Posts Tagged ‘California’

State Roll Out Of Solvent Wipe Exemption Rule – Update March 2017

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

In July 2013, US EPA published a final rule which exempted launderable (reusable) and some disposable wipes containing solvent (“Solvent-Contaminated Wipes” or SCW) from regulation as solid wastes and as hazardous waste. Solvent wipes are very common waste streams generated by a broad range of industrial, commercial, service and institutional sector facilities. This rule streamlined management of this waste stream and allowed these materials to be stored, transported* and cleaned/disposed of outside of the hazardous waste rules that would otherwise apply. This provides a benefit to both facilities that generate these wipes and companies that handle them.

* Although the rule exempts transporters from hazardous waste rules, Federal and State DOT HazMat rules still apply.

Click here for more information on the Federal Solvent Contaminated Wipe Rule.

Although the Federal rule became effective on January 31, 2014, in majority of States the Federal exemption does not apply until State Rules were revised to include this exemption. In many cases, States had operated for many years under policies or guidance which functionally excluded these wipes from regulation as hazardous waste until a Federal Rule was finalized. With the publication of the Federal Rule in 2013, States needed to update State rules to reflect this exemption, if they wanted to allow generators to take advantage of it. Because this rule change was less stringent than existing hazardous waste rules, States were not required to accept the Federal exemption and could require generators to handle these wipes as hazardous waste.

State Rule Update – March 2017

As of March 2017, 61% of State agencies have updated State rules to exempt solvent wipes, with most using Federal language or Federal language with very minor edits. One State (Rhode Island) implemented a rule that exempted reusable wipes only.

States Where Policy or Guidance Applies

As of March 2017, almost 1/3 of States have not revised State rules to reflect the SCW exemption and are still operating under policies or guidance documents written 10 to 15 years ago.

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

In most cases, this policy or guidance is similar to the Federal Rule, but typically less specific and less stringent. Currently, many of these States are still planning to update State rules in the near future and are allowing generators to follow the Federal rule.

States Without Policy or Guidance

As of March 2017, three States have not revised State rules and had not established a policy in the past to exempt these wipes from hazardous waste rules:

  • Nevada
  • Maine
  • Hawaii
 Maine and Hawaii both anticipate having a rule revision in 2017.

States With State-Specific Rules

Two States, California and Minnesota, have rules (California) or policies (Minnesota) that are significantly different than the Federal Rule and do not plan to revise them. In California, the Reusable Soiled Textile Rule excludes all hazardous waste (not just solvent) on a wider range of textiles (not just wipes). In Minnesota, guidance exempts some wipes (“sorbents”) but wipes containing certain listed solvents (“toxic solvents”) remain hazardous waste and also must be included in the monthly calculation of the generator size.

Updated Cost Analysis For Compliance With Draft 2013 Industrial General Permit

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The California State Water Board staff has released an updated analysis of the compliance costs for the proposed Industrial General Permit (2013 Final Draft IGP) This updates the prior analysis released in 2012.

To conduct the 2013 cost update facilities were categorized with corresponding assumed probabilities of Numeric Action Level (NAL) exceedances. The cost analysis was based on the assumptions that 70 % of all industrial facilities will remain in Baseline status (i.e., no exceedances) for the 5-year permit term of the 2013 Final Draft IGP, 20 % will have Level 1 NAL exceedances only, and an additional 10 % will have both Level 1 and Level 2 NAL exceedances. The State Board summarized their findings as follows:

  • The average cost per facility to comply with the existing 1997 IGP is estimated to be approximately $32,700 per year or $162,500 over a five year period.
  •  The 2013 Final Draft IGP will increase costs for a facility
    • without numeric action level (NAL) exceedances (Baseline or Level 0 status) by 13%
    • with NAL exceedances in one year (Level 1 status) by 17%, and
    • with exceedances in two years (Level 2 status) by 33%.
  • The additional costs for 70 % of facilities to comply with the 2013 Final Draft IGP, in addition to the current cost to comply with the existing 1997 IGP, will be approximately $4,500 more per year.

Revised Draft California Industrial Storm Water Permit Expected In July 2013

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

According to the California State Water Board staff, the State Board anticipates a new 2013 Draft Industrial General Permit (IGP) and supporting documents to be released on or around July 20, 2013. Staff anticipate the State Water Board will provide at least 45 days for written comments to be submitted and during that window the State Water Board will hold a public hearing (tentatively scheduled for August 20, 2013) for oral comments to be provided on the new, draft requirements. Based on this schedule staff anticipate the State Water Board considering the IGP for adoption near the end of the year, 2013 or early 2014. Staff will recommend to the State Water Board an effective date for the new permit requirements to be about one year later, on January 1, 2015.

One on the key proposed changes from the existing permit under which many California facilities are currently covered is the requirement that storm water pollution prevention plans (SWPPP) be prepared by a Qualified SWPPP Developer, or QSD. Facilities will also have to designate a Qualified SWPPP Practitioner, or QSP, at the facility who will be responsible for implementing the SWPPP and overseeing ongoing compliance with the permit. Both QSDs and QSPs would have special training and certification requirements.

Read a Regulatory Briefing on the Draft California Industrial Permit

Withdrawal of Federal Water Quality Standards For California, New Jersey and Puerto Rico

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

EPA is taking final action to amend the federal regulations to withdraw certain human health and aquatic life water quality criteria applicable to waters of New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and California’s San Francisco Bay. In 1992, EPA promulgated the National Toxics Rule or NTR to establish numeric water quality criteria for 12 states and two Territories, including New Jersey, Puerto Rico and parts of California. On May 18, 2000, EPA then promulgated a final rule known as the California Toxics Rule or CTR in order to establish numeric water quality criteria for priority toxic pollutants for the State of California that were not previously in the NTR. These two states and one territory have now adopted, and EPA has approved, water quality criteria for certain pollutants included in the NTR.

Because California, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico now have water quality standards that meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act, EPA has determined that the federally promulgated criteria are no longer needed for these pollutants. Therefore EPA is proposing to amend the federal regulations to withdraw those certain criteria applicable to California, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. The withdrawal of the federally promulgated criteria will enable New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and California to implement their EPA-approved water quality criteria. This final rule is effective on June 3, 2013.

The water quality criteria subject to this action address both freshwater and marine standards and cover a wide range of priority pollutants, including:

  • Metals (e.g, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver, zinc)
  • Organic chemicals (e.g., chlorodibromomethane, 1,1-dichloroethylene, 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane
  • PAHs (e.g., benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)flouranthene, chrysene, fluorene
  • PCBs
  • Pesticides
  • Others

EPA has proposed to withdraw only one federal water quality criteria for California – the saltwater aquatic life cyanide criteria for San Francisco Bay. Other criteria for cyanide for waters in California that are currently part of the NTR or CTR will remain unchanged in the federal regulations.

Summary of the Occurrence of Herbicide in Surface Water To Support Comments On USDA Draft Environmental Assessment

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Summary of the Occurrence of Herbicide in Surface Water To Support Comments On USDA Draft Environmental Assessment
Client: Agricultural Chemical Manufacturer
Location(s): California, Illinois, Texas, Minnesota

Key Elements: Acquisition and review of state water quality monitoring data; statistical analysis of the occurrence and concentrations of herbicide in surface water, preparation and submittal of public comments to Department of Agriculture Draft Environmental Assessment

Overview: Caltha was contracted by this multinational agricultural chemical company to prepare a review and analysis of the occurrence of a specific common use herbicide, 2,4-D, in waters of the United States. Caltha first reviewed and summarized nationwide data in the US EPA STORET database and U.S Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program database. Caltha staff then contacted State agencies which implemented long-term Statewide water quality monitoring programs, including California, Texas, Illinois and Minnesota. All data were then compiled to provide a summary of 2,4-D concentrations in surface waters dating from the 1970s through 2012.

Caltha then conducted a review of federal and state regulatory standards for 2,4-D in surface waters, including:
• Federal Water Quality Criteria
• State Water Quality Standards
• Federal Safe Drinking Water Act Maximum Contaminant Level
• Office of Pesticide Program Aquatic Life Benchmarks

Finally, Caltha conducted an analysis of the exceedance of applicable regulatory standards based on the comprehensive analysis of reported herbicide concentrations. All analyses were summarized in a report which was submitted to the US Department of Agriculture through its public comment process for a Draft Environmental Assessment document.

For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page

Temporary Corporate HSE Staffing – Site Remediation Oversight

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Corporate HSE Staffing-Site Remediation Oversight
Client: Multi-national Chemical Company
Location(s): California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ontario, Canada, Michigan, Kentucky, Arizona

Key Elements: Environmental Health & Safety Staffing, Site remediation

Overview: This chemical company contracted with Caltha to provide temporary staffing in its corporate HSE Department for the position that oversaw numerous site remediation projects being conducted across the US and Canada. Due to staff turnover the position needed to be filled quickly to assure that process on projects continued, on-site contractors had questions and issues addressed, and that required agency submittals were reviewed, approved and submitted on time. Caltha provided a highly experienced HSE professional to fill the position until the corporation could hire a permanent replacement. Caltha staff were then able to provide transitional support.

For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page

Corporate EH&S Staffing For Electronics Manufacturer

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Corporate EH&S Staffing
Client: Multi-national Electronics Manufacturer
Location(s): California, Arizona, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota

Key Elements: Staffing, Reporting, Permitting

Overview: Caltha provided temporary staffing to this Minnesota-based multi-national manufacturer to fill two key positions in the Corporate Environmental Health and Safety Services department. The positions required frequent interactions with facility EHS, engineering and plan management staff to address issues and questions, and provided reoccurring training required by regulations. Therefore, positions were staffed by Caltha with highly experienced EHS professionals that were capable of addressing a wide range of regulatory and technical issues with minimal support. Caltha staff prepared air emission inventory reports, EPCRA Tier 2 reports, TRI reports and other required submittals on behalf of facilities. Caltha staff also prepared air and wastewater permit applications for submittal. Caltha staff provided had 20 to 25 years of experience in the EHS field. Ultimately, the company was able to hire to fill these positions and Caltha staff were available to train the new hires during the transition.

For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page

Logistics Industrial Storm Water Permitting & Compliance

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Industrial Storm Water Permitting & Compliance
Client: International Retailer
Location(s): California, Washington, Utah, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, Kansas, Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, Connecticut, Missouri

Key Elements: SWPPP preparation, Stormwater monitoring, Compliance plan, Permit application

Overview: Caltha LLP has provided consulting services to this international retailer at multiple logistics and warehousing locations to comply with individual State industrial stormwater rules. Services included preparing facility stormwater pollution prevention plans, preparation of State or EPA application forms (Notice of Intent), preparation of site-specific inspection checklists to comply with individual State inspection requirements, preparation of site-specific stormwater monitoring and benchmark monitoring plans to meet State requirements applicable to this industrial sector. Caltha then provided ad hoc technical support to facilities to address questions during roll-out of the compliance programs.

For more information on Caltha LLP SWPPP services, go to the Environmental Health & Safety Plan | Spill Plan Information Request Form.

Pre-Acquisition Due Diligence Assessment For Food Sector

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Pre-Acquisition Due Diligence Assessment
Client: International Food Manufacturer
Location(s): California, Arizona, Minnesota

Key Elements: Phase 1 ESA; Compliance audit

Overview: This project was performed for a Minnesota-based international food manufacturer and was coordinated through a Minneapolis-based law firm. The scope of the assessment was to perform environmental due diligence for multiple facilities located in California and Arizona they intended to acquire, and comprised of a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment, performed in accordance with ASTM 1527-05, and a compliance audit to assess the current compliance of existing equipment and operations with applicable State and Federal regulations. Numerous compliance issues and Recognized Environmental Conditions were identified. Caltha staff provided technical support to estimate the potential costs associated with corrective actions required. Caltha also provide technical support to coordinating law firm in developing contract documents and purchase agreements that address environmental issues identified during the assessments.

For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page

ISO 14001 Registration – Environmental Management System Development

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: ISO 14001 Registration – Environmental Management System Development
Client: Multi-national Electronics Manufacturer
Location(s): California, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Minnesota

Key Elements: EMS development, Compliance audit, Training

Overview: Caltha provided technical support to multiple locations for this electronics manufacturer to guide each facility through the process of developing and implementing an environmental management system and ultimately to gain third party ISO registration. Caltha staff provided initial ISO training and conducted a Gap Analysis at each location. An EMS Manual was prepared to describe the systems that were developed. Caltha provided internal audit training to EMS auditors and assisted conducting the initial internal EMS audits. Ultimately, systems were transferred to facility staff to implement. Caltha staff conducted compliance audits at each facility based on the listing of “legal and other requirements”. Each facility was successful in gaining registration by a third party registrar.

For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page