Air Quality News
Air Pollution Emissions Inventory Due June 30, 1996
The Air Quality Section of the Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resource's ('s) Division of Environmental Management will again conduct its annual air emission inventory from selected permitted facilities. Companies that must submit the 1995 inventory were contacted by certified mail in February, and the inventories are due June 30, 1996, from (1) facilities classified as Title V, (2) facilities that reported actual emission of greater than 100 tons of any criteria pollutant for calendar year 1994, and/or (3) facilities in the ozone and carbon monoxide attainment-maintenance counties (near the Raleigh-Durham, Triad, and Charlotte areas) that had actual annual emissions of either 25 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These self-conducted inventories have proven to be a useful tool for companies to track and understand their air emissions. This knowledge can lead to good pollution prevention approaches and techniques. If companies have questions about this inventory, they should contact their regional office.
Solid Waste News
Updated Directory of Markets for Recyclable Materials Available
After source reduction, the next best alternative for managing waste is to recycle. In an effort to help North Carolina industries identify markets for their discarded materials, the NC Office of Waste Reduction has updated its Directory of Markets for Recyclable Materials. This guide can help industries locate recycling outlets for a wide range of solid and hazardous materials - from chemicals and construction debris to paper and plastic. If your company needs industry-specific information on the feasibility of incorporating recycled feedstock into a process, information on the recycling markets assessment, or a copy of the North Carolina Directory of Markets for Recyclable Materials, call the Office of Waste Reduction at 919-715-6500.
Trends in Recycling Markets
Solid waste recycling market prices continue to fluctuate. Prices of used plastic and paper have decreased from an all-time high a year ago. These decreases can be traced to full inventories at domestic mills and a general slowdown of the U.S. economy as well as a dampening of export demands. Interestingly, China had previously absorbed much of the surplus used paper and plastic on the world market, but unfavorable trade relations between China and the U.S. have curbed Chinese demand for U.S. exports. As trade relations improve, it is expected that prices for these commodities will rise again. Glass and metal, on the other hand, have maintained more stable prices. A recent recycling markets assessment sponsored by the NC Office of Waste Reduction found that for many solid waste commodities, long-term demand appears stable, which should allow for increased recovery programs.
It is evident that recycling markets depend on industrial demand for used materials. By incorporating recycled feedstock into a process, a plant not only reinforces recycling markets but also may realize cost savings while maintaining high quality standards. Options for recycled feedstock can range from reclaimed plastic resin to recycled paper pulp to recycled cardboard boxes and pallets. The potential to utilize recycled material depends on the specific processes of each facility.
Water Quality News
Analysis of Chronic Toxicity Data Modified To Improve Accuracy of Pass/Fail Determination
The Division of Environmental Management (DEM) has recently generated procedure modifications that relate to the analysis of data produced by the chronic Ceriodaphnia whole effluent toxicity (WET) procedures. The identification of a "fail" or "pass" in these chronic toxicity tests is significantly influenced by the variability of control organism reproduction. Extremes in this variability can produce either very sensitive or insensitive tests.
In the case of very sensitive tests, very low reproduction variability in control organisms produces test failures despite relatively small reductions in treatment organism neonate production. Conversely, in the case of very insensitive tests where control organism reproduction varies dramatically, the statistical analysis can result in a "pass" despite a reduction in reproduction of up to 50 percent for the test organism. Thus, two strategies have been introduced to address these situations.
Under the new procedures, chronic Ceriodaphnia WET tests, which statistically yield a "fail" but have test organisms producing less than a 20-percent reduction of offspring as compared to the control, will be considered to have detected toxicity below the practical sensitivity criterion and, thus, be determined as a "pass." This change results from analysis of over 5,000 tests submitted to DEM. To address the problem of highly variable control organism reproduction, DEM has introduced a test acceptability criterion of a maximum coefficient of variation (CV) for control organism reproduction of 40 percent. The CV is a common measure of variability. Any test submitted for compliance purposes, in which the CV of control organism reproduction is greater than or equal to 40 percent, will be rejected. DEM analysis has shown that approximately 5 percent of control organisms were more variable than this criterion.
DEM believes the modifications will move the chronic toxicity testing program in a positive direction, towards greater analytical precision and an overall goal of "common sense" regulations. For more information, contact Matt Mathews of the Aquatic Toxicity Unit at (919) 733-2136.
Hazardous Waste News
New Enforcement Policy for Fluorescent Lamp Management
The NC Division of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) has developed an enforcement policy for the management of spent Lights Containing Mercury (LCM). These LCMs include fluorescent lamps and high-intensity discharge lamps such as high-pressure mercury, metal halide, and high-pressure sodium. The Division has developed the policy because these lamps contain mercury and some will exhibit the toxicity characteristic of a hazardous waste. DSWM will not take enforcement action against people managing their LCMs in the manner described in the policy.
The policy outlines management standards for three categories of plants/facilities generating LCM waste. Each company/plant location is considered a separate generating source.
|Option||Up to but not more than 220 lbs/month (300-400 lamps)1||Over 220 but less than 2,200 lbs/month (up to 3,000-3,500 lamps)||Over 2,200 lbs/month (over 3,000-3,500 lamps)|
|Manage LCMs Under Universal Waste Rule (intact lamps sent to a recycler)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Treat LCMs On-Site in a Container/Tank2 and Manage Residual Properly||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Manage LCMs Under Hazardous Waste Rules||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dispose of Untested LCM in a NC Landfill With Operator Approval||Yes||No||Yes|
|Dispose of Non-Hazardous LCMs in a NC Lanfill||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|1A 4-foot fluorescent lamp. 2Special standards apply.|
Incineration is not recommended as an acceptable method of managing LCM. For more information on the policy or LCM services, contact the Hazardous Waste Section at (919) 733-2178. Call the Office of Waste Reduction at (919) 715-6500 for additional information on recycling and source reduction. For EPA's Green Lights Program Hotline, call (202) 775-6650.
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Climate Wise is a voluntary partnership program that is helping companies cut energy costs, improve processes, reduce wastes, and realize productivity gains. Jointly sponsored by Department of Energy and the EPA, the Climate Wise program was established last year to improve technology transfer between industries to reduce greenhouse emissions and conserve energy and natural resources while improving a company's bottom line. The program connects companies with a variety of resources including Federal agencies; national laboratories; trade associations; and State and local energy, pollution prevention, and economic development offices. Participants in this program can realize specific benefits:
Direct Benefits of the Climate Wise Partnership
- Free on-site technical assistance, including energy and waste assessments,
- Free guidance on financial assistance opportunities for process improvements or modifications,
- Free access to technologies currently being investigated by other similar industries, and
- Free national publicity for projects that reduce waste generation and energy usage.
Participants are required only to list related projects that will be attempted and report on the success of those projects in terms of waste reduced, energy conserved, and money saved. Contact John Burke of the NC Office of Waste Reduction at (704) 249-1480 for further information on becoming a Climate Wise Partner.
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|National Pollution Prevention Roundtable Spring Conference||Washington, D.C.||NPPR/(202) 466-7964||April 10-12|
|Planning and Implementing an ISO 14001 EMS||Raleigh, N.C.||NCSU Continuing & Professional Education/(919) 515-8189||April 29-May 1|
|Green and Profitable Printing Satellite Downlink||Raleigh, N.C.||Small Business Ombudsman/(919) 715-6513||May 17|
|Waste Wise: Solid Waste Reduction Workshop||Raleigh, N.C.||EPA and Kentucky Pollution Prevention Program/NC Office of Waste Reduction (919) 715-6512||May 28-29|
|ISO 14000: An Introduction||Raleigh, N.C.||NC Office of Waste Reduction/(919) 715-6507||Early Fall|
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