Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Superfund Sites, OECD Report on GHG, Tier 3 Standards

by | Mar 16, 2012

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President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the release of emergency oil reserves during a bilateral meeting this week, but no agreement was reached. U.S. officials have said that they will consider all possible measures – including a release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) – to prevent oil prices from affecting the economic recovery, Reuters said.

The EPA has added nine new hazardous waste sites to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. The sites are: Continental Cleaners in Miami, Fla.; Sauer Dump in Dundalk, Md.; Compass Plaza Well TCE in Rogersville, Mo.; Chemfax, Inc. in Gulfport, Miss.; Southeastern Wood Preserving in Canton, Miss.;  CTS of Asheville, Inc. in Asheville, N.C.; Eighteenmile Creek in Niagara County, N.Y.; Metro Container Corporation in Trainer, Pa.; and Corozal Well in Corozal, Puerto Rico. The EPA also said it is reviewing 10 additional sites.

Global greenhouse gas emissions could rise 50 percent by 2050 without climate policies that address fossil fuels’ continued dominance of the energy mix, according to a new report from the OECD. The report recommends using environmental taxes and emissions trading schemes to make pollution more costly than greener alternatives, removing subsidies to fossil fuels, and making polluting production and consumption modes more expensive, OECD said.

Refiners are pushing the EPA to delay tighter pollution rules for gasoline. The Tier 3 standards the EPA is considering would cut average allowable sulfur emissions to as low as 10 parts per million from the current 30 parts per million. The American Petroleum Institute said the standard could increase prices at the pump by 25 cents a gallon, while the EPA estimates a one cent increase, Fuel Fix said.

The Gulf Restoration Network, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups filed two separate lawsuits to attempt to force the EPA to set base guidelines for state water quality standards and for wastewater treatment. The groups say fertilizers and other contaminants entering the Mississippi River are creating a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, Reuters said.

New Jersey Democrats are looking for the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative nearly a year after Gov. Chris Christie announced he was pulling out of the 10-state anti-pollution pact. The bill up for consideration in the Senate is considered largely symbolic, since Christie is expected to veto it, The Associated Press said.

Singapore has two new regulations aimed at helping to achieve a 35 percent reduction in energy intensity per unit of GDP by 2035. One law will require energy consumers of over 15 GWh per year to annually report energy use and emissions and develop energy efficiency improvement plans. The second regulation plans to make reporting of waste production at large commercial premises – hotels and large retail centers – mandatory by 2014, CSR Asia writes.

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the Secretariat of the Basel Convention (SBC) have signed an agreement to strengthen collaboration between ICT and environmental policymakers to address environmental damage caused by electronic waste. ITU and SBC will work on joint projects to set standards to control electronic waste management, the UN News Centre said.

Louisiana is considering a ban on e-waste in landfills. Senate Bill 450 would prohibit the disposal in landfills of computers, computer peripherals, monitors, cathode ray tubes, televisions, printers, fax machines, DVD players, stereo equipment, power supply cables and personal electronics such as music players, game consoles and cell phones. The bill has been sent to a committee on environmental quality, Waste & Recycling News said.

The City of Cincinnati is working to implement a 100 percent renewable energy plan for its 3,654-vehicle fleet and end use of gasoline or diesel motor fuels by 2025. The Green Fleet Plan is expected to be finished by mid-2012. Based on original equipment values, fleet replacement would cost approximately $50 million, and a total of $5.2 million was budgeted for vehicle replacement in 2012, writes the Cincinnati Business Courier.

The EPA is ordering Cedar Valley Electroplating, a metal electroplating business in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take actions to address issues with leaking tanks and containers of hazardous waste at its facility in order to comply with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. EPA’s order notes that the business, which ceased operating in 2011, was cited by the EPA in 2005 and 2010, and faces civil penalties of at least $7,500 per violation per day, the EPA said.

The Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska, has reached a settlement with the EPA for alleged violations of federal hazardous waste management laws and failure to ensure that personnel handling hazardous waste had proper training. The base will pay a penalty of $45,700 and make improvements to its standard operating procedures and management controls in order to comply with federal hazardous waste laws, the EPA said.

The EPA has issued a Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order (SSURO) to the Volusia County Public Transportation System (Votran), in South Daytona, Fla., for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  The EPA determined that Votran had been applying Sporicidin, an antimicrobial pesticide currently registered with the EPA, to the interior of vehicles with a fogging machine, which is not an authorized application method, the EPA said.

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