- June 15, 2002 - Under 40 CFR 61.70, reports on vinyl chloride emission source activities are due
- June 23, 2002 - Existing facilities subject to the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants from pesticide active ingredient production facilities must comply with Subpart MMM of 40 CFR 63
- June 30, 2002 - HAZMAT registration due
EPA, ACC TO COORDINATE RESEARCH ON EFFECTS OF CHEMICALS ON DEVELOPING IMMUNE SYSTEMS
EPA and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) will coordinate on two multi-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) to better understand the potential effects of chemicals on fetal and childhood immune system development and the potential impacts of endocrine-active chemicals on wildlife populations.
The first area of research seeks to understand the mode of action of selected chemicals on the developing immune system of laboratory animals, thereby enabling the development of better test methods. To date, no specific testing approach has been established to assess the potential impact of environmental contaminants to children's developing immune system. The results from this research will provide relevant scientific information that can be applied to the assessment of risks for children.
The second project applies a rapidly expanding approach to molecular-level investigations called "gene-array technology." This technology will enable scientists to evaluate the ecological effects of endocrine-active chemicals in amphibian and fish models.
The involvement of the ACC and the chemical industry in these two
research projects is supported through their "Long-Range Research
Initiative," which since 1999 has committed $25 million a year to
increase knowledge of the potential impact that chemicals may
have on human and wildlife populations and the environment.
EPA AND OMB WORKING TO SPEED THE REDUCTION OF POLLUTION FROM NONROAD DIESEL ENGINES
In an unusual collaboration, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Air and Radiation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a statement agreeing that curbing pollution from diesel-powered non-road vehicles and equipment should be a top environmental priority.
"Non-road engines emit significant amounts of fine particles and nitrogen oxides," said John D. Graham, Administrator of OMB's Information and Regulatory Affairs. "OMB and EPA share a concern that inhalation of fine particles is associated with a variety of adverse health effects. We are interested in addressing these critical issues and protecting Americans from the harmful health effects of diesel pollution."
The proposal being developed will evaluate not only new emission control devices that would be required for new engines, but also the reductions in sulfur levels that are likely to be needed to enable the control systems to operate effectively. This comprehensive systems approach is similar to that taken for the heavy duty diesel highway rule for trucks and buses that takes effect in the 2006-2007 timeframe. EPA plans to publish a formal proposal for public comment early next year.
EPA will work closely with OMB and interested stakeholders in
developing the non-road diesel rule. In particular, EPA will
consult with state and local officials, diesel engine and
equipment manufacturers, fuel refiners and marketers, public
health experts and environmental organizations, as well as the
Departments of Energy, Transportation and Agriculture. Analysis
and decision-making under this agreement will fully comply with
both the Clean Air Act and Presidential Executive Order 12866 on
regulatory planning and review.
NINTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS GOVERNMENT'S ABILITY TO SET CLEAN-WATER STANDARDS
A federal appeals court has upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to limit pollution that enters waterways from nonpoint sources such as logged-over hillsides, roads, and farms. The agency sets what are known as "Total Maximum Daily Loads" - that is, the amount of all pollutants a given waterway can tolerate and still meet water quality standards.
The case decided by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco involved a challenge lodged by private landowners in the watershed of the Garcia River in northern California and supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation and two divisions of that organization. They argued that when the only sources of pollution in a watershed are of the nonpoint variety (as opposed to point sources, like refineries, pulp mills, or sewage-treatment plants), EPA has no right to establish a TMDL. The court rejected that argument, which will set a precedent for western states.
This case grew out of earlier litigation brought by Joe Brecher
of Earthjustice on behalf of more than a dozen organizations to
force EPA to set TMDLs for 17 northcoast rivers. The Garcia was
the first for which a TMDL was set, and it was promptly
challenged by the landowners and the Farm Bureau. Brecher
intervened in the present case to bolster the government's
defense of its right to enact the standards.
EPA RELEASES RISK ESTIMATES FOR 33-TOXIC AIR POLLUTANTS
EPA is making available the updated analysis of health risk estimates for 33-toxic air pollutants nationwide.
Toxic air pollutants are known to or suspected of causing cancer or other serious health problems, such as birth defects. As part of this technical assessment, emissions and concentration estimates of the toxic air pollutants were publicly made available in August 2000. EPA submitted the national-scale assessment for scientific peer review in 2001. The national-scale assessment is based on 1996 emissions data because emissions inventories from that year are the most complete and available to date. The 1996 data do not reflect pollution reductions that have taken effect since 1996, including those from federal, state and local regulations or from industry initiatives or facility closures.
By identifying the air toxics that may pose the greatest risk in urban areas, this assessment will help regulatory agencies set priorities for collecting additional data to help assess risk. This national assessment was not designed to compare risks at local levels.
The complete results of the technical analysis, as well as
background and supporting information are posted at:
EPA AWARDS FIRST NATIONWIDE WATER SECURITY GRANTS
During a visit to Rocky Gorge Reservoir near Laurel, Md., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman today announced the first round of water security grants, part of $53 million to help large drinking water utilities across the nation assess their vulnerabilities. It is expected that in upcoming weeks, approximately 400 grants will be provided to assist utilities with security planning.
At today's event, Whitman presented the first water security grant of $115,000 to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission to help conduct water security planning. The Rocky Gorge Reservoir is one source of water for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.
"Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the EPA redoubled efforts already underway to promote security at America's 168,000 public drinking water facilities," said Whitman. "These grants will help ensure that the water people rely on is safe and secure."
Administrator Whitman also announced that checks are being sent to the San Juan Water District in Calif. ($115,000); Rend Lake Conservancy District in Benton, Ill. ($96,000); City of Elgin, Ill. ($115,000); City of Naperville, Ill. ($115,000); City of Wilmette, Ill. ($115,000), and the Orlando Utilities Commission in Orlando, Fla. ($115,000).
EPA also will work with states, tribes and appropriate organizations to further develop and disseminate tools and support security efforts at small and medium drinking water and wastewater systems.
In response to the attacks of Sept. 11, EPA received a supplemental appropriation from Congress to improve the safety and security of the nation's water supply. The nearly $90 million is intended to reduce the vulnerability of water utilities to terrorist attacks and to help enhance their security and ability to respond to emergency situations.
EPA has allocated $53 million of the supplemental for security planning at large drinking water utilities. The large water utilities serve more than 100,000 people each and provide drinking water to about half of Americans served by public water systems. To date, a total of 384 grant applications have been received. Each award will be up to $115,000. Any remaining funds will be directed to other security planning needs.
Development of a vulnerability assessment is the highest priority activity under this grant program, since it is the first step in understanding where a utility can be damaged by terrorist attack. Funds may also be used for development of an emergency operations plan and to design security enhancements, or a combination of these efforts.
In addition to the funding discussed by Whitman today, EPA has taken numerous steps to work with utilities to protect the nation's water supply. In October, Whitman formed a Water Protection Task Force. The agency has since disseminated to America's water utilities useful information about steps they can take to protect their water sources and physical infrastructure, which includes pumping stations, treatment facilities and computer systems.
In addition, EPA worked with Sandia National Labs, a premier research facility on security, to develop training materials for water companies so they can conduct thorough assessments of their vulnerabilities and determine how to minimize them. Since November of 2001, the effort has provided security training to thousands of drinking water utility managers.
In cooperation with the FBI, EPA also has advised local law
enforcement agencies across the country of steps they can take to
help watch for possible threats to water systems. The agency also
continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and others to improve understanding of the way the
chemical and biological agents of concern act in water and how to
best counteract them.
EPA ESTABLISHES ENVIRONMENTAL STATISTICS CENTER
EPA recently awarded more than $6.25 million to establish a new Center for Integrating Statistical and Environmental Science at the University of Chicago.
The center, affiliated with six universities and two other federal agencies, will advance statistical methods that can be applied to state and tribal risk assessment activities. Once operational, the center will support research developing new statistical methods to assess the state of the physical environment and its impact on human and ecological health. Researchers at the center will investigate topics including the relationship between air pollution and respiratory illnesses, statistical design and analysis for estimating trends in environmental indicators, approaches to combining numerical models and statistical methods, assessing the relationship between infant mortality and particulate air pollution and the development of stochastic models and model selection procedures for complex ecological systems.
Statistical design and analysis techniques are central to environmental data collection programs and illustrate the need for a cutting-edge, cohesive national research capability in environmental statistics.
The funding, awarded under a cooperative agreement, was awarded through EPA's Science to Achieve Results program (STAR). This grant program is designed to engage the nation's best university scientists and engineers in environmental research, and funds research in numerous environmental science and engineering disciplines through a competitive solicitation process and independent peer review. For more information on the STAR program, go to http://es.epa.gov/ncer/