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The USEPA Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule is Here

The Georgia EPD has adopted the USEPA Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule, which becomes effective in Georgia on September 28, 2017. The changes in the regulations affect all hazardous waste generators. The hazardous waste generator requirements have been reorganized and consolidated into 40 CFR 262 to make them more user-friendly. The highlights of the rule that affect generators are as follows:

Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG)

  • Replaces the term “conditionally-exempt small quantity generator.” A VSQG generates ≤ 220 pounds of hazardous waste in a calendar month.
  • VSQGs are allowed to send hazardous waste to a Large Quantity Generator (LQG) under control of the same person. Note that additional recordkeeping and reporting rules apply to the LQG receiving the waste.

Episodic Generation for VSQGs and SQGs

  • Allows VSQGs and SQGs to maintain their existing generator category if, as a result of a planned or unplanned episodic event, the generator would generate a quantity of hazardous waste in a calendar month sufficient to cause the facility to move into a more stringent generator category, provided that:
    • VSQGs must obtain RCRA ID number
    • One episodic event per calendar year with ability to petition for second event
    • If the first event is planned, the second event must be for an unplanned event or vice versa
    • Notify State at least 30 days prior to initiating planned episodic event
    • Notify State within 72 hours after an unplanned event
    • Conclude event within 60 days, including shipping episodic waste off-site

Waste Determinations

  • Must be accurate to ensure proper management of the waste
  • Waste must be classified at its point of generation
    • before dilution, mixing or other alteration occurs
    • at any time in the course of its management that it has, or may have changed its properties such that its waste classification may have changed.
  • SQGs and LQGs are required to identify applicable waste codes based on the determination.

Central Accumulation Area (CAA)

  • Replaces the term Hazardous Waste Storage Area (i.e., 90/180/270 day storage area)
  • CAA is subject to either 40 CFR 262.16 for SQGs or 40 CFR 262.17 for LQGs

Satellite Accumulation Areas (SAA)

  • Added the option for generators to convert an SAA to a CAA when maximum volumes are exceeded
  • SAAs at LQGs must comply with 40 CFR 262 Subpart M
  • SAAs at SQGs must comply with 40 CFR 262.16(b)(8) & (9)
  • Defined “under control of the operator”
    • Can be locked or unlocked
    • Should be within view, so it can be monitored
    • Operator refers to those responsible for the equipment or processes
  • Containers in SAAs, CAAs, or hazardous waste tanks must be marked or labeled with the following:
    • The words “Hazardous Waste” and an indication of the hazards of the contents, including but not limited to:
      • Applicable hazardous characteristics (i.e., ignitable, corrosive, reactive, toxic), or
      • The DOT requirements (40 CFR Part 172 Subpart E or F), or
      • A hazard statement or pictogram consistent with OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, or
      • A chemical hazard label consistent with the NFPA code 704
      • Do not have to label lab packs with waste codes if lab packs are to be incinerated, except those that contain D004 (arsenic), D005 (barium), D006 (cadmium), D007 (chromium), D008 (lead), D010 (selenium), or D011 (silver)

Preparedness, Prevention & Emergency Procedures

  • For SQGs, posting of names and telephone numbers of emergency coordinators next to a telephone can be next to telephone or in an area directly involved in the generation and accumulation of hazardous waste.
  • If an EC is continuously on duty 24-hours per day, every day of the year, the plan may list a staff position and a phone number manned by the staffed position.
  • Required emergency equipment:
    • Provides flexibility in storing equipment in other areas of the facility when it is infeasible and inappropriate for safety reasons to store the equipment immediately next to generation and accumulation areas
    • Immediate access means “direct and unimpeded access”

Contingency Plan

  • Emergency Coordinators (ECs) now only need to provide an emergency telephone number, not addresses and home phone numbers.
  • Requires a Quick Reference Guide to assist emergency responders:
    • Types and hazards of hazardous waste
    • Maximum amount of hazardous waste present at any one time
    • Identification of any hazardous waste where exposures would require unique or special treatment by medical or hospital staff
    • Map showing locations where hazardous waste is generated, accumulated or treated and routes for accessing these areas
    • Street map of facility in relation to surrounding businesses, schools, and residences for evacuation purposes
    • Location of water supply
    • Identification of on-site notification systems
    • Name and contact information for ECs
  • Arrangements with Local Authorities has not changed except that the generator must attempt to make arrangements with the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), if determined to be the appropriate organization with which to make arrangements.

Renotification for SQGs and LQGs

  • SQGs must re-notify every four years beginning September 1, 2021. Renotifications will be due every four years on September 1st of that year.
  • LQGs re-notify when they submit their biennial report (every March 1st of even numbered years).

Requirements for LQGs Closing a CAA

  • Place notice in the facility’s operating record that identifies the CAA that is being closed
  • Close CAA in accordance with closure standards of 40 CFR 262.17(a)(8)(iii)
  • Notify EPD within 90 days of closure.

Requirements for Closing a Facility

  • Notification on EPA Form 8700-12
  • Close CAA in accordance with closure standards of 40 CFR 262.17(a)(8)(iii)

50-foot Buffer Waiver

  • Regulations require that ignitable and reactive wastes must be stored at least 50 feet from the property line. If a LQG is unable to meet this requirement, they can apply for a site-specific waiver from the authority having jurisdiction over the fire code. Generator must keep written approval in their records.

EPS Assistance: If you are a current client of EPS, we will be contacting you shortly to discuss how the new rules affect your operations. If you are not a current client of EPS and would like our assistance, please call Ted Peyser, Alan Anderson, or Debbie Bethea at (404) 315-9113.

The Georgia rules can be reviewed at the following web address:

The USEPA rule summary and link to the rule (November 28, 2016 Federal Register) can be reviewed at the following web address:

Department of Homeland Security reinstates CSAT “Top-Screen” Survey Requirement

The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program was promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on April 9, 2007 in an effort to lower the risk posed by certain chemical facilities. The program requires facilities to provide DHS with information via the Top-Screen Survey to determine whether they are required to meet certain security performance standards. DHS temporarily suspended the program in early 2016; however, on October 1, 2016, the requirement to submit Top-Screen surveys was reinstated.

Facilities that had previously submitted a Top-Screen Survey to DHS are being notified by DHS to resubmit their survey via the online Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT 2.0). Facilities that had not previously filed a survey in possession of screening threshold quantities (STQs) of any listed Chemical of Interest are expected to proactively file a survey. Additionally, any facility that comes into possession of STQs of a chemical of interest is required to report their holdings within 60 days by filling out a Top-Screen survey.

Following the Department’s review of a facility’s CSAT Top-Screen submission, the facility may be notified by DHS that it is considered high-risk and assigned to Tier 1, 2, 3, or 4. High-risk facilities will be required to submit a Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) and Site Security Plan (SSP) through CSAT.

The CSAT web-based system can only be accessed by “authorized” individuals. Individuals can become authorized by completing the Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) Authorized User Training.

In summary:

  • A facility is required to submit a Top-Screen survey if it:
    • has been contacted by DHS to submit a Top-Screen Survey;
    • has submitted a Top-Screen Survey in the past; or
    • manufactures, uses, stores, or distributes any Chemical of Interest above the STQ as listed in Appendix A.
  • Top-Screen Survey submitters are required to be CVI authorized.
  • Facilities that are considered high-risk will be contacted by DHS and required to meet certain security standards.

The requirements for submittal of a Top Screen survey can be found here:

The Appendix A list of Chemicals of Interest can be found here:

Georgia EPD Issues New Guideline for Ambient Impact Assessment of Toxic Air Pollutant Emissions

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issued the revised Guideline for Ambient Impact Assessment of Toxic Air Pollutant Emissions, effective March 2017. EPD’s goal in revising the guidance document which was originally approved for use on June 28, 1998 was to provide a more user-friendly and definitive guideline for facility owners to demonstrate that emissions of toxic air pollutants (TAP) will comply with Georgia Rules For Air Quality Control 391-3-1.02(2)(a)1 and 391-3-1.02(2)(a)3. The following changes have been implemented with the March 2017 revised guidance:

  • Adds a definitive list of TAP with the 15 minute and long term (24 hour or annual) averaging rate Acceptable Ambient Concentrations (AACs) – If the pollutant is not in the table then it does not need to be considered in the air toxic demonstration. Previous guidance required applicant to search four different databases for toxicity information
  • Adds Minimum Emission Rates (MER) for the purpose of excluding TAP modeling for low facility-wide emission rates – If the facility wide emissions are below the MER for a pollutant then no analysis is required for that pollutant
  • Clarifies the requirements to demonstrate compliance with AACs (TAP assessment)
  • Implements step-by-step instructions for conducting impact assessment of TAP
  • Includes refined model check list
  • Allows use of site-specific risk analysis if the maximum ground-level concentration (MGLC) found by dispersion analysis is greater than AAC

When is the assessment of TAP emissions required?

  • A TAP assessment is required for:
  1. All new facilities that requires a State Implementation Plan (SIP) Permit and emit a pollutant listed in the TAP table;
  2. All existing facilities that are adding new equipment that require a SIP permit and emit a pollutant listed in the TAP table;
  3. All existing facilities that are modifying existing equipment that increases the emission of a pollutant listed in the TAP table;
  4. All existing facilities that are modifying existing equipment or making process changes that result in emission of a pollutant listed in the TAP table not previously emitted from the facility;
  5. In some cases a demonstration may be required for sources that have never demonstrated compliance with the AAC; and
  6. Case by case as determined by EPD.


  • For a pollutant that has a facility-wide emission rate below the MER, no further analysis is required.
  • For pollutant that has a facility-wide emission rate above the MER, further analysis is required.

Making Compliance Plans Effective


Environmental regulations are established to minimize the impact a company and their operations can have on the environment. In many instances, compliance plans are a requirement of a regulation. Examples of compliance plans include Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plans, and Hazardous Waste Contingency Plans.  Compliance plans usually require that specific actions be taken such as inspections, recordkeeping and reporting, and employee training.



In many instances, a plan’s effectiveness hinges on the ability of a company to perform the action items required by the regulation and identified within the plan. Herein lies the struggle as many companies fail to meet ALL the requirements of their plans. Depending upon the situation, not following a plan can have a wide variety of consequences such as triggering an agency audit or Notice of Violation and fine, chemical spills, and possibly injuries and lawsuits.

In our experience, many compliance plans are ineffective for the following reasons:

  • The plans are voluminous, complicated, and as a result, difficult to understand.
  • Required action items are not clearly stated.
  • Action items are not assigned to specific personnel and “fall through the cracks.”
  • Companies fail to adequately track performance of action items.



To develop and implement an effective compliance plan, EPS follows the four-step process below:

  1. Plans must be technically accurate, succinct, and written such that they can be readily followed.  Consider your audience. Provide a draft of the plan for their review prior to finalizing the plan.
  2. Explain the plan’s objectives and action items. Answer questions and provide training if necessary.
  3. Assign action items to specific personnel. Many times, it’s not sufficient to only assign a title (Plant Manager, Shop Foreman, etc.) but rather specific names should be assigned to each task for accountability.
  4. Develop a compliance calendar. The compliance calendar should include all action items identified in the plan, schedules and due dates, responsible persons, and location of records.


Bridging the gap between simply having a plan and successfully implementing a plan is essential to having a robust environmental program and reducing liability.  For more information on implementing effective plans, please contact your EPS consultant.



Georgia DNR Board Adopts Amended Air Rules

Misc. Rules Update:

  • Updates VOC definition for exempt solvents;
  • Revises the ambient air standards to be consistent with the NAAQS;
  • Removes the definition of “Regulated NSR Pollutant” to defer back to the federal definition;
  • Adds NSPS XXX (new MSW landfills);
  • Adds fire pumps to the SIP permitting exemption;
  • Eliminates PM2.5 nonattainment area NSR provisions (since attainment designation was issued); and
  • Adds fire pumps to the Title V insignificant activities list.

Cotton Gin Rule Update:

CSAPR Update:

  • Eliminates references to CAIR;
  • Incorporates CSAPR by reference;
  • Includes state annual trading budgets, new unit set-asides, and variability limits.

For questions, please contact your EPS consultant.

GA EPD Issues Final NPDES Industrial Storm Water General Permit

On March 6, 2017, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issued the revised NPDES General Permit for Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity, GAR050000. The Permit becomes effective June 1, 2017 and expires May 31, 2022.

A few examples of modifications in the new Permit include:

  • Dumpsters and roll-offs that do not have lids and could contaminate storm water must ensure that discharges have a control (e.g., secondary containment, treatment).
  • Perform inspections and preventive maintenance of drainage structures, treatment systems, and plant equipment and systems.
  • Inspect and maintain baghouses at least quarterly and immediately remove any accumulation of dust.
  • Clean catch basins when debris depth reaches two-thirds of the basin depth. The debris surface must be at least six inches below the outlet pipe.
  • Examine erosion and sediment control measures during the Annual Comprehensive Site Inspection and state each measure as adequate or needing improvement.
  • Delineate all areas subject to erosion on the Site Map.
  • Hardness-dependent benchmark concentrations must be determined based on the receiving stream’s hardness value, and not on the site’s storm water discharge.

What’s Required: 
The Notice of Intent (NOI) must be submitted electronically to EPD on their on-line portal called “GEOS” within thirty (30) days of the Permit’s effective date of June 1st. The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) must be updated within ninety 90 days and all changes must be implemented within 180 days of the Permit’s effective date. Additionally, any facility operating under a No Exposure Exclusion must reapply for the exclusion within 30 days of the effective date of the permit.

EPS Assistance:
If you are a current client of EPS, we will be contacting you shortly to assist in setting up your GEOS account, submitting your NOI, and preparing your new SWPPP to meet the new Permit requirements.

If you are not a current client of EPS and would like our assistance, please call Ted Peyser or Alan Anderson at (404) 315-9113.

The Permit can be reviewed at the following web address:

Draft Guidance on Significant Impact Levels (SIL) for O3 and PM2.5 under the PSD Program

On August 1st, 2016 (revised August 18th, 2016) EPA released a draft guidance memo on Significant Impact Levels (SIL) for Ozone (O3) and particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5). The salient points from the draft memo are listed below:

The following NAAQS SIL concentrations are recommended:
Ozone 8-hour:  1.0 ppb
PM2.5 24-hour:  1.2 ug/m3
PM2.5 Annual:  0.2 ug/m3
Source: EPA Webinar held on August 24, 2016.

PSD Increments
Currently, there is no PSD increment for 8-hr O3 NAAQS. Therefore, an O3 increment SIL is not recommended in this guidance.

PM2.5 increment SIL recommendations are also provided.

General points
EPA has left the adoption of these SILs to the discretion of permitting authorities.
Final guidance memo is expected by end of 2016.
EPA is accepting informal comments until September 30, 2016.

EPA Website:

Boiler MACT Reconsideration Issued

On November 5, 2015, EPA issued final amendments to the Boiler MACT, reflecting final reconsideration of issues in the rule for which additional public comment was believed to be warranted as a result of petitions received since issuance of the rule in 2013.

The more significant changes resulting from this action include:

  • For sources subject to an emissions limit, two alternative definitions for startup were added to allow for pre-startup testing activities for a new source firing fuel for the first time or startup after a shutdown event. The definitions for shutdown and clean fuels were revised for clarification and a definition for useful thermal energy was added. Applicable work practices were also added, including the use of clean fuels during startup and shutdown, any application control devices within four hours of supplying useful thermal energy, and PM control devices within one hour of employing the use of non-clean fuels, and develop a Startup and Shutdown Plan (SSP). (40 CFR 63.7505 and 40 CFR63.7575).
  • Clarification that opacity is an operating limit and not an emissions limit (40 CFR 63.7570(b)): The opacity operating limit was revised to allow facilities to comply with the 10-percent operating limit or a site-specific value established from the highest hourly value during the PM performance test.
  • Elimination of the affirmative defense for violation of emission standards during malfunctions. In the preamble to the final amendment, EPA states that the enforcement administrator can consider any information provided as defense to determine appropriate enforcement actions.
  • Clarification of Compliance Dates for Fuel Switching (40 CFR 63.7491(h), 63.7510(k)):  EPA clarified that existing and new boilers must meet the requirements of the new subcategory on the effective date of the fuel switch.  For Gas 1 boilers, if fuel oil is fired electively (not for maintenance, testing, or curtailment), the boiler must be in compliance with the applicable fuel oil subcategory requirements on the date of the fuel oil firing.  Compliance with the new subcategory requirements must be demonstrated within 60 days of the effective date of the fuel switch (the date when fuel oil was electively fired).
  • Changes to Notification of Compliance Status Content (40 CFR 63.7530(e), 63.7545(e)(8)(i)):  EPA changed the language for the NOCS regarding the energy assessment as follows:  “You must include with the Notification of Compliance Status a signed certification that either the energy assessment was completed according to Table 3 to this subpart, and that the assessment is an accurate depiction of your facility at the time of the assessment, or that the maximum number of on-site technical hours specified in the definition of energy assessment applicable to the facility has been expended.”
  • Prescribed NOCS language change:  “This facility complies with completed the required initial tune-up for all of the boilers and process heaters covered by 40 CFR 63 Subpart DDDDD at this site according to the procedures in § 63.7540(a)(10)(i) through (vi).”
  • Clarification of the Fuel to Be Burned During Tune-Ups (40 CFR 63.7540(a)(10)):  EPA clarified that CO tune-ups are to be conducted while burning the type of fuel that provided the majority of the heat input to the boiler over the 12 months prior to the tune-up.  For Gas 1 boilers, the tune-ups would be performed on natural gas as the majority fuel.
  • Clarification of Reporting Periods (40 CFR 63.7550(b)(1)):  EPA clarified that the first annual, biennial, or 5-year compliance report covers the period from the compliance date (January 31, 2016 for existing boilers) to December 31 (within 1, 2, or 5 years, as applicable).
  • Specification of Alternatives to One-Time Energy Assessment (Table 3 to Subpart DDDDD):   EPA included the specific requirements for energy management programs that may be cited in lieu of the one-time energy assessment:  “A facility that operated under an energy management program developed according to the ENERGY STAR guidelines for energy management or compatible with ISO 50001 for at least one year between January 1, 2008 and the compliance date specified in §63.7495.”

Fact Sheet:

The published final rule is available here:

Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Rule Update

NHSM Rule Update

On February 8, 2016, USEPA published an amendment to their Non-hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Rule, adding three new categorical non-waste fuels.  These materials may be combusted in boilers without subjecting the boiler to the stringent waste incinerator rules.  The new categories are 1) combustion and demolition wood, 2) paper recycling residuals, and 3) creosote-treated railroad ties.  Each of these fuels has specific qualifications that must be met to allow for their use:

Construction and Demolition (C&D) Wood

C&D wood may be used as a fuel provided it is processed to remove contaminants according to best management practices.  The rule defines best management practices to include sorting by trained operators to remove non-wood materials (plastics, drywall, concrete, aggregates, dirt, and asbestos) and wood treated with creosote, pentachlorophenol, chromated copper arsenate, or other copper, chromium, or arsenical preservatives.  The rule contains specific training and procedural requirements for processors to follow.  Combustors of C&D wood must obtain a written certification from the processor for every new contract or purchase agreement.

Paper Recycling Residuals (PPR)

This exemption allows paper recycling mills whose boilers are designed to burn solid fuel to burn paper recycling residuals (PPR) generated on-site.  PPR consists of material, primarily wood fibers, that cannot be used to make paper and paperboard products.  It may contain small amounts of non-fiber material such as plastics, waxes, adhesives, dyes and inks, clays, starches, and other coating and filler material.

Creosote-treated Railroad Ties (CTRT)

CTRT material must be processed for metal removal and shredding or grinding and can only be fired in boilers that were designed to burn both biomass and fuel oil as part of normal operation, i.e., not just for startup purposes.  Boilers at major source pulp and paper mills or power producers that are subject to the Boiler MACT and that were originally designed to burn biomass and fuel oil, but have been modified to burn natural gas instead of fuel oil, may still burn CTRT provided that the boiler commenced construction prior to April 14, 2014 and the CTRT does not comprise more than 40 percent of the fuel on an annual heat input basis.

The published final rule is available here:

EPA’s summary page is available here: