MassDEP Releases Interim Guidance on Management of Evaporator Systems Reply

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently published interim guidance for operators of evaporator units that employ a tank or tank system that is used to reduce the volume of (i.e. ,treat ) hazardous industrial wastewater by heating it until it evaporates.

“Evaporator systems,” as used in the interim guidance, are systems that include a wastewater treatment unit (WWTU), an evaporator unit, and all piping ancillary to operation of that system. These systems treat the influent hazardous wastewater to render it non-hazardous, and then evaporate the non-hazardous wastewater in an evaporator unit.

The interim guidance does not apply to:

  • Systems that evaporate only non-hazardous wastewater (generated off-site or on-site)
  • Units that separate non-hazardous wastewater from oil at the site of generation (310 CMR 20.252(4)
  • Units that evaporate non-hazardous wastewater transferred from an elementary neutralization unit at the site of generation (310 CMR 30.1103)
  • Closed –loop vacuum evaporators  that have no air emissions (these are exempt from 310 CMR 30.000)
  • Evaporator systems treating hazardous wastes received from off-site. These require a MassDEP HW facility license (310 CMR 30.801)
  • Sludge dryers associated with WWT systems approved by MassDEP (314 CMR 12.00)
  • Containers or treatment units (other than evaporator systems) subject to MGL 21C and 310 CMR 30.000

Evaporator systems may be exempt from licensing requirements for hazardous waste treatment provided they meet the definition of “treatment which is an integral part of the manufacturing process”. The interim guidelines provide clarification of what is required to maintain the exemption and are intended to give industry an opportunity to evaluate their systems and make necessary adjustments prior to promulgation of the new regulations (anticipated in 2012).

To qualify for the exemption, evaporator systems must:

  • Include a WWTU that is directly connected via permanent piping to the evaporator unit
  • Receive and treat wastewater in the WWTU containing only hazardous constituents in dissolved form (i.e., no multi-phase liquid hazardous waste)
  • Receive and treat wastewaters directly from their dedicated WWTU only
  • Treat the hazardous industrial wastewater in the WWTU so that it is rendered non-hazardous BEFORE it is evaporated
  • Prevent air emissions of hazardous constituents from both the untreated hazardous wastewater and the treated non-hazardous wastewater to the maximum extent practical

In certain cases, operators of evaporator systems that do not meet these requirements may need to obtain a waiver from MassDEP. Here’s the link to the Interim Guidance on Management of Evaporator Systems fact sheet: http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/laws/evapguid.pdf

If you have any questions, please contact Lucy Servidio at 508.970.0033 ext. 114 or lservidio@capaccio.com.

Oil Storage and EPA Penalties – Don’t be next! Reply

On July 8, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a “tweet” with the headline, “Companies in Vermont and Massachusetts face sanctions for failing to prevent oil spills.” It looks like the EPA has moved to social media for its regulatory updates (and warnings)! The sanctions were related to violations under Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations Part 112 (40 CFR 112) “Oil Pollution Prevention” which requires companies that store more than 1,320 gallons of oil in aboveground containers to prepare and maintain a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan. The purpose of preparing and maintaining an SPCC plan is to prevent and contain spills in order to minimize environmental damage when spills do occur. In addition, companies, through their SPCC plans, must ensure that they can adequately respond to a spill by having adequate employee training and spill response equipment.

The two New England based companies mentioned were issued significant penalties (i.e., in excess of $100K) for failing to take the required precautions to prevent and contain oil spills from their facility activities. Similar penalties are frequently issued by the EPA for a regulatory program with requirements that are relatively easy to meet. Why? Most of the time the companies that get fined don’t know about the regulation and therefore they don’t have an SPCC plan in place. In addition to paying a penalty, companies are required to come into compliance by preparing an SPCC Plan under a consent order. Don’t be the next source of EPA revenue! If you don’t have an SPCC plan, conduct an inventory of oil storage at your facility to determine if you exceed the 1,320 gallon threshold and be sure to include all animal, vegetable, mineral and synthetic oils.

If you want more information, please contact Wayne Bates at 508.970.0033 x121 or wbates@capaccio.com or check out the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm)

Guidance on Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans Reply

There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry…

Well you can look up the rest of the poem, but what if that bucket is a tank and it’s leaking oil…now what do you do?  Hopefully, this won’t happen to you, as it did in Dorchester, Massachusetts recently, but you may be asking yourself a few questions right now:

  • Is there something I should be doing to prevent a leak?
  • Is there a plan I should have in the event of a leak?
  • What should I do if my tank is actually leaking?

CAPACCIO can help you answer these questions.  Our staff of engineers has prepared numerous Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans which are required for sites with over 1,320 gallons of aboveground oil storage. For smaller facilities, we can conduct inspections of oil storage tanks to determine their risk of failure.  In the unfortunate event of a spill, our on-call Licensed Site Professional (LSP) is available 24/7 to answer your questions and assist with reporting and clean-up requirements.   

If you would like more information on SPCC Plans and whether your facility is required to have one, click here. For general information regarding SPCC Plans and tank inspections call Josh Fawson at 508.970.0033 ext. 120.  For LSP services, call Dawn Horter at 508.970.0033 ext. 118.