Month: May 2017

Sixth-Generation Ohio Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Issued Final

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Ohio EPA’s new Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for Industrial Stormwater Discharges (Ohio EPA (OEPA) General Permit Number OHR000006) was issued final on May 8, 2017. The effective date of the permit is June 1, 2017. OEPA’s fifth-generation MSGP (OHR000005) expired on December 31, 2016, and its replacement has incorporated changes that clarify allowances and exceptions and ensure that Ohio’s MSGP is consistent with its U.S. EPA counterpart. This post describes some important dates for associated submittals and summarizes new provisions of the permit.

Companies with facilities currently covered by OHR000005 should expect to receive a letter from OEPA in the next few weeks. No action is required of current permit holders until this letter is received.

Important dates to keep in mind:

  • Effective permit date: June 1, 2017
  • Permit expiration date: May 31, 2022
  • Notice of Intent (NOI) submittal deadline date for existing permit holders: within 90 days of the OEPA’s written instructions (letter) to re-notify. Per Jason Fyffe, Supervisor, OEPA Central Office Stormwater Permitting, renewal letters will be mailed late the week of May 22, at the earliest.
  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) update timeframe for existing permit holders: within 180 days of the effective date of the permit (i.e., November 28, 2017)
  • Facilities not covered under a prior NPDES permit (new dischargers) must prepare a SWPPP prior to submitting an NOI. NOIs for new dischargers are to be submitted at least 180 days prior to discharge.

It is important to note that as of February 1, 2017, OEPA has instituted an all-electronic NOI filing policy, and facilities must use eBusiness to prepare and submit the form. If you prefer, the NPDES application utility (Surface Water Tracking, Reporting, and Electronic Application Management System or STREAMS) allows consultants to prepare the NOIs on behalf of their clients and delegate the forms to the appropriate individual for electronic signature and final submittal. CEC can assist you with this matter. Online payment is also available.

Notable changes to the current MSGP compared to OHR000005 include the following:

  • Clarifying language was added that defines conditions when pavement wash waters and routine external building washdown are an allowable non-stormwater discharge authorized by the permit. MSGP Part 1.1.3.
  • A list of the stormwater discharges subject to effluent limitation guidelines under 40 CFR, Subchapter N that are not eligible for coverage under the general permit and would require authorization to discharge under an individual NPDES permit is now included in MSGP Part 1.1.4.4.
  • A reduction in required frequency for routine facility inspections and quarterly visual assessments is now allowed for facilities recognized under the Gold and Platinum levels by OEPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Program. MSGP Parts 4.1.3 and 4.2.3.
  • The requirement for a comprehensive annual site inspection has been eliminated in order to match the U.S. MSGP and to “eliminate redundancies and reduce burden” on facilities. The requirement for routine facility inspection remains, and required procedures are listed in MSGP Part 4.1.1 (no change from OHR000005).
  • Language has been added to clarify that documents incorporated into the SWPPP by reference may be maintained on site electronically (i.e., satisfies “available on site” requirement). MSGP Part 5.1.5.1.
  • Permittees are now required to make their SWPPP available to the public when requested, excluding any confidential or restricted business information. MSGP Part 5.3.
  • Language has been added to clarify that, for monitoring purposes, an outfall can include a discrete conveyance (i.e., pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, or conduit) or a location where sheet flow leaves the facility property. MSGP Part 6.1.1.
  • Language has been added to clarify that permittees obtaining coverage in years 4 and 5 of the general permit must complete benchmark monitoring requirements to the extent of remaining monitoring periods available before the general permit expires. (Permittees obtaining coverage before this time are to complete the benchmark monitoring requirements within the first three years of permit coverage. This has not changed from OHR000005.) MSGP Part 6.2.1.2.
  • Provisions have been added for permittees who are exceeding a benchmark due to neighboring facility run-on to account for this situation. MSGP Part 6.2.1.2.
  • Provisions have been added for a facility to default to a different benchmark value if a parameter’s water quality standard is less restrictive than the permit benchmark value. MSGP Part 6.2.1.2.
  • Provisions have been added for permittees to consider pollutant concentrations (contributions) from the facility structures (roofs, walls, fencing, etc.) when determining whether it is available, practical, and achievable to implement additional control measures when a benchmark has been exceeded. MSGP Part 6.2.1.2.
  • The annual report requirements have been revised to be consistent with the federal MSGP. (The frequency and recordkeeping requirements have remained the same.) MSGP Part 7.2 and Appendix I.
  • Language has been added to clarify that the discharge of leachate (defined in OAC 3745-27-01(L)(1)) is not authorized under the MSGP. MSGP Part 8.C.2.1.
  • Composting fertilizer mixing facilities (SIC 2875) have been removed from Subsector C1 and located in a newly created Subsector C6, which provides more appropriate benchmark monitoring parameters for this industry. Table 8.C-1 and Appendix D to Sector C have been revised to specify that SIC 2875 (non-composting fertilizer mixing facilities) will be subject to Subsector C1 and SIC 2875 (composting fertilizer mixing facilities) will be subject to Subsector C6.
  • Language was added to Sector N (Scrap Recycling Facilities) to clarify that references to secondary containment under this part are referencing stationary outdoor equipment and not mobile equipment. MSGP Part 8.N.3.1.7.
  • Marinas have been added to Sector Q (Water Transportation) of the MSGP. The current OEPA Marina stormwater general permit (OHRM00002) expires on January 21, 2018, and will not be renewed. Marinas with coverage under OHRM00002 will remain covered under that general permit until it expires, and at that time, will be instructed to renew their coverage under OHR000006. NOTE: the current Marina Stormwater general permit authorizes the discharge of boat wash water if no detergents or other chemical cleaning agents are used. OHR000006 does not authorize boat wash water. Such discharges would require proper collection and disposal (i.e., sanitary sewer) or be permitted by a separate NPDES permit. MSGP Part 8, Subpart Q – Sector Q
  • Appendix B, “Standard Permit Conditions,” has been updated to reflect the “Standard Permit Conditions” language found within OEPA general permits.

For additional information regarding OHR000006, including fact sheets and a copy of the permit, visit OEPA’s Industrial Stormwater General Permit website.

If you have any questions on how the requirements of OHR000006 may affect your facility, or if you would like assistance with NOI submittal and/or updating the SWPPP for your facility, contact Amy Ritts (aritts@cecinc.com) or Andy McCorkle (amccorkle@cecinc.com).

MiProbe Environmental Sensing Technology for the Continuous Real-Time Management of Redox, Microbial Degradation Rates, and Metabolic Gases

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CEC has collaborated with Burge Environmental of Tempe, Arizona, in the development and deployment of a sensor system called MiProbe that was supported by a series of grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The sensor is part of a full package of environmental sensors and data management tools that incorporates telemetry, the Cloud, and computer-generated graphics to bring the dynamics of contaminated site management to life. The system is unique in many ways, but one feature that makes it truly special is its use of biofilm as the sensor itself. The sensor also has a metabolic gas capture capability that gives it a second level of application in line with the current interest in Natural Source Zone Depletion (NSZD). Taken separately, the system’s features include:

Microbial Sensing Capabilities

The microbes and the associated electrode-support structure comprise a revolutionary redox sensor that is both instantaneous in reporting to the Cloud and robust to the point where, for all practical purposes, it has an operational life of several years.

A brief explanation of how it works: a biofilm/electrode combination with associated circuitry generates a steady-state voltage that is held by the electrode, noting that every redox state has an associated voltage. For example, the voltage is highest in an anaerobic environment, but it drops upon the encroachment of aerobic conditions because electrons are drawn away; this change is then recorded and transmitted. The system can work in reverse with voltages rising as anaerobic conditions develop. The sensor data may allow for better management and cost control associated with use of reagent applications (e.g. for providing oxidizing or reducing conditions in the subsurface).

It is also possible to understand the metabolic turnover rate in the environment. Based on the voltage output for the sensor (turning it on and off via remote control and allowing the voltage to drain and recover), a rate of substrate consumption can be calculated. This then factors into natural attenuation petitions or the progress of remedial intervention with oxidative or reductive processes as noted.

Metabolic Gas Capture Capabilities

The application targets a growing interest in documenting NSZD as a means of more enlightened management of complex sites with non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs). At present, the focus is on Light NAPLs (LNAPLs) like petroleum hydrocarbons. Depending on the subsurface conditions, LNAPLs will naturally attenuate through aerobic and anaerobic pathways while generating carbon dioxide and methane as metabolic gas end products. Capturing representative samples of these metabolic gases can be useful in calculating the Time of Remediation (TOR) of palpable contaminant masses in the subsurface. Of course, overlaying intervention activities such as oxidants or temperature inputs on this process can accelerate the TOR, and this will be recorded.

Other Applications and Features

Because MiProbe is sensitive to microbial activity, it can detect an uptick in electron flow as a function of a change in substrate availability. This would manifest when, for example, a dissolved-phase hydrocarbon plume impacts the sensor, which has major applications in managing UST sites or accidental releases. Conversely, a lack of electron flow could indicate a lack of bioavailability of contaminants.

The bioavailability application is important in sediments work in support of Monitored Natural Recovery (MNR) strategies. In effect, if a contaminant is unavailable, a case can be made for limited environmental impacts. Additional sediment and landfill management applications include the use of the redox sensor components to allow for characterization and modeling of the water exchanges between capped sediments or landfills and surrounding sources of water. Applications for ecological monitoring are also of interest and are ripe for further exploration by interested parties.

All of these analytical results have been obtained with extremely high reproducibility. The MiProbe system can be deployed several ways, including direct insertion into the subsurface or into monitoring wells, or as part of a floating deployment configuration. Also, the system is solar powered with real-time data transmitted using either cellular or satellite communications. In locations where communications are difficult, a data logging option is available.

This information on the MiProbe System is also available as a downloadable brochure on the Environmental Site Investigation and Remediation page of CEC’s website: http://www.cecinc.com/enviro_site_redevelopment.html.

If you have questions related to MiProbe applications, please contact Chris Hortert at (800) 365-2324 or chortert@cecinc.com, or Steve Koenigsberg at (949) 262-3265 or skoenigsberg@cecinc.com.

Ohio EPA’S Draft Rules for Landfills and Transfer Facilities Accepting Oil & Gas Production Waste

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM) is in the process of finalizing rules, under OAC 3745-515 (Draft Rules), for the disposal of oil and gas (O&G) production waste, specifically for the receipt, acceptance, processing, handling, management, and disposal of radioactive material, including technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM). The official title of the regulation is “Oil and Gas Production Waste Rules,” and a summary of the Draft Rules is as follows:

APPLICABILITY

  • Applicable to sanitary landfills and solid waste transfer facilities subject to OAC 3745-27 (municipal solid waste regulations) and 3745-29 (industrial waste regulations).
  • Excluded from the Draft Rules are:
    • Residual waste landfills;
    • O&G production operations (including temporary storage adjacent to point of origination);
    • Re-used material from horizontal wells;
    • Injection well sites; and
    • Material that is not TENORM and has not contacted refined oil-based substances (ROBS).
  • If TENORM or ROBS are comingled with other drilling operation material, the mixed material is subject to the Draft Rules.
  • The Draft Rules do not limit applicability under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) statutes in Chapters 1509 (O&G), 3734 (solid and hazardous waste), and 3748 (radiation control).
  • It should be noted that although Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has sole and exclusive authority to regulate the permitting, location, spacing, and related O&G activities in Ohio, Ohio EPA also has regulatory authority for sanitary landfills and solid waste transfer facilities that accept and process O&G production wastes.
  • In addition, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection (BEHRP) provides guidance for field scanning, sampling, and laboratory testing for Ra-226/228, which Ohio EPA is adopting under the Draft Rules.

DEFINITIONS

  • Drilling operation material (DOM) means material that results from drilling operations, including waste substances from exploration, development, stimulation, operations, or plugging, and TENORM associated with an injection well.
  • DOM is considered a solid waste.
  • Source-separated drill cuttings generated while advancing through the underground source of drinking water are not DOM.
  • TENORM is defined by reference to ORC 3748.01 and does not include drill cuttings with de minimus liquids; however, there are additions to the ORC 3748.01 definition, including:
    • ROBS;
    • Used frac sands;
    • Tank bottoms;
    • Pipe scale;
    • Used injection-well filter media; and
    • TENORM mixed with other materials.
  • For comparison, TENORM defined in ODNR’s Draft O&G Facility Rules also includes seven (7) “add-ons” to the ORC 3748.01 definition that are similar to those proposed by Ohio EPA above.
  • Drill cuttings, drilling operation, and horizontal well have the same meaning as the ORC definitions.
  • The Draft Rule definitions do not override OAC 3745-500-02 (Ohio EPA General Administration definitions).

INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

  • The “Solid Waste Disposal Facility Radioactive Material Detection Program” (amended June 14, 2016) issued by ODH BEHRP is incorporated by reference.

PROHIBITIONS

  • Sanitary landfills and solid waste transfer facilities cannot:
    • Accept TENORM with Ra-226/228 greater than five (5) pCi/g above background concentration (non-exempt TENORM) without authorization from ODH BEHRP. In Ohio, background concentration is considered to be two (2) pCi/g, making the threshold seven (7) pCi/g.
    • Accept DOM that has not been stabilized with material other than Portland cement or quicklime or anther material authorized by ODNR under ORC Chapter 1509.
    • Accept DOM that is bulk liquids or sludges without authorization from ODNR under ORC Chapter 1509 and shall not commingle solid waste or any other material not authorized in the Draft Rule during the solidification process.

RESOLUTION OF CONFLICTS AMONG AUTHORITIES

  • Compliance with the Draft Rule is required when there is conflict with another authorizing document.
  • Compliance with an Order is required when there is conflict with the Draft Rule. Once the Order is terminated or ceased, compliance with the Draft Rule is required.
  • The Draft Rule shall not infringe upon ODH BEHRP authority statute, including issuing orders, inspections, and enforcement standards.

PERMIT TO INSTALL (PTI)

  • Sanitary landfills and solid waste transfer facilities shall obtain a permit from Ohio EPA to accept and process non-exempt TENORM under the solid waste (OAC 3745-27) and industrial waste (OAC 3745-29) regulations.
  • A permit to install (PTI) from Ohio EPA is required prior to construction of sanitary landfills and solid waste transfer facilities to process DOM and/or TENORM.

NOTIFICATION

  • Sanitary landfills and solid waste transfer facilities are required to have authorization for DOM transfer or disposal from ODH BEHRP.
  • If not accepting DOM upon the effective date of the Draft Rule, a notice of intent to Ohio EPA is required.
  • If already accepting DOM, a notice of intent to continue accepting DOM is required within 30 days following the effective date of the Draft Rule.
  • Sanitary landfills and solid waste transfer facilities cannot accept non-exempt TENORM until Ohio EPA approves any required modification to the facility PTI.

OPERATIONAL CRITERIA

  • Implementation of a written radiation protection and detection program is required.
  • Analysis for Ra-226/228 is required for TENORM material.
  • A daily log is required documenting the waste type and amount received.
  • Leachate will be tested for Ra-226/228 annually.
  • Groundwater monitoring wells will be tested for Ra-226/228 semi-annually.
  • State disposal fees will be levied on DOM.

PROHIBITED MATERIALS – RADIATION PROTECTION PROGRAM

The radiation protection program shall include:

  • Implementation of the written radiation protection plan.
  • Monitoring of incoming waste with radiation portal monitors (RPMs).
  • Pre-acceptance screening procedures that include:
    • Identification of sources;
    • Generator profiles;
    • Well pad name and location;
    • DOM description;
    • Processes used to remove fluids and stabilization agents used;
    • Procedures for the collection of representative samples;
    • Procedures for pre-acceptance screening, acceptance, and record keeping;
    • Refusal of material procedures; and
    • Detections by RPMs require laboratory testing and must be below non-exempt Ra-226/228 concentrations prior to disposal.

COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT RULES

Ohio EPA is accepting comments from stakeholders regarding the Draft Rules until May 12, 2017. Comments may be submitted to Michelle Mountjoy (michelle.mountjoy@epa.ohio.gov).

QUESTIONS/CONTACT INFORMATION

If you have any questions regarding the proposed Draft Rules, please contact Ababu Gelaye at agelaye@cecinc.com or (614) 917-3247, and/or Roy Stanley at rstanley@cecinc.com or (614) 545-1260 in CEC’s Worthington, Ohio, office.