Specifically, the company allegedly failed to create and maintain annual document logs for 2007, 2008, and 2009. In addition, the company failed to specify the date of removal from service for disposal and the weight of PCB waste identified on two manifests in 2010.
Although, the company has since come into compliance with the PCB recordkeeping requirements, this settlement cost the company more than $39,000 in fines from EPA.
The recordkeeping requirements in federal PCB laws, including requirements to maintain annual document logs and proper manifests are targets in EPA’s TSCA enforcement program. Why? According to EPA, the requirements impose minimal administrative costs and burden on facilities compared to the significant value the Agency finds in the use of the data to determine which facilities have PCBs, whether facilities are in compliance with the regulations, and track PCBs to the point of final disposal.
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Regulations for TSCA are found in 40 CFR Part 761. PCBs are the only chemical class called out specifically in the reg because Congress believed that the chemical and toxicological properties of PCBs posed a significant risk to public health and the environment. Yet another reason why EPA may be so strict on the enforcement of PCBs.
PCBs Have Been Called Many Things
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic chemicals that were manufactured for use in various commercial applications because of their nonflammability, chemical stability, and electrical insulation properties. But they have been called many things. The most common trade names are:
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It’s Not Just TSCA …
TSCA is subject to overlapping regulation with many environmental laws that affect PCB management. If you manage PCBs at your facility all of these other laws may affect you too.
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CERCLA/Superfund–EPA lists PCB-contaminated sites that are on the Superfund National Priority List of hazardous substances determined to pose a threat to human health.
RCRA–While TSCA provides the authority to regulate the disposal of PCBs, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) provides the authority to states to establish regulations for safe waste treatment and disposal of many chemicals.
Clean Water Act (CWA)–The CWA defines a list of priority pollutants (including PCBs) for which the EPA must establish ambient water quality criteria and effluent limitations. Under the statutory authority of CERCLA and the CWA, the National Contingency Plan outlines the responsibilities and authorities for responding to releases of hazardous substances, including PCBs.
Safe Drinking Water Act–PCBs are also a designated hazardous air pollutant (HAP) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). PCB incinerators and other authorized PCB activities must be in compliance with the CAA.
EPCRA–PCB releases are included in the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) database maintained by EPA under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
Your State–TSCA does not delegate authority to the states to administer the federal PCB program. Therefore, a facility must comply with both EPA and state regulations. States may regulate PCBs as hazardous waste under their state RCRA programs. In addition, certain hazardous wastes containing PCBs are subject to the state’s land disposal restrictions.
This company ran into problems with PCB records management. See tomorrow’s Advisor to find out how to properly create and maintain your PCB records, so you don’t get fined by EPA too.