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.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Minnesota Issues Update To Drinking Water Guidance For Glyphosate

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued its final health-based guidance on glyphosate. Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that controls broadleaf weeds, grasses, and aquatic plants. Glyphosate is sold under several different trade names, including products sold for home use. It is applied in agriculture, forestry, lawn care, and gardening.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) regularly monitors groundwater and surface water for glyphosate. It is frequently detected at low levels in both urban and rural surface waters. In 2016, the highest level detected in surface water was 42.8 micrograms per liter (μg/L. MDA’s groundwater monitoring efforts have not yet detected glyphosate in groundwater. Since 1993, glyphosate has only been detected four times in Minnesota public drinking water systems, at levels that range from 1.1 to 39 μg/L

Glyphosate has been under review by MDH. Based on available information, MDH developed a guidance value of 500 ppb for glyphosate in drinking water. Glyphosate is a primary drinking water contaminant of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and has a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) and Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) of 700 ppb.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Minnesota Antidegradation Rules Revised By MPCA

The MPCA has completed rulemaking to replace the existing nondegradation rules found in Minn. R. ch. 7050 with new antidegradation rules. The new rules became effective on November 21, 2016. One of the notable revisions was MPCA changing terms from nondegradation to antidegradation to be consistent with federal regulations, EPA guidance and other states’ rules and implementation procedures.

Some of the key changes to the antidegradation rules are:
  • Aligning rules with federal antidegradation regulatory policy and EPA guidance.
  • Incorporating two sets of antidegradation standards addressing the differences between individual and general permits.
  • Developing procedures specific to the various activities the MPCA regulates.
  • Providing clarity regarding the information needed of applicants and sequence of actions taken by the MPCA in making antidegradation determinations.
  • Identifing the factors the MPCA considers in conducting reviews.
  • Establishing a process for determining the water quality baseline.
  • Providing limited exemptions from antidegradation procedures.
  • Providing for compensatory mitigation for the loss of existing uses resulting from physical alterations.
Click here for more information on Caltha's Water Quality and Discharge Permitting services.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Transportation Company Needed Technical Support To Address Enforcement Action

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Response To MPCA NOV For Industrial Stormwater Discharges and Non-Storm Water Discharge
Client: Transportation Sector
Location(s): Minnesota

Key Elements:  Compliance with No Exposure Certification, Compliance with prohibition of unauthorized non storm water discharge

Overview:  In a routine compliance inspection of industrial sites which had submitted no exposure certifications (NEC) being conducted by the State, this facility was found to be in non-compliance with both the conditions of the NEC and was also found to be discharging wash water without a permit. The facility was placed in enforcement action to resolve these issues.

Caltha LLP was retained by the facility to assist them in evaluating requirements to meet the NEC and to identify options for addressing unpermitted discharge. Working with facility management, it was determined that costs for necessary corrective actions to comply with the NEC were too high compared to costs to obtain and comply with an industrial stormwater discharge permit. The facility terminated its NEC and applied for permit coverage. Caltha assisted the facility in preparing a facility SWPPP using our Minnesota SWPPP template and a permit compliance plan. Alternate off-site facilities were found to eliminate the discharge of unauthorized wastewater releases from the facility.

For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page.