Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Requirements for Generators, Transporters, and Waste Management Facilities Under the RCRA Hazardous Waste Manifest System
Information Collection Requests (ICRs) issued by EPA are typically pro forma notices alerting the regulated community that EPA is submitting a federally-required form for renewal to the Government Printing Office (GPO). On February 8, 2019, however, EPA issued an ICR that would alter the information contained in the RCRA hazardous waste manifest. 84 Fed. Reg. 2854. The Federal Register notice of the ICR is below.
EPA is soliciting comment on three changes to the manifest: (1) improving the precision of the waste quantities and units of measure reported on the manifest; (2) requiring additional information for international shipments; and (3) changing the manifest to make it easier to integrate data between the manifest and the biennial report required under RCRA. The comment period closes on April 9, 2019.
IHMM Leadership Update
IHMM’s Chair of the Board Matthew Redmann had some good professional news for us in that he has been assigned the task of creating a new initiative at Harley Davidson. Unfortunately for us that also means he will not be able to take the helm as Chair, so Richie Spangler our Vice Chair, has assumed the role as Chair of the Board and Matthew has gone back to the position of Vice Chair. Congratulations to Richie, and all the best to Matthew in his new challenges with Harley!
EPA National Compliance Initiaties
EPA on February 4, 2019, issued a notice seeking comment and recommendations on its National Compliance Initiatives (NCIs) for Fiscal Years (FY) 2020-2023. The notice should be published in the Federal Register within the next few days.
EPA is considering adding to its enforcement priorities reducing childhood lead exposure and ensuring Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) compliance.
EPA focuses enforcement and compliance resources on the most serious environmental violations by developing and implementing national enforcement and compliance program priorities, previously called National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs). As part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to increase the environmental law compliance rate and reduce the average time from violation identification to correction, EPA adjusted and renamed the NEIs program to the NCIs program to convey better the overarching goal of increased compliance and the use of enforcement in concert with the full range of compliance assurance tools. EPA is soliciting comment on which of the current national initiatives should continue, be modified, or returned to the standard (“core”) enforcement program.
The current NCI focus areas are:
- Reducing Emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)
- Reducing Toxic Air Emissions from Hazardous Waste Facilities
- Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities
- Keeping Industrial Pollutants Out of the Nation’s Waters
- Ensuring Energy Extraction Activities Comply with Environmental Laws
- Keeping Raw Sewage and Contaminated Stormwater Out of Our Nation’s Waters
- Reducing Air Pollution from the Largest Sources
EPA is proposing to keep four of the focus areas in the NCI program. These are focus areas 1 through 4 above. EPA is proposing to return focus areas 5 through 7 to EPA’s core programs.
A proposed new NCI focus area is increasing compliance with drinking water standards. EPA explains that each year thousands of community water systems (CWSs) violate one or more health-based drinking water standards promulgated under the SDWA. Thousands more CWSs repeatedly fail to collect water samples or report test results making difficult to know if the drinking water is safe, EPA states. CWSs exceeding action levels or other regulatory triggers may not complete required follow-up actions. In addition to these known violations, significant deficiencies in the design, operation or maintenance of the CWS may go unreported and uncorrected. Recent events at a few large CWSs indicate that current practices and use of existing data, tools, and policies have not always proved sufficient to prevent CWSs from moving toward serious noncompliance that may threaten human health. This potential NCI would focus on EPA working jointly with states to identify how EPA and states can collaborate to use resources more effectively and efficiently to focus efforts where they can increase compliance with primary drinking water standards.
EPA also is proposing to add reducing children’s exposure to lead as an NCI focus area. This would, EPA explains, support EPA’s and other federal agencies’ efforts to address lead contamination in all environmental media and could present an opportunity to use consumer education to increase compliance. This NCI would support EPA’s Strategic Plan focus on vulnerable populations, as well as the interagency Federal Lead Action Plan.
EPA is also inviting comment on any other areas for consideration as new NCIs. SEE: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiatives
From Chris Bryant at Bergeson & Campbell, IHMM Board Member