USEPA Proposes to Remove Exemptions under CERCLA and RCRA Affecting 69 Major Source Facilities

On May 13, 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) proposed an amendment to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP): Site Remediation (40 CFR 63 Subpart GGGGG). The amendment will remove exemptions for site remediation conducted under the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Comprehensive Environmental Response and Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA) and a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action or RCRA order. In addition, USEPA proposes to remove the exemption for any other site remediation that is a major source of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and is not co-located with another facility regulated under 40 CFR 63. With the removal of these exemptions, site remediation conducted under the authority of CERCLA or RCRA will become subject to all applicable requirements of the Site Remediation Rule.

With these amendments, USEPA estimates 69 major source facilities will become subject to the Site Remediation Rule, with 24 of the 69 subject to a limited set of rule requirements due to a low annual quantity of HAP contained in remediation material excavated, extracted, pumped, or otherwise removed during site remediation. It is important to note that the proposed site remediation rule only applies to organic HAPs (volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds listed in Table 1 of 40 CFR 63 Subpart GGGGG) and if the remediation material is onsite (i.e., impacted soil or groundwater in tanks, drums, or other containers). The definition specifically excludes sampling or monitoring; therefore, the rule would not apply unless there was ongoing remediation, removal action, or an approved remedy involving volatile and semi-volatile organic compound (VOC and SVOC) contamination.

If you are responsible for remediation at a site conducted under CERCLA or RCRA, how might this proposed amendment affect you and your company? We have identified and answered three crucial questions concerning this amendment, exemptions, and how it affects your site.

Q. My site is conducting remediation under CERCLA or under RCRA, will it be subject to the amended Site Remediation NESHAP?

A. Your site will only be subject to the amended rule if it meets all three of the applicability criteria at 40 CFR 63.7881(a) and it is not eligible for one of the remaining exemptions at 40 CFR 63.7881(b):

Applicability Criteria:

  • 40 CFR 63.7881(a)

(1)   Your site remediation cleans up a remediation material, as defined in §63.7957.

(2)   (i) Your site remediation is co-located at your facility with one or more other stationary sources that emit HAP and meet an affected source definition specified for a source category that is regulated by another subpart under 40 CFR part 63. This condition applies regardless whether or not the affected stationary source(s) at your facility is subject to the standards under the applicable subpart(s).

(ii) Your site remediation is not collocated with one or more other stationary sources.

(3)   Your site remediation, either alone or when aggregated with a co-located facility, is a major source of HAP as defined in §63.2, except as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) or (ii) of this section. A major source emits or has the potential to emit any single HAP at the rate of 10 tons (9.07 megagrams) or more per year or any combination of HAP at a rate of 25 tons (22.68 megagrams) or more per year.

Exemptions

  • 40 CFR 63.7881(b)

(1) Your site remediation is not subject to this subpart if the site remediation only cleans up material that does not contain any of the HAP listed in Table 1 of this subpart.

(2) Your site remediation is not subject to this subpart if the site remediation is conducted at a gasoline service station to clean up remediation material from a leaking underground storage tank.

(3) Your site remediation is not subject to this subpart if the site remediation is conducted at a farm or residential site.

(4) Your site remediation is not subject to this subpart if the site remediation is conducted at a research and development facility that meets the requirements under Clean Air Act (CAA) section 112(c)(7).

Q. My site doesn’t meet all three of the applicability criteria and/or it is eligible for one of the exemptions at 40 CFR 63.7881(b), now what?

A. Continue to comply with any orders and with any other applicable Federal, State and Local regulations for your site.

Q. My site does meet all of the applicability criteria and is not eligible for an exemption, now what?

A. The proposed Site Remediation Rule specifically requires emissions controls and/or work practice requirements for three groups of emission points:

  • Process vents
  • Remediation material management units (tanks, containers, surface impoundments, oil/water separators, organic/water separators, drain systems)
  • Equipment leaks.

In addition, the rule contains monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements in 40 CFR 63.7950–7953 and 63.7955. In addition, US EPA will be evaluating its duty to set standards for heavy metal HAP emissions by conducting a residual risk and technology review.

 

We will follow the status of the proposed rule. If you have any questions regarding the proposed rule or other site remediation compliance activities, please contact Jessica Tierney.

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