Article provided by Laura Sugano, Roux Associates, Inc.
State Regulatory Agency Panel, the third session of the Annual Waste Conference, was moderated by Larry Falbe, Principal with Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. Charles Breitenfeldt, Compliance Assistance & Voluntary Programs Partners for Clean Air Coordinator with Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) began the panel with IDEM regulatory updates. He was followed by Jack Schinderle, Director of the Materials Management Division with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), presenting EGLE regulatory updates. Darsi Foss, Director of Remediation and Redevelopment Program with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), and Kyle Rominger, Deputy Chief of Bureau of Land with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), closed out the panel’s presentations with their respective regulatory updates.
Regulatory Updates from Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Revisions were added to the list of exemptions for short-term backup units. Short term back up units include a different emission unit or control device that may need to be inserted into the process in its place in order for the process to continue operating while a repair or maintenance is completed.
Transition to Electronic Notice of Intents (NOIs)
IDEM will no longer require paper submittals for stormwater or air permitting NOIs. Additionally, requirements to put public notices in newspapers are no longer required. Instead, electronic notices will be completed on IDEM’s website.
Wastewater Treatment Operator Requirements
Legislation has been passed increasing the wastewater treatment operator certificate interval of renewal from two years to three years. Also, the Indiana Environmental Rules Board is now requiring proof of compliance as part of the continuing education requirements necessary for the wastewater treatment operator certificate.
Hazardous Waste Operational Fees
In the past, IDEM assessed Hazardous Waste Annual Operation Fees on January 15 each year, with reporting requirements due later to prevent generators from potentially having to reissue or refund the fees based on what level generator the facility turned out to be. Hazardous Waste Annual Operation Fees will now be assessed on June 15 each year to minimize inefficiencies in the work required to ensure that generators are paying the appropriate annual fee.
Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust
Indiana received approximately $41 million from VW which will be used to fund projects through three different grants. These projects are required to be sustainable, improve air quality across Indiana, support economic growth, and maximize diesel emission reductions.
Breitenfeldt mentioned that while no human health concerns related to PFAS have been identified in the state of Indiana, IDEM supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiative to reduce PFAS. IDEM will continue to monitor PFAS health and environmental concerns and provide oversight and review of PFAS-related findings associated with the Department of Defense.
The new bi-annual budget is set for the next two years. To account for the five-million-dollar deficiency in the budget, IDEM has proposed raising permit fees. The approval to raise permit fees has been moved from the legislature to the Indiana Environmental Rules Board. This process is expected to take about 18 months.
Violation Letter Response Time
IDEM has set forth an initiative to send out all violation letters within seven days from the point of the inspection. The timeline for reaching this goal is 2021, with the interim goal of distributing letters within 15 days to the regulated community from the point of inspection by the end of 2019.
Breitenfeldt encouraged attendees to contact the IDEM Compliance & Technical Assistance Program (CTAP), which provides free support and confidential answers to industry questions.
Regulatory Updates from Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
Agency Name Change
The former Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is now operating under the name, “Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy” (EGLE) to reflect an emphasis on efficient usage of Michigan’s resources and energy.
Solid Waste Management Act
In 2018, EGLE drafted legislation for the Solid Waste Management Act in hopes of changing the public’s perception of solid waste management and increasing landfill capacity to be more sustainable for the future. Michigan is retooling waste management statutes to focus on materials management instead.
EGLE is in the process of determining how to strategically make use of the $69 million that has been designated for waste management.
TENORM Materials Legislation
Initial legislation pertaining to recommendations and guidelines on technically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM) was passed in 2018. Schinderle stated that Michigan had “revived reasonableness” and affirmed that 50 picocuries/gram was reasonable, and the legislation gives hazardous waste disposal facilities the ability to manage materials up to 500 picocuries/gram. Michigan also added requirements for solid waste landfills.
Coal Combustion Residue
A statute was enacted in 2018 which sets the framework for Michigan to become an authorized state to manage coal ash unit permitting. EGLE is in the process of completing their application for EPA approval as soon as possible.
Michigan believes their air and waste rules should be adequate to manage the increasing marijuana growers and processers; however, EGLE may be working to simplify air compliance.
Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule
Schinderle stated that EGLE is working on the Generator Improvement Rule (GIR) and expects it to be final by the end of the summer.
Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust
At the time of the conference, Michigan was planning on allocating VW funds to non-attainment areas.
Regulatory Updates from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
New Administration & Budget
According to Foss, Governor Evers’ budget for the year reflects an emphasis on drinking water quality, linking clean water to a strong economy. Notable budget highlights include working to address issues of nitrate in water. Wisconsin is allocating $1 million dedicated to the well compensation program (many of the wells are in rural areas), $40 million in bonding for replacing lead laterals, $25 million for dredging sediment in Great Lake Areas of Concern (AOCs), $4 million in urban nonpoint source and stormwater grants, and another $4 million for projects aimed at improving agricultural nonpoint source pollution. Examples of projects completed are replacement of lead piping between the streets and houses in Madison and replacing private wells that exceed nitrate levels.
As part of the new governor’s budget, at least two DNR jobs are slated to focus on PFAS-related matters, such as the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of samples, with the end goal of taking truly helpful action.
As Foss related, legislative initiatives on the horizon include the Speaker’s Water Quality Task Force, drafting of the Nutrient Trading Bill, and potential PFAS legislation (AB 85).
Wisconsin is unique in that it passed a spill/clean-up law in 1978 that is separate and distinct from Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Foss explained Wisconsin has a very general narrative standard of what a hazardous substance discharge or environmental pollution situation entails and PFAS sites are required to be cleaned up under the 1978 law. PFAS-related updates presented by Foss included the following:
- Eleven known PFAS cleanup sites are being addressed. Many of these are military or firefighter training facilities.
- Research into municipal wells and PFAS sources in Madison
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS) will soon recommend standards for PFOA and PFOS
- Twenty-four additional PFAS compounds were sent to the WDHS
- The WDNR is hosting a PFAS advisory group designed to facilitate discussion around the practicalities and strategies of PFAS investigation and remediation. Those who are interested can attend in person or tune in via Skype.
Air management permit metrics are improving. Foss noted that they are working on reducing the Title V permit renewal backlog and it is decreasing due to renewals being conducted in collaboration with industry. A company can redline and strikeout information when they send their renewal in, and the government will consider the suggested changes.
Construction permit issuance times remain steadily under the goal of 60 days, even with 30 days of public comment. Furthermore, a new air management inspection template is being piloted.
Hazardous Waste Rule Development
Wisconsin is working to update their hazardous waste rules in a package that includes:
- Hazardous waste e-manifest rule
- Revisions to the definition of solid waste
- Generator Improvement Rule
- Pharmaceutical rule
The deadline for legislative approval is April 2020.
Soil Management from Cleanups
Foss mentioned the following soil management updates:
- NR 718 contaminated soil management (RR060) – Wisconsin is one of the few states in which soil doesn’t necessarily have to go into a landfill as part of an environmental cleanup, depending on the soil.
- Exempt soil guidance (RR103) – When managing soil excavated as part of a response action, soil is considered “exempt soil” if the levels are below the concentrations listed in the Default Exempt Soils Concentrations Table and satisfy the narrative standards for naturally occurring compounds, non-naturally occurring compounds or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) soils in the guidance document. Exempt soils may be eligible to be reused at the response site or another location without agency approval.
- Low Hazard Exemption (WA1645) – Wisconsin has a program whereby low-hazard waste grant of exemption can be obtained related to disposal or reuse of a specific waste.
- NR 700 rule revisions, including PAHs – Wisconsin is revising their cleanup rule to make their PAH levels more in line with other states.
Regulatory Updates from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Special Waste Manifests
Currently, Illinois requires special waste to be shipped on uniform hazardous waste manifests; however, with EPA’s new e-manifest system, special waste destination facilities are required to submit manifests to EPA. IEPA is in the process of writing new rules for 35 III. Adm. Code 809, to allow nonhazardous special waste to be manifested on a special state manifest instead of using the federal uniform manifest.
The Statewide Materials Management Advisory Committee is reviewing the solid waste report in terms of the amount, nature, and recycling capacity of waste generated in Illinois
TACO Updates for Inorganics in Background Soils
IEPA is reviewing an extensive soil study by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) to consider revisions to the Tiered Approach to Corrective Action Objectives (TACO) Concentrations of Inorganic Chemicals in Background Soils (35 III Adm. Code 742, Appendix A, Table G). Most of the default inorganic background soil concentrations are expected to increase as a result.
Coal Combustion Residue
The Coal Combustion Residue Bill (SB 9) has been pending approval at the state level. The financial assurance requirement has been established and they are working to get a program in place. The process of drafting the rules is expected to take approximately six months.
Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund
The decrease in the number of drycleaners in Illinois compared to when the Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund was first established (1997), has led to a decrease in funding from drycleaner registration and tax. The Fund Council is currently looking for a way to bring in funding for the insurance program for soil and groundwater cleanup.
BPA Paper Ban
The Bisphenol A (BPA) Paper Ban (HB 2076) will be effective in January 2020. Among others in the service industry, this bill will help to protect cashiers from the BPA used to make receipts with thermal coating.
House Bill 2296 was established to keep lead-acid batteries and charcoal batteries out of main recyclable material waste streams.
Mahomet Aquifer Legacy Landfills
Communities that were interested in environmental protection from legacy landfills formed the Mahomet Aquifer Task Force to evaluate issues associated with both unregulated and underregulated historic landfills. Recommendations from this task force, including identification of these landfills, were incorporated into a bill (SB 2027). The identified landfills will be prioritized for inspection, and an information archive created regarding what types of waste were generated in an area, current status of the landfill, and potential historical issues. This bill also allows for a pilot study which utilizes remote sensing technologies such as LiDAR for landfill inspections.