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May 25th, 2016

EPA to update Hazardous Waste Generator regulations

U.S. EPA is currently reviewing comments to its proposed rule to update Hazardous Waste Generator regulations.  Most of these epa_logo2regulations are over 30 years old from when the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste amendments originally became law in 1984.  Today there are an estimated 353,300 – 544,300 facilities that generate hazardous waste across the U.S.  14,300 are classified as Large-Quantity Generators (LQGs) which generate 99% of the total hazardous waste produced each year.

The proposed rule includes provisions to:

  • Reorganize hazardous waste generator rules to make them easier to understand
  • Clarify provisions to improve compliance
  • Provide greater flexibility to generators
  • Strengthen environmental protection by closing important gaps where necessary

EPA states that these updated regulations will provide both economic and environmental benefits.  They anticipate this rulemaking will be finalized in 2016 and will be effective at the federal level six months after promulgation.

More information and specifics can be found on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste Generators webpage.

March 15th, 2016

It’s “Fix A Leak Week”

The Facts on Leaks Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each year EPA urges homeowners and businesses to hunt down the drips during Fix a Leak Week (March 14-20, 2016).

The Facts on Leaks:

  • The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.
  • Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.
  • Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
  • Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable.
  • Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
  • Keep your home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet flappers, and showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don’t require a major investment.
  • Most common leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances.

 

Learn more at the EPA’s Fix A Leak Week website.

October 1st, 2015

Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference

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The first annual Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference (MECC) will be held October 29-30th at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare and will focus on EPA’s Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and 35 tribes).

MECC events are hosted by state business and manufacturing associations and supported by U.S. EPA and State Agencies. These Midwestern environmental conferences:

  • Provide an insider perspective on key regional issues
  • Offer valuable, up-to-date information on rapidly-changing areas of regulation and law
  • Create a forum for valuable networking with regulators, clients and potential clients/customers
  • Foster meaningful, professional conversation with federal, state and local regulators
  • Deliver great speakers and thought leaders with unique insights, real experience, and a seasoned perspective
  • Provide an environmental “boot camp” training opportunity for those relatively new to environmental compliance and permitting or new to a particular environmental medium

 

Chicago’s conference will include sessions featuring administrators from U.S. EPA and state environmental agencies, including Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).

Some of the conference sessions will discuss:

  • U.S. EPA Regional Priorities
  • Emerging Water Issues
  • Hot Topics in Remediation and Waste Materials Management
  • Regional Air Issues Roundtable
  • Compliance Auditing

More information, the conference schedule, and registration can be found at mecconference.com.

September 2nd, 2014

EPA Set to Issue Final Rule for AAI Changes

EPA is finishing their review process prior to issuing the Final Rule EPA amending the All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) regulations to remove reference to ASTM E1527-05 and replace with E1527-13.  This ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessment standard was updated in November 2013 and confirmed by EPA to be compliant with the AAI rule in December 2013.

EPA received five comments to their proposed rule in July 2014, four of which were positive and one of which was negative.  EPA will address the negative comment in the Final Rule’s preamble and explain its reasoning for why it disagrees with the comment.

EPA will also clarify in its preamble that any Phase I’s completed to the ASTM E1527-05 standard between November 1, 2005 and the effective date of the Final Rule will still be considered as compliant with the AAI regulations.

EPA has stated that it intends to make the effective date one year after the Final Rule is published, which is expected to occur in late September/early October.  They decided that an earlier effective date may be burdensome to some entities who are still transitioning to the new ASTM standard.  Any Phase I’s completed for federal Brownfields grants, however, must be completed to the E1527-13 standard effective immediately, upon the date the Final Rule is published.

For more information on the proposed Rule and to access the comments submitted, visit the EPA’s Proposed Rule for Standards and Regulations of All Appropriate Inquiries webpage.

If you have any questions about the ASTM standard or Phase I’s in general, contact Natalie Neuman, Group Leader of Assessment Services, at nneuman[at]gabenv.com.

July 25th, 2014

EPA Closes Comment Period for AAI Rule Amendment

Effective July 17th, 2014, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has closed the comment period for its proposed rule amending the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) regulations.  This proposed change would remove reference to the older Phase Iepa_logo2 Environmental Site Assessment ASTM standard (E1527-05) and confirm that Phase I assessments should be completed to the current ASTM standard (E1527-13).  EPA believes this change would promote the use of the current standard and reduce any confusion by having two standards in the regulatory reference documents.

EPA confirms that any Phase I’s conducted between November 1, 2005 and the date of the proposed rule implementation that were conducted to the ASTM E1527-05 standard would comply with the All Appropriate Inquiries regulations.

Only five comments were submitted during the comment period, with four in favor of the rule change for clarification purposes.  The one negative comment urged the EPA to continue allowing the use of 1527-05 in order to avoid the investigation of vapor as a pathway of concern.

EPA is reviewing the comments and will issue their final rule shortly.  Implementation of this amendment is expected to occur one year after the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

For further information about this proposed change, visit the EPA’s Proposed Rule webpage.