Waste Management

Accelerated Remediation Catalysis (ARC) – An Emerging Water Treatment Technology for the Treatment of a Wide Range of Dissolved Phase Organic and Inorganic Contaminants

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The Accelerated Remediation Catalysis (ARC) system is a process that can be applied to reduction or oxidation. For reduction, hydrogen gas and an inexpensive, proprietary catalyst are used to perform a chemical reduction of appropriate contaminants. The application of shear forces that can be achieved by using certain pumps is also a feature that dramatically accelerates reaction times.

On the reduction side, there is data supporting the degradation of 1,4-dioxane (1,4-D), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), chlorinated hydrocarbons, and oxyanions (nitrate and perchlorate). With respect to metals and metalloids such as selenium, these species are precipitated and collected for disposal. ARC is also applicable to oxidative processes for appropriate organics like petroleum hydrocarbons, as well as metals/metalloids that precipitate under high redox conditions. In this application, the oxygen is provided by dilute hydrogen peroxide or peracetic acid with a different catalyst.

To help reduce start-up costs, the ex-situ process uses common tankage, pumps, valves, and process controls that can be obtained from standard vendors. If the process handles low levels of contaminants, it can be constructed of common thermoplastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene, and fiberglass.

ARC can operate in either batch or continuous mode. In batch mode, the reaction tank is filled at start-up and the total reaction time is allowed to reach the predetermined level to assure destruction of the constituents of concern (COCs). After this point has been achieved, the process switches to continuous mode, and the reaction tank functions as a single-stage plug flow reactor. The process can be made to be continuous at start-up by simply filling the reactor tank with clean water. The overall retention time for completion of most reactions has been on the order of 10 to 15 minutes. Using reduction, hydrogen used in the catalyst vessel is generated electrochemically at the site, reducing the need to handle compressed gas. Depending on the COC, the reaction will either cause manageable gas evolution, or precipitate out of the water and be recovered by a variety of methods. The insoluble catalyst can be recovered by filtration and recycled back to the reactor vessel.

Case studies where ARC has been used for chemical reduction include:

  • The conversion of 1,4-dioxane to ethanol. Water with 100 μg/l of 1,4-dioxane was reduced to <1 μg/l.
  • The complete destruction of perfluorocarbons to non-detectable concentrations with a fluorine residue of low concentration, as the initial concentrations of perfluorocarbons are generally low.
  • Chlorinated ethenes are easily reduced to ethene and ethane.
  • Trihalomethanes have been reduced from a typical 80 μg/l level to <10 μg/l in 10-15 minutes.
  • Perchlorate levels as high as 100 mg/l are reduced to chloride.
  • Nitrate is reduced to nitrogen gas.
  • Selenium in the form of selenate can be reduced to selenite and removed as a precipitate. Selenate was reduced from 200 mg/l to <1 mg/l.
  • Chlorobenzene at ppm levels is reduced to benzene that is then collected on the low-cost catalyst.

The ARC system can be designed for a wide range of process flow rates. Design of the system is only limited by the required retention time for the reaction. In essence, the system was brought into focus because of the emerging contaminants issue, and it is applied to pump-and-treat systems. This is important because the nature of 1,4-dioxane and PFCs makes in-situ treatment challenging. It is expected that there will be both an increase in the use of pump-and-treat systems and a need for more efficient water treatment technologies, especially since conventional methods of treatment (such as those that use carbon) are limited.

Additionally, because of the low concentrations of reactants in the process, there is typically no detectable heat gain in the reaction vessel. Therefore, cooling of the process is generally not required prior to releasing the treated effluent. Then there are other applications in traditional wastewater treatment, such as removal of selenium from scrub water at coal-fired power plants. The ARC system’s inherent simplicity allows it to be easily scaled so that dealing with the large flow rates encountered in industrial settings is feasible. While the endpoint for ARC treated water is generally to be discharged, a supplementary feature called Advanced Regenerative Process (ARP) can be added as a further polishing step so that beneficial reuse, including human consumption, is an option.

ARC targets those applications where more complicated and expensive systems, such as conventional Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP), are being used. The chemical usage, energy, and safety features of AOP systems, combined with their operational footprint, suggest they will eventually be replaced by better remedial options like ARC. There are other developing technologies that have similar objectives to displace AOP systems, such as resin-based operations, but ARC presents distinct advantages in cost, efficacy, physical layout, and scalability.

For additional information, please contact Chris Hortert at (800) 365-2324 (chortert@cecinc.com); Steve Koenigsberg at (949) 262-3265 (skoenigsberg@cecinc.com); or Thom Zugates at (602) 644-2163 (tzugates@cecinc.com).

EPA Tightens Restrictions on Recycling

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Under the final rule defining solid waste, published on January 13, 2015, EPA eliminated provisions in the 2008 Bush administration rule that provided flexibility allowing the return of hazardous secondary materials to the economic mainstream.  In settling a lawsuit with the Sierra Club, EPA agreed to review the 2008 changes.  As a consequence of this review, EPA found human health risk increased disproportionately for minority and low income communities.

Key changes include the following:

To verify that a recycling operation is legitimate and not a sham, the recycler must:

  • Prove that the hazardous secondary material makes a useful contribution;
  • Demonstrate that the recycling process produces a valuable final or intermediate product;
  • Manage the hazardous secondary materials as a valuable commodity; and
  • Confirm that the product is comparable to analogous products of virgin materials.

In the 2008 DSW Rule, the first two factors were mandatory, while the third and fourth were to be considered.

  1. The 2008 generator-control conditional exclusion now requires:
  • Documentation of legitimate recycling;
  • Proper containment;
  • Record keeping for generator-controlled recycling options; and
  • Emergency preparedness and response provisions.
  1. Transfer-based exclusions have been eliminated. These exclusions required that materials be managed by RCRA permitted facilities or “verified recyclers” who obtain a State-issued variance from RCRA.  Under the new rules, a facility applying for  a variance as a verified recycler must:
  • Demonstrate that legitimate recycling is being conducted;
  • Maintain necessary equipment and personnel;
  • Implement an emergency preparedness and response plan;
  • Provide financial assurances;
  • Assess risk to the local community from potential releases and cumulative risk from area-wide facilities; and
  • Provide public notice and opportunity to comment.
  1. Variances and non-waste determinations must be renewed each ten years and biennial re-notifications must be submitted.
  1. An exclusion was added for high-value solvent remanufacturing that requires notification, a remanufacturing plan, tracking, containment, and no speculative accumulation.

The effective date for the rule is 180 days after publication in the Federal Register (January 13, 2015).  For States with delegated RCRA authority, the rule will not be effective unless and until adopted by the State.  The more stringent portions of the rule (e.g., the new legitimacy criteria) will have to be adopted within one to three years, but the less stringent portions of the rule (such as the new remanufacturing exclusion) are optional.

As of the effective date, facilities operating under the 2008 generator-controlled exclusion must comply with the revised standards, and facilities operating under the 2008 transfer-based exclusion must meet the terms of the verified recycler exclusion.

According to comments on the docket from the regulated community, restrictions will materially curtail recycling. Associations representing affected industries have expressed their concern:

The rule “provides insufficient incentives to promote recycling of secondary materials and maintains many onerous and unnecessary requirements; verified recycler requirements could prove too onerous to encourage additional facilities to recycle secondary materials.”  (www.IPC.org)

The rule will “impose additional burdens when there is no evidence that the existing recycling regulations are creating environmental problems” and “will discourage recycling, increase the land filling and incineration of otherwise useful secondary materials, and increase the use of natural resources and energy.” (www.NAM.org)

The Sierra Club had a different view:

“The EPA conducted and included findings from a thorough environmental justice analysis that found loopholes in the DSW rule significantly and disproportionately affected low-income communities and communities of color.  While the rule closes some loopholes to control hazardous waste recycling, other sizable gaps remain, including the lack of any enforceable standard for the containment of hazardous waste and the lack of standards for facilities that treat and dispose of similar waste — the source of much of the contamination that has previously been traced to DSW rule loopholes.”

Potential further legal or Congressional action is unclear at this time.

Additional information on the Definition of Solid Waste EPA final rule is provided here

If you have any questions about the proposed Definition of Solid Waste rule and whether your facility may be impacted by these regulations, please contact Beth Schwartz at bschwartz@cecinc.com, or Donna Oswald at doswald@cecinc.com or call them at 888-963-6026.

Illinois Governor Quinn issuing Emergency Regulations on Coke and Coal Storage

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Update 2/17/2014:   In addition to regulatory initiatives by the City of Chicago and the IEPA, the Illinois Attorney General’s office has introduced, HB 5939 (Currie, D-Chicago), which amends the Environmental Protection Act, creating a new title in the law concerning the regulation of coal and coke storage, processing, and transloading. The bill provides for minimum setbacks for coal and coke facilities, sets limits for quantities of fugitive dust permitted from facilities, establishes specified requirements for storage of coal and coke products, requires permits for construction and operation of facilities, regulates the loading and unloading, paving, and cleaning of facilities. The bill also requires monitoring and testing, record keeping, and reporting to the IEPA. View the bill here.

Update: On January 23, 2014, the IPCB met and ruled 4-0 that IEPA had not demonstrated the filing qualified for treatment under Emergency Rule making provisions of IAPA and the Environmental Protection Act. The Board did not further comment or clarify the bases for their determination or what would have been acceptable to them. The Chairperson voiced a willingness to pursue with the proposal under General Rule making.

 The IEPA response to comments did not attempt to justify the request by citing precedents from prior IPCB and IACA cases. The footnote of their Statement of Reasons noted that there is no requirement for the Board or IEPA present a Statement of Reasons. They further noted that regulations for emergency rule makings are unclear and do not appear to be tailored to the purpose and intent of an emergency rule making. The IEPA Statement of Reasons ignored several commenters who cited precedents for acceptance and denial of emergency rule makings.

 In the morning public comment session, comments were submitted and summarized by the Illinois Chamber on behave of a coalition of industry trade associations, KCBX and the Environmental Law Policy Center.

 Newly issued Illinois emergency regulations will require total enclosure of all coke and coal storage, handling, and transfer activities. These emergency regulations call for plans to be due in 45 days and construction completed within two years. Regulations will also address dust suppression, storm water controls, elimination of fugitives, street sweeping, setbacks, height restrictions, record keeping and reporting. These requirements may cause costs to rise to the point of forcing closings of some coke and coal storage and handling activities.

In the dry heat of August 2013, fugitive coke dust from bulk storage along Illinois’ Calumet River migrated into residential neighborhoods and led to complaints. The Chicago Tribune published a series of articles in the fall and environmental groups found traction criticizing petroleum refiners, Canadian crude and byproduct coke. By December, the City adapted petroleum coke and coal storage regulations from the South Coast Air Quality Management District and extended them to ores. The day of the City’s public meeting the Governor and IEPA Director Lisa Bonnett visited the area and announced emergency regulations affecting all coal and coke storage and handling operations within Illinois. Proposed regulations will be filed this week and will be subject to public comment and approval by the Illinois Pollution Control Board, but some go into effect immediately upon filing. Major time lines and provisions that would be effective upon official adoption include:

  • Within five days, a facility must install equipment to monitor wind speed.
  • Within 30 days, a facility must install dust suppression systems along conveyor systems and any piles that are not totally enclosed.
  • Within 30 days, a facility must submit applications for necessary permits and a comprehensive wastewater and stormwater runoff plan to IEPA that ensures that runoff that has come into contact with the piles is prevented from entering the waters of the state and complete it within 60 days of approval.
  • Within 45 days, a facility must submit a plan to IEPA for total enclosure of all coke and coal piles, transfer points, loading and unloading areas, screening areas, crushing and sizing areas to be completed within two years of these rules being adopted. Enclosure structures must be equipped with air pollution systems at all vents and entrances and exits for material and vehicles as well as an impermeable base to guard against ground seepage.
  • Within 45 days, a facility must submit a plan to IEPA to minimize the impact of truck traffic on residential areas near the source. All petcoke loading and transport must be done in vehicles sufficiently covered to guard against fugitive dust emissions.
  • With 45 days, a facility must submit a plan to IEPA for coke and coal fugitive dust that must adhere to requirements in the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and must be updated at least semi-annually or within 30 days of a major equipment or control change.
  • Within 60 days, a facility must remove all petcoke and coal that has been at the source for more than one year.
  • Within 60 days, a facility must locate any piles, loading operations, transfer or emission points that are not totally enclosed to at least 200 feet inside the property line of the source, a minimum of 200 feet from all waters of the United States, all public water supply reservoirs and intakes and all potable wells and onto impenetrable bases or pads.
  • Within 60 days, no pile may exceed 30 feet in height. Visible height markers must also be installed.
  • A least once per calendar week, a facility must measure moisture content of representative samples and adjust dust suppression measures so as to meet certain standards and inspect all dust suppression equipment so as to ensure adequate operations.
  • At least monthly, a facility must certify the operation of all dust suppression systems at all times during the processing of coal and coke and submit records to IEPA showing the types and quantities of materials delivered to and transported from the source, and data reflecting cleaning, street-sweeping and equipment maintenance frequency.

If you have questions on these proposed City or State emergency regulations, please contact CEC’s Chicago office at 630-963-6026.

More information:

Pennsylvania Clean Fill Policy

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In 2004, PADEP established the Management of Fill Policy to provide procedures for determining whether material is clean fill or regulated fill.  This Policy is pertinent to those developing “greenfield” sites requiring fill, and brownfield sites where fill is being imported or exported from the site.  “Regulated fill” may not be used unless a Solid Waste Management Act (SWMA) permit is secured by the entity or individual using the regulated fill. 

 How Do I determine if the material in question is Clean Fill?

The Policy provides that environmental due diligence must be performed on the fill materials.  If the due diligence shows no evidence of a release of a regulated substance, the material may be handled as clean fill. If due diligence shows evidence of a release, the material must be tested to determine if it qualifies as clean fill.  The Policy provides the procedures for sampling of material based on either composite or discrete sampling, with the number of samples required based on the volume of material.  If testing reveals that the fill material contains concentrations of regulated substances that are below the residential limits in Table FP-1a and b of the Management of Fill Policy, the material can be managed as clean fill.

 What is Clean Fill?

Uncontaminated, non water-soluble, nondecomposable inert solid material. The term includes soil, rock, stone, dredged material, used asphalt (except milled asphalt), and brick, block or concrete from construction and demolition activities that is separate from other waste and recognizable as such. The term does not include materials placed in or on the waters of the Commonwealth unless otherwise authorized.

  How do I manage Clean Fill?

Clean fill may be used in an unrestricted manner under the SWMA.  The person using materials as clean fill is still subject to other requirements such as Erosion and Sediment Control (PA Title 25 Chapter 102) and Dam Safety and Water Management (PA Title 25 Chapter 105).  Any person placing clean fill which has been affected by a release of a regulated substance must certify the origin of the fill material and the results of analytical testing on Form FP-001.

 What is Regulated Fill?

Soil, rock, stone, dredged material, used asphalt, historic fill, and brick, block or concrete from construction and demolition activities that is separate from other waste and recognizable as such that has been affected by a spill or release of a regulated substance and the concentrations of regulated substances exceed the values in Tables FP-1a and b of the Policy.

 How do I manage Regulated Fill?

Materials identified as regulated fill are a waste and must be managed in accordance with residual waste regulations.  Regulated fill may be used beneficially under General Permit WMGR096 if the material and the proposed activities for the fill meet the conditions of that permit.

Regulated fill may not be placed on greenfield property that is not planned for development, or on a property currently in residential use or planned for residential use unless otherwise authorized by PADEP.  Fill containing concentrations of regulated substances that exceed the levels in Tables GP-1a and b of the General Permit may not be managed under the Management of Fill Policy or the General Permit, but must be managed instead in accordance with the applicable municipal or residual waste regulations.

A general permit is not required for activities undertaken entirely on an Act 2 site, or if regulated fill is taken from one Act 2 site to another Act 2 site, as long as the procedural requirements of Act 2 are met (including documentation in the Act 2 reports for both sites).  Placement of the regulated fill may not cause the receiving site to exceed the Act 2 standards selected for that site.

If you have questions about management of fill issues in Pennsylvania, please contact Mary King (mking@cecinc.com) with the Pittsburgh office at 800-365-2324.

Useful Pennsylvania Management of Fill Links:

Solvent-Contaminated Wipes – New USEPA Rules

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A final rule issued by USEPA on July 31, 2013 addresses the management of solvent-contaminated wipes.  In the final rule, USEPA conditionally excludes from the definition of solid waste solvent-contaminated wipes that are cleaned and reused, and conditionally excludes from the definition of hazardous waste solvent-contaminated wipes that are disposed. The rules affect nearly 100,000 generators and handlers of an estimated 2.2 billion rags and wipes per year.   EPA estimated in 2003 that 88% of these were reusable.

Proper management of solvent wipes has been debated since the early 1980’s.  Petitions filed by Kimberly Clark (1985) and Scott Paper (1987) led to an EPA 1994 memo deferring to the States with authorized RCRA programs.  Printing industry efforts toward standardization led to a 2003 proposed rule.  Following a 2009 Risk Assessment, minor changes to the 2003 proposal were finalized and published on July 31, 2013.  The new rules will take in effect six months from publication, on January 31, 2014.

To maintain the conditional exclusion, certain management practices must be followed:

  1. Store in non-leaking, closed containers
  2. Label containers “Excluded Solvent-Contaminated Wipes”
  3. Document accumulation less than 180 days
  4. No free liquids per Paint Filter Liquids Test (9095B)
  5. Document procedure employed to assure no free liquids
  6. Free liquids managed as solid or hazardous waste
  7. Document reusables sent to handler (laundry, dry cleaner) with permitted discharge
  8. Document disposables to permitted handler (combustor, landfill)

During accumulation, a closed container means the cover makes complete contact between the fitted lid and the rim, even if not sealed. Containers with flip-top or spring loaded lids or with a self-closing swinging door may be acceptable during accumulation. Bags may be considered closed when the neck of the bag is sealed preventing emission of solvent vapors.  No container may leak free liquid.  After accumulation and during transportation, a container must be sealed with rings clamped or bolted to the container.

The conditional exclusion may apply to solvent-contaminated wipes which contain listed solvents or exhibit a hazardous waste characteristic.  Free liquid spent solvent is not excluded nor are wipes containing listed waste other than solvent or that exhibit a characteristic from other than solvent.  Wipes contaminated with trichloroethylene are not excluded.

For further information on the Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Rulemaking, see EPA’s website and the July 31, 2013 Federal Register notice.

You should also check with your state for rules that they may have regarding solvent-contaminated wipes, since many state requirements are more stringent than the federal program.  If you have any questions about RCRA Waste Determination requirements, please contact the Chicago office at 630-541-0626.

Clean Construction and Demolition Debris – Is It Regulated in My State?

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Clients routinely ask us about management practices and regulations applicable to clean construction and demolition debris. Unlike hazardous and solid wastes, requirements vary by State. We will be doing a series of blogs outlining the requirements on a state-by-state basis. First up is the Land of Lincoln, Illinois:

In the State of Illinois, the rules changed in August 2012. Owner/operators need to assure compliance with these new requirements.

Illinois regulations define clean construction or demolition debris (CCDD) as uncontaminated broken concrete without protruding metal bars, bricks, rock, stone, reclaimed or other asphalt pavement, or soil generated from construction or demolition activities. If clean soil is mixed in, it is also CCDD. Uncontaminated soil that is not mixed with other CCDD materials is not CCDD. CCDD used as fill below grade is not a waste if the area is not within the setback zone of a drinking water well and CCDD is covered within 30 days with clean soil, pavement, or other structure(s). [35 IAC 1100]

Common questions which are addressed below are:

  •  What exactly are the pre-acceptance requirements?
  •  Why do the requirements vary by fill site?
  •  Are all facilities accepting this material regulated?
  •  Are fill sites required to perform groundwater monitoring?

Pre-Acceptance Requirements?
Owner-operators may seek to determine if the material qualifies to be managed as CCDD using one of two options:

 1) Sample and test the soil for pH and self-certify that the source site is not a potentially impacted property and soils are presumed uncontaminated;
or
2) Engage an Illinois Registered Professional Engineer or Licensed Professional Geologist to perform sampling and analyses as appropriate to support an uncontaminated soil certification.

Under the first option, the Owner operator may certify that the site is not a potentially impacted property using Form LPC-662 based on the current and past uses of the site and nearby properties. Testing for pH must also be performed to demonstrate the soil pH is between 6.0 and 9.0.

If the soils cannot be self-certified, then waste characterization is needed.

Under the second option, a licensed professional certifies the soil is uncontaminated. Soil samples are obtained and tested to determine whether the material can be managed as CCDD or as an industrial waste stream:

  • Based on the estimated volume of material, the licensed professional will determine the representative number of soil samples and selected analyses.
  •  The selected analysis is based on site condition and history of operations, and may include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) including polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) metals, and pH.
  •  Samples of soil may be taken in-situ or from staged piles.

Analytical results for up to 133 parameters are compared to IEPA criteria within the Summary of Maximum Allowable Concentration of Chemical Constituents in Uncontaminated Soil Used as Fill Material at Regulated Fill Operations in 35 Illinois Administrative Code (IAC) 1100, Subpart F.

If the soil can be certified as CCDD, the licensed professional prepares and seals the Uncontaminated Soil Certification (LPC-663), allowing the soils to be used as fill at a CCDD facility. If the soils cannot be certified as CCDD, waste characterization is needed.

The results of the analysis, as well as other pertinent data, can be prepared and submitted to an appropriate Subtitle D landfill for acceptance of the waste stream.

Fill Site Requirements?
The above are the minimum requirements set by the IEPA. However, like most rules, they are subject to some interpretation and each CCDD owner/ operator may interpret the rules more or less conservatively. For example, fill sites may request additional analytical than initially performed which may cause delays. We recommend as part of any certification, the site owner/ operator coordinate with the intended fill site early in the process to avoid any “surprises”.

Regulatory status of fill sites?
Regulated CCDD Fill sites are subject to:

  • Pre-acceptance criteria;
  •  Inspections;
  •  Operational standards;
  •  Permitted final grades (no higher than surrounding grades);
  •  Storm water management [NPDES Permit for discharges];
  •  Annual reports;
  •  One year post closure care period; and
  • Payment of Fees to the State of Illinois of $0.20/ CY or $0.14/ ton [Part 1150 and 22.51 of Act].

Uncontaminated Soil Fill Operations are subject to similar requirements. The Rules do not apply to “CCDD or uncontaminated soil that is not used as fill material in a current or former quarry, mine, or other excavation”. Basically, certain “unregulated” facilities legally exist by filling areas that are not a “former quarry, mine, or other excavation”. CEC strongly recommends that the site owner/ operator understand the regulatory status of any facility they are using.

Are fill sites required to perform groundwater monitoring?

The issue of whether CCDD fill sites should be required to perform groundwater monitoring was one of the most debated issues during the rulemaking process. Groundwater monitoring is not required by the current rules. However, the Illinois Pollution Control Board opened a subdocket to the rulemaking proceeding to continue its examination of the issue of groundwater monitoring at CCDD and uncontaminated soil fill operations. A hearing was held on May 20, 2013 to elicit more information from stakeholders regarding this issue. CEC will be tracking results from this proceeding.

If you have any questions about the CCDD management issues, please contact John Hock with the Chicago office at (877) 963-6026.

Useful Illinois Links:

The Future of Stormwater

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In 2010, EPA reached a settlement with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and others to develop additional components of a comprehensive suite of strong regulatory actions that EPA has initiated or pledged to take to restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.  These actions include a more robust application of stormwater quality requirements to all new development, regardless of thresholds set in the Phase 1 and 2 stormwater requirements.

An initial deadline to propose the new comprehensive stormwater rule was set for April 10, 2012.  However, EPA has negotiated several extensions to the deadline (the last deadline was June 10, 2013), and EPA now anticipates a December 2013 date for the draft rule.  The rule will apply to all areas – not just large and medium sized municipalities, where Phase 1 and 2 stormwater programs are currently in place.

It is EPA’s goal to incentivize redevelopment in urban built-out areas over new development in undeveloped areas, and this rule is expected to reinforce that goal.  Stormwater runoff treatment standards are expected to be more restrictive for greenfield development than redevelopment of urban areas.  The treatment standard for greenfield development is most likely to mirror the current Phase 2 stormwater treatment requirement to infiltrate the 80th, 85th or 90th percentile storm event, which is around one inch for many areas, depending on a region’s typical rainfall. Lesser stormwater runoff treatment requirements will be required in redeveloped urban areas to reduce urban sprawl.  This new rule has been dubbed “Phase 2 lite”.

EPA has also been considering whether to expand the Stormwater Phase 2 programs to encompass areas likely to develop – not just already developed areas.  In keeping with a watershed focus, EPA is also considering applying the rule on a watershed basis.  The question is not if the stormwater rule will be promulgated; it is how and where it will be applied.

So, what does all of this mean to you?  Our approach to development will have to change.  We will be incorporating stormwater infiltration practices into our development plans for new development and redevelopment.  The success of infiltration practices relies on subsurface conditions at a site, correct design, correct construction techniques, and long term maintenance.  Developers will need to engage designers with expertise in soils, vegetation, hydrology and construction techniques so these practices work properly.  An infiltration practice can fail quickly if correct construction techniques are not followed during construction, so it is likely that the design professional will be required to oversee construction. And then the infiltration practice owner (developer or property owner) will be required to maintain these structures perpetually. To reduce the long term burden of monitoring and maintaining structural infiltration practices, our future designs will need to address stormwater as an asset and incorporate its reuse into the overall design for irrigation needs and other non-potable uses. 

Additional information on the EPA Stormwater rule is available on EPA’s website.  If you have questions regarding the implications of these stormwater rules, please feel free to contact CEC’s Nashville office at (800) 763-2326.