Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Iowa Proposes Rules To Create New General Wastewater Permits

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has proposed two general discharge permits to cover two types of common and generally low risk discharges. DNR plans to issue two new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits known as General Permit #8 (GP8) and General Permit #9 (GP9). GP8 allows for discharges of hydrostatic test water (water used to test the integrity of a pipe or tank), underground storage tank ballast water (water used to weight a tank to facilitate underground installation), and water associated with installation, repair, and replacement of potable water lines. GP9 allows for discharges from dewatering associated with construction and small residential geothermal heating and cooling systems. IDNR is proposing to include eligibility criteria and Best Management Practices. These will ensure that discharges will comply with water quality standards. Most permittees will be automatically authorized to discharge. Only a few higher-risk dischargers will need to submit a Notice of Intent. There is no fee for either permit. DNR is seeking public comment on proposed rules that will create two new general permits. DNR will hold three public hearings across the state in March:
  • Wednesday, Mar. 7, 4 p.m. at the Coralville, IA Public Library
  • Thursday, Mar. 8, 4 p.m. at the Harlan, IA Public Library
  • Wednesday, Mar. 14, 4 p.m. at the Urbandale, IA Public Library
Caltha LLP | Your Air Permit, Wastewater Permit, 
Storm Water Permit Partner

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Groundwater Health Limits For Trimethylbenzene

The Health Risk Assessment Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health has started a full review of three trimethylbenzene (TMB) isomers (1,2,3-trimethylbenzene; 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene; and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene). TMB isomers are produced during petroleum refining and production of a component of gasoline. TMB isomers are also used in the production of solvents and are ingredients in paints, dyes, cleaning agents, and automotive fluids.

 The review will consider if the existing Health Risk Values (HRL) for the three trimethylbenzene compounds in groundwater are adequately protective. This review is particularly significant because trimethylbenzene compounds are commonly detected in soil and groundwater at petroleum release sites, such as leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites.

 MDH previously developed water guidance for 1,2,4- and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene. Re-evaluation of these contaminants in 2017 resulted in a recommendation for full review.

Caltha LLP | Your Environmental Site Assessment
and Remediation Partner

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Waters of the United States Definition Addressed By Supreme Court

On January 22, 2018, the Supreme Court unanimously decided a procedural issue determining the court in which challenges to the meaning of the term “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) may be brought. The choice of court is significant because it affects the resources needed to litigate the merits of challenges, sets the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits and helps determine whether actions can be challenged in subsequent civil or criminal proceedings.

Immediate Impact of Waters of US Decision

The decision requires that any challenge to the current meaning of WOTUS must be brought in the federal district court rather than in the federal court of appeals and allowed pending litigation in the district courts to continue. Lifting the stay puts the Obama-era WOTUS definition back into effect and forces any future litigation to occur throughout the United States wherever there is a challenge to the WOTUS definition, unless it is able to get a stay in the pending litigation.

Why is Waters of the US Definition Important?

WOTUS is a key term impacting the scope of Clean Water Act. The EPA and Corps of Engineers issued the definition in May 2015. The rule was widely criticized, with many, such as farmers, home builders, and developers, claiming that the rule impermissibly allowed EPA to regulate private land. Others felt the rule narrowed federal jurisdiction. In the Supreme Court, the current Administration argued that any challenges to the meaning of WOTUS must be brought in a court of appeals; this argument was rejected in the court decision. Under the Clean Water Act, the uncertainty as to the scope of the WOTUS rule affects whether a Federal discharge permit (NPDES permit) is required and the scope of permits needed to discharge wastewater and storm water. It also impacts whether real estate contains federally-regulated wetlands.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Changes To Minnesota Water Based Health Risk Limits

The Minnesota Department (MDH) is proposing amendments to the Health Risk Limits (HRLs) Rules and to adopt new and updated human health-based water guidance values into rule. The chemicals proposed for amendment include herbicides and other pesticides, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Below is a listing of chemicals MDH is considering in its rule revision:

Chemical Name Previously adopted values in HRL Rule?
Acenaphthene Yes
Acetochlor Yes
Acetochlor ESA Yes
Acetochlor OXA Yes
Alachlor Yes
Chloroform Yes
Clothianidin No
Cyanazine Yes
cis-1,2-Dichloroethene Yes
2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) Yes
Dieldrin Yes
Dinoseb No
S-Ethyl-N,N-dipropylthiocarbamate (EPTC) Yes
Fluoranthene Yes
Perfluorobutyrate (PFBA) Yes
Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Salts Yes
Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Salts Yes
Pyrene Yes
Tetrahydrofuran No
Thiamethoxam No
1,1,1-Trichloroethane Yes
Vinyl Chloride Yes

MDH will accept written comments on the proposed rules amendments through Wednesday, February 21, 2018.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Benzo[a]pyrene, BaP Water Health Risk Review

The Minnesota Department of Health-Health Risk Assessment Unit has started a full review of benzo[a]pyrene or BaP. BaP is a chemical formed from combustion, and is one of a larger class of chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Sources of BaP can include industrial processes, cigarette smoke, grilled or broiled foods, wood fires, motor vehicle emission, and many other activities that involve combustion of organic material. BaP is classified as carcinogenic to humans by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Minnesota Department of Health previously developed water guidance for BaP in 2012 and the current review will update that guidance if deemed necessary.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Revisions To Narrative Water Quality Standards Proposed By EPD

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division has proposed revisions to existing rules in the Rules for Water Quality Control at 391-3-6-.03(5)(b) and (c). These proposed changes are intended to clarify certain narrative water quality standards that could apply to all Waters of the State.

The current rules state, in relevant part:
 (b) All waters shall be free from oil, scum and floating debris associated with municipal or domestic sewage, industrial waste or other discharges in amounts sufficient to be unsightly or to interfere with legitimate water uses.
(c) All waters shall be free from material related to municipal, industrial or other discharges which produce turbidity, color, odor or other objectionable conditions which interfere with legitimate water uses.

The proposed revisions would modify these sections (as noted in red) as follows:
 (b) All waters shall be free from oil, scum and floating debris associated with municipal or domestic sewage, industrial waste or other discharges in amounts sufficient to be unsightly or to unreasonably interfere with the designated use of the water body.
(c) All waters shall be free from material related to municipal, industrial or other discharges which produce turbidity, color, odor or other objectionable conditions which unreasonably interfere with the designated use of the water body.

 Comments on the proposed revision are due by January 31, 2018.

  Click here for other regulatory updates for Georgia.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ohio Proposes Changes To Permit To Install Rule

Ohio EPA has proposed rule changes in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-42. Chapter 3745-42 covers the requirements for wastewater permits to install (PTIs).The rules are being amended as part of the five-year rule review requirements in Ohio Revised Code section 106.

The Agency has reviewed these rules and has identified necessary changes. New exemptions are being considered, with qualifiers, for:
•building sewers, sanitary sewer replacement projects, in situ sanitary sewer repairs,
•repair or replacement of a treatment works component, media or equipment, modifications within existing treatment works infrastructure,
•disposal systems designed to be a best management practice under a storm water National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit,
•treatment works pilot study, •installation of on line monitoring or process control equipment, •installation of odor control equipment,
•remodel or replacement of buildings or laboratories located at a treatment works, and
•filtration systems, ion exchange systems and oil skimmers on process tanks that serve manufacturing equipment.

Click here to review examples of Caltha projects related to permitting. Click here for examples of project Caltha has conducted for clients located in Ohio.