Review Articles

We’re skipping…

…the May 2023 issue of McCoy Review. No worries. We’ll be back for the June 2023 issue. Ciao!

RCRA permitting priorities

EPA has collaborated with EPA regions, states, and territories to identify, prioritize, and address the issues impacting RCRA permitting as well as hazardous waste management. Through this process the agency has created a list of national RCRA permitting priorities, which are updated every two years. EPA has also completed six priorities from previous years. READ MORE

E-manifest blunders

EPA has identified several data quality issues with manifests submitted to the e-manifest system. The agency has seen Inaccurate and missing EPA ID numbers on paper manifests and in the e-manifest system. Also, some generators have used non-approved printing companies leading to invalid manifest tracking numbers. Generator typographical errors, illegible information, and issues with receiving facilities’ digitization processes for paper manifests have led to other discrepancies. More information on the data quality issues and additional resources for generators can be found in EPA’s published compliance advisory.

EPA triples on lead emissions

In the past few months, we have seen numerous rules and strategies for managing lead emissions from EPA. The most recent effort to control lead emissions comes in the form of three final rules for lead-acid battery manufacturers. These sources, potentially subject to both NSPS and NESHAP, are now facing tighter lead emission limits, increased inspections, periodic performance testing, and work practices to control fugitive emissions. As also seen recently, the startup, shutdown, and malfunction exemptions are removed. READ MORE

No migration units

A no migration variance (NMV) allows facilities to store and/or dispose of untreated hazardous wastes in land disposal units if the owner/operator can demonstrate that hazardous constituents will not migrate from the unit for as long as the wastes remain hazardous. Facilities can apply for an NMV by following the regulations in §268.6. Some facilities with permitted RCRA landfills asked to use the NMV provisions to store hazardous waste in temporary piles within the permitted landfill while they wait for confirmation that the waste meets the applicable land disposal restrictions treatment standards. New guidance discusses how to demonstrate the treated hazardous waste and constituents will not migrate beyond the temporary waste pile in these situations. [RO 14952, 88 FR 10894] EPA also explains the information requirements for NMVs, including facility descriptions, units covered by the NMV, duration of temporary storage, and monitoring plans.

MATS still appropriate

On February 15, 2023, EPA reaffirmed it remains appropriate and necessary to regulate HAPs from coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units under the CAA. [88 FR 13956] The agency proposed this reaffirmation of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) in early 2022 as a response to Executive Order 13990, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.” [87 FR 7624] With this final action, HAPs such as arsenic, chromium, hydrogen cyanide, and mercury will continue to be regulated under Part 63, Subpart UUUUU. EPA is also working on a review of the Subpart UUUUU 2020 residual risk and technology review (RTR). More information on the RTR and other MATS rulemaking efforts is available via Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0794.

PCB cleanups

EPA’s factsheet on PCB Greener Cleanups provides a toolkit on the Greener Cleanups’ best management practices (BMPs) for cleanups, as well as case studies of successful cleanups. Greener Cleanups is a set of established principles for EPA and its partners to evaluate the effectiveness of cleanup operations and reduce the environmental footprint of those operations. The factsheet also contains a list of examples of frequently used BMPs and an overview of the ASTM guide for Greener Cleanups. Additional information on PCBs is available on EPA’s website.

Chipping away at wood preserving/products

EPA promulgated a two-part rule on March 8, 2023, making minor technical corrections for two separate air toxics standards. [88 FR 14280] The first part finalized the technology review for the Part 63, Subpart QQQQQQ wood preserving area source NESHAP. Table 1, Applicability of General Provisions, was reformated; however, no actual changes to Subpart A applicability, nor any work practice standards were made. The second part of the rule removed an outdated reference to OSHA-defined carcinogens in the Part 63, Subpart QQQQ wood building products surface coating major source standard. Replacing the reference is a new Table 7 listing HAPs that must be counted toward organic HAP content if present at 0.1% or more by mass.

Houston, we have a seminar

Rest assured— there's still plenty of seats available at McCoy’s Houston Refresher, May 17-18, 2023, at the South Shore Harbour Resort. Spend two fast-paced days while receiving the “in-person seminar touch” while adding new skills and knowledge to your RCRA arsenal. And yes, we apologize that this year we overlap one day with the TCEQ Environmental Trade Fair and Conference. We won’t make that mistake again! Check out the class agenda and sign up today.

RCRA in the Rockies

Enjoy summer in Colorado! For those who love in-person seminars, we’re holding our 5-Day RCRA seminar at the Sheraton Denver West Hotel, June 5-9, 2023. We’ll cover a repeatable method to determine if wastes are hazardous, satellite and 90/180 accumulation, RCRA violations (and how to avoid them) and much more, so take a look at the agenda. Plus, the hotel is super-close to McCoy’s office, so come meet our team and a few feathery residents of Colorado at our Open House…

2023 seminar schedule 

McCoy’s full 2023 schedule is available, and all seminars are open for registration. Whether it's RCRA or CAA, virtual or in-person, McCoy has the seminar for you. Each class is provided with physical course materials and is led by two presenters in a live setting. With multiple dates to choose from, sign up as early as the Houston Refresher seminar next month or as late as the Las Vegas 5-Day seminar in December. Learn more about McCoy seminars.

Reassess your recycling

If your facility recycles hazardous secondary materials, it is a good idea to evaluate your operations to ensure your recycling is legitimate, meets the terms of any claimed exclusion or exemption, and satisfies all other qualifying criteria. EPA has updated checklists, tools, and resources available for facilities that are recycling hazardous secondary materials, as well as for regulators monitoring recycling operations. READ MORE

PM limits for MCM

The miscellaneous coating manufacturing (MCM) NEHSAP is a safety net of sorts. If equipment used during the manufacturing of paints, inks and resins at a major source is not already subject to another air toxics standard, then it may be subject to the MCM provisions. On February 22, 2023, EPA finalized a risk and technology review of the standard and began regulating metal HAP emissions. Emission standards have now been set for particulate matter as a metal HAP surrogate at both new and existing sources. READ MORE

Dive into PFAS data

The PFAS Analytical Tools are an integration of publicly available PFAS data. The tools consolidate 11 different databases into an interactive map of the United States. Users can find information on Clean Water Act discharges, spills, PFAS manufacturers, PFAS detection in the environment, and more. If you have ever wondered how your community has been affected by PFAS, you can use the PFAS Analytical Tools to find out more. READ MORE

Reconsidering PM NAAQS

On January 27, 2023, EPA proposed its reconsideration of the particulate matter (PM) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). [88 FR 5558] The agency is considering retaining most of the current primary and secondary standards for PM10 and PM2.5 while changing the primary annual PM2.5 standard from 12.0 µg/m3 to between 9.0 and 10.0 µg/m3. Revisions to the air quality index (for communicating to the public about daily air quality) and monitoring network design criteria (focusing on environmental justice) are also on the table. EPA has provided additional information on the PM NAAQS reconsideration, including fact sheets, maps, and a PowerPoint presentation. Comments may be submitted through March 28, 2023 via Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072.

Hazmat FAQ

On March 22, 2022, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA) announced an initiative to convert historical letters of interpretation applicable to the hazardous materials regulations into frequently asked questions. [87 FR 75694] The goal is to bolster the value of PHSMA’s online code of federal regulations as well as improve public understanding and awareness of the hazardous materials regulations by making this guidance more easily available. The FAQs will be added to PHMSA’s online CFR tool.

EPA passes on PVC petition

The Center for Biological Diversity requested that discarded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) be listed as hazardous waste under RCRA. [88 FR 2089] EPA has denied the petition, claiming the petition does not provide sufficient evidence suggesting managing discarded PVC as a hazardous waste would reduce exposure to phthalates. The petition claims exposure from marine litter, poorly lined landfills, and atmospheric exposure from incineration warrant the hazardous waste classification. EPA clarifies that RCRA already prohibits open solid waste dumping, including marine litter. Landfills are already required to control blowing litter and leachate, disposal of PVC at hazardous waste landfills would not be any different. Air emissions from incinerating municipal-type solid waste are already regulated under the Clean Air Act.

OB/OD regs reviewed

In July 2022, EPA published guidance on the permitting requirements for open burning/open detonation (OB/OD) units. This guidance was discussed in the August McCoy Review. In February and March 2022, EPA hosted virtual meetings requesting input on how to amend the OB/OD regulations with EPA regions, tribes, community and environmental groups, and owners/operators of OB/OD units. In December 2022, EPA hosted a public engagement webinar covering the proposed OB/OD rulemaking. More information on the rulemaking and the recordings of the 2022 meetings can be found on EPA’s website.

Compliance becomes social

Regulatory compliance may be a primary focus for environmental professionals, but when your facility is in violation, what is the real root cause? Achieving long-lasting compliance is often not as simple as just “putting the lid on the drum” or “segregating the waste streams”. A successful environmental program may require a fundamental behavior change. Fortunately, EPA has some tips on creating messages to drive that behavior change, and it starts with something that might not be in the typical environmental manager’s wheelhouse: social marketing. EPA’s social marketing webinars will guide you through the ten steps to create a successful social marketing program and give you one more tool to help your facility maintain regulatory compliance.

Fluffy, not stuffy

A specific processed engineered fuel product called “fluff” is considered a non-waste fuel product under §241.3(b)(4) when burned for energy recovery. In this specific operation, the fluff is being used as a substitute for coal and wood/biomass in stoker boilers. [RO 14957] To be considered a non-waste fuel under §241.3(b)(4), the regulations require processing of the nonhazardous secondary materials (NHSM) to meet the definition of “processing” in §241.2 and also to meet the legitimacy factors for fuels in §241.3(d)(1). However, determining if an operation meets the definition of “processing” is done on a case-by-case basis. Units burning the NHSM must also meet applicable emission standards for solid waste under Section 129 of the Clean Air Act.

2021 Biennial results released

The latest biennial numbers are in: U.S. large quantity generators generated nearly 36.7 million tons of hazardous waste in 2021, just over half of which is generated in Texas. Waste generation and management data are available online back through the 2001 reporting cycle. READ MORE

G5 Site remediation reshuffle

Previously, site remediations could be subject to either a CERCLA/RCRA clean-up program or the air toxics site remediation standard, but not both. On December 22, 2022, EPA removed the CERCLA/RCRA exemptions from Part 63, Subpart GGGGG. Now, even if your site is subject to a CERCLA or RCRA remediation program, those clean-up activities may still need to be CAA-compliant. The agency also decided to retain the “co-location” provision, so sources not subject to another air toxics standard will not be pulled into G5. READ MORE

Inflation pumps 2023 penalties

EPA is required by law to annually adjust the maximum civil penalties allowed under environmental law to account for inflation. Because the adjustments are tied to the consumer price index, it’s no surprise the 2023 increases are approximately 8 percent. Thus, the cost of noncompliance continues to increase. READ MORE

HAP limits in limelight

From water purifier to soil additive to construction material, lime is highly versatile, and limestone deposits are found worldwide. Lime production begins with limestone mining, and while limestone extraction is not subject to a stationary source standard, lime manufacturing is. EPA has proposed amendments to the lime manufacturing air toxic standard by setting emission limits for previously unregulated hazardous air pollutants and establishing operating parameters for various air pollution control devices. Comments can be submitted on the proposal until February 21, 2023. READ MORE

RCRA agenda looks ahead

The Fall 2022 regulatory agenda is now available. EPA continues to focus on regulating PFAS as RCRA hazardous constituents and coal combustion residues. EPA plans to propose a new rule for drum reconditioners due to growing concerns about environmental contamination stemming from these facilities. The agency also plans to make numerous technical corrections to the RCRA regulations. READ MORE

Fall into CAA agenda

EPA’s Fall 2022 regulatory agenda is now available. The agency is planning reviews, revisions, and amendments to scores of stationary source regulations. A critical aspect of the CAA is the periodic review of source category standards. While much of what is on the agenda is the typical review, some items result from lawsuits and court orders. READ MORE

Invest in e-manifest

Since the inception of the e-manifest system in June 2018, EPA has received an estimated 25,000 electronic manifests out of a total of 7 million manifests created. Less than a half percent of all manifests are electronic. The Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System Advisory Board recently made its October 2022 meeting minutes available. The purpose of the meeting was for the board to advise EPA on proposed IT changes to the e-manifest system to increase the adoption of electronic manifests.

The board is hosting its next three-day virtual public meeting February 28-March 2, 2023. [88 FR 2910] and plans to discuss e-manifest program priorities and user fees for 2024 and 2025. Attending and providing oral public comments during the meeting requires online registration. You can register and find more information about the meetings on EPA’s website.

EtO risk redux rejected

After the miscellaneous organic chemical manufacturing NESHAP (Part 63, Subpart FFFF) received its risk and technology review in 2020, EPA received numerous petitions for reconsideration due to previously unavailable data. Petitioners felt the agency’s use of the 2016 integrated risk information system (IRIS) value for ethylene oxide (EtO) was flawed, and a risk value provided by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) should be used instead. Developed using a different model, the TCEQ EtO risk value was estimated to be 2000-fold lower than the IRIS risk value. EPA proposed to reject the reconsideration and reaffirm its use of the 2016 IRIS cancer risk value for EtO on February 4, 2022. [87 FR 6466] On December 21, 2022, the agency finalized this decision. [87 FR 77985]

Small changes for small stripping and coating ops

Paint stripping and surface coating are common operations in many industries and are regulated under several CAA source category standards. Area sources conducting these activities may find themselves subject to the provisions in Part 63, Subpart HHHHHH. In November 2022, EPA finalized its technology review of Subpart HHHHHH, which eliminates the SSM exemption, requires electronic reporting, and updates definitions and cross-references. The compliance date is May 9, 2023. READ MORE

Saner sanitizer strategies

Large quantities of hand sanitizers were generated during the height of the COVID pandemic. Now facilities are looking at options to manage and dispose of the excess hand sanitizers. EPA has published guidance on the management, disposal, and other requirements for facilities with excess sanitizer. Most hand sanitizers would be regulated as ignitable hazardous waste when disposed of. Thus, depending on whether they are disposed of, reclaimed/recycled, or recalled, the facility will have different requirements that must be met. READ MORE

HW pharma blueprint

EPA has published an extensive guide to assist healthcare facilities managing hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. This 10-Step Blueprint breaks down the details of the hazardous waste pharmaceutical regulations and explains show the rules apply to pharmacies, nursing units, and environmental services groups. This guidance also reviews the applicable hazardous waste generator requirements and making hazardous waste determinations. READ MORE

PFAS reporting revisions

Many per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are already subject to toxic release inventory (TRI) reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). EPA is proposing to add these PFAs to the list of chemicals of special concern under the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA). [87 FR 74379] Because these PFAS already have a lower reporting threshold of 100 pounds, the main effect of the proposal would be to subject PFAS to the same reporting requirements as other chemicals of special concern. Perhaps more important, the proposal would eliminate the use of the de minimis exemption for all chemicals of special concern. Comments must be received on or before February 3, 2023 using Docket ID: EPA-HQ-TRI-2022-0270.

Taking AIM at HFCs

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have been used as substitute refrigerants under the CAA to replace chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting substances. Though HFCs do not react in the atmosphere to destroy ozone, they are potent greenhouse gases. The regulations in 40 CFR Part 84 were promulgated under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM Act) and include an allowance allocation program to control production and consumption of HFCs. On December 15, 2022, EPA proposed additional regulations to restrict HFC use, create a process for submitting technology transition petitions, and establish administrative requirements. [87 FR 76738] EPA seeks comment on the proposed rule and also seeks advance information on HFC restrictions for certain equipment and a third-party auditing program. Comments may be submitted through January 30, 2023 via Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0643.

Corrective action aspirations

EPA published a memorandum on goal 4 of EPA’s 2030 Vision, Mission, and Goals for the RCRA corrective action program. [RO 14951] Goal 4 states that by 2025 the RCRA corrective action program will identify and implement key elements of effective long-term stewardship for corrective action cleanups. The memorandum identifies nine elements as a first step to provide a general framework for regulators. EPA plans to work with states and regions to evaluate and solicit input on the needs of program implementers.

See your SIP

State implementation plans (SIPs) are EPA-approved documents containing both regulatory and nonregulatory provisions designed to address each state’s unique air pollution problems. They provide a path for ensuring air quality control regions attain national ambient air quality standards and contain provisions tied to enforcement, monitoring, reporting, visibility, and more. But how, or where, can you actually read a SIP? Every three years, EPA assembles the requirements of the federally-enforceable SIPs in each state and provides notification in the Federal Register of their availability. [87 FR 74314] EPA has a map with links to approved SIPs on its website.

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