April 19, 2002

Clean Air Act

  • April 30, 2002 - Fossil-fuel fired steam generating units subject to new source performance standards for electric utility steam generating units must submit quarterly reports for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and opacity emissions.
  • May 15, 2002 - Seminannual reports due for sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant emission controls under 40 CFR 63, Subpart G, for synthetic organic chemical manufacturing industry production processes


  • May 26, 2002 - Employers subject to process safety management standards must update and revalidate the hazard analysis of their process conducted pursuant to 29 CFR 1910.110(e)(1)


US EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program has just released a new software tool, TRI-Made Easy (TRI-ME) that helps industry, especially small businesses, comply with the TRI reporting requirements.

TRI-ME is an interactive, intelligent, and user-friendly software program to assist facilities in determining and completing their TRI reporting obligations.

The TRI Program recently completed its regular mailing of the new Annual TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions. This mailing included a Reporting Software CD containing TRI-ME, along with a flyer explaining the benefits of TRI-ME. This mailing went to approximately 25,000 facilities that had reported to TRI in the past two years. Other persons that would like a copy of the TRI-ME software may request a copy by leaving a message at 202-564-9554 or sending an email to TRIDOCS@epa.gov. In your message, please specify your complete name and mailing address, and that you would like a copy of TRI-ME. TRI-ME also may be downloaded from the TRI website at http://www.epa.gov/tri/report/trime/patches.htm#cd

Key Features of TRI-ME:

  • Similar to the commercially popular tax software, Turbo Tax and TaxCut.
  • Leads prospective reporters through a series of logically ordered questions to assist facilities in determining if they must file TRI reports for certain chemicals. Reporters who do not need this assistance can expedite this process through a shorter Expert User path.
  • Allows reporters to load certain data elements from their 1999 or 2000 prior year TRI reports.
  • Sets up the appropriate forms and automatically populates each form with the facility's basic information so the information need only be entered once.
  • Guides users through each of the data elements on the reporting forms. Alternatively, TRI-ME allows for direct data entry onto electronic, intelligent versions of the forms. Reporters may jump back and forth between direct data entry on forms, or the Questionnaire format with its detailed instructions.
  • Provides the reporter with context-sensitive links to guidance for each data element on the reporting forms at the click of a button. In addition, facilities can conduct their own keyword searches of the TRI statutes, regulations, and key guidance documents at their desktops. With TRI-ME there is basically no need for the regulated community to independently acquire paper or electronic copies of the TRI instructions and key guidance documents.
  • Prevents reporters from making common errors in completing the forms. Before preparing the reports for submission, TRI-ME also performs a validation check, checking the reporting forms for missing information and errors.
  • Prepares the reports for submission to U.S. EPA and the appropriate state, and gives the user the choice of three submission methods: electronically over the Internet using EPA's Central Data Exchange, on a floppy mailed to EPA, or on traditional paper forms.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously affirmed updated Clean Water Act discharge limitations for pulp and paper mills adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1998. The new regulations will substantially reduce discharges of numerous toxic pollutants, including dioxin, and will encourage mills to use the most modern and effective pollution control technologies.

Pulp and paper mills have historically used large amounts of bleaching chemicals, such as chlorine, as part of the paper production process, which can lead to increased discharges of toxic pollutants, such as dioxin. The standards upheld today are premised on the adoption of more modern production processes by all mills nationwide. For example, to meet the new standards, existing mills will no longer be able to use the most harmful types of chlorine in the bleaching process, and new mills will need to implement additional process changes that will bring about further pollution reductions. EPA also adopted a Voluntary Advanced Technologies Incentive Program, which offers various incentives to mills to adopt even more pollution controls.

The case is captioned National Wildlife Federation v. EPA, No. 99-1452, and the decision was authored by Judges Sentelle, Henderson and Rogers.


EPA announced today that it has completed a detailed review of 69 existing drinking water standards. Based on that review, the agency is requesting comment on its preliminary decisions to revise the standard for total coliforms. Coliform bacteria are indicators of possible microbiological contamination, but do not necessarily make people sick. The agency's revisions to the standard will be designed to better indicate potential risks to public health.

EPA also examined standards for 68 chemical contaminants and determined that, at this stage, they should not be revised. However, the agency notes that new health assessments are currently underway for 36 of these contaminants. The results of those studies will be considered as soon as they become available and the agency will decide whether revisions for these standards are warranted.

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA must periodically review existing standards and, if good science indicates there is a threat to public health, revise them. The current review addresses standards developed prior to 1997.

The public has the opportunity to comment on these preliminary decisions for the next 60 days. The agency will also hold a public meeting and consult with EPA's Science Advisory Board. The results of the review were published in the Federal Register on April 17. The list of standards is available in a fact sheet with additional information at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/review.html


In a state prosecution assisted by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, Joseph Phil Damato of Ramsey, N.J., and his cousin Joseph Frank Damato of Wayne, N.J., were charged on April 9 with aggravated manslaughter for the death of one worker and assault for the injury of another worker at the Joseph Damato Paperstock recycling facility in Paterson, N.J. In addition, Joseph Damato Paperstock and a subsidiary, Annex Paperstock, were both charged with violating state laws concerning the transportation of hazardous wastes.

The indictment states that Darisz Wisniewski, formerly of Garfield, N.J., was killed and Victor Lopez of Paterson, N.J., was badly burned when Wisniewski was allegedly directed by Joseph Frank Damato to compact trash containing cans of "glitter hair spray." Gases released from the compacted cans ignited when they came into contact with a spark from a forklift operated by Lopez, causing an explosion and fire.

Joseph Phil Damato was indicted because he allegedly accepted the hairspray cans at a facility that was not licensed to dispose of them and Joseph Frank Damato was indicted for allegedly ordering that the cans be compacted. If convicted, both of the Damatos face up to 30 years in state prison on the manslaughter charge and up to 10 years in state prison on the assault charge. The case was investigated by the Passaic County Sheriff's Department with the help of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center. It is being prosecuted by the Passaic County Prosecutor's office in Patterson.


A new initiative designed to reward businesses that show environmental leadership will offer incentives to companies that achieve environmental performance targets has been announced by Ontario, Canada Environment Minister Elizabeth Witmer.

"Right now there are too few reasons for a company to take the initiative and do more than just meet our regulations," said Witmer. "Co-operative agreements show that we are serious about increasing private sector participation in environmental protection."

The proposed "co-operative agreements" would recognize businesses' environmental leadership by offering streamlined paperwork, an accelerated approvals process and public recognition. The aim would be to encourage businesses to go above and beyond existing environmental standards.

Co-operative agreements are one of the best practices identified in the Managing the Environment report, released by the Canadian government in 2001. Three environmental groups have indicated their support for the government's introduction of cooperative agreements: Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defence Canada and Pollution Probe.

"The Ministry of the Environment is making important strides to improve environmental initiatives in Ontario," said Burkhard Mausberg, Executive Director, Environmental Defence Canada; Ken Ogilvie, Executive Director, Pollution Probe; and, Beatrice Olivastri, Chief Executive Officer, Friends of the Earth Canada, in a letter to the ministry. "The resources that will be made available by the MOE to help (environmental groups) implement agreements also demonstrates your commitment to work towards an improved environment."

The Canadian government has posted a model cooperative agreement with the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) on the Ministry of the Environment's Environmental Registry (see http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/env_reg/er/registry.htm). The agreement is open for a 90-day public comment period. Under such an agreement, individual facilities in the association could apply to take part, agreeing to meet pre-determined targets that go beyond regulatory requirements. In exchange, the Ministry of the Environment would provide them with additional technical assistance and other incentives.

Facilities that sign-on must produce annual reports that track their progress, and communicate openly about their participation and steps forward. Facilities that fail to meet the terms of the agreement may be withdrawn from the program and a number of additional consequences may apply.