EPA Air

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $809,000 from EPA’s Clean School Bus Program for Delaware School District

Wed, 10/26/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (Oct. 26, 2022) — Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the Fiscal Year 2022 recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, awarding nearly $809,000 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to the Colonial School District in Delaware. The grant will help the school district purchase four clean school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities.  

Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan will join schoolchildren, district leaders and community members in Seattle, Washington, later today to make the announcement of nearly $1 billion in clean school bus grants nationwide and highlight how it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save schools money, and better protect children’s health. The investment will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.

“President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is accelerating our nation’s transition to electric and low-emission school buses while ensuring a brighter, healthier future for our children,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “As many as 25 million children rely on the bus to get to school each day. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we are making an unprecedented investment in our children’s health, especially those in communities overburdened by air pollution. This is just the beginning of our work to build a healthier future, reduce climate pollution, and ensure the clean, breathable air that all our children deserve.”

“Thanks to our historic investment in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, electric school buses are soon coming to communities across our nation,” said Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.). “Today’s announcement means that schools in Delaware will be able to replace dirty school buses with cleaner alternatives. Importantly, these updates are going to result in cleaner air for students to breathe, more good-paying jobs, and a better future for our planet. I commend Administrator Regan and the Biden Administration for their continued commitment to deploying clean school buses, especially in disadvantaged communities.”

“With the transportation sector representing the single largest source of carbon emissions in the United States - we know that we have a tremendous opportunity with fleet and large capacity vehicles to help in our mission to reach net zero emissions,” said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del). “That’s why the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program - which I was proud to vote to create through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - is such a critical tool to modernize the vehicles that bring our kids to and from school every day while reducing our carbon footprint. I want to commend the Colonial School District for putting together a compelling plan to win this grant from the EPA - and I look forward to seeing these low and zero-emission school buses out on the roads of Delaware.”

“This is an especially important announcement with October being Children’s Health Month,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “These rebates will ultimately help protect children’s health by replacing older school buses with newer, cleaner ones, and transitioning to a clean transportation future means cleaner air and less pollution for all of our communities.”

With this award, Delaware’s Colonial School District will be able to purchase three new electric and one new propane school bus. Today’s announcement includes funding for buses and infrastructure for districts in cities like New Castle, Delaware.

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country.

At this time, the agency has selected 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states, Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99% of the projects that were selected. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks.

Those school districts who received an award can now proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure. Selectees will need to submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating they have ordered new buses and eligible infrastructure. EPA is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

These awards are the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA is also designing the next rounds of program funding to launch in the coming months, which will include an ambitious grant competition. Through future rounds of funding, EPA will make available another $1 billion for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023. EPA encourages school districts not selected in the first round of rebates – and those that did not apply this funding cycle – to participate in future rounds.

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with brand new clean school buses, while freeing up needed resources for schools.

The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and Tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and  overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients here.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $9.4 Million from EPA’s Clean School Bus Program for a Maryland School District

Wed, 10/26/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (Oct. 26, 2022) — Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the Fiscal Year 2022 recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, awarding over $9.4 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to the Baltimore City Public School System.  The grant will help the school district purchase 25 clean school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities.  

Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan will join schoolchildren, district leaders and community members in Seattle, Washington, later today to make the announcement of nearly $1 billion in clean school bus grants nationwide and highlight how it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save schools money, and better protect children’s health. The investment will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.

“President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is accelerating our nation’s transition to electric and low-emission school buses while ensuring a brighter, healthier future for our children,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “As many as 25 million children rely on the bus to get to school each day. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we are making an unprecedented investment in our children’s health, especially those in communities overburdened by air pollution. This is just the beginning of our work to build a healthier future, reduce climate pollution, and ensure the clean, breathable air that all our children deserve.”

“Taking the bus to school should not be a health hazard for our children,” said Senator Ben Cardin, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee (D-Md.). “Replacing City Schools’ diesel-powered, gas-guzzling, air-polluting school buses with zero- and low-emission vehicles is exactly the type of transformative investments Congress intended when we passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Clean and quiet school buses will improve air quality and public health. I’m excited to see these new vehicles in Baltimore and across the region, and I know our students will be, too.”

“From school buses to public transit, moving to cleaner, more efficient transportation not only replaces older and less safe vehicles, it’s also better for our environment and ultimately saves taxpayer dollars. That’s why we fought to invest in upgrading public transit in the infrastructure modernization law, and why we’re proud to deliver these funds to Baltimore City Public Schools to add more than 20 clean, zero emission school buses to their fleet,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). “I’ll keep working to invest in cleaner and safer transit for all Marylanders.”

“This is an especially important announcement with October being Children’s Health Month,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “These rebates will ultimately help protect children’s health by replacing older school buses with newer, cleaner ones, and transitioning to a clean transportation future means cleaner air and less pollution for all of our communities.”

Baltimore City Public Schools will be using these funds to purchase 25 new electric school buses to assist in transporting their nearly 78,000 students. Today’s announcement includes funding for buses and infrastructure for districts in cities like Baltimore, Maryland.

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country.

At this time, the agency has selected 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states, Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99% of the projects that were selected. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks.

Those school districts who received an award can now proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure. Selectees will need to submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating they have ordered new buses and eligible infrastructure. EPA is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

These awards are the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA is also designing the next rounds of program funding to launch in the coming months, which will include an ambitious grant competition. Through future rounds of funding, EPA will make available another $1 billion for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023. EPA encourages school districts not selected in the first round of rebates – and those that did not apply this funding cycle – to participate in future rounds.

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with brand new clean school buses, while freeing up needed resources for schools.

 The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and Tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and  overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients here.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $1 Billion from EPA’s Clean School Bus Program for 389 School Districts

Wed, 10/26/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (October 26, 2022) — Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the Fiscal Year 2022 recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, awarding nearly $1 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 389 school districts spanning 50 states, Washington, DC, and several Tribes and U.S. territories. The grants will help school districts purchase over 2,400 clean school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities.

Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan will join schoolchildren, district leaders and community members in Seattle, Washington, later today to make the announcement and highlight how it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save schools money, and better protect children’s health. The investment will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.

“President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is accelerating our nation’s transition to electric and low-emission school buses while ensuring a brighter, healthier future for our children,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “As many as 25 million children rely on the bus to get to school each day. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we are making an unprecedented investment in our children’s health, especially those in communities overburdened by air pollution. This is just the beginning of our work to build a healthier future, reduce climate pollution, and ensure the clean, breathable air that all our children deserve.”

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country.

At this time, through a lottery system, the agency has selected 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states and Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99% of the projects that were selected. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks.

Those school districts who received an award can now proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure. Selectees will need to submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating they have ordered new buses and eligible infrastructure. EPA is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

These awards are the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA is also designing the next rounds of program funding to launch in the coming months, which will include an ambitious grant competition. Through future rounds of funding, EPA will make available another $1 billion for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023. EPA encourages school districts not selected in the first round of rebates – and those that did not apply this funding cycle – to participate in future rounds.

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with brand new clean school buses, while freeing up needed resources for schools.

The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and Tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and  overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients here.

EPA to propose requiring Wrangell wastewater plant to disinfect sewage discharges

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 19:00

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing stricter limits on the amount of pollution Wrangell’s wastewater treatment plant will be allowed to release to Zimovia Strait.

The discharges from the Wrangell facility are not consistently disinfected, contain high levels of fecal coliform and enterococcus bacteria, and require large mixing areas to meet Alaska’s water quality standards for bacteria.

The new EPA permit will contain more stringent bacteria limits that will require upgrades to the existing plant. The plant will have five years to comply with the new requirements.  

About waivers under Section 301(h) of the Clean Water Act

Most municipal wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. are required to conduct “secondary” treatment, which is a combination of physical and biological treatment requirements; the effluent quality for secondary treatment is defined in terms of biological oxygen demand, total suspended solids, and pH.

However, in limited circumstances, Section 301(h) of the Clean Water Act authorizes EPA -- with concurrence from the state -- to issue discharge permits requiring less than secondary treatment.

Congress mandated that the last year communities could apply for a waiver from secondary treatment requirements under Section 301(h) was 1982, with re-application required every five years. To qualify for renewal of a 301(h) waiver, applicants must satisfy specific criteria designed to maintain and protect the receiving water and ensure compliance with state water quality standards.

Since the 1980s, EPA has issued permits modified by 301(h) waivers for several other southeast facilities, including Haines, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, and Skagway. The permits were last reissued between 2000 and 2002.

Over the next several months EPA also will propose new Clean Water Act permits for Haines, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, and Skagway that would require their treatment plants to also significantly reduce releases of bacteria to local waters within five years.

For more information, please view the public notice at: https://www.epa.gov/npdes-permits/proposed-permit-wrangell-wastewater-treatment-plant-alaska

EPA Opens Public Comment Period on Proposed Cleanup Plan at Former Radio Material Corp. Site in Attica, Indiana

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 19:00

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a 30-day public comment period on a proposed plan to clean up the Radio Materials Corp. site at 1095 E. Summit St., Attica, Indiana. The plan proposes long-term groundwater monitoring and restrictions on groundwater and land uses to protect people from the remaining contamination.

EPA will host an in-person informational meeting on Wednesday, November 2, 5-6 p.m., at Attica City Hall, 305 E. Main St. Agency experts will present more detailed information about the proposed plan and be available to answer questions. A formal public hearing, where residents are invited to provide on-the-record comments, follows from 6-7 p.m.
 
Radio Materials manufactured electronics from 1948 to 2000 and released volatile organic compounds which contaminated groundwater and soil at the site and beyond the fence line. EPA-approved treatment systems are now operating to stabilize and clean up contaminated areas on-site, and to prevent VOCs from affecting drinking water and to stop soil vapors from seeping into local homes.

EPA will make its cleanup plan final after reviewing all comments received through November 24. Comments can be submitted online, by confidential voicemail at 312-886-7613, by email to Francisco Arcaute (arcaute.francisco@epa.gov), or by mail to Francisco Arcaute (U.S. EPA Region 5, RE 19 J, 77 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604-3590).
 
For more information please visit EPA’s website.  

EPA awards $195,000 to Ohio University for project to reuse waste from food and brewery sectors

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 19:00

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $195,736 grant to Ohio University in Athens to fund a project that expands the use of anaerobic digesters to divert food waste from landfills and reduce methane emissions. Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service will use the funding to promote anaerobic digestion in the food and brewery sectors which generate large quantities of organic waste.

“As food breaks down, it produces methane -- a major contributor to climate change,” said EPA Regional Administrator Debra Shore. “Anaerobic digesters can help cut food waste, reduce methane emissions from landfills and aid in the fight against climate change.”   

Anaerobic digesters use microorganisms to break down organic materials such as food scraps, manure and sewage sludge. The process produces a nutrient-rich product used for fertilizer and biogas which can be captured and used to produce energy.

 “There are many opportunities for renewable biogas generation from organic wastes, and we are working to identify the most beneficial designs for microbrewery operations,” said Sarah Davis, principal investigator for Ohio University. “We are fortunate to have a partnership with an innovative microbrewery that prioritizes sustainability and look forward to highlighting their integrated farming-brewery-restaurant operations as a model for others.”

 Ohio University will also work with local restaurants to quantify the potential for waste diversion at microbreweries. They will estimate the biogas and fertilizer yield from an anaerobic digestion system at these businesses.  The model, system designs and prototypes will be transferable to other microbreweries.

 More information:

Anaerobic Digestion

Resources and Funding Opportunities Related to the Food System

EPA, Justice Department Announce Flexsteel Industries Agrees to Pay for the Cleanup of the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination Superfund Site in Elkhart, Indiana

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 19:00

CHICAGO (October 25, 2022) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announce Flexsteel Industries Inc. has agreed to a consent decree that requires the company to pay $9.8 million for the cleanup of contamination at the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination Superfund site in Elkhart, Indiana, and to reimburse EPA for a portion of its past costs incurred at the site.

According to the complaint filed simultaneously with the proposed consent decree in the Northern District of Indiana, Flexsteel is liable for the cleanup because its former manufacturing operations contributed to contamination at the site. Previously, EPA entered into administrative settlements with two other potentially responsible parties for their alleged contributions to the contamination at the site.

“Groundwater is a drinking water source for wells and public water systems and it also flows to above-ground rivers and streams,” said EPA Regional Administrator Debra Shore. “Through this settlement and others like it, EPA is taking action to protect the health of communities and the environment by holding polluters accountable for groundwater contamination.”

“This settlement ensures that the responsible party and not the taxpayers fund the cleanup of the Lane Street Groundwater Contamination Superfund Site,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The cleanup funded by this agreement protects the environment and the health of the surrounding community.”

“This is an excellent settlement that funds necessary cleanup of a contaminated groundwater plume in Elkhart, Indiana,” said U.S. Attorney Clifford Johnson for the Northern District of Indiana. “This cleanup will protect the drinking water and health of Elkhart residents.”

“Indiana proudly works with our federal partners and industries across our state to make sure the health of Hoosiers and our environment is protected,” said Brian Rockensuess, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. “This settlement is great news for the people of Elkhart and will help ensure the cleanup of long-standing water contamination.”

The site consists of approximately 65 acres of residential and light industrial properties in Elkhart, Indiana, impacted by a groundwater plume contaminated primarily with solvents and degreasers such as trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene. In 2016, EPA issued its record of decision for the site that selected a remedy for treating the groundwater plume by breaking down the contamination into harmless compounds. The proposed consent decree funds implementation of the selected remedy.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval and will be available for public review on the Department of Justice website.

More information about the site is available on the Lane Street Ground Water Contamination website.

###

EPA Completes Reviews of 14 Superfund Site Cleanups in New England During 2022

Tue, 10/25/2022 - 19:00

BOSTON (Oct. 25, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed comprehensive reviews of site cleanups at 14 National Priority List Sites (Superfund Sites) in New England, including four federal facilities, by performing required Five-Year Reviews of each site. 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 endeavors to facilitate activities to return them to productive use. In total, there are 123 Superfund sites across New England.

"Steadfast monitoring of Superfund site cleanup work is a priority for EPA, especially in communities overburdened by a legacy pollution," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "By completing reviews of the cleanups every five years, EPA fulfills its duty to remain vigilant, continuing to protect human health and the environment in these communities."

The Superfund Sites where EPA has completed Five-Year Reviews in Fiscal Year 2022 are below. The links will direct users to each Superfund Site page, where you can find their Five-Year Review report(s).

Completed Five Year Reviews in Fiscal Year 2022

Auburn Road Landfill, Londonderry, New Hampshire
www.epa.gov/superfund/auburnroad

Beede Waste Oil, Plaistow, New Hampshire
www.epa.gov/superfund/beede

Dover Municipal Landfill, Dover, New Hampshire
www.epa.gov/superfund/dover

Gallup's Quarry, Plainfield, Connecticut
www.epa.gov/superfund/gallup

Kellogg-Deering, Norwalk, Connecticut
www.epa.gov/superfund/kellogg

O'Connor Co., Augusta, Maine
www.epa.gov/superfund/oconnor

Peterson/Puritan, Inc., Lincoln/Cumberland, Rhode Island
www.epa.gov/superfund/peterson

Pine Street Canal, Burlington, Vermont
www.epa.gov/superfund/pinestreet

Union Chemical Co. Inc., South Hope, Maine
www.epa.gov/superfund/union

Winthrop Landfill, Winthrop, Maine
www.epa.gov/superfund/winthrop

Federal Facilities

Hanscom Field/Air Force Base, Bedford, Massachusetts
www.epa.gov/superfund/hanscom

Natick Laboratory Army Research, Development, and Engineering Center, Natick, Massachusetts
www.epa.gov/superfund/naticklab

New London Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut
www.epa.gov/superfund/newlondon

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine
www.epa.gov/superfund/portsmouth

Background

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. At many sites, where the remedy has been constructed, EPA continues to ensure it remains protective by requiring reviews of cleanups every five years. It is important for EPA to regularly check on these sites to ensure the remedy is working properly. These reviews identify issues (if any) that may affect the protectiveness of the completed remedy and, if necessary, recommend action(s) necessary to address them.

There are many phases of the Superfund cleanup process including considering future use and redevelopment at sites and conducting post cleanup monitoring of sites. EPA must ensure the remedy is protective of public health and the environment and any redevelopment will uphold the protectiveness of the remedy into the future.

For more information about EPA's Superfund program, visit www.epa.gov/superfund

EPA Region 8 acts to reduce childhood Lead-Based Paint exposure through compliance with the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule  

Mon, 10/24/2022 - 19:00

DENVER – October 23rd-29th is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) and EPA is working to reduce childhood lead exposure through improved compliance with the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. As part of NLPPW, EPA Region 8 is summarizing compliance activity related to the Rule and reminding residents and owners of pre-1978 homes about the risks of lead-based paint and the importance of following lead-safe practices to keep families safe. 

The RRP Rule protects children, and all individuals, from toxic lead hazards created by renovation activities involving lead-based paint by requiring the certification of individual contractors and firms. Contractors working on homes built prior to 1978 must test for lead in paint, or presume lead is present, and apply lead-safe work practices to minimize the risk of toxic lead exposure. Failing to follow these practices can expose the public to lead dust which is especially damaging to children's development.  

“Protecting children’s health is a central part of EPA’s mission and lead exposure in older homes remains a significant risk for families in many communities,” said Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA Region 8’s enforcement program. “EPA expects all renovation companies to ensure their contractors are trained and follow lead-safe work practices.”  

In 2022, EPA Region 8 conducted 81 compliance monitoring activities, including providing educational materials to commercial renovators to promote compliance with the RRP Rule, and issued 13 Notices of Noncompliance to contractors. EPA also reached agreements with eight contractors in Colorado and Montana to settle violations of the Rule resulting in over $30,000 in penalties.

Contractors settling RRP Rule violations in Colorado include Larsen Development Company, Colorado Quality Painting, A+ Handyman Home Improvement, Specialty Construction, Nehemiah General Contractors, and Capital Roofing and Restoration. Contractors settling RRP violations in Montana include Pella Windows and Doors and Paramount Construction and Remodeling. 

Violations included failure to obtain EPA lead-safe firm certification, failure to maintain records documenting compliance, and failure to employ lead-safe work practices when conducting renovations on pre-1978 homes. In all cases, the companies resolved certification and training deficiencies and made commitments to future compliance. These RRP Rule compliance improvements include contractors and firms conducting home renovations in disproportionately impacted communities.  

Although the federal government banned residential use of lead-based paint in 1978, it is still present in millions of older homes. Infants, children, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, which can, even at low levels, cause lifelong impacts including developmental impairment, learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. A blood-lead test is the only way to determine if a child has an elevated blood-lead level. Parents who think their child has been in contact with lead should contact their health care provider.  

For more information on how to protect your family and reduce your lead exposure, visit EPA’s “Protect your family” site.

For more information on the RRP requirements.  

To report lead-paint or other environmental violations

EPA fines 22 home renovators and contractors for lead-based paint safety violations in Idaho and Washington

Mon, 10/24/2022 - 19:00

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10 has reached settlements with 22 residential home renovators in Idaho and Washington for violations of federal lead-based paint regulations. EPA’s compliance and enforcement program also conducted 137 inspections of home renovation contractors, the highest number of inspections the region has completed in previous years, half of which were in communities with environmental justice concerns. EPA is highlighting these cases as part of this year’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 23-29, and Children’s Health Month, to raise awareness about children’s environmental health, including the dangers and potential health impacts of lead.

“Lead exposure has disproportionately affected communities of color and low-income residents for far too long,” said EPA Region 10 Regional Administrator Casey Sixkiller. “Our actions are helping to protect families, workers, and customers while increasing accountability and transparency. EPA’s efforts are helping to raise community awareness and ensure companies comply with certification, training, and safety requirements to reduce lead-based paint health hazards.”

The Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule was created to protect the public –especially children under the age of 6– from lead-based paint hazards during repair or remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978. Lead exposure can cause behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems and diminished IQ. Although the federal government banned residential use of lead-based paint in 1978, it is still present in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint.

Renovators of pre-1978 housing are required by federal law to obtain EPA Firm Certification under the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. They must also obtain renovator certification or assign certified renovators to projects; inform tenants and residents of possible lead-based paint and/or known lead hazards; and comply with work practice requirements intended to reduce lead-based paint exposure.

Under the terms of the settlements, the companies agreed to pay civil penalties and to certify that they are complying with the Renovation, Repair and Painting certification requirements prior to offering and performing renovations, as required by the RRP Rule. Companies whose enforcement cases were concluded this year in EPA’s Region 10 include:

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 23-29, is an effort to raise awareness of the many ways parents, caregivers and communities can reduce children's exposure to lead and prevent its harmful health effects. EPA partners with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to raise awareness about lead exposure and lead poisoning by providing resources for the public to use to encourage preventive actions.

This year, EPA is offering the following webinars during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in English with simultaneous Spanish interpretation:

Learn more about EPA’s lead poisoning prevention programs and resources

Tomorrow: EPA to Hold Open Houses and Community Meetings for New Tazewell Residents about Health Risks from Ethylene Oxide

Mon, 10/24/2022 - 19:00

NEW TAZEWELL, Tenn. (October 24, 2022) – Tomorrow, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host several public forums at the Walters State Community College, 1325 Claiborne St., New Tazewell, Tenn. to share information about ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions and risk information impacting the city.

EPA is reaching out to communities facing the highest risks from commercial sterilizer facilities that use EtO, including the DeRoyal Industries facility located at 1135 Highway 33, South New Tazewell, Tenn. 

EPA is sharing this information because communities have a right to know about emissions that could affect their health and well-being. EPA will host two open houses and two community meetings. The open houses are in-person events; however, residents may participate in the community meetings in-person or virtually – either by phone or online on the Zoom platform.

Open House: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

* In-person only

Community Meeting: 11:15 am - 12:45 pm

In person: Walters State Community College, located at 1325 Claiborne St. in New Tazewell

By phone: Call in number: (669) 216-1590; Webinar ID: 1615247813

Register to join the community meeting virtually: https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_Brtqq3vHSwe87mAHxclimg

Open House: 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.

* In-person only

Community Meeting: 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm

In person: Walters State Community College, located at 1325 Claiborne St. in New Tazewell

By phone: Call in number: (833) 435-1820; Webinar ID: 1612906416

Register to join the community meeting virtually: https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_pSuQZND7SpauaOvhXz0xyw 

***5:30 p.m. - Press Availability*** Interested credentialed media should e-mail an RSVP to region4press@epa.gov. Please include your name, media affiliation and contact information.

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EPA Announces $3.65 Million Grant to Rural Community Assistance Partnership to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (OCT. 21, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the projects selected to receive over $30 million in grant funding under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, including $3.65 million to the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP). This grant funding, and additional funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help make rapid progress on the goal of addressing lead and removing lead pipes across the country.

“A pillar of our work at EPA is ensuring that every person in every community has safe drinking water,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “The science on lead is settled – there is no safe level of exposure. This grant funding will help reduce exposure to lead in drinking water and should be used to support underserved communities that are most at risk for exposure.”

“Region 7 is a rural region and this grant to the Rural Community Assistance Partnership is an important way EPA is investing in reducing childhood lead exposure in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister.

“RCAP plays a key role in fostering the technical, managerial, and financial capacity for our nation’s small water systems,” said Olga Morales-Pate, CEO of RCAP. “We are pleased to lead and coordinate this project to help small water systems, rural schools, and child care centers overcome systemic lead-related challenges, and we thank EPA for investing in our rural infrastructure and communities.”

Other selected projects are:

National Priority Area 1 – Reduction of Lead Exposure in the Nation’s Drinking Water Systems through Infrastructure and Treatment Improvements

  • City of Trenton, New Jersey - $5,530,000
  • City of Fall River, Maine - $10,000,000
  • Detroit, Michigan, Water and Sewerage Dept. - $5,000,000

National Priority Area 2 – Reduction of Children’s Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities

  • Hawaii Dept. of Health - $2,000,000
  • School District of Philadelphia - $4,999,658

These selected projects will assist disadvantaged communities and schools with removing sources of lead in drinking water. These projects will work to further the goals of the Biden-Harris administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, in addition to the Justice40 Initiative, which seeks to deliver 40% of benefits from certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities in need.

Learn more about this grant and EPA’s WIIN grant programs.

Background

Lead poses serious health risks to both children and adults – children are especially vulnerable. Low-income and other historically underserved communities typically experience high levels of lead in their drinking water because they are disproportionately served by lead service lines. The six new projects selected across the country will receive grant funding under the WIIN Act through the Reducing Lead in Drinking Water grant program.

To date, over 2,400 lead service line replacements have been completed as a result of support from that grant program.

In addition to this announcement of funding availability, the Reducing Lead in Drinking Water WIIN grant program also awarded over $1 million in grant awards toward tribal lead reduction projects coordinated through interagency agreements between Indian Health Services and EPA. Additionally, EPA is working with states, tribes, and territories to award additional grant funding through EPA’s two other drinking water grant programs established by WIIN – the Voluntary Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care grant program and the Small, Underserved and Disadvantaged Communities (SUDC) Grant.

# # #

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View all Region 7 news releases

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Biden-Harris Administration Seeks Public Input on Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a coordinated stakeholder engagement strategy to help shape the implementation of the first-of-its-kind Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. EPA’s engagement strategy includes:

  • Expert Input: Soliciting expert input on key program design questions from the Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB);
  • Request for Information: Issuing a public Request for Information to enable communities and the public to comment on the Fund’s design and implementation;
  • National Listening Session Series: Launching a stakeholder listening session series to enable key stakeholders including green banks, community finance institutions, environmental justice communities, state and local governments, clean energy advocates, labor, and others to provide input directly to EPA staff on the implementation of the Fund; and
  • New Webpage: Creating a website as a one-stop shop for information on the implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

These initial engagements will help ensure the Fund’s design and implementation reflect input from a variety of diverse stakeholders to ensure the full economic and environmental benefits of this historic investment are realized by all people, particularly those who have been most burdened by environmental, social, and economic injustice.

"The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the adoption of greenhouse gas reducing technologies and position the United States to compete and win the 21st century economy,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “In designing such an ambitious program, EPA is eager to hear from stakeholders across the country, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities, whose voices are critical to shaping the Fund and ensuring these historic resources reach people who need them most. Coupled with the additional resources from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the Fund will deliver environmental and economic benefits across the country.”

The historic Inflation Reduction Act represents the most aggressive action to confront the climate crisis in our nation’s history. The Inflation Reduction Act established the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund – a $27 billion fund that will provide competitive grants to states, local governments, tribes and eligible non-profit financing institutions to mobilize financing and leverage private capital for clean energy and climate projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with an emphasis on projects that benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities – and help advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to environmental justice. EPA will seek input on the types of entities, projects and financial structures that will best achieve the program objectives. 

Soliciting Expert Input from the Environmental Finance Advisory Board (EFAB)

EPA delivered a set of formal charge questions for expert review and comment at the October 18-19th meeting of the Environmental Finance Advisory Board (EFAB). EFAB is a Federal Advisory Committee that provides advice and recommendations to EPA's Administrator and regional and program offices on ways to lower the costs of, and increase investments in, environmental and public health protection. The EFAB includes a number of experts on clean energy and climate finance, including leaders of green banks and community financial institutions; state and local government officials; business and industry representatives; and members of environmental, tribes and non-governmental organizations, among others. The EFAB will provide its advice and recommendation on the charge questions by December 15, 2022.

Issuing a Request for Information

This week EPA published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment on core design aspects of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The notice has been published on EPA’s website and on Regulations.gov. The public will have 45 days to respond to the RFI.

Launching a National Listening Session Series

In the coming weeks, EPA will commence a series of listening sessions to allow members of the public and key stakeholder groups to provide insights to EPA staff on the implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

The series will begin with two public sessions in November. In addition, beyond engaging with the EFAB, EPA will meet with other expert advisory committees, including the Local Government Advisory Committee, the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and other stakeholders to solicit input on the design of the Fund.

Listening Session 1: Nov. 1 from 7:00-9:00pm ET

Listening Session 2: Nov. 9 from 7:00-9:00pm ET

Background

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 amended the Clean Air Act to create a new program, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which will deploy $27 billion in competitive grants to mobilize financing for clean energy and climate projects that reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions, especially in disadvantaged communities.  The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund includes: 

  • $7 billion for competitive grants to enable low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy or benefit from zero-emission technologies, including distributed technologies on residential rooftops;
  • nearly $12 billion for competitive grants to eligible entities to provide financial and technical assistance to projects that reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • $8 billion for competitive grants to eligible entities to provide financial and technical assistance to projects that reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in low-income and disadvantaged communities. 

EPA to Hold Open Houses and Community Meetings for New Tazewell Residents about Health Risks from Ethylene Oxide

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 19:00

NEW TAZEWELL, Tenn. (October 20, 2022) - On Tuesday, October 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host several public forums at the Walters State Community College, 1325 Claiborne St., New Tazewell, Tenn. to share information about ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions and risk information impacting the city.

EPA is reaching out to communities facing the highest risks from commercial sterilizer facilities that use EtO, including the DeRoyal Industries facility located at 1135 Highway 33, South New Tazewell, Tenn. 

EPA is sharing this information because communities have a right to know about emissions that could affect their health and well-being. EPA will host two open houses and two community meetings. The open houses are in-person events; however, residents may participate in the community meetings in-person or virtually – either by phone or online on the Zoom platform.

Open House: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

* In-person only

Community Meeting: 11:15 am - 12:45 pm

In person: Walters State Community College, located at 1325 Claiborne St. in New Tazewell

By phone: Call in number: (669) 216-1590; Webinar ID: 1615247813

Register to join the community meeting virtually: https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_Brtqq3vHSwe87mAHxclimg

Open House: 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.

* In-person only

Community Meeting: 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm

In person: Walters State Community College, located at 1325 Claiborne St. in New Tazewell

By phone: Call in number: (833) 435-1820; Webinar ID: 1612906416

Register to join the community meeting virtually: https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_pSuQZND7SpauaOvhXz0xyw 

EtO is a colorless, odorless gas that is often used for sterilization purposes. Inhalation of EtO at elevated levels over a lifetime can increase a person’s risk of getting cancer. However, single-day exposures to the concentrations found in residential communities are not an immediate threat to an individual’s health.  

EPA scientists and analysts recently completed a risk assessment to understand the impact of EtO emissions from the DeRoyal Industries facility. As part of this risk assessment, we used the most recent available information about how much EtO the company emits into the air and we modeled estimated cancer risks to people living nearby. The risk assessment identified elevated cancer risk in the New Tazewell community. EPA is committed to working with state and local agencies, facilities, and communities to reduce this risk.

BACKGROUND

EPA has regulated EtO emissions for 30 years, however in 2016, new scientific information revealed that EtO is more toxic than previously understood. This prompted EPA to conduct nationwide analyses and intensive data collection, which has revealed that certain communities near commercial sterilizers could have elevated cancer risks due to lifetime exposures to EtO. Please visit www.epa.gov/eto for additional information, including a link to view EPA’s August 10th National Public Webinar, location-specific maps, information about individual commercial sterilizers, and health risks for residents and workers. 

For more information about EtO in New Tazwell, please visit: www.epa.gov/eto/new-tazewell.

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EPA protects Big Island water resources by ordering closure of three illegal cesspools

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 19:00

HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken an enforcement action to close two illegal large capacity cesspools (LCCs) at the Wailuku Professional Plaza in Hilo and one cesspool at the SKS Management LLC self-storage business in Kailua-Kona. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA banned LCCs in 2005.

“Big Island companies must do their part to protect our surface water and groundwater resources from the disease-causing pollution found in large capacity cesspools,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA is committed to finding and closing all remaining illegal cesspools in Hawai‘i.”

The Wailuku Professional Plaza is located about 100 feet from the Wailuku River in Hilo. In July 2021, EPA conducted an inspection of the Plaza and found two unlawful cesspools serving the multi-tenant commercial office building. Wailuku Professional Plaza, LLC – which owns and operates the Wailuku Professional Plaza – settled the case, agreeing to close the illegal cesspools and pay a $43,000 penalty on May 4, 2022.

EPA also found that the Power Self Storage – Kuakini facility in Kailua-Kona has a restroom that is served by a large capacity cesspool. SKS Management LLC – the facility’s operator – settled the case, agreeing to pay a $28,780 penalty and close the illegal cesspool by September 1, 2023.

These cesspools meet the regulatory criteria of unlawful non-residential large capacity cesspools because they have the capacity to serve 20 or more persons per day. EPA is authorized to issue compliance orders and/or assess penalties to violators of the Safe Drinking Water Act’s cesspool regulations.

Cesspools collect and release untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams, and the ocean.

Since the 2005 federal ban, more than 3,750 large capacity cesspools in Hawaii have been closed; however, hundreds remain in operation. Cesspools are used more widely in Hawaii than any other state and pose a unique challenge as groundwater provides 95% of all water supply for the islands.

To encourage regulated entities to voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously close these pollution-causing systems, EPA provides penalty mitigation and other incentives for companies that proactively find and close LCCs on their property.

Information on how to self-disclose potential large-capacity cesspool violations is available at: https://www.epa.gov/compliance/epas-edisclosure.

For more information on the federal ban and definition of a large-capacity cesspool, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/large-capacity-cesspools.

For more information on cesspools in Hawai’i, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/uic/cesspools-hawaii.

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

EPA To Host Public Discussion of Exide Cleanup October 25

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 20, 2022) --The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public availability session on Tuesday, October 25, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Muhlenberg High School Auditorium, 400 Sharp Ave. in Reading, Pennsylvania. Residents will have a chance  to learn about past, current, and future cleanup efforts at the former Exide Technologies Site located at 3000 Montrose Ave, in Laureldale.

The public will have a chance to meet one-on-one with the EPA Exide site team who will be sharing maps and various site information.  EPA will also hold a formal presentation followed by a question  and answer session about the site.

The former Exide Technologies Site consists of an approximately 40-acre former lead battery recycling and manufacturing facility. Under its Superfund Removal Program, EPA has removed significant lead contamination from the on-site baghouses and associated ductwork. Lead contamination is also being removed from the former process equipment, and containers are being cleaned as a protective measure.

To learn more about EPA’s removal program, visit: www.epa.gov/emergency-response/ epas-role-emergency-response

EPA Settlement Holds Tanker Truck Company Accountable for Two 2021 Oil Spills in Athol and Revere, Mass.

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 19:00

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Goguen Transportation, Inc. of Gardner, Mass., resolving alleged violations of the Clean Water Act associated with two tanker truck accidents in Revere and Athol, Mass. that resulted in oil discharges to local waters.

"EPA takes our role of protecting public health and our environmental resources very seriously, with a special emphasis on communities that have been historically burdened with high levels of pollution," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "Carefully following safety measures to prevent oil spills from occurring is Job One for companies that handle, store and transport oil, and Goguen Transportation failed to take the necessary care."

On two separate occasions, fuel oil was spilled from tanker trucks owned and operated by Goguen Transportation, polluting local waters and violating the Clean Water Act. On October 13, 2021, a Goguen oil tank trailer truck rolled over while navigating a traffic circle in Revere, releasing between 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of fuel oil into areas including Rumney Marsh, Diamond Creek and the Pines River. A second incident occurred on December 22, 2021, when a Goguen oil tank trailer truck rolled over at an intersection in Athol, releasing approximately 4,500 gallons of fuel oil into waters including Mill Brook and Millers River. On both occasions, the released fuel oil created a sheen and accumulated on the shoreline of impacted waters.

The Revere spill occurred in an area (Brown Circle Rotary) where residents have been historically overburdened with environmental concerns, including proximity to traffic and industrial facilities. Rumney Marsh encompasses approximately 2,274 acres and is an important coastal estuary that is home to a variety of wildlife. EPA's coordination with Commonwealth of Massachusetts officials showed that waterfowl were also negatively affected by the Revere spill, and the spill delayed the opening of the clam flat. Rumney Marsh is a 600-acre salt marsh located within the Saugus and Pines River Inlet. The Marsh is designated as an "Area of Critical Environmental Concern" under the Commonwealth and supports numerous activities to the public including canoeing and kayaking, fishing and clam harvesting, hiking and bird watching.

The company will pay a $35,354 penalty. EPA estimates that the company has spent over $570,000 to clean up the Revere spill, and that remediation for the Athol spill will be no less than $300,000 based on the distance oil traveled and amount of oil spilled.
More information: EPA Oil Spill enforcement

EPA to Hold Open Houses and Community Meetings for New Tazwell Residents about Health Risks from Ethylene Oxide

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 19:00

NEW TAZWELL, Tenn. (October 20, 2022) - On Tuesday, October 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host several public forums at the Walters State Community College, 1325 Claiborne St., New Tazewell, Tenn. to share information about ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions and risk information impacting the city.

EPA is reaching out to communities facing the highest risks from commercial sterilizer facilities that use EtO, including the DeRoyal Industries facility located at 1135 Highway 33, South New Tazewell, Tenn. 

EPA is sharing this information because communities have a right to know about emissions that could affect their health and well-being. EPA will host two open houses and two community meetings. The open houses are in-person events; however, residents may participate in the community meetings in-person or virtually – either by phone or online on the Zoom platform.

Open House: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

* In-person only

Community Meeting: 11:15 am - 12:45 pm

In person: Walters State Community College, located at 1325 Claiborne St. in New Tazewell

By phone: Call in number: (669) 216-1590; Webinar ID: 1615247813

Register to join the community meeting virtually: https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_Brtqq3vHSwe87mAHxclimg

Open House: 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.

* In-person only

Community Meeting: 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm

In person: Walters State Community College, located at 1325 Claiborne St. in New Tazewell

By phone: Call in number: (833) 435-1820; Webinar ID: 1612906416

Register to join the community meeting virtually: https://usepa.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_pSuQZND7SpauaOvhXz0xyw 

EtO is a colorless, odorless gas that is often used for sterilization purposes. Inhalation of EtO at elevated levels over a lifetime can increase a person’s risk of getting cancer. However, single-day exposures to the concentrations found in residential communities are not an immediate threat to an individual’s health.  

EPA scientists and analysts recently completed a risk assessment to understand the impact of EtO emissions from the DeRoyal Industries facility. As part of this risk assessment, we used the most recent available information about how much EtO the company emits into the air and we modeled estimated cancer risks to people living nearby. The risk assessment identified elevated cancer risk in the New Tazewell community. EPA is committed to working with state and local agencies, facilities, and communities to reduce this risk.

BACKGROUND

EPA has regulated EtO emissions for 30 years, however in 2016, new scientific information revealed that EtO is more toxic than previously understood. This prompted EPA to conduct nationwide analyses and intensive data collection, which has revealed that certain communities near commercial sterilizers could have elevated cancer risks due to lifetime exposures to EtO. Please visit www.epa.gov/eto for additional information, including a link to view EPA’s August 10th National Public Webinar, location-specific maps, information about individual commercial sterilizers, and health risks for residents and workers. 

For more information about EtO in New Tazwell, please visit: www.epa.gov/eto/new-tazewell.

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EPA, EGLE to Continue Soil Cleanup at Velsicol Superfund Site in St. Louis, Michigan

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 19:00

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy announced that a new phase of the cleanup will soon begin at the Velsicol Chemical Corp. Superfund site, in St. Louis, Michigan. Later this month, the agencies will start preparing to excavate approximately 100,000 tons of contaminated soil from the southern portion of the former Velsicol Chemical property.

Excavation will continue this year while weather permits and will resume in the spring. Workers will be onsite from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. All trucks will enter and leave the site through the gate located off State Route M-46 (Washington Ave). EPA anticipates that the cleanup will be done by fall 2023, and restoration work will be completed in 2024. All contaminated soil will be transported offsite for proper disposal.

The Velsicol plant operated from 1936 through 1977 and manufactured a wide variety of chemicals. Site spills and chemical discharges into the Pine River affected sediment, surface soils and groundwater.

For more information on the Velsicol Chemical Corp. site, please visit EPA’s website.

Biden Administration Continues Phasedown of Super-Pollutants to Combat Climate Change and Boost U.S. Manufacturing

Thu, 10/20/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced additional actions to phase down climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a crucial component of President Biden’s ambitious agenda to combat the climate crisis while advancing American manufacturing and innovation. EPA today issued a proposed rule to implement the next step of the nation’s HFC phasedown, an ambitious 40% reduction below historic levels starting in 2024. The proposal follows the Senate’s bipartisan approval to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, a global agreement to phase down HFCs and avoid up to 0.5°C of global warming by the end of this century.

“From day one, President Biden promised ambitious action to address the climate crisis and its impacts, which are becoming ever more disruptive and costing billions of dollars every year. Today’s action once again delivers on his promise,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This proposal also sets the United States on track to meet the goals of the Kigali Amendment, fostering innovation and economic growth in the private sector and reinforcing U.S. leadership in the global fight against climate change.”

HFCs are a class of potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosols, and foam products. Their climate impact can be hundreds to thousands of times stronger than the same amount of carbon dioxide. Under the bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, the EPA has established a national HFC Phasedown Program that will reduce the production and consumption of these chemicals by 85% by 2036. The Biden-Harris Administration has also launched actions across other agencies to support this phasedown, which will create thousands of jobs to help ensure American companies outcompete the rest of the world in innovating and manufacturing HFC alternatives.

Today’s proposal establishes the methodology for allocating HFC production and consumption allowances for 2024 and later years, similar to the methodology used for issuing allowances in 2022 and 2023—an initial step to achieve 10% of this phasedown. Now, the number of available allowances in 2024 will be reduced significantly to 40% below historic levels. Today’s proposal would amend the historic consumption baseline level from which reductions are made to reflect corrected data submitted to EPA, as well as more precisely specify recordkeeping and reporting requirements, to help preserve the environmental and economic benefits associated with the HFC phasedown.

“Last month, we achieved a historic climate win in the Senate by coming together in a bipartisan manner to ratify the Kigali Amendment,” said Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (Del.). “I applaud the Biden Administration’s continued commitment to fully implementing the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act on schedule. Doing so keeps our nation on track to meet our HFC-reduction goals required under this global treaty, which is good for our planet and good for American businesses and workers.”

“I am proud to see the Biden Administration take this next step to implement the AIM Act. Phasing down HFCs is a critical component of our national climate action strategy, which is why Congress provided EPA with even more funding to administer this law under the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20). “I hope EPA will move forward with a rule that further demonstrates that smart climate policies not only protect our environment, but also support U.S. consumers and manufacturers.”

"Super pollutants, like HFCs and methane, are the low-hanging fruit in the fight to slow climate change” said Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52). “Two years ago, Congress passed bipartisan legislation to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs by 85% by 2036. Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will ensure we reduce these dangerous pollutants and protecting communities across the globe from climate change-fueled disasters.”

To ensure a level playing field for companies complying with the phasedown requirements, the HFC Phasedown Program has established robust enforcement mechanisms, drawing from experience globally with illegal HFC trade and with attempts to illegally introduce ozone-depleting substances into the U.S. market. Since January 1 of this year, companies have needed allowances for producing or importing HFCs. In the first nine months of this year, the Interagency Task Force on Illegal HFC Trade, co-led by EPA and the Department of Homeland Security, has prevented illegal HFC shipments equivalent to more than 889,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the border, the same amount as the emissions from nearly 173,000 homes’ electricity use for one year.

Additionally, on September 30, EPA issued allowances to companies authorizing them to produce or import HFCs in 2023. EPA issued total allowances at the same level as in 2022 per the phasedown schedule, although the number of entities receiving allowances for 2023 increased slightly. EPA also notified certain companies that the Agency intends to retire some of their allowances due to misreporting data. The Agency’s administrative consequences authority, which allows EPA to retire, revoke, or withhold the allocation of allowances, or ban a company from receiving, transferring, or conferring allowances, is an important tool to deter illegal HFC production and import.

EPA is planning to issue additional proposed rules regarding HFCs under the AIM Act. The next proposed rule will focus on transitioning away from HFCs in the refrigeration and air conditioning, foams, and aerosols sectors. The refrigeration and air conditioning sector uses the most HFCs in the United States. 

Learn more about HFCs.