EPA Air

EPA Finds Kansas and Missouri Home Renovators in Default for Alleged Lead-Based Paint Violations

Tue, 01/10/2023 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (JAN. 10, 2023) – An official for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruled that two home renovation companies must pay civil penalties to resolve violations of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

According to EPA, Superior Restoration and Construction LLC of Overland Park, Kansas, must pay $44,680; and Askins Development Group LLC of St. Louis, Missouri, must pay $42,003.

“Lead is a pernicious contaminant that is particularly harmful to children, and renovation companies that violate lead-based paint regulations must be held accountable,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “EPA will vigorously pursue recalcitrant violators who refuse to resolve noncompliance in a cooperative way.”

In each case, EPA alleged that the renovators failed to comply with regulations intended to reduce the hazards of lead-based paint exposure resulting from renovations. Both companies also failed to respond to multiple attempts by EPA to engage in discussions to resolve the violations, including failure to answer administrative complaints issued by EPA.

In her rulings, EPA Regional Judicial Officer Karina Borromeo found that the companies were liable by default for multiple violations, including failure to obtain EPA renovator certification and failure to assign a certified renovator prior to performing renovations on housing built before 1978. Both companies were also found in violation of multiple work practice requirements. Those violations could result in exposure to hazardous lead dust.

Lead-contaminated dust from chipped or peeling lead-based paint in homes built prior to 1978 is one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead-based paint exposure because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. They can be exposed from multiple sources and may experience irreversible and lifelong health effects. Lead dust can be generated when lead-based paint deteriorates or is disturbed.

Reducing childhood lead exposure and the associated health impacts is a top priority for EPA.

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of $100 Million through Inflation Reduction Act for Environmental Justice Grants

Tue, 01/10/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of approximately $100 million for projects that advance environmental justice in underserved and overburdened communities across the country. This funding, made possible through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, marks the largest amount of environmental justice grant funding ever offered by the Agency. EPA has published two Requests for Applications for this funding through the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and the Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) Program. 

“Since day one, President Biden pledged to prioritize environmental justice and equity for all, and EPA is at the heart of delivering on that mission,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Last year, we announced EPA’s first-ever national program office dedicated to advancing environmental justice, memorializing our commitment to this critical work. I couldn’t be prouder to now be announcing an unprecedented level of funding thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act for community-based solutions that support underserved and overburdened communities. This is a key step that will help build strong partnerships with communities across the country and move us closer to realizing a more just and equitable future for all.”

These grant programs further the goals of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and Executive Order, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, which directed that 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to overburdened communities that face disproportionately high and adverse health and environmental impacts.

“Today, historic environmental justice funding I fought to secure in the Inflation Reduction Act is being made available,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. “This call for applications ensures money can flow directly to communities that need it most by splitting the funding between community based non-profits as well as the states, localities, tribes, and territories that usually receive federal grants. Helping these non-profits who know their communities better than anyone was central to my mission when fighting for environmental justice priorities in the Inflation Reduction Act and this is only the beginning. I will continue to fight for environmental justice and working with communities across New York to get this money where it is needed most.”

“Every American deserves access to clean air and water—no matter their zip code, the color of their skin or the size of their paycheck,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “That’s why, as co-founder of the Senate’s Environmental Justice Caucus, I’m proud to announce today’s grant funding, which will help deliver results for environmental justice communities that have been ignored for too long. Access to clean air and clean water isn’t ‘only’ an environmental issue—it’s a matter of health and safety, systemic racism and persistent discrimination against those in low-income communities. I’m hopeful that today, we’re making important advances toward ending this crisis.”

“I’m grateful for the Biden administration’s commitment to ensuring those disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change are given the opportunity to have a healthier, more equitable future,” said Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07). “The grants announced today and other investments from the Inflation Reduction Act will advance environmental justice in underrepresented communities and help ensure every person has access to pure air, clean water and an environment that allows them to thrive. In Congress, we will continue our legislative efforts to provide greater public health protections for vulnerable communities, strengthen the Civil Rights Act and improve federal agencies’ environmental justice work.”

“I’ve learned over the last two decades of working on environmental justice at the community-level how the proper support and funding can turn good ideas and hard work into something truly impactful," said Catherine Coleman Flowers, Founding Director of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice. "I'm confident that this historic investment from the EPA and Biden Administration is going to yield some incredible solutions to the crisis of environmental injustice, especially in Rural communities that are under-resourced and overburdened."

The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Program (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program

The EJCPS Program will provide an estimated $30 million in funding directly to community-based nonprofit organizations (and partnerships of these organizations), with $5 million reserved for small community-based nonprofit organizations with five or fewer full-time employees. In total, the Agency anticipates funding approximately 50 awards of $500,000 and 30 awards of $150,000.

EPA’s EJCPS Cooperative Agreement Program provides financial assistance to eligible organizations working on or planning to work on projects to address local environmental and/or public health issues in their communities. The program assists recipients in building collaborative partnerships with other stakeholders (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical service providers, academia, etc.) to develop solutions that will significantly address environmental and/or public health issues at the local level.

The Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) Program 

The EJG2G Program (formerly known as the State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement program) will provide an estimated $70 million in funding. Of this, $20 million will be for State governments to be used in conjunction with Community-Based Organization (CBO) partners, $20 million will be for local government with CBO partners, $20 million will be for Federally Recognized Tribal Nations with CBO partners, and $10 million will be for U.S. territories and remote tribes with limited access to CBO partners. In total the Agency anticipates funding approximately 70 projects of up to $1 million each for a 3-year project. 

The EJG2G Program works to support and/or create model state activities that lead to measurable environmental or public health results in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms and risks. These models should leverage or utilize existing resources or assets of state agencies to develop key tools and processes that integrate environmental justice considerations into state governments and government programs.

Under both EJCPS and EJG2G programs, EPA will be giving special consideration to the following focus areas:

  • Projects addressing climate change, disaster resiliency, and/or emergency preparedness 
  • Projects located in and/or benefitting rural areas 
  • Projects conducting Health Impact Assessments (HIA)  

Applicants interested must submit proposal packages on or before April 10, 2023, to be considered for the available funding. Applicants should plan for projects to begin on October 1, 2023.

This funding builds on additional funding from the American Rescue Plan. In December 2021, EPA selected 154 organizations to receive a total of approximately $18.4 million in environmental justice grant funding.

EPA is planning to announce an additional environmental justice grant competition, making extensive use of IRA resources, in early 2023 to establish a network of grant-makers across the United States to facilitate awarding assessment, planning, and project development grants to communities and their partners.

Pre-application Assistance Webinars

EPA will host pre-application assistance webinars to answer prospective applicant questions about the EJ grant process.

To attend the first webinar on January 24, 2023 focused on EJCPS, register here.

To attend the second webinar on January 26, 2023 focused on EJG2G, register here.

Learn more information about environmental justice grant funding.

Learn more information about the Inflation Reduction Act.

La administración Biden-Harris anuncia la disponibilidad de $100 millones a través de la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación para subvenciones de justicia ambiental

Tue, 01/10/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Hoy, la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de Estados Unidos (EPA, por sus siglas en inglés) anunció la disponibilidad de aproximadamente $100 millones para proyectos que promuevan la justicia ambiental en comunidades desatendidas y sobrecargadas en todo el país. Este financiamiento, posible gracias a la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación del presidente Biden, marca la mayor cantidad de fondos de subvenciones de justicia ambiental jamás ofrecida por la Agencia. La EPA ha publicado dos convocatorias para propuestas para este financiamiento a través del Programa de Acuerdo Cooperativo de Resolución Colaborativa de Problemas de Justicia Ambiental (EJCPS) y el Programa de Justicia Ambiental de Gobierno a Gobierno (EJG2G).

“Desde el primer día el presidente Biden se comprometió a priorizar la justicia ambiental y la equidad para todos y la EPA está al centro del cumplimiento de esa misión”, declaró el administrador de la EPA, Michael S. Regan. “El año pasado, anunciamos la primera oficina programática nacional de la EPA dedicada a promover la justicia ambiental, conmemorando nuestro compromiso con este trabajo crítico. Me siento sumamente orgulloso de anunciar ahora un nivel de financiamiento sin precedentes gracias a la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación del presidente Biden para soluciones basadas en la comunidad que apoyan a las comunidades desatendidas y sobrecargadas. Este es un paso clave que ayudará a forjar alianzas sólidas con comunidades de todo el país y nos acercará a concretar un futuro más justo y equitativo para todos”. 

Estos programas de subvenciones fomentan los objetivos de la Iniciativa Justice40 y la Orden Ejecutiva del presidente Biden, Abordar la crisis climática en el país y en el extranjero, indicando que el 40 por ciento de los beneficios generales de ciertas inversiones federales se dirijan a comunidades sobrecargadas que enfrentan impactos desproporcionadamente altos y adversos para la salud y el medioambiente. 

“Hoy, este financiamiento histórico de justicia ambiental por el cual luché para asegurar bajo la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación ahora está disponible”, sostuvo el líder de la mayoría del Senado de EE. UU. Charles E. Schumer. “Esta convocatoria para propuestas asegura que los fondos fluyan directamente a las comunidades que más los necesitan al repartir los fondos entre las entidades sin fines de lucro basadas en las comunidades, así como los estados, las localidades, las tribus y los territorios que usualmente reciben subvenciones federales. El ayudar estas entidades sin fines de lucro que conocen a sus comunidades mejor que nadie fue clave para mi misión cuando luchaba para las prioridades de justicia ambiental en la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación y esto es tan solo el comienzo. Continuaré luchando por la justicia ambiental y trabajando con comunidades a través de Nueva York para que consigan este dinero donde es más necesario”. 

“Cada estadounidense merece acceso al aire y al agua limpios—independientemente de su código postal, el color de su piel y el tamaño de su sueldo”, dijo la senadora Tammy Duckworth. “Es por eso, como cofundadora del Caucus de Justicia Ambiental del Senado, estoy orgullosa de anunciar hoy los fondos para subvenciones que ayudarán a producir resultados en comunidades de justicia ambiental que han sido ignoradas por demasiado tiempo. El acceso al aire limpio y al agua limpia no es tan solo un asunto ambiental—es un asunto de salud y seguridad, racismo sistemático y discriminación persistente en contra de estas comunidades de bajos ingresos. Estoy esperanzada hoy de que tengamos avances importantes para finalizar esta crisis”. 

“Estoy agradecido por el compromiso de la administración Biden para asegurar que aquellos impactados desproporcionalmente por la contaminación y el cambio climático sean brindados la oportunidad de tener un futuro más saludable y más equitativo”, declaró el congresista Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07). “Estas subvenciones anunciadas hoy y otras inversiones de la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación avanzarán la justicia ambiental en comunidades con representación limitada y ayudará a asegurar que cada persona tenga acceso al aire puro, al agua limpia y a un medioambiente que les ayudará a prosperar. En el Congreso, continuaremos nuestros esfuerzos legislativos para proveer mayores protecciones de salud pública para las comunidades vulnerables, fortalecer la Ley de Derechos Civiles y mejorar la labor de justicia ambiental de las agencias federales”. 

“Hemos aprendido durante las últimas dos décadas en las cuales hemos trabajado para la justicia ambiental a nivel comunitario cómo el apoyo y los fondos adecuados pueden convertir las buenas ideas y el trabajo duro en algo realmente impactante”, indicó Catherine Coleman Flowers, directora fundadora del Centro para la Empresa Rural y Justicia Ambiental. “Confío en que esta inversión histórica de la EPA y la administración Biden va a producir soluciones increíbles para la crisis de injusticia ambiental, especialmente en las comunidades rurales que carecen de recursos y están sobrecargadas”. 

El Programa de Acuerdo Cooperativo del Programa de Resolución Colaborativa de Problemas de Justicia Ambiental (EJCPS) 

El Programa EJCPS proporcionará aproximadamente $30 millones en fondos directamente a organizaciones comunitarias sin fines de lucro (y asociaciones de estas organizaciones), reservando $5 millones para pequeñas organizaciones comunitarias sin fines de lucro que posean cinco o menos empleados a tiempo completo. En total, la Agencia prevé financiar aproximadamente 50 adjudicaciones por un valor de $500,000 dólares y 30 adjudicaciones por un valor de $150,000 dólares. 

El Programa de Acuerdo de Cooperación EJCPS de la EPA proporciona asistencia financiera a organizaciones elegibles que trabajan o planean trabajar en proyectos destinados a abordar problemas ambientales y/o de salud pública locales en sus comunidades. El programa ayuda a los beneficiarios a establecer asociaciones de colaboración con otras partes interesadas (por ejemplo, empresas e industrias locales, gobierno local, proveedores de servicios médicos, academia, etc.) a fin de desarrollar soluciones que aborden significativamente los problemas ambientales y/o de salud pública a nivel local. 

El Programa de Justicia Ambiental de Gobierno a Gobierno (EJG2G) 

El Programa EJG2G (anteriormente conocido como el programa del Acuerdo Cooperativo de Justicia Ambiental del Estado) proporcionará un estimado de $70 millones en fondos. De estos, $20 millones serán para los gobiernos estatales a fin de ser utilizados en conjunto con socios de organizaciones comunitarias (CBO), $20 millones serán para el gobierno local con socios de CBO, $20 millones serán para Naciones Tribales Reconocidas Federalmente con socios de CBO, y $10 millones serán para territorios estadounidenses y tribus remotas con acceso limitado a socios de CBO. En total, la Agencia prevé financiar aproximadamente 70 proyectos de hasta $1 millón cada uno para un proyecto de 3 años. 

El Programa EJG2G trabaja para apoyar y/o crear actividades estatales modelo que produzcan resultados ambientales o de salud pública mensurables en comunidades desproporcionadamente recargadas por daños y riesgos ambientales. Estos modelos deben aprovechar o utilizar los recursos o activos existentes de las agencias estatales para desarrollar herramientas y procesos clave que integren consideraciones de justicia ambiental en los gobiernos estatales y los programas gubernamentales. 

Conforme a los programas EJCPS y EJG2G, la EPA dará especial consideración a las siguientes áreas de enfoque: 

Proyectos que abordan el cambio climático, la resiliencia ante desastres y/o la preparación para emergencias

Los solicitantes interesados deben presentar paquetes de propuestas a más tardar el 10 de abril de 2023 a fin de ser considerados para los fondos disponibles. Los solicitantes deben planificar que los proyectos comiencen el 1 de octubre de 2023.

Este financiamiento se basa en fondos adicionales del Plan de Rescate Estadounidense. En diciembre de 2021, la EPA seleccionó a 154 organizaciones para recibir un total de aproximadamente $18.4 millones en fondos de subvenciones de justicia ambiental.

La EPA planea anunciar una competencia adicional de subvenciones de justicia ambiental, haciendo un uso exhaustivo de los recursos de IRA, a principios de 2023 a fin de establecer una red de generadores de subvenciones en todo Estados Unidos para facilitar la concesión de subvenciones de evaluación, planificación y desarrollo de proyectos a las comunidades y sus socios.

Seminarios web de asistencia previa a la solicitud 

La EPA organizará seminarios web de asistencia previa a la solicitud para responder a las preguntas de los posibles solicitantes sobre el proceso de subvención de justicia ambiental. 

Para asistir al primer seminario web el 24 de enero de 2023 centrado en EJCPS, regístrese aquí

Para asistir al segundo seminario web el 26 de enero de 2023 centrado en EJG2G, regístrese aquí.   

Obtenga más información sobre la financiación de subvenciones de justicia ambiental. (En inglés) 

Obtenga más información sobre la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación. (En inglés)

EPA and TC Oil Pipeline Operations Inc. Enter Into Agreement to Clean Up Oil Discharge From Pipeline Rupture Near Washington, Kansas

Mon, 01/09/2023 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (JAN. 9, 2023) – TC Oil Pipeline Operations Inc. has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up the oil discharge that occurred Dec. 7 in Washington County, Kansas, as a result of a rupture in a section of the Keystone Pipeline. TC Energy is the parent company to TC Oil Pipeline Operations Inc

“EPA is grateful to the hundreds of EPA and other federal, state, and local agency personnel who quickly responded to this emergency,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “The federal government and the state of Kansas are committed to a thorough cleanup and restoration of the impacted area.”

On Dec. 7, 2022, an estimated 14,000 barrels of oil (588,000 gallons) leaked from the ruptured pipeline over land and into Mill Creek, which subsequently violated the federal Clean Water Act, creating an imminent and substantial threat to human health and the environment.

In the cleanup order, finalized January 6, EPA asserts that the oil-impacted surface water in Mill Creek at least 3½ miles downstream resulted in vegetation staining near the pipeline rupture, caused a visible sheen on the water, and significantly affected fish and wildlife.

The order requires TC Oil Pipeline Operations Inc. to recover oil and oil-contaminated soil and vegetation and contain the further spread of oil in Mill Creek. All work required under the order to abate the endangerment identified in the order will be completed under EPA oversight.

TC Oil Pipeline Operations Inc. operates sections of the Keystone Pipeline System. The Keystone Pipeline is a 2,687-mile liquid oil pipeline system between Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, and Port Arthur, Texas. The breach occurred in a section of the pipeline that stretches from Steele City, Nebraska, to Cushing, Oklahoma, which was completed in 2011.

Discharges of pollutants, including oil, into federally protected waterways are violations of the Clean Water Act.

Read more about EPA’s Clean Water Act enforcement programs.

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EPA provides research funds to Colorado Small Businesses to develop technologies for wastewater reuse and microplastic identification

Fri, 01/06/2023 - 19:00

DENVER (January 6, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding two Colorado small businesses, Lafayette-based, Sporian Microsystems Inc., and Lakewood-based, J-Tech LLC, $100,000 each to develop promising environmental technologies related to microplastics identification and wastewater reuse. The Colorado businesses are among $2,497,134 EPA is awarding to 25 small businesses nationwide for projects advancing a wide range of technologies, including detecting methane emissions, prolonging the shelf life of foods, reducing food waste, improving recycling, and sampling methods for pollution.

Sporian Microsystems Inc., of Lafayette, Colo., will use $100,000 in EPA research funding to develop a high-speed, low-cost imaging system to identify microplastics in the environment. This system will rapidly and efficiently detect and quantify microplastics in waters and soils and improve monitoring and removal processes for these pollutants. 

J-Tech LLC, of Lakewood, Colo., will use $100,000 in EPA research funding to develop a technology that enables low-cost, chemical-free, and sustainable disinfection of wastewater in septic tanks for non-potable reuse, such as irrigation.  The innovative technology uses microbes and electricity to disinfect septic tank wastewater on-site, eliminating the need for transport and treatment. 

“EPA applauds these Colorado businesses for working to develop innovative technologies that protect people and the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “We look forward to seeing these projects evolve into products and processes that can be applied to environmental challenges here in our region and across the U.S.”

These awards are part of EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program which conducts an annual, two-phase competition for funding. The 25 small businesses below are receiving up to $100,000 in Phase I funding for six months for “proof of concept” of their proposed technology. Companies that complete Phase I can then apply to receive Phase II funding of up to $400,000 to further develop and commercialize their technology.

Additional SBIR Phase I winners and their proposed technologies are below:

  • Beta Analytic (Miami, Fla.) to develop a novel method to trace fugitive sources of methane in atmospheric gas mixtures.
  • Can I Recycle This, Inc. (Athens, Ga.) to develop a circular economy solution that provides real-time, geospatial materials recovery information.
  • Censys Technologies Corporation (Daytona Beach, Fla.) to develop an innovative system for remote sensing of fugitive methane.
  • City of Roses Disposal and Recycling, Inc. (Portland, Ore.) to develop a real-time recycling inventory aggregation and management software for construction and demolition waste.
  • Cleaned and Green, LLC (Indian Springs Village, Ala.) to develop ann enhanced efficiency poultry litter-based fertilizer that is cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
  • Aquarius Systems (North Prairie, Wis.) to develop an in-water collection and removal device to capture floating debris.
  • EIC Laboratories, Inc. (Norwood, Mass.) to develop a novel technique for rapid, on-site analysis of water quality.
  • Forever Analytical Services, Inc. (South Bend, Ind.) to develop a rapid, field-deployable water sampling device to measure PFAS.
  • GoodGames (Freeport, Maine) to develop a social networking platform to help build community resilience to disasters, threats, and extreme weather.
  • HJ Science & Technology, Inc. (San Leandro, Calif.) to develop a portable, on-site technology to detect PFAS in complex water environments. 
  • Hydrova Inc. (San Diego, Calif.) to develop a novel process for complete resource recovery and hydrogen peroxide production from secondary aluminum processing waste.
  • Imvela Corp (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to develop a novel, natural ingredient that reduces microbial spoilage and extends shelf life of fresh fruit.
  • Iterant, Inc. (Berkeley, Calif.) to develop an online platform for regional plastic packaging reuse systems.
  • Kamilo, Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.) to develop a digital verification system to confirm the percentage of recycled content in products to advance plastic circularity.
  • Mesa Photonics, LLC (Santa Fe, N.M.) to develop a methane monitoring network for continuous measurement of methane emissions.
  • Optimized Thermal Systems, Inc. (Beltsville, Md.) to optimize a machine for improved recovery of a refrigerant with high global warming potential.
  • LeapFrog Design (Bend, Ore.) to develop a modular ecological water treatment system for onsite capture and non-potable reuse from single-family residences.
  • Seacoast Science, Inc. (Carlsbad, Calif.) to develop a fully automated analyzer to monitor air toxics in indoor spaces.
  • Ourobio (Charlottesville, Va.) to produce sustainable indigoid dyes and bioplastics using byproducts of dairy processing
  • UES, Inc. (Dayton, Ohio) to develop an innovative air toxic monitoring system for neighborhood-level monitoring.
  • VISIMO, LLC (Coraopolis, Pa.) to develop a machine learning toolkit for screening research published outside of commercial or academic publishing to improve systematic reviews for chemical risk assessment.
  • Wisely, Inc. (Wilmington, N.C.) to develop a smart food storage system to reduce household food waste by allowing users to track perishables.
  • Zabble Inc. (Walnut Creek, Calif.) to develop an artificial intelligence-based tagging platform for contamination monitoring audits to improve recycling.

Learn more about the winning companies.

Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program.

EPA Requires Reporting on Releases and Other Waste Management for Nine Additional PFAS

Fri, 01/06/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the automatic addition of nine per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list.

TRI data are reported to EPA annually by facilities in certain industry sectors and federal facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use TRI-listed chemicals above certain quantities. The data include quantities of such chemicals that were released into the environment or otherwise managed as waste. Information collected through TRI allows communities to learn how facilities in their area are managing listed chemicals. The data collected also helps to support informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the public.

The addition of these PFAS supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to address the impacts of these forever chemicals, and advances EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap to confront the human health and environmental risks of PFAS.

“Communities have a right to know how and where PFAS are being managed, released, or recycled,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “EPA continues to work to fill critical data gaps for these chemicals and ensure this data is publicly available.”

These nine PFAS were added to the TRI list pursuant to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which provides the framework for the automatic addition of PFAS to TRI each year in response to certain EPA activities involving such PFAS. For TRI Reporting Year 2023 (reporting forms due by July 1, 2024), reporting is required for nine additional PFAS, bringing the total PFAS subject to TRI reporting to 189.

Addition of four PFAS no longer claimed as confidential business information

Under NDAA section 7321(e), EPA must review confidential business information (CBI) claims before adding a PFAS to the TRI list if the chemical identity is subject to a claim of protection from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(a). EPA previously identified four PFAS for addition to the TRI list based on the NDAA’s provision to include certain PFAS upon the NDAA’s enactment. However, due to CBI claims related to their identities, these PFAS were not added to the TRI list at that time. The identities of these PFAS were subsequently declassified in an update to the TSCA Inventory in February 2022 because at least one manufacturer did not claim them as confidential during prior CDR reporting. Because they were no longer confidential, pursuant to the NDAA, the four chemicals were added to the TRI list:

  • Alcohols, C8-16, γ-ω-perfluoro, reaction products with 1,6-diisocyanatohexane, glycidol and stearyl alc. (2728655-42-1)
  • Acetamide, N-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]-, 2-[(γ-ω-perfluoro-C4-20-alkyl)thio] derivs. (2738952-61-7)
  • Acetic acid, 2-[(γ-ω-perfluoro-C4-20-alkyl)thio] derivs., 2-hydroxypropyl esters (2744262-09-5)
  • Acetamide, N-(2-aminoethyl)-, 2-[(γ-ω-perfluoro-C4-20-alkyl)thio] derivs., polymers with N1,N1-dimethyl-1,3-propanediamine, epichlorohydrin and ethylenediamine, oxidized (2742694-36-4)

Addition of five PFAS with final toxicity values

The 2020 NDAA includes a provision that automatically adds PFAS to the TRI list upon the Agency’s finalization of a toxicity value. In December 2022, EPA finalized a toxicity value for Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), its anion, and its related salts. Pursuant to the NDAA, the following five chemicals have been added to the TRI:

  • PFBA (375-22-4)
  • Perfluorobutanoate (45048-62-2)
  • Ammonium perfluorobutanoate (10495-86-0)
  • Potassium perfluorobutanoate (2966-54-3)
  • Sodium perfluorobutanoate (2218-54-4)

As of January 1, 2023, facilities which are subject to reporting requirements for these chemicals should start tracking their activities involving these PFAS as required by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

As part of EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap, the Agency also proposed a rule in December 2022 to enhance PFAS reporting to TRI by eliminating an exemption that allows facilities to avoid reporting information on PFAS when those chemicals are used in small, or de minimis, concentrations. Because PFAS are used at low concentrations in many products, this rule would ensure that covered industry sectors and federal facilities that make or use TRI-listed PFAS will no longer be able to rely on the de minimis exemption to avoid disclosing their PFAS releases and other waste management quantities for these chemicals.

Learn more about the addition of these PFAS to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).

EPA Proposes to Strengthen Air Quality Standards to Protect the Public from Harmful Effects of Soot

Fri, 01/06/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a proposal to strengthen a key national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for fine particle pollution, also known as PM2.5, to better protect communities, including those most overburdened by pollution. Fine particles, sometimes called soot, can penetrate deep into the lungs and can result in serious health effects that include asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death – disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations including children, older adults, those with heart or lung conditions, as well as communities of color and low-income communities throughout the United States. These particles may be emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks, or fires; other particles form in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industrial facilities, and vehicles.

EPA’s proposal will specifically take comment on strengthening the primary (health-based) annual PM2.5 standard from a level of 12 micrograms per cubic meter to a level between 9 and 10 micrograms per cubic meter, reflecting the latest health data and scientific evidence; the Agency is also taking comment on the full range (between 8 and 11 micrograms per cubic meter) included in the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee’s (CASAC) latest report.

“Our work to deliver clean, breathable air for everyone is a top priority at EPA, and this proposal will help ensure that all communities, especially the most vulnerable among us, are protected from exposure to harmful pollution,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This proposal to deliver stronger health protections against particulate matter is grounded in the best available science, advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to scientific integrity and a rigorous scientific process.”

“As a physician who’s passionate about oncology and dedicated to enhancing the health equity that’s so often needed in Black communities and other communities of color, I am grateful for the Biden Administration’s commitment to advancing equity and justice for all,” said Dr. Doris Browne, former President of the National Medical Association. “No one should be sickened by the environment they live in, and EPA’s proposal marks the start of changes that will have lasting impacts in communities all over, especially Black and brown communities that often experience increased PM pollution. Harmful air pollution can have lasting and devastating impacts on people’s health, but by strengthening air quality standards, we can ensure healthier, more sustainable communities across this country.”

Since EPA completed its last review of the PM NAAQS in 2012, thousands of new scientific studies have demonstrated the dangers of soot exposure. Strengthening the primary annual PM2.5 standard is expected to address disparities and would result in significant public health benefits. EPA estimates that if finalized, a strengthened primary annual PM2.5 standard at a level of 9 micrograms per cubic meter, the lower end of the proposed range, would prevent:

  • up to 4,200 premature deaths per year;
  • 270,000 lost workdays per year;
  • result in as much as $43 billion in net health benefits in 2032.

EPA will work closely with state, local, and Tribal air agencies to implement the revised primary annual PM2.5 standard when finalized. Today’s proposal is the latest in a broader suite of programs under President Biden’s leadership to reduce air pollution that threatens communities.  These programs include the proposed Good Neighbor Plan to address smog that affects downwind states, rules to address air pollution from oil and gas operations, including methane pollution, and other critical rules to reduce emissions from power plants and the transportation sector, such as the recently finalized Clean Trucks Rule that will slash smog- and soot-forming pollution from heavy-duty trucks. Additionally, funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act aimed at cutting pollution from school buses and trucks, port operations, and electricity generation are also expected to reduce soot and other harmful air pollutants.

EPA is also proposing to revise other aspects related to the PM standards – such as monitoring requirements and the Air Quality Index (AQI) – that will help states and Tribal Nations meet the revised standards while making significant strides toward protecting the health of all people, including at-risk populations. The Agency is proposing to retain the primary 24-hour PM2.5 standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter, while taking comment on revising this level to as low as 25 micrograms per cubic meter. 

In June 2021, EPA announced it would reconsider the previous administration’s December 2020 decision to retain the 2012 PM2.5 standards, because available scientific evidence and technical information indicated that the standards may not be adequate to protect public health and welfare. In developing today’s proposal, EPA considered the best available science and technical information, including an Integrated Science Assessment and updated Policy Assessment that were made available for public comment and for expert review by the Agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and CASAC PM expert panel. EPA carefully evaluated the recommendations of the CASAC in developing the proposed rule.

EPA will accept public comment for 60 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register. EPA will also conduct a virtual public hearing over several days for this proposed rulemaking, with the hearing beginning at 11:00 am Eastern Time and concluding at 7:00 pm ET each day.  EPA will begin pre-registering speakers for the hearing upon publication of the announcement of the public hearings in the Federal Register.  Additional information will also be made available on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for PM webpage.

After reviewing comments, the Agency plans to issue final standards later this year.

More information on particulate matter.

More information on the NAAQS review process and other documents related to this reconsideration.

Background

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set two types of NAAQS: health-based standards, called primary standards, and standards to protect public welfare, called secondary standards. Based on the scientific evidence and technical information, EPA has set two primary standards for PM2.5, which work together to protect public health: the annual standard, which EPA is proposing to revise, and a 24-hour standard, which the Agency is proposing to retain. EPA also is proposing to retain the current primary 24-hour standard for PM10, which provides protection against coarse particles. In addition, the Agency is proposing to retain the secondary standards for both PM2.5 and PM10 at this time.

EPA to Host January Virtual Community Meeting for Erie Residents

Thu, 01/05/2023 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 5, 2023) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a virtual community meeting for residents of  Erie, Pennsylvania, to share information about health risks from the chemical, ethylene oxide or EtO. The community meeting will take place virtually on January 19 at 6 p.m. During the meeting, EPA staff will discuss revised risk information related to the Cosmed commercial sterilizer facility, located at 2205 East 33rd Street in Erie.

In the coming months, 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 Cosmed to reduce emissions and risk.

A Spanish-speaking interpreter will be available.  To register for this virtual meeting, visit: https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_Xitm9DVfTv6HGZTfH2sq8Q

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

To contact us, go to:  eto@epa.gov

EPA Settlement with Univar Solutions USA Inc. Improves Safety at Five Chemical Distribution Facilities

Thu, 01/05/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Univar Solutions USA Inc. (Univar) to resolve alleged violations of industrial accident-prevention requirements at five facilities located in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Colorado. Four of the five facilities are in overburdened communities with environmental justice concerns. 

The settlement addresses violations of the General Duty Clause (GDC) and Risk Management Program (RMP) under Clean Air Act (CAA) Sections 112(r)(1) and 112(r)(7), which make owners and operators of facilities that have regulated hazardous substances responsible for ensuring that their chemicals are managed safely and that steps are taken to reduce the risk of accidental releases of chemicals, which can have serious consequences for public health and safety. Also resolved are violations of Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) recordkeeping requirements under Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313 at the Colorado facility. TRI reports inform the community about certain chemical usage and releases that may affect public health and the environment. The settlement with Univar is valued at $800,000.

“Environmental requirements like the General Duty Clause are necessary to ensure the safe management of chemicals and to reduce the risk of industrial accidents in communities, especially those that are most vulnerable,” said Larry Starfield, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This settlement not only requires Univar to implement safety measures at their facilities, but they will also be providing emergency response equipment to two of the affected communities through a Supplemental Environmental Project that they are undertaking.”

Univar is the largest commodity and specialty chemical and ingredient distributer in the U.S. Headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, it has several hundred chemical distribution facilities that blend, mix and repackage bulk chemicals for shipment across America. Univar will pay $600,000 in penalties. In addition, Univar agreed to spend no less than $200,000 to implement a Supplemental Environmental Project that will provide emergency response equipment to enhance the capabilities of two fire departments: the Denver Fire Department in Colorado and the Bunola Fire Department in Pennsylvania.

Between 2016 and 2019, the EPA conducted inspections at five of Univar’s facilities located in Bunola, PA; Denver, CO; Middletown, PA; and two in Providence, RI. Many of the EPA’s allegations for all five facilities related to Univar’s failure to comply with industry standards of care as required by the GDC and RMP regulations for hazardous and/or regulated chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia, aqueous ammonia (conc. 20% or greater), chlorine and formaldehyde.

For over 50 years, industry has published standards, codes, and guidance that outline measures to help prevent and mitigate accidental releases of hazardous chemicals. These standards apply layers of protections to make facilities safer and are routinely updated to keep up with improving technology, newly identified hazards, industry operating experience, and/or incidents indicating more stringent hazard controls are needed. When enforcing the Clean Air Act’s General Duty Clause or chemical accident prevention regulations, the EPA looks to these industry standards of care for how to design and operate a chemical production or distribution facility. 

Reducing risks from accidental releases of hazardous substances at industrial and chemical facilities is a top priority for EPA, which identified this goal as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019.

Read the Consent Agreement and Final Order.

Read more information about the General Duty Clause Requirements of Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act and Risk Management Program.

Read more information about the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program.

Read more information about EPA’s National Compliance Initiative - Reducing Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities and Enforcement Alert for Chemical Warehouses.

Settlement with Univar Solutions USA Inc. improves safety at Denver chemical distribution facility

Thu, 01/05/2023 - 19:00

DENVER – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Univar Solutions USA Inc. (Univar) to resolve alleged violations of industrial accident-prevention requirements at one of Univar’s chemical distribution facilities in North Denver as well as four other Univar facilities located in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. As part of the settlement, Univar will spend approximately $195,000 on a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) to provide emergency response equipment to the Denver Fire Department Foundation for use by the Denver Fire Department (DFD).

The settlement addresses violations of the General Duty Clause (GDC) and Risk Management Program (RMP), under Clean Air Act (CAA) Sections 112(r)(1) and 112(r)(7), which make owners and operators of facilities using regulated hazardous substances and chemicals responsible for ensuring chemicals are managed safely and that steps are taken to reduce the risk of accidental releases, which can have serious consequences for public health and safety. The settlement also resolves violations of Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) recordkeeping requirements under Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313 at the Colorado facility. TRI reports inform communities about certain chemical use and releases that may affect public health and the environment.

“This settlement will make historically underserved communities in the North Denver area safer,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “In addition to requiring Univar to strengthen safety measures at its Denver facility, the company will provide valuable emergency response equipment to protect Denver’s firefighters and the residents they serve.”

Under the order, Univar is required to comply with applicable statutory and regulatory provisions and to complete certain flange repairs at the Denver facility within 60 days of the effective date of the final order. Univar will pay $600,000 in penalties. In addition, Univar agreed to implement a SEP that will provide emergency response equipment to enhance the capabilities of two fire departments: the Denver Fire Department in Colorado and the Bunola Fire Department in Pennsylvania.

As part of the SEP, Univar will spend at least $195,103 to purchase Hazmat protection suits, Level A chemical protection suits, and field equipment for the Denver Fire Department. This equipment will enhance the capabilities of emergency responders, facilitate quick and efficient responses to releases associated with emergency events, and provide environmental and public health benefits for local communities, including those near Univar’s North Denver facility, which are overburdened by environmental pollution.

DFD emergency responders perform a drill wearing Level A chemical protection suits. (Photo Credit: Denver Fire Department)

“The opportunity to receive this equipment is invaluable to the Denver Fire Department,” said Desmond Fulton, Chief of the Denver Fire Department. “These specialized tools and protective equipment will directly assist DFD with our Hazardous Materials Response when called upon to protect the citizens of Denver and the communities we serve.”

Between 2016 and 2019, EPA conducted inspections at five of Univar’s facilities located in Denver, Colo., Bunola, Penn., Middletown, Penn., and two in Providence, R.I. EPA’s allegations for all five Univar facilities include failure to comply with industry standards of care as required by the GDC and RMP regulations for hazardous and/or regulated chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia, aqueous ammonia, chlorine and formaldehyde.

For over 50 years, industry has published standards, codes, and guidance that outline measures to help prevent and mitigate accidental releases of hazardous chemicals. These standards apply layers of protections to make facilities safer and are routinely updated to keep up with improving technology, newly identified hazards, industry operating experience, and/or incidents indicating more stringent hazard controls are needed. When enforcing the Clean Air Act’s General Duty Clause or chemical accident prevention regulations, EPA looks to these industry standards of care in evaluating the design and operation of chemical production and distribution facilities. 

Reducing risks from accidental releases of hazardous substances at industrial and chemical facilities is an EPA priority, identified as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019.

Read the Consent Agreement and Final Order.

More information about the General Duty Clause Requirements of Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act and Risk Management Program.

More information about the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program.

More information about EPA’s National Compliance Initiative - Reducing Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities and Enforcement Alert for Chemical Warehouses.

More information about the Denver Fire Department Foundation and the Denver Fire Department.

EPA Reaches Settlement with San Diego-based Pacific Ship Repair & Fabrication Inc.

Thu, 01/05/2023 - 19:00

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has reached an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with Pacific Ship Repair & Fabrication Inc. over claims of Clean Water Act (CWA) violations at its facility in San Diego, California. Under the terms of the AOC, the company will undertake several steps to prevent stormwater pollutants—particularly metals—from discharging into Chollas Creek, a tributary to San Diego Bay.

"By completing facility upgrades, Pacific Ship Repair is taking the necessary steps to prevent further metal exceedances in stormwater discharges," said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. "Addressing pollution in stormwater is a vital part of the Clean Water Act. Enforcing noncompliance ensures safer, cleaner waterways."

Pollutants from industrial stormwater facilities, if not properly managed, can impact water quality and aquatic life. The CWA requires that certain industrial facilities obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits to control the discharge of pollutants in stormwater runoff to water bodies. These facilities must develop and implement a stormwater pollution prevention plan to prevent stormwater runoff from carrying harmful pollutants into local water bodies.

The Chollas Creek has been identified as an impaired water under the CWA for metals, including copper and zinc. From 2016 to 2021, Pacific Ship Repair exceeded the applicable levels for copper and zinc in its stormwater drainage on four occasions. In July 2021, the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which is a numeric pollutant limit for water bodies that are impaired, became effective to protect the Chollas Creek. In the first half of 2022, Pacific Ship Repair had four additional exceedances, including the TMDL for both copper and zinc. In violation of its permit, Pacific Ship Repair has not implemented the Best Available Technology Economically Achievable to prevent toxic pollutants like copper and zinc from entering the Chollas Creek.

To settle EPA claims of violations, Pacific Ship Repair has agreed to:

  1. Resurface the entire facility.
  2. Re-pipe the entire facility.
  3. Continue all existing best management practices, repaint the roofs of building on the property, and increase industrial sweeping.

Once these steps have been taken, Pacific Ship Repair will then be subject to a three-year monitoring period. If the facility exceeds permitted levels of pollutants for zinc or copper in its stormwater discharge during the monitoring period, it will be required to install onsite stormwater treatment unless it can show that the exceedances are caused solely by factors beyond the control of the owner.

EPA conducts inspections and takes enforcement actions as part of its mission to protect public health and the environment. EPA will monitor Pacific Ship Repair’s progress and take further action should the company fail to meet its obligations.

Learn more about the stormwater permits under the Clean Water Act.

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

EPA Releases New PFAS Analytic Tools

Thu, 01/05/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new interactive webpage, called the “PFAS Analytic Tools,” which provides information about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) across the country. This information will help the public, researchers, and other stakeholders better understand potential PFAS sources in their communities. The PFAS Analytic Tools bring together multiple sources of information in one spot with mapping, charting, and filtering functions, allowing the public to see where testing has been done and what level of detections were measured.

“EPA’s PFAS Analytic Tools webpage brings together for the first time data from multiple sources in an easy to use format,” said John Dombrowski, Director of EPA’s Office of Compliance. “This webpage will help communities gain a better understanding of local PFAS sources.”

EPA’s PFAS Analytic Tools draws from multiple national databases and reports to consolidate information in one webpage. The PFAS Analytic Tools includes information on Clean Water Act PFAS discharges from permitted sources, reported spills containing PFAS constituents, facilities historically manufacturing or importing PFAS, federally owned locations where PFAS is being investigated, transfers of PFAS-containing waste, PFAS detection in natural resources such as fish or surface water, and drinking water testing results. The tools cover a broad list of PFAS and represent EPA’s ongoing efforts to provide the public with access to the growing amount of testing information that is available.

Because the regulatory framework for PFAS chemicals is emerging, data users should pay close attention to the caveats found within the site so that the completeness of the data sets is fully understood. Rather than wait for complete national data to be available, EPA is publishing what is currently available while information continues to fill in. Users should be aware that some of the datasets are complete at the national level whereas others are not. For example, EPA has included a national inventory for drinking water testing at larger public water utilities. That information was provided between 2013-2016. To include more recent data, EPA also compiled other drinking water datasets that are available online in select states. For the subset of states and tribes publishing PFAS testing results in drinking water, the percentage of public water supplies tested varied significantly from state to state. Because of the differences in testing and reporting across the country, the data should not be used for comparisons across cities, counties, or states. 

To improve the availability of the data in the future, EPA has published its fifth Safe Drinking Water Act Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule to expand on the initial drinking water data reporting that was conducted in 2013-2016. Beginning in 2023, this expansion will bring the number of drinking water PFAS samples collected by regulatory agencies into the millions. EPA also significantly expanded the Toxics Release Inventory reporting requirements in recent years to over 175 PFAS substances — and more information should be received in 2023. Additionally, EPA’s proposal to designate PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances would also improve data on spill or release incidents reported to the Emergency Response Notification System. These reporting enhancements will be incorporated into future versions of the interactive webpage. EPA will continue working toward the expansion of data sets in the PFAS Analytic Tools as a way to improve collective knowledge about PFAS occurrence in the environment.

See the new PFAS Analytic Tools.

EPA is planning a demonstration of the tool for Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at 1pm EST. Register for the webinar.

Learn more about EPA’s work to address PFAS.

EPA Announces $500 Million Loan to Modernize Wastewater and Drinking Water Infrastructure in New Jersey

Thu, 01/05/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $500 million loan to the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank to modernize wastewater and drinking water systems serving over 10 million people throughout New Jersey. This is the first loan issued through the State Infrastructure Financing Authority Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (SWIFIA) program, which provides loans exclusively to state infrastructure financing authority borrowers, commonly known as state revolving fund programs.

“The EPA is thrilled to announce our first SWIFIA loan to New Jersey, a state that is making great strides in utilizing water infrastructure investments to improve access to clean, safe water for all residents,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “With EPA’s low-interest WIFIA loan, New Jersey will invest in over 90 communities across the Garden State and create about 16,000 jobs while saving approximately $62.5 million. The Biden Administration is proud to expand our successful WIFIA program to now offer dedicated loans to state infrastructure financing authorities.”

Thanks to EPA’s SWIFIA loan and funding from the New Jersey State Revolving Fund provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, over 90 communities across the Garden State will be able to implement critical water infrastructure projects — remediating contaminated groundwater, replacing lead service lines, and installing filtration systems to protect drinking water from PFAS contamination. These infrastructure investments will help communities maintain compliance with regulatory requirements, manage flooding, and improve climate change resiliency. Projects that will receive SWIFIA funding are located throughout the state, including in 36 small communities and 39 disadvantaged communities.

“From critical resilience projects to the replacement of lead service lines, New Jersey remains at the forefront of innovative water infrastructure solutions,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “The EPA’s SWIFIA loan will further solidify New Jersey’s status as a national model for water infrastructure, which serves as the foundation for healthy communities. In addition to helping our state secure safe, healthy, and efficient wastewater and drinking water systems for all New Jerseyans, the EPA’s support will also help generate good-paying jobs in our expanding water workforce.”

“Rebuilding New Jersey’s aging water and wastewater infrastructure and expanding access to clean, safe water while creating good paying jobs is exactly the type of smart investment our communities and environment need,” said Senator Bob Menendez. “I’m proud to have fought for many of the provisions in the bipartisan America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which created SWIFIA, and will benefit millions of New Jersey families up and down the state with essential funding for state revolving fund programs. I thank the Biden Administration for recognizing this critical opportunity and choosing New Jersey as the first state in the country to receive a SWIFIA loan, which will ultimately have positive life-changing impacts for communities throughout the Garden State.”

“This historic infusion of federal funds will help New Jersey implement vital water infrastructure projects,” said Senator Cory Booker. “I have championed programs to ensure every American has access to safe, clean drinking water. I am excited the EPA is issuing its first SWIFIA loan to New Jersey. This funding will create hundreds of jobs and advance water infrastructure projects to address contaminants in drinking water, install water filtration systems, and replace lead pipes across our state.”

The SWIFIA program is housed within EPA’s WIFIA program. SWIFIA loans allow state infrastructure finance authorities to offer additional low-cost financing to communities and accelerate important water infrastructure projects.

Learn about submitting a letter of interest for a WIFIA or SWIFIA loan.

Learn more about the SWIFIA program.

Background

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. The WIFIA program’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.

The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending WIFIA and SWIFIA applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs. With this loan closing, EPA’s WIFIA program has announced 96 loans that are providing $17 billion in credit assistance to help finance $36 billion for water infrastructure while creating 122,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $5 billion.

EPA is currently accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. In June, EPA announced the availability of $5.5 billion under the 2022 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability and an additional $1 billion under the SWIFIA program. Together, this newly available funding will support more than $13 billion in water infrastructure projects while creating more than 40,000 jobs.

U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program Advances Energy Management through Smart Homes

Wed, 01/04/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the first mass-market Smart Home Energy Management System (SHEMS) to earn ENERGY STAR certification. With smart home products gaining in popularity across the country, this certification gives homeowners and renters nationwide the ability to choose systems that help them simplify the management of networked products to save energy, save money and protect the climate.

“In today’s world just about everything is connected, including many of the household products we use each and every day,” said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan. “With smart systems that earn the ENERGY STAR, American households will be able to track and automate everything from their lighting to their thermostat use to optimize for energy savings that lead to financial savings and a reduced carbon footprint.”

ENERGY STAR certified Smart Home Energy Management Systems enable consumers to enjoy the “smart home” experience, with the added benefit of optimized energy efficiency. Certified systems allow users to control and track the use of products and devices ranging from their lighting, home entertainment, and appliances to their EV charger or solar panels, all from one centralized management system. Certified systems offer a variety of energy-saving attributes, including standby limits on all required devices, grid communication capabilities to enable demand response functionality, utility time of use pricing integration to run appliances or EV charging off peak, and the ability to suggest energy saving actions based on room or home occupancy. The value of an ENERGY STAR certified SHEMS is that it simplifies your efforts to save energy use and allows you to reap the full benefits of home efficiency regardless of your level of personal involvement. Whether you’re a technology and data enthusiast who enjoys a deeper dive into your home energy management or a busy individual who wants to automate your home systems and take energy management off your mental plate, SHEMS allows you to maximize savings.

EPA is pleased to announce that Samsung SmartThings is the first platform of its kind to earn the ENERGY STAR certification for a Smart Home Energy Management System (SHEMS). SmartThings creates meaningful experiences that are effortlessly integrated across any phone, any device, and any brand. With ENERGY STAR certification of the new Samsung SmartThings Home Energy service, simplified home energy management is now available nationwide, and with integrations that span thousands of partner brands, this platform allows you to build a smart home as unique as you.

About ENERGY STAR certified Smart Home Energy Management Systems (SHEMS)

The ENERGY STAR SHEMS specification defines a home energy management system that will enhance the consumer “smart home” experience by delivering meaningful energy savings in addition to the comfort and convenience associated with smart home devices. EPA created this opportunity to promote energy management in the smart home space as the market continues to grow and evolve. By providing a national platform for smart energy management that is scalable, customizable and can be leveraged by a variety of stakeholders, EPA hopes to foster effective methods of smart home energy management.

The SHEMS program is designed to facilitate untapped residential energy savings associated with occupancy-based optimization control of key devices and the introduction of additional energy-saving products into the home. Key features of the SHEMS performance criteria include:

  • ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat, ENERGY STAR certified lighting and plug load control.
  • Standby limits on all required devices.
  • Ability to receive and utilize occupancy information to produce energy-saving actions (e.g. schedules, suggested actions, service initiated actions like adjusting the heat when no one is home).
  • User access to energy use information to facilitate energy-saving behavior.
  • A daily kWh budget for operating lights while away.
  • Grid communication to enable demand response functionality.
  • Integration with utility dynamic (time of use) pricing schedules.

About ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—including about 40% of the Fortune 500®—rely on their partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped American families and businesses avoid more than $450 billion in energy costs and achieve 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.

More background information about ENERGY STAR.

EPA Settles Clean Air Act Case with Polyurethane Facility in Earth City, Missouri

Wed, 01/04/2023 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (JAN. 4, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Earth City, Missouri, polyurethane manufacturer Foam Supplies Inc. to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan Rule.

The settlement requires the company to pay a $7,398 civil penalty. The company also agreed to purchase no less than $35,500 in emergency response equipment to be donated to a local fire department.

"It is important that companies that handle dangerous chemicals comply with the safety requirements of the Clean Air Act,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “Through this enforcement action, Foam Supplies is now in compliance with those rules and local emergency responders have new equipment that will improve their ability to safely respond to chemical releases.”

According to EPA, the company stores over 10,000 pounds of methyl formate, a regulated flammable substance, and failed to comply with regulations intended to protect the surrounding community from accidental releases of regulated substances. Alleged violations included failure to submit a risk management plan and implement a hazard assessment. In response to EPA’s findings, Foam Supplies Inc. took the necessary steps to bring the facility into compliance.

The donated equipment will go to the Pattonville, Missouri, Fire Department. It includes gas detectors to help determine if the atmosphere is safe for entry by firefighters; air bags for rapid extrication of entrapped individuals; and new fire hoses. This project will improve the ability of the local emergency response team to detect and respond to releases of regulated substances.

The Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan Rule regulations require facilities that use regulated toxic and/or flammable substances to develop a Risk Management Plan that identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident; identifies steps a facility is taking to prevent an accident; and spells out emergency response procedures should an accident occur. These plans provide valuable information to local fire, police, and emergency response personnel to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in their community.

EPA has found that many regulated facilities are not adequately managing the risks they pose or ensuring the safety of their facilities in a way that is sufficient to protect surrounding communities. Approximately 150 catastrophic accidents occur each year at regulated facilities. These accidents result in fatalities, injuries, significant property damage, evacuations, sheltering in place, or environmental damage. Many more accidents with lesser effects also occur, demonstrating a clear risk posed by these facilities.

Reducing risks from accidental releases of hazardous substances at industrial and chemical facilities is a top priority for EPA, which identified this goal as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019.

  • Learn more about the EPA’s National Compliance Initiatives
  • Learn more about EPA’s Risk Management Plan Rule

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Learn more about EPA Region 7

View all Region 7 news releases

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EPA Issues Next Test Order Under National Testing Strategy for PFAS Used in Plastics, Chemical Manufacturing

Wed, 01/04/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the next Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) test order requiring testing on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under EPA’s the National PFAS Testing Strategy. Today’s action orders companies to conduct and submit testing on trifluoro(trifluoromethyl)oxirane (HFPO), a perfluoroalkyl substance used in making plastics. This is the second test order under the strategy and the latest action taken under EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap to confront contamination from forever chemicals nationwide.

The information EPA receives under this order will not only improve the Agency’s understanding of human health effects of HFPO, but also the effects of dozens of PFAS that are structurally similar to HFPO and in the same Testing Strategy category of PFAS, improving the agency’s overall data on PFAS. 

“PFAS can pose a serious risk to communities, especially those overburdened with pollution, but many of these chemicals have limited or no toxicity data. That’s why we’re working quickly to establish stronger, more robust data on PFAS to better understand and ultimately reduce the potential risks,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “Communities deserve transparency from the companies that use or produce these substances and we’ll continue to use our data-gathering tools to collect information on the potential environmental and human health impacts of PFAS like HFPO.”

HFPO (CASRN 428-59-1) is used in making plastics and in organic chemical manufacturing. More than 1,000,000 pounds of HFPO are manufactured each year, according to TSCA Chemical Data Reporting rule reports.

After thoroughly examining existing hazard and exposure data, EPA has concluded that HFPO may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. The potential hazards from exposure to this chemical could include neurotoxicity, reproductive effects and cancer. EPA also found there is insufficient information to determine the effects on human health from inhalation of HFPO (which is a gas at room temperature). This test order will address this data need.

The Chemours Company FC LLC, DuPont De Nemours Inc., E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and 3M Company are the recipients of this test order. Prior to issuing the test order, EPA engaged in discussions with the recipient companies to encourage them to voluntarily submit existing data on HFPO to EPA. Based on information in existing studies provided by cooperating companies, EPA determined that certain data were no longer needed and thus excluded the relevant testing requirements from the issued order. EPA has made the data voluntarily provided by these companies publicly available in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2021-0910 on www.regulations.gov.

EPA will continue to communicate with manufacturers and processors before issuing an order to encourage voluntary data submissions that could refine its categorization of PFAS included in the Testing Strategy, accelerate the availability of data to the Agency and the public, or eliminate the need for testing.

The companies subject to the test order may either conduct the tests as described in the order, including testing of physical-chemical properties and health effects following inhalation, or provide EPA with existing information that they believe EPA did not identify in its search. EPA encourages companies to jointly conduct testing to avoid unnecessary duplication of tests and will also consider possible combinations of tests that cover all required endpoints to diminish the amount of time, animal subjects and costs required.

The order employs a tiered testing process, as TSCA requires. The results of all the first-tier testing are required to be submitted to EPA within 415 days of the effective date of the order and will inform the decision as to which additional tests are necessary. The order and any data submitted in response to this order will be made publicly available on EPA’s website and in the applicable docket on www.regulations.gov, subject to confidentiality considerations under TSCA section 14.

PFAS National Testing Strategy

In the National Testing Strategy, EPA assigned PFAS into smaller categories based on similarities in structure, physical-chemical properties and existing toxicity data. EPA is issuing test orders for PFAS in specific categories that lack toxicity data to inform EPA’s understanding of the potential human health effects. The first test order issued in June 2022 was for 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonamide betaine, a PFAS used in commercial firefighting foam. As EPA continues to further develop the Strategy, refine its universe and categorization of PFAS and consider stakeholder feedback, the Agency also plans to increase the weight it places on the potential for exposures when identifying which specific PFAS to require testing on.

Section 4 Test Orders

Developing section 4 test orders is a complex and resource-intensive process involving many scientific and regulatory considerations, as explained in this Overview of Activities Involved in Issuing a TSCA Section 4 Order. Given the complexity of the testing requirements, a broad spectrum of experts across the agency worked to determine testing methodology and needs and address other details of drafting and issuing an order, such as assessing the economic burden of an order.

Additionally, one order often applies to multiple companies. EPA must identify these companies and their associated points of contacts. To improve the transparency of the process, EPA also works to resolve confidential business information claims that could prevent EPA from publicly connecting the company to the chemical substance prior to issuing test orders.

View the test order issued today and other section 4 test orders.

Learn more about the PFAS National Testing Strategy.

EPA Region 7 Encourages Radon Testing During National Radon Action Month

Wed, 01/04/2023 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (JAN. 4, 2023) – During January, EPA Region 7 will hold six outreach events at Kansas City Public Library branches in Missouri to raise awareness of radon exposure and encourage residents to have their homes tested for the presence of radon. January marks National Radon Action Month.

Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that cannot be seen or smelled, is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in the U.S. and is responsible for about 21,000 U.S. deaths each year. Jackson County, Missouri, is in EPA Radon Zone One, meaning homes in the county have the highest potential to test above the recommended radon level assigned by EPA.

“We urge everyone, especially those residing in areas designated as EPA Radon Zone One, to protect their health and their loved ones by testing their homes for the presence of radon gas, which is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmoking Americans,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister.

EPA Region 7 staff will be available at the following Kansas City Public Library branches to discuss the dangers of radon, encourage radon testing, and offer no-cost radon testing kits (as supplies allow):

  • Thursday, Jan. 5, 1 to 5 p.m., at Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, MO 64105
  • Thursday, Jan. 12, 2 to 6 p.m., at Trails West Branch, 11401 East 23rd St. S, Independence, MO 64052
  • Saturday, Jan. 21, noon to 4 p.m., at Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64112
  • Tuesday, Jan. 24, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Southeast Branch, 6242 Swope Pkwy., Kansas City, MO 64130
  • Saturday, Jan. 28, noon to 4 p.m., at Waldo Branch, 201 E. 75th St., Kansas City, MO 64114
  • Tuesday, Jan. 31, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,  at Westport Branch, 118 Westport Rd., Kansas City, MO 64111

Radon testing kits can also be found online or in home improvement stores. National Radon Program Services at Kansas State University offers test kits for purchase online.

Background

Most homes throughout EPA Region 7 are located in areas designated as EPA Radon Zone One or Two, indicating high or moderate potential for elevated radon levels. EPA Region 7 encompasses Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and nine tribal nations.

A map of EPA Radon Zones was developed in 1993 to identify areas of the U.S. with the greatest potential for elevated indoor radon levels, based on indoor radon measurement data, geology, aerial radioactivity, soil parameters, and foundation types. To view a map of EPA’s Radon Zones in your state, visit EPA’s website.

For information on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ radon program, visit the Missouri DHSS website.

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of $40 Million in Grants for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia to Improve Recycling Infrastructure

Wed, 01/04/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $40 million in grants for recycling infrastructure projects for Tribes and intertribal consortia. EPA published a Request for Applications to solicit interest by Tribes and intertribal consortia for the third funding opportunity in the new Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling (SWIFR) grant program funded by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invested $375 million in funding for new recycling, reuse and waste prevention programs and initiatives, the largest investment in recycling infrastructure to EPA in 30 years.

“EPA is committed to working collaboratively with Tribal Nations to protect public health and the environment in Indian country,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “We know that our work is strongest and most effective when it’s informed by people’s lived experiences, and we are grateful for the strong participation from Tribes during our outreach. Our priority is helping Tribal Nations improve their recycling efforts, which is critical given that half of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the creation and production of materials. And, while we have made great strides over time, we can do much more to improve the state of recycling and protect our planet for all.” 

This SWIFR grant opportunity is specifically for federally recognized Tribes, Alaskan Native Villages, and intertribal consortia. It will fund selected projects to create new capacity for Tribes and facilitate greater access to source reduction, recycling, and composting opportunities. Projects may include developing or updating plans focused on improving post-consumer materials management, planning and construction of facilities, purchasing or leasing recycling equipment or supplies, activities focused on increasing collection, and development of end-markets for materials. 

Applications are due by April 4, 2023, via www.grants.gov.

EPA is seeking projects that address environmental justice concerns such as the disproportionate and adverse health, environmental, economic, and climate-related impacts that affect Tribal and Indigenous populations. This grant opportunity aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to deliver justice and equity for all and is part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative.

EPA encourages interested Tribes and intertribal consortia to obtain SAM.gov and Grants.gov identification numbers, which can take a month. Interested applicants can learn how to prepare for a grant application by visiting this webpage.

To access more information and learn how to apply.

Stay connected to learn about upcoming webinars for these grants. 

Read more about the National Recycling Strategy and building a circular economy.

EPA and Army Finalize Rule Establishing Definition of WOTUS and Restoring Fundamental Water Protections

Fri, 12/30/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a final rule establishing a durable definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to reduce uncertainty from changing regulatory definitions, protect people’s health, and support economic opportunity. The final rule restores essential water protections that were in place prior to 2015 under the Clean Water Act for traditional navigable waters, the territorial seas, interstate waters, as well as upstream water resources that significantly affect those waters. As a result, this action will strengthen fundamental protections for waters that are sources of drinking water while supporting agriculture, local economies, and downstream communities.

“When Congress passed the Clean Water Act 50 years ago, it recognized that protecting our waters is essential to ensuring healthy communities and a thriving economy,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Following extensive stakeholder engagement, and building on what we’ve learned from previous rules, EPA is working to deliver a durable definition of WOTUS that safeguards our nation’s waters, strengthens economic opportunity, and protects people’s health while providing greater certainty for farmers, ranchers, and landowners.”

“This final rule recognizes the essential role of the nation’s water resources in communities across the nation,” said Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael L. Connor. “The rule’s clear and supportable definition of waters of the United States will allow for more efficient and effective implementation and provide the clarity long desired by farmers, industry, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders.”

This rule establishes a durable definition of “waters of the United States” that is grounded in the authority provided by Congress in the Clean Water Act, the best available science, and extensive implementation experience stewarding the nation’s waters. The rule returns to a reasonable and familiar framework founded on the pre-2015 definition with updates to reflect existing Supreme Court decisions, the latest science, and the agencies’ technical expertise. It establishes limits that appropriately draw the boundary of waters subject to federal protection.

The final rule restores fundamental protections so that the nation will be closer to achieving Congress’ goal in the Clean Water Act that American waters be fishable and swimmable, and above all, protective of public health. It will also ensure that the nation’s waters support recreation, wildlife, and agricultural activity, which is fundamental to the American economy. The final rule will cover those waters that Congress fundamentally sought to protect in the Clean Water Act—traditional navigable waters, the territorial seas, interstate waters, as well as upstream water resources that significantly affect those waters.

More information, including a pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice and fact sheets, is available at EPA’s “Waters of the United States” website.

Accompanying the issuance of the final rule, the agencies are also releasing several resources to support clear and effective implementation in communities across America. Today, a summary of 10 regional roundtables was released that synthesizes key actions the agencies will take to enhance and improve implementation of “waters of the United States.” These actions were recommendations provided during the 10 regional roundtables where the agencies heard directly from communities on what is working well from an implementation perspective and where there are opportunities for improvement. The roundtables focused on the geographic similarities and differences across regions and provided site specific feedback about the way the scope of “waters of the United States” has been implemented by the agencies.

Today, the agencies are also taking action to improve federal coordination in the ongoing implementation of “waters of the United States.” First, EPA and Army are issuing a joint coordination memo to ensure the accuracy and consistency of jurisdictional determinations under this final rule. Second, the agencies are issuing a memo with U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide clarity on the agencies’ programs under the Clean Water Act and Food Security Act.

Background
On June 9, 2021, EPA and the Department of the Army announced their intent to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. On Nov. 18, 2021, the agencies announced the signing of a proposed rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States.”

The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants from a point source into “navigable waters” unless otherwise authorized under the Act. “Navigable waters” are defined in the Act as “the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.” Thus, “waters of the United States” is a threshold term establishing the geographic scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The term “waters of the United States” is not defined by the Act but has been defined by the agencies in regulations since the 1970s and jointly implemented in the agencies’ respective programmatic activities

EPA enters into Consent Agreement and Issues Final Order to Denka Performance Elastomer in LaPlace, La., for Violation of Hazardous Waste Regulations

Wed, 12/28/2022 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (December 28, 2022) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency entered into a consent agreement with Denka Performance Elastomer, LLC and issued a final order to address certain waste management practices at the company’s facility in LaPlace, Louisiana.  Denka failed to make an appropriate hazardous waste determination for “Poly Kettle Strainer Waste,” a chloroprene waste generated from the manufacturing of neoprene, which is used to create products such as wetsuits, gaskets, hoses, and adhesives. EPA has classified chloroprene as a likely carcinogen. This waste contributes to emissions of chloroprene from the plant.

EPA conducted on-site inspections of the facility in April and May 2022 and observed Denka’s process of transferring “Poly Kettle Strainer Waste” to an outside, open-air brine pit. During this process, EPA inspectors documented elevated chloroprene concentrations in the air in the vicinity of the brine pit. Pursuant to the consent agreement, beginning January 31, 2023, Denka will stop placing this waste stream in its open-air brine pit and instead meet hazardous waste regulatory requirements for both storage and ultimate disposal of the waste.  Denka must also consider EPA’s Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool when choosing disposal facilities and must consider using low-emission vehicles when transporting waste for disposal. The company must also provide protective equipment to employees who handle “Poly Kettle Strainer Waste.”

The terms of the consent agreement also require Denka to manage the “Poly Kettle Strainer Waste” as hazardous waste until a more robust sampling and hazardous waste determination effort can be completed by the company through a waste determination plan. Denka will continue testing additional emissions reductions measures to reduce emissions from the management of this waste. These projects and any modifications will be subject to EPA review and approval.  If successful, the emissions reduction projects alone have the potential to eliminate approximately 2 tons of chloroprene emissions per year from poly kettle strainer clean-out, according to Denka’s reported Emissions Inventory.  

Please see the Denka Consent Agreement on our webpage.

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