Are you keeping up with regulatory and compliance changes in 2015? EHS Support can help you stay informed and prepared. Click on the link to read recent federal and state-wide reports and changes for 2015.
[slide name=”On August 5, 2015, USEPA Proposes Stronger Training and Certification Standards for People Applying Restricted Use Pesticides”]
Federal regulations require applicators to be certified in order to apply restricted use pesticides (RUPs). Additionally, RUPs may be used only by, or under the direct supervision of, certified applicators.
Examples of RUPs include wood preservation pesticides, such as coal tar creosote and pentachlorophenol, insecticides such as permethrin, and herbicides such as atrazine.
The proposed rule:
- Enhances applicator competency standards to ensure that RUPs are used safely.
- Establishes a first time-ever nation-wide minimum age of 18 for certified applicators and persons working under their direct supervision.
- Requires all applicators to renew certifications every 3 years.
- Requires additional specialized certifications for people using high-risk application methods (fumigation and aerial).
- Requires first time annual safety training and increased oversight for persons working under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. Training includes reducing take-home pesticide exposure to protect worker families.
- Promotes interstate recognition of applicator licenses to reduce the administrative burden for businesses that operate in multiple states.
- Provides expanded options for establishing certification programs in Indian Country that acknowledge tribal sovereignty.
- Clarifies and streamlines requirements for states, tribes, and federal agencies to administer their own certification programs.
- EPA encourages public comment on the proposed improvements until November 23, 2015.
[slide name=”USEPA Issues Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants”]
On August 3, 2015, President Obama and USEPA announced the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants. CO2 is the most prevalent greenhouse gas pollutant.
The same day, USEPA issued final Carbon Pollution Standards for new, modified, and reconstructed power plants, and proposed a Federal Plan and model rule to assist states in implementing the Clean Power Plan.
These are the first national standards that address carbon emissions from power plants.
The companies most impacted will be coal and electric generators, which will emit the most greenhouse gases.
The Clean Power Plan will be fully implemented by 2030, and with the transition to cleaner sources of energy, it is expected to have a snowball effect on reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
The final Clean Power Plan follows that approach. USEPA is establishing interim and final CO2 emission performance rates for two subcategories of fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs):
- Fossil fuel-fired electric steam generating units (generally, coal- and oil-fired power plants)
- Natural gas-fired combined cycle generating units
- States will need to meet state-wide goals and then implement plans to regulate power plants in that state.
[slide name=”EPA Strengthens Underground Storage Tank (UST) Requirements”]
The revised requirements include:
- Adding secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping;
- Adding operator training requirements;
- Adding periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems;
- Removing past deferrals for emergency generator tanks, airport hydrant systems, and field-constructed tanks;
- Adding new release prevention and detection technologies;
- Updating codes of practice; and
- Updating state program approval requirements to incorporate these new changes.
States and territories primarily implement the UST program. Many states already have some of these new requirements in place. For others, these changes will set standards that are more protective.
[slide name=”PADEP Bureau of Environmental Cleanup & Brownfields Land Recycling Program has released the draft guidance document Land Recycling Program Technical Guidance Manual for Vapor Intrusion into Buildings from Groundwater and Soil under Act 2 “]
The guidance touches on vertical and horizontal proximity distances (distance between contaminated media and an existing or future building); screening values for soil, groundwater, near-source soil gas, sub-slab soil gas and indoor air; and, general guidance for collecting soil vapor samples, which appears to be loosely based on New Jersey’s VI technical guidance.
One noteworthy modification to the indoor air Statewide Health Standards for non-residential properties is the proposed change to the TCE standard, which will be decreased from 48 µg/m3 to 8.8 µg/m3. This will have a significant impact to Pennsylvania property owners that have vapor intrusion exposure risks from TCE impacts to soil and groundwater.
The department will be accepting comments through Wednesday, September 23, 2015 through eComment, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail. To view the Draft Technical Guidance for Vapor Intrusion, eComment can be accessed at: http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment/.
Please contact Pat Peterson at 412-292-3502 (email@example.com) with any questions.
[slide name=”Final Clean Water Rule Will Not Be Implemented In 13 States”]
On August 27, 2015, Judge Ralph Erickson of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted a motion sought by 13 states to block implementation of the final clean water rule from taking effect on August 28 in those states.
States include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming
USEPA said the rule will still apply as scheduled in the remaining states.
Two other federal courts have dismissed petitions seeking similar injunctions against the rule for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
[slide name=”Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reports are Due July 1, 2015″]
Changes to the TRI reporting program include new chemical to report, new chemicals to track for next year and enhancements to the TRI-ME web (where reporting is primarily done)
Use the TRI Data and Tools at http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/tri-data-and-tools to review industry information.
[slide name=”Clean Water Rule Finalized on May 27, 2015″]
Go to http://www2.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule for more information.
[slide name=”New Ohio EPA Search Engine Makes Finding Agency Activities Easier”]
Users can access the public notices through the main Weekly Review and Public Notice webpage at http://epa.ohio.gov/actions. Notices can be searched by facility name, date, facility ID, location, type of action or key word. Users can narrow searches using drop-down menus. Partial completion of search fields also is acceptable.
Agency actions since March 27, 2015, are available through the new search engine. Notices published before March 27 are available by clicking on the links under Public Notice Archive.
[slide name=”Thirty-six States Must Amend Start-up, Shutdown, and Malfunction (SSM) of Regulated Sources”]
Coal-fired power plants, refineries and other industries in 36 states will no longer be insulated from Clean Air Act (CAA) fines for excess emissions when equipment is starting up, shutting down or malfunctioning (SSM), under a final rule issued by USEPA on May 22, 2015, that can be found at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/urbanair/sipstatus/docs/20150522fr.pdf
The rule gives the 36 states until Nov. 22, 2016, to revise their state implementation plans (SIPs) to disallow affirmative defense provisions that prevent industry from being fined for excess emissions.
The USEPA is issuing the rule in response to a 2011 Sierra Club petition, which sought to rescind portions of the agency’s startup, shutdown and malfunction policy.
[slide name=”USEPA Regulatory Agenda for 2015″]
According to Bloomberg BNA on May 22, 2015, proposed rules concerning research projects at landfills, the regulatory classification of various treated woods and the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals are expected to be released by the USEPA for public comment in the second half of 2015.
In addition, USEPA expects to propose revisions to its risk management program regulations by September as the first regulation to emerge from the work of a multi-agency chemical safety working group established following the catastrophic ammonium nitrate explosion at a fertilizer distributor in West, Texas, in April 2013.
The agency also expects to shortly release a final rule revising underground storage tank requirements under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
[slide name=”USEPA Draft Assessment on Potential Impacts to Drinking Water Resources from Hydraulic Fracturing Activities”]
The assessment, done at the request of Congress, shows that while hydraulic fracturing activities in the U.S. are carried out in a way that have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources, there are potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water.
These vulnerabilities to drinking water resources include:
- Water withdrawals in areas with low water availability
- Hydraulic fracturing conducted directly into formations containing drinking water resources
- Inadequately cased or cemented wells resulting in below ground migration of gases and liquids
- Inadequately treated wastewater discharged into drinking water resources
- Spills of hydraulic fluids and hydraulic fracturing wastewater, including flowback and produced water.
The study will be finalized after review by the Science Advisory Board and public review and comment. The Federal Register Notice with information on the SAB review and how to comment on the draft assessment was published on Friday June 5, 2015.
For a copy of the study, visit www.epa.gov/hfstudy.
[slide name=”Ohio Voluntary Action Program (VAP) has posted to its internet, page instructions for submittal of supporting documentation after receipt of a covenant not to sue (CNS)”]
With the VAP rules that became effective August 1, 2014, the content of the no further action (NFA) letter was streamlined. However, after a covenant not to sue is issued, a certified professional (CP) must submit to Ohio EPA documentation evaluated to determine the property meets or will meet applicable standards and that the property was eligible to participate in the VAP.
After Ohio EPA issues a CNS based on the rules effective August 1, 2014, this information will be sent to the CP requesting the supporting documentation.
The documentation will become part of the public record and will be reviewed by Ohio EPA in the event the NFA letter is selected for audit.
[slide name=”USEPA Proposed Reporting and Record Keeping Requirements on Nanoscale Materials in the Marketplace”]
EPA currently reviews new chemical substances manufactured or processed as nanomaterials prior to introduction into the marketplace to ensure that they are safe. For the first time, the agency is proposing to use Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) section 8(a) to collect existing exposure and health and safety information on chemicals currently in the marketplace when manufactured or processed as nanoscale materials.
The agency is proposing one-time reporting and recordkeeping requirements on nanoscale chemical substances in the marketplace to collect:
- Certain information, including specific chemical identity
- Production volume
- Methods of manufacture; processing, use, exposure, and release information
- Available health and safety data.
USEPA would reportedly use the information gathered to determine if any further action under TSCA, including additional information collection, is needed.
Public comment will last 90 days from publication in the Federal Register at the end of March 2015.
Additional information and a fact sheet on the specifics of the proposed rule and what constitutes a nanocale chemical material can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/nano/
[slide name=”USEPA Recent Proposed Method Changes for industrial and municipal testing of effluent”]
As published in the Federal Register on February 19, 2015, USEPA is proposing:
- Revised Agency analytical methods
- Revised methods published by voluntary consensus standard bodies, such as ASTM International and the Standard Methods Committee
- Methods positively reviewed under the Alternate Test Procedures (ATP) program
- Changes to clarify the procedures for EPA approval of nationwide and limited use ATPs
- Amendments to the procedure for determination of the method detection limit (MDL).
[slide name=”Revisions to Draft Rules for Oil, Gas Wells In Pennsylvania Include Stream Protections”]
On March 9, 2015, changes to a revised draft of new rules governing surface activities at oil and gas well sites will include protection of streams and wetlands within 100 feet of well pads and how to address abandoned wells.
[slide name=”USEPA Indicates Strontium Decision Expected by Early 2016, Perchlorate Rules Years Away, Additional Safe Drinking Water Act Updates”]
As of March 12, 2015, a decision on whether to regulate strontium in drinking water is expected by early 2016 and Safe Drinking Water Act regulations for strontium may not be developed at all:
- It may take four years before perchlorate rules go into effect (2019)
- USEPA will propose revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule in late 2016.
[slide name=”USEPA Finalizes Implementation Requirements For 2008 Air Quality Standards for Ozone”]
On February 13, 2015, USEPA finalized requirements for implementing the 2008 national ambient air quality standards for ozone, just under seven years after the current standards of 75 parts per billion were set in March 2008.
The final primary and secondary standards are set at 0.075.
- This final action specifically:
- Establishes due dates for air agencies to submit state implementation plans (SIPs) demonstrating how areas designated as nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS will meet the standards by the appropriate attainment date;
- Clarifies attainment dates for each nonattainment area according to its classification (established based on air quality thresholds);
- Provides guidance on nearly all aspects of the attainment planning requirements for designated nonattainment areas;
- Revokes the 1997 ozone NAAQS; and
- Establishes anti-backsliding requirements for areas remaining nonattainment for the 1997 ozone NAAQS.
[slide name=”Ohio EPA Releases Final Rule for Ohio Toxic Contaminants”]
Final rule of the Ohio EPA, Division of Air Pollution Control, amends regulations under OAC 3745-114-01 regarding toxic air contaminants. The rule updates the list of contaminants for which the director may require a permit-to-install to include chlorine trifluoride, lithium hydride, subsilisins, trinitrotoluene (2,4,6-) and triorthocresyl phosphate. The rule is effective February 12, 2015.
[slide name=”Texas Proposes Removal of Rule Language Requiring Small Source Reporting of Certain Air Emissions”]
The rulemaking would amend §101.201 and §101.211 to remove the requirement for sources not otherwise required to report annual emissions per §101.10 to report specific emissions data to the TCEQ.
The reporting required by these subsections applies to sources that are experiencing at least one emissions events (EE) or maintenance, startup, or shutdown (MSS) activity and are located in nonattainment areas, maintenance areas, early action compact areas, Nueces County, or San Patricio County. Sources are required to report the number of EE and MSS activities and the amount of reportable and nonreportable emissions by mixture or compound.
The total number of sites reported has remained fewer than 70 between 2006 and 2011. In 2012 and 2013, one company submitted over 200 reports. These proposed amendments would remove a reporting burden for these sites.
[slide name=”California Trying to Add Styrene to Proposition 65 List of Carcinogens”]
The February 27, 2015 Notice of Intent follows two earlier unsuccessful attempts. The agency is relying on the 2011 report from the National Toxicology Program that concluded styrene is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” a classification that the National Academies supported in a 2014 report. Styrene is widely used to make plastics and rubbers. Products containing styrene include insulation, fiberglass, plastic pipes, automobile parts, shoes, drinking cups and other food containers, and carpet backing. Styrene (polystyrene) in foodservice is not in question.
[slide name=”The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Seeks Input on Emission Standards for Oil and Gas Sector”]
USEPA is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel. The panel is part of a standard federal government process and will focus on the agency’s development of a rule that proposes to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, including methane, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) under its New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas industry. USEPA will build on the cost-effective standards, issued in 2012, that are currently in place for several sources in the oil and natural gas industry. The agency intends to add equipment and processes to those sources currently covered by the standards. Equipment and processes the agency is considering adding include hydraulically fractured oil wells, pneumatic pumps, and leaks from new and modified well sites and compressor stations. USEPA anticipates proposing a rule this summer and taking final action in 2016.
[slide name=”WVDEP AST Legislation”]
In the latest development relating to West Virginia’s new aboveground storage tank (AST) legislation, on December 22, 2014, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State its proposed legislative rule implementing the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (the AST Act), 47 C.S.R. 63. Public comment ended January 21, 2015.
DEP is still accepting online AST registrations via the Electronic Submission System (ESS)..
[slide name=”New Cancer Causing Chemicals Listed in California”]
As of December 26, 2014, chemicals listed as known to the state of California to cause cancer:
- Dibenz [a,c]anthracene
- Dibenze [a,j]anthracene.
[slide name=”Final Rule on Coal Ash Management”]
USEPA issued Final Rule on Coal Ash Management, which regulates coal ash under the nonhazardous waste provisions of Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The rule requires the closure of impoundments or landfills that are polluting groundwater, limits where structures can be built, mandates engineering and structural standards for all structures. The final rule also requires significant public information disclosures, but leaves states responsible for enforcing the standards.
[slide name=”OMB Reviewing CWA Stormwater General Permit”]
On December 23, 2014, USEPA confirmed the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has begun to review a final Clean Water Act (CWA) general permit to regulate stormwater discharges from 30 industrial sectors, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed December 23. The permit would only apply in Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Mexico, the four states not delegated by the USEPA to operate their own National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit programs, as well as in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The final permit would for the first time regulate stormwater discharges to Superfund sites.