Regulatory Alert - December 2018


Regulatory Alert - December 2018

Aegis extends this regulatory update:

Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Proposed Rule Update

Updates to the EPA’s Refrigerant Rule (40 CFR Part 82) were finalized on November 18, 2016.  The EPA is now proposing to revise the rule update to exclude substitute refrigerants (such as R410A, R-134A, and R-407C) from maintenance and leak repair standards that apply to equipment containing 50 pounds or more of refrigerant.  The EPA is also accepting comment on whether requirements under Subpart F should be rescinded in full for substitute refrigerants.  In addition, a time extension is proposed to extend the 1/1/2019 compliance date to allow time to finalize a rule update.

EPA accepted comments on the proposed rule through November 15th.  Please see the link below for the proposed rule and additional details:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/10/01/2018-21084/protection-of-stratospheric-ozone-revisions-to-the-refrigerant-management-programs-extension-to

*For more information, please contact Chris Lampel at clampel@aegisenv.com.

 

Emission Guidelines for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

EPA proposed to amend the 2016 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills ("MSW Landfills EG"). The requirements for state and federal plans implementing the MSW Landfills EG were adopted from 1975 regulations, referred to as the "old implementing regulations," which are cross-referenced in the MSW Landfill EG. In a separate regulatory proposal published in the Federal Register in August 2018, the EPA proposed changes to modernize the old implementing regulations governing emission guidelines under a new subpart. This action proposed to update the cross-references to the old implementing regulations in the MSW Landfills EG to harmonize with the proposed new timing and completeness requirements for state and federal plans. Comments must be received on or before December 14, 2018. POC is Andrew Sheppard, Sector Policies and Programs Division (E143-03), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; tel: 919-541-4161; fax: 919-541-0516; and email: sheppard.andrew@epa.gov (Federal Register; 30 October 2018 [Proposed Rules], pages 54527-54532).

*For more information, please contact Chris Lampel at clampel@aegisenv.com.

 

EPA Shifts Focus from Enforcement to Compliance

EPA is preparing to rework the top priorities for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), focusing the program on compliance rather than enforcement OECA is boosting the roles of states and other EPA program offices in determining new initiatives.

 

Water Pollution Moving through Groundwater Not a Point Source

In two court cases in September, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the Clean Water Act (CWA) does not apply to coal ash pollution that first enters groundwater before finding its way to federally regulated bodies of water. According to the panel of judges, the CWA does not cover pollution that moves through groundwater, which is historically subject to state-level regulation. The court rejected arguments that either the coal ash ponds or the groundwater itself qualifies as a point source under the CWA. The act defines a point source as a "discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance."

*For more information, please contact David Sayre at dsayre@aegisenv.com.

 

 

Water of the U.S. Rule Revived in 26 States

A federal judge in South Carolina issued a nationwide injunction on the Trump administration's delay of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule. The decision in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina means the Clean Water Rule is now the law in 26 states where district court judges have not stayed the regulation. The regulation redefined which wetlands and small waterways are covered by the Clean Water Act (CWA), but was delayed by the Trump administration rule in February 2018. In the Southern Region, the WOTUS rule is in effect in Mississippi and Tennessee.

*For more information, please contact David Sayre at dsayre@aegisenv.com.

 

Coal Combustions Residuals

A federal appeals court vacated portions of the Obama-era coal ash disposal rule for being too lenient and ordered the administration to craft stricter disposal mandates for certain sites. In an August 21, 2018 opinion, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed the 2014 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) rule did not go far enough to regulate sites that lack a composite liner to prevent groundwater leaks or address potential pollution from closed “legacy sites.”

 

Natural Handbook of Conservation Practices

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) intends to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices (83 FR 45090). The standards include Combustion System Improvement (Code 372); Dust Control on Unpaved Roads and Surfaces (Code 373); Integrated Pest Management (Code 595); Nutrient Management (Code 590); Pesticide Mitigation (Code 594); Subsurface Drain (Code 606); Waste Facility Closure (Code 360); and Wildlife Habitat Planting (Code 420). NRCS state conservationists who choose to adopt these practices in their states will incorporate them into Section IV of their respective electronic field office technical guide. These practices may be used in conservation systems that treat highly erodible land or on land determined to be a wetland.

 

Annual Air Quality Report

EPA announced it released its annual report on air quality, tracking the nation’s progress in improving air quality since the passage of the CAA. The report, Our Nation’s Air: Status and Trends Through 2017, indicated considerable improvements in air quality over more than 45 years. The report highlighted, between 1970 and 2017, the combined emissions of six key pollutants dropped by 73 percent.

 

Air Plan and Operating Permit Program Approval

EPA is proposing to approve portions of SIP revisions and the Title V Operating Permit Program revisions submitted 19 MAY 17 by ADEM; submitted Nov. 29, 2017 by the Georgia EPD; and submitted Sep. 5, 2017 by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (83 FR 39638). The revisions address the public notice rule provisions for the New Source Review and Title V Operating Permit programs of the CAA that remove the mandatory requirement to provide public notice of a draft air permit in a newspaper and allow electronic notice (“e-notice”) as an alternate noticing option. EPA is proposing to approve these revisions pursuant to the CAA and implementing federal regulations. Comments were due September 10, 2018.

*For more information, please contact Ginger Ellis at gellis@aegisenv.com.

 

Release of Draft Integrated Review Plan for the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards

The EPA has released for public review the draft Integrated Review Plan for the Ozone NAAQS (draft IRP). This document contained the draft plans and the anticipated schedule for the current review of the air quality criteria and NAAQS for photochemical oxidants including ozone (O3). The primary and secondary O3 NAAQS are set to protect the public health and the public welfare from O3 in ambient air. (Federal Register; 2 November 2018 [Notice],Pages 55163-55164).

 

Alabama Air Plan Approval and Air Quality Designation

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) submitted a request March 22, 2018 for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redesignate the Etowah County, Alabama, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) unclassifiable area to attainment for the 2006 primary and secondary 24-hour PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). EPA has approved ADEM's request and redesignated the area to unclassifiable/attainment for the 2006 primary and secondary 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. (83 Federal Register 42223).

Florida – Air Plan Approval and Air Quality Designation

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) submitted a request for EPA to redesignate the Hillsborough County lead nonattainment area to attainment for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and to approve an accompanying State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision containing a maintenance plan for the area. EPA is taking final action to determine that the Hillsborough area is attaining the 2008 Lead NAAQS; to approve the SIP revision containing FDEP’s maintenance plan for maintaining attainment of the 2008 lead standard and to incorporate the maintenance plan into the SIP; and to redesignate the Hillsborough area to attainment for the 2008 Lead NAAQS (83 Federal Register 45836).

Georgia - Water Quality Standards

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GEPD) has adopted amendments to the rules for water quality control regarding water use classifications and water quality standards, as part of the triennial review. GEPD published the final rule August 8, 2018.

*For more information, please contact Ginger Ellis at gellis@aegisenv.com.

Kentucky Air Plan Approval and Air Quality Designation

KDEP submitted a request May 4, 2018 for EPA to redesignate the portion of Kentucky that is within the bi-state (Kentucky and Indiana) Louisville PM2.5 unclassifiable area to unclassifiable/attainment for the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The bi-state Louisville area consists of Jefferson County and a portion of Bullitt County in Kentucky, as well as Clark and Floyd counties in Indiana. EPA approved KDEP's request and redesignated the area to unclassifiable/attainment for the 2012 primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. (83 Federal Register 42034).

North Carolina – Industrial Stormwater General Permits

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) has revised and re-issued several NPDES industrial stormwater general permits. Further information is found by right clicking the link below:

https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/energy-mineral-land-resources/npdes-stormwater-gps

*For more information, please contact Ginger Ellis at gellis@aegisenv.com.

North Carolina Air Standards Amendment

NCDEQ has readopted with substantive changes the rules cited as 15A NCAC 02D .1002 and .1210, and readopted without substantive changes the rules cited as 15A NCAC 02D .1001, .1003, .1005, .1006, and .1008. The rule 15A NCAC 02D .1002 is proposed for amendment and readoption with substantive change in response to Session Law 2017-10, Section 3.5(b), which changes vehicle coverage as follows: (1) a vehicle with a model year within 20 years of the current year and older than the three most recent model years; or (2) a vehicle with a model year within 20 years of the current year and has 70,000 miles or more on its odometer. NCDEQ is proposing to revise 15A NCAC 02D .1002 to comply with Session Law 2017-10. The rule 15A NCAC 02D .1210 has been updated to reflect EPA’s revised emissions guidelines including (1) revised emissions limits, operational standards, and monitoring recordkeeping and reporting requirements; (2) the new definition of solid waste; and (3) the applicability of the rule to additional combustion sources burning solid waste. NCDEQ published the approved rules August 1, 2018. The rule amendments are effective July 1, 2018.

*For more information, please contact Ginger Ellis at gellis@aegisenv.com.

North Carolina - Toxic Air Pollutants and Emissions from Incinerators

NCDEQ adopted new rules regarding air quality, toxic air pollutants, and emissions from incinerators. NCDEQ published the approved rule August 1, 2018.


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