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2003-2009: TCEQ National Comments Relating to Waste Issues

Official statements of the TCEQ's position regarding national policies and activities relating to waste issues prior to 2010.
Date
Submitted
Short Title
09/14/07 Expansion of RCRA Comparable Fuel Exclusion
06/25/07 Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste
05/15/07 Draft Operator Training Grant Guidelines for States
03/20/07 Hazardous Waste Management System: Amendment to Hazardous Waste Code F019
09/30/06 Standards Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste; Subpart K - Standards Applicable to Academic Laboratories
09/05/06 Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Low Level Radioactive Waste Program
06/19/06 Modification of the Hazardous Waste Manifest System (E-Manifesting)
12/28/04 Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Information Collection Request (ICR)
07/30/04 Ground Water Task Force Discussion Papers
07/21/04 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to the Hazardous Waste Generator Program Evaluation
07/07/04 Comments on 40 CFR Parts 63, 264, et al. National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Proposed Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Hazardous Waste Combustors (Phase I Final Replacement Standards and Phase II); Proposed Rule
06/22/04 Proposed Development and Implementation of Electronic Manifests To Accompany Hazardous Waste Shipments
05/20/04 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Approaches to an Integrated Framework for Management and Disposal of Low-Activity Radioactive Waste: Request for Comment
04/27/04 Commission for Environmental Cooperation's Hazardous Waste Tracking in North America Report
3/18/04 Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Commercial or Industrial Solid Waste Incineration (CISWI) Units
02/25/04 Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste
11/05/03 Comments on Petition to the Texas Railroad Commission for Rule Change to 16 TAC Chapter 12 Regarding Coal Combustion Products
09/02/03 Renewal Information and Proposed Changes to Part II of the Toxicity Release Inventory Form R
04/16/03 EPA's Draft Guidance; Institutional Controls: A Guide to Implementing, Monitoring and Enforcing Institutional Controls at Superfund, Brownfields, Federal Facility, UST and RCRA Corrective Action Cleanups

DATE SUBMITTED: 09/14/07

SHORT TITLE: Expansion of RCRA Comparable Fuel Exclusion

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation and Registration

STAFF CONTACT: James W. Spiller, Jr.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
TCEQ comments to EPA will: recommend changes to conform to RCRA definitions to clarify applicability; provide comments on benchmark for comparable emissions; recommend alternative approaches to proposed firing rates of ECF and blending limits; recommend corrections and clarifications for the text of the rules; recommend a reduction in the proposed complexity for the self-implementing rule; and, recommend clarifications to recordkeeping and documentation of compliance.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 06/25/07

SHORT TITLE: Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation and Registration

STAFF CONTACT: Lynn Bell

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
The TCEQ has several comments regarding the revisions to the definition of solid waste proposed by EPA. Comments address the need for additional regulatory oversight for the management of hazardous secondary materials in land-based units. Another comment requests EPA to consider requiring reclamation facilities to make available for review a Closure Plan, or similar documentation, to justify the amount of financial assurance the company posts for closure. The TCEQ also submits comments averring that by employing all four factors used in determining legitimate recycling, flexibility can still be maintained. Another comment addresses the possible generation of wastes that could contain hazardous constituents being classified and managed as non-hazardous waste because those wastes do not demonstrate the characteristics of hazardous waste. The TCEQ requests that EPA reevaluate implementing a formal procedure for the evaluation of petitions of non-waste determination.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 05/15/07

SHORT TITLE: Draft Operator Training Grant Guidelines for States

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation and Registration

STAFF CONTACT: Anton Rozsypal

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) respectfully provides the following comments with regard to the referenced draft guidelines:

How Does A State Implement These Guidelines? (page 3): The state must develop state-specific operator training requirements, must establish a procedure to identify persons who are required to be trained, and must ensure that all operators are trained. In Texas, even if third party training providers are utilized and UST owner/operators pay for their own training, existing databases must be modified to track the new information and additional personnel will be necessary to modify the databases and to address the added ongoing information stream. It is currently estimated that the additional burden on the TCEQ could require up to 9 additional staff (6 full time and 3 temporary), and additional expenditures in excess of $425,000 the first year and in excess of $305,000 per year thereafter. TCEQs current FTE caps and budgetary constraints will make meeting these requirements difficult.

Who is Subject to Operator Training Requirements and What are the Requirements? (page 4, first paragraph): States must establish a procedure to identify individuals who are required to meet operator training requirements and suggests that states may accomplish this by requiring that UST system owners identify at least one name for each operator class for each UST system. A UST system is each individual tank/line system. This requirement is onerous and would be better stated if UST system were changed to UST facility.

Who is Subject to Operator Training Requirements and What are the Requirements? (page 4, second paragraph): The logistics of designating and tracking the Class C operator or operators by the owner/operators and the state may prove to be quite troublesome, considering the normally high turnover rate of these employees. TCEQ suggests that verification by Class B operators that all daily on-site employees are regularly trained would be sufficient. When Must Operators Be Trained? (page 7, last paragraph): States must require Class A and Class B operators to repeat specific training requirements following a non-compliance determination by the state. TCEQ suggests that the language be changed to require only Class B Operators to repeat training.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 03/20/07

SHORT TITLE: Hazardous Waste Management System: Amendment to Hazardous Waste Code F019

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation and Registration

STAFF CONTACT: Scott Green

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
Regarding the feasibility of recycling F019 waste under current market conditions, the TCEQ has information that recycling of F019 is occurring in Texas. While not specifically from automotive manufacturers, Texas data indicates that F019 recycling is feasible under today’s market conditions.

Concerning the different options for non-hazardous landfill disposal of F019 waste, the TCEQ supports the second option allowing for alternative disposal in a landfill equipped with a liner system that meets minimum design criteria. The TCEQ recommends that disposal in landfills with more rigorous liner design criteria (or hazardous waste landfills), should remain optional. Again, the TCEQ does not object to alternative landfill disposal as discussed in the second option.

Considering recordkeeping requirements, it seems reasonable to the TCEQ that they should be part of the exemption rather than a separate requirement, further reinforcing the concept that qualification of the waste as non-hazardous is conditioned on its safe management. TCEQ concurs with the proposed regulatory language in its entirety for prescriptive management standards prior to disposal.

In addition, the TCEQ is also providing comments regarding F019 recycling. The proposal seems to state that the waste may be excluded from hazardous waste regulations if disposed, but it appears to remain designated as hazardous waste if recycled. The TCEQ is concerned that this may have the effect of discouraging recycling. Similarly, it is unclear, when a portion of a generator’s F019 waste is recycled and the remainder is sent for disposal, whether the generator is required to manage the entire volume as hazardous waste or whether the recycled portion may be treated as nonhazardous waste prior to removal. The TCEQ requests that the EPA provide clarification in instances where an automotive manufacturer recycles a portion or all of their F019 waste.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 09/30/06

SHORT TITLE: Standards Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste; Subpart K - Standards Applicable to Academic Laboratories

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation and Registration

STAFF CONTACT: Sheila Meyers

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
Under EPA's proposal regarding laboratory clean-outs, materials from clean-outs may remain in the laboratory until the next scheduled removal. TCEQ believes that unwanted materials should be removed upon conclusion of a clean-out.

The Laboratory Management Plan (LMP) should also include standards on the minimum amount of activity required by the regulations in order to meet performance standards. Deviations from the LMP which exceed the requirements should not be considered as violations warranting enforcement action.

EPA's proposal excludes areas where the same hazardous wastes are routinely generated from qualifying for the alternate standards allowed by this rule. Certain laboratory operations that may be considered to routinely generate the same hazardous wastes should be allowed to meet the proposed alternate standards.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 09/05/06

SHORT TITLE: Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Low Level Radioactive Waste Program

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation and Registration

STAFF CONTACT: Susan Jablonski

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
There is a well-defined and developed regulatory system in Texas to address LLW disposal sites. Although there are some complexities, the current framework provides for the safe management and disposal of waste. It is true that the existing regulatory framework has not facilitated development of multiple regional disposal sites as was originally envisioned; however, access to management and disposal capacity has been maintained under the current system. The State of Texas has spent many years pursuing successful siting of a LLW disposal facility. Texas has used flexibility within the current framework to develop approaches which have been acceptable to policy makers and the public. A policy shift was initiated in Texas in 2003 as a solution in the form of privatization of a proposed LLW disposal facility. Texas is concerned about any proposed changes in regulations, or even potentially in related guidance, that may impact the LLW disposal site application process that is currently underway. Texas is at a critical point in the processing of a LLW application with set regulations and guidance that has been identified and relied upon to move through the process. Changing those in mid-stream could call into question the approaches and rationale used in the Texas process prior to a final determination on licensing being made.

For the long-term, the NRC and individual states need to move the regulatory approach for the management of radioactive material away from one based on waste generation origin to an approach based on the relative radiological hazard associated with the waste stream. The differences and inconsistencies continue to create problems and confusion and negatively impact public perception on the safety of radioactive material. The NRC could focus LLW efforts on identifying unique and emerging waste streams and facilitating management solutions under the current framework. Consideration should be given to specific waste stream characteristics, waste forms, waste packaging, and specific disposal site conditions. In the context of LLW, decisions should be risk-informed and performance-based, consistent with the performance criteria in Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §§61.41 to 61.44 and 10 CFR §61.58, as appropriate. The NRC should coordinate throughout the process with the state regulators who will actually be implementing these decisions under their licensing authority for disposal, recognizing that all United States commercial disposal sites are regulated by state programs.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 06/19/06

SHORT TITLE: Modification of the Hazardous Waste Manifest System (E-Manifesting)

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Office of Permitting, Remediation and Registration

STAFF CONTACT: Terri Baca

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS:
Required vs. voluntary use.

Access, queries and reports (e.g., monitoring/assessing compliance issues and trends).

Logistics (e.g., while the waste is on the truck, can the manifest be accessed via remote computers, carried on a chip, carried as a PDF on a PDA, etc.; how will the new system meet Texas Department of Transportation’s requirement to have a manifest on board; etc.).

Double entry of information (e.g., E-Manifest System and STEERS annual generator report/receiver report).

Use of data (e.g., supplement and/or replace annual, monthly and/or biennial reports).

Purchase, building and long-term maintenance costs of technology, database or infrastructure needs.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 12/28/04

SHORT TITLE: Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Information Collection Request (ICR)

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Waste Permits

STAFF CONTACT: Ben Knape

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The scope of the ICR includes not only the proposed reinstitution of the Form 7520 reporting system, but also institution of a newer system of Excel-based reporting of UIC measures. Neither of these reporting systems have been put in place by formal rulemaking, and both impose regulatory burdens which exceed those of the federal regulations for UIC Program reporting. At present, our UIC Program would have difficulty implementing additional federal requirements without an increase in resources. The proper use of the ICR process should be to insure that reporting forms remain consistent with and facilitate compliance with the requirements of existing regulations. Detailed comments on the ICR and related documents, addressing EPA's burden and cost estimates for UIC Program reporting (information collection), are provided in attachment to the draft comment letter.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 07/30/04

SHORT TITLE: Ground Water Task Force Discussion Papers

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

STAFF CONTACT: Hector Mendieta

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Consistency between our federal and non-federal programs regarding basic approaches to remediation is desirable. In addition to eight problems identified in the first discussion paper, staff discusses three additional problems that should be addressed and recommends solutions. In lieu of fact sheets and guidance documents proposed in six of the eight options, the Task Force should compile and rapidly disseminate current information through a comprehensive DNAPL annotated bibliography (for internet access) of references, research, organizations (e.g., academic, industry, and government) and their respective web links/addresses. As the demand for surface water and groundwater increases due to demographic shifts to more arid parts of the nation and Texas specifically, the problems and issues presented in the second discussion paper regarding "reasonably expected" groundwater sources becomes more relevant and urgent

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DATE SUBMITTED: 07/21/04

SHORT TITLE: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to the Hazardous Waste Generator Program Evaluation

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Waste Permits

STAFF CONTACT: Wade Wheatley

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Waste accumulation times should be extended for generators that exceed performance standards. EPA should increase overall funding and/or allow states to reallocate federal funds to build additional capacity for pollution prevention and environmental assistance programs. EPA should continue to build a national environmental data network to facilitate the electronic exchange of data between the regulated community, states, and EPA to eliminate duplication of effort and provide for more efficient use of reported data.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 07/07/04

SHORT TITLE: Comments on 40 CFR Parts 63, 264, et al. National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Proposed Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Hazardous Waste Combustors (Phase I Final Replacement Standards and Phase II); Proposed Rule

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Waste Permits

STAFF CONTACT: Katherine Nelson

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Each state should be afforded as much flexibility as possible to implement this rule. States are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that facilities meet the emission standards and with implementing the associated programs. Thus each state should be given the autonomy/authority to determine the best way to carry out its charge and to allocate resources. The regulation should require control technologies that reduce the emissions of HAPs source to a level that is technically achievable for all sources in the category. EPA should explain how establishing of thermal emissions limits solely for hazardous waste meets the requirements of Section 112(d)(1) to establish limits for HAP emissions from sources based on classes, types or sizes of the source.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 6/22/04

SHORT TITLE: Proposed Development and Implementation of Electronic Manifests To Accompany Hazardous Waste Shipments

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

STAFF CONTACT: Hector Mendieta

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Staff recommends that TCEQ support the e-manifest system. Staff recommends that "real time" tracking of wastes not be considered at this time because the complicated issues involved would delay the rulemaking. Staff recommends that Biennial Report data and e-manifest data be consistent. Staff recommends that EPA provide standards and criteria for software applications to be used for e-manifesting.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 5/20/04

SHORT TITLE: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Approaches to an Integrated Framework for Management and Disposal of Low-Activity Radioactive Waste: Request for Comment

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

STAFF CONTACT: Hector Mendieta

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: It should be noted that it is difficult to provide comments to this ANPR due to the broad diversity of waste issues discussed. Clear definitions of waste streams under consideration should be provided by the EPA in future discussions of alternative disposal options. A clear EPA/NRC agreement on alternative disposal scenarios is important for states with both RCRA authorization from the EPA and NRC agreement state status for radioactive material and waste. For states that are responsible for the permitting of RCRA facilities as well as the licensing of radioactive material use and disposal, any differences between approaches and interpretations by the EPA and NRC remain difficult to resolve. The ANPR lacks discussion addressing waste generator perspectives, including the federal government. Waste generators' perspectives should be considered more fully, including potential long-term liability issues associated with disposal alternatives. Due to the increasing use of commercial disposal by the federal government, it is imperative to consider the impact of federal facility waste at alternative disposal sites. Future EPA initiatives on alternative disposal options could, by default, designate one or two national landfill sites for LARW disposal, if no new RCRA sites are permitted in the future. The potential for designation of national landfill sites "by default" should not be overlooked due to the far-reaching policy implications. This potential should be included in future discussions so that the public has the opportunity to comment on the policy implications. The State of Texas continues to move forward to fulfill its obligation under the federal Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Acts and Amendment Acts in siting a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility. Texas has recently passed legislation and implemented rules to privatize low-level radioactive waste disposal on an aggressive time line. The statutory time line of licensing a Texas site would be complicated if waste streams were re-defined by an EPA rule initiative in the middle of the licensing process which is scheduled to begin in July 2004. The EPA should investigate the different compact implications as part of any rulemaking initiative. The jurisdiction of the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission to control import and export of waste in Texas is fundamental to the policy of licensing a new site in Texas. Progress toward licensing a new low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in Texas could be profoundly impacted by disposal initiatives related to LARW.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 4/27/04

SHORT TITLE: Commission for Environmental Cooperation's Hazardous Waste Tracking in North America Report

SUBMITTED TO: Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC)

OFFICE PREPARING: Border Affairs

STAFF CONTACT: Steve Niemeyer

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: Several comments relate to factual corrections: treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs) as opposed to generators provide the certificates of destruction; some used oil in the U.S. could be hazardous waste; on page 55 it appears that "generator" should be replaced with "treatment, storage and disposal facilities"; waste returned from Mexico to the U.S. could go to TSDFs in as many as 48 states. Electronic tracking could clarify current uncertainties among some Mexican maquiladora generators regarding the signature and handling requirements for manifests involving maquiladora waste returned to the U.S. As each state requires the use of its own manifest, it will be quite a task to develop a system that can integrate electronic tracking. The pilot project should allow for flexibility as well as both state and federal participation and should be evaluated to see how well it performs. The report is missing any analysis of the cost of electronic tracking of hazardous waste. Costs could well be a limiting factor in implementation of any trinational system of electronic tracking of waste.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 03/18/04

SHORT TITLE: Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Commercial or Industrial Solid Waste Incineration (CISWI) Units

SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

STAFF CONTACT: Phil Harwell

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The proposed definition of "solid waste" should be revised to include specific references to the other definitions of solid wastes adopted by EPA under the authority of the SWDA (42 U.S.C. 6903). It is recommended that the CISWI definition be revised to clearly define the unit (e.g., enclosed unit using controlled flame combustion) instead of using the proposed commercial and industrial waste definition. "Commercial or industrial facilities" should be defined to clearly identify the universe of combustion units.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 02/25/04

SHORT TITLE: Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste

SUBMITTED TO: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

STAFF CONTACT: Hector Mendieta

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: In general, staff supports the proposed rule. Staff recommends that "Option 1" on how to define "within one industry" be adopted as it is less restrictive. Staff supports the provisions relating to speculative accumulation and which codify the legitimacy criteria. Staff supports EPA adding a provision to the proposal to clarify that a material excluded by both the generating state and receiving state would not be a solid waste for purposes of transportation.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 11/05/03

SHORT TITLE: Comments on Petition to the Texas Railroad Commission for Rule Change to 16 TAC Chapter 12 Regarding Coal Combustion Products

SUBMITTED TO: Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC)

OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

STAFF CONTACT: Susi Ferguson

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ believes there is a benefit to Texas in resolving some of the ongoing uncertainties regarding the regulation of CCP at mine sites. TCEQ supports the RRC efforts to encourage the safe reuse and recycling of coal combustion ash materials at mine sites. TCEQ offers to work cooperatively with the RRC in areas of joint jurisdiction pertaining to the inclusion of CCP disposal activities within the RRC mine site permits.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 09/02/03

SHORT TITLE: Renewal Information and Proposed Changes to Part II of the Toxicity Release Inventory Form R

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Policy and Regulations

STAFF CONTACT: Dan Burke

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: TCEQ generally supports the proposal and offers the following comments: TCEQ agrees that changes to Form R could provide more clarity in the organization of data that are collected, as well as enhancing the quality and utility of the data. Texas is committed to providing a complete characterization of TRI chemicals present in our waste streams. TCEQ is concerned that the current method of reporting does not accurately distinguish between contained disposal and actual releases to the ambient environment. TCEQ supports changes to Part II of Form R, such as the new subcategories including total onsite contained releases, total onsite contained disposal, total offsite contained releases, and total offsite contained disposal. TCEQ is concerned that the corresponding increased complexity in Part II, Section 5 may be confusing to reporting industries and may lead to additional inaccuracies in reported data.

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DATE SUBMITTED: 04/16/03

SHORT TITLE: EPA's Draft Guidance; Institutional Controls: A Guide to Implementing, Monitoring and Enforcing Institutional Controls at Superfund, Brownfields, Federal Facility, UST and RCRA Corrective Action Cleanups

SUBMITTED TO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

OFFICE PREPARING: Remediation

STAFF CONTACT: Tim Dobbs

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS: The concepts presented are theoretically valid and covered a comprehensive range of IC issues but contained practical considerations to help the project managers and site attorneys. The document does not address ICs at federal facilities which are also under CERCLA or RCRA (which are no different from any other remediation site with the same IC issues.) The issue of long-term costs for ICs is a major issue for the State. The draft document notes that funding is available for States and local governments to implement ICs but EPA does not pay for operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. It would be helpful for the document to define and illustrate when an IC is eligible for federal funding and when an activity is considered O&M by the Agency. In the document, the phrase "unlimited use and unrestricted exposure" is interpreted by some to mean the unlimited use and unrestricted exposure to the maximally exposed individual. Some confusion lies in whether or not there is a distinction between "unlimited use and unrestricted exposure" and "residential use." Although the issue is discussed, the problem with compensating a non-liable party for placing IC's on their property isn't addressed in much detail in the document.

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