Forgot password?
Sign up today and your first download is free.

Federal Facilities

Industry Consultant Warns Of Gaps In EPA Data For SAB Perchlorate Review

An industry consultant is warning the chair of EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) that the agency is providing limited information to the panel for its review on the science of perchlorate intended to underpin EPA's decision to regulate the chemical in drinking water, saying the data omit "a significant portion" of science on perchlorate.

779 words


DOJ Plans To Fight Ruling Allowing Retroactive Stormwater Fees For U.S.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is signaling it plans to fight a recent federal court ruling allowing municipalities to retroactively assess stormwater fees on federal facilities, setting the stage for continued litigation over whether a 2011 Clean Water Act (CWA) amendment requiring the facilities to pay local stormwater fees should not apply retroactively.

1333 words


Industry Criticizes EPA Calculation Of Exposure Risk From Vapor Intrusion

Industry representatives are criticizing EPA's approach to calculating the potential for subsurface contamination to migrate to indoor air, raising the concern over a technical document expected to be a component of the agency's final vapor intrusion guidance and over a Region III proposal to offer government-funded mitigation for vapor intrusion at homes near a Superfund site in Pennsylvania.

1415 words


EPA Eyes Seeking DOJ Ruling On Cleanup Cost Recovery At Federal Sites

EPA is weighing a plan to ask the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a legal ruling on whether the agency can recoup costs for overseeing cleanups at federal sites, a move that would help fund agency oversight at these sites and put them on a similar footing with private sites, though it is likely to be opposed by the Defense Department (DOD) and other agencies.

730 words


DOJ Evaluating Options After Court Backs Retroactive Stormwater Fees

A federal district court has held that a 2011 amendment to the Clean Water Act (CWA) requiring federal facilities to pay local stormwater fees applies retroactively -- handing the Department of Justice (DOJ) a loss in the first ruling on the applicability of the measure which is already forcing DOJ to review its stance in two similar cases.

1105 words


DOE Studying New Mercury Sites

The Department of Energy (DOE) has decided to study two new alternative sites for a mandated national mercury storage facility, more than a year after the department had identified a preferred location but failed to follow through and make the selection official.

State regulators last month raised concerns about the delay in establishing the storage facility and urged DOE to seek sufficient funding in fiscal year 2013 for the facility to prevent the release of the toxin into the environment.

The Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008 (MEBA), sponsored by then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), directed DOE to safely manage the long-term storage of excess elemental mercury and to establish a long-term storage facility for mercury generated in the United States by Jan. 1, 2013. DOE issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) in January 2011 that analyzed seven sites and named a site in Andrews, TX, as the department's preferred location for the storage facility.

The department was expected to issue a formal record of decision choosing the site in early 2011, but DOE never finalized the site selection, and in a notice published June 5 in the Federal Register, DOE says it plans to consider two new sites as alternatives.

“Since publication of the Final Mercury Storage EIS, DOE has reconsidered the range of reasonable alternatives evaluated in that EIS,” the notice says. “Accordingly, DOE now proposes to evaluate two additional locations for a long-term mercury storage facility, both near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) [in New Mexico], which DOE operates for disposal of defense transuranic waste.”

One of the sites is within the WIPP boundaries, across the WIPP access road from the WIPP facility, the notice says. The other location is approximately 3.5 miles north of the WIPP facility.

States plan to meet with DOE later this week to discuss the planned study, a state source says.

MEBA requires DOE to establish a mercury storage facility by 2013 that is capable of holding 10,000 metric tons of elemental mercury over a 40-year period. The law says the agency must make a facility available to store used mercury, but producers and users of the substance do not have to use the facility if they have adequate storage elsewhere. There is currently no EPA-approved method of disposal for elemental mercury.

The sources of elemental mercury in the United States include mercury used in the chlorine and caustic soda manufacturing process, such as by the chlor-alkali industry, reclaimed from recycling and waste recovery activities, and generated as a byproduct of the gold mining process. In addition, DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration stores approximately 1,200 metric tons of elemental mercury at the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee.

DOE says the supplemental EIS (SEIS) will evaluate the cumulative impacts of constructing and operating a facility for long-term management and storage of elemental mercury with the ongoing and planned operations of WIPP for disposal of defense-related transuranic waste, as well as the potential disposal of greater-than-Class C waste, which includes low-level radioactive waste. The locations to be evaluated in the SEIS would be suitable for an above ground storage facility, DOE says.

548 words


EPA Floats Options For New Health Goal For Perchlorate In Drinking Water

EPA is suggesting a range of potential new drinking water health goals for the ubiquitous rocket fuel ingredient perchlorate, a goal that once selected will inform the landmark enforceable cleanup standard the agency intends to set for the substance, according to an EPA white paper released prior to an upcoming peer review of the agency's assessment.

1397 words


EPA Children's Office Seeks Pediatric Experts For Perchlorate Review Panel

EPA's children's health office is seeking to ensure that several pediatric experts are selected for the Science Advisory Board (SAB) panel that will review the agency's proposed health goal for perchlorate, a move that could bolster the agency's approach, which sought to protect children and pregnant women from the chemical's harmful effects.

930 words


States Press DOE To Seek Funding In FY13 For Mercury Storage Facility

State environmental regulators are raising concerns that the Department of Energy (DOE) is lagging on plans to establish a statutorily required national mercury storage facility and are urging the department to seek sufficient funding in fiscal year 2013 for the facility to prevent the release of the toxin into the environment.

629 words


House Backs DOD Cleanup Indemnity Measure Over White House Objection

The House has approved legislation as part of its annual defense authorization legislation that would indemnify redevelopers of former military bases closed outside the Base Realignment & Closure Act (BRAC) process from liability for remaining contamination -- much as redevelopers of BRAC properties are already protected.

988 words