EPA Air

EPA Fines Turbocharged Performance LLC in Sibley, Iowa, for Alleged Automobile ‘Defeat Device’ Violations

Tue, 01/24/2023 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (JAN. 24, 2023) – Sibley, Iowa, auto repair shop Turbocharged Performance LLC will pay a $30,000 civil penalty for allegedly tampering with car engines to render emissions controls inoperative, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company sold or installed so-called “defeat devices” on at least 581 occasions.

“The installation of defeat devices or any illegal tampering of auto emissions controls is both a violation of federal law and a significant contributor of harmful air pollution,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “The federal government is serious about holding accountable individuals and companies who profit from these unlawful actions.”

In addition to paying the civil penalty, Turbocharged Performance will be prohibited from selling defeat devices and is required to destroy any remaining defeat devices under the company’s control.

Tampering of car engines, including installation of aftermarket defeat devices intended to bypass manufacturer emissions controls, results in significantly higher releases of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, both of which contribute to serious public health problems in the United States. These problems include premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer. Further, emission controls tampering impedes federal, state, and local efforts to implement air quality standards that protect public health.

Stopping aftermarket defeat devices for vehicles and engines is a top priority for EPA. The Agency identified this goal as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019.

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CertaPro Painters of Maine Fined for Alleged Lead-Based Paint Violations

Tue, 01/24/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with IDK Ventures (which operates as CertaPro Painters of Maine), of Westbrook, Maine, for alleged violations of the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule during painting jobs performed by its subcontractors at multiple locations in Maine. The RRP rule is designed to protect children from lead in old paint.

"Protecting children's health by reducing lead exposure is a major priority for EPA under the Biden Administration," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "Ensuring that renovation projects of homes and facilities where children can be exposed to lead are conducted safely is imperative. Lead poisoning can cause lifelong health, learning and behavior problems. Employing safe work practices during renovation projects can help prevent lead poisoning. This is even more important considering that many historically overburdened communities both in parts of Maine and throughout New England suffer from higher rates of childhood lead poisoning."

As part of its investigation into several complaints received from homeowners, EPA requested documents from CertaPro Painters of Maine regarding painting jobs they were hired to perform during 2021 and 2022 in Maine. EPA determined that among other alleged lead-based paint violations, CertaPro Painters of Maine failed to:

  • ensure that all individuals performing renovation activities on behalf of the firm were either certified renovators or had been trained by a certified renovator;
  • assign a certified renovator to each renovation performed by the firm;
  • provide the owner of the unit with the EPA-approved lead hazard information pamphlet;
  • ensure that, before beginning the renovation, the ground was covered with plastic sheeting or other disposable impermeable material extending 10 feet beyond the perimeter of surfaces undergoing renovation; and
  • ensure that the all ducts in the work area were covered with taped-down plastic sheeting or other impermeable material.

There were children between the ages of six and 17 confirmed to be residing in at least two of the properties that are the subject of this case. Under the terms of the settlement, CertaPro Painters of Maine paid a fine of $16,636 and has certified compliance with the RRP Rule.

Contractors working on residential properties and facilities that house children are required to follow safe work practices outlined in the Toxic Substances Control Act's lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule to ensure that children are not exposed to lead dust and debris. Due to the prevalence of older residences and buildings in Maine and throughout New England, it is important to ensure that lead-based paint found in these properties is safely addressed during renovation activities to reduce the risk of childhood lead poisoning.

EPA's RRP Rule is designed to prevent children's exposure to lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards resulting from renovation, repair and painting projects in pre-1978 residences, schools and other buildings where children are present. If painted surfaces are to be disturbed at a job site, the RRP Rule requires individual renovators to complete an initial 8-hour accredited training course and the company or firm that they work for to be certified by EPA or an authorized state. These baseline requirements are critical to ensuring that companies take responsibility for their employees following proper lead-safe work practices by containing and managing lead dust and chips created during such projects. Further, the RRP Rule requires that specific records be created and maintained to document compliance with the law.

While EPA's RRP Rule is enforced federally in Maine, EPA coordinated with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's Lead Program in investigating this case.

Enforcing lead-based paint certification and worksite standards helps to level the playing field for companies who are doing the right thing by complying with the law, as well as helping to provide a safer and healthier environment for all residents as well as the workers themselves.

As a result of the past and continuing efforts to reduce lead exposure, EPA has educated thousands of individuals either engaged in this type of work or impacted by it, settled numerous formal and informal enforcement actions, and levied fines against the most serious violators. An important outcome of the compliance assistance provided is that many renovators have stepped forward to become newly certified and have sent their workers to be trained.

Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, which can cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, and behavioral problems. Lead exposures to pregnant woman can impact their unborn children's health as well.

More information:

Federal lead paint information:

Report a lead paint violation.

Maine Department of Environmental Protection's Lead Program

Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services Inc. to Address Clean Air Act Violations in Settlement with United States

Tue, 01/24/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice announced a settlement with Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services Inc. and numerous affiliated companies (collectively, GWRSI) for violation of Clean Air Act (CAA) locomotive regulations. The complaint, also filed today, alleges that GWRSI’s locomotives with rebuilt engines failed to meet applicable EPA emission standards, and that GWRSI did not perform required emissions-related maintenance or keep records of maintenance performed. The locomotives at issue in this settlement burn diesel fuel which produces significant emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter. NOx is a contributor to the formation of summer ozone, and particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns has been shown to cause lung damage and cancer. GWRSI estimates that the company will spend approximately $42 million to comply with consent decree requirements which will reduce NOx emissions from its locomotives by approximately 469 tons per year and particulate matter emissions by 14 tons per year. 

“Today’s settlement requires GWRSI to bring its fleet of locomotives into compliance with Clean Air Act pollution control requirements,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The settlement is expected to reduce tons of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter pollution and improve air quality where their trains operate.”

“By requiring locomotives to follow emissions standards, and requiring dozens of older, higher-polluting locomotives to be scrapped altogether, this consent decree reduces health threats from air pollution nationwide, particularly in those communities that live along railroad corridors,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Due to cost and other considerations, locomotives and their engines are typically rebuilt (or remanufactured) multiple times during their operational lives. EPA regulations require that rebuilt locomotive engines use the latest technology (for that model year locomotive) to reduce emissions. The consent decree requires GWRSI to comply with this requirement for rebuilt engines and take steps to ensure that it does not purchase or sell locomotives that have been rebuilt without conforming to applicable emissions standards. It also requires that GWRSI timely perform critical emissions-related maintenance. To mitigate excess pollutants associated with the alleged violations, the settlement requires GWRSI to remove from service and permanently destroy 88 older locomotives that are not required to meet any EPA emission standards. GWRSI has further agreed that it will replace any locomotives it has scrapped only with locomotives subject to, and meeting, EPA emission standards. The consent decree also requires GWRSI to pay a $1.35 million civil penalty. 

The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. 

View the consent decree.

UPDATE: EPA determines Next Steps at Environmental Landfill Inc. in Moody, Ala.

Fri, 01/20/2023 - 19:00

MOODY, Ala. (January 20, 2023) - The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken lead in the response to extinguish the ongoing fire at the Environment Landfill Inc. in Moody, Ala., after receiving results from air monitoring and sampling.

As of today, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4, has collected and reviewed air sampling data collected in early January 2023 at the Moody Landfill Site in Moody, Alabama. Air samples were collected by the Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) from two locations onsite near burning material and two locations offsite at residential properties near the site.

Three 8-hour samples were collected from each of these locations. Additional 15-minute air samples were collected from a fifth location that was located on the site. This sample was collected to evaluate potential differences in airborne contaminants in an area where the smoke appeared to be a different color. All samples were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Some chemicals were identified in air samples collected on or near the site that exceed Removal Management Levels (RML) which are chemical-specific concentrations that help define areas, contaminants, or conditions where a cleanup or mitigation measures known as a removal action may be appropriate.

EPA has mobilized additional resources to the site and is currently establishing additional air monitoring and sampling and taking steps to identify and implement measures to eliminate the fire. Information will be provided to the public as it becomes available. Currently, the EPA is focused on determining the best strategy for eliminating the fire, collecting additional samples to confirm and expand upon previous data results, providing information to the public, as it is available, and determining next steps.

We have limited data at this time, but EPA Region 4 is working with the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR) to gather additional data to appropriately evaluate the potential effects of the smoke from the fire.  In the meantime, if nearby residents are concerned and wish to reduce potential exposure to landfill fire smoke, the following actions are recommended:

    • If you have respiratory problems such as asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or emphysema, stay indoors when you see or smell smoke.
    • Reduce your outdoor activities, and do them more slowly, when you see or smell smoke.
    • Close the doors and windows of your house to keep smoke from getting inside.
    • Talk to your health care provider if you have respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD, or emphysema, and you think your condition may get worse when you breathe smoke.

For updated information on the Environmental Landfill Inc. Fire visit: https://response.epa.gov/moodylandfillfire

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EPA Announces Plans for Wastewater Regulations and Studies, Including Limits for PFAS, New Study for Nutrients

Fri, 01/20/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15 (Plan 15), which lays out how the Agency will work to protect the nation’s waterways by following the science and the Clean Water Act to develop technology-based pollution limits and studies on wastewater discharges from industrial sources.

This Plan focuses on evaluating the extent and nature of both nutrient and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) discharges. Plan 15 further advances EPA’s commitment in the PFAS Strategic Roadmap to restrict PFAS discharges from industrial sources through a multi-faceted Effluent Limitations Guidelines program.

“For 50 years, EPA has implemented the Clean Water Act to protect our nation’s waters that are essential to healthy communities. This Effluent Guidelines Program Plan represents a critical next step to tackle pollutants like PFAS and nutrients at the source, before they can harm our health and the environment,” said Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “With this action, EPA continues to demonstrate our commitment to using the best available data and treatment technologies to reduce harmful industrial pollutants.”

Plan 15 announces EPA’s determination that revised effluent limitations guidelines and pretreatment standards (ELGs) are warranted for reducing PFAS in leachate discharges from landfills. The Agency made this decision after concluding a detailed study that was discussed in Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15.

The Agency is also announcing several new and expanded studies as part of today’s action, including:

  • an expansion of the ongoing study of PFAS discharges from textile manufacturers;
  • a new study of publicly owned treatment works (POTW) influents to characterize the PFAS concentrations from industrial dischargers to POTWs and inform implementation of pretreatment programs to address them; and
  • a new study on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to make an informed, reasoned decision on whether to undertake rulemaking to revise the ELGs for CAFOs.

View ELG Program Plan 15

Background

ELGs are national, technology-based regulations developed to control industrial wastewater discharges to surface waters and into POTWs. ELGs are intended to represent the greatest pollutant reductions through technology that are economically achievable for an industry. EPA prepares ELG Program Plans after public review and comment on a preliminary plan, pursuant to Clean Water Act (CWA) section 304(m). ELG plans provide a description of the Agency’s annual review of ELGs and pretreatment standards, consistent with the CWA. Based on these reviews, EPA develops plans to identify any new or existing industrial categories selected for ELG or pretreatment standards rulemakings and to provide a schedule for such rulemakings. In addition, ELG plans present any new or existing categories of industry selected for further review and analysis.

EPA Begins Demolition at Lane Plating Superfund Site in Dallas Texas

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (January 19, 2023)- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Community Advisor Group Members (CAG) and Dallas city officials hosted an event at the Lane Plating Superfund site in Dallas, Texas to witness the demolition of the electroplating facility and to recognize the work of local, state and federal officials who have worked on the site’s cleanup.

“This action today is not only an EPA victory, it is a victory for all those who have put time and effort in making sure this community and ecosystem are free of contaminated materials,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “This demolition brings the community one step closer to the removal of contamination. We want to thank all of EPA’s partners and individuals who are bringing a cleaner and greener environment to this community.”

“One of the reasons why I ran for Congress was to fight for a safer, healthier and cleaner Dallas," said Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett (TX-30). “I am proud of the progress that our city’s partnership with the EPA has made in cleaning up one of the nation’s most contaminated sites. We have made crucial steps to improve the livelihoods for the people of southern Dallas and I look forward to continuing this work together.”

"This demolition is an important step for our city. For too long, this site has stood as a symbol of past generations' disregard for our communities in southern Dallas,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “But now, it can represent opportunity and new beginnings. I am grateful to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and all of our partners who are helping us clean up this environmental disaster so we can move our city forward.”

“I am happy to see these walls coming down today”, said Mr. Tennell Atkins, Councilmember for District 8. “This is another sign of progress for District 8 and the Southern Sector of Dallas. There is a lot more to do, but I will keep pushing to improve quality of life for the residents of District 8. I am glad to partner with the EPA, the Community Advisory Group, and others to accelerate this cleanup process. Lane Plating, which is located right across the street from our community members, is one of the most contaminated sites in the country.”

“The Lane Plating Community Advisory Group will continue to amplify voices from Arden Terrence, who is demanding the safe removal of all hazardous materials from the Lane Plating Superfund Site and the creation of a healthy and safe place for residents,” said Allen McGill, Chair of the Lane Plating Community Advisory Group.

The Lane Plating site was listed as a time critical removal action in September 2022. EPA completed clearing the site in late December 2022. Roof panels containing asbestos are now being removed, with air sampling being conducted to ensure the asbestos does not migrate to surrounding areas.

The demolition of the facility, completes one phase of the removal action, with excavation of contaminated soil and disposal of contaminated soil and building materials as the next phase. As EPA and City of Dallas officials continue cleanup work, they will stay engaged with residents and other community members. The demolition of the building is expected to be completed by the end of February.

Outreach efforts for the community remains a high priority for EPA and partners of this site. EPA plans on attending CAG meetings to update residents on the site’s cleanup progress and providing informational materials at the Highland Hills Branch Library, which serves as the public repository for all site-related documents. For more information on this site’s background and activities please visit The Lane Plating Clean Up- Action and Lane Plating Works 2022 Removal Action websites.

Background

The Lane Plating Superfund Site is located at 5322 Bonnie View Road in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas. Lane Plating Works, Inc., is a former electroplating facility that operated for more than 90 years. The facility conducted hard chromium and cadmium plating. The approximately five-acre property is near a residential and commercial area.   

Connect with the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our homepage.

EPA Fines Newton, Kansas, Landowner for Illegal Dumping in Streams

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (JAN. 19, 2023) – Newton, Kansas, landowner Stan Jost will pay a $50,000 civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Jost placed felled trees and other debris in approximately 4,155 feet of Mud Creek and approximately 1,800 feet of Sand Creek in 2021 without obtaining a Clean Water Act permit.

“The unauthorized placement of fill material into streams and other water bodies degrades watershed health, increases downstream erosion, and creates loss of wildlife habitat,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “These acts also deprive downstream landowners and the public from the use and enjoyment of public waters.”

In response to EPA’s findings, Jost removed the materials from the stream.

Under the Clean Water Act, parties are prohibited from discharging fill material into federally protected streams and other water bodies unless they first obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). If parties place fill material into water bodies without a permit, the USACE may elect to refer an enforcement case to EPA. The USACE’s Kansas City District referred this case to EPA in January 2022.

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EPA Announces Availability of $50 Million to Support States and Tribes Developing Programs for Carbon Sequestration and Groundwater Protection

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $50 million in grant funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help states, Tribes and territories develop and implement Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class VI programs. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Class VI programs ensure that groundwater resources are protected while supporting geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.

“EPA is excited to provide funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to our state and Tribal partners to develop programs that protect our essential groundwater resources and combat the climate crisis,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “This funding demonstrates just one of the many ways EPA is working collaboratively to ensure that all people have clean and safe water.”

EPA supports efforts by states, Tribes, and territories to implement existing primacy programs and seek primary enforcement and permitting responsibility (primacy) for Class VI programs. EPA is inviting states, Tribes and territories to submit letters of intent to indicate their interest in this new funding, and interested parties have until March 20, 2023 to submit their letters. After receiving submissions, EPA will determine funding allocations and award the full $50 million in a one-time distribution.

As a condition of receiving funding, applicants to the new Class VI UIC grant program must demonstrate how environmental justice and equity considerations will be incorporated into their Class VI UIC primacy programs. Primacy program commitments may include identifying communities with potential environmental justice concerns, enhancing public involvement, appropriately scoped environmental justice assessments, enhancing transparency throughout the permitting process and minimizing adverse effects associated with permitting actions.

Background

The geologic sequestration of CO2 in UIC Class VI wells is used in carbon capture and storage to prevent CO2 emissions from industrial sources from reaching the atmosphere. The CO2 is injected through specially constructed wells that extend into deep rock formations. These formations must be tested and selected based on geologic characteristics suitable for the safe containment of CO2 for long-term storage. This technology will provide well-paying jobs and promote environmentally responsible industry.

EPA has, under the Safe Drinking Water Act, developed stringent federal requirements for injecting CO2 that protect public health by ensuring injection wells do not contaminate underground sources of drinking water (USDWs). These UIC regulations mandate using a variety of measures to assure that injection activities will not endanger USDWs.

Additional tools, resources and information about Class VI wells are available here.

EPA Proposes to Add Environmental Justice, Climate Change, and PFAS to National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives for FY 2024-2027

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is seeking public comment on its proposal to address environmental justice, climate change, and PFAS contamination in its National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives (NECIs).  Every four years, EPA selects national initiatives to focus resources on serious and widespread environmental problems where federal enforcement can make a difference. The primary objective of these initiatives is to protect human health and the environment by holding polluters accountable through enforcement and assisting regulated entities to return to compliance. 

EPA proposes to continue four of the six current national initiatives during the FY 2024-2027 cycle and return two of the current national initiatives to the core enforcement and compliance program. In addition, EPA proposes to address environmental justice concerns in all NECIs, and to add two new NECIs on mitigating climate change and addressing PFAS pollution, for the FY 2024-2027 cycle. 

“The National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives identify serious environmental challenges where EPA can make a difference through a coordinated national approach,” said Larry Starfield, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “We look forward to receiving public comment on our proposals for FY 2024-2027, which include both familiar and emerging issues.  Of particularly importance, we have built environmental justice considerations firmly into every initiative in order to protect vulnerable and overburdened communities.”

In selecting initiatives for the FY 2024-2027 cycle, EPA will consider the following three criteria to evaluate the existing and proposed new initiatives: 1) the need to address serious and widespread environmental issues and significant violations impacting human health and the environment, particularly in overburdened and vulnerable communities; 2) areas where federal enforcement can help ensure national consistency, promote a level playing field, and achieve compliance; and 3) alignment with the Agency’s Strategic Plan.

Proposed Initiatives

EPA is proposing to continue the following four current NECIs in the FY 2024-2027 cycle:

  1. Creating Cleaner Air for Communities by Reducing Excess Emissions of Harmful Pollutants.
  2. Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities.
  3. Reducing Significant Non-Compliance in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program.
  4. Reducing Non-Compliance with Drinking Water Standards at Community Water Systems.

EPA is proposing to return these two current NECIs to the core enforcement and compliance programs:

  1. Reducing Toxic Air Emissions from Hazardous Waste Facilities.
  2. Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines. 

EPA is proposing to add these two new NECIs in the FY 2024-2027 cycle:

  1. Mitigating Climate Change.
  2. Addressing PFAS Contamination.

EPA is also taking comment on whether to add an NECI to address Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) pollution and/or lead contamination. The Agency is also accepting additional suggestions from the public. 

Name Change for Initiatives

While formal enforcement remains the key tool to address serious environmental problems and significant violations, as well as create general deterrence, EPA also uses a variety of compliance assurance tools to achieve this objective. To reflect this comprehensive approach, EPA has changed the name of its priority initiatives from “National Compliance Initiatives” (NCIs) to “National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives” (NECIs). 

EPA is soliciting comments on the proposed changes to the NECIs during a 60 public comment period.

Read EPA’s Federal Register Notice and learn how to submit comments.

EPA Seeks Input on Inflation Reduction Act Programs to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Construction Materials and Products

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first opportunities for public input on new programs focused on lower carbon construction materials made possible by a $350 million investment from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. The Agency will hold three public webinars and will accept written feedback on establishing new grant and technical assistance programs, and a carbon labeling program for construction materials with substantially lower levels of embodied greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Inflation Reduction Act represents a historic commitment to build a new clean energy economy, powered by American workers and manufacturers in partnership with states, Tribes, communities and organizations," said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer. "These actions will immediately influence Federal procurement, drive significant emissions reductions over the next decade, and lay the groundwork for long-term decarbonization of manufacturing sectors. We’re eager to engage with stakeholders and experts to spur the development and adoption of more environmentally preferable construction materials necessary to build the infrastructure of the future."

EPA’s new programs will provide grants, technical assistance, and tools to help states and Tribal Nations, manufacturers, institutional buyers, real estate developers, builders, and others measure, report, and substantially lower the levels of embodied carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, use, and disposal of construction materials and products. These new programs, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, will build upon EPA’s work in the ENERGY STAR Industrial Program and the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program, among others, to protect human health and the planet.

EPA will hold three public engagement webinars to solicit feedback from experts and stakeholders, including institutional buyers, developers, builders, manufacturers, and representatives from states, Tribal Nations, non-profit organizations, trade associations, and others.

  • March 2, 2023, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST: Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Construction Materials Prioritization and Environmental Data Improvement – This webinar will ask for feedback on how to prioritize construction materials and products and how to improve data on embodied greenhouse gas emissions through measurement, standardization, transparency and reporting criteria. Register here.
  • March 22, 2023, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST: Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Grants and Technical Assistance for Environmental Product Declarations – This webinar will ask for feedback on new grant and technical assistance programs to help businesses calculate and report the greenhouse gas emissions data for construction materials and products through Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Register here.
  • April 19, 2023, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST: Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Carbon Labeling – This webinar will ask for feedback on how EPA could develop a carbon labeling program for construction materials and products with substantially lower embodied greenhouse gas emissions. Register here.

In addition, EPA will issue a Request for Information to solicit written comments on the design of these new programs. Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, comments on any of the questions outlined should be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2022-0924 on www.regulations.gov by May 1, 2023. The Agency also published an interim determination under Inflation Reduction Act Sections 60503 and 60506 that was provided in December 2022 to the Department of Transportation and the General Services Administration on their Inflation Reduction Act funded procurement of construction materials and products with substantially lower embodied greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA will use the public input received during the webinars and in writing to guide the development and implementation of its programs.

These actions support President Biden’s Buy Clean Initiative, which leverages the Federal Government’s power as the largest purchaser in the world to advance low-carbon construction materials across its procurement and funded infrastructure projects.

Learn more about these new programs funded by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Background

In August 2022, Congress passed, and President Biden signed, the Inflation Reduction Act into law, creating the largest investment to combat the climate crisis in U.S. history. The Inflation Reduction Act will bolster U.S. energy security, help families save money on energy costs and prescription drugs, reduce the deficit, and create good-paying jobs. EPA received $41.5 billion in appropriations to develop and support 24 new and existing programs that monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, protect health and advance environmental justice.

EPA to Host February Virtual Community Meeting for Zelienople Residents

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 19, 2023) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a virtual community meeting for residents of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, to share information about health risks from the chemical, ethylene oxide or EtO. The community meeting will take place virtually on February 2 at 6 p.m. During the meeting, EPA staff will discuss revised risk information related to the American Contract Systems (ACS) commercial sterilizer facility, located at 4050 Jacksons Pointe Court in Zelienople.

In the coming weeks, EPA expects to propose an air pollution regulation to protect public health by addressing EtO emissions at commercial sterilizers. EPA is sharing EtO emissions data and information with the public to solicit feedback.  The agency aims to improve public understanding of the risk; help states, Tribes, communities and the industry reduce risk from EtO in the near-term; and hear input as the agency continues to develop regulations to reduce air pollution from commercial sterilizers.

EPA will be joined by federal and state environmental and health officials to address questions, comments, and concerns from the public, including Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection staff who will discuss work they are doing in partnership with ACS to reduce emissions and risk.

To register for this virtual meeting, visit:

https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_OwuidPnsQbCEv1I_UhNG-g

For more information about the EPA’s efforts to address ethylene oxide.

To contact us, go to:  eto@epa.gov

EPA takes Action at Environmental Landfill Inc in Moody, Ala.

Thu, 01/19/2023 - 19:00

MOODY, Ala. (January 19, 2023) - The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has formally requested the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lead the response in extinguishing the ongoing fire at the Environment Landfill Inc. in Moody, Ala., after receiving results from air monitoring and sampling.

"EPA’s first priority is to ensure the wellbeing of the residents… the community wants to see action and are understandably concerned about the landfill fire’s impact on their health, safety and quality of life,” said Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “Immediately following ADEM’s request, EPA mobilized to gather critical data. Based on the results of that data, it was clear that further action was necessary. Today, we are putting boots on the ground to address the fire so that all impacted can breathe a sigh of relief.”

ADEM requested that EPA mobilize resources to perform air monitoring and sampling at the site of the fire on January 4, 2023. EPA responded and conducted air monitoring and sampling on and in the immediate vicinity of the facility on January 6 and 7, 2023. The air monitoring process included three rounds of 8-hour samples for a total of 24 hours of monitoring and sampling, which was intended to measure particulate concentrations as well as chemical constituents in the emissions from the fire.

The EPA has received and reviewed the data packages which included volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and at the request of ADEM, asbestos. Based on the results of this sampling effort, site specific considerations, and ADEM’s request, EPA has deployed two Federal On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs) to the Site to oversee and coordinate EPA activities.

As of today, EPA Environmental Response Team (ERT) and EPA technical assistance contractors are being deployed to provide air monitoring support, and EPA cleanup/response contractors have been activated to implement fire mitigation operations.

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Dyno Nobel, Inc. resolves chemical emergency release notification violations at Cheyenne, Wyo. facility

Wed, 01/18/2023 - 19:00

CHEYENNE -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced an Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) settlement with Dyno Nobel, Inc., resolving alleged violations at the company’s ammonium nitrate production facility in Cheyenne, Wyo.  Under the terms of a Consent Agreement and Final Order filed in November, the company has paid a $20,352 penalty to address EPA’s allegations that it failed to comply with requirements to notify the local emergency planning committee about past hazardous chemical releases at their facility at 8305 Otto Road.

“Facilities that store hazardous materials like anhydrous ammonia have an obligation to follow regulations designed to protect our communities and environment from potentially catastrophic consequences of accidents,” said Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA Region 8’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “Failure to comply with the law puts first responders and members of the surrounding community in harm’s way.” 

EPA conducted an inspection at the facility and found the company failed to submit required written notifications of anhydrous ammonia releases to the Laramie County Emergency Management Agency on two separate occasions, in violation of EPCRA requirements.  Although Dyno Nobel, Inc. did provide immediate notification to the local agency about the occurrence of each of these events, as required by EPCRA, the company failed to provide the required written follow up notifications to specify any actions taken to address and contain a release and specifically identify any known or anticipated health risks associated with the release. 

Dyno Nobel, Inc.’s Cheyenne facility is subject to EPCRA chemical emergency release notification regulations because it produces and stores anhydrous ammonia, which qualifies as an “extremely hazardous substance” under EPCRA. Facilities subject to EPCRA are required to report the details of releases to the environment that exceed specified reporting quantities to state and local emergency response agencies. For ammonia, the reportable quantity is 100 pounds.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act establishes requirements for federal, state and local governments, Indian tribes, and industry regarding emergency planning and “Community Right-to-Know” reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. Failure to comply with these requirements prevents emergency responders from preparing for, and safely responding to, emergencies at facilities where chemical hazards may exist. These and additional Community Right-to-Know provisions help increase public’s knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment.

This case is part of EPA’s National Compliance Initiative to reduce risks from chemical accidents, and it addresses compliance within an industrial sector—chemical manufacturing — that can pose serious risks from such accidents.

Read more about EPCRA and hazardous chemical emergency release notification requirements.

EPA Seeks Input from Small Entities on Meat and Poultry Products Effluent Guidelines Rulemaking Revision

Wed, 01/18/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking input from small businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations as it develops the Meat and Poultry Products Effluent Limitations Guidelines Rulemaking Revision, which is an essential step to reduce nutrient discharges in the nation’s waters.

EPA is assembling a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel to gather input from Small Entity Representatives (SERs). This Panel will focus on the Agency’s development of a rule that proposes to establish new or update existing industrial wastewater pollutant limits that would affect some of the approximately 7,000 meat and poultry products facilities across the U.S.

“Water is an essential resource for many industries, including meat and poultry processing,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA is committed to hearing directly from small entities that may be impacted by the rulemaking, as we work to protect communities across the country from the harmful effects of excess nutrients.”

The Panel will include federal representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA. The Panel members ask a selected group of SERs to provide advice and recommendations on behalf of their company, government, or organization to inform the Panel members about the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities.

EPA seeks self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs.

Nominate yourself as a SER. Self-nominations must be received by February 1, 2023.

In this rulemaking, EPA is considering potential new pretreatment standards, new or stricter limits on phosphorus and other pollutants, and may change the current subcategories or establish additional subcategories. The Agency intends to propose the rule in December 2023. 

Learn about the Meat and Poultry Products Effluent Limitations Guidelines and ongoing rulemaking.

EPA to Review Cleanups at One Vermont Superfund Site this Year

Wed, 01/18/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (Jan. 18, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct a comprehensive review of completed cleanup work at a National Priority List (NPL) Superfund site in Vermont this year.

The site will undergo a legally required Five-Year Review to ensure that previous remediation efforts at the site continue to protect public health and the environment.

"Throughout the process of designing and constructing a cleanup at a hazardous waste site, EPA's primary goal is to make sure the remedy will be protective of public health and the environment, especially for communities that have been overburdened by pollution," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "It is important for EPA to regularly check on this site to ensure the remedy is working properly and Vermont communities continue to be protected."

The Superfund Site where EPA will conduct the Five-Year Review in 2023 is listed below with a web link that provides detailed information on site status as well as past assessment and cleanup activity. Once the Five-Year Review is complete, its findings will be posted to the website in a final report.

Five-Year Review of Superfund site in Vermont to be completed in 2023:

Old Springfield Landfill, Springfield

More information:
The Superfund program, a federal program established by Congress in 1980, investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and EPA endeavors to facilitate activities to return them to productive use. In total, there are 123 Superfund sites across New England.

Superfund and other cleanup sites in New England

EPA's Superfund program

EPA to Review Cleanups at Six New Hampshire Superfund Sites this Year

Wed, 01/18/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (Jan. 18, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct comprehensive reviews of completed cleanup work at six National Priority List (NPL) Superfund sites in New Hampshire this year.

The sites will undergo a legally required Five-Year Review to ensure that previous remediation efforts at the sites continue to protect public health and the environment.

"Throughout the process of designing and constructing a cleanup at a hazardous waste site, EPA's primary goal is to make sure the remedy will be protective of public health and the environment, especially for communities that have been overburdened by pollution," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "It is important for EPA to regularly check on these sites to ensure the remedy is working properly and New Hampshire communities continue to be protected."

The Superfund Sites where EPA will conduct Five-Year Reviews in 2023 are listed below with web links that provide detailed information on site status as well as past assessment and cleanup activity. Once the Five-Year Review is complete, its findings will be posted to the website in a final report.

Five-Year Reviews of Superfund sites in New Hampshire to be completed in 2023:

Fletcher's Paint Works and Storage, Milford

Kearsarge Metallurgical Corp., Conway

Keefe Environmental Services, Epping

Mottolo Pig Farm, Raymond

South Municipal Water Supply Well, Peterborough

Tibbetts Road, Barrington

More information:
The Superfund program, a federal program established by Congress in 1980, investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and EPA endeavors to facilitate activities to return them to productive use. In total, there are 123 Superfund sites across New England.

Superfund and other cleanup sites in New England

EPA's Superfund program

EPA Reaches $11 Million Settlement with Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company

Wed, 01/18/2023 - 19:00

NEW YORK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO) for the reimbursement of $11 million in costs EPA incurred in cleaning up contamination at the Maunabo Groundwater Superfund Site in Puerto Rico.

"We are pleased to have reached a settlement with the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company that holds it accountable-not the taxpayer-for the cleanup of contamination at its property and protects the Maunabo community,” said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “This settlement reimburses EPA for its work in assessing the contamination, designing the remedy and cleaning up the groundwater contamination.”

The Maunabo Groundwater Contamination Site is located in the southeastern coastal area of Puerto Rico, where the groundwater is contaminated with various types of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), and cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-1,2-DCE). The site includes four wells that provide drinking water to the Maunabo Urbano public water system, which is currently getting its drinking water from safe sources. The EPA selected, designed and implemented the remedy for the site through its Superfund program.

The EPA determined that one or more of the tenants at an industrial park owned by PRIDCO was a source of the VOC contamination. In September 2015, PRIDCO declined to participate in settlement discussions, leading the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to file a civil lawsuit in a federal District Court in Puerto Rico to recover EPA's costs for cleaning up the site. The DOJ argued that PRIDCO, as the owner of the industrial park, was legally responsible for the contaminated groundwater, and the court agreed, awarding EPA its past response costs and holding PRIDCO accountable for future costs as well. PRIDCO appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which upheld the District Court's ruling. The settlement resolves PRIDCO's current financial obligations for the site as a result of the lawsuit.

Under the terms of the settlement, PRIDCO will pay the EPA a total of $11 million over seven years to cover all of the agency's past response costs and interest. This payment will reimburse the EPA for the funds it spent cleaning up the Maunabo Groundwater Superfund site and ensuring that the drinking water in the affected communities is safe for residents.

Visit the Maunabo Groundwater Superfund Site profile page for additional background.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.

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EPA to Review Cleanups at Four Connecticut Superfund Sites this Year

Wed, 01/18/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (Jan. 18, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct comprehensive reviews of completed cleanup work at four National Priority List (NPL) Superfund sites in Connecticut this year.

The sites will undergo a legally required Five-Year Review to ensure that previous remediation efforts at the sites continue to protect public health and the environment.

"Throughout the process of designing and constructing a cleanup at a hazardous waste site, EPA's primary goal is to make sure the remedy will be protective of public health and the environment, especially for communities that have been overburdened by pollution, said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "It is important for EPA to regularly check on these sites to ensure the remedy is working properly and Connecticut communities continue to be protected."

The Superfund Sites where EPA will conduct Five-Year Reviews in 2023 are listed below with web links that provide detailed information on site status as well as past assessment and cleanup activity. Once the Five-Year Review is complete, its findings will be posted to the website in a final report.

Five-Year Reviews of Superfund sites in Connecticut to be completed in 2023:

Barkhamsted-New Hartford Landfill, Barkhamsted

Beacon Heights Landfill, Beacon Falls

Laurel Park, Inc., Naugatuck Borough

Yaworski Waste Lagoon, Canterbury

More information:
The Superfund program, a federal program established by Congress in 1980, investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and EPA endeavors to facilitate activities to return them to productive use. In total, there are 123 Superfund sites across New England.

Superfund and other cleanup sites in New England

EPA's Superfund program

EPA to Review Cleanups at Six Massachusetts Superfund Sites this Year

Wed, 01/18/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (Jan. 18, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct comprehensive reviews of completed cleanup work at six National Priority List (NPL) Superfund sites in Massachusetts this year.

The sites will undergo a legally required Five-Year Review to ensure that previous remediation efforts at the sites continue to protect public health and the environment.

"Throughout the process of designing and constructing a cleanup at a hazardous waste site, EPA's primary goal is to make sure the remedy will be protective of public health and the environment, especially for communities that have been overburdened by pollution," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "It is important for EPA to regularly check on these sites to ensure the remedy is working properly and Massachusetts communities continue to be protected."

The Superfund Sites where EPA will conduct Five-Year Reviews in 2023 are listed below with web links that provide detailed information on site status as well as past assessment and cleanup activity. Once the Five-Year Review is complete, its findings will be posted to the website in a final report.

Five-Year Reviews of Superfund sites in Massachusetts to be completed in 2023:

Iron Horse Park, Billerica

Plymouth Harbor CEC, Plymouth

Re-Solve, Inc., Dartmouth

Shpack Landfill, Norton/Attleboro

Sullivan's Ledge, New Bedford

Federal Facility

Otis Air National Guard Base/Camp Edwards, Falmouth, Bourne, Sandwich, Mashpee

More information:
The Superfund program, a federal program established by Congress in 1980, investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and EPA endeavors to facilitate activities to return them to productive use. In total, there are 123 Superfund sites across New England.

Superfund and other cleanup sites in New England

EPA's Superfund program

EPA to Review Cleanups at Four Rhode Island Superfund Sites this Year

Wed, 01/18/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (Jan. 18, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct comprehensive reviews of completed cleanup work at four National Priority List (NPL) Superfund sites in Rhode Island this year.

The sites will undergo a legally required Five-Year Review to ensure that previous remediation efforts at the sites continue to protect public health and the environment.

"Throughout the process of designing and constructing a cleanup at a hazardous waste site, EPA's primary goal is to make sure the remedy will be protective of public health and the environment, especially for communities that have been overburdened by pollution," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "It is important for EPA to regularly check on these sites to ensure the remedy is working properly and Rhode Island communities continue to be protected."

The Superfund Sites where EPA will conduct Five-Year Reviews in 2023 are listed below with web links that provide detailed information on site status as well as past assessment and cleanup activity. Once the Five-Year Review is complete, its findings will be posted to the website in a final report.

Five-Year Reviews of Superfund sites in Rhode Island to be completed in 2023:

Central Landfill, Johnston

Picillo Farm, Coventry

Western Sand & Gravel, Burrillville/North Smithfield

Federal Facility

Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center, North Kingston

More information:
The Superfund program, a federal program established by Congress in 1980, investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and EPA endeavors to facilitate activities to return them to productive use. In total, there are 123 Superfund sites across New England.

Superfund and other cleanup sites in New England

EPA's Superfund program