Review Articles

New model streamlines RCRA permits

Hazardous waste permitting can be time-consuming, costly, and fraught with idiosyncratic complications—after all, no two facilities are the same. EPA’s new RCRA Model Permit is a guide to assist permit writers in drafting and reviewing RCRA permits. This resource includes a series of modules allowing permit writers to input facility-unique data into templates of stock regulatory language. Ideally, the result is a smoother, less complicated permitting process. The agency intends to update the model permit periodically to incorporate new rules, policies, and guidance to ensure accuracy for permit writers. READ MORE

Bye bye exemptions, hello Subpart Kc

Thousands of facilities throughout the United States operate tanks storing volatile organic liquids. These tanks often need to comply with various CAA standards, one of the most common being Subpart Kb under the NSPS program. EPA has reviewed Subpart Kb, a standard nearly four decades old, and believes it is time for an overhaul. As such, the agency is proposing a new Subpart Kc to reflect the best system of emissions reductions for volatile organic liquid storage vessels. With broader applicability and more stringent operating standards, Subpart Kc looks to be a big leap forward in controlling VOC emissions compared to its predecessor. READ MORE

HFC proposal phasedown, exemption

When the United States ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, it committed to reducing hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) use. Used for metered dose inhalers, refrigeration, and semiconductor etching, HFCs are potent greenhouse gases that can have as much as 10,000 times the global warming potential as carbon dioxide. To create an emissions reduction and reclamation program for certain HFCs, EPA proposed an HFC phasedown rule on October 19, 2023. [88 FR 72216] Under a new Part 84, Subpart C, the rule would establish a leak detection and repair program, set reclamation standards, and mandate technician training. The rule would also create RCRA alternative recycling criteria for ignitable used refrigerants under a new Part 266, Subpart Q. Subpart Q would exempt “lower flammability spent refrigerants” from Parts 260 through 270 when recycled for reuse. More information on the proposal is available, and comments may be submitted through December 18, 2023 via Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2022-0606.

Climate change impacts RCRA corrective action

On October 18, 2023, EPA issued a draft memorandum on incorporating climate change adaptations into the RCRA corrective action process. The draft provides the agency’s recommendations on how EPA regions and authorized states should work with RCRA-permitted facilities to achieve this goal. The applicable stages of corrective action are discussed to highlight where the climate change considerations can be applied to this process. READ MORE

TSCA’s new PFAS reporting regs

An ever-growing part of the public consciousness, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are well known for their environmental persistence, bioaccumulation, and potential carcinogenicity. One way to prevent PFAS contamination is to control their manufacture from the start, as mentioned in EPA’s 2021 PFAS roadmap. The agency has recently finalized a new set of TSCA reporting and recordkeeping requirements to better characterize the sources and quantities of PFAS manufactured in the United States. This rule affects facilities that have manufactured or imported PFAS since January 1, 2011, and took effect November 13, 2023. READ MORE

Monitoring ODS process agents

Designed to meet the United States’ commitments to the Montreal Protocol, Title VI of the CAA created the basis of the stratospheric ozone protection program. Amongst other requirements, the implementing regulations in 40 CFR Part 82 set chlorofluorocarbon and hydrochlorofluorocarbon production and consumption controls, recycling and equipment servicing procedures, and various administrative provisions. On October 19, 2023, EPA proposed additional recordkeeping and reporting requirements for ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) used as process agents. [88 FR 72027] Process agents are those ODSs aiding or inhibiting chemical reactions but are not themselves consumed in the reaction. The rule would benefit both EPA and industry by improving the understanding of ODS process agent uses, monitoring use changes over time, and providing clarity on treatment and reporting. Comments may be submitted through December 4, 2023 via Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2022-0707.

Grazie mille!

As the end of the year approaches and Thanksgiving is almost here, Team McCoy would like to thank each and every one of you. Whether you’re a seminar attendee, a reader of our publications, or use McCoy’s website as a resource, your support means the world to us. Delivering detailed and clear RCRA and CAA training is what we love to do and together we’ve been able to accomplish great things! A million thanks for your business.

Last chance for Vegas!

You haven’t missed your chance to attend McCoy’s Las Vegas RCRA seminar this December 4-8, 2023—YET! The Orleans Resort may be booked over the week of our training, but you can still register for the in-person experience. Check out for things to do before or after the seminar. Reserve yourself a seat in class before it fills up!

Sign up for Las Vegas!

Class agenda

Clean Air Act befuddles

Wouldn’t understanding the complex puzzle called the Clean Air Act make compliance a whole lot easier? We think so… and you can get there in just three days. Imagine working effectively with your air consultants with clear and concise collaboration. It’s possible with our in-depth training, delivered by our experienced presenting team, your imagination can become reality. Sign up for McCoy’s January 16-18, 2024, .VIRTUAL CAA seminar or take a look at our full schedule

McCoy CAA agenda

Set your sights on February!

McCoy’s 2024 lineup will be here before you know it! If you’re looking for a comprehensive breakdown of RCRA, at a comfortable pace, look no further than McCoy’s 5-Day seminar, February 5-9, 2024.

Or if you’re already a RCRA pro and want to sharpen your skills, take McCoy’s 2-Day RCRA Refresher. Your registration includes the RCRA Unraveled and Reference publications. Register online or over the phone at 303-526-2674 and be sure to provide a valid shipping address! 

Register for our 5-Day February .VIRTUAL RCRA 5-Day

Register for our 2-Day .VIRTUAL RCRA Refresher

New FY2024-2027 NECIs

With a focus on environmental justice, EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance has chosen six national enforcement and compliance initiatives (NECIs) for FY2024-2027. NECIs address what the agency feels are the most significant public health and environmental challenges. While some NECIs have been retained from FY2020-2023, the previous focus on reducing hazardous air emissions from hazardous waste facilities is noticeably absent. READ MORE

From OIAI to MM2A

A unique aspect of the CAA air toxics program is the idea of a major versus an area source and how associated emission standards can be drastically different. For most of the program’s history, once a source was considered “major” for a specific MACT standard it was always major for that standard. That policy was withdrawn in 2018, but EPA wants to tighten things back up. The agency is proposing to allow permittees to go from major source to area source status. To prevent backsliding, however, it will also require sources to follow safeguards ensuring their actual emissions do not increase. READ MORE

RCRA authorization in the last frontier

In the U.S., only two states are not authorized to administer their own RCRA program—that’s about to change. Alaska is pursuing RCRA authorization, meaning The Last Frontier will have its own RCRA program and will administer it in lieu of EPA. Over the next two years, Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation will be working on RCRA program development to gain EPA approval for an Alaskan hazardous waste program. READ MORE

Round two HAZMAT FAQ

On August 18, 2023, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA) published its second set of frequently asked questions on hazardous materials regulations. [88 FR 56702] These FAQs, focusing on incident reporting, are part of PHSMA’s initiative to convert historical letters of interpretation on hazmat regulations into a user-friendly format. PHSMA published its first set of FAQs on March 22, 2022, which focused on hazmat regulation applicability. [87 FR 85694] Those interested in other PHMSA rules and notices published in the Federal Register can search for them on the administration’s Notices and Rulemaking Documents webpage.

EPA updates EAFs

Fed almost entirely by scrap metal, electric arc furnaces (EAFs) are efficient metal recyclers operating in batches (cycles) typically lasting 2-10 hours. These secondary steel manufacturing operations are regulated under NSPS and NESHAP, and EPA recently updated the Part 60 requirements. Effective August 25, 2023, EAF regulations have minor updates under Subparts AA and AAa, and new sources are now subject to Subpart AAb. The changes are not particularly drastic, with the focus remaining on controlling particulate matter emissions and reducing stack gas opacity. READ MORE

RCRA receives regulatory revisions

On August 9, 2023, EPA promulgated a direct final rule addressing numerous technical corrections to the RCRA regulations. In addition to typographical and cross-reference changes, the rule clarifies specific provisions from the generator improvements rule, hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rule, and the definition of solid waste rule. While most of the new rule is straightforward and does not fundamentally alter the hazardous waste program, one particular change opens the door to further confusion. READ MORE

Drums in distress

From hazardous waste spills and environmental media contamination to exploding drums and employee injury, managing containers that aren’t actually “RCRA empty” poses many risks. In light of its 2022 drum reconditioner damage case report, EPA has released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) exploring options for better managing hazardous waste containers and residues. The agency is seeking input from industry and regulators on a mix of regulatory and non-regulatory solutions. READ MORE

Easily accessing e-manifest

E-manifest information is available to the public and is now easier to access via RCRAInfo Web. The database is searchable and can be filtered by location, facility information, or shipment date range. EPA has also updated its e-manifest system webinar schedule and e-manifest user fees for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. READ MORE

Coking NESHAP doubleheader

Coke is produced when coal is heated in an oxygen-free atmosphere to remove impurities and separate volatile and liquid products such as coal gas and coal tar—what remains is highly-purified coke. On August 16, 2023, EPA proposed amendments to two coking-industry NESHAPs: Part 63, Subpart L for coke oven batteries and Part 63, Subpart CCCCC for coke oven pushing, quenching, and battery stacks. [88 FR 55858] Between the two, the standards would require fenceline monitoring for benzene, reduce emission limits for particulate matter (a surrogate for metal HAPs), and set new limits for more than one dozen previously unregulated HAPs (e.g., hydrogen cyanide, mercury). Comments may be submitted through October 2, 2023 via Docket ID Nos. EPA-HQ-OAR-2002-0085 and EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0051.

Delisting determinations download

Pursuing a hazardous waste delisting can be an expensive and time-consuming process. One risk assessment tool facilities can use to evaluate a delisting’s feasibility is EPA’s hazardous waste delisting risk assessment software (DRAS). DRAS was originally designed to address the criteria for listing hazardous waste in §261.11(a)(3), a requirement for evaluating §260.22 hazardous waste delisting petitions. The software models mismanagement scenarios and calculates the potential human health risks associated with disposing of a specific waste in a Subtitle D landfill or surface impoundment. EPA provides resources for DRAS users, including download instructions, a quick start guide, and technical support documents.

Ironing out HAP kinks

As part of a major source technology review, amendments to the integrated iron and steel manufacturing NESHAP were proposed on July 31, 2023. [88 FR 49402] The proposal to Part 63, Subpart FFFFF would tighten opacity limits, require fenceline chromium monitoring, and set standards for HAPs not currently regulated, such as mercury, hydrogen fluoride, and dioxins/furans. A major driver of this proposal was the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Louisiana Environmental Action Network vs. EPA (often referred to as “LEAN”), which stated EPA must address unregulated HAP emissions from a source category when it conducts the required eight-year technology review. Comments may be submitted through September 29, 2023 via Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2002-0083. [88 FR 63047]

Weakening excess emission defenses

Emission exceedances at stationary sources can result in a CAA violation, and sources now have one less way of protecting themselves during an enforcement action. In light of recent court cases, EPA has removed the emergency affirmative defense provisions from its Title V permitting programs. States must follow suit, and Title V permits will be updated accordingly. READ MORE

Pharmaceutical problems

Healthcare facilities are finding it challenging to ship hazardous waste pharmaceuticals offsite due to the temporary backlog of containerized hazardous waste at commercial incinerators. New EPA guidance discusses the options available to healthcare facilities to dispose of their hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. The guidance reviews the options within the pharmaceuticals rule and clarifies applicability within the very small quantity generator requirements to assist healthcare facilities. READ MORE

RCRA air emissions assistance

Compliance with the RCRA air emissions standards is currently a national compliance initiative. To assist, EPA has a webpage dedicated to the RCRA air emission standards (Part 264/265, Subparts AA, BB, and CC) for TSDFs and hazardous waste generators. This resource contains a plethora of tools, definitions, frequently asked questions, training options, and more to assist TSDFs and generators with compliance. READ MORE

ORCR RCRA wrap-up

The Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) has released a report on its 2022 accomplishments. Most of the topics covered in the report have been written about in previous McCoy Review articles. The topics range from proposed and finalized rules to sustainability accomplishments. The report also provides statistics on the web traffic EPA’s webpages receive, how many downloads occurred, and what were the most popular downloaded documents. Throughout the report are links to recently issued guidance documents and webpages, which makes it a nice wrap-up of RCRA in 2022.

Cu smelting supplement

Since EPA’s 2022 proposed amendments to the major and area source primary copper smelting air toxics standards [87 FR 1616], new information has been collected requiring supplemental action. On July 24, 2023, the agency published a supplemental proposal further strengthening the major source standard (Part 63, Subpart QQQ). [88 FR 47415] Most significantly, the supplemental proposal would add new and existing source emission limits for the following pollutants: benzene, toluene, hydrogen chloride, chlorine, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, naphthalene, and dioxin/furans. No supplemental amendments are proposed for the area source standard of Part 63, Subpart EEEEEE. Comments may be submitted through September 22, 2023 via Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2020-0430. [88 FR 57381]

Light reading on landfill gas

As part of its landfill methane outreach program (LMOP), EPA provides a list of publications related to landfill gas and waste management. The list is split into four categories, starting with LMOP and its connection to landfill gas. The next category provides publications on landfill best management practices. The third category is organic waste diversion, and the final category contains miscellaneous landfill publications.

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