|Gossman Consulting, Inc|
This conference was originally planned for the Spring of 1999. But after the organizing committee realized that the hazardous waste combustor rule was most likely not going to be out by the time of the originally scheduled dates, the committee wisely chose to postpone the meeting well into the future. Someone on the committee must have had a good crystal ball because even though the conference was rescheduled for six months down the road, the finalized HWC rule was still not published in the Federal Register. The somewhat cloudy crystal ball did at least manage to see past the signing of the rule, which at least gave us all something to discuss. The most serious potentially conflicting issue was that the EPA then scheduled a work shop for the week immediately preceding the conference (Sept. 13-14, 1999). I know for a fact that this cut into attendance at the HWC/BIF conference but, interestingly enough, the specialty conference still experienced the best attendance in a long time. Congratulations to the marketing folks! The other "problem" with the EPA workshop being held immediately before the conference was that many conference attendees had already heard the first half day of EPA conference presentations the preceding week. This might not have been a problem had EPA expounded upon issues beyond the signed but unpublished rule preamble, but very little of this occurred. Hopefully, some good interaction occurred between the two meetings and EPA can respond to industry concerns, but I heard more than once as industry people complained, that there wouldn't be a need to clear or straighten things up if EPA had listened to industry in the first place.
This conference was co-sponsored by USEPA and the A&WMA Arkansas and North Texas Chapters. It was held at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel, Verandah Club in Dallas, Texas. Most if not all of the conference attendees learned a few days before the conference started that they were being bumped to the Wyndham Garden Dallas Market Center because of an "oversold" situation. The Garden Center was close by, but for those who prefer to be in the same hotel where the conference is being held, it was just tough luck. But really, what made matters the worst, is that we were crammed into a room that simply wasn't big enough. Chairs were actually set up out in the hall. The doors to the conference room had to be left open to accommodate everybody and then any conversations out in the "ante-room" caused noise problems with conference presentations. I don't think that I have seen worse physical accommodations in the 8 or 9 years that I have been attending (the first meeting in Kansas City did come close).
Becky Keogh of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality was the General Conference Chair. Regular attendees will remember Becky from previous conferences. Unfortunately, the Technical Program Chair, Mary Ellen Ternes of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates and Woodyard was unable to attend. After all the hard work in preparation for the conference (I spoke to her several times myself), she was busy with unavoidable litigation-related activities for a client and missed the entire conference. Dan Mueller of Whitehead & Mueller, the Assistant Technical Program Chair was an able- bodied fill-in for Mary Ellen. Lee Moody of Trinity Consultants was the Exhibition Chair and he did a good job with what he had to work with. Did I mention that there were no telephones in the entire Verandah Club where we were shoe-horned into the itty-bitty conference room? Well, enough complaining. On with the conference!
Fred Chanania gave the keynote address entitled "EPA's Combustion MACT Rule & Other Waste Treatment Trends." Fred started off by providing what he called "observations" rather than official EPA policy and, specifically, some MACT rule highlights such as; national emissions standards for three source categories: MACT and risk-checked standards (as opposed to risk-based), individual and grouped pollutants, and fairly uniform standards. He expressed his concern that EPA had somehow become a battle ground for industry competition and seemed to be expressing frustration and dislike for being the object of Congressional pressures and industrial tug of wars (interestingly enough, Fred did not include environmental groups in this pseudo-chastisement). In his opinion, he was not sure that the industry monetary expenditures were commensurate with results and pointed out that we won't really know how all of this works out for eight years. Fred also pointed out that EPA will be pushing for getting CEMs installed and collecting data. He named and discussed many other highlight issues and then closed with his idea of some of the lessons that had been learned, among which were that trial burn data are not representative of normal operating conditions and presented problems in how to interpret and use the data, CEMs development and the need for maximum communication. He then opened up for questions from the audience.
Mel Keener of CRWI pointed out some surprises in the rule which suggested that maximum communication had not been achieved, such as the operator certification. What started out as an operator/burner requirement now covers nearly the entire facility. Someone else raised the issue of EPA Administrator Browner's combustion strategy, at which time someone else yelled out "anti-combustion strategy." Frankly, Fred did not seem to take the anti-combustion strategy comment very well. Bob Schreiber of Schreiber and Yonley Associates then pointed out that in 1991 we were told that the BIF rule was comprehensive and covered all the bases, then in 1993 came the "combustion strategy" and now we have the hazardous waste combustor MACT. "Is it ever going to stop?" Fred responded by stating that he saw no reason to revisit these regulations for some time to come (my guess is eight years). Charles Lamb, long time combustion industry participant, asked about the contemporaneous risk assessment and what lessons that Fred had learned. Fred said that he really wasn't technically in a position to comment upon that. Carrie Yonley, the other half of Schreiber and Yonley Associates commented that the newly signed and not yet published rule was very frustrating and likely was going to be very expensive. And even though response to date had by-and-large been favorable, how are we in the industry to address the issue that the HWC MACT now suddenly presents itself as providing very safe limits and no longer requires risk assessment. (This author would add that similar things were said about the BIF rule and risk assessments were only forcibly imposed through omnibus authority, which was never justified as required by law as far as industry could tell.) Carrie added that to make things even more confusing, these standards are supposedly so great but site by site determinations would be made as to whether risk assessments were going to be required anyway. A very difficult line to walk.
Fred then talked about some broader impacts of the HWC rule such as having set the bar fairly high in terms of limits. He ended his portion of the presentation by talking about waste treatment trends; the move to individual contaminant limits, providing a feedback loop from environmental results, seeking more pollution control efficiencies or the most cost effective, more integration with cleanup objectives and increased federal agency cooperation. One commenter pointed out that on-site incineration units are caught in the middle of this rule but Fred pointed out that with sub-categorization, the limits were even more stringent for on-site units. And another commenter pointed out that it was beginning to appear as if we are going to experience BIF implementation all over again.
The next agenda item continued with EPA presenters and was called a MACT forum in the program. This author would add that the program also included "The Final MACT Rule - Interpretation" as part of the presentation title but as the rule had not been published in the Federal Register as of yet and most of the presentations were regurgitations of the preamble, it is difficult to see how the presentations could live up to the billing of "final MACT rule" or "interpretation." Bob Holloway began the presentations. Bob pointed out that a year after the rule is published in the Federal Register then the notice of intent to comply would be due. At two years a progress report would be required. At three years the document of compliance would be due. At 3½ years, the performance test would be required and then finally, at 3¾ years the notice of compliance would be due and at this point the RCRA regulations would be superseded (sort of). Bob did raise the issue of "construction and reconstruction" by explaining that the cost for any component replacement which would exceed 50% of the cost for a new facility construction would be classified as reconstruction. A classification of reconstruction would bring that facility under new facility standards. Bob also pointed out that the plan is to put out a "permitting tool kit" in the Winter of 99/00 and that a technical implementation document was planned for the Spring of 2000. Many attendees were skeptical that this would happen. These documents would be available at the web site address of http://www.epa.gov/hwcmact. Bob ended his presentation with the comment that "transition from RCRA to CAA will not be automatic" which is an understatement if I have ever heard one.
Larry Gonzales was the next USEPA speaker. He spoke about Testing and Compliance Requirements. Part of his presentation included discussion about Feedstream Analysis Plan requirements. In order to help insure compliance he pointed out that you needed to specify your sampling and analytical methods plus frequency of testing. The upper confidence limits specified in the rule were challenged at the workshop the previous week. Larry brushed over these concerns by stating that he had taken the concerns back to his statistical people and they suggested that maybe all of us who have a problem with this should go back and re-read the rule so that we have a better understanding of what is required. But that is the whole point, those challenging this requirement do understand. Rather than go into the details here, you are encouraged to visit the web site of Greg Rigo at http://www.rrai.com. In addition, Greg Rigo is responsible for two excellent letters that have been written and sent to USEPA Administrator Carol Browner. It is the hope of this editor that USEPA goes back, reads the rule and that they get a better understanding of what they are attempting to request. Larry also talked about confirmatory testing and pointed out that normally, the limits used here would be defined by taking the average of a years worth of data. Further into his presentation, concerning compliance with alternate standards, he stated that if you were going to comply with the Portland cement MACT when you weren't burning hazardous waste that you would need to let the agency know that was what you were going to do. Regarding exceedences, after 10 exceedences you must file a report with the agency. Plus, he also pointed out that adhering to your start-up, shutdown and maintenance plan does not shield you from exceedences. In addition, Larry pointed out that an operation and maintenance plan would be also required because it is required by the Portland Cement MACT.
The next speaker for the USEPA was Mike Galbraith, who spoke about operating parameters and related issues. In general, he covered each emission standard and the related operating parameters which is straight out of the rule. He also discussed metals extrapolation which he pointed out requires that you provide a "normal" metals feedrate. Part of the reason that the agency is promoting metals extrapolation is that they have finally gotten on board with the safety issue, which Gossman Consulting, Inc. and others have been pushing on since early in the BIF process. Except now the agency is somehow trying to claim the idea as theirs and shift the safety blame to industry when they spike metals (because EPA's philosophy of keep-the-maximum-less-than-the-average requires them to do so to set an acceptable operating envelope). Mike also pointed out that the rule does not specify how to account for uncertainty when extrapolating, although he discussed a couple of approaches. He also touched on some other issues to which industry is sensitive such as the accuracy of weight measurement devices being ± 1% (calibrated every 3 months) and emissions averaging.
These presentations were followed by a question and answer period right before lunch. In fact, it was more like a comment period for issues to be further considered in the TID or guidance document. One comment/request was for extensions resulting from good faith efforts to comply if still not complying. This editor is compelled to point out that the original BIF rule was a self-implementing document, which implied good faith efforts, and all that got industry was a boat-load of fines three years later. There was also a comment/request for additional guidance on how to determine what constitutes reconstruction. I feel compelled to interject a comment here as well. Bob Holloway and others in the agency that I have spoken with don't seem to get the reconstruction issue. They always point to the 50% of replacement definition (40 CFR63.2) but is it 50% of replacement of the equipment being replaced or is it 50% of replacement of an entire facility? It makes a world of difference and my guess is that it will only be truly resolved when it becomes an active compliance issue. Another comment was that there is drastic need for a technical implementation document (TID) but do you put it out quickly or hold off to make it as comprehensive as possible? And, lest there be any misunderstanding, Fred Chanania responded to one commenter's pointed question by definitively stating that, "There is no risk based waiver to MACT."
Following lunch, the afternoon session chair, Tricia Buzzell of USEPA, continued the agency forum which did not get finished before lunch break. She pointed out that even though the hazardous waste combustor rule was being put forth as a melding of RCRA and the Clean Air Act, sources would still be required to obtain both RCRA and CAA permits. And, concerning RCRA permit mods under the Fast Track rule, the agency has 90 days to respond (with the option of a 30 day extension) and then the request is considered final. In terms of the required notice of compliance, once you have notified then 264, 265, 266 and parts of 270 will no longer apply [that is unless it is a RCRA permit issue]. Is that clear yet? She also talked briefly about site-specific risk assessments (SSRAs). Rationale for not doing away with them altogether included the fact that the national risk assessment did not include non-dioxin PICs and such. They also waffled on mercury. Consequently, surprise, surprise, the need for SSRAs will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Rueben Cassa of Region VI USEPA was the first scheduled speaker for the afternoon session. He did a brief comparison of the HWC rule and BIF:
HWC - BIF
NIC - Part A
DOC - COP
NOC - COC
CAA/Title V - Part B
Reuben's co-presenter was Martin Brittain, Region VI USEPA NESHAPs coordinator. In an admission which seemed to fit the end results of some of the other agency presenters, Martin pointed out that he couldn't really address HWC MACT because he just learned about it last week. He spoke briefly about how Title V permit authority had been delegated to the states (except for Subpart EEE) and he directed those in Region VI to submit their HWC MACT information to the Compliance Assurance & Enforcement Division.
The next speaker (and by far the most entertaining speaker of the entire conference) was Chuck Handrich representing the state of Louisiana. He started off by telling everyone that his department had just been re-engineered and consequently, no air program exists and no RCRA program exists. He did give out two names to contacts explaining that "Jim says 'go' and Patrick says 'how far?'" (also referred to as a go-fer, according to Handrich) He explained that for any given related permitting project, a team leader would be appointed, "as long as he works for DEQ" and that if he leaves, "they will appoint someone else." He did say that it was important to be aware that if you have a permit in Louisiana then you can have influence on who your team leader will be, so keep track of the all the names of folks you have been able to work with.
The next speaker was Mark McCorkle of the Arkansas DEQ. He pointed out that Arkansas is looking hard at how to coordinate air and RCRA people as a result of the melding of the air and RCRA rules such as the HWC rule. He explained that Arkansas has "gotta do it the way EPA tells us we gotta tell you to do it." They also have a customer service department which can track down the appropriate air and RCRA people. In fact, you might actually get better service through them. They are still trying to find things for them to do anyway. If you find yourself in a permitting situation, come early, bring an agenda and get started on risk assessment requirements early.
Session Chair, Tom Nilan of CMA introduced Mike Fusco of Safety Kleen (formerly Laidlaw) from the Bridgeport, NJ facility. Mike pointed out what everybody in the room already knew, that although many Title V permits have been submitted, only a few have been granted. He is of the opinion that developing an inter/intra-industry Model Title V permit will streamline the Title V permitting process. He told everyone that David Case of the incinerator trade organization ETC would be contacting other trade organizations to pull things together.
Following the break, Tom Robertson of Environmental Quality Management filled in for Bill Ziegler of ENSCO. He spoke about the challenges resulting from MACT operational requirements. Tom hit most of the key issues in the rule such as applicability, new vs. existing, alternative emission standards, emission limits, permitting requirements, required operating parameters, detection limits, CEMs, O&M Plans, other continuous monitoring systems and operator training and certification. Probably the most useful issue that he discussed was that meeting the standards was going to require some complicated business decisions.
Next to speak was Mike Fessler of American Cyanamid. He talked about the difficulty of meeting MACT for his facility within the three year compliance period. He has four on-site fume-liquid incinerators. The emissions are far below the RCRA limits at maximum loading but they are concerned about CO and THC and possibly PM. They may build a new unit which would then have to meet the low metals and HCl/Cl2 of a new source. In his situation, he has RCRA in three years, pesticide MACT in three years, NPDES is up in three years, Title V in three years and all four units will require RCRA & CAA permits. He is estimating that it is going to cost $64 million for comprehensive compliance.
Ron McCormick and Wayne Buckley then talked about waste incinerator upgrades at Eastman Chemical in Kingsport Tennessee. They have two rotary kilns and one liquid incinerator, that literally sits atop a 150 foot cliff. This makes for limited space to make changes but nonetheless, MACT was the driver for the changes. The changes made were custom made for their facility and seemed to work very well.
The final presentation of the day was by Al Axe, of Jenkins & Gilchrist, who was filling in for Eric Tiemeyer of TXI. He spoke about the TXI "one stop permit." Briefly, 1987 saw the initial authorization, in 1991 BIF went into effect and the Part B and Trial Burn were called. In 1992 they performed their Certification of Compliance/Trial Burn followed by some "combustion strategy" testing in 1993 and they submitted their Part B. The Association for Responsible Thermal Treatment (AFRTT - careful how you say that) brought in the big guns of former New Jersey Governor Jim Florio to oppose their permit. In 1995, under BIF, they performed a Recertification of Compliance test. 1997 started the Texas legal hearing process and then finally in 1999, the permit was issued by the Texas Natural Resources & Conservation Commission (TNRCC). The permit is currently under appeal (as you might expect) but the state of Texas has filed for dismissal of the appeal. This closed out Day One.
Day Two kicked off with a session entitled cement plant related issues. The session was chaired by Carrie Yonley and Mike Benoit. Michelle Lusk of CKRC had been a scheduled session chair but she had just had a new baby boy and was unable to attend. Mike Benoit introduced the first speaker of the day, Chris Peters of EDL, who talked about attenuation of cement kiln dust leachate by clay soils. He pointed out that the comment period for the proposed CKD rule had been extended to February, 2000. In his example, clay soils maintained their integrity and buffered pH effects even after 25 years and a geomembrane was not warranted. The next speaker was Kate Martin of RMT who spoke about landfill closure. Her example was at the Lafarge facility in Alpena Michigan. They used a geomembrane, a geocomposite clay liner and special drain pipe to solve their problems. Some on-site material was also used.
Dave Constans of Gossman Consulting, Inc. then spoke about development and design of hazardous waste fuel blending facilities in developing countries. He talked about knowing the market, having a local presence, appropriate cement kiln/plant selection, meeting regulations, facility design and construction and writing a standard operating plan. GCI has quite a bit of experience in this arena and Dave Constans has been integrally involved in most of it. The final speaker before break was Bob Schreiber of Schreiber & Yonley. Bob presented an evaluation of Essroc trial burn results. He focused on TOE testing results, pointing out that methane was 99% of the THC number. He also expressed doubt about whether the GRAV technique was a good indicator of organics. They also learned that the TOE results over-accounted for the THC monitor by a factor of two.
Chair of the afternoon session, entitled Trial Burn Testing Issues, was Dr. Zeng of Trinity Consultants. The first speaker that he introduced was Chuck Handrich, of Louisiana DEQ fame. From February, 1997 thru March, 1998 they conducted 16 risk burns on 21 units at 10 facilities. He talked about Tier I or Tier I adjusted metals testing and dioxin results. He did point out that the use of mercury method detection limits (MDLs), even though the test results were non-detects, did prove a problem in the risk assessments. He recommended that facilities schedule their testing early; do not wait until the final year and then expect to waltz into the finish line. He estimated 150 tests and these are not all going to get done in the final year. Let me repeat that advice, SCHEDULE YOUR TESTING EARLY.
Steve Bales of Ash Grove was the next speaker. He talked about the TOC test method. Methane and ethane were the largest portion of the sample. The GRAV technique of the TOC train was dried in dessicant at room temperature, reconstituted with MeCl and showed a 2% overlap with the TCO results. The TCO at < 300°F was approximately 86% of the sample. PCBs were about 10% of the dioxin/furan emissions and were not a significant risk factor. Steve's co-presenter was Eric Hansen, VP & Technical Director for Ash Grove. He presented data which demonstrated that HCl emissions did not have a direct relationship with temperature but rather were more a function of feedrate. He also talked about how dioxin/furan emissions were a function of temperature and residence time in his Foreman, Arkansas study. In short, he believes that the chlorine input in raw feed has to be below the Na and K input with the raw feed or CaCl forms and makes the dust very sticky.
Bill Mullins of Metco was the next speaker and he talked about an evaluation of the TCO and GRAV fractions of EPA's method for total organic emissions. Bill looked at 50 risk assessment tests conducted between 1997 and 1999. He also introduced a useful acronym ( who says the government has a monopoly on acronyms?) which was CATNIP, the cheapest available technology not involving prosecution. He also commented upon the fact that Method 0040 boiled down to being a complicated way to put gas in a bag. His finding were that the GRAV technique did not double account for semi-volatiles from the TCO method since he did not find PAHs, D/F or PCBs as per total TOC. The downside to his data was that there were also no PAHs, D/F or PCBs in the stack at all so hard to tell about his conclusion. The final talk before lunch was by Dan Ealey of B3 Systems who talked about heat stress by relaying his own personal experience at a test burn.
The session right after lunch was entitled CEM/PEMS/Periodic Monitoring and was chaired by Roy Wood of Eastman Kodak. The first speaker had been scheduled to be Scott Rauenzahn of USEPA but he was unable to attend so Bob Holloway filled in. Bob talked about use of optional CEMs, the pros and cons. While there were many reasons given to use optional CEMs, the biggest downside was the credible evidence issue, or giving them even more information to hang you with. Bob did an excellent job of the presentation but was not in a position to answer some of the more technical questions posed as a result of the presentation. Accolades to Bob for filling in but disappointing from a problem resolution perspective. At least Bob will take questions back to the agency. His advice was that people need to identify the issues ASAP and do what is necessary to get them resolved. (The question begs to be asked, resolved to EPA or industry satisfaction?)
Rick Lambert of Eli Lilly was the next speaker. He talked about performance demonstration of commercially available particulate mass continuous emission monitors at a hazardous waste incinerator. For my money, this was the best talk of the entire conference. While Eli Lilly was in the process of evaluating particulate CEMs, a situation at their Kinsale Ireland facility required that they leap into action much sooner than expected and not even in the United States. The two systems evaluated simultaneously were Sigrist and ESA. It took a little over a year to figure out what was going on between the two systems and as Rick pointed out, they "collected data points in a very painful fashion." It required 2-3 people full time for over a year and cost $350,000 to $500,000 without figuring in the manpower costs. The Sigrist system worked and the ESA system jumped around a lot, and at times actually "left reality." They concluded that just because you get good calibration correlation for a given unit, that does not insure that the unit will run well. A question from the audience accentuated the findings even further. George Bingham, learned waste fuel reclaimer and knowledgeable about burning waste solvents in cement kilns in the UK, pointed out that the Kinsale facility is quite clean and wondered out loud as to how this would translate at cement plants which are inherently dusty? In George's words, I "would not want to be the project manager."
Mel Keener of CRWI closed out the session before break by talking about the use of continuous monitors for compliance with particulate matter. His talk built upon Rick's talk and even used some of Rick's data. But Mel focused on a DuPont study which examined two particulate CEMs. Mel standardized the units and standardized times (1 minute versus 15 minutes) for the two units, Sigrist & ESA. They did an hourly rolling average in 15 minute increments at 1 hr, 3 hr, 6 hr, 12 hr and 24 hr time intervals. The multiple spikes in the data got worse over averaged time as the time period increased.
The last session of Day Two was chaired by David Weeks of Toxicology Consultants. The session was entitled risk assessment/risk communication. Jeff Secrest kicked off the session by talking about sensitivity of air model results to input parameter selection. (The original paper about risk assessment issues associated with permitting of multiple BIF units was canceled at the last minute.) He pointed out that 6 of 15 parameters in the model could change results by over 50% with air modeling results varying by 3 orders of magnitude. The key is to identify these parameters. The next speaker was William Fuller who spoke on multi-media risk assessments for combustion sources; combustion source lessons learned in Louisiana & Texas. He talked in particular about how process upset factors default values can cause problems and his recommendation to his clients that they develop their own. He also touched upon some errata, such as the barium uptake by poultry and eggs that increased by 2066 times. He also pointed out that some equations are double counting consumption and are one order of magnitude higher than should be the case.
Jim Cudahy of Focus Environmental filled in for Bill Schofield. Jim talked about a consolidated risk burn emissions and risk assessment database. Most of the work incorporated in the database was performed in Louisiana & Texas. The comprehensive database will be confidential but will be able to show expected PICs based upon all the tests in the database. One of the issues that did get discussed was how XAD resin may thermally decompose into benzoic acid and benzyl alcohol which helps to explain why these two compounds show up so much when it is curious that they show up at all. While Jim did mention QC issues regarding the accuracy of the TCO and GRAV data, one has to wonder about the quality of the data that is being put into the database. Overall, however, a good idea. (GCI has maintained an internal HWC emission database for some years.)
The next speaker, introduced as "have paper, will travel" was Dr. Barry Dellinger, formerly of the University of Dayton, where he helped develop the widely used incinerability index, and now with LSU in Louisiana. Barry was a last minute conference attendee due to discussions with Jim Woodford and because of another presentation cancellation, he filled in with a talk about technique(s) to use trial burn data to estimate PICs from combustion. He also talked about his method or model of predicting PICs in a given test burn. As a college professor, he announced at the beginning of his talk that there would be a quiz at the end. Much of his talk was about what compounds get burned and where and when in the combustion process they do so. The quiz at the end asked how much can be destroyed in a combustion process, or what kind of DREs can you expect? The answer was 99.999%. Barry's talk ended the day as many attendees rushed out the door to catch the buses that were going to the TXI tour in Midlothian.
I do want to take this moment to extend much thanks to Rex Coffman, David Perkins and whoever else was involved in putting together the TXI cement plant tour because it was a quite an affair. The tour was informative and the BBQ at sunset was outstanding. Again, congratulations to all involved in pulling it off.
The third and final day started off with a session entitled Compliance and Enforcement. As perhaps you might expect, the session was chaired by lawyers. Well, actually only one lawyer, as Mary Ellen Ternes, Technical Program Chair for the conference, was in court representing a client. Once again, Al Axe of Jenkins & Gilchrist proved more than up for the job. And speaking of Rex Coffman and that wonderful tour and BBQ at TXI, Rex was the first speaker. He talked about addressing regulatory compliance at the TXI Midlothian cement manufacturing plant. If you saw his presentation, you know why he does such a good job as a public relations kind of guy. In fact, many people came up to him at break and let him know that from now on, they would defer to him to help prepare their future presentations. But the substance of his message was that environmental compliance is a managerial issue. Management sets the tone in order to get results for environmental excellence throughout the organization. He spoke of the bureaucratic method and the empowered management method. TXI melds these two approaches together to use what he called a semi-organic management approach in which feedback is critical.
The next speaker was Walter Wright, a colleague of Mary Ellen Ternes, who talked about the credible evidence rule. The rule came out in 1997 and is incredibly brief. He talked about how it was a disincentive to generate unrequired information and seriously threatens self-auditing programs. He gave an example of how Hawaiian Cement got nailed in a case involving Unitek Environmental Services. In 1998 the rule was challenged. The challenge was that use of non-reference method information was not the way that compliance limits were established (makes sense to me) but in the end, industry lost.
David Gossman of Gossman Consulting, Inc. next spoke about data quality at resource recovery act treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. His talk focused on the use of data quality objectives and how lack of use could end up being an enforcement issue, or rather how using them might save you in an enforcement situation. He also pointed out that most DQO guidance is cleanup oriented. Dave pointed out that DQOs are an EPA requirement, although rarely enforced, you could save money by using DQOs (particularly if you are overdoing associated testing) and the most important reason it seems to me, DQOs provide you with defensible data.
Following the final break of the conference, a session about risk management plans was chaired by Assistant Technical Program Chair, Dan Mueller of Whitehead & Mueller, Inc. The first speaker was yours truly, Jim Woodford. Since the conference had originally been scheduled for Spring of 99, as usual, the original presentation had been focused on how do a risk management plan as the submission deadline would have been several months off. With the rescheduling of the conference for after the submission deadline, my paper was reworked at the last minute to focus on what you do after you have complied with risk management plan requirements. Consequently, my presentation was a regurgitation of regulatory requirements which can be found at 40CFR 68.190.
The next speaker was Sue Sung of Trinity Consultants who talked about her experience in helping one of her clients to avoid the more stringent level of RMP compliance. This included detailed analysis and tracking of regulated substances to insure that you are below the threshold quantities. She also raised the August 5, 1999 rule update which requires the participation of the FBI in certain situations and a public meeting by June of 2000. More information can obviously be found in the 8-5-99 Federal Register.
The conference ending talk was given by David Perkins of TXI, previously recognized in this write-up as one of the movers and shakers in the excellent TXI tour and BBQ the night before. David tied together the two previous presentations by talking about assessing RMP applicability and post submittal impact for BIF facilities. He too raised the issue of the 8-5-99 Federal Register rule change. And no matter what level of compliance you decided for your own facility, you needed to be able to demonstrate that you are in compliance with the general duty clause of the RMP rule. He also mentioned the administrative stay issued May 28, 1999 which focused on propane. He also pointed out an interesting statistic. EPA had predicted that 67,000 facilities would submit RMPs but only 14,000 were actually submitted by deadline (June, 1999). The top five states were Texas, Illinois, California, Iowa and Kansas which were 35% of the total.
This conference seemed to be the best attended conference in the history of the BIF/HWC specialty conferences since 1990. Even the final day was well attended. Usually everyone heads for the airport after the first couple of papers but there were nearly 100 in attendance most of the partial day. Unfortunately the conference was marred by mistreatment by the guest hotel. Many complaints were registered but hopefully A&WMA and the E5 sponsoring committee will stay in touch with the attendees and get them to return next year. (Apparently A&WMA has negotiated a credit with the hotel on behalf of members who were bumped from the hotel.) And let's hope that EPA gets out that guidance they promised right after the first of the year. Anyone taking any bets?