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Solid Waste News

U.S. Faces Waste Recycling Challenges

January 29, 2019

Changing Markets in China and National Sword Policy By now, most everyone in the solid waste industry and many outside the industry are familiar with China’s National Sword Policy, which became effective in February 2018. The bans, restrictions and tougher contamination standards are an effort by China to improve air quality, reduce pollution and prevent illegal waste smuggling. In the short-term, National Sword and other policy changes are creating major challenges for U.S. recyclers to find new markets or reduce contamination in their materials (since 1992, China has imported 106 million metric tons of plastic waste, or 45% of all plastic waste). In some areas, recyclable materials are ending up in landfills, and municipalities are canceling curbside recycling programs. Over the long-term, it will change the way the U.S. deals with its waste, and hopefully create opportunities for innovation and the development of new domestic markets. A new international organization, the Global Alliance to End Plastic Waste, was established earlier this year to develop solutions…
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Regulatory News

Recent EPA Policy Guidance for Air Quality Permitting

September 13, 2018

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released an applicability letter and draft policy memo that have a notable effect on how stationary source determinations are made for air quality permitting. EPA defines “stationary source” in the federal construction permitting regulations (40 CFR Parts 51 and 52) and the Title V operating permit regulations (40 CFR Parts 70 and 71) as all pollutant-emitting activities that meet three criteria: Belong to the same industrial grouping (same two-digit SIC code); Are located on contiguous or adjacent properties; and Are under control of the same person (or persons under common control). Aggregation of Facilities Using the Common Control Factor On April 30, 2018, EPA issued a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in response to a request for EPA to review whether Meadowbrook Energy LLC and Keystone Sanitary Landfill, Inc. should be aggregated for air permitting purposes. This memo establishes EPA’s revised interpretation for assessing “common control” when evaluating whether two facilities should be considered…
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Company News

Blackstone’s Scott Mattes and Emily Smart receive EPA L.E.A.F.S. Award

April 25, 2018

Blackstone Environmental is pleased to announce that Scott Mattes and Emily Smart were among the named recipients of an EPA L.E.A.F.S. award made to the City of Dubuque on Thursday, April 19, 2018, for their work on the Peoples Natural Gas Superfund Site redevelopment in Dubuque, IA. The prestigious L.E.A.F.S. award was established by EPA Region 7 to recognize those who have supported the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative through innovative thinking, sustainable practices, and environmental stewardship. A responsible party, developer, site owner, nonprofit, local government or community member who has demonstrated excellence in working cooperatively with Region 7 to guarantee the redevelopment of a Superfund Site is eligible to receive the L.E.A.F.S award. The City’s vision for this Site was executed by a large group of project partners, including multiple federal and state agencies, several responsible parties, consultants, contractors, and a dedicated City Project Management team. The construction of a beautiful and functional bus storage facility and training center on this Superfund Site improved the property,…
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Regulatory News

Superfund Target Lists Released

March 1, 2018

In May 2017, a Superfund Task Force was formed to provide recommendations to streamline and improve the Superfund Program. In July 2017, the Superfund Task Force recommended that EPA develop a list to target Superfund sites for immediate and intense action. This list was developed considering sites that would benefit from the Administrator’s direct engagement and that require timely resolution of specific issues to expedite cleanup and redevelopment efforts. The list is dynamic and will change as sites need to move on and off of the list. EPA has published a list of these sites targeted for immediate and intense action as of December 8, 2017. In January 2018, also in response to Task Force recommendations, EPA released a list of the initial Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) sites with the greatest expected redevelopment and commercial potential. EPA has indicated that they will focus redevelopment training, tools and resources towards the sites on this list.
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Regulatory News

Once In Always In Policy for NESHAP Major Sources Withdrawn

March 1, 2018

In January 2018, EPA issued a guidance memorandum that withdrew the long-standing “once in always in” policy for the classification of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under section 112 of the Clean Air Act, the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants or NESHAPs. A major source of HAPs is a stationary source that has the potential to emit 10 tons per year or more of any HAP or 25 tons per year or more of a combination of HAPs. An area source is a stationary source that does not emit HAPs above these thresholds. EPA’s previous guidance under the Seitz Memo, in place since 1995, stated that once a source became a major source of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), they could not be reclassified as an area source even if potential HAP emissions drop below major source thresholds. Once they were “in” as a major source, that facility would always be in. The new policy allows these sources previously classified as major sources…
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