Closure

Key Provisions Added to Streamline WV LAST/LUST Program

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This blog post is a follow-up to CEC’s summary of the West Virginia Tanks Corrective Action Unit (TCAU) update to the Corrective Action Guidance Document (CAGD) for Leaking Aboveground Storage Tanks (LAST) and Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST).

[Background: The TCAU released the update to the public on July 25, 2018, for immediate implementation. The stated intent of the CAGD is to better articulate West Virginia’s LAST/LUST program requirements, provide clarification on what information must be collected when investigating and cleaning up releases, and improve the consistency and quality of required reports, resulting in a more streamlined process for remediating LAST/LUST sites. The guidance discusses the processes and procedures for identifying and investigating suspected and confirmed releases, identifying appropriate cleanup levels, selecting and conducting appropriate corrective actions, and establishing reporting requirements. The CAGD is applicable to regulated Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs) as defined by W.Va. Code §22-30 and Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) subject to regulation by W.Va. Code §22-17 and 40 CFR 280. Note that regulated ASTs are either Level 1 or 2.]

KEY PROVISIONS

Some of the key provisions that were added to improve efficiency and streamline the program include:

Incorporation of standardized data entry-enabled electronic forms for submitting plans, reports, and related documents

TCAU has developed and made available standardized data entry-enabled electronic forms for submitting nearly all required plans and reports, including initial site check reports, site characterization reports, initial abatement measures reports, free product monitoring reports, quarterly groundwater monitoring reports, site investigation reports, and AST closure plans. The standardization of the forms and reporting requirements is designed to simplify WVDEP’s review process and increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the review process for WVDEP and the regulated community.

Providing an optional “FastTrack” approach for cleaning up low-impact sites

TCAU has developed a “FastTrack” program to allow for a quick, efficient, and cost-effective cleanup for low-impact sites. Utilizing FastTrack, a tank owner/operator reports a release, performs the initial response requirements, and then moves directly to remediation of the site, provided that the site/release meets certain conditions. TCAU anticipates that this is a viable option for certain types of releases, such as releases from spill buckets, sumps, under-dispenser containment, or limited piping, as well as tank releases encountered during tank closures and/or upgrades. In order to qualify for the FastTrack program, the release must be relatively small and confined to the site, have no potential to impact surface water or groundwater, pose little or no risk to human health or the environment, and be readily remediated by excavating contaminated soil. WVDEP has pre-approved FastTrack for releases involving refined petroleum products (gasoline, diesel, kerosene, heating oil, oil, etc.), crude oil, brine, natural gas condensate, sodium hydroxide, or sodium carbonate, although other chemicals may potentially be acceptable if approved by the Agency.

Implementation of Presumptive Remedies

TCAU has developed what amounts to an expedited approval process for Corrective Actions implementing commonly used remediation approaches for LAST/LUST cleanups including soil excavation, soil vapor extraction (SVE), low temperature thermal desorption (LTTD), air sparging (AS), dual-phase extraction (DPE), in situ chemical oxidation (ISOC), and aggressive fluid vapor recovery (AFVR). In order to employ a presumptive remedy (PR), the remediator completes an appropriate PR form that is essentially a screening process for determining whether the remedy will be effective for the site. The completed form along with a monitoring plan and appropriate site maps showing monitoring points are submitted as the Corrective Action Plan. The use of a presumptive remedy is not applicable when the contamination has migrated beyond the facility boundary unless it can be demonstrated that the presumptive remedy will address the contamination beyond the facility boundary.

If your company’s operations involve the management and oversight of aboveground or underground storage tanks in West Virginia and you would like to know more about the updated processes and procedures surrounding investigation, cleanup, corrective actions, and reporting of releases, please contact the author, Robert (Bo) Valli, at bvalli@cecinc.com or (412) 303-6699.

WVDEP Releases New Corrective Action Guidance Document (CAGD) for Leaking Aboveground Storage Tanks (LAST) and Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST)

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On July 25, 2018, the West Virginia Tanks Corrective Action Unit (TCAU) released its update to the Corrective Action Guidance Document (CAGD) for Leaking Aboveground Storage Tanks (LAST) and Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST), which became effective upon publication. The stated intent of the CAGD is to better articulate West Virginia’s LAST/LUST program requirements, provide clarification on what information must be collected when investigating and cleaning up releases, and improve the consistency and quality of required reports, resulting in a more streamlined process for remediating LAST/LUST sites. The guidance discusses the processes and procedures for identifying and investigating suspected and confirmed releases, identifying appropriate cleanup levels, selecting and conducting appropriate corrective actions, and establishing reporting requirements. The CAGD is applicable to regulated Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs) as defined by W.Va. Code §22-30 and Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) subject to regulation by W.Va. Code §22-17 and 40 CFR 280. Note that regulated ASTs are either Level 1 or 2.

The CAGD replaces and supersedes previous AST and UST closure guidance documents and incorporates a number of concepts that shift the paradigm of how LAST/LUST sites are investigated and remediated in West Virginia.

First, TCAU has abandoned the use of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH)/diesel range organics (DRO)/gasoline range organics (GRO)/oil range organics (ORO) as analytes of interest in favor of individual chemicals most associated with the different TPH ranges. Analysis for TPH will still be performed to profile petroleum-contaminated waste for disposal.

Second, the TCAU has developed three tiers of new action levels for soils at LAST/LUST sites that are protective of direct contact (ingestion, dermal contact, and inhalation of volatile organic compounds/particulates) and vapor intrusion exposure pathways (inhalation of volatile organic compounds). The Tier 1 level is the most conservative of the three tiers and applies to most sites. Tier 2 provides soil action levels for sites under residential use. Tier 3 may be utilized for determining compliance with the soil action levels when the property owner has agreed to place a deed restriction on the property, appropriately restricting its use to non-residential. Tier 2 and 3 action levels are depth-dependent (0 to 8 feet and greater than 8 feet) to protect human health, and their use can be precluded by “limiting factors,” which generally consist of subsurface utilities and building or soil conditions that could result in preferential migration of volatile organic compounds into buildings.

Third, protection of groundwater is addressed entirely through the use of a 10-foot soil buffer. There is an underlying presumption that a 10-foot soil buffer is sufficient to prevent contaminants in soil from leaching into groundwater and causing groundwater contamination irrespective of the concentrations in the soil. Under this approach, if contamination (defined as “detectable”) is detected within 10 vertical feet of the water table, or free product is present at the water table, a groundwater investigation must be conducted. For circumstances where contamination is not detected within 10 vertical feet of the water table, it is presumed that meeting Tier 1, 2, or 3 action levels is protective of groundwater.

In addition to the concepts discussed above, the guidance establishes various quality control procedures related to collecting environmental samples, constructing monitoring wells, and validating laboratory data.

Be advised that the above discussion is a broad-brush synopsis of the primary elements and concepts that comprise the CAGD, and that there are many intricacies and caveats that are part of the CAGD that are not mentioned in this blog post, not the least of which is how keywords such as “soil,” “contamination,” and “product” are defined.

If your company’s operations involve the management and oversight of aboveground or underground storage tanks in West Virginia and you would like to know more about the CAGD update and clarifications, please contact the author, Robert (Bo) Valli, at bvalli@cecinc.com or (412) 303-6699.

CEC has developed a follow-up post on key provisions added to streamline the WV LAST/LUST program. Click the link to read this additional information or paste the following into your browser: https://blog.cecinc.com/2018/08/08/key-provisions-added-to-wv-last-lust-program.

UPDATE: Proposed Revisions to the CCR Rules

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The following information is provided as an update to our recent blog on the proposed revisions to the CCR Rules.

EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler signed the Final CCR Rule Phase 1, Part 1 on July 17, 2018.  The rule will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.  The main points of the rule include:

  1. Addition of risk-based groundwater protection standards (GWPS) based on regional screening levels (RSLs) for cobalt, molybdenum, lead, and lithium – the four Appendix IV constituents that do not have Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs),
  2. Extension of the deadline for the mandatory closure of unlined surface impoundments that exceed GWPS and facilities that do not meet the location restriction for placement above the uppermost aquifer, and
  3. Provision for states with approved CCR permit programs under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act or EPA to use alternative performance standards, including: (1) suspending groundwater monitoring requirements if there is no potential for migration of hazardous constituents to the uppermost aquifer, and (2) issue technical certifications.

For those interested in exploring this topic further:

A prepublication copy of the rule is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/07/30/2018-16262/hazardous-and-solid-waste-management-system-disposal-of-coal-combustion-residuals-from-electric

CEC’s previous blog, Proposed Revisions to the CCR Rules: https://blog.cecinc.com/2018/05/18/proposed-revisions-to-the-ccr-rules/

If you have questions regarding U.S. EPA’s proposed changes to the CCR Rules, please contact: Roy Stanley, C.P.G. (rstanley@cecinc.com; 888-598-6808 ext. 3316) in our Columbus office, or Brianne Hastings, P.G. (bhastings@cecinc.com; 800-365-2324 ext. 1117) or Mark Orzechowski, P.G. (morzechowski@cecinc.com, 800-365-2324 ext. 1152) in our Pittsburgh office.

PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE CCR RULES

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Proposed changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) CCR Rules in 40 CFR 257 (Federal Register/Vol. 83, No. 51/Thursday, March 15, 2018/Proposed Rules) could have a significant impact on coal-fired power plants, especially with regard to groundwater monitoring requirements and close-in-place capping.

BACKGROUND AND KEY POINTS

  • The rule changes are proposed in response to
    • Judicial Remand, April 18, 2016, resolution of Utility Solid Waste Activity Group (USWAG) et al. v. U.S. EPA no. 15-1219, D.C. Circuit Court); and
    • The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act enacted in December 2016.
  • Additional proposed rule changes are in response to comments to U.S. EPA received after the final CCR rule date.
  • Proposed rules address four provisions of the final rule that were remanded on June 14, 2016.
  • U.S. EPA presently intends to take final action on proposed rule amendments in response to Judicial Remand by June 2019.
  • U.S. EPA also proposes seven provisions that establish alternative performance standards for CCR units located in states that have approved CCR permit programs (identified as “participating states,” such as Oklahoma) under the WIIN Act.
    • If not in a participating state, U.S. EPA will administer a permit program for CCR units.
  • Also, additional proposed changes effect record keeping, notification, and internet posting requirements.
  • U.S. EPA is not considering any other comments on other provisions of the final CCR rule under this specific proposal; however, additional revisions may be changed subject to challenge in litigation.
  • The comment period for the proposed CCR rule amendments ended on April 30, 2018.

Economic Benefits

These proposed actions are estimated to result in net cost savings of between $25 million and $76 million per year for the industry. Cost savings are attributable to the proposed amendments against the baseline costs of the 2015 CCR rule.

SUMMARY OF THE U.S. EPA PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

Proposals Associated with Judicial Remand

Four proposed changes:

  1. Add boron to the list of Appendix IV parameters that trigger corrective action and potentially require CCR unit retrofit or closure.
    (Read more detail here)
  2. Determine the requirement for woody and grass vegetation for slope protection.
    (Read more detail here)
  3. Clarify the type and magnitude of non-groundwater releases requiring facilities to comply with some or all of the corrective action procedures in 40 CFR 257.96-257.98 for cleanup of the release. U.S. EPA is proposing a subset of corrective action procedures for non-groundwater releases that can be completely remediated within 180 days from detection of the release.
    (Read more detail here)
  4. Modification of the alternative closure provisions to allow management of both CCR and non-CCR waste streams under exception for a certified absence of alternate disposal capacity.
    (Read more detail here)

Proposals Associated with the WIIN Act

General proposed provisions:

  • U.S. EPA is seeking comments on how alternative performance standards can be implemented directly by the facilities, even in states without a permit program, given that U.S. EPA has oversight and enforcement authority.
  • U.S. EPA seeks comment on whether to allow participating states the ability to modify the location restrictions on a site-specific basis, and whether changes to the location restriction deadlines are appropriate.

Seven alternative performance standards:

  1. Allow the use of risk-based groundwater protection standards for Appendix IV constituents with no MCL.
    (Read more detail here)
  2. Allow modification of the corrective action remedy in certain cases.
    (Read more detail here)
  3. Allow the suspension of groundwater monitoring if a no-migration demonstration can be made.
    (Read more detail here)
  4. Establish an alternate schedule to demonstrate compliance with the corrective action remedy.
    (Read more detail here)
  5. Modify the post-closure care period.
    (Read more detail here)
  6. Allow Director of participating states to issue technical certifications, rather than the current certifying engineer requirement.
    (Read more detail here)
  7. Allow the use of CCR during certain closure situations.
    (Read more detail here)

If you have questions about any of the above-mentioned details regarding U.S. EPA’s proposed changes to the CCR Rules, please contact one of the blog post authors: Roy Stanley, C.P.G., in our Columbus office (rstanley@cecinc.com; 888-598-6808 ext. 3316) or Brianne Hastings, P.G., in our Pittsburgh office (bhastings@cecinc.com; 800-365-2324 ext. 1117). More information on the proposed changes can be found at the links placed within this post, or by visiting U.S. EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/coalash/coal-ash-rule.