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Sometimes workers don’t have a choice in what they wear at work. Police officers wear uniforms. Construction workers put on safety gear. Medical professionals wear scrubs.

There is often some wiggle room in a workplace dress code, however. When that wiggle turns into a message about employee views on working conditions, employers should take employee rights into consideration before taking action.

Employee rights

Employees have the right to join together to improve working conditions and engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection. This right is protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and applies to both union and non-union employees.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that this can include:

  • Union logos, buttons, and decals, and
  • Pins supporting a higher minimum wage.

In a recent case, the NLRB ruled this can also include an insignia relating to a movement highlighting racial discrimination.

BLM insignia on a worker’s uniform

In February 2023, the NLRB heard a case involving workers who wrote BLM (Black Lives Matter) on their workplace aprons. One employee was fired for refusing to remove the letters.

The employer argued that the initials violated the company’s dress code that banned political messages unrelated to workplace matters from appearing on employee uniforms.

Employees argued that the initials were appropriate because they were a protest of racial discrimination in the workplace. They had complained to management about a coworker’s discriminatory behavior, and a Black History Month display had been vandalized in the break room. Employees did not think management responded appropriately to their complaints.

Board rules in favor of employees

The NLRB determined that the company had violated employee rights, noting that:

  • Several employees displayed the markings on their aprons;
  • The markings were an outgrowth of employee protests about racial discrimination in the workplace;
  • The markings were an attempt to bring the group’s complaints to the attention of managers; and
  • The issue of racial discrimination involved employees’ working conditions.

An employer can prohibit employees from wearing uniform markings like the ones worn by the employees if the rule is necessary to avoid production interruptions or maintain discipline.

The NLRB ruled that those special circumstances did not exist in this situation.

Dress code requirements

Every workplace is different, and circumstances dictate how much control an employer has over what workers wear. An employer can apply restrictions that are relevant to the job, including:

  • A requirement to wear safety gear that protects employees from injury;
  • Prohibiting employees from wearing clothing that could hamper workplace safety; and
  • Requiring employees to wear a safety-related insignia identifying their qualifications to help in an emergency.

Even when safety and public health are not an issue, employers can have dress codes that require employees to wear apparel that is appropriate for the workplace. However, they should be ready to consider exceptions for religious reasons or as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act .

Employers should also consider whether wearing a certain piece of clothing is an action protected by the NLRA. An employee’s right to engage in protected activities can include protesting discrimination in the workplace, and when workers join together to make a point about working conditions employers should proceed cautiously.

Key to remember: Under the NLRA, all employees have the right to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of mutual aid or protection. This can include placing insignias or markings on their apparel.

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Most Recent Highlights In Environmental

2024-05-09T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is finalizing a Clean Water Act regulation to revise the technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and standards (ELGs) for the steam electric power generating point source category applicable to flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater, bottom ash (BA) transport water and legacy wastewater at existing sources, and combustion residual leachate (CRL) at new and existing sources. Last updated in 2015 and 2020, this regulation is estimated to cost an additional $536 million to $1.1 billion dollars annually in social costs and reduce pollutant discharges by an additional approximately 660 to 672 million pounds per year.

DATES: This final rule is effective on July 8, 2024 published in the Federal Register May 9, 2024, page 40198.

View final rule.

Part 423 - Steam electric power generating point source category
Authority Revised View text
§423.10 Applicability.
Entire sectionRevised View text
§423.11 Specialized definitions.
(n), (p), (r), (w), (z), and (bb)Revised View text
(ee) and (ff)AddedView text
§423.13 Effluent limitations guidelines representing the degree of effluent reduction attainable by the application of the best available technology economically achievable (BAT).
(g), (h)(1), (i)(1), (k), (l), and (o) Revised View text
§423.15 New source performance standards (NSPS).
(c)AddedView text
§423.16 Pretreatment standards for existing sources (PSES).
(e) and (g)Revised View text
§423.17 Pretreatment standards for new sources (PSNS).
(c)AddedView text
§423.18 Permit conditions.
Entire sectionRevised View text
§423.19 Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
Entire sectionRevised View text

New Text

Part 423 - Steam electric power generating point source category

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.; 1311; 1314(b), (c), (e), (g), and (i)(A) and (B); 1316; 1317; 1318 and 1361.

§423.10 Applicability and severability.

(a) Applicability. The provisions of this part apply to discharges resulting from the operation of a generating unit by an establishment whose generation of electricity is the predominant source of revenue or principal reason for operation, and whose generation of electricity results primarily from a process utilizing fossil-type fuel (coal, oil, or gas), fuel derived from fossil fuel (e.g., petroleum coke, synthesis gas), or nuclear fuel in conjunction with a thermal cycle employing the steam water system as the thermodynamic medium. This part applies to discharges associated with both the combustion turbine and steam turbine portions of a combined cycle generating unit.

(b) Severability. The provisions of this part are separate and severable from one another. If any provision is stayed or determined to be invalid, the remaining provisions shall continue in effect.

§423.11 Specialized definitions.

* * * * *

(n) The term flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater means any wastewater generated specifically from the wet flue gas desulfurization scrubber system that comes into contact with the flue gas or the FGD solids, including but not limited to, the blowdown from the FGD scrubber system, overflow or underflow from the solids separation process, FGD solids wash water, and the filtrate from the solids dewatering process. Wastewater generated from cleaning the FGD scrubber, cleaning FGD solids separation equipment, cleaning FGD solids dewatering equipment; FGD paste equipment cleaning water; treated FGD wastewater permeate or distillate used as boiler makeup water; water that is collected in floor drains in the FGD process area; wastewater removed from FGD wastewater treatment equipment within the first 120 days of decommissioning the equipment, or wastewater generated by a 10-year, 24-hour or longer duration storm event when meeting the certification requirements in §423.19(o) is not considered FGD wastewater.

* * * * *

(p) The term transport water means any wastewater that is used to convey fly ash, bottom ash, or economizer ash from the ash collection or storage equipment, or boiler, and has direct contact with the ash. Transport water does not include low volume, short duration discharges of wastewater from minor leaks (e.g., leaks from valve packing, pipe flanges, or piping), minor maintenance events (e.g., replacement of valves or pipe sections), FGD paste equipment cleaning water, bottom ash purge water, wastewater removed from ash handling equipment within the first 120 days of decommissioning the equipment, or wastewater generated by a 10-year, 24-hour or longer duration storm event when meeting the certification requirements in §423.19(o).

* * * * *

(r) The term combustion residual leachate means leachate from landfills or surface impoundments containing combustion residuals. Leachate is composed of liquid, including any suspended or dissolved constituents in the liquid, that has percolated through waste or other materials emplaced in a landfill, or that passes through the surface impoundment's containment structure (e.g., bottom, dikes, berms). Combustion residual leachate includes seepage and/or leakage from a combustion residual landfill or impoundment unit. Combustion residual leachate includes wastewater from landfills and surface impoundments located on non-adjoining property when under the operational control of the permitted facility. Combustion residual leachate does not include wastewater generated by a 10-year, 24-hour or longer duration storm event when meeting the certification requirements in §423.19(o).

* * * * *

(w) The term permanent cessation of coal combustion means the owner or operator certifies under §423.19(g) or (h) that an electric generating unit will cease combustion of coal no later than December 31, 2028, or December 31, 2034.

* * * * *

(z) The term low utilization electric generating unit means any electric generating unit for which the facility owner certifies, and annually recertifies, under §423.19(f) that the two-year average annual capacity utilization rating is less than 10 percent.

* * * * *

(bb) The term tank means a stationary device, designed to contain an accumulation of wastewater which is constructed primarily of non-earthen materials (e.g., wood, concrete, steel, plastic) which provide structural support and which is not a coal combustion residual surface impoundment.

* * * * *

§423.13 Effluent limitations guidelines representing the degree of effluent reduction attainable by the application of the best available technology economically achievable (BAT).

* * * * *

(g) FGD wastewater(1) 2020 BAT.(i) Except for those discharges to which paragraph (g)(2) or (3) of this section applies, the quantity of pollutants in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed in table 5 to this paragraph (g)(1)(i). Dischargers must meet the effluent limitations for FGD wastewater in this paragraph (g)(1)(i) by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning October 13, 2021, but no later than December 31, 2025. The effluent limitations in this paragraph (g)(1)(i) apply to the discharge of FGD wastewater generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations, as specified in this paragraph (g)(1)(i), until the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations in paragraph (g)(4) of this section.

Table 5 to Paragraph (g)(1)(i)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyBAT effluent limitations
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)188
Mercury, total (ng/L)10334
Selenium, total (µg/L)7029
Nitrate/nitrite as N (mg/L)43

(ii) For FGD wastewater generated before the date determined by the permitting authority, as specified in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section, the EPA is declining to establish BAT limitations and is reserving such limitations to be established by the permitting authority on a case-by-case basis using the permitting authority's best professional judgment.

(2) 2020 BAT subcategories.(i) For any electric generating unit with a total nameplate capacity of less than or equal to 50 megawatts, that is an oil-fired unit, or for which the owner has submitted a certification pursuant to §423.19(g), the quantity of pollutants discharged in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed for total suspended solids (TSS) in §423.12(b)(11).

(A) For any electric generating unit for which the owner has submitted a certification pursuant to §423.19(g), where such unit has permanently ceased coal combustion by December 31, 2028, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in FGD wastewater after April 30, 2029.

(B) For any electric generating unit for which the owner has submitted a certification pursuant to §423.19(g), where such unit has failed to permanently cease coal combustion by December 31, 2028, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in FGD wastewater after December 31, 2028.

(ii) For FGD wastewater discharges from a high FGD flow facility, the quantity of pollutants in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed in table 6 to this paragraph (g)(2)(ii). Dischargers must meet the effluent limitations for FGD wastewater in this paragraph (g)(2)(ii) by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning October 13, 2021, but no later than December 31, 2023. The effluent limitations in this paragraph (g)(2)(ii) apply to the discharge of FGD wastewater generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations, as specified in this paragraph (g)(2)(ii), until the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations in paragraph (g)(4) of this section.

Table 6 to Paragraph (g)(2)(ii)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyBAT effluent limitations
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)118
Mercury, total (ng/L)788356

(iii) For FGD wastewater discharges from a low utilization electric generating unit, the quantity of pollutants in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed in table 6 to paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section. Dischargers must meet the effluent limitations for FGD wastewater in this paragraph (g)(2)(iii) by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning October 13, 2021, but no later than December 31, 2023. These effluent limitations apply to the discharge of FGD wastewater generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations, as specified in this paragraph (g)(2)(iii), until the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations in paragraph (g)(4) of this section.

(3) Voluntary incentives plan.(i) For dischargers who voluntarily choose to meet the effluent limitations for FGD wastewater in this paragraph (g)(3)(i), the quantity of pollutants in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed in table 7 to this paragraph (g)(3)(i). Dischargers who choose to meet the effluent limitations for FGD wastewater in this paragraph (g)(3)(i) must meet such limitations by December 31, 2028. The effluent limitations in this paragraph (g)(3)(i) apply to the discharge of FGD wastewater generated on and after December 31, 2028.

Table 7 to Paragraph (g)(3)(i)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyBAT effluent limitations
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (ug/L)5NA
Mercury, total (ng/L)2310
Selenium, total (ug/L)10NA
Nitrate/Nitrite (mg/L)2.01.2
Bromide (mg/L)0.2NA
TDS (mg/L)306149

(ii) For discharges of FGD wastewater generated before December 31, 2023, the quantity of pollutants discharged in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed for TSS in §423.12(b)(11).

(4) 2024 BAT.(i) Except for those discharges to which paragraphs (g)(3) and (g)(4)(ii) through (iv) of this section applies, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in FGD wastewater.

(A) Dischargers must meet the effluent limitations for FGD wastewater in this paragraph (g)(4)(i) by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning July 8, 2024, but no later than December 31, 2029. These effluent limitations apply to the discharge of FGD wastewater generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations, as specified in this paragraph (g)(4)(i).

(B) A facility which submits a request under §423.19(n) may discharge permeate or distillate from an FGD wastewater treatment system designed to achieve the limitations in this paragraph (g)(4)(i) for an additional period of up to one year from the date determined in paragraph (g)(4)(i)(A) of this section.

(ii) For any electric generating unit with a total nameplate capacity of less than or equal to 50 megawatts or that is an oil-fired unit, the quantity of pollutants discharged in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed for TSS in §423.12(b)(11).

(iii) For any electric generating unit for which the owner has submitted a certification pursuant to §423.19(h), the quantity of pollutants discharged in FGD wastewater shall continue to be subject to limitations specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2)(ii) or (iii) of this section as incorporated into the existing permit.

(A) Where such unit has permanently ceased coal combustion by December 31, 2034, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in FGD wastewater after April 30, 2035.

(B) Where such unit has failed to permanently cease coal combustion by December 31, 2034, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in FGD wastewater after December 31, 2034.

(iv) For FGD wastewater discharged from any coal combustion residual surface impoundment which commences closure pursuant to 40 CFR 257.102(e) after July 8, 2024, the quantity of pollutants in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed in table 8 to this paragraph (g)(4)(iv).

Table 8 to Paragraph (g)(4)(iv)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyBAT effluent limitations
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)118
Mercury, total (ng/L)788356

(h) Fly ash transport water.(1)(i) Except for those discharges to which paragraph (h)(2) of this section applies, or when the fly ash transport water is used in the FGD scrubber, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in fly ash transport water. Dischargers must meet the discharge limitation in this paragraph by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning November 1, 2018, but no later than December 31, 2023. This limitation applies to the discharge of fly ash transport water generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the discharge limitation, as specified in this paragraph. Whenever fly ash transport water is used in any other plant process or is sent to a treatment system at the plant (except when it is used in the FGD scrubber), the resulting effluent must comply with the discharge limitation in this paragraph. When the fly ash transport water is used in the FGD scrubber, the quantity of pollutants in fly ash transport water shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of fly ash transport water times the concentration listed in the table in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section.

(ii) Legacy fly ash transport water. For fly ash transport water generated before the date determined by the permitting authority, as specified in paragraph (h)(1)(i) of this section, the EPA is declining to establish BAT limitations and is reserving such limitations to be established by the permitting authority on a case-by-case basis using the permitting authority's best professional judgment.

* * * * *

(i) Flue gas mercury control wastewater.(1)(i) Except for those discharges to which paragraph (i)(2) of this section applies, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in flue gas mercury control wastewater. Dischargers must meet the discharge limitation in this paragraph by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning November 1, 2018, but no later than December 31, 2023. This limitation applies to the discharge of flue gas mercury control wastewater generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the discharge limitation, as specified in this paragraph. Whenever flue gas mercury control wastewater is used in any other plant process or is sent to a treatment system at the plant, the resulting effluent must comply with the discharge limitation in this paragraph.

(ii) Legacy flue gas mercury control wastewater. For flue gas mercury control wastewater generated before the date determined by the permitting authority, as specified in paragraph (i)(1)(i) of this section, the EPA is declining to establish BAT limitations and is reserving such limitations to be established by the permitting authority on a case-by-case basis using the permitting authority's best professional judgment.

* * * * *

(k) Bottom ash transport water(1) 2020 BAT.(i) Except for those discharges to which paragraph (k)(2) of this section applies, or when the bottom ash transport water is used in the FGD scrubber, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water. Dischargers must meet the discharge limitation in this paragraph (k)(1)(i) by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning October 13, 2021, but no later than December 31, 2025. The limitation in this paragraph (k)(1)(i) applies to the discharge of bottom ash transport water generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the discharge limitation, as specified in this paragraph (k)(1)(i), until the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations in paragraph (k)(4) of this section. Except for those discharges to which paragraph (k)(2) of this section applies, whenever bottom ash transport water is used in any other plant process or is sent to a treatment system at the plant (except when it is used in the FGD scrubber), the resulting effluent must comply with the discharge limitation in this paragraph (k)(1)(i). When the bottom ash transport water is used in the FGD scrubber, it ceases to be bottom ash transport water, and instead is FGD wastewater, which must meet the requirements in paragraph (g) of this section.

(ii) For bottom ash transport water generated before the date determined by the permitting authority, as specified in paragraph (k)(1)(i) of this section, the EPA is declining to establish BAT limitations and is reserving such limitations to be established by the permitting authority on a case-by-case basis using the permitting authority's best professional judgment.

(2) 2020 BAT subcategories.(i)(A) The discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water from a properly installed, operated, and maintained bottom ash system is authorized under the following conditions:

(1) To maintain system water balance when precipitation-related inflows are generated from storm events exceeding a 10-year storm event of 24-hour or longer duration (e.g., 30-day storm event) and cannot be managed by installed spares, redundancies, maintenance tanks, and other secondary bottom ash system equipment; or

(2) To maintain system water balance when regular inflows from wastestreams other than bottom ash transport water exceed the ability of the bottom ash system to accept recycled water and segregating these other wastestreams is not feasible; or

(3) To maintain system water chemistry where installed equipment at the facility is unable to manage pH, corrosive substances, substances or conditions causing scaling, or fine particulates to below levels which impact system operation or maintenance; or

(4) To conduct maintenance not otherwise included in paragraph (k)(2)(i)(A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section and not exempted from the definition of transport water in §423.11(p), and when water volumes cannot be managed by installed spares, redundancies, maintenance tanks, and other secondary bottom ash system equipment.

(B) The total volume that may be discharged for the activities in paragraph (k)(2)(i)(A) of this section shall be reduced or eliminated to the extent achievable using control measures (including best management practices) that are technologically available and economically achievable in light of best industry practice. The total volume of the discharge authorized in this paragraph (k)(2)(i)(B) shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by the permitting authority and in no event shall such discharge exceed a 30-day rolling average of ten percent of the primary active wetted bottom ash system volume. The volume of daily discharges used to calculate the 30-day rolling average shall be calculated using measurements from flow monitors.

(ii) For any electric generating unit with a total nameplate generating capacity of less than or equal to 50 megawatts, that is an oil-fired unit, or for which the owner has certified to the permitting authority that it will cease combustion of coal pursuant to §423.19(g), the quantity of pollutants discharged in bottom ash transport water shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of the applicable wastewater times the concentration for TSS listed in §423.12(b)(4).

(A) Where a unit has certified that it will cease combustion of coal pursuant to §423.19(g) and such unit has permanently ceased coal combustion by December 31, 2028, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water after April 30, 2029.

(B) Where a unit has certified that it will cease combustion of coal pursuant to §423.19(g) and such unit has failed to permanently cease coal combustion by December 31, 2028, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water after December 31, 2028.

(iii) For bottom ash transport water generated by a low utilization electric generating unit, the quantity of pollutants discharged in bottom ash transport water shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of the applicable wastewater times the concentration for TSS listed in §423.12(b)(4), until the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations in paragraph (k)(4) of this section, and shall incorporate the elements of a best management practices plan as described in paragraph (k)(3) of this section.

(3) Best management practices plan. Where required in paragraph (k)(2)(iii) of this section, the discharger shall prepare, implement, review, and update a best management practices plan for the recycle of bottom ash transport water, and must include:

(i) Identification of the low utilization coal-fired generating units that contribute bottom ash to the bottom ash transport system.

(ii) A description of the existing bottom ash handling system and a list of system components (e.g., remote mechanical drag system, tanks, impoundments, chemical addition). Where multiple generating units share a bottom ash transport system, the plan shall specify which components are associated with low utilization generating units.

(iii) A detailed water balance, based on measurements, or estimates where measurements are not feasible, specifying the volume and frequency of water additions and removals from the bottom ash transport system, including:

(A) Water removed from the BA transport system:

(1) To the discharge outfall;

(2) To the FGD scrubber system;

(3) Through evaporation;

(4) Entrained with any removed ash; and

(5) To any other mechanisms not specified paragraphs (k)(3)(iii)(A)(1) through (4) of this section.

(B) Water entering or recycled to the BA transport system:

(1) Makeup water added to the BA transport water system.

(2) Bottom ash transport water recycled back to the system in lieu of makeup water.

(3) Any other mechanisms not specified in paragraphs (k)(3)(iii)(B)(1) and (2) of this section.

(iv) Measures to be employed by all facilities:

(A) Implementation of a comprehensive preventive maintenance program to identify, repair and replace equipment prior to failures that result in the release of bottom ash transport water.

(B) Daily or more frequent inspections of the entire bottom ash transport water system, including valves, pipe flanges and piping, to identify leaks, spills and other unintended bottom ash transport water escaping from the system, and timely repair of such conditions.

(C) Documentation of preventive and corrective maintenance performed.

(v) Evaluation of options and feasibility, accounting for the associated costs, for eliminating or minimizing discharges of bottom ash transport water, including:

(A) Segregation of bottom ash transport water from other process water.

(B) Minimization of the introduction of stormwater by diverting (e.g., curbing, using covers) storm water to a segregated collection system.

(C) Recycling bottom ash transport water back to the bottom ash transport water system.

(D) Recycling bottom ash transport water for use in the FGD scrubber.

(E) Optimization of existing equipment (e.g., pumps, pipes, tanks) and installing new equipment where practicable to achieve the maximum amount of recycle.

(F) Utilization of “in-line” treatment of transport water (e.g., pH control, fines removal) where needed to facilitate recycle.

(vi) Description of the bottom ash recycle system, including all technologies, measures, and practices that will be used to minimize discharge.

(vii) A schedule showing the sequence of implementing any changes necessary to achieve the minimized discharge of bottom ash transport water, including the following:

(A) The anticipated initiation and completion dates of construction and installation associated with the technology components or process modifications specified in the plan.

(B) The anticipated dates that the discharger expects the technologies and process modifications to be fully implemented on a full-scale basis, which in no case shall be later than December 31, 2023.

(C) The anticipated change in discharge volume and effluent quality associated with implementation of the plan.

(viii) Description establishing a method for documenting and demonstrating to the permitting/control authority that the recycle system is well operated and maintained.

(ix) Performance of weekly flow monitoring for the following:

(A) Make up water to the bottom ash transport water system.

(B) Bottom ash transport water sluice flow rate (e.g., to the surface impoundment(s), dewatering bins(s), tank(s), remote mechanical drag system).

(C) Bottom ash transport water discharge to surface water or publicly owned treatment works (POTW).

(D) Bottom ash transport water recycle back to the bottom ash system or FGD scrubber.

(4) 2024 BAT.(i) Except for those discharges to which paragraphs (k)(4)(ii) through (iv) of this section applies, or when the bottom ash transport water is used in the FGD scrubber, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water. Dischargers must meet the discharge limitation in this paragraph (k)(4)(i) by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning July 8, 2024, but no later than December 31, 2029. The limitation in this paragraph (k)(4)(i) applies to the discharge of bottom ash transport water generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the discharge limitation, as specified in this paragraph (k)(4)(i).

(ii) For any electric generating unit with a total nameplate generating capacity of less than or equal to 50 megawatts or that is an oil-fired unit, the quantity of pollutants discharged in bottom ash transport water shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of the applicable wastewater times the concentration for TSS listed in §423.12(b)(4).

(iii) For any electric generating unit for which the owner has submitted a certification pursuant to §423.19(h), the quantity of pollutants discharged in bottom ash transport water shall continue to be subject to limitations specified in paragraph (k)(1) or (k)(2)(i) or (iii) of this section as incorporated into the existing permit.

(A) Where such unit has permanently ceased coal combustion by December 31, 2034, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water after April 30, 2035.

(B) Where such unit has failed to permanently cease coal combustion by December 31, 2034, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water after December 31, 2034.

(iv) For bottom ash transport water discharged from any coal combustion residual surface impoundment which commences closure pursuant to 40 CFR 257.102(e) after July 8, 2024, the quantity of pollutants in bottom ash transport water shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of bottom ash transport water times the concentration listed in table 10 to this paragraph (k)(4)(iv).

Table 10 to Paragraph (k)(4)(iv)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyBAT effluent limitations
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)118
Mercury, total (ng/L)788356

(l) Combustion residual leachate(1) 2024 BAT.(i) Except for those discharges to which paragraph (l)(1)(i)(B) or (C) or (1)(2) of this section applies, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in combustion residual leachate.

(A) Dischargers must meet the effluent limitations for combustion residual leachate in this paragraph (l)(1)(i) by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning July 8, 2024, but no later than December 31, 2029. The effluent limitations in this paragraph (l)(1)(i) apply to the discharge of combustion residual leachate generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations, as specified in this paragraph (l)(1)(i).

(B) A facility which submits a request under §423.19(n) may discharge permeate or distillate from a combustion residual leachate treatment system designed to achieve the limitations in this paragraph (l)(1)(i) for an additional period of up to one year from the date determined in paragraph (l)(1)(i)(A) of this section.

(C) After the retirement of all units at a facility, the quantity of pollutants in combustion residual leachate (CRL) shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of CRL permeate times the concentrations listed in the table 7 to paragraph (g)(3)(i) of this section or the flow of CRL distillate times the concentrations listed in the table following §423.15(b)(13).

(ii) For combustion residual leachate generated before the date determined by the permitting authority, as specified in paragraph (l)(1)(i) of this section, the EPA is declining to establish BAT limitations and is reserving such limitations to be established by the permitting authority on a case-by-case basis using the permitting authority's best professional judgment.

(2) 2024 BAT subcategories.(i) Discharges of combustion residual leachate for which the owner has submitted a certification pursuant to §423.19(h).

(A) Where such unit has permanently ceased coal combustion by December 31, 2034, the quantity of pollutants in combustion residual leachate shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of combustion residual leachate times the concentration listed in table 11 to this paragraph (l)(2)(i)(A) by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning 120 days after the facility permanently ceases coal combustion, but no later than April 30, 2035.

Table 11 to paragraph (l)(2)(i)(A)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyBAT effluent limitations
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)118
Mercury, total (ng/L)788356

(B) Where such unit has failed to permanently cease coal combustion by December 31, 2034, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in combustion residual leachate after December 31, 2034.

(ii) For discharges of unmanaged combustion residual leachate, the quantity of pollutants in unmanaged combustion residual leachate shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of unmanaged combustion residual leachate times the concentration listed in the table 11 to paragraph (l)(2)(i)(A) of this section.

(A) Dischargers must meet the effluent limitations for unmanaged combustion residual leachate in this paragraph (l)(2)(ii) by a date determined by the permitting authority that is as soon as possible beginning July 8, 2024, but no later than December 31, 2029. The effluent limitations in this paragraph (l)(2)(ii) apply to the discharge of unmanaged combustion residual leachate generated on and after the date determined by the permitting authority for meeting the effluent limitations, as specified in this paragraph (l)(2)(ii).

(B) Discharges of unmanaged combustion residual leachate before the date determined in paragraph (l)(2)(ii)(A) of this section.

(iii) For combustion residual leachate discharged from any coal combustion residual surface impoundment which commences closure pursuant to 40 CFR 257.102(e) after July 8, 2024, the quantity of pollutants in combustion residual leachate shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of combustion residual leachate times the concentration listed in table 12 to this paragraph (l)(2)(iii).

Table 12 to Paragraph (l)(2)(iii)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyBAT effluent limitations
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)118
Mercury, total (ng/L)788356

* * * * *

(o) Transfers.(1) Transfer between applicable limitations in a permit. Where, in the permit, the permitting authority has included alternative limits subject to eligibility requirements, upon timely notification to the permitting authority under §423.19(l), a facility can become subject to the alternative limits under the following circumstances:

(i) On or before December 31, 2023, a facility may convert:

(A) From limitations for electric generating units permanently ceasing coal combustion under paragraph (g)(2)(i) or (k)(2)(ii) of this section to limitations for low utilization electric generating units under paragraph (g)(2)(iii) or (k)(2)(iii) of this section; or

(B) From voluntary incentives program limitations under paragraph (g)(3)(i) of this section or generally applicable limitations under paragraph (k)(1)(i) of this section to limitations for low utilization electric generating units under paragraph (g)(2)(iii) or (k)(2)(iii) of this section.

(ii) On or before December 31, 2025, a facility may convert:

(A) From voluntary incentives program limitations under paragraph (g)(3)(i) of this section to limitations for electric generating units permanently ceasing coal combustion under paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this section; or

(B) From limitations for electric generating units permanently ceasing coal combustion under paragraph (g)(2)(i) or (k)(2)(ii) of this section to voluntary incentives program limitations under paragraph (g)(3)(i) of this section or generally applicable limitations under (k)(1)(i) of this section; or

(C) From limitations for low utilization electric generating units under paragraph (g)(2)(iii) or (k)(2)(iii) of this section to generally applicable limitations under paragraph (g)(1)(i) or (k)(1)(i) of this section; or

(D) From limitations for low utilization electric generating units under paragraph (g)(2)(iii) or (k)(2)(iii) of this section to voluntary incentives program limitations under paragraph (g)(3)(i) of this section or generally applicable limitations under paragraph (k)(1)(i) of this section; or

(E) From limitations for low utilization electric generating units under paragraph (g)(2)(iii) or (k)(2)(iii) of this section to limitations for electric generating units permanently ceasing coal combustion under paragraph (g)(2)(i) and (k)(2)(ii) of this section.

(2) A facility must be in compliance with all of its currently applicable requirements to be eligible to file a notice under §423.19(l) and to become subject to a different set of applicable requirements under paragraph (o)(1) of this section.

(3) Where a facility seeking a transfer under paragraph (o)(1)(ii) of this section is currently subject to more stringent limitations than the limitations being sought, the facility must continue to meet those more stringent limitations.

* * * * *

§423.16 Pretreatment standards for existing sources (PSES).

* * * * *

(e) FGD wastewater(1) 2020 PSES. Except as provided for in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, for any electric generating unit with a total nameplate generating capacity of more than 50 megawatts, that is not an oil-fired unit, and that the owner has not certified that it will cease coal combustion pursuant to §423.19(g), the quantity of pollutants in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed in table 3 to this paragraph (e)(1). Dischargers must meet the standards in this paragraph (e)(1) by October 13, 2023, except as provided for in paragraph (e)(2) of this section. The standards in this paragraph (e)(1) apply to the discharge of FGD wastewater generated on and after October 13, 2023.

Table 3 to Paragraph (e)(1)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyPSES
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)188
Mercury, total (ng/L)10334
Selenium, total (µg/L)7029
Nitrate/nitrite as N (mg/L)43

(2) 2020 PSES subcategories.(i) For FGD wastewater discharges from a low utilization electric generating unit, the quantity of pollutants in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed in the table 4 to paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section. Dischargers must meet the standards in this paragraph (e)(2)(i) by October 13, 2023.

(ii) If any low utilization electric generating unit fails to timely recertify that the two year average capacity utilization rating of such an electric generating unit is below 10 percent per year as specified in §423.19(f), regardless of the reason, within two years from the date such a recertification was required, the quantity of pollutants in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed in the table 3 to paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

Table 4 to Paragraph (e)(2)(ii)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyPSES
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)118
Mercury, total (ng/L)788356

(3) 2024 PSES. Except as provided for in paragraph (e)(4) of this section, for any electric generating unit with a total nameplate generating capacity of more than 50 megawatts and that is not an oil-fired unit, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in FGD wastewater. Dischargers must meet the standards in this paragraph (e)(3) by May 9, 2027, except as provided for in paragraph (e)(4) of this section. The standards in this paragraph (e)(3) apply to the discharge of FGD wastewater generated on and after May 9, 2027.

(4) 2024 PSES subcategories.(i) For any electric generating unit for which the owner has submitted a certification pursuant to §423.19(h), the quantity of pollutants discharged in FGD wastewater shall continue to be subject to standards specified in paragraph (e)(1) or (2) of this section as incorporated into the existing control mechanism.

(A) Where such unit has permanently ceased coal combustion by December 31, 2034, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in FGD wastewater after April 30, 2035.

(B) Where such unit has failed to permanently cease coal combustion by December 31, 2034, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in FGD wastewater after December 31, 2034.

(ii) For FGD wastewater discharged from any coal combustion residual surface impoundment which commences closure pursuant to 40 CFR 257.102(e) after July 8, 2024, the quantity of pollutants in FGD wastewater shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of FGD wastewater times the concentration listed in the table 5 to this paragraph (e)(4)(ii).

Table 5 to Paragraph (e)(4)(ii)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyPSES
Maximum for any 1 dayAverage of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)118
Mercury, total (ng/L)788356

* * * * *

(g) Bottom ash transport water(1) 2020 PSES. Except for those discharges to which paragraph (g)(2) of this section applies, or when the bottom ash transport water is used in the FGD scrubber, for any electric generating unit with a total nameplate generating capacity of more than 50 megawatts, that is not an oil-fired unit, that is not a low utilization electric generating unit, and that the owner has not certified that the electric generating unit will cease coal combustion pursuant to §423.19(g), there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water. The standard in this paragraph (g)(1) applies to the discharge of bottom ash transport water generated on and after October 13, 2023. Except for those discharges to which paragraph (g)(2) of this section applies, whenever bottom ash transport water is used in any other plant process or is sent to a treatment system at the plant (except when it is used in the FGD scrubber), the resulting effluent must comply with the discharge standard in this paragraph (g)(1). When the bottom ash transport water is used in the FGD scrubber, the quantity of pollutants in bottom ash transport water shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of bottom ash transport water times the concentration listed in table 3 to paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(2) 2020 PSES subcategories.(i) The discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water from a properly installed, operated, and maintained bottom ash system is authorized under the following conditions:

(A) To maintain system water balance when precipitation-related inflows are generated from a 10-year storm event of 24-hour or longer duration (e.g., 30-day storm event) and cannot be managed by installed spares, redundancies, maintenance tanks, and other secondary bottom ash system equipment; or

(B) To maintain system water balance when regular inflows from wastestreams other than bottom ash transport water exceed the ability of the bottom ash system to accept recycled water and segregating these other wastestreams is feasible; or

(C) To maintain system water chemistry where current operations at the facility are unable to currently manage pH, corrosive substances, substances or conditions causing scaling, or fine particulates to below levels which impact system operation or maintenance; or

(D) To conduct maintenance not otherwise included in paragraphs (g)(2)(i)(A), (B), or (C) of this section and not exempted from the definition of transport water in §423.11(p), and when water volumes cannot be managed by installed spares, redundancies, maintenance tanks, and other secondary bottom ash system equipment.

(ii) The total volume that may be discharged to a POTW for the activities in paragraphs (g)(2)(i)(A) through (D) of this section shall be reduced or eliminated to the extent achievable as determined by the control authority. The control authority may also include control measures (including best management practices) that are technologically available and economically achievable in light of best industry practice. In no event shall the total volume of the discharge exceed a 30-day rolling average of ten percent of the primary active wetted bottom ash system volume. The volume of daily discharges used to calculate the 30-day rolling average shall be calculated using measurements from flow monitors.

(iii) For bottom ash transport water generated by a low utilization electric generating unit, the quantity of pollutants discharged in bottom ash transport water shall incorporate the elements of a best management practices plan as described in §423.13(k)(3).

(3) 2024 PSES. Except for those discharges to which paragraph (g)(4) of this section applies, for any electric generating unit with a total nameplate generating capacity of more than 50 megawatts, that is not an oil-fired unit, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water. The standard in this paragraph (g)(3) applies to the discharge of bottom ash transport water generated on and after May 9, 2027. Except for those discharges to which paragraph (g)(4) of this section applies, whenever bottom ash transport water is used in any other plant process or is sent to a treatment system at the plant, the resulting effluent must comply with the discharge standard in this paragraph (g)(3).

(4) 2024 PSES subcategories.(i) For any electric generating unit for which the owner has submitted a certification pursuant to §423.19(h), the quantity of pollutants discharged in bottom ash transport water shall continue to be subject to standards specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (2) as incorporated into the existing control mechanism.

(A) Where such unit has permanently ceased coal combustion by December 31, 2034, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water after April 30, 2035.

(B) Where such unit has failed to permanently cease coal combustion by December 31, 2034, there shall be no discharge of pollutants in bottom ash transport water after December 31, 2034.

(ii) For bottom ash transport water discharged from any coal combustion residual surface impoundment which commences closure pursuant to 40 CFR 257.102(e) after July 8, 2024, the quantity of pollutants in bottom ash transport water shall not exceed the quantity determined by multiplying the flow of bottom ash transport water times the concentration listed in table 6 to this paragraph (g)(4)(ii).

Table 6 to Paragraph (g)(4)(ii)
Pollutant or pollutant propertyPSES
Maximum for any 1 day Average of daily values for 30 consecutive days shall not exceed
Arsenic, total (µg/L)118
Mercury, total (ng/L)788356

* * * * *

§423.18 Permit conditions.

All permits subject to this part shall include the following permit conditions:

(a) An electric generating unit shall qualify as a low utilization electric generating unit, permanently ceasing the combustion of coal by December 31, 2028, or permanently ceasing the combustion of coal by December 31, 2034, if such qualification would have been demonstrated absent the following qualifying event:

(1) An emergency order issued by the Department of Energy under section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act;

(2) A reliability must run agreement issued by a Public Utility Commission; or

(3) Any other reliability-related order, energy emergency alert, or agreement issued by a competent electricity regulator (e.g., an independent system operator) which results in that electric generating unit operating in a way not contemplated when the certification was made; or

(4) The operation of the electric generating unit was necessary for load balancing in an area subject to a declaration under 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq., that there exists:

(i) An “Emergency”; or

(ii) A “Major Disaster”; and

(iii) That load balancing was due to the event that caused the “Emergency” or “Major Disaster” in paragraphs (a)(4)(i) and (ii) of this section to be declared.

(b) Any facility providing the required documentation pursuant to §423.19(i) may avail itself of the protections of the permit condition in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) A facility discharging permeate or distillate from an FGD wastewater or combustion residual leachate treatment system and satisfying §423.19(n) shall be deemed to meet the following requirements:

(1) The FGD wastewater requirements of §423.13(g)(4) for up to one year after the date determined pursuant to §423.11(t); and

(2) The combustion residual leachate requirements of §423.13(l)(1) for up to one year after the date determined pursuant to §423.11(t).

§423.19 Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

(a) In general. Discharges subject to this part must comply with the reporting requirements in this section.

(b) Signature and certification. Unless otherwise provided in this section, all certifications and recertifications required in this part must be signed and certified pursuant to 40 CFR 122.22 for direct dischargers or 40 CFR 403.12(l) for indirect dischargers.

(c) Publicly accessible internet site requirements.(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, each facility subject to one or more of the reporting requirements in paragraphs (d) through (o) of this section must maintain a publicly accessible internet site (ELG website) containing the information specified in paragraphs (d) through (o), if applicable. This website shall be titled “ELG Rule Compliance Data and Information.” The facility must ensure that all information required to be posted is immediately available to anyone visiting the site, without requiring any prerequisite, such as registration or a requirement to submit a document request. All required information must be clearly identifiable and must be able to be immediately downloaded by anyone accessing the site in a format that enables additional analysis (e.g., comma-separated values text file format). When the facility initially creates, or later changes, the web address (i.e., Uniform Resource Locator (URL)) at any point, they must notify EPA via the “contact us” form on EPA's Effluent Guidelines website and the permitting authority or control authority within 14 days of creating the website or making the change. The facility's ELG website must also have a “contact us” form or a specific email address posted on the website for the public to use to submit questions and issues relating to the availability of information on the website.

(2)(i) When an owner or operator subject to this section already maintains a “CCR Rule Compliance Data and Information” website pursuant to 40 CFR 257.107, the postings required under this section may be made to the existing “CCR Rule Compliance Data and Information” website and shall be delineated under a separate heading that shall state “ELG Rule Compliance Data and Information.” When electing to use an existing website pursuant to this paragraph (c)(2), the facility shall notify EPA via the “contact us” form on EPA's Effluent Guidelines website and the permitting authority or control authority no later than July 8, 2024, or upon first becoming subject to paragraphs (d) through (o) of this section, whichever is later.

(ii) When the same owner or operator is subject to the provisions of this part for multiple facilities, the owner or operator may comply with the requirements of this section by using the same internet site for multiple facilities provided the ELG website clearly delineates information by the name of each facility.

(3) Unless otherwise required in this section, the information required to be posted to the ELG website must be made available to the public for at least 10 years following the date on which the information was first posted to the ELG website, or the length of the permit plus five years, whichever is longer. All required information must be clearly identifiable and must be able to be immediately downloaded by anyone accessing the site in a format that enables additional analysis (e.g., comma-separated values text file format).

(4) Unless otherwise required in this section, the information must be posted to the ELG website:

(i) Within 30 days of submitting the information to the permitting authority or control authority; or

(ii) Where information was submitted to the permitting authority or control authority prior to July 8, 2024, by July 8, 2024.

(d) Requirements for facilities discharging bottom ash transport water under this part(1) Certification statement. For sources seeking to discharge bottom ash transport water pursuant to §423.13(k)(2)(i) or (g)(2)(i), an initial certification shall be submitted to the permitting authority by the as soon as possible date determined under §423.11(t), or the control authority by October 13, 2023, in the case of an indirect discharger.

(2) Signature and certification. The certification statement must be signed and certified by a professional engineer.

(3) Contents. An initial certification shall include the following:

(i) A statement that the professional engineer is a licensed professional engineer.

(ii) A statement that the professional engineer is familiar with the requirements in this part.

(iii) A statement that the professional engineer is familiar with the facility.

(iv) The primary active wetted bottom ash system volume in §423.11(aa).

(v) Material assumptions, information, and calculations used by the certifying professional engineer to determine the primary active wetted bottom ash system volume.

(vi) A list of all potential discharges under §423.13(k)(2)(i)(A)(1) through (4) or §423.16(g)(2)(i)(A) through (D), the expected volume of each discharge, and the expected frequency of each discharge.

(vii) Material assumptions, information, and calculations used by the certifying professional engineer to determine the expected volume and frequency of each discharge including a narrative discussion of why such water cannot be managed within the system and must be discharged.

(viii) A list of all wastewater treatment systems at the facility currently, or otherwise required by a date certain under this section.

(ix) A narrative discussion of each treatment system including the system type, design capacity, and current or expected operation.

(e) Requirements for a bottom ash best management practices plan(1) Initial and annual certification statement. For sources required to develop and implement a best management practices plan pursuant to §423.13(k)(3), an initial certification shall be made to the permitting authority with a permit application or within two years of October 13, 2021, whichever is later, or to the control authority no later than October 13, 2023, in the case of an indirect discharger, and an annual recertification shall be made to the permitting authority, or control authority in the case of an indirect discharger, within 60 days of the anniversary of the original plan.

(2) Signature and certification. The certification statement must be signed and certified by a professional engineer.

(3) Contents for initial certification. An initial certification shall include the following:

(i) A statement that the professional engineer is a licensed professional engineer.

(ii) A statement that the professional engineer is familiar with the requirements in this part.

(iii) A statement that the professional engineer is familiar with the facility.

(iv) The best management practices plan.

(v) A statement that the best management practices plan is being implemented.

(4) Additional contents for annual certification. In addition to the required contents of the initial certification in paragraph (e)(3) of this section an annual certification shall include the following:

(i) Any updates to the best management practices plan.

(ii) An attachment of weekly flow measurements from the previous year.

(iii) The average amount of recycled bottom ash transport water in gallons per day.

(iv) Copies of inspection reports and a summary of preventative maintenance performed on the system.

(v) A statement that the plan and corresponding flow records are being maintained at the office of the plant.

(f) Requirements for low utilization electric generating units(1) Notice of Planned Participation. For sources seeking to qualify as a low utilization electric generating units, a Notice of Planned Participation shall be submitted to the permitting authority or control authority no later than October 13, 2021.

(2) Contents. A Notice of Planned Participation shall identify the potential low utilization electric generating unit. The notice shall also include a statement of at least two years' capacity utilization rating data for the most recent two years of operation of each low utilization electric generating unit and a statement that the facility has a good faith belief that each low utilization electric generating unit will continue to operate at the required capacity utilization rating. Where the most recent capacity utilization rating does not meet the low utilization electric generating unit requirement, a discussion of the projected future utilization shall be provided, including material data and assumptions used to make that projection.

(3) Initial and annual certification statement. For sources seeking to qualify as a low utilization electric generating unit under this part, an initial certification shall be made to the permitting authority, or to the control authority in the case of an indirect discharger, no later than December 31, 2023, and an annual recertification shall be made to the permitting authority, or control authority in the case of an indirect discharger, within 60 days of submitting annual electricity production data to the Energy Information Administration.

(4) Contents. A certification or annual recertification shall be based on the information submitted to the Energy Information Administration and shall include copies of the underlying forms submitted to the Energy Information Administration, as well as any supplemental information and calculations used to determine the two year average annual capacity utilization rating.

(g) Requirements for units that will achieve permanent cessation of coal combustion by December 31, 2028(1) Notice of Planned Participation. For sources seeking to qualify as an electric generating unit that will achieve permanent cessation of coal combustion by December 31, 2028, under this part, a Notice of Planned Participation shall be made to the permitting authority, or to the control authority in the case of an indirect discharger, no later than June 27, 2023.

(2) Contents. A Notice of Planned Participation shall identify the electric generating units intended to achieve the permanent cessation of coal combustion. A Notice of Planned Participation shall include the expected date that each electric generating unit is projected to achieve permanent cessation of coal combustion, whether each date represents a retirement or a fuel conversion, whether each retirement or fuel conversion has been approved by a regulatory body, and what the relevant regulatory body is. The Notice of Planned Participation shall also include a copy of the most recent integrated resource plan for which the applicable state agency approved the retirement or repowering of the unit subject to the ELGs, certification of electric generating unit cessation under 40 CFR 257.103(b), or other documentation supporting that the electric generating unit will permanently cease the combustion of coal by December 31, 2028. The Notice of Planned Participation shall also include, for each such electric generating unit, a timeline to achieve the permanent cessation of coal combustion. Each timeline shall include interim milestones and the projected dates of completion.

(3) Annual progress report. Annually after submission of the Notice of Planned Participation in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, a progress report shall be filed with the permitting authority, or control authority in the case of an indirect discharger.

(4) Contents. An annual progress report shall detail the completion of any interim milestones listed in the Notice of Planned Participation since the previous progress report, provide a narrative discussion of any completed, missed, or delayed milestones, and provide updated milestones. An annual progress report shall also include one of the following:

(i) A copy of the official suspension filing (or equivalent filing) made to the facility's reliability authority detailing the conversion to a fuel source other than coal;

(ii) A copy of the official retirement filing (or equivalent filing) made to the facility's reliability authority which must include a waiver of recission rights; or

(iii) An initial certification, or recertification for subsequent annual progress reports, containing either a statement that the facility will make the filing required in paragraph (g)(4)(i) of this section or a statement that the facility will make the filing required in paragraph (g)(4)(ii) of this section. The certification or recertification must include the estimated date that such a filing will be made.

(iv) A facility shall not include a certification or recertification under paragraph (g)(4)(iii) of this section in the final annual progress report submitted prior to permanent cessation of coal combustion. Rather, this final annual progress report must include the filing under paragraph (g)(4)(i) or (ii) of this section.

(h) Requirements for units that will achieve permanent cessation of coal combustion by December 31, 2034(1) Notice of Planned Participation. For sources seeking to qualify as an electric generating unit that will achieve permanent cessation of coal combustion by December 31, 2034, under this part, a Notice of Planned Participation shall be made to the permitting authority, or to the control authority in the case of an indirect discharger, no later than December 31, 2025.

(2) Contents. A Notice of Planned Participation shall identify the electric generating units intended to achieve the permanent cessation of coal combustion. A Notice of Planned Participation shall include the expected date that each electric generating unit is projected to achieve permanent cessation of coal combustion, whether each date represents a retirement or a fuel conversion, whether each retirement or fuel conversion has been approved by a regulatory body, and what the relevant regulatory body is. The Notice of Planned Participation shall also include a copy of the most recent integrated resource plan for which the applicable state agency approved the retirement or repowering of the unit subject to the ELGs, or other documentation supporting that the electric generating unit will permanently cease the combustion of coal by December 31, 2034. The Notice of Planned Participation shall also include, for each such electric generating unit, a timeline to achieve the permanent cessation of coal combustion. Each timeline shall include interim milestones and the projected dates of completion. Finally, the Notice of Planned Participation shall also include, for each such electric generating unit, a certification statement that the facility is in compliance with the following limitations or standards:

(i) The applicable limitations or standards for FGD wastewater in §423.13(g)(1) or (g)(2)(ii) or (iii) or §423.16(e)(1) or (2); and

(ii) The applicable limitations or standards for bottom ash transport water in §423.13(k)(1) or (k)(2)(i) or (iii) or §423.16(g)(1) or (2).

(3) Annual progress report. Annually after submission of the Notice of Planned Participation in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, a progress report shall be filed with the permitting authority, or control authority in the case of an indirect discharger.

(4) Contents. An annual progress report shall detail the completion of any interim milestones listed in the Notice of Planned Participation since the previous progress report, provide a narrative discussion of any completed, missed, or delayed milestones, and provide updated milestones. An annual progress report shall also include one of the following:

(i) A copy of the official suspension filing (or equivalent filing) made to the facility's reliability authority detailing the conversion to a fuel source other than coal;

(ii) A copy of the official retirement filing (or equivalent filing) made to the facility's reliability authority which must include a waiver of recission rights; or

(iii) An initial certification, or recertification for subsequent annual progress reports, containing either a statement that the facility will make the filing required in paragraph (h)(4)(i) of this section or a statement that the facility will make the filing required in paragraph (h)(4)(ii) of this section. The certification or recertification must include the estimated date that such a filing will be made.

(iv) A facility shall not include a certification or recertification under paragraph (h)(4)(iii) of this section in the final annual progress report submitted prior to permanent cessation of coal combustion. Rather, this final annual progress report must include the filing under paragraph (h)(4)(i) or (ii) of this section.

(i) Requirements for facilities seeking protections under this part(1) Certification statement. For sources seeking to apply the protections of the permit conditions in §423.18(a), and for each instance that §423.18(a) is applied, a one-time certification shall be submitted to the permitting authority, or control authority in the case of an indirect discharger, no later than:

(i) In the case of an order or agreement under §423.18(a)(1), 30 days from receipt of the order or agreement attached pursuant to paragraph (i)(2)(ii) of this section; or

(ii) In the case of an “Emergency” or “Major Disaster” under §423.18(a)(2), 30 days from the date that a load balancing need arose.

(2) Contents. A certification statement must include the following:

(i) The qualifying event from the list in §423.18(a), the individual or entity that issued or triggered the event, and the date that such an event was issued or triggered.

(ii) A copy of any documentation of the qualifying event from the individual or entity listed under paragraph (i)(2)(i) of this section, or, where such documentation does not exist, other documentation with indicia of reliability for the permitting authority to confirm the qualifying event.

(iii) An analysis and accompanying narrative discussion which demonstrates that an electric generating unit would have qualified for the subcategory at issue absent the event detailed in paragraph (i)(2)(i) of this section, including the material data, assumptions, and methods used.

(3) Termination of need statement. For sources filing a certification statement under paragraph (i)(1) of this section, and for each such certification statement, a one-time termination of need statement shall be submitted to the permitting authority, or control authority in the case of an indirect discharger, no later than 30 days from when the source is no longer subject to increased production from the qualifying event.

(4) Contents. A termination of need statement must include a narrative discussion including the date the qualifying event terminated, or if it has not terminated, why the source believes the capacity utilization will no longer be elevated to a level requiring the protection of §423.18.

(j) Requirements for facilities voluntarily meeting limits in this part(1) Notice of Planned Participation. For sources opting to comply with the Voluntary Incentives Program requirements of §423.13(g)(3)(i) by December 31, 2028, a Notice of Planned Participation shall be made to the permitting authority no later than October 13, 2021.

(2) Contents. A Notice of Planned Participation shall identify the facility opting to comply with the Voluntary Incentives Program requirements of §423.13(g)(3)(i), specify what technology or technologies are projected to be used to comply with those requirements, and provide a detailed engineering dependency chart and accompanying narrative demonstrating when and how the system(s) and any accompanying disposal requirements will be achieved by December 31, 2028.

(3) Annual progress report. After submission of the Notice of Planned Participation in paragraph (j)(1) of this section, a progress report shall be filed with the permitting authority, or control authority in the case of an indirect discharger.

(4) Contents. An annual progress report shall detail the completion of interim milestones presented in the engineering dependency chart from the Notice of Planned Participation since the previous progress report, provide a narrative discussion of completed, missed, or delayed milestones, and provide updated milestones.

(5) Rollover certification. Where, prior to October 13, 2020, a discharger has already provided a notice to the permitting authority of opting to comply with the Voluntary Incentives Program requirements of §423.13(g)(3)(i), such notice will satisfy paragraph (j)(1) of this section. However, where details required by paragraph (j)(2) of this section were missing from the previously provided notice, those details must be provided in the first annual progress report, no later than October 13, 2021.

(k) Requirements for facilities with discharges of unmanaged combustion residual leachate(1) Annual combustion residual leachate monitoring report. In addition to reporting pursuant to 40 CFR part 127, each facility with discharges of unmanaged combustion residual leachate meeting the definition in §423.11(ff)(1) shall file an annual combustion residual leachate monitoring report each calendar year to the permitting authority.

(2) Contents. The annual combustion residual leachate monitoring report shall provide the following monitoring data for each pollutant listed in table 1 to paragraph (k)(2)(v) of this section. For paragraphs (k)(2)(ii) and (iii) of this section the report shall also describe the location of monitoring wells, screening depth, and frequency of sampling. The report shall include summary statistics including monthly minimum, maximum, and average concentrations for each pollutant. The report shall be supported by an appendix of all samples.

(i) A list of coal combustion residual landfills and surface impoundments which the permitting authority has determined are point sources with functional equivalent direct discharges.

(ii) Groundwater monitoring data as the combustion residual leachate leaves each of the landfills or surface impoundment listed in paragraph (k)(2)(i) of this section.

(iii) Groundwater monitoring at the point the combustion residual leachate enters a surface waterbody.

(iv) Effluent monitoring data reported pursuant to 40 CFR part 127.

(v) Summary statistics for the data described in paragraphs (k)(2)(ii) through (iv) of this section including the monthly average and daily maximum of each pollutant in the table 1 to this paragraph (k)(2)(v) and a comparison to any limitation in §423.13(l)(2)(ii).

Table 1 to Paragraph
BAT Treated Pollutants in Combustion Residual Leachate
AntimonyMagnesium
ArsenicManganese
BariumMercury
BerylliumMolybdenum
CadmiumNickel
ChromiumThallium
CobaltTitanium
CopperVanadium
LeadZinc

(l) Requirements for facilities seeking to transfer between applicable limitations in a permit under this part(1) Notice of Planned Participation. For sources which have filed a Notice of Planned Participation under paragraph (f)(1), (g)(1), or (j)(1) of this section and intend to make changes that would qualify them for a different set of requirements under §423.13(o), a Notice of Planned Participation shall be made to the permitting authority, or to the control authority in the case of an indirect discharger, no later than the dates stated in §423.13(o)(1).

(2) Contents. A Notice of Planned Participation shall include a list of the electric generating units for which the source intends to change compliance alternatives. For each such electric generating unit, the notice shall list the specific provision under which this transfer will occur, the reason such a transfer is warranted, and a narrative discussion demonstrating that each electric generating unit will be able to maintain compliance with the relevant provisions.

(m) Notice of material delay(1) Notice. Within 30 days of experiencing a material delay in the milestones set forth in paragraph (g)(2), (h)(2), or (j)(2) of this section and where such a delay may preclude permanent cessation of coal combustion or compliance with the voluntary incentives program limitations by December 31, 2028, a facility shall file a notice of material delay with the permitting authority, or control authority in the case of an indirect discharger.

(2) Contents. The contents of such a notice shall include the reason for the delay, the projected length of the delay, and a proposed resolution to maintain compliance.

(n) Requirements for facilities seeking a one-year flexibility to discharge permeate or distillate from an FGD wastewater or combustion residual leachate treatment system designed to achieve limitations in this part(1) Initial request letter. When filing a permit application or permit modification request, a facility seeking to discharge permeate or distillate during the first year of operations after the date determined in §423.13(g)(4)(i)(A) or (l)(1)(i)(A) shall include a letter requesting this flexibility from the permitting authority. The initial request letter shall detail the expected type, frequency, duration, and necessity of discharge. The initial request letter shall also state that this period of discharge was not included for consideration in establishing the applicability timing under §423.11(t)(3).

(2) Discharge monitoring and reporting. Upon inclusion in the permit of the flexibility to discharge the permeate or distillate as requested in paragraph (n)(1) of this section, the permitting authority shall also extend any existing monitoring and reporting requirements (e.g., arsenic monitoring).

(o) Certification for wastewater generated by a 10-year, 24-hour or longer duration storm event(1) Storm Event Discharge Certification Statement. For sources seeking to discharge low volume wastewater which would otherwise be considered FGD wastewater, bottom ash transport water, or combustion residual leachate but for a storm event exceeding a 10-year, 24-hour or longer duration storm event, a Storm Event Discharge Certification Statement shall be submitted to the permitting authority, or control authority in the case of an indirect discharger, no later than five business days from the last discharge.

(2) Signature and certification. The certification statement must be signed and certified by a professional engineer.

(3) Contents. A Storm Event Discharge Certification shall include the following:

(i) A statement that the professional engineer is a licensed professional engineer.

(ii) A statement that the professional engineer is familiar with the requirements in this part.

(iii) A statement that the professional engineer is familiar with the facility.

(iv) A statement that the facility experienced a storm event exceeding a 10-year, 24-hour or longer duration, including specifics of the actual storm event that are sufficient for a third party to verify the accuracy of the statement.

(v) A statement that a discharge of low volume wastewater that would otherwise meet the definition of FGD wastewater, bottom ash transport water, or combustion residual leachate was necessary, including a list of the best management practices at the site and a narrative discussion of the ability of on-site equipment and practices to manage the wastewater.

(vi) The duration and volume of any such discharge.

(vii) A statement that the discharge does not otherwise violate any other limitation or permit condition.

2024-05-09T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: New Source Performance Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing multiple actions under section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs). First, the EPA is finalizing the repeal of the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule. Second, the EPA is finalizing emission guidelines for GHG emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired steam generating EGUs, which include both coal-fired and oil/gas-fired steam generating EGUs. Third, the EPA is finalizing revisions to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for GHG emissions from new and reconstructed fossil fuel-fired stationary combustion turbine EGUs. Fourth, the EPA is finalizing revisions to the NSPS for GHG emissions from fossil fuel-fired steam generating units that undertake a large modification, based upon the 8-year review required by the CAA. The EPA is not finalizing emission guidelines for GHG emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired stationary combustion turbines at this time; instead, the EPA intends to take further action on the proposed emission guidelines at a later date.

DATES: This final rule is effective on July 8, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 9, 2024, page 39798.

View final rule.

EHS Monthly Round Up - April 2024

EHS Monthly Round Up - April 2024

In this monthly roundup video, we’ll review the most impactful environmental, safety, and health news.

Hi everyone! Welcome to the monthly news roundup video, where we’ll go over the most impactful environmental, health, and safety news. Please view the content links in the transcript for more information about the topics I’ll be covering today. Let’s get started!

OSHA’s worker walkaround rule takes effect May 31st. It expands the criteria for who employees can authorize to act as their representative during an inspection.

Between 2015 and 2022, there were about 1,500 worker injuries involving food processing machinery. A new OSHA alert raises awareness of these hazards. It addresses hazard recognition, corrective measures, and workers’ rights.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) seeks stakeholder input on protecting outdoor workers from wildfire smoke. The agency intends to develop a hazard review document that provides recommendations to protect workers.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration published a final rule that lowers miners’ exposure to silica dust. It also revises the standard to reflect the latest advances in respiratory protection and practices.

OSHA released 2023 injury and illness data. The agency provides public access to this information in an effort to identify unsafe conditions and workplace hazards that may lead to injuries and illnesses.

And turning to environmental news, EPA finalized a rule to designate two widely used PFAS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or CERCLA. The rule requires immediate release notifications for the two PFAS. It also gives EPA the authority to hold polluters responsible for contamination.

Thanks for tuning in to the monthly news roundup. We’ll see you next month!

EHS Monthly Round Up - March 2024

EHS Monthly Round Up - March 2024

In this monthly roundup video, we’ll review the most impactful environmental, safety, and health news.

Hi everyone! Welcome to the monthly news roundup video, where we’ll go over the most impactful environmental, health, and safety news. Please view the content links in the transcript for more information about the topics I’ll be covering today. Let’s get started! The Office of Management and Budget completed its review of OSHA’s worker walkaround final rule on March 20. The next step is publication in the Federal Register. The rule expands the criteria for who employees can authorize to act as their representative during an OSHA inspection.

Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week was held the week of March 25. This annual event brings attention to hazards in the grain handling and storage industry and encourages employers to focus on safe work practices.

Over 100 people die in ladder-related deaths each year, and thousands more suffer disabling injuries. During Ladder Safety Month, which is held each March, the American Ladder Institute promotes ladder safety to decrease the number of injuries and fatalities.

Between 2010 and 2023, 11 miners drowned in incidents involving submerged mobile equipment. In response, the Mine Safety and Health Administration issued a safety alert. It recommends measures miners should take when operating equipment near water.

And finally, turning to environmental news, EPA finalized amendments to its Risk Management Program in an effort to improve safety at facilities that use and distribute hazardous chemicals. The rule seeks to improve chemical process safety; assist in planning for, preparing for, and responding to accidents; and increase public awareness of chemical hazards at regulated sites.

Thanks for tuning in to the monthly news roundup. We’ll see you next month!

2024-05-08T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Methylene Chloride regulation under TSCA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is finalizing a rule to address the unreasonable risk of injury to health presented by methylene chloride under its conditions of use. TSCA requires that EPA address by rule any unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment identified in a TSCA risk evaluation and apply requirements to the extent necessary so that the chemical no longer presents unreasonable risk. EPA's final rule will, among other things, prevent serious illness and death associated with uncontrolled exposures to the chemical by preventing consumer access to the chemical, restricting the industrial and commercial use of the chemical while also allowing for a reasonable transition period where an industrial and commercial use of the chemical is being prohibited, provide a time-limited exemption for a critical or essential use of methylene chloride for which no technically and economically feasible safer alternative is available, and protect workers from the unreasonable risk of methylene chloride while on the job.

DATES: This final rule is effective on July 8, 2024, published in the Federal Register, May 8, 2024.

View final rule.

§751.5 Definitions.
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§751.101 General.
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§751.103 Definitions.
definition of “Distribution in commerce”RevisedView text
definitions for “ECEL”, “ECEL action level”, and “EPA STEL”RevisedView text
§751.105 Consumer paint and coating removal.
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§751.107 Downstream notification.
Entire section as 751.111RedesignatedView text
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§751.109 Recordkeeping.
Entire section as 751.113RedesignatedView text
New 751.109AddedView text
§751.115 Exemptions.
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§751.117 Interim requirements for paint and coating removal for the refinishing of wooden furniture, decorative pieces, and architectural fixtures of artistic, cultural, or historic value.
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New Text

§751.101 General.

(a) Applicability. This subpart sets certain restrictions on the manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, use, and disposal of methylene chloride (CASRN 75-09-2) to prevent unreasonable risks of injury to health.

(b) De minimis threshold. Unless otherwise specified in this subpart, the prohibitions and restrictions of this subpart do not apply to products containing methylene chloride at thresholds less than 0.1 percent by weight. This provision does not apply to 751.105.

§751.103 Definitions.

* * * * *

Distribution in commerce has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Act, except that the term does not include retailers for purposes of §§751.111 and 751.113.

* * * * *

§751.105 Prohibition of manufacturing (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce related to consumer paint and coating removal.

§751.107 Other prohibitions of manufacturing (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, and use.

(a) Applicability.(1) This section applies to all manufacturing (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride for consumer use other than for the paint and coating removal use addressed under 751.105.

(2) This section applies to:

(i) All manufacturing (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride for industrial or commercial use, other than for the conditions of use addressed under 751.109(a); and

(ii) All commercial or industrial use of methylene chloride, other than the conditions of use addressed under 751.109(a).

(3) This section does not apply to manufacturing, processing, or distribution in commerce of methylene chloride solely for export that meets the conditions described in TSCA section 12(a)(1)(A) and (B).

(b) Prohibitions.(1) After February 3, 2025, all persons are prohibited from distributing in commerce (including making available) methylene chloride, including any methylene chloride-containing products, to retailers for any use.

(2) After May 5, 2025, all retailers are prohibited from distributing in commerce (including making available) methylene chloride, including any methylene chloride-containing products, for any use.

(3) After May 5, 2025, all persons are prohibited from manufacturing (including import) methylene chloride, for the uses listed in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section except for those uses specified in paragraphs (b)(7) through (9) of this section.

(4) After August 1, 2025, all persons are prohibited from processing methylene chloride, including any methylene chloride-containing products, for the uses listed in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section except for those uses specified in paragraphs (b)(7) through (9) of this section.

(5) After January 28, 2026, all persons are prohibited from distributing in commerce (including making available) methylene chloride, including any methylene chloride-containing products, for any use described in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section except for those uses specified in paragraphs (b)(7) through (9) of this section.

(6) After April 28, 2026, all persons are prohibited from industrial or commercial use of methylene chloride, including any methylene chloride containing products, for the uses listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section except for those uses specified in paragraphs (b)(7) through (9) of this section.

(7) After May 8, 2034, all persons are prohibited from manufacturing (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, or use of methylene chloride, including any methylene chloride containing products, for industrial or commercial use in an emergency by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or its contractors as described in 751.115(b).

(8) After May 8, 2029, all persons are prohibited from manufacturing (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, or use of methylene chloride, including any methylene chloride containing products, for industrial or commercial use for paint and coating removal for refinishing of wooden furniture, decorative pieces and architectural fixtures of artistic, cultural, or historic significance, with interim requirements as described in 751.117.

(9) After May 8, 2029, all persons are prohibited from manufacturing (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, or use of methylene chloride, including any methylene chloride-containing products, for industrial or commercial use for adhesives and sealants in aircraft, space vehicle, and turbine applications for structural and safety critical non-structural applications.

§751.109 Workplace Chemical Protection Program.

(a) Applicability. The provisions of this section apply to the following conditions of use of methylene chloride, including manufacturing and processing for export, except to the extent the conditions of use are prohibited by §§751.105 and 751.107:

(1) Manufacturing (domestic manufacture);

(2) Manufacturing (import);

(3) Processing: as a reactant;

(4) Processing: incorporation into a formulation, mixture, or reaction product;

(5) Processing: repackaging;

(6) Processing: recycling;

(7) Industrial and commercial use as a laboratory chemical;

(8) Industrial or commercial use for paint and coating removal from safety-critical, corrosion-sensitive components of aircraft and spacecraft;

(9) Industrial or commercial use as a bonding agent for solvent welding;

(10) Industrial and commercial use as a processing aid;

(11) Industrial and commercial use for plastic and rubber products manufacturing;

(12) Industrial and commercial use as a solvent that becomes part of a formulation or mixture, where that formulation or mixture will be used inside a manufacturing process, and the solvent (methylene chloride) will be reclaimed; and

(13) Disposal.

(b) Relationship to other regulations. For purposes of this section:

(1) Any provisions applying to “employee” in 29 CFR 1910.132, 1910.134, and 1910.1052 also apply equally to potentially exposed persons; and

(2) Any provisions applying to “employer” in 29 CFR 1910.132, 1910.134, and 1910.1052 also apply equally to any owner or operator for the regulated area.

(c) Exposure limits(1) ECEL. The owner or operator must ensure that no person is exposed to an airborne concentration of methylene chloride in excess of 2 parts of methylene chloride per million parts of air (2 ppm) as an 8-hour TWA after February 8, 2027 for Federal agencies and Federal contractors acting for or on behalf of the Federal Government, August 1, 2025 for other owners and operators, or beginning 4 months after introduction of methylene chloride into the workplace if methylene chloride use commences after May 5, 2025, consistent with paragraphs (d) through (f) of this section.

(2) EPA STEL. The owner or operator must ensure that no person is exposed to an airborne concentration of methylene chloride in excess of 16 parts of methylene chloride per million parts of air (16 ppm) as determined over a sampling period of 15 minutes after February 8, 2027 for Federal agencies and Federal contractors acting for or on behalf of the Federal Government, August 1, 2025 for other owners and operators, or beginning 4 months after introduction of methylene chloride into the workplace if methylene chloride use commences after May 5, 2025, consistent with paragraphs (d) through (f) of this section.

(3) Regulated areas. The owner or operator must:

(i) Establish and maintain regulated areas in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1052(e)(2) and (4) through (7) by February 8, 2027 for Federal agencies and Federal contractors acting for or on behalf of the Federal Government, August 1, 2025 for other owners and operators, or within 3 months after receipt of the results of any monitoring data consistent with paragraph (d) of this section.

(ii) Establish a regulated area wherever a potentially exposed person's exposure to airborne concentrations of methylene chloride exceeds or can reasonably be expected to exceed either the ECEL or EPA STEL.

(iii) Demarcate regulated areas from the rest of the workplace in any manner that adequately establishes and alerts potentially exposed persons to the boundaries of the area and minimizes the number of authorized persons exposed to methylene chloride within the regulated area.

(iv) Restrict access to the regulated area by any potentially exposed person who lacks proper training, personal protective equipment, or is otherwise unauthorized to enter.

(d) Exposure monitoring(1) In general(i) Characterization of exposures. Owners or operators must determine each potentially exposed person's exposure, without regard to respiratory protection, by either:

(A) Taking a personal breathing zone air sample of each potentially exposed person's exposure; or

(B) Taking personal breathing zone air samples that are representative of each potentially exposed person's exposure.

(ii) Representative samples. Owners or operators are permitted to consider personal breathing zone air samples to be representative of each potentially exposed person's exposure, without regard to respiratory protection, when they are taken as follows:

(A) ECEL. The owner or operator has taken one or more personal breathing zone air samples for at least one potentially exposed person in each job classification in a work area during every work shift, and the person sampled is expected to have the highest methylene chloride exposure.

(B) EPA STEL. The owner or operator has taken one or more personal breathing zone air samples which indicate the highest likely 15-minute exposures during such operations for at least one potentially exposed person in each job classification in the work area during every work shift, and the person sampled is expected to have the highest methylene chloride exposure.

(C) Exception. Personal breathing zone air samples taken during one work shift may be used to represent potentially exposed person exposures on other work shifts where the owner or operator can document that the tasks performed and conditions in the workplace are similar across shifts.

(iii) Accuracy of monitoring. Owners or operators must ensure that the methods used to perform exposure monitoring produce results that are accurate to a confidence level of 95%, and are:

(A) Within plus or minus 25% for airborne concentrations of methylene chloride above the ECEL or the EPA STEL; or

(B) Within plus or minus 35% for airborne concentrations of methylene chloride at or above the ECEL action level but at or below the ECEL.

(iv) Currency of monitoring data. Owners or operators are not permitted to rely on monitoring data that is more than 5 years old to demonstrate compliance with initial or periodic monitoring requirements for either the ECEL or the EPA STEL.

(2) Initial monitoring. By November 9, 2026 for Federal agencies and Federal contractors acting for or on behalf of the Federal Government, by May 5, 2025 for other owners and operators, or within 30 days of introduction of methylene chloride into the workplace, whichever is later, each owner or operator covered by this section must perform an initial exposure monitoring to determine each potentially exposed person's exposure, unless:

(i) An owner or operator has objective data generated within the last 5 years prior to May 8, 2024 that demonstrates to EPA that methylene chloride cannot be released in the workplace in airborne concentrations at or above the ECEL action level (1-ppm 8-hour TWA) or above the EPA STEL (16 ppm 15-minute TWA) and that the data represents the highest methylene chloride exposures likely to occur under conditions of use described in paragraph (a) of this section; or

(ii) Where potentially exposed persons are exposed to methylene chloride for fewer than 30 days per year, and the owner or operator has measurements by direct-metering devices which give immediate results and which provide sufficient information regarding exposures to determine and implement the control measures that are necessary to reduce exposures to below the ECEL action level and EPA STEL.

(3) Periodic monitoring. The owner or operator must establish an exposure monitoring program for periodic monitoring of exposure to methylene chloride in accordance with table 1.

Table 1 to Paragraph (d)(3)—Periodic Monitoring Requirements Based on Initial Exposure Monitoring Results
Air concentration condition observed during initial exposure monitoring Periodic monitoring requirement
If the initial exposure monitoring concentration is below the ECEL action level and at or below the EPA STELECEL and EPA STEL periodic monitoring at least once in every 5 years.
If the initial exposure monitoring concentration is below the ECEL action level and above the EPA STELECEL periodic required at least once every 5 years, and EPA STEL periodic monitoring required every 3 months.
If the initial exposure monitoring concentration is at or above the ECEL action level and at or below the ECEL; and at or below the EPA STELECEL periodic monitoring every 6 months.
If the initial exposure monitoring concentration is at or above the ECEL action level and at or below the ECEL; and above the EPA STELECEL periodic monitoring every 6 months and EPA STEL periodic monitoring every 3 months.
If the initial exposure monitoring concentration is above the ECEL and below, at, or above the EPA STELECEL periodic monitoring every 3 months and EPA STEL periodic monitoring every 3 months.
If 2 consecutive monitoring events have taken place at least 7 days apart that indicate that potential exposure has decreased from above the ECEL to at or below the ECEL, but at or above the ECEL action levelTransition from ECEL periodic monitoring frequency from every 3 months to every 6 months.
If 2 consecutive monitoring events have taken place at least 7 days apart that indicate that potential exposure has decreased to below the ECEL action level and at or below the EPA STELTransition from ECEL periodic monitoring frequency from every 6 months to once every 5 years. The second consecutive monitoring event will delineate the new date from which the next 5-year periodic exposure monitoring must occur.
If the owner or operator engages in any conditions of use described in paragraph (a) of this section and is required to monitor either the ECEL or EPA STEL in a 3-month interval, but does not engage in any of those uses for the entirety of the 3-month intervalThe owner or operator may forgo the upcoming periodic monitoring event. However, documentation of cessation of use of methylene chloride must be maintained, and initial monitoring is required when the owner or operator resumes or starts any of the conditions of use described in paragraph (a) of this section.
Owner or operator engages in any conditions of use described in paragraph (a) of this section and is required to monitor the ECEL in a 6-month interval, but does not engage in any of those uses for the entirety of the 6-month intervalThe owner or operator may forgo the upcoming periodic monitoring event. However, documentation of cessation of the condition(s) of use must be maintained until periodic monitoring resumes, and initial monitoring is required when the owner or operator resumes or starts any of the conditions of use described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(4) Additional monitoring. The owner or operator must conduct the exposure monitoring required by paragraph (d)(2) of this section within 30 days after any change that may reasonably be expected to introduce additional sources of exposure to methylene chloride, or otherwise result in increased exposure to methylene chloride compared to the most recent monitoring event. Examples of situations that may require additional monitoring include changes in production, process, control equipment, or work practices, or a leak, rupture, or other breakdown.

(5) Notification of monitoring results.(i) The owner or operator must inform potentially exposed persons of monitoring results within 15 working days.

(ii) This notification must include the following:

(A) Exposure monitoring results;

(B) Identification and explanation of the ECEL, ECEL Action Level, and EPA STEL;

(C) Whether the airborne concentration of methylene chloride exceeds the ECEL action level, ECEL or the EPA STEL;

(D) If the ECEL or EPA STEL is exceeded, descriptions of actions taken by the owner or operator to reduce exposure in accordance with paragraph (e)(1)((i) of this section;

(E) Explanation of any required respiratory protection provided in accordance with as paragraphs (e)(1)(ii) and (f) of this section;

(F) Quantity of methylene chloride in use at the time of monitoring;

(G) Location of methylene chloride use at the time of monitoring;

(H) Manner of methylene chloride use at the time of monitoring; and

(I) Identified releases of methylene chloride.

(iii) Notice must be provided in plain language writing, in a language that the person understands, to each potentially exposed person or posted in an appropriate and accessible location outside the regulated area with an English-language version and a non-English language version representing the language of the largest group of workers who do not read English.

(6) Observation of monitoring.(i) The owner or operator must provide affected potentially exposed persons an opportunity to observe exposure monitoring conducted in accordance with this paragraph (d) that is representative of the potentially exposed person's exposure.

(ii) The owner or operator must ensure that potentially exposed persons are provided with personal protective equipment appropriate for the observation of monitoring.

(e) ECEL control procedures and plan(1) Methods of compliance.(i) By May 10, 2027 for Federal agencies and Federal contractors acting for or on behalf of the Federal Government, or by October 30, 2025 for other owners and operators, the owner or operator must institute one or a combination of elimination, substitution, engineering controls, work practices, or administrative controls to reduce exposure to or below the ECEL and EPA STEL except to the extent that the owner or operator can demonstrate that such controls are not feasible.

(ii) If the feasible controls, required by paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section that can be instituted do not reduce exposures for potentially exposed persons to or below the ECEL or EPA STEL, then the owner or operator must use such controls to reduce exposure to the lowest levels achievable by these controls and must supplement those controls with the use of respiratory protection that complies with the requirements of paragraph (f) of this section to reduce exposures to or below the ECEL or EPA STEL.

(iii) Where an owner or operator cannot demonstrate exposure below the ECEL, including through the use of all feasible engineering controls, work practices, or administrative controls as described in paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section, and, has not demonstrated that it has appropriately supplemented with respiratory protection that complies with the requirements of paragraphs (e)(1)(ii) and (f) of this section, this will constitute a failure to comply with the ECEL.

(iv) For the Department of Defense and Federal contractors acting for or on behalf of the Department of Defense, in the event that ongoing or planned construction is necessary to implement the feasible controls required by paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section such that no one is exposed above the ECEL or EPA STEL, the deadlines in paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section are extended to May 7, 2029. Ongoing or planned construction efforts to address exposures above the ECEL and EPA STEL must be documented in the exposure control plan required by paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(2) Exposure control plan. By May 10, 2027 for Federal agencies and Federal contractors acting for or on behalf of the Federal Government, or by October 30, 2025 for other owners and operators, the owner or operator must develop and implement an exposure control plan.

(i) Exposure control plan contents. The exposure control plan must include documentation of the following:

(A) Identification of exposure controls that were considered, including those that were used or not used to meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section, in the following sequence—elimination, substitution, engineering controls, and work practices and administrative controls;

(B) For each exposure control considered, a rationale for why the exposure control was selected or not selected based on feasibility, effectiveness, and other relevant considerations;

(C) A description of actions the owner or operator must take to implement the exposure controls selected, including proper installation, regular inspections, maintenance, training, or other actions;

(D) A description of regulated areas, how they are demarcated, and persons authorized to enter the regulated areas;

(E) A description of activities conducted by the owner or operator to review and update the exposure control plan to ensure effectiveness of the exposure controls, identify any necessary updates to the exposure controls, and confirm that all persons are properly implementing the exposure controls; and

(F) An explanation of the procedures for responding to any change that may reasonably be expected to introduce additional sources of exposure to methylene chloride, or otherwise result in increased exposure to methylene chloride, including procedures for implementing corrective actions to mitigate exposure to methylene chloride.

(ii) Exposure control plan requirements.(A) The owner or operator must not implement a schedule of personnel rotation as a means of compliance with the ECEL.

(B) The owner or operator must maintain the effectiveness of any controls, instituted under paragraph (e) of this section.

(C) The exposure control plan must be reviewed and updated as necessary, but at least every 5 years, to reflect any significant changes in the status of the owner or operator's approach to compliance with paragraphs (c) through (e) of this section.

(iii) Availability of exposure control plan.(A) Owners or operators must make the exposure control plan and associated records, including exposure monitoring, respiratory protection program implementation, and dermal protection program implementation records, available to potentially exposed persons.

(B) Owners or operators must notify potentially exposed persons of the availability of the plan and associated records within 30 days of the date that the exposure control plan is completed and at least annually thereafter. The notification must be provided in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (d)(5)(iii) of this section.

(C) Upon request by the potentially exposed person, the owner or operator must provide the specified records at a reasonable time, place, and manner. If the owner or operator is unable to provide the requested records within 15 days, the owner or operator must, within those 15 days, inform the potentially exposed person requesting the record(s) of the reason for the delay and the earliest date when the record can be made available.

(3) Respirator requirements. The owner or operator must supply a respirator, selected in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section, to each potentially exposed person who enters a regulated area and must ensure each potentially exposed person uses that respirator whenever methylene chloride exposures may exceed the ECEL or EPA STEL.

(f) Respiratory protection(1) Respirator conditions. After February 8, 2027 for Federal agencies and Federal contractors acting for or on behalf of the Federal Government, after August 1, 2025 for other owners and operators, or within 3 months after receipt of the results of any exposure monitoring as described in paragraph (d) of this section, owners or operators must provide respiratory protection to all potentially exposed persons in the regulated area as outlined in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, and according to the provisions outlined in 29 CFR 1910.134(a) through (l) (except 29 CFR 1910.134(d)(1)(iii)) and as specified in this paragraph (f) for potentially exposed persons exposed to methylene chloride in concentrations above the ECEL or the EPA STEL. For the purpose of this paragraph (f), the maximum use concentration (MUC) as used in 29 CFR 1910.134 must be calculated by multiplying the assigned protection factor (APF) specified for a respirator by the ECEL or EPA STEL.

(2) Respirator selection criteria. The type of respiratory protection that regulated entities must select and provide to potentially exposed persons in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1052(g)(3)(i), is directly related to the monitoring results, as follows:

(i) If the measured exposure concentration is at or below the ECEL or EPA STEL: no respiratory protection is required.

(ii) If the measured exposure concentration is above 2 ppm and less than or equal to 50 ppm: the respirator protection required is any NIOSH Approved® supplied-air respirator (SAR) or airline respirator in a continuous-flow mode equipped with a loose-fitting facepiece or helmet/hood (APF 25).

(iii) If the measured exposure concentration is above 50 ppm and less than or equal to 100 ppm the respirator protection required is:

(A) Any NIOSH Approved® Supplied-Air Respirator (SAR) or airline respirator in a demand mode equipped with a full facepiece (APF 50); or

(B) Any NIOSH Approved® Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) in demand-mode equipped with a full facepiece or helmet/hood (APF 50).

(iv) If the measured exposure concentration is unknown or at any value above 100 ppm and up to 2,000 ppm the respirator protection required is:

(A) Any NIOSH Approved® Supplied-Air Respirator (SAR) or airline respirator in a continuous-flow mode equipped with a full facepiece or certified helmet/hood that has been tested to demonstrate performance at a level of a protection of APF 1,000 or greater. (APF 1,000); or

(B) Any NIOSH Approved® Supplied-Air Respirator (SAR) or airline respirator in pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode equipped with a full facepiece and an auxiliary self-contained air supply (APF 1,000); or

(C) Any NIOSH Approved® Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode equipped with a full facepiece or certified helmet/hood (APF 10,000).

(3) Minimal respiratory protection. Requirements outlined in paragraph (e)(2) of this section represent the minimum respiratory protection requirements, such that any respirator affording a higher degree of protection than the required respirator may be used.

(g) Dermal protection.(1) After February 8, 2027 for Federal agencies and Federal contractors acting for or on behalf of the Federal Government, or after August 1, 2025 for other owners and operators, owners or operators must require the donning of gloves that are chemically resistant to methylene chloride with activity-specific training where dermal contact with methylene chloride is possible, after application of the requirements in paragraph (e) of this section, in accordance with the NIOSH hierarchy of controls.

(2) Owners or operators must minimize and protect potentially exposed persons from dermal exposure in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1052(h) and (i).

(h) Training. Owners or operators must provide training in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1052(l)(1) through (6) to potentially exposed persons prior to or at the time of initial assignment to a job involving potential exposure to methylene chloride. In addition, if respiratory protection or PPE must be worn within a regulated area, owners or operators must provide training in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.132(f) to potentially exposed persons within that regulated area.

§751.111 Downstream notification.

(a) After August 26, 2019, and before October 7, 2024, each person who manufactures (including imports), and before December 4, 2024 processes or distributes in commerce methylene chloride for any use must, prior to or concurrent with the shipment, notify companies to whom methylene chloride is shipped, in writing, of the restrictions described in §751.105. Notification must occur by inserting the following text in section 1(c) and section 15 of the SDS provided with the methylene chloride or with any methylene chloride-containing product:

This chemical/product is not and cannot be distributed in commerce (as defined in TSCA section 3(5)) or processed (as defined in TSCA section 3(13)) for consumer paint or coating removal.

(b) Beginning on October 7, 2024, each person who manufactures (including import) methylene chloride for any use must, prior to or concurrent with the shipment, notify companies to whom methylene chloride is shipped, in writing, of the restrictions described in this subpart in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(c) Beginning on December 4, 2024, each person who processes or distributes in commerce methylene chloride or methylene chloride-containing products for any use must, prior to or concurrent with the shipment, notify companies to whom methylene chloride is shipped, in writing, of the restrictions described in this subpart in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) The notification required under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section must occur by inserting the following text in section 1(c) and section 15 of the SDS provided with the methylene chloride or with any methylene chloride-containing product:

After February 3, 2025, this chemical substance (as defined in TSCA section 3(2))/product cannot be distributed in commerce to retailers. After January 28, 2026, this chemical substance (as defined in TSCA section 3(2))/product is and can only be distributed in commerce or processed with a concentration of methylene chloride equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight for the following purposes: (1) Processing as a reactant; (2) Processing for incorporation into a formulation, mixture, or reaction product; (3) Processing for repackaging; (4) Processing for recycling; (5) Industrial or commercial use as a laboratory chemical; (6) Industrial or commercial use as a bonding agent for solvent welding; (7) Industrial and commercial use as a paint and coating remover from safety critical, corrosion-sensitive components of aircraft and spacecraft; (8) Industrial and commercial use as a processing aid; (9) Industrial and commercial use for plastic and rubber products manufacturing; (10) Industrial and commercial use as a solvent that becomes part of a formulation or mixture, where that formulation or mixture will be used inside a manufacturing process, and the solvent (methylene chloride) will be reclaimed; (11) Industrial and commercial use in the refinishing for wooden furniture, decorative pieces, and architectural fixtures of artistic, cultural or historic value until May 8, 2029; (12) Industrial and commercial use in adhesives and sealants in aircraft, space vehicle, and turbine applications for structural and safety critical non-structural applications until May 8, 2029; (13) Disposal; and (14) Export.

§751.113 Recordkeeping requirements.

(a) General records. Each person who manufactures (including imports), processes, or distributes in commerce any methylene chloride after August 26, 2019, must retain in one location at the headquarters of the company, or at the facility for which the records were generated beginning July 8, 2024, documentation showing:

(1) The name, address, contact, and telephone number of companies to whom methylene chloride was shipped;

(2) A copy of the notification provided under §751.111; and

(3) The amount of methylene chloride shipped.

(b) Exposure control records. Owners or operators must retain records of:

(1) The exposure control plan as described in §751.109(e)(2);

(2) Implementation of the exposure control plan described in §751.109(e)(2), including:

(i) Any regular inspections, evaluations, and updating of the exposure controls to maintain effectiveness; and

(ii) Confirmation that all persons are properly implementing the exposure controls.

(3) Personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protection used by potentially exposed persons and program implementation, including fit-testing, pursuant to §751.109(f) and (g);

(4) Information and training provided pursuant to §751.109(h); and

(5) Occurrence and duration of any start-up, shutdown, or malfunction of exposure controls or of facility equipment that causes air concentrations to be above the ECEL or EPA STEL and subsequent corrective actions taken during start-up, shutdown, or malfunctions to mitigate exposures to methylene chloride.

(c) Objective data. Objective data generated during the previous 5 years, when used to forgo the initial exposure monitoring, must include:

(1) The use of methylene chloride being evaluated;

(2) The source of objective data;

(3) The measurement methods, measurement results, and measurement analysis of the use of methylene chloride; and

(4) Any other relevant data to the operations, processes, or person's exposure.

(d) Exposure monitoring records.(1) Owners or operators are required to retain monitoring records that include, at minimum, the information described at 29 CFR 1910.1052(m)(2)(ii)(A) through (F). For the purposes of this paragraph (d)(1), cross-referenced provisions in 29 CFR 1910.1052(m)(2)(ii) applying to an “employee” apply equally to potentially exposed persons and cross-referenced provisions applying to an “employer” also apply equally to owners or operators.

(2) For each monitoring event of methylene chloride required under this subpart, owners or operators must also document the following:

(i) All measurements that may be necessary to determine the conditions that may affect the monitoring results;

(ii) The identity of all other potentially exposed persons whose exposure was not measured and whose exposure is intended to be represented by the area or representative sampling monitoring;

(iii) Use of established analytical methods;

(iv) Compliance with the Good Laboratory Practice Standards in accordance with 40 CFR part 792 or use of a laboratory accredited by the AIHA or another industry-recognized program; and

(v) Information regarding air monitoring equipment including: Type, maintenance, calibrations, performance tests, limits of detection, and any malfunctions.

(3) Owners or operators must maintain copies of exposure monitoring notifications provided pursuant to §751.109(d)(5).

(e) Availability of exposure control plans. Owners or operators must document the notice to and ability of any potentially exposed persons to access the exposure control plan and other associated records in accordance with §751.109(e)(2)(iii).

(f) Records related to exemptions. To maintain eligibility for an exemption described in §751.115, the records maintained by the owners or operators must demonstrate compliance with the specific conditions of the exemption.

(g) Records related to the refinishing of wooden furniture, decorative pieces, and architectural fixtures.(1) Owners and operators of workplaces engaged in the industrial or commercial use of methylene chloride for the refinishing of wooden furniture, decorative pieces, and architectural fixtures of artistic, cultural, or historic value must document each instance of refinishing such pieces.

(2) The documentation required by paragraph (g)(1) of this section must include:

(i) The date of the refinishing activity;

(ii) A description of the wooden piece that was refinished and an explanation of its artistic, cultural, or historic value;

(iii) The name of the owner of the refinished wooden piece;

(iv) The name of the individual(s) that refinished the wooden piece;

(v) A description of the methylene chloride product used and the quantity of the product used to perform the refinishing; and

(vi) Records demonstrating compliance with the requirements of §751.117.

(h) Minimum record retention period. The records required under this section must be retained for at least 5 years from the date that such records were generated.

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Most Recent Highlights In Transportation

2024-05-08T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of CCRs

On April 17, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) promulgated national minimum criteria for existing and new coal combustion residuals (CCR) landfills and existing and new CCR surface impoundments. On August 21, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the exemption for inactive surface impoundments at inactive facilities (legacy CCR surface impoundments) and remanded the issue back to EPA to take further action consistent with its opinion in Utility Solid Waste Activities Group, et al. v. EPA. This action responds to that order and establishes regulatory requirements for legacy CCR surface impoundments. EPA is also establishing requirements for CCR management units at active CCR facilities and at inactive CCR facilities with a legacy CCR surface impoundment. Finally, EPA is making several technical corrections to the existing regulations, such as correcting certain citations and harmonizing definitions.

DATES: This final rule is effective on November 4, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 8, 2024, page 38950.

View final rule.

2024-05-08T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: NESHAP for Gasoline Distribution Facilities

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing the technology reviews (TR) conducted for the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for gasoline distribution facilities and the review of the new source performance standards (NSPS) for bulk gasoline terminals pursuant to the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The final NESHAP amendments include revised requirements for storage vessels, loading operations, and equipment to reflect cost-effective developments in practices, processes, or controls. The final NSPS reflect the best system of emission reduction for loading operations and equipment leaks. In addition, the EPA is: finalizing revisions related to emissions during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM); adding requirements for electronic reporting; revising monitoring and operating requirements for control devices; and making other minor technical improvements. The EPA estimates that this final action will reduce hazardous air pollutant emissions from gasoline distribution facilities by over 2,200 tons per year (tpy) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by 45,400 tpy.

DATES: The final rule is effective July 8, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 8, 2024, page 39304.

View final rule.

2024-05-08T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Designation of PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA Hazardous Substances

Pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is designating two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), including their salts and structural isomers—as hazardous substances. The Agency reached this decision after evaluating the available scientific and technical information about PFOA and PFOS and determining that they may present a substantial danger to the public health or welfare or the environment when released. The Agency also determined that designation is warranted based on a totality of the circumstances analysis, including an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of designation.

DATES: Effective July 8, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 8, 2024, page 39124.

View final rule.

§302.4 Hazardous substances and reportable quantities.
Note II to Table 302.4Revised View text
Table 302.4, entries ‘‘Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, salts, & structural isomersv’’, ‘‘Perfluorooctanesulfonic acidv’’, Perfluorooctanoic acid, salts, & structural isomersv’’, and ‘‘Perfluorooctanoic acidv’’;AddedView text
Appendix A to §302.4—Sequential CAS Registry Number List of CERCLA Hazardous Substances
Entries for “335-67-1” and “1763-23-1”AddedView text

New Text

§302.4 Hazardous substances and reportable quantities.

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Note II to Table 302.4

Hazardous substances are given a Statutory Code based on their statutory source. The “Statutory Code” column indicates the statutory source for designating each substance as a CERCLA hazardous substance. Statutory Code “1” indicates a Clean Water Act (CWA) Hazardous Substance [40 CFR 116.4; 33 U.S.C. 1321(b)(2)(A)]. Statutory Code “2” indicates a CWA Toxic Pollutant [40 CFR 401.15, 40 CFR part 423 Appendix A, and/or 40 CFR 131.36; 33 U.S.C. 1317(a)]. Statutory Code “3” indicates a CAA HAP [42 U.S.C. 7412(b); Pub. L. 101-549 November 15, 1990; 70 FR 75047 December 19, 2005; 69 FR 69320 November 29, 2004; 61 FR 30816 June 18, 1996; 65 FR 47342 August 2, 2000; 87 FR 393 January 5, 2022]. Statutory Code “4” indicates Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Wastes [40 CFR part 261 Subpart D—Lists of Hazardous Wastes; 42 U.S.C. 6921]. (Note: The “RCRA waste No.” column provides the waste identification numbers assigned by RCRA regulations). Statutory Code “5” indicates a hazardous substance designated under section 102(a) of CERCLA. The “Final RQ [pounds (kg)]” column provides the reportable quantity for each hazardous substance in pounds and kilograms.

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2024-05-07T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Amendments to NESHAP forCoal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units

This action finalizes amendments to the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for the Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (EGUs) source category. These final amendments are the result of the EPA's review of the 2020 Residual Risk and Technology Review (RTR). The changes, which were proposed under the technology review in April 2023, include amending the filterable particulate matter (fPM) surrogate emission standard for non-mercury metal hazardous air pollutants (HAP) for existing coal-fired EGUs, the fPM emission standard compliance demonstration requirements, and the mercury (Hg) emission standard for lignite-fired EGUs. Additionally, the EPA is finalizing a change to the definition of “startup.” The EPA did not propose, and is not finalizing, any changes to the 2020 Residual Risk Review.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on July 8, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 7, 2024, page 38508.

View final rule.

Top RCRA permit FAQs answered
2024-05-06T05:00:00Z

Top RCRA permit FAQs answered

In an ever-changing world, one thing that remains consistent is the need for permits. They’re required to conduct all sorts of activities, like parking in a restricted area, operating a business, and (the focus of this article) managing hazardous waste.

Permitting programs are one way the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ensures facilities comply with environmental statutes. The agency recently launched epa.gov/permits, a web-based platform that centralizes information about the agency’s federal environmental permit programs, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C Permit that’s required to treat, store, and dispose of hazardous waste.

Like EPA’s new permit platform, we want to offer a helpful starting point for navigating RCRA permit requirements. Get answers to five of the most frequently asked questions about RCRA permits.

Does my facility need a RCRA permit?

All facilities that currently or plan to treat, store, and/or dispose of hazardous wastes (identified or listed at 40 CFR Part 261) must obtain a RCRA permit.

These treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) may not operate without a permit unless the facility is exempt and meets specific regulatory conditions. Generally, exempt entities include:

  • Businesses that generate and store for short periods of time hazardous waste and then transport it off-site,
  • Hazardous waste transporters, and
  • Entities that conduct containment activities during immediate emergency responses.

See 270.1 for all exceptions and exemptions.

What’s in a RCRA permit?

The RCRA permit is a legally binding document that establishes the waste management activities a facility may conduct and the conditions under which it may conduct the activities. The permit lists:

  • The applicable federal regulations of Parts 260–270, including:
    • Facility design and operation,
    • Safety standards, and
    • Facility performance activities (such as monitoring and reporting).
  • The applicable state regulations, and
  • Facility-specific requirements (like groundwater monitoring).

Do I need a federal or state RCRA permit?

RCRA permits are issued either by an EPA regional office or the state.

Authorized states implement and enforce hazardous waste management programs with standards at least as stringent as the federal rules. Note that EPA maintains its enforcement authorities over state programs. If your facility is in an authorized state that can address all provisions, apply for a state RCRA permit.

However, some states aren’t authorized to address all permit provisions, so EPA must address the unauthorized provisions. In this case, apply for a joint RCRA permit from the state and EPA.

If your facility is in an unauthorized state or territory, apply for a federal RCRA permit through the regional EPA office.

Check with your state to determine whether it’s in an authorized state and, if so, whether you need a state or joint RCRA permit. EPA lists links to state hazardous waste permit programs.

What’s a standardized RCRA permit?

Designed to streamline the permitting process, a standardized RCRA permit reduces application requirements. The permit includes a uniform portion and may also have a supplemental portion, added at the discretion of EPA or the authorized state.

Standardized permits (regulated under Part 270 Subpart J) may be issued to TSDFs that:

  • Generate hazardous waste and then store or nonthermally treat the hazardous waste on-site in (a) containers, (b) tanks, or (c) containment buildings; or
  • Receive hazardous waste generated off-site by a generator under the same ownership and then store or nonthermally treat the hazardous waste in (a) containers, (b) tanks, or (c) containment buildings.

What’s the general RCRA permit process?

The overall RCRA permit process at the federal level consists of six phases:

  1. The business holds a pre-application meeting with the public.
  2. The business applies for a RCRA permit.
  3. The permitting agency shares the application for public review and begins its internal review.
  4. The permitting agency issues Notices of Deficiency to the facility if information is missing until the application is complete.
  5. The permitting agency makes a preliminary decision to issue or deny the permit and shares a draft of its decision (a draft permit or notice of intent to deny) for public comment.
  6. The permitting agency either issues a final permit or denies the permit.

RCRA permits are typically effective for 10 years, but EPA can issue a permit for a shorter duration. TSDFs must receive a permit before beginning construction of a new facility. Permitted TSDFs must submit a new RCRA permit application at least six months before the current permit expires.

Remember to check state regulations for any stricter standards and differing processes.

Key to remember: Any facility that currently or plans to store, treat, or dispose of regulated hazardous waste must have a RCRA permit.

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Most Recent Highlights In Safety & Health

2024-05-03T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Procedures for Chemical Risk Evaluation Under TSCA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is finalizing amendments to the procedural framework rule for conducting risk evaluations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The purpose of risk evaluations under TSCA is to determine whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, without consideration of costs or non-risk factors, including unreasonable risk to potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations identified as relevant to the risk evaluation by EPA, under the conditions of use. EPA reconsidered the procedural framework rule for conducting such risk evaluations and is revising certain aspects of that framework to better align with the statutory text and applicable court decisions, to reflect the Agency's experience implementing the risk evaluation program following enactment of the 2016 TSCA amendments, and to allow for consideration of future scientific advances in the risk evaluation process without need to further amend the Agency's procedural rule.

DATES: This final rule is effective on July 2, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 3, 2024, page 37028.

View final rule.

Subpart B—Procedures for Chemical Substance Risk Evaluations
Entire subpart Revised View text

New Text

Subpart B—Procedures for Chemical Substance Risk Evaluations

§702.31 General provisions.

(a) Purpose. This subpart establishes the EPA process for conducting a risk evaluation to determine whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment as required under TSCA section 6(b)(4)(B) (15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(4)(B)).

(b) Scope. These regulations establish the general procedures, key definitions, and timelines EPA will use in a risk evaluation conducted pursuant to TSCA section 6(b) (15 U.S.C. 2605(b)).

(c) Applicability. The requirements of this part apply to all chemical substance risk evaluations initiated pursuant to TSCA section 6(b) (15 U.S.C. 2605(b)) beginning June 3, 2024. For risk evaluations initiated prior to this date, but not yet finalized, EPA will seek to apply the requirements in this subpart to the extent practicable. These requirements shall not apply retroactively to risk evaluations already finalized.

(d) Categories of chemical substances. Consistent with EPA's authority to take action with respect to categories of chemicals under 15 U.S.C. 2625(c), all references in this part to “chemical” or “chemical substance” shall also apply to “a category of chemical substances.”

§702.33 Definitions.

All definitions in TSCA apply to this subpart. In addition, the following definitions apply:

Act means the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.).

Aggregate exposure means the combined exposures from a chemical substance across multiple routes and across multiple pathways.

Conditions of use means the circumstances, as determined by the Administrator, under which a chemical substance is intended, known, or reasonably foreseen to be manufactured, processed, distributed in commerce, used, or disposed of.

EPA means the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Pathways means the physical course a chemical substance takes from the source to the organism exposed.

Potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation means a group of individuals within the general population identified by EPA who, due to either greater susceptibility or greater exposure, may be at greater risk than the general population of adverse health effects from exposure to a chemical substance or mixture, such as infants, children, pregnant women, workers, the elderly, or overburdened communities.

Reasonably available information means information that EPA possesses or can reasonably generate, obtain, and synthesize for use in risk evaluations, considering the deadlines specified in TSCA section 6(b)(4)(G) for completing such evaluation. Information that meets the terms of the preceding sentence is reasonably available information whether or not the information is confidential business information, that is protected from public disclosure under TSCA section 14.

Routes means the ways a chemical substance enters an organism after contact, e.g., by ingestion, inhalation, or dermal absorption.

Sentinel exposure means the exposure from a chemical substance that represents the plausible upper bound of exposure relative to all other exposures within a broad category of similar or related exposures.

Uncertainty means the imperfect knowledge or lack of precise knowledge of the real world either for specific values of interest or in the description of the system.

Variability means the inherent natural variation, diversity, and heterogeneity across time and/or space or among individuals within a population.

§702.35 Chemical substances subject to risk evaluation.

(a) Chemical substances undergoing risk evaluation. A risk evaluation for a chemical substance designated by EPA as a High-Priority Substance pursuant to the prioritization process described in subpart A or initiated at the request of a manufacturer or manufacturers under §702.45, will be conducted in accordance with this part, subject to §702.31(c).

(b) Percentage requirements. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(4)(E)(i) and in accordance with §702.45(j)(1), EPA will ensure that the number of chemical substances for which a manufacturer-requested risk evaluation is initiated pursuant to §702.45(e)(9) is not less than 25%and not more than 50% of the number of chemical substances for which a risk evaluation was initiated upon designation as a High-Priority Substance under subpart A.

(c) Manufacturer-requested risk evaluations for work plan chemical substances. Manufacturer requests for risk evaluations, described in paragraph (a) of this section, for chemical substances that are drawn from the 2014 update of the TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments will be granted at the discretion of EPA. Such evaluations are not subject to the percentage requirements in paragraph (b) of this section.

§702.37 Evaluation requirements.

(a) Considerations.(1) EPA will use applicable EPA guidance when conducting risk evaluations, as appropriate and where it represents the best available science.

(2) EPA will document that the risk evaluation is consistent with the best available science and based on the weight of the scientific evidence. In determining best available science, EPA shall consider as applicable:

(i) The extent to which the scientific information, technical procedures, measures, methods, protocols, methodologies, or models employed to generate the information are reasonable for and consistent with the intended use of the information;

(ii) The extent to which the information is relevant for the Administrator's use in making a decision about a chemical substance or mixture;

(iii) The degree of clarity and completeness with which the data, assumptions, methods, quality assurance, and analyses employed to generate the information are documented;

(iv) The extent to which the variability and uncertainty in the information, or in the procedures, measures, methods, protocols, methodologies, or models, are evaluated and characterized; and

(v) The extent of independent verification or peer review of the information or of the procedures, measures, methods, protocols, methodologies or models.

(3) EPA will ensure that all supporting analyses and components of the risk evaluation are suitable for their intended purpose, and tailored to the problems and decision at hand, in order to inform the development of a technically sound determination as to whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment under the conditions of use, based on the weight of the scientific evidence.

(4) EPA will not exclude conditions of use from the scope of the risk evaluation, but a fit-for-purpose approach may result in varying types and levels of analysis and supporting information for certain conditions of use, consistent with paragraph (b) of this section. The extent to which EPA will refine its evaluations for one or more condition of use in any risk evaluation will vary as necessary to determine whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.

(5) EPA will evaluate chemical substances that are metals or metal compounds in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(2)(E).

(b) Information and information sources.(1) EPA will base each risk evaluation on reasonably available information.

(2) EPA will apply systematic review methods to assess reasonably available information, as needed to carry out risk evaluations that meet the requirements in TSCA section 26(h) and (i), in a manner that is objective, unbiased, and transparent.

(3) EPA may determine that certain information gaps can be addressed through application of assumptions, uncertainty factors, models, and/or screening to conduct its analysis with respect to the chemical substance, consistent with 15 U.S.C. 2625. The approaches used will be determined by the quality of reasonably available information, the deadlines specified in TSCA section 6(b)(4)(G) for completing the risk evaluation, and the extent to which the information reduces uncertainty.

(4) EPA expects to use its authorities under the Act, and other information gathering authorities, when necessary to obtain the information needed to perform a risk evaluation for a chemical substance before initiating the risk evaluation for such substance. EPA will also use such authorities during the performance of a risk evaluation to obtain information as needed and on a case-by-case basis to ensure that EPA has adequate, reasonably available information to perform the evaluation. Where appropriate, to the extent practicable, and scientifically justified, EPA will require the development of information generated without the use of new testing on vertebrates.

(5) Among other sources of information, EPA will also consider information and advice provided by the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals established pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2625(o).

§702.39 Components of risk evaluation.

(a) In general. Each risk evaluation will include all of the following components:

(1) A Scope;

(2) A Hazard Assessment;

(3) An Exposure Assessment;

(4) A Risk Characterization; and

(5) A Risk Determination.

(b) Scope of the risk evaluation. The scope of the risk evaluation will include all the following:

(1) The condition(s) of use the EPA expects to consider in the risk evaluation.

(2) The potentially exposed populations, including any potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations as identified as relevant to the risk evaluation by EPA under the conditions of use that EPA plans to evaluate.

(3) The ecological receptors that EPA plans to evaluate.

(4) The hazards to health and the environment that EPA plans to evaluate.

(5) A description of the reasonably available information and scientific approaches EPA plans to use in the risk evaluation.

(6) A conceptual model that describes the actual or predicted relationships between the chemical substance, its associated conditions of use through predicted exposure scenarios, and the identified human and environmental receptors and human and ecological health hazards.

(7) An analysis plan that includes hypotheses and descriptions about the relationships identified in the conceptual model and the approaches and strategies EPA intends to use to assess exposure and hazard effects, and to characterize risk; and a description, including quality, of the data, information, methods, and models, that EPA intends to use in the analysis and how uncertainty and variability will be characterized.

(8) EPA's plan for peer review consistent with §702.41.

(c) Hazard assessment.(1) The hazard assessment process includes the identification, evaluation, and synthesis of information to describe the potential health and environmental hazards of the chemical substance under the conditions of use.

(2) Hazard information related to potential health and environmental hazards of the chemical substance will be reviewed in a manner consistent with best available science based on the weight of scientific evidence and all assessment methods will be documented.

(3) Consistent with §702.37(b), information evaluated may include, but would not be limited to: Human epidemiological studies, in vivo and/or in vitro laboratory studies, biomonitoring and/or human clinical studies, ecological field data, read across, mechanistic and/or kinetic studies in a variety of test systems. These may include but are not limited to: toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics (e.g., physiological-based pharmacokinetic modeling), and computational toxicology (e.g., high-throughput assays, genomic response assays, data from structure-activity relationships, in silico approaches, and other health effects modeling).

(4) The hazard information relevant to the chemical substance will be evaluated for identified human and environmental receptors, including all identified potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation(s) determined to be relevant, for the exposure scenarios relating to the conditions of use.

(5) The relationship between the dose of the chemical substance and the occurrence of health and environmental effects or outcomes will be evaluated.

(6) Hazard identification will include an evaluation of the strengths, limitations, and uncertainties associated with the reasonably available information.

(d) Exposure assessment.(1) Where relevant, the likely duration, intensity, frequency, and number of exposures under the conditions of use will be considered.

(2) Exposure information related to potential human health or ecological hazards of the chemical substance will be reviewed in a manner consistent with best available science based on the weight of scientific evidence and all assessment methods will be documented.

(3) Consistent with §702.37(b), information evaluated may include, but would not be limited to: chemical release reports, release or emission scenarios, data and information collected from monitoring or reporting, release estimation approaches and assumptions, biological monitoring data, workplace monitoring data, chemical exposure health data, industry practices with respect to occupational exposure control measures, and exposure modeling.

(4) Chemical-specific factors, including, but not limited to physical-chemical properties and environmental fate and transport parameters, will be examined.

(5) The human health exposure assessment will consider all potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation(s) determined to be relevant.

(6) Environmental health exposure assessment will characterize and evaluate the interaction of the chemical substance with the ecological receptors and the exposures considered, including populations and communities, depending on the chemical substance and the ecological characteristic involved.

(7) EPA will describe whether sentinel exposures under the conditions of use were considered and the basis for their consideration.

(8) EPA will consider aggregate exposures to the chemical substance, and, when supported by reasonably available information, consistent with the best available science and based on the weight of scientific evidence, include an aggregate exposure assessment in the risk evaluation, or will otherwise explain in the risk evaluation the basis for not including such an assessment.

(9) EPA will assess all exposure routes and pathways relevant to the chemical substance under the conditions of use, including those that are regulated under other federal statutes.

(e) Risk characterization.(1) Requirements. To characterize the risks from the chemical substance, EPA will:

(i) Integrate the hazard and exposure assessments into quantitative and/or qualitative estimates relevant to specific risks of injury to health or the environment, including any potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations identified, under the conditions of use;

(ii) Not consider costs or other non-risk factors; and

(iii) Describe the weight of the scientific evidence for the identified hazards and exposures.

(2) Summary of considerations. EPA will summarize, as applicable, the considerations addressed throughout the evaluation components, in carrying out the obligations under 15 U.S.C. 2625(h). This summary will include, as appropriate, a discussion of:

(i) Considerations regarding uncertainty and variability. Information about uncertainty and variability in each step of the risk evaluation (e.g., use of default assumptions, scenarios, choice of models, and information used for quantitative analysis) will be integrated into an overall characterization and/or analysis of the impact of the uncertainty and variability on estimated risks. EPA may describe the uncertainty using a qualitative assessment of the overall strength and limitations of the data and approaches used in the assessment.

(ii) Considerations of data quality. A discussion of data quality (e.g., reliability, relevance, and whether methods employed to generate the information are reasonable for and consistent with the intended use of the information), as well as assumptions used, will be included to the extent necessary. EPA also expects to include a discussion of the extent of independent verification or peer review of the information or of the procedures, measures, methods, protocols, methodologies, or models used in the risk evaluation.

(iii) Considerations of alternative interpretations. If appropriate and relevant, where alternative interpretations are plausible, a discussion of alternative interpretations of the data and analyses will be included.

(iv) Additional considerations for environmental risk. For evaluation of environmental risk, it may be necessary to discuss the nature and magnitude of the effects, the spatial and temporal patterns of the effects, implications at the individual, species, population, and community level, and the likelihood of recovery subsequent to exposure to the chemical substance.

(f) Risk determination.(1) As part of the risk evaluation, EPA will make a single determination as to whether the chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation, under the conditions of use.

(2) In determining whether unreasonable risk is presented, EPA's consideration of occupational exposure scenarios will take into account reasonably available information, including known and reasonably foreseen circumstances where subpopulations of workers are exposed due to the absence or ineffective use of personal protective equipment. EPA will not consider exposure reduction based on assumed use of personal protective equipment as part of the risk determination.

(3) EPA will determine whether a chemical substance does or does not present an unreasonable risk after considering the risks posed under the conditions of use and, where EPA makes a determination of unreasonable risk, EPA will identify the conditions of use that significantly contribute to such determination.

§702.41 Peer review.

EPA will conduct peer review activities on risk evaluations conducted pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(4)(A). EPA expects such activities, including decisions regarding the appropriate scope and type of peer review, to be consistent with the applicable peer review policies, procedures, and methods in guidance promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget and EPA, and in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 2625(h) and (i).

§702.43 Risk evaluation actions and timeframes.

(a) Draft scope.(1) For each risk evaluation to be conducted, EPA will publish a document that specifies the draft scope of the risk evaluation EPA plans to conduct and publish a notice of availability in the Federal Register. The document will address the elements in §702.39(b).

(2) EPA generally expects to publish the draft scope during the prioritization process concurrent with publication of a proposed designation as a High-Priority Substance pursuant to §702.9(g), but no later than 3 months after the initiation of the risk evaluation process for the chemical substance.

(3) EPA will allow a public comment period of no less than 45 calendar days during which interested persons may submit comment on EPA's draft scope. EPA will open a docket to facilitate receipt of public comments.

(b) Final scope.(1) EPA will, no later than 6 months after the initiation of a risk evaluation, publish a document that specifies the final scope of the risk evaluation EPA plans to conduct, and publish a notice of availability in the Federal Register. The document shall address the elements in §702.39(b).

(2) For a chemical substance designated as a High-Priority Substance under subpart A of this part, EPA will not publish the final scope of the risk evaluation until at least 12 months have elapsed from the initiation of the prioritization process for the chemical substance.

(c) Draft risk evaluation. EPA will publish a draft risk evaluation, publish a notice of availability in the Federal Register, open a docket to facilitate receipt of public comment, and provide no less than a 60-day comment period, during which time the public may submit comment on EPA's draft risk evaluation. The document shall include the elements in §702.39(c) through (f).

(d) Final risk evaluation.(1) EPA will complete and publish a final risk evaluation for the chemical substance under the conditions of use as soon as practicable, but not later than 3 years after the date on which EPA initiates the risk evaluation. The document shall include the elements in §702.39(c) through (f) and EPA will publish a notice of availability in the Federal Register.

(2) EPA may extend the deadline for a risk evaluation for not more than 6 months. The total time elapsed between initiation of the risk evaluation and completion of the risk evaluation may not exceed 3- and one-half years.

(e) Final determination of unreasonable risk. Upon determination by the EPA pursuant to §702.39(f) that a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, EPA will initiate action as required pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2605(a).

(f) Final determination of no unreasonable risk. A determination by the EPA pursuant to §702.39(f) that the chemical substance does not present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment will be issued by order and considered to be a final Agency action, effective on the date of issuance of the order.

(g) Substantive revisions to scope documents and risk evaluations. The circumstances under which EPA will undertake substantive revisions to scope and risk evaluation documents are as follows:

(1) Draft documents. To the extent there are changes to a draft scope or draft risk evaluation, EPA will describe such changes in the final document.

(2) Final scope. To the extent there are changes to the scope of the risk evaluation after publication of the final scope document, EPA will describe such changes in the draft risk evaluation, or, where appropriate and prior to the issuance of a draft risk evaluation, may make relevant information publicly available in the docket and publish a notice of availability of that information in the Federal Register.

(3) Final risk evaluation. For any chemical substance for which EPA has already finalized a risk evaluation, EPA will generally not revise, supplement, or reissue a final risk evaluation without first undergoing the procedures at §702.7 to re-initiate the prioritization process for that chemical substance, except where EPA has determined it to be in the interest of protecting human health or the environment to do so, considering the statutory responsibilities and deadlines under 15 U.S.C. 2605.

(4) Process for revisions to final risk evaluations. Where EPA determines to revise or supplement a final risk evaluation pursuant to paragraph (g)(3) of this section, EPA will follow the same procedures in this section including publication of a new draft and final risk evaluation and solicitation of public comment in accordance with §§702.43(c) and (d), and peer review, as appropriate, in accordance with §702.41.

§702.45 Submission of manufacturer requests for risk evaluations.

(a) General provisions.(1) One or more manufacturers of a chemical substance may request that EPA conduct a risk evaluation on a chemical substance.

(2) Such requests must comply with all the requirements, procedures, and criteria in this section.

(3) Subject to limited exceptions in paragraph (e)(7)(iii) of this section, it is the burden of the requesting manufacturer(s) to provide EPA with the information necessary to carry out the risk evaluation.

(4) In determining whether there is sufficient information to support a manufacturer-requested risk evaluation, EPA expects to apply the same standard as it would for EPA-initiated risk evaluations, including but not limited to the considerations and requirements in §702.37.

(5) EPA may identify data needs at any time during the process described in this section, and, by submitting a request for risk evaluation under this section, the requesting manufacturer(s) agrees to provide, or develop and provide, EPA with information EPA deems necessary to carry out the risk evaluation, consistent with the provisions described in this subpart.

(6) EPA will not expedite or otherwise provide special treatment to a manufacturer-requested risk evaluation pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(4)(E)(ii).

(7) Once initiated in accordance with paragraph (e)(9) of this section, EPA will conduct manufacturer-requested risk evaluations following the procedures in §§702.37 through 702.43 and §§702.47 through 702.49 of this subpart.

(8) For purposes of this section, information that is “known to or reasonably ascertainable by” the requesting manufacturer(s) would include all information in the requesting manufacturer's possession or control, plus all information that a reasonable person similarly situated might be expected to possess, control, or know. Meeting this standard requires an exercise and documentation of due diligence that may vary depending on the circumstances and parties involved. At a minimum, due diligence requires:

(i) A thorough search and collection of publicly available information;

(ii) A reasonable inquiry within the requesting manufacturer's entire organization; and

(iii) A reasonably inquiry outside of the requesting manufacturer's organization, including inquiries to upstream suppliers; downstream users; and employees or other agents of the manufacturer, including persons involved in research and development, import or production, or marketing.

(9) In the event that a group of manufacturers of a chemical substance submit a request for risk evaluation under this section, the term “requesting manufacturer” in paragraphs (a), (c), and (i) of this section shall apply to all manufacturers in the group. EPA will otherwise coordinate with the primary contact named in the request for purposes of communication, payment of fees, and other actions as needed.

(b) Method for submission. All manufacturer-requested risk evaluations under this subpart must be submitted via the EPA Central Data Exchange (CDX) found at https://cdx.epa.gov.

(c) Content of request. Requests must include all of the following information:

(1) Name, mailing address, and contact information of the entity (or entities) submitting the request. If more than one manufacturer submits the request, all individual manufacturers must provide their contact information.

(2) The chemical identity of the chemical substance that is the subject of the request. At a minimum, this includes: all known names of the chemical substance, including common or trades names, CAS number, and molecular structure of the chemical substance.

(3) For requests pertaining to a category of chemical substances, an explanation of why the category is appropriate under 15 U.S.C. 2625(c). EPA will determine whether the category is appropriate for risk evaluation as part of reviewing the request in paragraph (e) of this section.

(4) A description of the circumstances under which the chemical substance is intended, known, or reasonably foreseen to be manufactured, processed, distributed in commerce, used, or disposed of, and all information known to or reasonably ascertainable by the requesting manufacturer that supports the identification of the circumstances described in this paragraph (c)(4).

(5) All information known to or reasonably ascertainable by the requesting manufacturer(s) on the health and environmental hazard(s) of the chemical substance, human and environmental exposure(s), and exposed population(s), including but not limited to:

(i) The chemical substance's exposure potential, including occupational, general population and consumer exposures, and facility release information;

(ii) The chemical substance's hazard potential, including all potential environmental and human health hazards;

(iii) The chemical substance's physical and chemical properties;

(iv) The chemical substance's fate and transport properties including persistence and bioaccumulation;

(v) Industrial and commercial locations where the chemical is used or stored;

(vi) Whether there is any storage of the chemical substance near significant sources of drinking water, including the storage facility location and the nearby drinking water source(s);

(vii) Consumer products containing the chemical;

(viii) The chemical substance's production volume or significant changes in production volume; and

(ix) Any other information relevant to the hazards, exposures and/or risks of the chemical substance.

(6) Where information described in paragraph (c)(4) or (5) of this section is unavailable, an explanation as to why, and the rationale for why, in the requester's view, the provided information is nonetheless sufficient to allow EPA to complete a risk evaluation on the chemical substance.

(7) Copies of all information referenced in paragraph (c)(5) of this section, or citations if the information is readily available from public sources.

(8) A signed certification from the requesting manufacturer(s) that all information contained in the request is accurate and complete, as follows:

I certify that to the best of my knowledge and belief:

(A) The company named in this request manufactures the chemical substance identified for risk evaluation.

(B) All information provided in the request is complete and accurate as of the date of the request.

(C) I have either identified or am submitting all information in my possession and control, and a description of all other data known to or reasonably ascertainable by me as required under this part. I am aware it is unlawful to knowingly submit incomplete, false and/or misleading information in this request and there are significant criminal penalties for such unlawful conduct, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment.

(9) Where appropriate, information that will inform EPA's determination as to whether restrictions imposed by one or more States have the potential to have a significant impact on interstate commerce or health or the environment, and that as a consequence the request is entitled to preference pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(4)(E)(iii).

(d) Confidential business information. Persons submitting a request under this subpart are subject to EPA confidentiality regulations at 40 CFR part 2, subpart B, and 40 CFR part 703.

(e) EPA process for reviewing requests.(1) Public notification of receipt of request. Within 15 days of receipt of a manufacturer-requested risk evaluation, EPA will notify the public that such request has been received.

(2) Initial review for completeness. EPA will determine whether the request appears to meet the requirements specified in this section (i.e., complete), or whether the request appears to not have met the requirements specified in this section (i.e., incomplete). EPA will notify the requesting manufacturer of the outcome of this initial review. For requests initially determined to be incomplete, EPA will cease review, pending actions taken by the requesting manufacturer pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. For requests initially determined to be complete, EPA will proceed to the public notice and comment process described in paragraph (e)(3) of this section.

(3) Public notice and comment. No later than 90 days after initially determining a request to be complete pursuant to paragraph (e)(2) of this section, EPA will submit for publication the receipt of the request in the Federal Register, open a docket for that request and provide no less than a 60-day public comment period. The docket will contain the CBI sanitized copies of the request and all supporting information. The notice will encourage the public to submit comments and information relevant to the manufacturer-requested risk evaluation, including, but not limited to, identifying information not provided in the request, information the commenter believes necessary to conduct a risk evaluation, and any other information relevant to the conditions of use.

(4) Secondary review for sufficiency. Within 90 days following the end of the comment period in paragraph (e)(3) of this section, EPA will further consider whether public comments highlight deficiencies in the request not identified during EPA's initial review, and/or that the available information is not sufficient to support a reasoned evaluation. EPA will notify the requesting manufacturer of the outcome of this review. For requests determined to not be supported by sufficient information, EPA will cease review, pending actions taken pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. For requests determined to be supported by sufficient information, EPA will proceed with request review process in accordance with paragraph (e)(5) of this section.

(5) Grant. Where EPA determines a request to be complete and sufficiently supported in accordance with paragraphs (e)(2) and (4) of this section, and subject to the percentage limitations in TSCA section 6(b)(4)(E)(i)(II), EPA will grant the request. A grant does not mean that EPA has all information necessary to complete the risk evaluation.

(6) Publication of draft conditions of use and request for information. EPA will publish a notice in the Federal Register that identifies draft conditions of use, requests relevant information from the public, and provides no less than a 60-day public comment period. Within 90 days following the close of the public comment period in this paragraph, EPA will determine whether further information is needed to carry out the risk evaluation and notify the requesting manufacturer of its determination, pursuant to paragraph (e)(7) of this section. If EPA determines at this time that no further information is necessary, EPA will initiate the risk evaluation, pursuant to paragraph (e)(9) of this section.

(7) Identification of information needs. Where additional information needs are identified, EPA will notify the requesting manufacturer and set a reasonable amount of time, as determined by EPA, for response. In response to EPA's notice, and subject to the limitations in paragraph (g) of this section, the requesting manufacturer may:

(i) Provide the necessary information. EPA will set a reasonable amount of time, as determined by EPA, for the requesting manufacturer to produce or develop and produce the information. Upon receipt of the new information, EPA will review for sufficiency and make publicly available to the extent possible, including CBI-sanitized copies of that information; or

(ii) Withdraw the risk evaluation request. Fees to be collected or refunded shall be determined pursuant to paragraph (k) of this section and 40 CFR 700.45; or

(iii) Request that EPA obtain the information using authorities under TSCA sections 4, 8 or 11. The requesting manufacturer must provide a rationale as to why the information is not reasonably ascertainable to them. EPA will review and provide notice of its determination to the requesting manufacturer. Upon receipt of the information, EPA will review the additional information for sufficiency and provide additional public notice.

(8) Unfulfilled information needs. In circumstances where there have been additional data needs identified pursuant to paragraph (e)(7) of this section that are not fulfilled, because the requesting manufacturer is unable or unwilling to fulfill those needs in a timely manner, the requesting manufacture has produced information that is insufficient as determined by EPA, or EPA determines that a request to use TSCA authorities under section 4, 8 or 11 is not warranted, EPA may deem the request to be constructively withdrawn under paragraph (e)(7)(ii) of this section.

(9) Initiation of the risk evaluation. Within 90 days of the end of the comment period provided in paragraph (e)(6) of this section, or within 90 days of EPA determining that information identified and received pursuant to paragraph (e)(7) of this section is sufficient, EPA will initiate the requested risk evaluation and follow all requirements in this subpart, including but not limited to §§702.37 through 702.43 and §§702.47 through 702.49 of this subpart, and notify the requesting manufacturer and the public. Initiation of the risk evaluation does not limit or prohibit the Agency from identifying additional data needs during the risk evaluation process.

(f) Incomplete or insufficient request. Where EPA has determined that a request is incomplete or insufficient pursuant to paragraph (e)(2) or (4) of this section, the requesting manufacturer may supplement and resubmit the request. EPA will follow the process described in paragraph (e) of this section as it would for a new request.

(g) Withdrawal of request. The requesting manufacturer may withdraw a request at any time prior to EPA's grant of such request pursuant to paragraph (e)(5) of this section, or in accordance with paragraph (e)(7) of this section and subject to payment of applicable fees. The requesting manufacturer may not withdraw a request once EPA has initiated the risk evaluation. EPA may deem a request constructively withdrawn in the event of unfulfilled information needs pursuant to paragraph (e)(8) of this section or non-payment of fees as required in 40 CFR 700.45. EPA will notify the requesting manufacturer and the public of the withdrawn request.

(h) Data needs identified post-initiation. Where EPA identifies additional data needs after the risk evaluation has been initiated, the requesting manufacturer may remedy the deficiency pursuant to paragraph (e)(7)(i) or (iii) of this section.

(i) Supplementation of original request. At any time prior to the end of the comment period described in paragraph (e)(6) of this section, the requesting manufacturer(s) may supplement the original request with any new information that becomes available to the requesting manufacturer(s). At any point prior to the completion of a manufacturer-requested risk evaluation pursuant to this section, the requesting manufacturer(s) must supplement the original request with any information that meets the criteria in 15 U.S.C. 2607(e) and this section, or with any other reasonably ascertainable information that has the potential to change EPA's risk evaluation. Such information must be submitted consistent with 15 U.S.C. 2607(e) if the information is subject to that section or otherwise within 30 days of when the requesting manufacturer(s) obtain the information.

(j) Limitations on manufacturer-requested risk evaluations.

(1) In general. EPA will initiate a risk evaluation for all requests from manufacturers for non-TSCA Work Plan Chemicals that meet the criteria in this subpart, until EPA determines that the number of manufacturer-requested chemical substances undergoing risk evaluation is equal to 25% of the High-Priority Substances identified in subpart A as undergoing risk evaluation. Once that level has been reached, EPA will initiate at least one new manufacturer-requested risk evaluation for each manufacturer-requested risk evaluation completed so long as there are sufficient requests that meet the criteria of this subpart, as needed to ensure that the number of manufacturer-requested risk evaluations is equal to at least 25% of the High-Priority substances risk evaluations and not more than 50%.

(2) Preferences. In conformance with §702.35(c), in evaluating requests for TSCA Work Plan Chemicals and requests for non-TSCA Work Plan chemicals, EPA will give preference to requests for risk evaluations on chemical substances:

(i) First, for which EPA determines that restrictions imposed by one or more States have the potential to have a significant impact on interstate commerce, health or the environment; and then

(ii) Second, based on the order in which the requests are received.

(k) Fees. Manufacturers must pay fees to support risk evaluations as specified under 15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(4)(E)(ii), and in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 2625(b) and 40 CFR 700.45. In the event that a request for a risk evaluation is withdrawn by the requesting manufacturer pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section, the total fee amount due will be either, in accordance with 40 CFR 700.45(c)(2)(x) or (xi) (as adjusted by 40 CFR 700.45(d) when applicable), 50% or 100% of the actual costs expended in carrying out the risk evaluation as of the date of receipt of the withdrawal notice. The payment amount will be determined by EPA, and invoice or refund issued to the requesting manufacturer as appropriate.

§702.47 Interagency collaboration.

During the risk evaluation process, not to preclude any additional, prior, or subsequent collaboration, EPA will consult with other relevant Federal agencies.

§702.49 Publicly available information.

For each risk evaluation, EPA will maintain a public docket at https://www.regulations.gov to provide public access to the following information, as applicable for that risk evaluation:

(a) The draft scope, final scope, draft risk evaluation, and final risk evaluation;

(b) All notices, determinations, findings, consent agreements, and orders;

(c) Any information required to be provided to EPA under 15 U.S.C. 2603;

(d) A nontechnical summary of the risk evaluation;

(e) A list of the studies, with the results of the studies, considered in carrying out each risk evaluation;

(f) Any final peer review report, including the response to peer review and public comments received during peer review;

(g) Response to public comments received on the draft scope and the draft risk evaluation; and

(h) Where unreasonable risk to workers is identified via inhalation, EPA's calculation of a risk-based occupational exposure value.

2024-05-03T05:00:00Z

EPA Proposed Rule: Regulations Related to Project Emissions Accounting

In this action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing revisions to the preconstruction permitting regulations that apply to modifications at existing major stationary sources in the New Source Review (NSR) program under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act). The proposed revisions include revising the definition of “project” in the NSR regulations, adding additional recordkeeping and reporting requirements applicable to minor modifications at existing major stationary sources, and proposing to require that decreases accounted for in the Step 1 significant emissions increase calculation be enforceable.

DATES: This proposed rule is published in the Federal Register May 3, 2024, page 36870.

View proposed rule.

Beyond the acronyms: A guide to Tier II vs. TRI reporting
2024-05-03T05:00:00Z

Beyond the acronyms: A guide to Tier II vs. TRI reporting

Environmental reporting can be confusing, especially when it comes to terms like Tier II and TRI. I'll never forget my first job in the environmental field. I was tasked with sorting through the records of my predecessor for the upcoming reporting season. Tier II reporting seemed straightforward enough — a basic inventory of what we had on-site. Then there was TRI, which, quite frankly, looked like Tier II's evil twin at the time.

I'll forever be grateful to a senior coworker who, in an attempt to set me straight, likened Tier II reporting to a fire drill and TRI reporting to a full-blown fire inspection. The alphabet soup of acronyms started to make sense. Both reports are related to chemicals; however, they have different focuses, reporting thresholds, and target audiences.

Tier II: Informing the community

Tier II reporting falls under Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). It’s designed to inform local emergency responders and communities about the hazardous materials stored at a facility. This knowledge allows emergency personnel to be better prepared for potential accidents involving hazardous substances.

What to report: Tier II focuses on a broader range of hazardous materials compared to TRI. It covers flammable liquids, compressed gases, health hazards, and reactive chemicals exceeding specific threshold quantities (typically 500 pounds or 55 gallons for most chemicals).

Reporting format: Facilities are required to submit a Tier II Hazardous Chemical Inventory form by March 1 each year. It includes details about the identity, quantity, location, and hazards of each hazardous material stored on-site. Keep in mind that some states may have specific requirements for reporting and submission of the Tier II inventory form and/or the state reporting form or format.

TRI: Tracking toxic releases

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program, established under Section 313 of EPCRA, serves a different purpose. It focuses on tracking the release, use, and transfer of specific toxic chemicals listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What to report: TRI requires reporting on a specific list of toxic chemicals that exceed certain thresholds. These thresholds are typically 25,000 pounds for manufacturing or processing activities and 10,000 pounds for other uses. The list includes chemicals that are known or suspected to cause harm to human health or the environment.

Reporting format: Facilities that exceed the thresholds must submit a Form R by July 1 each year, which provides detailed information about the listed chemicals. It includes the quantities of the chemicals used, manufactured, processed, released (into the air, water, or land), and transferred off-site.

Have a question for our Compliance Experts? If you have safety or compliance questions, we encourage you to use Compliance Network’s Expert Help tool. Mishka Binns and our team of Compliance Experts will respond to your question within 24 business hours.

2024-05-03T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Withdrawal of Designated Disposal Sites; Nome, Alaska

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to withdraw from EPA regulation and management two designated ocean dredged material disposal sites, the Nome East and Nome West Sites (Sites), located near Nome, Alaska, pursuant to the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), as amended. The EPA is taking this action because the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has not used the Sites for disposal of dredged material since 2009, has no plans to use the Sites for any future disposal of dredged material, and the Sites are no longer suitable for USACE's needs. This action will withdraw these sites from the regulations.

DATES: This rule is effective on August 1, 2024 published in the Federal Register May 3, 2024, page 36681.

§228.15 Dumping sites designated on a final basis.
(n)(12) and (13)Removed and reservedView text
2024-04-26T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation

In March 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed and requested comment on the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) and health-based Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA, commonly known as GenX Chemicals), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS). After consideration of public comment and consistent with the provisions set forth under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA is finalizing NPDWRs for these six PFAS. Through this action, the EPA is finalizing MCLGs for PFOA and PFOS at zero. Considering feasibility, the EPA is promulgating individual Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFOA and PFOS at 4.0 nanograms per liter (ng/L) or parts per trillion (ppt). The EPA is also finalizing individual MCLGs and is promulgating individual MCLs for PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO-DA at 10 ng/L. In addition to the individual MCLs for PFHxS, PFNA, and HFPO-DA, in consideration of the known toxic effects, dose additive health concerns and occurrence and likely co-occurrence in drinking water of these three PFAS, as well as PFBS, the EPA is finalizing a Hazard Index (HI) of 1 (unitless) as the MCLG and MCL for any mixture containing two or more of PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and PFBS. Once fully implemented, the EPA estimates that the rule will prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.

DATES: This final rule is effective on June 25, 2024, published in the Federal Register April 26, 2024, page 32532.

View final rule.

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Most Recent Highlights In Human Resources

2024-04-25T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Data Elements Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule

The EPA is amending specific provisions in the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule to improve data quality and consistency. This action updates the General Provisions to reflect revised global warming potentials; expands reporting to additional sectors; improves the calculation, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements by updating existing methodologies; improves data verifications; and provides for collection of additional data to better inform and be relevant to a wide variety of Clean Air Act provisions that the EPA carries out. This action adds greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting for five source categories including coke calcining; ceramics manufacturing; calcium carbide production; caprolactam, glyoxal, and glyoxylic acid production; and facilities conducting geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide with enhanced oil recovery. These revisions also include changes that will improve implementation of the rule such as updates to applicability estimation methodologies, simplifying calculation and monitoring methodologies, streamlining recordkeeping and reporting, and other minor technical corrections or clarifications. This action also establishes and amends confidentiality determinations for the reporting of certain data elements to be added or substantially revised in these amendments.

DATES: This rule is effective January 1, 2025, published in the Federal Register April 25, 2024, page 31802.

View final rule.

2024-04-22T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles—Phase 3

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is promulgating new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model year (MY) 2032 and later heavy-duty highway vehicles that phase in starting as early MY 2027 for certain vehicle categories. The phase in revises certain MY 2027 GHG standards that were established previously under EPA's Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2 rule (“HD GHG Phase 2”). This document also updates discrete elements of the Averaging Banking and Trading program, including providing additional flexibilities for manufacturers to support the implementation of the Phase 3 program balanced by limiting the availability of certain advanced technology credits initially established under the HD GHG Phase 2 rule. EPA is also adding warranty requirements for batteries and other components of zero-emission vehicles and requiring customer-facing battery state-of-health monitors for plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. In this action, we are also finalizing additional revisions, including clarifying and editorial amendments to certain highway heavy-duty vehicle provisions and certain test procedures for heavy-duty engines.

DATES: This final rule is effective on June 21, 2024, published in the Federal Register April 22, 2024, page 29440.

View final rule.

EPA designates 2 PFAS as CERCLA hazardous substances
2024-04-19T05:00:00Z

EPA designates 2 PFAS as CERCLA hazardous substances

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule to designate two widely used PFAS — perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), including their salts and structural isomers — as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The rule requires entities to immediately report releases of PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed the reportable quantity (1 pound) to the:

  • National Response Center,
  • State/tribal emergency response commission, and
  • Local/tribal emergency planning committee.

Further, it gives EPA the authority to hold polluters responsible for paying for or conducting investigations and cleanup of PFOA and PFOS releases. In a memorandum, EPA clarified that it will focus enforcement efforts on significant contributors to PFAS releases.

Additionally:

  • Federal entities that transfer or sell property must give notification about the storage, release, or disposal of PFOA and PFAS on the property and include in the deed a commitment that either:
    • Warrants it has cleaned up any contamination, or
    • If needed, it will do so in the future.
  • Section 306 of CERCLA requires the Department of Transportation to list and regulate PFOA and PFAS as hazardous substances under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

The rule takes effect 60 days after it’s published in the Federal Register.

Key to remember: EPA has designated PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA hazardous substances, requiring immediate release notifications for the two PFAS and expanding the agency’s authority to hold parties responsible for contamination accountable.

Chemical Data Reporting: 5 tips for a winning report
2024-04-19T05:00:00Z

Chemical Data Reporting: 5 tips for a winning report

It’s time for that special event that happens once every four years, often testing the endurance of the participants who’ve spent the prior years preparing for this very moment. No, it’s not the Summer Olympics, though that’s a great guess. It’s the Chemical Data Report!

Under the Toxic Substances Control ACT (TSCA), the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule requires manufacturers (including importers) to report information on the production and use of chemicals in commerce if they meet certain production volume thresholds at any one site. The submission period for the 2024 report runs from June 1 to September 30, 2024.

Use these tips to help you complete a Chemical Data Report worthy of a gold medal.

Tip #1: Verify that your facility is covered.

The TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory) lists the covered chemical substances. Generally, the production volume threshold is 25,000 pounds or more of a chemical substance at a site. However, a reduced reporting threshold (2,500 pounds) applies to chemical substances subject to:

  • A rule proposed or promulgated under TSCA Sections 5(a)(2), 5(b)(4), or 6;
  • An order issued under TSCA Sections 4, 5(e), or 5(f); or
  • A relief granted under a civil action under TSCA Sections 5 or 7.

Further, certain full and partial exemptions apply to facilities based on the:

  • Chemical substances,
  • Size of the business, and/or
  • Activities conducted.

To confirm whether your facility must report:

  • Check the most recent nonconfidential TSCA Inventory, which you can download from EPA’s website or access through its electronic CDR reporting tool (e-CDRweb);
  • Search the Substance Registry Services (SRS), accessible through e-CDRweb, to determine if any of the facility’s chemical substances are subject to TSCA actions;
  • Search the SRS for chemical substances on the confidential portion of the inventory (by TSCA Accession Numbers or generic chemical names); and
  • Examine the regulations at 40 CFR Part 711 to determine whether your facility qualifies for any reporting exemptions.

Tip #2: If a chemical substance is reportable for one year, you must report its production volume for all years.

The CDR rule requires facilities to report the total annual production volume of covered chemical substances for each calendar year since the last principal reporting year.

In other words, if a chemical substance at your facility meets or exceeds the corresponding reporting threshold during any calendar year covered by the report, you must include the total annual production volume of that chemical for every covered calendar year.

For example, you must list on the 2024 report the production volumes of every reportable chemical substance for 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Tip #3: The CDR form is site-specific, not chemical-specific.

All CDR data must be reported electronically on Form U (EPA Form 7740-8) through e-CDRweb on EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) system. Reporting is site-specific, so if your organization has multiple sites with reportable chemicals, you must submit a Form U for each site.

Keep in mind that you submit only one form per site, so all reportable chemical substances at a specific site are listed on the same Form U. You may have to submit multiple forms only if you have more than one site covered by the CDR rule.

Tip #4: Register for the right CDX user role.

To submit a Chemical Data Report, you must first register with the CDX system and be approved by EPA. Plus, you must register the name of the organization on whose behalf you’re submitting a Form U. If you’re already registered on CDX, you can add the CDR reporting flow to your current registration.

Because each type of user role has varying permissions, it’s essential to register for the right one. User roles include:

  • Primary Authorized Officials,
  • Secondary Authorized Officials,
  • Primary Support,
  • Secondary Support,
  • Primary Agent/Consultant, and
  • Secondary Agent/Consultant.

Only Primary Authorized Officials may submit initial Chemical Data Reports. So, if you’re the one who will submit Form U, confirm that you’re registered as a Primary Authorized Official.

Tip #5: You’re not done when you submit the report.

The CDR rule requires organizations to keep records of all CDR information reported on Form U to EPA for at least five years (711.25). The five-year timeline begins on the last day of the submission period.

Additionally, you may have to amend Form U after submitting the initial report. This can apply if:

  • You find errors or omissions during a self-audit of the Chemical Data Report,
  • You receive newly available information,
  • You believe the organization may have violated reporting requirements, or
  • EPA finds errors or omissions (in which case, the agency will likely send a letter requiring you to make corrections within a specific time frame).

Key to remember: The Chemical Data Report can be a major undertaking, but with these tips, you can cross the finish line with a report worthy of a gold medal.

2024-04-18T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Emissions Standards for 2027 and Later Light Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles

Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is establishing new, more protective emissions standards for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHG) for light-duty vehicles and Class 2b and 3 (‘‘medium-duty’’) vehicles that will phase-in over model years 2027 through 2032. In addition, EPA is finalizing GHG program revisions in several areas, including off-cycle and air conditioning credits, the treatment of upstream emissions associated with zero-emission vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in compliance calculations, medium-duty vehicle incentive multipliers, and vehicle certification and compliance. EPA is also establishing new standards to control refueling emissions from incomplete medium-duty vehicles, and battery durability and warranty requirements for light-duty and medium-duty electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. EPA is also finalizing minor amendments to update program requirements related to aftermarket fuel conversions, importing vehicles and engines, evaporative emission test procedures, and test fuel specifications for measuring fuel economy.

DATES: This final rule is effective on June 17, 2024, published in the Federal Register April 18, 2024, page 27842.

View final rule.

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