations.
7.3.15 – New design hazard label for Division 5.2, organic peroxides. The old-design hazard label may be used until 2010.
8 – Documentation
188.8.131.52.1 – The alternative sequence of information describing the dangerous goods will no longer be valid. Beginning in 2007, only the sequence starting with the UN number will be acceptable.
184.108.40.206.2 – The type of packaging must now show the description, not just the UN packaging code, e.g. "fibreboard box," not just "4G."
9 – Handling
220.127.116.11 – Text has been added reinforcing that the operator must apply identification tags to unit load devices containing consumer commodities, dry ice, or magnetized material accepted from shippers.
18.104.22.168 – The provisions for separating different divisions/compatibility groups of explosives has been simplified.
9.3.8 – Text has been clarified to explicitly state that that identification tags on unit load devices must show the hazard class or division number; the use of cargo IMP codes to identify dangerous goods is insufficient.
9.3.12 – Provision for operator to add dry ice to a unit load device (accepted from a shipper) that previously contained dry ice, subject to annotation of the NOTOC.
9.5.3 – Check-in staff should seek confirmation from all passengers that they are not carrying dangerous goods not permitted in baggage.
Report Recommends Broader Approach to Assessing Changes to New Source Review Rules for Air Pollution
A new report from the National Academies' National Research Council suggests a broader, more comprehensive approach the EPA should use to evaluate changes to New Source Review, a part of the Clean Air Act that governs large, stationary sources of air pollution such as factories and power plants. Although the report's analysis focuses on the likely effects of EPA's 2002 and 2003 revisions to the rules—changes that have since, in large part, been struck down by federal courts—it can serve as a case study for how future revisions could be assessed, according to the committee that wrote the report.
Under New Source Review, before a new facility may be built or an existing one modified, an applicant must obtain a permit by showing that the new plant or equipment will neither disrupt progress toward attaining air quality standards in an area nor significantly worsen air pollution in an area that already meets the standards. The applicant also must show that advanced emission-control devices will be added to the plant. In 2002 and 2003 EPA made changes to New Source Review that, among other things, expanded the range of modifications a facility may make without getting a permit. The agency and other supporters predicted that the revisions would not result in significant changes in emissions and would give industry more flexibility to modernize plants and improve energy efficiency. Opponents maintained that the revisions would slow progress in cleaning the nation's air and thus damage human health. Because of the controversy, Congress asked the Research Council to estimate the revisions' effects.
It is impossible to quantify with certainty the changes' impacts on emission levels, human health, or energy efficiency, because existing models have limitations and data so far are scarce, the Research Council's report says. A portion of the 2002 revisions was struck down by a court last year, and the remainder has gone into effect in only a few states. The 2003 revision, known as the Equipment Replacement Provision (ERP), has not been implemented because it was stayed by a court in 2004 and struck down earlier this year.
Modeling can provide some insights into the changes' likely effects, the report says. Its analysis estimates future national emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from coal-fired power plants under ERP and compares them with emissions levels that could be expected if pre-revision rules continued. The committee used the same model as EPA, but also added different assumptions to account for other possible scenarios of how aggressively New Source Review might be enforced, other relevant regulations, and varying economic and technological conditions. For example, EPA's analysis had assumed that if pre-revision rules continued, plants would avoid making modifications that would trigger New Source Review requirements—resulting in older, higher-emitting equipment operating longer without repair. The new analysis, on the other hand, compares emissions under ERP with another scenario, one in which pre-revision rules are enforced more aggressively and lead to more replacements of deteriorating equipment.
For sulfur dioxide, ERP would be expected to result in a moderate decrease in emissions for the first six years or so, followed by a six-year period of little change. But after 12 years ERP would likely result in higher emissions, perhaps substantially so, compared with what would result if pre-revision rules continued, assuming that aggressive implementation of the pre-revision rules would have required all power plants to add emission controls by that point. ERP also would be expected to cause an increase in emissions of nitrogen oxides—again, possibly substantial—under certain circumstances after the first few years.
But the difference in emissions between pre-revision and revised rules would be lessened, the committee said, if EPA implements its 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), a "cap-and-trade" program aimed at lowering emissions from power plants in Eastern and Midwestern states. Such programs set limits on overall emissions in an area but allow individual plants to buy and sell pollution "allowances." With CAIR in place, differences in total sulfur dioxide emissions between pre-revision rules and ERP would be minor, the model suggests. CAIR would also probably moderate an expected increase in nitrogen oxide emissions caused by ERP and delay it for a dozen years, for the scenario in which all facilities would otherwise have added emission controls under the pre-revision rules.
Because current models shed little light on the expected effects of EPA's rule changes on particular plants and geographic locations and local populations with varying characteristics, no conclusions can be drawn about how the revisions would affect human health, the report says.
At a national level, the model analysis suggests that a cap-and-trade program with caps below those specified by CAIR would be a more cost-effective approach to lowering emissions than aggressive regulation under New Source Review; however, the committee's analysis was limited because it could not assess specific, local emission changes and their impact on public health.
Models must be improved to better account for how New Source Review and revisions to the rules affect individual plants' decisions about whether to install new equipment, the report says. And to assess health effects, future models will need to incorporate detailed meteorological information on the appropriate scale, such as regional or local.
Better data collection also is needed to aid future analyses of the revisions' effects after they are implemented, the committee added. EPA and state agencies should create and maintain a central database of permits issued under New Source Review, as well as minor permits issued by states, so that emissions from plants in states governed by the revised rules can be compared with those from plants operating under pre-revision rules. Data should also be collected on plants' investments in pollution-control equipment and programs, to allow investigators to study whether the rule changes lead plants to invest more or less in these improvements.