By Nash Skipper, EIT

Every three years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selects National Enforcement Initiatives to devote additional resources in order to focus on specific issues with high levels of non-compliance that the agency believes can be improved by additional enforcement at the federal level. For fiscal years 2017-2019, EPA has selected seven initiatives. Five current initiatives will be continued, with one of these being expanded in scope, and two new initiatives have been targeted for increased focus. These initiatives span several key environmental categories, including water, hazardous chemicals, air, and energy extraction. Continue reading “EPA Announces National Enforcement Initiatives”

Under the previous EPA Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) rule, treated wood was prohibited from being used as boiler fuel; however, EPA recently issued an amendment permitting creosote-treated wood to be used as boiler fuel under special conditions.

Read the rest of our article in Waste Advantage Magazine online (http://goo.gl/8idkTR) or in the April 2016 digital edition (http://www.mazdigital.com/webreader/38250?page=35).

In September 2015, the USEPA published proposed, revised rules under the title, “Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements”. Initially, a public comment period ending November 24, 2015 was established, but the comment period has been extended until Dec. 24, 2015.  The new rules are meant to clarify and streamline the regulations, but they also include additional labeling and recordkeeping requirements for some.   Continue reading “EPA Extends Comment Period on the New Hazardous Waste Rules”

By Joshua Haar, EIT

The US EPA has revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground level ozone. This will impact new and existing industrial facilities in some locations.

Background

The NAAQS were implemented as part of the Clean Air Act in the 1970’s to protect public health from a variety of pollutants, including particulates, carbon monoxide, and ozone, among others. The ozone NAAQS were instituted to limit the health effects (e.g. reduced lung function and pulmonary inflammation) caused by ground level ozone in the atmosphere; effects that primarily impact children, older adults, and people with asthma or other lung diseases. While ozone in the stratosphere helps block harmful radiation from reaching the surface of the earth, ozone at ground level is harmful. Specifically, it is not easily removed by our upper respiratory tract and is absorbed in our lungs, where it can cause narrowing of airways and decrease lung function. Continue reading “New Primary and Secondary Ozone NAAQS Requirements”

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and US Army Core of Engineers (USACE) have issued a revised regulation to define what qualifies as Waters of the United States (WOTUS), and this will become effective on August 28, 2015. The new definition is an attempt by the USEPA and USACE to determine their jurisdictional limits in what has become an ambiguous regulatory framework thanks to two Supreme Court cases in 2001 and 2006.

The new definition will not: Continue reading “Waters of the United States”

The EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulation (40 CFR Part 68) was issued in multiple stages, beginning in 1994. The regulation was modeled after OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard (29 CFR 1910.119). The RMP regulation is about reducing chemical risk at the local level. The information from the RMP aids local fire, police, and emergency response personnel in responding to chemical accidents. It also helps citizens to understand the chemical hazards in their communities. The regulation has been left relatively unchanged since its issuance.

Under the regulation, companies of all sizes that use listed regulated flammable and toxic substances above threshold quantities are required to develop a Risk Management Plan and submit the plan to the EPA every 5 years. The RMP must include: Continue reading “Modernizing the Risk Management Plan (RMP) Regulation”

The purpose of this article is to walk you through the Boiler MACT applicability, compliance dates and what regulations are applicable to your facility’s boiler and/or process heater. The full names of Boiler MACT and GACT as published in the Federal Register 40 CFR Part 63, is as follows: Boiler GACT (Generally Achievable Control Technologies), in short refers to the USEPA’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Area Source: Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers. Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) refers to the USEPA’s NESHAP for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters.

The Four Rules

To figure what rule applies to your facility, you first need to understand the Boiler MACT basic 4 rules. Boiler MACT is used in a generalized form to include the following specific rules: Continue reading “Meeting Compliance Schedule and Requirements of Boiler MACT”

Does your facility have an air quality permit? If so, when was the last time it was updated? If your facility is not a major source of emissions, you may have an air permit with no expiration date. This can lead to situations where the air permit is 10 years, 15 years, or even older. Have facility operations not changed at all during that time? Has new equipment been installed? Are you sure that new boiler/oven/paint booth/etc. that was installed was truly exempt from an air quality permit? When was the last time the EPA or your State’s environmental agency inspected your facility? If you are a major source of emissions, you probably see your inspector annually, but if you are not a major emitter, the inspections can be much more random. Continue reading “STAYING IN COMPLIANCE WITH AIR QUALITY REGULATIONS”