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Recreational marijuana and young workers are not a safe combination, a new study shows.

State legalization of recreational marijuana is associated with a 10 percent increase in workplace injuries among those aged 20 to 34, according to a study published on February 23 in JAMA Health Forum. When only full-time workers were included in the data, there was an 11.9 percent rise.

This can be especially concerning in the construction industry, where work is often dangerous. From slips, trips, and falls to exposure to other hazards, working in construction brings a certain level of risk. Having workers impaired by marijuana use adds to the risk equation.

The significant uptick in injuries among young people occurred two to three years after a state adopted legal recreational marijuana, according to the study, which examined age-specific workplace injuries using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

Not an issue for older workers

A previous study that looked at injury data involving older workers came to a different conclusion.

The study, published in February 2023 in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, reviewed workers’ compensation benefits among adults aged 40 to 62. It found that workers’ compensation costs and nontraumatic injuries went down in that age group after a state legalized recreational marijuana.

Why the difference?

Legal marijuana may not have had a negative impact on workplace injuries for older workers because they were using it to manage pain, the JAMA study notes.

Among younger workers, the study’s authors noted that their findings are consistent with the theory that recreational marijuana negatively impacts cognitive function. It may also act as a gateway to harder drugs.

Protecting workers

Since 2012, recreational marijuana has been legalized in 24 states and Washington, D.C. Research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration shows that 1 in 5 Americans used marijuana in the past year. After a state legalizes recreational marijuana, use increases.

State laws vary in regard to what employers may do to keep their workplaces safe in the era of legal marijuana, but in all states, employers can forbid:

  • The use of marijuana on company property and in company vehicles.
  • The use of marijuana on work time.
  • The possession or sale of marijuana in the workplace or on work time.
  • Worker impairment from marijuana.

Employers can also make sure supervisors and employees are aware of the workplace dangers that can arise when an employee is impaired because of marijuana use. They can:

  • Train supervisors to recognize the signs of impairment due to marijuana use.
  • Ensure that supervisors know what to do when those signs are observed.
  • Make employees aware of the workplace drug and alcohol policy.
  • Educate employees on the negative impact marijuana can have on workplace safety.

Key to remember: A new study links legal marijuana to a higher injury rate among young workers. To support workplace safety, employers can train supervisors and enforce their workplace drug policy.

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Most Recent Highlights In Environmental

2024-07-12T05:00:00Z

Good Neighbor Plan on ice as legal battle heats up

Factories may breathe easier (for now) with the outcome of the recent U.S. Supreme Court case of Ohio v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The court granted emergency applications from several states seeking a stay of the Good Neighbor Plan (GNP ) pending judicial review. The plan addresses ozone-forming emissions of nitrogen oxides from power plants and industrial facilities. Here’s a breakdown of the case and what it means for facilities in these states.

The Good Neighbor Plan and the fuss about it

EPA, tasked with protecting air quality, introduced the GNP in 2015. This plan aimed to reduce air emissions drifting from upwind states to downwind states, impacting air quality for millions.

Think of it like smoke blowing from your neighbor's bonfire into your backyard. The GNP would require the upwind neighbor (state) to take steps to reduce the smoke (smog emissions) affecting the downwind neighbor (state ).

The Good Neighbor rule gives states the choice to create a plan that follows the EPA's guidelines for reducing ozone under National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). If a state doesn’t submit an adequate plan, EPA steps in and creates a compliance plan for that state. In February 2023, the agency found that some states didn’t submit sufficient plans. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to implement a federal implementation plan (the GNP) to control emissions in those states.

Why Ohio (and others) said no

Several states, led by Ohio, challenged the plan in court. They argued that EPA overstepped its authority by setting overly strict emission-reduction requirements. They felt the agency hadn’t adequately explained how it arrived at these numbers and ignored alternative, less expensive ways to achieve similar results.

The court's decision: A stay of execution

In June 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Ohio in a 5-4 decision. The court didn’t rule on the merits of the plan itself but rather put a temporary block on its enforcement. This means the GNP is on hold while lower courts review the case further.

The road ahead: Cleaner air or regulatory hurdles?

So, what does this mean for factories, power plants, and other facilities that release air emissions?

  • Temporary relief: Facilities located in the states targeted by the GNP will see a temporary reprieve from the stricter emission regulations of EPA’s plan.
  • Uncertainty reigns: The legal battle isn’t over. Lower courts will decide the fate of the plan, and it could still be implemented, potentially with modifications.
  • The Clean Air Act remains: Don’t forget, the Clean Air Act, the main federal law regulating air pollution, remains in effect. Facilities must still comply with existing regulations set by EPA and their state governments.

The outcome of this case has significant implications for air quality. Proponents of the GNP argue it’s crucial for protecting public health, especially in downwind states. Opponents argue it places an undue burden on businesses and hinders economic growth.

The lower courts will now weigh these arguments. The final decision could significantly affect how air emissions are regulated and how much stationary sources can emit.

Key to remember: The U.S. Supreme Court placed a temporary ban on EPA’s Good Neighbor Plan in Ohio and several other states as the legal battle continues in the lower courts.

EPA’s Spring 2024 regulatory agenda now available
2024-07-09T05:00:00Z

EPA’s Spring 2024 regulatory agenda now available

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Spring 2024 Semiannual Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions on July 5, 2024. The agenda shows the agency’s upcoming regulatory actions and where they are in the rulemaking process.

The agenda includes major EPA updates, such as:

  • Establishing a management program for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that implements emissions-reduction requirements for certain pieces of equipment using refrigerants containing HFCs and their substitutes, with an expected publishing date for the final rule in August 2024;
  • Finalizing a rule in October 2024 to have nearly all water systems replace lead service lines within 10 years, reduce the lead action level, and improve tap sampling;
  • Implementing a Waste Emissions Charge program that requires oil and natural gas facilities to pay an annual charge for exceeding methane and intensity thresholds, with an expected publishing date for the final rule in December 2024;
  • Proposing a rule in March 2025 that establishes the Renewable Fuel Standards beginning in 2026 for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel; and
  • Publishing a proposed rule in April 2025 that, if finalized, reinstates reporting requirements for animal waste air emissions at farms under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

While you’ll want to review the entire agenda to learn about all the rulemakings on EPA’s docket, this article highlights some of the major rules we’re watching closely. Also, please note that the agenda dates are tentative, the times by which the agency hopes to publish the rulemakings in the Federal Register.

Final Rule Stage
Projected publication dateTitle
August 2024National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Aerosol Coatings Amendments
September 2024Review of Final Rule Reclassification of Major Sources as Area Sources Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act
October 2024Hazardous and Solid Waste Management System: Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities; Federal CCR Permit Program
November 2024Clean Water Act Section 404 Tribal and State Program Regulation
November 2024Federal Plan Requirements for Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units
December 2024Oil and Gas NESHAP; Part 63 Subparts HH and HHH; Removal of Affirmative Defense
Proposed Rule Stage
Projected publication date of Notice of Proposed RulemakingTitle
September 2024Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Review and Renewal of Eligibility for Application-Specific Allowances
September 2024Clean Water Act Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for PFAS Manufacturers Under the Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers Point Source Category
December 2024Emission Guidelines for GHG Emissions from Existing Fossil Fuel-Fired Combustion Turbine EGUs
June 2025Improving Recycling and Management of Renewable Energy Wates: Universal Waste Regulations for Solar Panels and Lithium Batteries
June 2025PFAS Requirements in NPDES Permit Applications
Pre-Rule Stage
Projected publication date or other actionTitle
November 2024 (End Review)610 Review of Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heathers, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces
December 2024 (Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking)N-(1,3-Dimethylbutyl)-N'-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine ("6PPD") and its Transformation Product, 6PPD-Quinone ("6PPD-q"); Rulemaking Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
Long-Term Rule Stage
Projected publication date or other actionTitle
July 2025 (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking)Updates to the RCRA Hazardous Waste Regulations and Related Technical Corrections - Permitting Updates Rule
Key to remember: EPA’s Spring 2024 agenda includes upcoming regulatory actions that could impact a range of industries.
Expert Insights: Sharpen your skills for effective environmental investigations
2024-07-05T05:00:00Z

Expert Insights: Sharpen your skills for effective environmental investigations

I had a recent conversation with colleagues in the industry about the importance of investigating environmental incidents. We had a great exchange of tips and best practices that I couldn’t wait to share.

Preparing to respond

Let's talk about preparedness first. Before an incident occurs, make sure you're ready to respond. This means having a solid response plan and training your employees on what to do in different situations. On top of that, gather the supplies you might need. Ensure you have the supplies you may need in response to all the potential environmental incidents that could occur, including items like spill kits, overpack containers, and portable containments for releases and spills. You should also include all the tools you need for investigation and documentation.

Conducting the investigation

Now, when it comes to the actual investigation, following a set process is key. An established method ensures the process is consistent from incident to incident. Need a handy tip? Create standardized forms and a list of common questions that always require answers.

Many of our customers have the responsibility of conducting both safety and environmental incident investigations. In the world of safety, incident notification and investigation often happen after an event occurs. For example, it can be after someone is injured or has a near miss. Environmental incidents can be similar, but there's a twist: the incidents, such as spills or leaks, are often still occurring when reported. This can have implications on what your early actions look like and how quickly you need to take action.

Recordkeeping

Finally, the records you keep of what happened are crucial. It’s recommended that the investigation and recordkeeping efforts match the severity of the incident. If you have a serious incident, such as a major release, you'll probably have a bigger team investigating, including people from different departments. There should be a high level of detail with respect to documentation, pictures, and data collected. For minor incidents, perhaps something that’s fully contained or doesn’t trigger regulatory reporting, the investigation can be a smaller effort with less comprehensive records.

When it comes to environmental incidents, hoping for the best just won’t do — you must also prepare for the worst.

Have a question for our Compliance Experts?

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Ready, set, adapt! EPA unveils new climate adaptation plan
2024-06-28T05:00:00Z

Ready, set, adapt! EPA unveils new climate adaptation plan

Heat waves disrupting factory production? Rising sea levels threatening coastal businesses? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking concrete steps to combat climate change with the release of its 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan. The plan outlines a series of actions the agency will take over the next four years to make sure it's prepared for the challenges of a changing climate.

What does the plan do?

The plan focuses on several key areas.

Building a climate-smart workforce

EPA is investing in ongoing education and training for its staff to equip them with knowledge about the future impacts of climate change, how EPA programs might be affected, and different strategies for adapting. One example is the agency-wide "Climate Conversations" webinar series, which fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing among staff.

Strengthening facility resilience

EPA is continuing to conduct facility resiliency assessments to identify areas vulnerable to climate change impacts. Based on these assessments, the agency will make recommendations for improvements to make facilities more resilient.

Building stronger supply chains

EPA is now considering climate hazards as part of its overall supply chain risk management plan. It will conduct assessments this year to identify potential disruptions and develop strategies to mitigate them.

Funding climate-ready communities

EPA is modernizing its financial assistance programs to encourage investments in communities and Tribal lands that are more resilient to climate change. The agency also launched the internal Climate-Resilient Investments Clearinghouse website to help staff integrate climate considerations into funding decisions.

Empowering informed decisions

EPA is providing communities and recipients of their financial resources with the tools, data, and technical support they need to assess their own climate risks. This empowers them to develop targeted solutions that work best for their specific situations.

Climate-proofing regulations

EPA is integrating climate change considerations into the rulemaking processes where appropriate to ensure its regulations remain effective even with a changing climate.

How does this affect industrial facilities?

Industrial facilities aren’t immune to the effects of climate change. Extreme weather events can damage infrastructure, disrupt operations, and lead to costly shutdowns. By taking steps to adapt to climate change, industrial facilities can protect their businesses, their employees, and the communities where they operate.

Facilities should be on the lookout for potential new requirements as EPA plans to integrate climate adaptation into future rulemakings. New rules could require businesses to consider future weather extremes, like stronger storms or floods. This could lead to fortifying buildings or raising critical equipment, which upfront might be costly but could prevent far more expensive damage down the line.

An example of the agency’s new commitment to include climate adaptation requirements is reflected in the final amendments of the Risk Management Plan rule. Facilities that manage hazardous materials must now develop response plans to prepare for the largest foreseeable discharges in adverse weather conditions, including more extreme weather conditions expected as the climate changes.

Key to remember: EPA released the 2024-2027 Climate Adaptation Plan, which describes agency actions to address the impacts of climate change. It incorporates climate adaptation into the agency’s programs, policies, rules, enforcement activities, and operations.

Small vs. large universal waste handlers: What are the different requirements?
2024-06-19T05:00:00Z

Small vs. large universal waste handlers: What are the different requirements?

“To be, or not to be.” That is not the question for facilities subject to the universal waste program. “Subpart B or Subpart C of 40 CFR Part 273?” That is the question.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) universal waste program simplifies management requirements for five types of federally designated hazardous wastes: batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, lamps, and non-empty aerosol cans. The program covers two categories of universal waste generators: small quantity handlers of universal waste (SQHUWs) and large quantity handlers of universal waste (LQHUWs).

Requirements differ based on the amount of universal waste a facility accumulates. Subpart B regulates SQHUWs, while Subpart C regulates LQHUWs. Determine which category applies to your facility to ensure you comply with the right universal waste requirements.

Am I a universal waste handler?

A universal waste handler either (a) generates a federally designated universal waste or (b) receives universal waste from other handlers, accumulates universal waste, and sends universal waste to:

  • Another universal waste handler,
  • A destination facility, or
  • A foreign destination.

It excludes transfer facilities that transport off-site universal waste by air, rail, highway, or water as well as destination facilities that treat, dispose of, or recycle universal waste. If your facility is considered a universal waste handler, you must then identify which handler category applies.

Am I a small or large universal waste handler?

The universal waste program requirements for handlers differ based on the amount of universal waste accumulated:

  • SQHUWs accumulate less than 5,000 kilograms of all types of universal waste at any one time.
  • LQHUWs accumulate 5,000 kilograms or more of all types of universal waste at any one time.

If your facility qualifies as an LQHUW during the calendar year, it keeps this status through the end of the calendar year. You can reevaluate the status in the next calendar year.

Now that you know which category applies to your facility, let’s take a look at the requirements for each kind of universal waste handler.

Small vs. large handler regulations

Many of the same rules apply to all universal waste handlers. Both SQHUWs and LQHUWs must:

  • Label or mark properly each universal waste or its container,
  • Manage universal waste in ways that prevent environmental releases of the waste or its components — though the requirements differ for small and large handlers (see table below),
  • Accumulate universal waste for no more than one year (unless solely for accumulating quantities of universal waste as necessary to facilitate proper recovery, treatment, or disposal),
  • Respond immediately to and correctly manage any environmental releases of universal waste,
  • Comply with export requirements for foreign shipments, and
  • Comply with any applicable U.S. Department of Transportation hazardous materials requirements.

However, large handlers have requirements that extend beyond those of small handlers. The table below summarizes the differences.

Differing universal waste handler requirements
SQHUWsLQHUWs
Waste managementSee 40 CFR 273.13See 40 CFR 273.33
TrainingIssue basic waste-handling and emergency information to employees, ensuring workers know the proper procedures.Ensure all employees are very familiar with waste-handling and emergency procedures related to their tasks during normal operations and emergencies.
RecordkeepingNot required, but recommendedRequired (Keep records of all shipments received by and sent from the facility. Maintain the records for at least three years.)
EPA Identification (ID) NumberNot requiredRequired
EPA notificationNot requiredRequired (Before meeting the 5,000-kilogram threshold to become an LQHUW, send written notification of the facility’s universal waste management activities to the regional administrator, and receive an EPA ID Number.)

Dos and don’ts for universal waste handlers

Universal waste handlers may:

  • Send or take universal waste to another universal waste handler, a destination facility, or a foreign destination;
  • Ship universal waste off-site without manifests; and
  • Omit counting universal waste toward a generator category (i.e., very small quantity, small quantity, or large quantity generator) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Universal waste handlers may not:

  • Dispose of universal waste, or
  • Dilute or treat universal waste.

Check state requirements

The most important tip for all universal waste handlers is to check the state regulations.

States don’t have to cover all federally designated universal wastes, and they can impose stricter management standards (except on batteries). Wisconsin’s universal waste management program, for example, doesn’t cover aerosol cans.

On the other hand, states can add materials covered by their universal waste management programs. Texas designates paint and paint-related waste as universal waste, and California includes solar panels in its universal waste program.

Key to remember: EPA’s universal waste program requirements differ for small and large quantity handlers. Facilities determine which rules apply based on the amount of universal waste they accumulate.

See More

Most Recent Highlights In Transportation

Keeping tabs on toxins: The TSCA Inventory gets a spring update
2024-06-14T05:00:00Z

Keeping tabs on toxins: The TSCA Inventory gets a spring update

Have you ever wondered how many chemicals are used in everyday products in the United States? Section 8(b) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to compile, keep current, and publish a list of each chemical substance. The agency keeps track of them on a list called the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory, commonly referred to in the industry as “the Inventory.”

EPA recently updated the Inventory in May 2024. This regular update happens twice a year for the nonconfidential portion of the Inventory. Let's dive into what the update means and why it's important.

What's the TSCA Inventory?

Imagine the Inventory as a giant catalog of chemicals. It includes all the existing chemicals manufactured, processed, or imported into the U.S. that don’t qualify for an exemption or exclusion under TSCA. This means chemicals used in things like cleaning products, clothing, toys, and medications are on this list. You can search the Inventory on EPA's website to learn more about a specific chemical.

What does it mean to be on the TSCA Inventory?

Under TSCA regulations, if a chemical is on the Inventory, the substance is considered an "existing" chemical substance in U.S. commerce. Any chemical not on the Inventory is considered a “new” chemical substance.

In addition to defining whether a specific substance is new or existing, the Inventory also flags existing chemical substances that are subject to manufacturing or use restrictions.

Determining whether a chemical is on the Inventory is a critical step before beginning to manufacture (which includes importing) a chemical substance.

What's new in the May 2024 update?

Through the update to the Inventory, EPA:

  • Added more chemicals. There are now 86,770 chemicals listed on the Inventory, which is a slight increase from the previous update.
  • Updated active and inactive substances. Out of all the listed chemicals, only 42,377 are currently used in U.S. commerce. This means the other chemicals are no longer being manufactured or imported.
  • Expanded commercial activity data. The update provides more details about how these chemicals are being used. Additional data helps EPA understand potential risks and how widespread certain chemicals might be.
  • Updated regulatory flags. The update also includes flags that indicate if there are any special regulations on a particular chemical. Regulations often apply to chemicals known to have certain safety concerns.

Why is the TSCA Inventory important?

The TSCA Inventory is a valuable tool for several reasons:

  • It helps EPA identify chemicals that need further safety testing or regulation. By knowing which chemicals are being used, the agency can prioritize its efforts to protect human health and the environment.
  • Companies that manufacture or import chemicals can use the Inventory to determine if they need to report information to the EPA. There are specific reporting requirements for certain chemicals on the list.
  • The Inventory is a public document, which means anyone can access it. This allows researchers, scientists, and the general public to learn more about the chemicals used in the U.S.

What's next?

EPA is constantly working to improve the Inventory. The agency is reviewing information about chemicals on the confidential portion of the list to determine whether they can be moved to the public list. This increases transparency and allows for more public oversight of chemicals used.

The next update to the Inventory is expected in early 2025. By keeping this list updated, EPA can better ensure the safety of chemicals and protect public health.

The update to the TSCA Inventory coincides with the start of the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) cycle. The CDR program requires companies that manufacture or import certain chemicals to report information about the chemicals to EPA. The Inventory helps these companies determine which chemicals they need to report.

Key to remember: EPA published the biannual update to the TSCA Inventory, which tracks all chemicals used in the U.S., ensures safety, and informs regulations.

2024-06-14T05:00:00Z

EPA Proposed Rule: n-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP); Regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the “Agency”) is proposing to address the unreasonable risk of injury to human health presented by n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) under its conditions of use as documented in EPA's risk evaluation and risk determination for NMP pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). NMP is a widely used solvent in a variety of industrial, commercial, and consumer applications including the manufacture and production of electronics such as semiconductors, polymers, petrochemical products, paints and coatings, and paint and coating removers. EPA determined that NMP presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health due to the significant adverse health effects associated with exposure to NMP, including developmental post-implantation fetal loss from short-term exposure and reduced fertility and fecundity from long-term exposure. Additional adverse effects associated with exposure to NMP include liver toxicity, kidney toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, skin irritation, and sensitization. To address the identified unreasonable risk, EPA is proposing to: prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce and use of NMP in several occupational conditions of use; require worker protections through an NMP workplace chemical protection program (WCPP) or prescriptive controls (including concentration limits) for most of the occupational conditions of use; require concentration limits on a consumer product; regulate certain consumer products to prevent commercial use; and establish recordkeeping, labeling, and downstream notification requirements.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 29, 2024, published in the Federal Register Jun 14, 2024, page 51134.

View proposed rule.

2024-06-13T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listing of Substitutes Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program in Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration

Pursuant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Significant New Alternatives Policy program, this action lists several substitutes as acceptable, subject to use conditions, for retail food refrigeration, commercial ice machines, industrial process refrigeration, cold storage warehouses, and ice skating rinks. Through this action, EPA is incorporating by reference standards which establish requirements for commercial refrigerating appliances and commercial ice machines, safe use of flammable refrigerants, and safe design, construction, installation, and operation of refrigeration systems. This action also exempts propane, in the refrigerated food processing and dispensing end-use, from the prohibition under the Clean Air Act (CAA) on knowingly venting, releasing, or disposing of substitute refrigerants in the course of maintaining, servicing, repairing or disposing of an appliance or industrial process refrigeration, as the Administrator is determining, on the basis of existing evidence, that such venting, release, or disposal of this substance in this end-use does not pose a threat to the environment.

DATES: This rule is effective July 15, 2024, published in the Federal Register June 13, 2024, page 50410.

View final rule.

2021-12-27T06:00:00Z

86 FR 73207 National Perchloroethylene Air Emission Standards for Dry Cleaning Facilities Technology Review

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 63

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155; FRL-8391-02-OAR]

RIN 2060-AV44

National Perchloroethylene Air Emission Standards for Dry Cleaning Facilities Technology Review

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

SUMMARY: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for dry cleaning facilities using perchloroethylene (PCE) as the cleaning solvent (PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP). The proposed amendments address the results of the technology review for the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP, in accordance with section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Based on the findings of the technology review, the EPA proposes to add provisions to the rule which will require all dry-to-dry machines at existing major and area sources to have both refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers as secondary controls.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 10, 2022.

Public hearing: If anyone contacts us requesting a public hearing on or before January 11, 2022, we will hold a virtual public hearing. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for information on requesting and registering for a public hearing.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/ (our preferred method). Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov. Include Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155 in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: (202) 566-9744. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155.
  • Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand/Courier Delivery: EPA Docket Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004. The Docket Center's hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except Federal holidays).

Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket ID No. for this rulemaking. Comments received may be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information provided. For detailed instructions on sending comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Out of an abundance of caution for members of the public and our staff, the EPA Docket Center and Reading Room are open to the public by appointment only to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Our Docket Center staff also continues to provide remote customer service via email, phone, and webform. Hand deliveries and couriers may be received by scheduled appointment only. For further information on EPA Docket Center services and the current status, please visit us online at https://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For questions about this proposed action, contact Brian Storey, Sector Policies and Programs Division (Mail Code D243-04), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-1103; fax number: (919) 541-4991; and email address: brian.storey@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Participation in virtual public hearing. Please note that because of current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, as well as state and local orders for social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19, the EPA cannot hold in-person public meetings at this time.

To request a virtual public hearing, contact the public hearing team at (888) 372-8699 or by email at SPPDpublichearing@epa.gov. If requested, the virtual hearing will be held on January 11, 2022. The hearing will convene at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) and will conclude at 3:00 p.m. ET. The EPA may close a session 15 minutes after the last pre-registered speaker has testified if there are no additional speakers. The EPA will announce further details at https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/dry-cleaning-facilities-national-perchloroethylene-air-emission.

If a public hearing is requested, the EPA will begin pre-registering speakers for the hearing upon publication of this document in the Federal Register . To register to speak at the virtual hearing, please use the online registration form available at https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/dry-cleaning-facilities-national-perchloroethylene-air-emission or contact the public hearing team at (888) 372-8699 or by email at SPPDpublichearing@epa.gov. The last day to pre-register to speak at the hearing will be January 10, 2022. Prior to the hearing, the EPA will post a general agenda that will list pre-registered speakers in approximate order at: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/dry-cleaning-facilities-national-perchloroethylene-air-emission.

The EPA will make every effort to follow the schedule as closely as possible on the day of the hearing; however, please plan for the hearings to run either ahead of schedule or behind schedule.

Each commenter will have 5 minutes to provide oral testimony. The EPA encourages commenters to provide the EPA with a copy of their oral testimony electronically (via email) by emailing it to brian.storey@epa.gov. The EPA also recommends submitting the text of your oral testimony as written comments to the rulemaking docket.

The EPA may ask clarifying questions during the oral presentations but will not respond to the presentations at that time. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as oral testimony and supporting information presented at the public hearing.

Please note that any updates made to any aspect of the hearing will be posted online at https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/dry-cleaning-facilities-national-perchloroethylene-air-emission. While the EPA expects the hearing to go forward as set forth above, please monitor our website or contact the public hearing team at (888) 372-8699 or by email at SPPDpublichearing@epa.gov to determine if there are any updates. The EPA does not intend to publish a document in the Federal Register announcing updates.

If you require the services of a translator or special accommodation such as audio description, please pre-register for the hearing with the public hearing team and describe your needs by January 3, 2022. The EPA may not be able to arrange accommodations without advanced notice.

Docket. The EPA has established a docket for this rulemaking under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155. All documents in the docket are listed in https://www.regulations.gov/. Although listed, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy. With the exception of such material, publicly available docket materials are available electronically in Regulations.gov .

Instructions. Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at https://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit electronically any information that you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. This type of information should be submitted by mail as discussed below.

The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission ( i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

The https://www.regulations.gov/ website allows you to submit your comment anonymously, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through https://www.regulations.gov/, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any digital storage media you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should not include special characters or any form of encryption and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at https://www.epa.gov/dockets.

Due to public health concerns related to COVID-19, the Docket Center and Reading Room are open to the public by appointment only. Our Docket Center staff also continues to provide remote customer service via email, phone, and webform. Hand deliveries or couriers will be received by scheduled appointment only. For further information and updates on EPA Docket Center services, please visit us online at https://www.epa.gov/dockets.

The EPA continues to carefully and continuously monitor information from the CDC, local area health departments, and our federal partners so that we can respond rapidly as conditions change regarding COVID-19.

Submitting CBI. Do not submit information containing CBI to the EPA through https://www.regulations.gov/ or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information on any digital storage media that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the digital storage media as CBI and then identify electronically within the digital storage media the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comments that includes information claimed as CBI, you must submit a copy of the comments that does not contain the information claimed as CBI directly to the public docket through the procedures outlined in Instructions above. If you submit any digital storage media that does not contain CBI, mark the outside of the digital storage media clearly that it does not contain CBI. Information not marked as CBI will be included in the public docket and the EPA's electronic public docket without prior notice. Information marked as CBI will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 2. Send or deliver information identified as CBI only to the following address: OAQPS Document Control Officer (C404-02), OAQPS, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155. Note that written comments containing CBI and submitted by mail may be delayed and no hand deliveries will be accepted.

Preamble acronyms and abbreviations. Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA. We use multiple acronyms and terms in this preamble. While this list may not be exhaustive, to ease the reading of this preamble and for reference purposes, the EPA defines the following terms and acronyms here:

CAA Clean Air Act

CBI Confidential Business Information

CDC Center for Disease Control

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

ECHO Enforcement and Compliance History Online

EPA Environmental Protection Agency

EJ environmental justice

FR Federal Register

GACT generally available control technology

HAP hazardous air pollutant(s)

LDAR leak detection and repair

MACT maximum achievable control technology

NAICS North American Industry Classification System

NESHAP national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants

NTTAA National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

OAQPS Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards

OECA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

OMB Office of Management and Budget

ORCR Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery

PCE perchloroethylene

ppm parts per million

PRA Paperwork Reduction Act

RBLC RACT/BACT/LAER Clearinghouse

RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act

SBA Small Business Administration

SBEAP Small Business Environmental Assistance Program

tpy tons per year

TTN Technology Transfer Network

UMRA Unfunded Mandate Reform Act

Organization of this document. The information in this preamble is organized as follows:

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

B. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information?

II. Background

A. What is the statutory authority for this action?

B. What are these source categories and how does the current NESHAP regulate their HAP emissions?

C. What data collection activities were conducted to support this action?

D. What other relevant background information and data are available?

E. How does the EPA perform the technology review?

III. Proposed Rule Summary and Rationale

A. What are the results and proposed decisions based on our technology review, and what is the rationale for those decisions?

B. What compliance dates are we proposing, and what is the rationale for the proposed compliance dates?

IV. Summary of Cost, Environmental, and Economic Impacts

A. What are the affected sources?

B. What are the air quality impacts?

C. What are the cost impacts?

D. What are the economic impacts?

E What are the benefits?

F. What analysis of environmental justice did we conduct?

V. Request for Comments

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

The standards in 40 CFR part 63, subpart M, apply to industrial and commercial dry cleaning facilities that use PCE. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes applicable to 40 CFR part 63, subpart M, are 812310 (coin-operated laundries and dry cleaners), 812320 (dry cleaning and laundry services other than coin-operated services), and 812332 (industrial launderers). This list of categories and NAICS codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding the entities that this proposed action are likely to affect.

As defined in the Initial List of Categories of Sources Under Section 112(c)(1) of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (see 57 FR 31576, July 16, 1992) and Documentation for Developing the Initial Source Category List, Final Report ( see EPA-450/3-91-030, July 1992), the PCE dry cleaning source categories include any facility engaged in cleaning soiled apparel, leather, and other fine goods. These are usually small independently operated neighborhood shops, franchise shops, and small specialty shops. The source categories only include facilities that use PCE as a cleaning agent.

Federal, state, local, and tribal government entities would not be affected by this proposed action.

B. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information?

In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of this action is available on the internet. Following signature by the EPA Administrator, the EPA will post a copy of this proposed action at https://www.epa.gov/dry-cleaning-facilities-national-perchloroethylene-air-emission. Following publication in the Federal Register, the EPA will post the Federal Register version of the proposal and key technical documents at this same website.

A redline version of the regulatory language that incorporates the proposed changes is available in the docket for this action (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155).

II. Background

A. What is the statutory authority for this action?

The statutory authority for this action is provided by sections 112 and 301 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq. ). Section 112 of the CAA establishes a two-stage regulatory process to develop standards for emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) from stationary sources. Generally, the first stage involves establishing technology-based standards and the second stage involves evaluating those standards that are based on maximum achievable control technology (MACT) to determine whether additional standards are needed to address any remaining risk associated with HAP emissions. This second stage is commonly referred to as the “residual risk review.” In addition to the residual risk review, the CAA also requires the EPA to review MACT and generally available control technology (GACT) standards set under CAA section 112 every 8 years and revise the standards as necessary taking into account developments in practices, processes, or control technologies. This review is commonly referred to as the “technology review,” and is the subject of this proposal. The discussion that follows identifies the most relevant statutory sections and briefly explains the contours of the methodology used to implement these statutory requirements. A more comprehensive discussion appears in the document titled CAA Section 112 Risk and Technology Reviews: Statutory Authority and Methodology, in the docket for this rulemaking.

In the first stage of the CAA section 112 standard setting process, the EPA promulgates technology-based standards under CAA section 112(d) for categories of sources identified as emitting one or more of the HAP listed in CAA section 112(b). Sources of HAP emissions are either major sources or area sources, and CAA section 112 establishes different requirements for major source standards and area source standards. “Major sources” are those that emit or have the potential to emit 10 tons per year (tpy) or more of a single HAP or 25 tpy or more of any combination of HAP. All other sources are “area sources.” For major sources, CAA section 112(d)(2) provides that the technology-based NESHAP must reflect the maximum degree of emission reductions of HAP achievable (after considering cost, energy requirements, and non-air quality health and environmental impacts). These standards are commonly referred to as MACT standards. CAA section 112(d)(3) also establishes a minimum control level for MACT standards, known as the MACT “floor.” In certain instances, as provided in CAA section 112(h), the EPA may set work practice standards in lieu of numerical emission standards. The EPA must also consider control options that are more stringent than the floor. Standards more stringent than the floor are commonly referred to as “beyond-the-floor” standards. For area sources, CAA section 112(d)(5) allows the EPA to set standards based on GACT standards in lieu of MACT standards. For categories of major sources and any area source categories subject to MACT standards, the second stage in standard-setting focuses on identifying and addressing any remaining ( i.e., “residual”) risk pursuant to CAA section 112(f) and concurrently conducting a technology review pursuant to CAA section 112(d)(6). For categories of area sources subject to GACT standards, there is no requirement to address residual risk, but, similar to the major source categories, the technology review is required.

CAA section 112(d)(6) requires the EPA to review standards promulgated under CAA section 112 and revise them “as necessary (taking into account developments in practices, processes, and control technologies)” no less often than every 8 years. In conducting this review, which we call the “technology review,” the EPA is not required to recalculate the MACT floors that were established in earlier rulemakings. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) v. EPA, 529 F.3d 1077, 1084 (D.C. Cir. 2008). Association of Battery Recyclers, Inc. v. EPA, 716 F.3d 667 (D.C. Cir. 2013). The EPA may consider cost in deciding whether to revise the standards pursuant to CAA section 112(d)(6). The EPA is required to address regulatory gaps, such as missing standards for listed air toxics known to be emitted from the source category, and any new MACT standards must be established under CAA sections 112(d)(2) and (3), or, in specific circumstances, CAA sections 112(d)(4) or (h). Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) v. EPA, 955 F.3d 1088 (D.C. Cir. 2020).

B. What are these source categories and how does the current NESHAP regulate their HAP emissions?

The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP was originally promulgated September 22, 1993 (58 FR 49376) as 40 CFR part 63, subpart M. Significant amendments were promulgated on June 3, 1996 (61 FR 27788), December 14, 1999 (64 FR 69643), July 27, 2006 (71 FR 42743), and July 11, 2008 (73 FR 39871). The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP includes MACT standards which apply to major sources, and GACT standards which apply to area sources of dry cleaning that use the chemical PCE. The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP regulates PCE emitted from the dry cleaning process.

Dry cleaning is any cleaning process for clothing and other garments using a solvent other than water. PCE, also known as perc, tetrachloroethene, or tetrachloroethylene has been, historically, the most widely used liquid solvent in dry cleaning. Dry cleaning facilities may provide dry cleaning and laundering services at the location, or the facility may be a drop-off only location that transports the garments to a separate location where the cleaning is performed. Establishments may also offer specialty cleaning services for garments and textiles such as fur, leather, suede, wedding gowns, draperies, and pillows.

PCE dry cleaning machines are classified into two types: Transfer and dry-to-dry. Similar to residential washing machines and dryers, transfer machines include a unit for washing and another unit for drying. Following the wash cycle, PCE-containing articles are manually transferred from the washer to the dryer. The transfer of wet fabrics is the predominant source of PCE emissions in these systems. Transfer machines are prohibited at all existing and new major and area sources due to the NESHAP's requirement that dry cleaning systems eliminate any emissions of PCE while transferring articles between the washer and the dryer or reclaimer. Therefore, transfer machines are no longer sold, and none are known to still be in operation as these machines have reached the end of their useful lives and should have been replaced by dry-to-dry machines. Dry-to-dry machines wash, extract, and dry the articles in a single machine. The articles enter and exit the machine dry. Because the transfer step is eliminated, dry-to-dry machines have much lower emissions than transfer machines.

“Fourth generation” dry-to-dry machines were introduced in the early 1990s. A fourth generation dry-to-dry machine is a closed-loop system that uses a refrigerated condenser(s) to recycle PCE from the wash cycle, and a carbon adsorption unit(s) to filter PCE from the drum at the end of the dry cycle. The refrigerated condenser is a vapor recovery system into which an air-PCE gas-vapor stream is routed and the PCE is condensed by cooling the gas-vapor stream. The air remaining in the machine at the end of the dry cleaning cycle then passes through a carbon adsorber prior to opening the machine door. The carbon adsorber is a bed of activated carbon into which the air-PCE gas-vapor stream is routed and PCE is adsorbed on the carbon. The use of the carbon adsorber in combination with the refrigerated condenser offers greater emissions reductions over a dry-to-dry machine equipped with only a refrigerated condenser because it reduces the PCE concentration in the air remaining in the machine once the dry cleaning cycle is complete instead of allowing those vapors to be vented or released at the end of the dry cleaning cycle.

The latest generation machines, or “fifth generation” machines were introduced in the late 1990s. They have the same control technology as fourth generation machines, but they are also equipped with an inductive fan, internal solvent vapor monitoring devices (sensor), and interlock (lockout) devices that will not allow access to the machine until solvent vapor concentrations are below 300 ppm. The lockout feature ensures that the PCE set-point has been attained before the machine door can be opened, but it does not remove additional PCE.

Per 40 CFR 63.320, a dry cleaning facility is a major source if the facility emits or has the potential to emit more than 10 tons per year of PCE to the atmosphere. A dry cleaning facility is considered an area source if it does not meet the criteria for major sources, as specified in 40 CFR 63.320. However, in lieu of measuring or determining a facility's potential to emit PCE emissions, a dry cleaning facility is a major source if: (1) It includes only dry-to-dry machine(s) and has a total yearly PCE consumption greater than 2,100 gallons as determined according to 40 CFR 63.323(d); or (2) it includes only transfer machine system(s) or both dry-to-dry machine(s) and transfer machine system(s) and has a total yearly PCE consumption greater than 1,800 gallons as determined according to 40 CFR 63.323(d).

As defined by the initial list of source categories publish on July 16, 1992 (57 FR 31576), the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP applies to the following major and area sources of HAP emissions:

Major Source Categories

  • Commercial Dry Cleaning [Perchloroethylene]—Transfer Machines
  • Industrial Dry Cleaning [Perchloroethylene]—Transfer Machines
  • Industrial Dry Cleaning [Perchloroethylene]—Dry-to-Dry Machines

Area Source Categories

  • Commercial Dry Cleaning [Perchloroethylene]—Transfer Machines
  • Commercial Dry Cleaning [Perchloroethylene]—Dry-to-Dry Machines

In general, the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP affects three types of dry cleaners that use PCE: Commercial, industrial, and co-residential. Commercial facilities clean household items such as suits, dresses, coats, pants, comforters, curtains, leather clothing, and formal wear. Industrial dry cleaners clean heavily stained articles such as work gloves, uniforms, mechanics' overalls, mops, and shop rags. Co-residential facilities are usually a subset of commercial operations and include dry cleaning operations located in buildings in which people reside. Co-residential facilities are generally found in urban areas where commercial and residential occupancy occur in a single building.

The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP identifies all major sources as “large” industrial and commercial dry cleaners. These dry cleaners are subject to MACT standards under this NESHAP. It is estimated that there are five or fewer of these major source dry cleaners remaining in the United States. 1 The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP requires new major source PCE dry cleaners operating dry-to-dry machines to:

1  Estimated quantity of major source PCE dry cleaners is based on details provided to EPA by state regulators, state small business environmental assistance providers' programs (SBEAP) personnel, and industry trade association representatives. Refer to the docket for this proposed rule (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155).

  • Operate with a refrigerated condenser and carbon adsorber process controls.
  • Use an enhanced leak detection and repair (LDAR) program to detect PCE leaks from the machines ( i.e., PCE gas analyzer operated according to EPA Method 21), repair the leaks, and maintain records.

The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP requires existing major source PCE dry cleaners operating dry-to-dry machines to:

  • Operate with a refrigerated condenser or a carbon adsorber as process control.
  • Use an enhanced LDAR program to detect PCE leaks from the machines ( i.e., PCE gas analyzer operated according to EPA Method 21), repair the leaks, and maintain records.

Dry cleaners that are commonly found in community settings ( e.g., shopping centers and strip malls) are typically “area sources,” meaning they emit less than 10 tons of PCE each year, and are smaller in size in comparison to major source industrial and commercial PCE dry cleaners. The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP standards for these area sources are GACT standards. The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP requires existing area source PCE dry cleaners operating dry-to-dry machines to:

  • Use a halogenated hydrocarbon detector or PCE gas analyzer monthly to detect PCE leaks, repair the leaks, and maintain records.

New area source PCE dry cleaners operating dry-to-dry machines must:

  • Operate with a refrigerated condenser and carbon adsorber process controls.
  • Use a halogenated hydrocarbon detector or PCE gas analyzer to detect PCE leaks, repair the leaks, and maintain records.

The 2006 amendments to the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP eliminated the use of PCE by dry cleaners in co-residential buildings ( e.g., a dry cleaner found on the ground floor of an apartment building). EPA recognized that because co-residential dry cleaners are located very close to residences, residents' exposures and their cancer risks could be much higher than for typical area source dry cleaners. As such, the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP includes requirements to eliminate risks associated with PCE emissions from co-residential dry cleaners. Under 40 CFR 63.322(o)(5)(i), owners/operators were required to eliminate any PCE emissions from systems located in residential buildings by December 21, 2020. These dry cleaner owner/operators were allowed to replace PCE machines with newer available non-PCE technology. This sunset date allowed owners of existing co-residential sources to operate their machines for their maximum estimated useful life, 15 years, assuming they were first installed no later than December 21, 2005. Additionally, under 40 CFR 63.320(b)(2)(ii) and 63.322(o)(5)(ii), any PCE dry cleaning machines in co-residential buildings that began operating between December 21, 2005 and July 13, 2006, were required to install equipment to aggressively control PCE emissions ( i.e., refrigerated condensers, carbon adsorbers, and vapor barriers), and to conduct weekly inspections to detect PCE leaks, repair the leaks, and maintain records, before eliminating PCE emissions by July 27, 2009.

Petitions for judicial review of the 2006 amendments to the NESHAP were filed by the Sierra Club, Halogenated Solvents Industry, Neighborhood Cleaners Association, International Fabricare Institute, and Textile Care Allied Trades Association. Sierra Club et al. v. USEPA, No. 06-1330 (and consolidated cases) (D.C. Cir.). Petitioners questioned: Whether the EPA reasonably interpreted CAA section 112(d)(6) to allow consideration of risk and costs as factors in determining the extent to which it was necessary to revise standards regulating PCE; whether EPA reasonably determined under section 112(d)(6) that it was necessary to revise standards regulating PCE, and to require elimination of PCE emissions at co-residential systems but not at other systems; whether the EPA had complied with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA); and whether EPA had reasonably denied a petition for reconsideration of the rule submitted by the Sierra Club. Although the case was fully briefed, in 2009 before it could be argued at the D.C. Circuit, the parties agreed to EPA taking a voluntary remand of the rule in order for the then-new administration to consider whether further administrative action was warranted regarding the challenged issues, while leaving the rule in force. As discussed in section III.A of this preamble, we are proposing our response to the voluntary remand as part of this proposal.

C. What data collection activities were conducted to support this action?

For this technology review, the EPA investigated developments in practices, processes, and control technologies through communications and direct discussions with state agencies (including regional, state, and local regulators), Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) personnel, industry stakeholders, and trade association representatives. Details of these conversations are included in the memorandum titled Technology Review for the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP, December 2021, available in the docket for this action (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155).

We performed a search of the EPA's Technology Transfer Network (TTN) Clean Air Technology Center—RACT/BACT/LAER Clearinghouse (RBLC) database. The RBLC provides several options for searching the permit database on-line to locate applicable control technologies. We searched the RBLC database for specific dry cleaning process types (“49.002—Dry Cleaning, PERC/Chlorinated Solvents” and “49.003—Dry Cleaning, Petroleum Solvents”). In querying results dating back to January 1, 2000, no results were returned when searching for Process Type 49.002 and three results were returned for Process Type 49.003, however none of the information returned was more recent than 2005 or included any new or improved control technologies. In addition to searches conducted using the process type codes above, the RBLC was queried for any sources with “cleaning”, “cleaners”, or “dry cleaning” in their name. The NAICS and SIC codes for dry cleaners, 812320 and 7216, respectively, were also used to search the RBLC. None of these searches returned relevant information on new or improved control technologies used in dry cleaning facilities. Full details of the RBLC database search in support of this technology review are included in the memorandum titled Technology Review for the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP, December 2021, available in the docket for this action (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155).

The EPA also reviewed information and details for facilities that are subject to the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP using the Agency's Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. The ECHO database provides integrated compliance and enforcement information for approximately 800,000 regulated facilities nationwide. Using the features in the ECHO database, we searched for dry cleaning facilities by NAICS. The database identified approximately 7,900 facilities. However, these data are not likely to be comprehensive for the dry cleaning source category because not all states submit data on smaller sources to ECHO. Details of the ECHO database search in support of this technology review are included in the memorandum titled Technology Review for the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP, December 2021, available in the docket for this action (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155).

D. What other relevant background information and data are available?

To supplement the information collected from the ECHO search, the EPA collected information from the EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) hazardous waste generator databases. ORCR is responsible for implementation and oversight of the hazardous waste program required by subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). As part of the hazardous waste program, hazardous waste generators must report hazardous waste quantities about a specified threshold, as required by RCRA, subtitle C. Active PCE dry cleaning facilities were identified in the ORCR hazardous waste generator databases, based on a search of reported PCE waste generation, and the NAICS for dry cleaning. Approximately 9,000 active hazardous waste generators were identified in the database. This list does not represent the full list of dry cleaning facilities or indicate the number of facilities subject to the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP. For many area sources in this source category the amount of PCE waste generated is below the threshold to notify or report under the RCRA regulations, therefore, there are potentially area source dry cleaning facilities that do not generate enough PCE waste to be included in the hazardous waste generator database. In this technology review, the EPA assumes that the total number of dry cleaning facilities is higher than the approximate 9,000 facilities we were able to identify by the RCRA hazardous waste generator database. A copy of the facility list developed for this technology review can be found in the docket (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155).

E. How does the EPA perform the technology review?

Our technology review primarily focuses on the identification and evaluation of developments in practices, processes, and control technologies that have occurred since the MACT and GACT standards were promulgated. Where we identify such developments, we analyze their technical feasibility, estimated costs, energy implications, and non-air environmental impacts. We also consider the emission reductions associated with applying each development. This analysis informs our decision of whether it is “necessary” to revise the emissions standards. In addition, we consider the appropriateness of applying controls to new sources versus retrofitting existing sources. For this exercise, we consider any of the following to be a “development”:

  • Any add-on control technology or other equipment that was not identified and considered during development of the original MACT and GACT standards;
  • Any improvements in add-on control technology or other equipment (that were identified and considered during development of the original MACT and GACT standards) that could result in additional emissions reduction;
  • Any work practice or operational procedure that was not identified or considered during development of the original MACT and GACT standards;
  • Any process change or pollution prevention alternative that could be broadly applied to the industry and that was not identified or considered during development of the original MACT and GACT standards; and
  • Any significant changes in the cost (including cost effectiveness) of applying controls (including controls the EPA considered during the development of the original MACT and GACT standards).

In addition to reviewing the practices, processes, and control technologies that were considered at the time we originally developed (or last updated) the NESHAP, we review a variety of data sources in our investigation of potential practices, processes, or controls to consider. We also review the NESHAP and the available data to determine if there are any unregulated emissions of HAP within the source category, and evaluate this data for use in developing new emission standards. See sections II.C and II.D of this preamble for information on the specific data sources that were reviewed as part of the technology review.

III. Proposed Rule Summary and Rationale

A. What are the results and proposed decisions based on our technology review, and what is the rationale for those decisions?

This section provides a brief discussion of our review of the various information sources listed sections II.C and II.D of this preamble, and our proposed decision pursuant to the CAA section 112(d)(6) technology review to require that all PCE dry-to-dry machines at existing major and area sources have both refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers as secondary controls. None of the searches of the RBLC database returned relevant information on new or improved control technologies related to reducing HAP emissions from dry cleaning machines used by facilities in the PCE Dry Cleaning source category. To further identify any developments in practices, processes, and emission control technologies and strategies, the EPA held several meetings with state agencies (including state agency representatives and SBEAP personnel), industry stakeholders and trade association representatives. The EPA asked several questions pertaining to developments since the last technology review on July 26, 2006 (71 FR 42724). The responses to this inquiry did not identify any developments in new or improved control technologies that had not previously been identified and considered that would warrant revision to the existing emission standards for the PCE dry cleaning source category.

Additionally, web search queries for technical literature pertaining to dry cleaning emissions controls, process controls, and work practices did not identify any new or improved practices, processes, or control technologies that were not previously addressed since the technology review performed in 2006.

However, there have been developments in practices, processes, and control technologies that had been identified and considered at the time of adoption of the original NESHAP and/or of the last technology review in 2006. These developments reflect a widespread transition away from some practices that had been allowed to continue for existing sources but were not permitted for new or reconstructed sources. In this technology review, for example, the EPA confirmed with industry representatives that the useful life of a dry-to-dry machine is 15 years. In accordance with the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP, PCE dry cleaning machines installed after 1993 for major sources and 2005 for area sources would be equipped with refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers. Therefore, the EPA is proposing to require all sources subject to the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP, whether new or existing, to be equipped with refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers in order to reflect this development.

Refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers have been standard secondary controls on all new machines for the last 15 years. The information gathered during the technology review, including details obtained from PCE dry cleaning industry and trade association representatives, revealed that dry-to-dry non-vented dry cleaning machines with refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers are the machines that are overwhelmingly used in PCE dry cleaning operations. These fourth generation and newer machines reuse PCE within the machine, which reduces the PCE emissions from the dry cleaning process. These machines are much more effective at recovering solvent vapors than machines equipped with a carbon adsorber or refrigerated condenser alone. 2

2  Further details on the evolution of dry cleaning machines and detailed descriptions of the generations of these machines can be found in the refer to the Technology Review for the Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Source Category memorandum in the docket as well as at the following websites: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/hazardcontrol/hc18.html ; https://www.enviroforensics.com/blog/the-history-of-dry-cleaning-solvents-and-the-evolution-of-the-dry-cleaning-machine/ .

It has been over 25 years since the initial NESHAP was promulgated in 1993 (58 FR 66287) and 15 years since the last major revisions (71 FR 42724), which required certain machines to be equipped with refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers. Even though we expect that almost all currently operating dry cleaning machines have both of these controls, the EPA has determined that we should preclude any possible future use of any machines that do not have both controls. This revision to the standards is necessary to ensure that current improved PCE emissions control achieved by the widespread use of fourth generation (or better) machines is maintained and not compromised by permissible continued operation of earlier generation machines that have exceeded their useful lives. As such, the EPA is proposing to require that all PCE dry-to-dry machines at existing major and area sources have both refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers as secondary controls. This revision to the standards will ensure that all dry cleaning systems, both new and existing, will be similarly controlled.

Additionally, the EPA re-examined the use of alternative solvents in use by the dry cleaning industry. This includes the use of non-PCE containing products such as silica-based solvents and high flash point hydrocarbon solvents. As part of this assessment, the EPA reviewed the list of alternative solvents identified in the 2006 PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP risk and technology review (RTR) (71 FR 42743), and found that, for the purposes of the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP MACT or GACT standards, the list of alternative solvents available to the dry cleaning industry remains essentially the same. Since our 2006 assessment, there have been some products that are no longer marketed, and a few products added to the list. In the 2006 PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP RTR, we looked at the use of alternative solvents as it relates to a potential ban of PCE use. In the 2006 RTR, we identified limitations with the alternative solvents available, when compared to PCE use. These limitations included a comparison of costs, cleaning ability, ease of use, applicability to certain fabrics, safety, and others. After reviewing our assessment made for the 2006 final rule, and the limitations of the alternative solvents available in 2021, we find no new information that would change our 2006 assessment for purposes of the MACT or GACT standards for this industry.

In response to the voluntary remand of the 2006 rule, we are not proposing any amendments addressing the objections raised by the litigants in Sierra Club et al. v. USEPA, No. 06-1330 and consolidated cases (D.C. Cir.). Since the voluntary remand, EPA has conducted numerous subsequent RTRs for other NESHAPs and source categories and has consistently implemented section 112(d)(6) to take into consideration costs of revising standards and the environmental value of requiring additional HAP reductions when determining whether it is necessary to revise standards taking into consideration developments in practices, processes, and control technologies. We also maintain that we have the discretion to qualitatively consider as a relevant factor the benefits of requiring additional HAP emission reductions and their consequential effect on public health risk under 112(d)(6), as we considered them in the 2006 RTR. Although we are not further considering such reductions and their impacts in this current proposed action because we have not received additional information indicating such are necessary for CAA purposes related to dry cleaning sources beyond the review that we conducted in 2006, we stand by the analyses we conducted and conclusions we reached in the 2006 RTR. Moreover, subsequent reviewing courts have affirmed EPA's now well-established approach of considering costs and cost effectiveness in CAA section 112(d)(6) reviews and making judgments about whether to it is necessary to require additional HAP emissions reductions under CAA section 112(d)(6). See, e.g., National Association for Surface Finishing v. EPA, 795 F.3d 11-12 (D.C. Cir. 2015) (finding that EPA permissibly considered costs in revising standards under section 112(d)(6)); see also, Association of Battery Recyclers, et al. v. EPA, 716 F.3d 667, 673-74 (D.C. Cir. 2013) (approving EPA's consideration of cost as a factor in its section 112(d)(6) decision-making and EPA's reliance on cost effectiveness as a factor in its standard-setting). In addressing industry petitioners' challenge to EPA's CAA section 112(d)(6) determinations, the National Association for Surface Finishing court explained that “[r]eductions in emissions are, of course, relevant to the cost effectiveness of emissions-control technologies in controlling emissions.” See 795 F.3d at 12. The court then affirmed that EPA's conclusions “that more stringent technology-based standards were cost effective and otherwise appropriate” was not arbitrary and capricious. Id (emphasis added). The EPA thus maintains that our approach in the 2006 RTR to base our decisions to revise the standards as necessary for dry cleaners located in residential settings, based in part on the unique public health impacts that the additionally mandated HAP reductions would mitigate in that particular context, was warranted under CAA section 112(d)(6).

Consequently, what may have appeared novel in 2006 to the litigants in the earliest stages of the EPA's development of the RTR program (the EPA's consideration of costs and HAP reduction along with the enumerated factors in CAA section 112(d)(6)) has become settled and judicially endorsed practice, and it is not necessary for the EPA to fundamentally re-evaluate that well-established process in this follow-up technology review or in response to the voluntary remand. Moreover, since the 2006 RTR, the EPA has not received any information calling into question the risk-based information that supported our action requiring elimination of PCE emissions from systems located in buildings with a residence. Nor has the EPA received additional information addressing the specific risks presented by PCE emissions to ambient air from co-commercial PCE dry cleaning systems ( e.g., those located in strip malls with adjacently located other commercial entities) that suggest that our decision in 2006 to limit the required elimination of PCE emissions to co-residential settings was unwarranted. The EPA requests public comments on our response to the remand, particularly on our proposed determination that no specific revisions to the standards are necessary in light of the remand.

B. What compliance dates are we proposing, and what is the rationale for the proposed compliance dates?

The EPA is proposing that existing affected sources would comply with the proposed amendments in this rulemaking no later than 180 days after the effective date of the final rule. The affected existing facilities would have to continue to meet the current requirements of 40 CFR part 63, subpart M, until the applicable compliance date of the amended rule. As discussed in section III.B of this preamble, the EPA is proposing to require all dry-to-dry machines at both major and area sources to have both refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers as secondary controls. The final action is not expected to be a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Therefore, the effective date of the final rule would be the promulgation date as specified in CAA section 112(d)(10). From our assessment of the timeframe needed for compliance with the entirety of the revised requirements, the EPA considers a period of 180 days to be the most expeditious compliance period practicable. We base this proposed compliance period on several factors. First, from our discussions with state and local agencies, trade association representatives, and other stakeholders, the EPA found that fourth and fifth generation dry-to-dry machines are standard throughout the industry. Additionally, the EPA confirmed that the useful life of a dry-to-dry machine is 15 years, and that new dry cleaning machines sold in the last 20 years are only fourth and fifth generation machines. Based on these findings, we believe that almost all of the industry is already in compliance with the proposed amendments. The 180 days is provided as a courtesy to allow familiarity with the proposed changes. We solicit comment on this proposed compliance period, and we specifically request submission of information from the sources in the major and area source categories regarding specific actions that would need to be undertaken to comply with the proposed amended requirements and the time needed to make the adjustments for compliance with any of the revised requirements. We note that information provided may result in changes to the proposed compliance date.

IV. Summary of Cost, Environmental, and Economic Impacts

A. What are the affected sources?

The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP prescribes a combination of equipment, work practices, and operational requirements. The NESHAP allows regulated sources to determine their major or area source status based on the annual PCE purchases for all machines at a facility. The consumption criterion (which affects the amount of PCE purchased) varies depending on multiple variables, including number of machines, size of business, etc. The affected source is each individual dry cleaning system that uses PCE. Consequently, a single dry cleaning facility could comprise multiple affected sources, if it has multiple dry cleaning systems onsite. As a result, some of a facility's systems could be subject to “new” source requirements under the NESHAP, and some could be “existing” sources, depending upon when they were placed into service.

The July 27, 2006, final rule amendments (71 FR 42743) indicate that at that time, there were approximately 34,000 dry cleaning facilities in the United States, approximately 28,000 of which used PCE. Those estimated counts of the number of overall dry cleaners and PCE dry cleaners are prior to business impacts from the 2008 financial crisis, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020-2021, recent shifts in consumer demands, changes in garment technologies, fashion trends, dry cleaning machine conversions to alternative solvents, and other factors that have resulted in reductions in the number of PCE dry cleaning operations. Based on information provided by dry cleaning industry stakeholders, including trade organizations, the EPA estimates that the number of PCE dry cleaners decreased by 20 to 30 percent due to the 2008 financial crisis, the aforementioned demand trends in the industry, and increasing replacements of PCE operations with alternative solvent technologies. Additionally, the EPA estimates that another 10 to 15 percent of PCE dry cleaners have ceased operation due to financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the EPA estimates that there are approximately 10,000 to 15,000 PCE dry cleaning facilities in the U.S.

B. What are the air quality impacts?

The EPA is proposing that all PCE dry-to-dry machines operate with both refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers as secondary controls ( i.e., be fourth or fifth generation machines). The PCE dry cleaning facilities that are in operation have most likely realized the reduction in emissions associated with operating both refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers. Additionally, any new machines have been required to have both refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers since the original promulgation of part 63, subpart M, in 1993 (for major sources) and the 2006 RTR (for area sources); any existing third generation or older machines at the time of those rules are now beyond their 15-year expected lifespan. For those facilities who may still be operating older machines, the proposed amendments of this rulemaking would reduce emissions by mandating the use of newer machines with the required controls.

Indirect or secondary air emissions impacts are impacts that would result from the increased electricity usage associated with the operation of control devices ( i.e., increased secondary emissions of criteria pollutants from power plants). Energy impacts consist of the electricity and steam needed to operate control devices and other equipment that would be required under this proposed rule. The EPA expects minimal secondary air emissions impacts or energy impacts from this rulemaking.

C. What are the cost impacts?

Any new PCE dry-to-dry machines purchased in the last 20 years for this source category are closed-loop dry-to-dry machines with a refrigerated condenser and a carbon adsorber  3 and thus would not be impacted by these proposed amendments. The PCE dry cleaning operations that would be impacted by the proposed amendments would most likely already have incurred the costs of installing and operating these fourth-generation machines. Specifically, any older machines ( i.e., third generation or prior transfer machines or dry-to-dry machines without refrigerated condenser and a carbon adsorber) would now be beyond their projected useful life, and we expect that operators would have already replaced these machines with fourth- and fifth-generation machines, as part of continued PCE dry cleaning operations. However, we also recognize that there may be some facilities that are still operating older PCE machines. We expect that if there are any facilities operating older machines, they would be area sources. For reasons previously discussed in section II.C and II.D of this preamble, the number of older machines in use is unknown. The EPA is soliciting comment on the number of sources operating older machines and will reassess the cost and economic impacts if we receive additional data.

3  U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. Phone Conference Communication with Dry Cleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) and National Cleaners Association (NCA) representatives. March 2021.

Based on available information, the EPA concludes that most or all existing PCE dry cleaning facilities that are subject to the NESHAP would be able to comply with the proposed requirements without incurring additional capital or operational costs because they have purchased newer machines as part of normal business operations. There may be small number of facilities operating older machines, but we do not have information on these facilities to determine the full cost impacts to these entities. We have assessed the costs associated with reading and understanding the proposed amendments as a total one-time cost of $108 per facility, using a labor rate for 4 hours of review time, as described in section IV. D of this preamble. Based on an estimate of 10,000 to 15,000 facilities that are subject to the PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP, the total cost is estimated to be in a range of $1,080,000 to $1,620,000 nationwide.

D. What are the economic impacts?

Economic impact analyses focus on changes in market prices and output levels. If changes in market prices and output, such as clothes to be cleaned in the primary markets served by dry cleaners, are significant enough, impacts on other markets may also be examined. Both the magnitude of costs needed to comply with a proposed rule and the distribution of these costs among affected facilities can have a role in determining how the market would change in response to a proposed rule. To estimate the economic impacts of this proposal, the EPA reviewed the mean hourly wage of $12.29 per hour indicated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for laundry and dry cleaning workers in 2021. We then applied a benefits and overhead factor of 1.1 to calculate a total compensation rate of $26.86 per hour. Additionally, we estimated 4 hours for a dry cleaning worker to familiarize themselves with the proposed amendments to the rule, and calculated a cost of $108 per facility ($23.86/hr × 4 hr/facility = $107.44, or $108/facility). This is a conservative estimate. We anticipate that some facilities may not require 4 hours to review the proposed amendments to the rule. These costs are not expected to result in a significant impact to primary markets served by dry cleaners.

We do not anticipate any significant economic impacts from these proposed amendments to require all dry-to-dry machines to have both refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers as secondary controls. This is consistent with our assumptions made in the original rule development that the useful life of a machine is 15 years. Machines installed after 1993 for major sources and 2005 for area sources are to be equipped with refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers, in accordance with the NESHAP. Thus, given the useful life of a typical dry-cleaning machine, the EPA expects that most or all sources in the regulated source categories would have discontinued use of third generation or older machines by 2021.

E. What are the benefits?

Although the EPA does not anticipate reductions in HAP emissions as a result of the proposed amendments, the Agency believes that the action, if finalized as proposed, would result in improved clarity to the rule. Specifically, the proposed amendments would revise the standards such that it is clear that only fourth (or newer) generation machines can be used in PCE solvent dry cleaning operations. This requirement is implied in the useful life determination at the inception of the original NESHAP; however, this proposed amendment would make this assumption clear and would work to eliminate any older machines (third generation and prior) that could still be operating. This action would further protect public health and the environment and would ultimately result in less potential confusion or misinterpretation by the regulated community.

F. What analysis of environmental justice did we conduct?

Executive Order 12898 directs the EPA, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States. (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994.) Additionally, Executive Order 13985 was signed to advance racial equity and support underserved communities through Federal Government actions (86 FR 7009, January 20, 2021). The EPA defines environmental justice (EJ) as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. The EPA further defines the term fair treatment to mean that “no group of people should bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harms and risks, including those resulting from the negative environmental consequences of industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or programs and policies” ( https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice ). In recognizing that minority and low-income populations often bear an unequal burden of environmental harms and risks, the EPA continues to consider ways of protecting them from adverse public health and environmental effects of air pollution. To examine the potential for any EJ issues that might be associated with the source categories, we performed a demographic analysis, which is an assessment of individual demographic groups of the populations living within 5 kilometers (km) and within 50 km of the facilities. The EPA then compared the data from this analysis to the national average for the demographic indicators.

In the analysis, we evaluated the percentage of minority and low-income groups within the populations that live near identified PCE dry cleaning facilities. The PCE Dry Cleaning NESHAP applies to sources often operating as small facilities, and limited location data for these small subject facilities were available, adding considerable uncertainty to the analysis. As described in the technology review memorandum, available in the docket for this action, and section II.C of this preamble, we did conduct searches for available information. The demographic results do not account for emission or risk impacts from sources and may not be fully representative of the full distribution of facilities across all locations and populations. This analysis provides an indication of the potential for disparities in human health or environmental effects.

Our analysis includes the general population of dry cleaners across the country and does not differentiate which facilities are PCE major and area source dry cleaners. As stated above, our analysis indicates that sources are likely to operate compliant technologies to meet the proposed standard. Based upon the number of facilities in this analysis (9,080 facilities), we find that approximately 48 percent of the U.S. population lives within 5 km of a facility, and approximately 87 percent live within 50 km of a facility. We find that dry cleaner facilities are generally located in areas where within the 5 km distance the category of minority demographics are higher than the national average, but demographics generally match the national average within 50 km. We also note that demographics analyses for individual urban facilities often show that the percentages of various minority and disadvantaged populations tend to exceed the national averages due to the urban locations. The results of the demographic analysis for populations within 5 km of the facilities within the source category indicate that the percentage of the minority population (the total population minus the white population) is higher when compared to the national percentage of people who are minority (an average of 48 percent versus 40 percent). These comparisons also hold true for other demographic groups (African American, Other and Multiracial Groups, and Hispanics), whose populations near dry cleaning facilities are approximately an average of 3 percent greater the national average. The demographic group composed of people living in linguistic isolation was an average of approximately 1 percent greater than the national average. The percentages of people in all the remaining demographic groups were below the national average for their respective demographic. The methodology and the results of the demographic analysis are presented in a technical report, Technology Review— Analysis of Demographic Factors for Populations Living Near the Dry-cleaners for Major and Area Sources, available in this docket for this action (Docket ID EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155).

Table 1—Proximity Demographic Assessment Results
Notes:
• The population numbers and demographic percentages are based on the Census' 2015-2019 American Community Survey five-year averages and include Puerto Rico. Demographic percentages based on different averages may differ.
• Minority population is the total population minus the white population.
• To avoid double counting, the “Hispanic or Latino” category is treated as a distinct demographic category for these analyses. A person is identified as one of five racial/ethnic categories above: White, African American, Native American, Other and Multiracial, or Hispanic/Latino. A person who identifies as Hispanic or Latino is counted as Hispanic/Latino for this analysis, regardless of what race this person may have also identified as in the Census.
NationwideSource category
Population within 50 km of 9,080 facilities Population within 5 km of 9,080 facilities
Total Population328,016,242285,838,206156,313,800
White and Minority by Percent
White606052
Minority404048
Minority by Percent
African American121315
Native American0.70.50.4
Hispanic or Latino (includes white and nonwhite)191822
Other and Multiracial8811
Income by Percent
Below Poverty Level131314
Above Poverty Level878786
Education by Percent
Over 25 and without a High School Diploma121212
Over 25 and with a High School Diploma888888
Linguistically Isolated by Percent
Linguistically Isolated557

This action is not likely to change levels of emissions near facilities. Based on our technology review, we did not identify, and are not requiring, any new add-on control technologies, process equipment, work practices or procedures that were not already in place when the NESHAP was promulgated in 1993 or considered when the NESHAP was last reviewed in 2006; and we did not identify other developments in practices, processes, or control technologies that would result in additional emission reductions for purposes of these MACT and GACT standards, beyond the transition to greater use of fourth and fifth generation machines. Given the useful life of a dry cleaning machine, and the fact that industry should already be operating the newer machines with both refrigerated condensers and carbon adsorbers as secondary controls, we do not anticipate reductions in HAP emissions as a result of the proposed amendments.

V. Request for Comments

We solicit comments on this proposed action. In addition to general comments on this proposed action, we are also interested in additional data that may improve the analyses. We are specifically interested in receiving any information regarding the number of third generation and earlier model dry cleaning machines that potentially could still be operating, and on other developments in practices, processes, and control technologies that reduce HAP emissions beyond the widespread shift to fourth generation (or better) machines.

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Additional information about these statutes and Executive orders can be found at https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

This action is not a significant regulatory action and was, therefore, not submitted to OMB for review.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. The action does not contain any information collection activities.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. The small entities subject to the requirements of this action are industrial and commercial dry cleaning facilities that use PCE. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes applicable to 40 CFR part 63, subpart M, are 812310 (coin-operated laundries and dry cleaners), 812320 (dry cleaning and laundry services other than coin-operated services), and 812332 (industrial launderers). The small business size definitions for those industries are $8.0 million, $6.0 million, and $41.5 million respectively. The costs associated with reading and understanding the proposed amendments are a one-time cost of $108 per facility and are not significant. In addition, the useful life of a PCE dry-to-dry machine is assumed to be 15 years, and the industry has already purchased fourth or fifth generation dry-to-dry machines that are in compliance with these amendments as part of normal operational costs. We have therefore concluded that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. While this action creates an enforceable duty on the private sector, the cost does not exceed $100 million or more.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the National Government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The action affects private industry and does not impose economic costs on state or local governments.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This action has tribal implications. However, it will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on federally recognized tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. The EPA consulted with tribal officials under the EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian tribes early in the process of developing this regulation to permit them to have meaningful and timely input into its development. A summary of that consultation is provided in the docket for this action (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0155).

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the EPA does not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

The EPA believes that this action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, low-income populations and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

The documentation for this decision is contained in section IV.B of this preamble and the technical report, Risk and Technology Review Analysis of Demographic Factors for Populations Living Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Facility Source Category Operations.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 63

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Hazardous substances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Michael S. Regan,

Administrator.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA proposes to amend 40 CFR part 63 as set forth below:

PART 63—NATIONAL EMISSION STANDARDS FOR HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS FOR SOURCE CATEGORIES

1. The authority citation for part 63 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart M—National Perchloroethylene Air Emission Standards for Dry Cleaning Facilities

2. Section 63.322 is amended by:

a. Revising paragraph (a) introductory text;

b. Adding paragraph (a)(4); and

c. Revising paragraph (o)(2).

The revisions and addition read as follows:

§63.322 Standards.

(a) Before [date 180 days after date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register ], the owner or operator of each existing dry cleaning system and of each new transfer machine system and its ancillary equipment installed between December 9, 1991, and September 22, 1993, shall comply with either paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section and shall comply with paragraph (a)(3) of this section if applicable. On and after [date 180 days after date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register ], the owner or operator of any existing dry cleaning system shall comply with paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

* * * * *

(4) The owner or operator of each existing dry cleaning system shall route the air-perchloroethylene (PCE) gas-vapor stream contained within each dry cleaning machine through a refrigerated condenser and pass the air-PCE gas-vapor stream from inside the dry cleaning machine drum through a non-vented carbon adsorber or equivalent control device immediately before the door of the dry cleaning machine is opened. The carbon adsorber must be desorbed in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.

* * * * *

(o) * * *

(2) The owner or operator of each dry cleaning system at an area source shall route the air-PCE gas-vapor stream contained within each dry cleaning machine through a refrigerated condenser and pass the air-PCE gas-vapor stream from inside the dry cleaning machine drum through a non-vented carbon adsorber or equivalent control device immediately before the door of the dry cleaning machine is opened. The carbon adsorber must be desorbed in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.

* * * * *

3. Section 63.324 is amended by revising paragraphs (d)(5) and (6) to read as follows:

§63.324 Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

* * * * *

(d) * * *

(5) The date and monitoring results (temperature sensor or pressure gauge), as specified in §63.323, when a refrigerated condenser is used to comply with §63.322(a), (b), or (o); and

(6) The date and monitoring results, as specified in §63.323, when a carbon adsorber is used to comply with §63.322(a)(2) or (b)(3).

* * * * *

4. Section 63.325 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(7) to read as follows:

§63.325 Determination of equivalent emission control technology.

(a) * * *

(7) Information on the cross-media impacts (to water and solid waste) of the candidate emission control technology and demonstration that the cross-media impacts are less than or equal to the cross-media impacts of a refrigerated condenser and carbon adsorber.

* * * * *

[FR Doc. 2021-26469 Filed 12-23-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

2024-06-11T05:00:00Z

EPA Proposed Rule: Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (23-3.5e)

EPA is proposing significant new use rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs) and are also subject to a TSCA Order. A SNUR requires persons who intend to manufacture (defined by statute to include import) or process a particular chemical substance for an activity that is identified as a significant new use in the SNUR to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The required notification initiates EPA's evaluation of the conditions of use identified in the notification to EPA. In addition, the manufacture or processing for the significant new use may not commence until EPA has conducted a review of the required notification, made an appropriate determination regarding that notification, and taken such actions as required by that determination.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 11, 2024, published in the Federal Register June 11, 2024, page 49700.

View proposed rule.

See More

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2024-06-11T05:00:00Z

EPA Proposed Rule: Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances (22-4.5e)

EPA is proposing significant new use rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs) and are also subject to a TSCA Order. The SNURs require persons who intend to manufacture (defined by statute to include import) or process any of these chemical substances for an activity that is proposed as a significant new use by this rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The required notification initiates EPA's evaluation of the conditions of use for that chemical substance. In addition, the manufacture or processing for the significant new use may not commence until EPA has conducted a review of the required notification, made an appropriate determination regarding that notification, and taken such actions as required by that determination.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 11, 2024, published in the Federal Register June 11, 2024, page 49121.

View proposed rule.

Methylene chloride ban: Is your facility affected?
2024-06-06T05:00:00Z

Methylene chloride ban: Is your facility affected?

Methylene chloride, a volatile liquid chemical, poses severe health risks to individuals exposed to the substance. Despite the hazards, its use continues across consumer, commercial, and industrial applications. For example, it's used in automotive products, adhesives, and solvents to form other chemicals.

To address the health hazards posed, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a risk management rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that prohibits nearly all uses of methylene chloride.

Use this guide to help you determine whether the methylene chloride ban impacts your operations.

Risks of methylene chloride

EPA made a final determination in November 2022 that methylene chloride as a whole chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health under its conditions of use. The chemical is known to cause neurotoxicity from short-term exposure and cancer and liver harm due to long-term exposure. There are even documented cases of sudden death caused by short-term contact with the chemical substance.

When EPA determines a chemical poses an unreasonable risk, TSCA requires the agency to develop regulations to reduce or eliminate the risk. That’s where this final rule comes in (40 CFR Part 751 Subpart B), banning all consumer uses and most commercial and industrial uses of methylene chloride.

Requirements of methylene chloride ban

Manufacturers (including importers), processors, and distributors must phase out methylene chloride (including methylene chloride-containing products) for all consumer uses within one year and most commercial and industrial uses within two years.

Here’s an overview of the phaseout schedule:

Methylene chloride phaseouts
Prohibited:For:After:
Distribution to retailersAny useFebruary 3, 2025
Distribution by retailersAny useMay 5, 2025
Manufacturing (including importing)Any use (apart from certain exempt commercial and industrial uses)May 5, 2025
ProcessingAny use (apart from certain exempt commercial and industrial uses)August 1, 2025
Distribution in commerceAny use (apart from certain exempt commercial and industrial uses)January 28, 2026
Use for commercial or industrial purposesAny use (apart from certain exempt commercial and industrial uses)April 28, 2026
Downstream notifications

The regulations also require manufacturers, processors, and distributors that ship methylene chloride to notify the receiving companies of the prohibitions through Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and to maintain records that document:

  • Information about the companies that receive the shipments,
  • A copy of the required notification (listed at 751.111(d)) added to SDSs), and
  • The amount of methylene chloride shipped.

Remaining uses

The final rule allows very few time-limited exemptions for commercial and industrial uses of methylene chloride to:

  • Produce other chemicals,
  • Manufacture plastic and rubber (including polycarbonates),
  • Produce battery separators for electric vehicles,
  • Aid processing in a closed system,
  • Use as a laboratory chemical, and
  • Employ in solvent welding.

Facilities involved in the remaining uses of methylene chloride must comply with EPA’s new Workplace Chemical Protection Program. It requires facilities to:

  • Meet exposure limits,
  • Establish and maintain regulated areas,
  • Conduct exposure monitoring,
  • Implement controls to reduce exposure (including exposure plans),
  • Provide respiratory and dermal personal protective equipment to affected employees,
  • Train potentially exposed workers, and
  • Maintain records of:
    • Exposure control and monitoring data;
    • Objective data generated during the past five years (if used to forgo the initial exposure monitoring);
    • Notifying potentially exposed individuals of the exposure control plans;
    • Exemption-related documentation; and
    • Information related to refinishing wooden furniture, decorative pieces, and architectural fixtures, if applicable.

Facilities must keep these records for at least five years from the date they’re generated.

Does the rule apply to any amount of methylene chloride?

The final rule sets a de minimis exemption threshold of 0.1 percent by weight to account for impurities and the unintended presence of methylene chloride. In other words, products that contain less than 0.1 percent of methylene chloride aren’t subject to the final rule.

However, note that this provision doesn’t apply to 751.105, which bans the sale and distribution of methylene chloride-containing consumer paint and coating removal products.

Tips for phasing out methylene chloride

If your facility is involved in manufacturing, processing, or distributing methylene chloride (including methylene chloride-containing products), consider these tips to help you comply with the new regulations:

  • List your facility’s uses of methylene chloride to determine which processes will be impacted. Begin researching alternative products to replace methylene chloride in these processes.
  • Identify which phaseout timelines apply.
  • Audit your processes and procedures to determine ways to improve employee safety.
  • Establish a plan to implement any applicable phaseouts of methylene chloride and actions to better protect potentially exposed employees.

Key to remember: EPA will phase in its ban on methylene chloride for all consumer uses and most commercial and industrial uses over the next two years.

EPA launches Chemical Data Reporting resource portal
2024-05-28T05:00:00Z

EPA launches Chemical Data Reporting resource portal

Just in time for the 2024 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) submission period (beginning June 1), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched CDR GuideME. This online portal centralizes all CDR resources into one location.

The portal contains all CDR guidance documents and other training materials, including reporting instructions, fact sheets, and EPA responses to industry questions. It also enables users to search all CDR questions and answers for specific topics.

In addition to the new resource portal, EPA updated the Central Data Exchange system (through which the reports are submitted). The agency:

  • Incorporated 2024 CDR reporting codes and the years covered by the report,
  • Added an updated spreadsheet for bulk uploads of chemical information, and
  • Improved the functionality to copy substantiations of Confidential Business Information claims and to access and save copies of submitted records.

2024 report

The 2024 CDR submission period runs from June 1 to September 30, 2024, and covers activities during the calendar years 2020-2023.

Manufacturers (including importers) that meet certain production volume thresholds of chemicals on the Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical Substance Inventory must submit a report every four years. The report includes data on the manufacturing, processing, and use of the chemicals during the preceding four calendar years.

Key to remember: EPA’s new CDR GuideME portal centralizes all Chemical Data Reporting guidance documents and resources into one place to make the reporting process easier.

2024-05-24T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Consumer Confidence Reports Water Infrastructure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) Rule in accordance with America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018 (United States, 2018) and is requiring States, territories, and Tribes with primary enforcement responsibility to report compliance monitoring data (CMD) to the EPA. The revisions will improve the readability, clarity, and understandability of CCRs as well as the accuracy of the information presented, improve risk communication in CCRs, incorporate electronic delivery options, provide supplemental information regarding lead levels and control efforts, and require systems who serve 10,000 or more persons to provide CCRs to customers biannually (twice per year). The final rule requirements for States to submit to the EPA CMD for all National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs) will improve the EPA's ability to fulfill oversight responsibilities under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

DATES: This final rule is effective on June 24, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 24, 2024, page 45980.

View final rule.

§141.151 Purpose and applicability of this subpart.
(a), (c), and (f)RevisedView text
§141.152 Effective dates.
(a) through (c), (d)(1), and (d)(2) RevisedView text
(d)(3) Added View text
§141.153 Content of the reports.
(a) and (b)(2) RevisedView text
(c)(1)(iii) and (c)(5) Added View text
(d) RevisedView text
(e)(1) introductory text and (e)(3) introductory textRevisedView text
(f) introductory text, (f)(3), and (h) RevisedView text
§141.154 Required additional health information.
(a), (b), (c)(1) and (2), and (d)(2)RevisedView text
(e) and (f)RemovedView text
§141.155 Report delivery, reporting, and recordkeeping.
Section heading, (a) through (c), (e), (f), (g) introductory text, (g)(1)(i), and (g)(2)RevisedView text
(i) and (j)AddedView text
§141.156 Summary of report contents.
Entire sectionAddedView text
Appendix A to Subpart O to Part 141—Regulated Contaminants
entries for “Total Coliform Bacteria †” and “Total Coliform Bacteria ‡”RemovedView text
entry for “Total Coliform Bacteria”AddedView text
entry for “Fecal coliform and E. coli †”RemovedView text
entries for “ E. coli ‡”and “Arsenic (ppb)”RevisedView text
footnotes †, ‡, and 1RemovedView text
§142.14 Records kept by States.
(h) AddedView text
§142.15 Reports by States.
(b) introductory text and (b)(2)RevisedView text
(b)(3)AddedView text
§142.16 Special primacy requirements.
(f)(1) and (3)RevisedView text
(f)(5)AddedView text

Previous Text

§141.151 Purpose and applicability of this subpart.

(a) This subpart establishes the minimum requirements for the content of annual reports that community water systems must deliver to their customers. These reports must contain information on the quality of the water delivered by the systems and characterize the risks (if any) from exposure to contaminants detected in the drinking water in an accurate and understandable manner.

* * * * *

(c) For the purpose of this subpart, customers are defined as billing units or service connections to which water is delivered by a community water system.

* * * * *

(f) For purpose of §141.154 and 141.155 of this subpart, the term "primacy agency" refers to the State or tribal government entity that has jurisdiction over, and primary enforcement responsibility for, public water systems, even if that government does not have interim or final primary enforcement responsibility for this rule. Where the State or tribe does not have primary enforcement responsibility for public water systems, the term "primacy agency" refers to the appropriate EPA regional office.

§141.152 Effective dates.

(a) The regulations in this subpart shall take effect on September 18, 1998.

(b) Each existing community water system must deliver its first report by October 19, 1999, its second report by July 1, 2000, and subsequent reports by July 1 annually thereafter. The first report must contain data collected during, or prior to, calendar year 1998 as prescribed in §141.153(d)(3). Each report thereafter must contain data collected during, or prior to, the previous calendar year.

(c) A new community water system must deliver its first report by July 1 of the year after its first full calendar year in operation and annually thereafter.

(d) * * *

(1) No later than April 19, 1999, by April 1, 2000, and by April 1 annually thereafter or

(2) On a date mutually agreed upon by the seller and the purchaser, and specifically included in a contract between the parties.

* * * * *

§141.153 Content of the reports.

(a) Each community water system must provide to its customers an annual report that contains the information specified in this section and §141.154.

(b) * * *

(2) If a source water assessment has been completed, the report must notify consumers of the availability of this information and the means to obtain it. In addition, systems are encouraged to highlight in the report significant sources of contamination in the source water area if they have readily available information. Where a system has received a source water assessment from the primacy agency, the report must include a brief summary of the system's susceptibility to potential sources of contamination, using language provided by the primacy agency or written by the operator.

* * * * *

(d) Information on Detected Contaminants.

(1) This sub-section specifies the requirements for information to be included in each report for contaminants subject to mandatory monitoring (except Cryptosporidium). It applies to:

(i) Maximum Contaminant Level Goal or MCLG: The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

(ii) Maximum Contaminant Level or MCL: The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

(2) The data relating to these contaminants must be displayed in one table or in several adjacent tables. Any additional monitoring results which a community water system chooses to include in its report must be displayed separately.

(3) The data must be derived from data collected to comply with EPA and State monitoring and analytical requirements during calendar year 1998 for the first report and subsequent calendar years thereafter except that:

(i) Where a system is allowed to monitor for regulated contaminants less often than once a year, the table(s) must include the date and results of the most recent sampling and the report must include a brief statement indicating that the data presented in the report are from the most recent testing done in accordance with the regulations. No data older than 5 years need be included.

(ii) Results of monitoring in compliance with §141.142 and 141.143 need only be included for 5 years from the date of last sample or until any of the detected contaminants becomes regulated and subject to routine monitoring requirements, whichever comes first.

(4) For detected regulated contaminants (listed in appendix A to this subpart), the table(s) must contain:

(i) The MCL for that contaminant expressed as a number equal to or greater than 1.0 (as provided in appendix A to this subpart);

(ii) The MCLG for that contaminant expressed in the same units as the MCL;

(iii) If there is no MCL for a detected contaminant, the table must indicate that there is a treatment technique, or specify the action level, applicable to that contaminant, and the report must include the definitions for treatment technique and/or action level, as appropriate, specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section;

(iv) For contaminants subject to an MCL, except turbidity, total coliform, fecal coliform and E. coli, the highest contaminant level used to determine compliance with an NPDWR and the range of detected levels, as follows:

(A) When compliance with the MCL is determined annually or less frequently: The highest detected level at any sampling point and the range of detected levels expressed in the same units as the MCL.

(B) When compliance with the MCL is determined by calculating a running annual average of all samples taken at a monitoring location: the highest average of any of the monitoring locations and the range of all monitoring locations expressed in the same units as the MCL. For the MCLs for TTHM and HAA5 in §141.64(b)(2), systems must include the highest locational running annual average for TTHM and HAA5 and the range of individual sample results for all monitoring locations expressed in the same units as the MCL. If more than one location exceeds the TTHM or HAA5 MCL, the system must include the locational running annual averages for all locations that exceed the MCL.

(C) When compliance with the MCL is determined on a system-wide basis by calculating a running annual average of all samples at all monitoring locations: the average and range of detection expressed in the same units as the MCL. The system is required to include individual sample results for the IDSE conducted under subpart U of this part when determining the range of TTHM and HAA5 results to be reported in the annual consumer confidence report for the calendar year that the IDSE samples were taken.

Note to paragraph (d)(4)(iv): When rounding of results to determine compliance with the MCL is allowed by the regulations, rounding should be done prior to multiplying the results by the factor listed in appendix A of this subpart;

(v) For turbidity.

(A) When it is reported pursuant to §141.13: The highest average monthly value.

(B) When it is reported pursuant to the requirements of §141.71: the highest monthly value. The report should include an explanation of the reasons for measuring turbidity.

(C) When it is reported pursuant to §141.73 or §141.173 or §141.551: the highest single measurement and the lowest monthly percentage of samples meeting the turbidity limits specified in §141.73 or §141.173, or §141.551 for the filtration technology being used.

(vi) For lead and copper: the 90th percentile concentration of the most recent round(s) of sampling, the number of sampling sites exceeding the action level, and the range of tap sampling results;

(vii) For total coliform analytical results until March 31, 2016:

(A) The highest monthly number of positive samples for systems collecting fewer than 40 samples per month; or

(B) The highest monthly percentage of positive samples for systems collecting at least 40 samples per month;

(viii) For fecal coliform and E. coli until March 31, 2016: The total number of positive samples;

(ix) The likely source(s) of detected contaminants to the best of the operator's knowledge. Specific information regarding contaminants may be available in sanitary surveys and source water assessments, and should be used when available to the operator. If the operator lacks specific information on the likely source, the report must include one or more of the typical sources for that contaminant listed in appendix A to this subpart that is most applicable to the system;

(x) For E. coli analytical results under subpart Y: The total number of positive samples;

(xi) The report shall include a statement that a service line inventory (including inventories consisting only of a statement that there are no lead service lines) has been prepared and include instructions to access the service line inventory; and

(xii) The report shall notify consumers that complete lead tap sampling data are available for review and shall include information on how to access the data.

(5) If a community water system distributes water to its customers from multiple hydraulically independent distribution systems that are fed by different raw water sources, the table should contain a separate column for each service area and the report should identify each separate distribution system. Alternatively, systems could produce separate reports tailored to include data for each service area.

(6) The table(s) must clearly identify any data indicating violations of MCLs, MRDLs, or treatment techniques, and the report must contain a clear and readily understandable explanation of the violation including: the length of the violation, the potential adverse health effects, and actions taken by the system to address the violation. To describe the potential health effects, the system must use the relevant language of appendix A to this subpart.

(7) For detected unregulated contaminants for which monitoring is required (except Cryptosporidium), the table(s) must contain the average and range at which the contaminant was detected. The report may include a brief explanation of the reasons for monitoring for unregulated contaminants.

(e) * * *

(1) If the system has performed any monitoring for Cryptosporidium, including monitoring performed to satisfy the requirements of §141.143, which indicates that Cryptosporidium may be present in the source water or the finished water, the report must include:

* * * * *

(3) If the system has performed additional monitoring which indicates the presence of other contaminants in the finished water, EPA strongly encourages systems to report any results which may indicate a health concern. To determine if results may indicate a health concern, EPA recommends that systems find out if EPA has proposed an NPDWR or issued a health advisory for that contaminant by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791). EPA considers detects above a proposed MCL or health advisory level to indicate possible health concerns. For such contaminants, EPA recommends that the report include:

* * * * *

(f) Compliance with NPDWR. In addition to the requirements of §141.153(d)(6), the report must note any violation that occurred during the year covered by the report of a requirement listed below, and include a clear and readily understandable explanation of the violation, any potential adverse health effects, and the steps the system has taken to correct the violation.

* * * * *

(3) Lead and copper control requirements prescribed by subpart I of this part. For systems that fail to take one or more actions prescribed by §141.80(d), 141.81, 141.82, 141.83 or 141.84, the report must include the applicable language of appendix A to this subpart for lead, copper, or both.

* * * * *

(h) Additional information:

(1) The report must contain a brief explanation regarding contaminants which may reasonably be expected to be found in drinking water including bottled water. This explanation may include the language of paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (iii) or systems may use their own comparable language. The report also must include the language of paragraph (h)(1)(iv) of this section.

(i) The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

(ii) Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

(A) Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

(B) Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.

(C) Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.

(D) Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.

(E) Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

(iii) In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.

(iv) Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

(2) The report must include the telephone number of the owner, operator, or designee of the community water system as a source of additional information concerning the report.

(3) In communities with a large proportion of non-English speaking residents, as determined by the Primacy Agency, the report must contain information in the appropriate language(s) regarding the importance of the report or contain a telephone number or address where such residents may contact the system to obtain a translated copy of the report or assistance in the appropriate language.

(4) The report must include information (e.g., time and place of regularly scheduled board meetings) about opportunities for public participation in decisions that may affect the quality of the water.

(5) The systems may include such additional information as they deem necessary for public education consistent with, and not detracting from, the purpose of the report.

(6) Systems required to comply with subpart S.

(i) Any ground water system that receives notice from the State of a significant deficiency or notice from a laboratory of a fecal indicator-positive ground water source sample that is not invalidated by the State under §141.402(d) must inform its customers of any significant deficiency that is uncorrected at the time of the next report or of any fecal indicator-positive ground water source sample in the next report. The system must continue to inform the public annually until the State determines that particular significant deficiency is corrected or the fecal contamination in the ground water source is addressed under §141.403(a). Each report must include the following elements.

(A) The nature of the particular significant deficiency or the source of the fecal contamination (if the source is known) and the date the significant deficiency was identified by the State or the dates of the fecal indicator-positive ground water source samples;

(B) If the fecal contamination in the ground water source has been addressed under §141.403(a) and the date of such action;

(C) For each significant deficiency or fecal contamination in the ground water source that has not been addressed under §141.403(a), the State-approved plan and schedule for correction, including interim measures, progress to date, and any interim measures completed; and

(D) If the system receives notice of a fecal indicator-positive ground water source sample that is not invalidated by the State under §141.402(d), the potential health effects using the health effects language of Appendix A of subpart O.

(ii) If directed by the State, a system with significant deficiencies that have been corrected before the next report is issued must inform its customers of the significant deficiency, how the deficiency was corrected, and the date of correction under paragraph (h)(6)(i) of this section.

(7) Systems required to comply with subpart Y. (i) Any system required to comply with the Level 1 assessment requirement or a Level 2 assessment requirement that is not due to an E. coli MCL violation must include in the report the text found in paragraph (h)(7)(i)(A) and paragraphs (h)(7)(i)(B) and (C) of this section as appropriate, filling in the blanks accordingly and the text found in paragraphs (h)(7)(i)(D)(1) and (2) of this section if appropriate.

(A) Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, waterborne pathogens may be present or that a potential pathway exists through which contamination may enter the drinking water distribution system. We found coliforms indicating the need to look for potential problems in water treatment or distribution. When this occurs, we are required to conduct assessment(s) to identify problems and to correct any problems that were found during these assessments.

(B) During the past year we were required to conduct [INSERT NUMBER OF LEVEL 1ASSESSMENTS] Level 1 assessment(s). [INSERT NUMBER OF LEVEL 1 ASSESSMENTS] Level 1 assessment(s) were completed. In addition, we were required to take [INSERT NUMBER OF CORRECTIVE ACTIONS] corrective actions and we completed [INSERT NUMBER OF CORRECTIVE ACTIONS] of these actions.

(C) During the past year [INSERT NUMBER OF LEVEL 2 ASSESSMENTS] Level 2 assessments were required to be completed for our water system. [INSERT NUMBER OF LEVEL 2 ASSESSMENTS] Level 2 assessments were completed. In addition, we were required to take [INSERT NUMBER OF CORRECTIVE ACTIONS] corrective actions and we completed [INSERT NUMBER OF CORRECTIVE ACTIONS] of these actions.

(D) Any system that has failed to complete all the required assessments or correct all identified sanitary defects, is in violation of the treatment technique requirement and must also include one or both of the following statements, as appropriate:

(1) During the past year we failed to conduct all of the required assessment(s).

(2) During the past year we failed to correct all identified defects that were found during the assessment.

(ii) Any system required to conduct a Level 2 assessment due to anE. coliMCL violation must include in the report the text found in paragraphs (h)(7)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section, filling in the blanks accordingly and the text found in paragraphs (h)(7)(ii)(C)(1) and (2) of this section, if appropriate.

(A) E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Human pathogens in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems. We found E. coli bacteria, indicating the need to look for potential problems in water treatment or distribution. When this occurs, we are required to conduct assessment(s) to identify problems and to correct any problems that were found during these assessments.

(B) We were required to complete a Level 2 assessment because we found E. coli in our water system. In addition, we were required to take [INSERT NUMBER OF CORRECTIVE ACTIONS] corrective actions and we completed [INSERT NUMBER OF CORRECTIVE ACTIONS] of these actions.

(C) Any system that has failed to complete the required assessment or correct all identified sanitary defects, is in violation of the treatment technique requirement and must also include one or both of the following statements, as appropriate:

(1) We failed to conduct the required assessment.

(2) We failed to correct all sanitary defects that were identified during the assessment that we conducted.

(iii) If a system detects E. coli and has violated the E. coli MCL, in addition to completing the table as required in paragraph (d)(4) of this section, the system must include one or more of the following statements to describe any noncompliance, as applicable:

(A) We had an E. coli-positive repeat sample following a total coliform-positive routine sample.

(B) We had a total coliform-positive repeat sample following an E. coli-positive routine sample.

(C) We failed to take all required repeat samples following an E. coli-positive routine sample.

(D) We failed to test for E. coli when any repeat sample tests positive for total coliform.

(iv) If a system detects E. coli and has not violated the E. coli MCL, in addition to completing the table as required in paragraph (d)(4) of this section, the system may include a statement that explains that although they have detected E. coli, they are not in violation of the E. coli MCL.

§141.154 Required additional health information.

(a) All reports must prominently display the following language: Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

(b) Ending in the report due by July 1, 2001, a system which detects arsenic at levels above 0.025 mg/L, but below the 0.05 mg/L, and beginning in the report due by July 1, 2002, a system that detects arsenic above 0.005 mg/L and up to and including 0.010 mg/L:

(1) Must include in its report a short informational statement about arsenic, using language such as: While your drinking water meets EPA's standard for arsenic, it does contain low levels of arsenic. EPA's standard balances the current understanding of arsenic's possible health effects against the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water. EPA continues to research the health effects of low levels of arsenic, which is a mineral known to cause cancer in humans at high concentrations and is linked to other health effects such as skin damage and circulatory problems.

(2) May write its own educational statement, but only in consultation with the Primacy Agency.

(c) * * *

(1) Must include a short informational statement about the impacts of nitrate on children using language such as: Nitrate in drinking water at levels above 10 ppm is a health risk for infants of less than six months of age. High nitrate levels in drinking water can cause blue baby syndrome. Nitrate levels may rise quickly for short periods of time because of rainfall or agricultural activity. If you are caring for an infant you should ask advice from your health care provider.

(2) May write its own educational statement, but only in consultation with the Primacy Agency.

(d) * * *

(2) A system may write its own educational statement, but only in consultation with the State.

* * * *

§141.155 Report delivery and recordkeeping.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, each community water system must mail or otherwise directly deliver one copy of the report to each customer.

(b) The system must make a good faith effort to reach consumers who do not get water bills, using means recommended by the primacy agency. EPA expects that an adequate good faith effort will be tailored to the consumers who are served by the system but are not bill-paying customers, such as renters or workers. A good faith effort to reach consumers would include a mix of methods appropriate to the particular system such as: Posting the reports on the Internet; mailing to postal patrons in metropolitan areas; advertising the availability of the report in the news media; publication in a local newspaper; posting in public places such as cafeterias or lunch rooms of public buildings; delivery of multiple copies for distribution by single-biller customers such as apartment buildings or large private employers; delivery to community organizations.

(c) No later than the date the system is required to distribute the report to its customers, each community water system must mail a copy of the report to the primacy agency, followed within 3 months by a certification that the report has been distributed to customers, and that the information is correct and consistent with the compliance monitoring data previously submitted to the primacy agency.

* * * * *

(e) Each community water system must make its reports available to the public upon request.

(f) Each community water system serving 100,000 or more persons must post its current year's report to a publicly-accessible site on the Internet.

(g) The Governor of a State or his designee, or the Tribal Leader where the tribe has met the eligibility requirements contained in §142.72 for the purposes of waiving the mailing requirement, can waive the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section for community water systems serving fewer than 10,000 persons. In consultation with the tribal government, the Regional Administrator may waive the requirement of §141.155(a) in areas in Indian country where no tribe has been deemed eligible.

(1) * * *

(i) Publish the reports in one or more local newspapers serving the area in which the system is located;

* * * * *

(2) Systems serving 500 or fewer persons may forego the requirements of paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section if they provide notice at least once per year to their customers by mail, door- to-door delivery or by posting in an appropriate location that the report is available upon request.

* * * * *

Appendix A to Subpart O to Part 141—Regulated Contaminants

Contaminant (units) Traditional MCL in mg/LTo convert for CCR, multiply byMCL in CCR unitsMCLGMajor sources in drinking waterHealth effects language
* * * * ** * * * ** * * * ** * * * ** * * * ** * * * ** * * * *
E. coliRoutine and repeat samples are total coliform- positive and either is E. coli-positive or system fails to take repeat samples following E. coli-positive routine sample or system fails to analyze total coliformpositive repeat sample for E. coli.Routine and repeat samples are total coliform- positive and either is E. coli-positive or system fails to take repeat samples following E. coli-positive routine sample or system fails to analyze total coliformpositive repeat sample for E. coli.0Human and animal fecal waste.E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Human pathogens in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely- compromised immune systems.
* * * * ** * * * ** * * * ** * * * ** * * * ** * * * ** * * * *
Arsenic (ppb)10.0101000110.10Erosion of natural deposits; Runoff from orchards; Runoff from glass and electronics production wastesSome people who drink water containing arsenic in excess of the MCL over many years could experience skin damage or problems with their circulatory system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

§142.15 Reports by States.

* * * * *

(b) Each State which has primary enforcement responsibility shall submit annual reports to the Administrator on a schedule and in a format prescribed by the Administrator, consisting of the following information:

* * * * *

(2) A summary of the status of each variance and exemption currently in effect.

* * * * *

§142.16 Special primacy requirements.

* * * * *

(f) * * *

(1) Each State that has primary enforcement responsibility must adopt the requirements of 40 CFR part 141, subpart O no later than August 21, 2000. States must submit revised programs to EPA for approval using the procedures in §142.12(b) through (d).

* * * * *

(3) Each State that has primary enforcement responsibility must maintain a copy of the reports for a period of one year and the certifications obtained pursuant to 40 CFR 141.155(c) for a period of 5 years.

* * * * *

2024-05-24T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: New Hampshire Asbestos Management and Control

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is granting the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) the authority to implement and enforce the state's amended Asbestos Disposal Site Rule in place of the National Emission Standard for Asbestos provisions for inactive waste disposal sites. NH DES's amended rule applies to all inactive waste disposal sites that ceased operation on or before July 9, 1981. This approval makes the NH DES amended Asbestos Disposal Site Rule federally enforceable. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES: This rule is effective on June 24, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 24, 2024, page 45770.

§61.04 Address.
(c)(1)(i)Revised View text
§61.18 Incorporations by reference.
(e)(1)Revised View text
§63.14 Incorporations by reference.
(n)(6)(i)Revised View text
§63.99 Delegated Federal authorities.
(a)(30)(iii)Revised View text

Previous Text

§61.04 Address.

* * * * *

(c) * * * (1) * * *

(i) Inactive waste disposal sites not operated after July 9, 1981 within the state of New Hampshire must comply with the New Hampshire Regulations at Env-Sw 2100: Management and Control of Asbestos Disposal Sites Not Operated after July 9, 1981, effective February 16, 2010 (incorporated by reference, see §61.18).

* * * * *

§61.18 Incorporations by reference.

* * * * *

(e) * * * *

(1)(i) New Hampshire Regulations at Env-Sw 2100, Management and Control of Asbestos Disposal Sites Not Operated after July 9, 1981, effective February 16, 2010 (including a letter from Thomas S. Burack, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Services, State of New Hampshire, to Carol J. Holahan, Director, Office of Legislative Services, dated February 12, 2010, certifying that the enclosed rule, Env-Sw 2100, is the official version of this rule). Incorporation By Reference approved for §61.04(c).

* * * * *

§63.14 Incorporations by reference.

* * * * *

(n) * * *

(6)(i) New Hampshire Regulations at Env-Sw 2100, Management and Control of Asbestos Disposal Sites Not Operated after July 9, 1981, effective February 16, 2010 (including a letter from Thomas S. Burack, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Services, State of New Hampshire, to Carol J. Holahan, Director, Office of Legislative Services, dated February 12, 2010, certifying that the enclosed rule, Env-Sw 2100, is the official version of this rule), IBR approved for §63.99(a).

* * * * *

§63.99 Delegated Federal authorities.

* * * * *

(a) * * *

(30) * * *

(iii) Affected inactive waste disposal sites not operated after July 9, 1981 within New Hampshire must comply with New Hampshire Regulations Chapter Env-Sw 2100: Management and Control of Asbestos Disposal Sites Not Operated after July 9, 1981, effective February 16, 2010 (incorporated by reference, see §63.14) as described in paragraph (a)(30)(iii)(A) of this section:

(A) The material incorporated by reference from Chapter Env-Sw 2100, Management and Control of Asbestos Disposal Sites Not Operated after July 9, 1981, pertains to inactive waste disposal sites not operated after July 9, 1981 in the State of New Hampshire's jurisdiction, and has been approved under the procedures in §63.93 to be implemented and enforced in place of the Federal NESHAPs for Inactive Waste Disposal Sites (40 CFR 61.151).

(B) [Reserved]

* * * * *

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Most Recent Highlights In Human Resources

SPCC rule: Is your aboveground storage tank covered?
2024-05-23T05:00:00Z

SPCC rule: Is your aboveground storage tank covered?

It may not be worth crying over spilled milk, but spilled oil is a different story, especially if it reaches national waters. The Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule requires certain facilities with aboveground storage tanks that contain oil to prepare and implement spill prevention and control measures.

A facility with an aboveground storage tank (AST) that contains any oil in any form (such as petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, vegetable oils, and synthetic oils) may be subject to the SPCC regulations. Covered facilities must take certain preventive actions and develop and apply an SPCC Plan.

Is your AST covered by the SPCC rule? Let’s find out.

First, keep this in mind.

The regulations may apply to your ASTs, even if you don’t see the specific term. The SPCC regulations at 40 CFR Part 112 don’t always use “ASTs.” Under the rule, ASTs include:

  • Bulk storage containers,
  • Bunkered tanks, and
  • Partially buried tanks.

To ensure you don’t miss relevant regulations, evaluate the rule’s definitions for each type of AST to determine whether they apply.

What facilities does the SPCC rule cover?

The SPCC rule covers facilities that:

  • Are non-transportation-related (i.e., facilities that store, process, refine, use, or consume oil);
  • Are engaged in drilling, producing, gathering, storing, processing, refining, transferring, distributing, using, or consuming oil;
  • Could be reasonably expected to discharge oil in quantities that may be harmful into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines; and
  • Have a total aggregate capacity of either aboveground oil storage greater than 1,320 gallons or completely buried storage tanks greater than 42,000 gallons in containers of 55 gallons or more.

If your facility meets the criteria and has a combined capacity of 1,320 gallons or more of oil in ASTs with capacities of 55 gallons or more, the SPCC rule applies.

Tips for determining applicability

  • “Navigable waters” refer to waters of the United States as defined at 120.2.
  • Oil discharges that may be considered harmful are defined at 110.3.
  • Each facility must determine the potential for a discharge since the SPCC rule doesn’t define “reasonably be expected."
  • Per 40 CFR 112.1(d)(1)(i), the determination of whether your facility could reasonably be expected to discharge potentially harmful amounts of oil into navigable waters must be based solely on geographical and location aspects of the facility. You may not account for man-made features (like equipment or structures) that could prevent or contain a discharge.
  • When calculating the total number of gallons of oil in your ASTs, don’t count aboveground containers with less than 55 gallons of storage capacity.

Is your facility considered a qualified facility?

Some facilities are eligible for streamlined requirements under the SPCC rule. These “qualified facilities” can prepare and self-certify their SPCC Plans instead of having them reviewed and certified by a professional engineer.

To qualify, your facility must:

  • Have a total aboveground oil storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or less; and
  • Over the previous three years, have no:
    • One discharge of oil greater than 1,000 gallons into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines, or
    • Two discharges of 42 gallons or more of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines within any 12-month period.

Eligible facilities must determine the type of qualified facility that applies.

  • If your facility has no aboveground oil containers greater than 5,000 gallons, it’s a Tier I Qualified Facility. You may complete and self-certify the SPCC Plan template (Appendix G to Part 112).
  • If your facility has at least one aboveground oil container greater than 5,000 gallons, it’s a Tier II Qualified Facility. You may complete and self-certify the SPCC Plan per the requirements at 112.7 and either Subpart B or Subpart C of Part 112.

Key to remember: If your facility has an aboveground storage tank that holds any kind of oil, it may be subject to the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule.

2024-05-17T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Additions to Toxics Release Inventory

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating the list of chemicals subject to toxic chemical release reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA). Specifically, this action updates the regulations to identify seven per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that must be reported pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020 NDAA) enacted on December 20, 2019. As this action is being taken to conform the regulations to a Congressional legislative mandate, notice and comment rulemaking is unnecessary.

DATES: This final rule is effective June 17, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 17, 2024, page 43331.

View final rule.

§372.65 Chemicals and chemical categories to which this part applies.
(d) Table 4: Entries for “Ammonium perfluorohexanoate”; “Betaines, dimethyl(γ-ω-perfluoro-γ-hydro-C8-18-alkyl)”; “Lithium bis[(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl] azanide”; “Perfluorohexanoic acid”; “Perfluoropropanoic acid”; “Sodium perfluorohexanoate”; and “1,1,1-Trifluoro-N-[(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl] methanesulfonamide”; and note to the end of the table Added View text
(e) Table 5: Entries for “307-24-4”; “422-64-0”; “2923-26-4”; “21615-47-4”; “82113-65-3”; “90076-65-6”; and “2816091-53-7”; and Revised View text

Previous Text

§372.65 Chemicals and chemical categories to which this part applies.

* * * *

(d)

* * * *

Table 4 to Paragraph (d)

* * * *

CAS No.

(e)

* * * *

Table 4 to Paragraph (d)

* * * *

CAS No.

2024-05-16T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: Missouri: Final Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Program Revisions

Pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA or Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the State of Missouri's Underground Storage Tank (UST) program submitted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). This action also codifies EPA's approval of Missouri's State program and incorporates by reference those provisions of the State regulations that we have determined meet the requirements for approval. The provisions will be subject to EPA's inspection and enforcement authorities under RCRA and other applicable statutory and regulatory provisions.

DATES: This rule is effective July 16, 2024, unless EPA receives adverse comment by June 17, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 17, 2024, page 43322.

View final rule.

§282.75 Missouri State-Administered Program.
Entire sectionAddedView text
Appendix A to Part 282—State Requirements Incorporated by Reference in Part 282 of the Code of Federal Regulations
Entry for “Missouri”AddedView text
2024-05-16T05:00:00Z

EPA Final Rule: New Source Performance Standards for the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants

This action finalizes amendments to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that apply to the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry (SOCMI) and amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) that apply to the SOCMI (more commonly referred to as the Hazardous Organic NESHAP or HON) and Group I and II Polymers and Resins (P&R I and P&R II, respectively) Industries. The EPA is finalizing decisions resulting from the Agency’s technology review of the HON and the P&R I and P&R II NESHAP, and its review of the NSPS that apply to the SOCMI. The EPA is also finalizing amendments to the NSPS for equipment leaks of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in SOCMI based on its reconsideration of certain issues raised in an administrative petition for reconsideration. Furthermore, the EPA is finalizing emission standards for ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions and chloroprene emissions after considering the results of a risk assessment for the HON and for Neoprene Production processes subject to the P&R I NESHAP, and is finalizing a fenceline monitoring work practice standard for certain hazardous air pollutants (HAP). Lastly, the EPA is finalizing the removal of exemptions from standards for periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM), adding work practice standards for such periods where appropriate, finalizing standards for previously unregulated HAP, and adding provisions for electronic reporting of performance test reports and periodic reports.

DATES: This final rule is effective on July 15, 2024, published in the Federal Register May 16, 2024, page 42932.

View final rule.

Protecting yourself all season — All masks are not created equal!
2024-05-16T05:00:00Z

Protecting yourself all season — All masks are not created equal!

As the common cold, flu, and even lingering cases of COVID rear their heads throughout the year, many may reach for a mask as a precaution. But are your masks going to offer the protection you need? Employers must understand the differences between the various masks workers depend on for their safety.

Although most mask mandates have been lifted, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still recommends wearing quality masks over the nose and mouth in high traffic or congested areas, such as airplanes, at concerts, or in large groups. With many mask options floating around, it’s important to understand the differences between N95, KN95, cloth, and surgical masks.

Which mask is best?

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), masks are intended to block respiratory droplets and aerosols that may contain viral particles. Overall, masks can be effective and are recommended during flu and cold season, but which mask is best is going to depend upon the circumstances.

Masks differ in the maximum internal leak proportion limit (the highest level of leak protection offered), so here’s the low-down:

  • N95— deemed more effective than surgical masks, N95 masks are the most common type of particulate filtering facepiece respirator. The “95” represents the 95% of airborne particles that are filtered out, which means that don’t entirely block the transmission of some viruses. These masks require fit testing to ensure proper protection.
  • KN95 — “KN” is a designation given by China as an indicator of effectiveness; though the designation is not as stringent as with N95 masks and therefore don’t qualify as N95s. These can be quickly identified by the ear loops versus the dual straps required on N95s.
  • Surgical — meant to protect from droplets and sprays, surgical masks filter large particles from the air when the wearer inhales. However, these disposable masks tend to be loose-fitting which could reduce their efficiency to lower than that of N95 masks.
  • Cloth— usually homemade, these masks offer limited protection from infection, especially persistent ones like COVID-19. Cloth masks are machine-washable and reusable, but they do fit more loosely especially near the nose, cheeks, and jawline, which reduces their effectiveness. Homemade masks create inconsistent and unknown protection levels, so are not recommended for sufficient defense against viruses or other infectious particles.
  • Other protections — scarfs, gators, and other protections have been used as an attempt to protect from contagious infections. Intended to trap respiratory droplets, these “masks” must be used in layers to have the same effectiveness as a mask, so are not the best option.

Overcoming the negatives of wearing a mask

The theory is that wearing some mask is better than wearing no mask at all. However, the use of some masks, such as N-95s can result in some not-so-pleasant physical responses such as anxiety, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Additionally, wearing the wrong mask or incorrectly wearing a mask can create a false sense of security, placing the wearer at even greater risk. So, how can workers overcome the negatives of wearing a mask?

When wearing masks, workers can ease the “burden” by:

  • Selecting the most protective, yet comfortable mask for the expected exposure type.
  • Ensuring the mask is fit properly (around the face with no gaps around the edges) to help with air flow.
  • Using masks with bendable nose strips for efficacy and comfort.
  • Securing both straps around the ears to ensure optimal protection and prevent constant slippage.
  • Acclimating to mask use by wearing one for short periods initially and building up to longer durations.
  • Remaining aware of temperature extremes and humidity when required to wear masks.
  • Keeping your respiratory system fit and healthy so masks don’t seem like a barrier to normal breathing.

Keys to Remember: While surgical and cloth masks offer some protection from viruses, N95s and KN95s masks offer better protection in most cases. Employers must ensure workers are choosing masks that fit and filter properly to ensure safe use and appropriate level of protection.

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