Volume 19, Issues 10-11, October & November 2018
In The Works is a monthly newsletter providing Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) news and regulatory updates. The newsletter is provided by Loureiro Engineering Associates, Inc. of Plainville, Connecticut.
Acting Administrator Wheeler Releases Third Update to Administrator’s Superfund Emphasis List
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released its third revision to the Administrator’s Emphasis List of Superfund Sites Targeted for Immediate, Intense Action (Administrator’s Emphasis List). The West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, MO was removed from the list and three sites – Universal Oil Products, East Rutherford, NJ; Allied Paper, Kalamazoo, MI; and Madison County Anschutz Mine, Fredericktown, MO – were added. With this update, there are a total of 16 Superfund sites on the list, and a total of 11 sites have been removed from the Administrator’s Emphasis List since December 2017 because the short-term milestones were achieved.
“Removing West Lake Landfill and adding three sites to the Administrator’s Emphasis List demonstrates our commitment to cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated sites as quickly, safely, and thoroughly as possible,” said Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “With this update, EPA achieves an important objective and commits to focusing on three additional sites that can benefit from immediate attention and action.”
Removing the Westlake Landfill Superfund site from the Administrator’s Emphasis List reflects a significant achievement under the Superfund Task Force. On September 27, 2018, Acting Administrator Wheeler signed the Record of Decision Amendment for the site, delivering on EPA’s commitment to the people of Missouri to finalize a cleanup plan by the end of Fiscal Year 2018. The improvements made in the final remedy will speed up construction time by a year and reduce risks to the community and cleanup workers.
The Universal Oil Products Superfund Site is located adjacent to the Berry’s Creek Study Area for which EPA selected a cleanup plan in October 2018. EPA will evaluate a remedy for the eastern half of the Universal Oil Products site in Spring 2019 so that the site remedy can be performed in combination with the Berry’s Creek remedy. EPA is placing the Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund site back on the list to complete settlement agreement(s) in support of on-going site cleanup. EPA will initiate site characterization and removal actions at the Madison County, Anschutz Mine to clean up the site and support site reuse.
EPA is committed to continuously looking at ways to improve the management of the Administrator’s Emphasis List. With this update and going forward EPA is now considering sites for the list based on one or more of the following criteria:
- Sites where the Administrator’s attention may help to enhance human health and environmental protection, promote more timely resolution of issues,
- advance more effective cleanup, or promote redevelopment opportunities;
- Sites in diverse geographical areas and in various environmental settings;
- Sites that are addressing different contaminants;
- Both Fund and potentially responsible party lead sites; and
- Sites that are representative of other sites, which can provide lessons learned and best practices for similar sites.
Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill the Agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment.
EPA established the Administrator’s Emphasis List in December 2017 in response to recommendations from EPA’s Superfund Task Force. The list is comprised of sites identified by Acting Administrator Wheeler and EPA regional offices that will benefit from the Administrator’s immediate attention or action. The list is updated quarterly with sites moving on and off the list as needed.
Each site on the Administrator’s Emphasis List has a short-term milestone to provide the basis for tracking progress at the site. EPA will consider removing a site from the list once the milestone is achieved. Removal from the Administrator’s Emphasis List does not change the site’s status on the National Priorities List.
While EPA continues to use the list to facilitate progress in the near term by resolving site-specific issues, the Agency also intends to spotlight sites using collaborative or innovative approaches (e.g., new technologies, adaptive management, collaborative partnerships) that could be replicated at other sites across the country.
EPA remains dedicated to addressing risks at all Superfund sites, not just those on the Administrator’s Emphasis List. The Superfund Task Force Recommendations are aimed at expediting cleanup at all Superfund sites. EPA continues to accelerate progress at Superfund sites across the country.
The updated Administrator’s Emphasis List is available on the Agency’s website at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-sites-targeted-immediate-intense-action
Gov. Malloy Announces Release of $12.2 Million in Volkswagen Settlement Funds to Support Clean Air Projects in Connecticut
Ten Projects Receive Funding Under First Round Released as Part of Connecticut’s VW Settlement Agreement
Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced in November that the State of Connecticut is making available $12.2 million dollars from the legal settlement in the Volkswagen (VW) Corporation emissions cheating scandal to fund ten clean air projects in the state. Administered through the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Connecticut is one of the first states in the nation to make these funds available for a variety of diesel mitigation projects. The ten projects announced today are part of the first funding cycle under the distribution of the state’s VW settlement funding.
“Climate change is real and cannot be ignored. It is vitally important that we set high standards for reducing emissions,” Governor Malloy said. “While it will be impossible to offset all of the pollution resulting from VW’s illegal actions, the projects we are supporting through the settlement funds will go a long way in helping to improve air quality and protect public health in Connecticut while also providing significant economic development opportunities.”
“The transportation sector is responsible for approximately 70 percent of smog forming air pollution and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut,” DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said. “The VW funding will help us realize additional nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emission reductions from mobile sources in Connecticut and move us closer towards meeting health-based air quality standards and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets.”
In 2015, Volkswagen publicly admitted that it had secretly and deliberately installed a defeat device – software designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive federal and state regulators – in nearly 590,000 VW, Audi, and Porsche model year 2009 to 2016 diesel vehicles sold to American consumers. As a result of a federal civil enforcement case against VW for violating the Clean Air Act, Connecticut is expected to receive over $55.7 million to be distributed over a ten-year period for use towards offsetting the excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution emitted in the state by these vehicles.
Earlier this year, DEEP launched the VW Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program and began accepting applications to fund projects that will further the goals of the settlement agreement. The agency received 56 applications from both non-government and government entities. Projects were ranked by a variety of criteria, including air pollution reduction, cost effectiveness, positive impact on environmental justice communities, transformative impact, and applicant cost sharing.
The ten projects that are being awarded money under the first funding cycle will mitigate 145 tons of excess NOx emissions over the lifetime of the projects at a cost of $84,234 per ton of NOx reduced. The projects will also reduce over 7,600 tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from being released into the atmosphere. In addition to NOx and greenhouse gas, a total of 10.3 tons volatile organic compounds (VOC) and 6.6 tons of fine particulate matter, which contributes to asthma and other bronchial conditions, will be cost-effectively reduced from environmental justice communities and other areas of Connecticut that bear a disproportionate share of air pollution.
NOx and VOC contribute to the formation of ground level ozone, an air pollutant known to cause a number of adverse respiratory health effects, including significant decreases in lung function and inflammation of airways. Ozone forms when NOx and VOC from combustion sources like motor vehicles react in strong sunlight. DEEP has and continues to implement emission control programs to mitigate ozone’s negative impact on public health in Connecticut.
The projects announced under the first funding cycle of DEEP’s VW Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program are:
USA Hauling & Recycling
- Replace 17 Class 8, diesel refuse trucks with 17 Class 8, CNG-powered refuse trucks.
- Award: $1,203,250
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $3,609,750
- Location: Hartford, New Haven, Middlesex and Litchfield Counties
- This is partial funding of an initial proposal that included ineligible replacement of 11 Class 4-7 diesel trucks with 11 additional Class 8, CNG-powered refuse trucks.
Connecticut Department of Transportation
- Replace 12 Diesel Transit Buses with 12 Electric Transit Buses.
- Install associated charging infrastructure.
- Award: $4,901,169
- Location: New Haven
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $10,172,211
Block Island Express
- Replace four MY 2003, Tier 1 Propulsion engines on the M/V Cecilia Ann with EPA Tier 3 Certified Engines.
- Replace two MY 2011, Tier 1 Auxiliary engines (generators) with Tier 3 equivalents.
- Award: $971,720
- Location: New London
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $1,457,580
- Replace 33 Class 8 MY 1999 diesel trucks (tractors) with 2019 MY diesel equivalents.
- Replace two Class 8 MY 2000 diesel yard tractors with 2019 diesel equivalents.
- Award: $1,050,000
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $3,150,000
- Location: Cheshire and statewide
- This is partial funding of an initial proposal that included replacement of three additional Class 8 trucks for which no mileage and fuel use data were submitted.
Durham School Services, Stratford
- Replace 23 MY 2005 diesel school buses with MY 2019 equivalent diesel school buses.
- Award: $488,553
- Location: Stratford
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $1,349,086
University of Connecticut
- Replace two MY 2005 diesel shuttle buses with full electric shuttle buses.
- Install associated charging infrastructure.
- Award: $1,378,000
- Location: Stamford & Storrs
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $742,000
First Student, Inc.
- Replace the 29 oldest diesel school buses in the proposal (MY 2006) with MY 2019 diesel equivalents.
- Award: $1,674,023
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $901,397
- Location: Hartford, Middlebury/Southbury and Ellington
- This is partial funding of an initial proposal to replace 114 diesel school buses in Ellington, Hartford and Middlebury/Southbury
H.I. Stone and Son
- Replace seven MY 1995-2006, Class 8 diesel trucks with MY 2019 equivalents.
- Award: $303,200
- Location: Southbury
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $909,600
Eder Brothers, Inc.
- Replace seven Class 7, MY 2005-2007, diesel-powered delivery trucks with MY 2020 diesel equivalents.
- Award: $157,500
- Location: West Haven
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $472,500
John DeGrand & Son, Inc.
- Replace two Class 7, MY 2007 & 2008 diesel delivery trucks with MY 2019 equivalents.
- Award: $61,250
- Location: West Haven
- Awardee’s Cost Share: $183,750
Additional rounds of funding under DEEP’s VW Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program will be made at a later date.
Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.1 Million for Local, Regional Recycling Efforts
Boston — To celebrate American Recycles Day, the Baker-Polito Administration recently awarded more than $2.1 million in Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) grants to 42 communities and regional groups to help increase the diversion, reuse, composting and recycling of materials in the solid waste stream.
“Our administration is committed to ensuring the Commonwealth’s municipalities have access to the resources necessary to promote and encourage recycling amongst residents and businesses,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The funds awarded under the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program will aid cities and towns across the state in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve natural resources, save money, and support jobs.”
During the second round of 2018 SMRP funding, 42 communities and groups will receive grants ranging from $5,500 to $197,000 for a total of $2,128,969 statewide. Funds have been awarded in several categories, including start-up incentives for Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) programs, wheeled-carts for curbside collection of recyclables and kitchen food waste for composting, large containers for collection of target materials at municipal transfer stations, school recycling assistance programs and innovative waste reduction projects.
“Waste reduction improves the health of our communities, and positions the Commonwealth to meet its aggressive goal of reducing the waste stream by 50 percent by 2020,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By partnering with cities and towns across Massachusetts to encourage recycling, the Commonwealth will continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create renewable energy, and stimulate the economy.”
The SMRP grant program was created under the Green Communities Act and is administered by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Waste prevention and recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by capturing the embodied energy in every-day product and packaging waste, and converting these sources into new products with a smaller carbon footprint.
“The ‘waste stream’ actually contains a significant amount of valuable materials that can be used to produce new materials,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “These grants allow us to partner with local groups and communities to collect and repurpose these useable materials, which will make a difference in the protection of our natural resources and the public health.”
During the first round of SMRP funding announced in August, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $2.6 million in Recycling Dividends Program grants to 247 communities and solid waste districts to help pay for new recycling bins and carts, public education and outreach, collection of difficult-to-recycle items, and implement recycling programs in municipal buildings, schools and public spaces.