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State Approval Process Innovations 1998-2002

** This Project is Inactive

Joint EPA/State Innovations Agreement (pdf)
Flow chart of the agreement process (pdf)
Model format for submiting a proposal (Word document)

Project Name

Reg

State

Cat

Early
Consultation

Receipt Date

Clock

Four-Week
Letter

Preliminary Decision

Status

Arkansas RCRA Project

David Bond EPA/6
214-665-6431

6

AR

-

8/1/01

-

No

- - Early Consultation
Application of Pesticides in Aquatic Environments

George Frantz EPA/1 617-918-1883

1

CT

- -

N/A

No

- - On Hold
Practical Enforceability & PTE for small Business

George Frantz EPA/1 617-918-1883

1

CT

-

9/11/01

N/A

No

- - Early Consultation
Georgia TMDL

Bernie Hayes EPA/4
404-562-8381

4

GA

-

9/7/01

9/7/01

No

- - Implementation
Florida Citris Processors Proposal

Bernie Hayes EPA/4
404-562-8381

4

FL

-

-

NPDES Performance Incentive

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

IL

-

8/23/01

- -

11/7/01

Implementation
Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Partnership

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

IL

- -

8/23/01

No

- - Implementation
Achieving Better Management of Toxic Chemical Risks (TSCA CBI)

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

IL

-

2/23/01

- - -

6/22/01

Implementation
Functional Equivalence

George Frantz EPA/1 617-918-1883

1

MA

- -

8/15/01

No

- - Early Consultation
Mgmt of Hg from Dentist's Offices

George Frantz EPA/1 617-918-1883

1

MA

- -

8/15/01

No

- - Early Consultation
Yankee Gas

George Frantz EPA/1 617-918-1883

1

CT

-

10/4/00

N/A

No

- - Implementation
Concurrent State/Federal Rulemaking

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

MI

1

7/28/99

9/2/99

- -

9/3/00

Implementation

(MOU signed 3/2/01)

Use of Bottled Water as a Corrective Action for Non Acute Contamination at Existing Non-Community Public Water Supplies

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

MI

2

8/13/01

8/13/01

Yes

9/14/01

11/14/01

- Proposal Reactivated on 5/23/02
Use of Flushing to Meet the Pb/Cu Regulation for Non-Transient Non-Community Public Water Supplies

Marilou MartinEPA/5 312-353-9660

5

MI

1

8/13/01

8/13/01

Yes

9/7/01

- 12/10/01 Implementation

Cooperative Agreements to meet TMDL for phosphorus SWQD (MI TMDL)

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

MI

1

3/31/00
resubmitted
7/17/00

3/31/00

- -

2/5/01

Implementation
Expedited Delisting of F019 Waste for Auto Assembly Plants

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

MI

2

4/7/00
resubmitted
7/6/00

4/7/00

- -

8/17/00

Implementation
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (MS4)

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

MI

2 -

7/28/99

- -

10/13/99

Implementation
Waiver of Liability for Lending Institutions (RCRA) "Lender Liability"

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

MI

1

7/28/99

9/2/99

- -

9/3/99

Implementation

Alternative BACT for Specified Source Categories

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

MI

1 - 7/26/00 - - 11/21/00 Implementation

(MOU signed 10/12/01)

Alternative Permitting Approach for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) 5

MI

-

8/12/02

9/11/02 In Review
Environmental Management System (EMS) Experimental Program

Joan Tanaka EPA/5 312-353-5425

5

MN

1 -

11/21/00

No

1/18/01

- Implementation
Groveton Mill

George Frantz EPA/1 617-918-1883

1

NH

- -

11/21/00

-

12/15/00

2/27/01

Implementation
NH Asbestos

George Frantz EPA/1 617-918-1883

1

NH

-

3/1/01

N/A

-

N/A

5/1/01

Implementation
NYSDEC RCRA

Aleksandra Dobkowski Joy EPA/2 212-637-3676

2

NY

-

8/2/01

No

- - On Hold
NYSDEC Small Business

Aleksandra Dobkowski Joy EPA/2 212-637-3676

2

NY

-

8/2/01

No

- - Withdrawn
Ohio SIP

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660

5

OH

2 -

8/22/01

No

10/5/01

- Denied
Air National Guard Kingsley Field

Clark Gaulding EPA/10 206-553-1849

10

OR

- -

11/1/00

No

N/A

2/1/01

Implementation
Epson

Clark Gaulding EPA/10 206-553-1849

10

OR

- -

4/12/00

No

N/A

2/20/01

Implementation
Louisiana Pacific

Clark Gaulding EPA/10 206-553-1849

10

OR

- -

12/8/99

No

N/A

7/21/00

Implementation
LSI Logic

Clark Gaulding EPA/10 206-553-1849

10

OR

1 -

12/1/99

No

N/A

7/21/00

Implementation
Wacker Siltronic

Clark Gaulding EPA/10 206-553-1849

10

OR

- -

4/12/00

No

N/A

2/20/01

Implementation
Pacificorp

Clark Gaulding EPA/10 206-553-1849

10

OR

- -

3/17/00

No

N/A

- On hold
TNRCC SEP Project

David Bond EPA/6
214-665-6431

Ken Zarker, TNRCC, 804-512-3145

6

TX

1

3/1/01

-

No

- - Early Consultation
Channel Shipyards

David Bond EPA/6
214-665-6431

Ken Zarker, TNRCC, 804-512-3145

6

TX

2 -

3/1/01

No

3/21/01

7/20/01

Implementation
Texas Opacity

David Bond EPA/6
214-665-6431

Ken Zarker, TNRCC, 804-512-3145

6

TX

1 -

10/23/98

No

-

6/22/99

Implementation
Texas SIP Project

David Bond EPA/6
214-665-6431

Ken Zarker, TNRCC, 804-512-3145

6

TX

2

4/1/01

-

No

-

Withdrawn

Withdrawn
Hopewell Pretreatment POTW

Chris Menen EPA/3
215-814-2786

Sharon Baxter, VADEQ, 804-698-4344

3

VA

2

2/23/01

7/2/01

Yes

7/27/01

- In review
Electronic Waste Disposal

Chris Menen EPA/3
215-814-2786

Sharon Baxter, VADEQ, 804-698-4344

3

VA

1

2/23/01

7/12/01

Yes

8/10/01

- Implementation

MOU completed 10/23/01

VA Air Integration Project

Chris Menen EPA/3
215-814-2786

Sharon Baxter, VADEQ, 804-698-4344

3

VA

2

2/23/01

-

No

10/2/01 - In review
Oil Filter Mgmt

Geroge Frantz EPA/1 617-918-1883

1

VT

-

8/1/01

- - - - Early Consultation
Cook Composite

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660
Lynn Persson WDNR
608-267-0802

5

WI

1 -

3/23/99

-

4/17/01

9/24/01

Implementation
Madison Gas & Electric

Joan Tanaka EPA/5 312-353-5425
John Shenot, WDNR
608-267-0802

5

WI

1 - - - - - In review
Northern Engraving

Joan Tanaka EPA/5 312-353-5425
Mark Harings WDNR
715-831-3263

5

WI

1 -

5/21/00

- - - In review

PCA Tomahawk

Joan Tanaka EPA/5 312-353-5425

5

WI

2 -

8/17/99

- - - In review

WEPCO Pleasant Prairie

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660
John Shenot, WDNR
608-267-0802

5

WI

2 -

3/1/00

- -

2/5/01

Implementation

WEPCO Environmental Coop

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660
John Shenot, WDNR
608-267-0802

5

WI

2 -

11/14/01

- 12/17/01 - Early Consultation
International Truck & Engine

Marilou Martin EPA/5 312-353-9660
Susan Lindem WDNR
608-267-0567

5

WI

2 -

7/1/99

- - - On hold

Table Field Descriptions
Field Name Description
Project Name Project name should include manufacturer and brief description of activity
Region # Lead EPA Regional office for project
State State in which the project will be conducted
Category Section IV.B 2b of the Joint Agreement, sets forth categories for each project that determine the time-frame and personnel needed to implement a project that has been officially submitted. The Project categories are listed below:

State Only: State innovations that do not require a change to Federal guidance, regulations or statutes can proceed without EPA review (Section IV.A).

Category 1: Straightforward, transparent proposal with clear advantages, few obstacles, technically achievable, and minimum environmental risk.

Category 2: Experimental proposal that has a greater uncertainty of environmental outcome; requires more attention to design, implementation, and evaluation; and may involve some risk of failure. The unpredictability of the experiment means that it will be more resource intensive and may require more time.

Category 3: Strategic proposals that involve broad_based, new approaches (e.g., statutory changes) and require policy discussion to further develop concepts. Proposals may be assigned to an existing policy forum for discussion, or a new forum could be established.

Contact Lead EPA Region contact (in bold), EPA HQ contact and Lead State contact
Early Consultation The date preliminary discussions begin between state and EPA region staff and managerment regarding submission and development of a project.
EPA Receipt Date Date the state proposal is received by the EPA regional office. "Early Consultation" shall be entered into this field for projects in early stages of development that have not yet triggered the 90 day clock
Clock Enter "Yes" in this column if the project requires due dates for completion of milestones set forth in the Agreement. Milestones include distribution of a 4 week letter within 30 days of the EPA receipt date and submission of a Preliminary Approval letter and or a Decision Letter within 90 days of the official EPA receipt date. If the project does not require use of due dates for project milestones enter "No" in this field.
Four Week Letter EPA will respond to the State with follow-up questions, clarifications, and initial reactions including an initial identification of obstacles to approval within four weeks of its receipt of a written innovation proposal from the State. (Section IV.B.2.d)
Preliminary Decision Date EPA makes a preliminary decision to accept or reject a proposal within 3 months of the receipt of a proposal from the State. (Section IV.B.2.d)
Status This field identifies current project status and provides a narrative summary of recent activities. Status categories used to define the project phase are as follows:

In Review - Project that is in Early Consultation or has been officially submitted and has triggered the 90 day clock.

  • Early Consultation - Phase before a state formally submits a proposal in which the state agency and EPA region discuss details of a proposal and/or develop a proposal for submission.
  • Preliminary Approval - A preliminary decision to accept a proposal has been sent with an explanation of subsequent actions needed before a final decision can be made or implementation can begin.
  • Implementation - Those projects whose proposals have been reviewed in accordance with the Joint Agreement and have received an "Approval letter" letter from EPA. EPA Fact Sheets may be available for projects in implementation.
  • On Hold - Projects that have been officially submitted for which the clock has stopped pending receipt of additional information or response from the State.
  • Withdrawn - State has officially withdrawn proposal
  • Denied - Projects that have been officially denied approval after submission and EPA review.
  • On Appeal - Section IV. B 2c of the Joint Agreement allows a State to appeal in writing to the EPA Deputy Administrator a condition or decision made by a EPA Regional Office.

Application of Pesticides in Aquatic Environments

Connecticut/EPA Region 1

The issue:

  • The U.S, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that application of pesticides to waters is not exempt from NPDES permitting, even though the products used were registered by EPA under FIFRA, and were used properly under pesticide rules.
  • Application of pesticides to waters includes such important applications as mosquito control, algae control in drinking water reservoirs, and control of invasive plant species that can impede recreational use of lakes and ponds.
  • The NPDES permitting process is not conducive to applications of pesticides to water, most of which are to control a quickly emerging pest. Rapid evaluation is therefore necessary, and there are many sites to be evaluated ’ the pesticide programs grants approximately 500 aquatic permits annually.
  • The standards by which NPDES permits are evaluated are at odds with pesticide application, since these permits are designed to be protective of all aquatic life, and pesticides, by design, are intended to kill some type of aquatic organism.
  • The use of pesticides to control these types of pests may in fact be the most benign solution to the problem, including the solution of doing nothing. The natural consequences of the pest itself may well be worse than that of the pesticide, and alternative control measures may be more intrusive than pesticide use.

The challenge

  • A harmonization of the two statutes (the Clean Water Act and FIFRA) will need to be accomplished, which will need a degree of flexibility on the part of regulators from both programs. The basic difference is as described above: the protection of all aquatic life under CWA, and the knowing destruction of pest species allowed by FIFRA.
  • A dual state/federal approach must be taken to meet the needs of both levels of government.

Possible solutions/innovations

  • A general permit granted under NPDES that would allow the use of aquatic pesticides provided label directions were followed, and a site-specific permit is obtained.
  • Pesticide labels are analogous to general permits inasmuch as they set forth the proper criteria for use of the pesticide, include precautions and hazards, and are enforceable if not followed.
  • The current Connecticut aquatic pesticide permit program is site-specific, which addresses one of the difficulties with the FIFRA labeling approach that was cited by the 9th Circuit.
  • The general permit idea, with the secondary requirement for a site-specific permit, may be a model for national use, especially in the northern states since most of these have active aquatic pesticide permitting programs already.
  • EPA is already exploring the general permit idea internally.

NPDES Performance Initiative

Illinois/EPA Region 5

Under Title 35 Illinois Administrative Code, Subtitle C: Water Pollution, Part 305, every person within the state operating a pretreatment works, treatment works, or wastewater source or holding an NPDES permit, shall submit operating reports to the Illinois EPA (Agency) at a frequency determined by the Agency.

Under 40 CFR 122.41, monitoring results shall be reported at the intervals specified in the NPDES permit. These reports are to contain information regarding the quantity of influent and of effluent discharged, of wastes bypassed and of combined sewer overflows; the concentrations of those physical, chemical, bacteriological and radiological parameters which shall be specified by the Agency; information concerning the biological impact of the discharge; and any additional information that the Agency may reasonably require.

At present, the Agency does not make any distinctions among dischargers regarding the frequency of NPDES Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) submissions to the Agency. As a result, NPDES facilities are required to submit monthly DMRs regardless of their compliance history, size or treatment type. At this time, 278 major facilities, and 2,363 minor facilities are providing monthly reports to the Agency.

Under this regulatory innovation proposal, the Agency will provide an opportunity for reduced submission of DMRs for all facilities with at least two consecutive years of sustained compliance. Major and minor facilities with a history of compliance would have the following options:

  • Submit a quarterly DMR that covers three months of discharge data if compliance has been sustained for at least two years;
  • Submit a semi-annual DMR that covers six months of discharge data if compliance has been sustained for at least three years;
  • Submit an annual DMR that covers twelve months of discharge data if compliance has been sustained for at least five years.

The reduced DMR reporting frequency will be offered and provided to facilities meeting the criteria at the time of NPDES permit re-issuance or during the term of an existing permit via permit modification.

Implementation of the proposal would not compromise the frequency of sampling requirements, compliance monitoring or program accountability because in the event of significant non-compliance (SNC), a facility would still be required to report such events immediately. Furthermore, the occurrence of significant non-compliance would be cause for the Agency to have the facility revert back to more frequent reporting.

Achieving Better Management of Toxic Chemical Risks (TSCA CBI)

Illinois /EPA Region 5

States have a continuing interest in and responsibility for reducing toxic chemical risks. In partnership with the USEPA, states implement many aspects of the major national environmental protection programs. These partnership arrangements have proven to be more cost-effective in protecting the environment and have generally provided better coordination of regulatory efforts by both the states and USEPA. These partnership programs also address some toxic chemicals in various ways but predominately in a media-specific manner.

In marked contrast, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) does not specify roles that states could play in managing existing and new chemicals in the United States. This long-standing gap in the state/EPA relationship is especially important because TSCA affords a unique opportunity to focus on toxic chemical risks in more preventive, comprehensive, and integrated ways. This advantage has not, as yet, been reflected in an on-going partnership between states and USEPA. In fact, the TSCA also limits the access that states may have to certain toxics information claimed as confidential under the TSCA, Section 14(a).

Over the years, there has been some limited involvement by states in certain TSCA related activities. For instance, Illinois EPA (IEPA) has performed PCB inspections and prepared enforcement cases under a grant arrangement with Region 5, USEPA for more than ten years. The IEPA also participated in a special pilot project conducted by USEPA to evaluate the utility of TSCA data for states. Along with three other states, we became contractors to USEPA in 1995 and were given access to the full spectrum of TSCA information, including confidential business information (CBI). Following the review of this data it was determined that this information would significantly assist the IEPA and the other state agencies in efforts related to environmental and public health protection. These experiences and others, such as using annual TRI information, have led us towards developing a more partnership-based approach with USEPA for toxic chemical management.

Project Objectives and Overview

This regulatory innovation proposal deals with development of a state toxics partnership program for achieving better management of toxic chemical risks in Illinois. The following objectives are set forth for this project:

  • Enhance state risk assessment capability by providing more toxic chemical information;
  • Facilitate collection of toxic chemical use/exposure information that is available to the state and pertinent to the Chemical Right-to-Know Program (ChemRTK);
  • Develop and implement better means for timely provision of toxics information needed by the state for emergency response;
  • Explore state involvement in facility performance review and assistance, especially for the next IUR filing, Section 5(e) orders and 8(e) reporting; and
  • Explore opportunities for burden reduction.

Thus, this project will involve IEPA partnering with USEPA in specified ways. We know, for example, that the state and the federal governments each receive information not available to the other. The federal government has immediate access to hazard information, and has means to secure additional hazard information unavailable to states. Illinois, meanwhile, has access to site-specific chemical use and exposure information. USEPA and IEPA would endeavor to correlate, within the constraints of TSCA and Illinois law, the available hazard/exposure data for a limited number of chemicals/facilities. In this manner, both parties would contribute towards development of a productive state/federal partnership under TSCA.

IEPA is also seeking support from the USEPA in finding innovative ways for enhancing state capabilities for toxics management. More aggressive challenging of CBI claims is an activity that could result in more toxics information being available to Illinois. The state could also have a single point of contact (i.e., ombudsman) at USEPA to expedite requests for toxic information. In chemical emergency situations, it would be preferable to obtain needed toxics information on a "real time" basis. Current waiver provisions could be managed for a fast-track response and, ultimately, considered for appropriate modification to ensure timely action.

USEPA could provide suitable training for state personnel that occurs during facility performance visits. USEPA could also promote cooperation by TSCA-regulated companies/facilities regarding State participation. USEPA and IEPA could work together on an approach where IEPA would provide compliance assistance to TSCA facilities by conducting performance audits that help companies determine their TSCA status. The IEPA believes that this project is consistent with the agreed principles that guide joint regulatory innovation activities.

Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program Partnership

Illinois/EPA Region5

Underground injection wells are regulated by the underground injection control (UIC) program under the authority of Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The SDWA is designed to protect the quality of drinking water in the United States, and Part C specifically mandates the regulation of underground injection of fluids through wells. Section 1422 of the SDWA provides that States may apply to EPA for primary enforcement responsibility to administer the UIC program. States receiving such authority are referred to as Primacy States. Illinois is a Primacy State.

Expedited De-Listing of F019 Waste from Automobile Assembly Operations

Michigan/EPA Region 5

Overview

Automobile manufacturers are adding aluminum or aluminized components to automobiles as heat shields or to reduce the weight of vehicles to increase fuel economy. When the aluminum parts are not present, the wastewater treatment sludge is not regulated as a listed F019 hazardous waste. When these components are added to the automobile assembly process, the wastewater treatment sludge generated must be managed as hazardous waste under the current federal regulations. Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 261.31 lists these wastes as F019 hazardous waste and defines them as:

Wastewater treatment sludge from the chemical conversion coating of aluminum except from zirconium phosphating in aluminum can washing when such phosphating in an exclusive conversion coating process.

Michigan's experience has been that phosphating sludge from automobile assembly facilities routinely qualifies for exclusion (de-listing) from F019 designation. The current process to de-list this sludge must be done through a comprehensive facility-by-facility approach which is resource intensive for both the petitioner and the regulatory agency.

This proposal is to develop and implement a process and criteria to simplify and expedite the de-listing of phosphating sludge produced by automobile assembly plants from the F019 designation. This project will demonstrate an environmentally sound approach for making the de-listing decision, saving considerable staff resources at state agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and in the private sector. This project will continue for 5 years.

Project Narrative

Aluminum phosphating sludges appear to be inappropriately classified as hazardous waste. The addition of aluminum and aluminized components does not contribute any additional hazardous waste constituents to the sludge. The phosphating process in use at automobile assembly plants does not utilize chromium or cyanide, which are the hazardous constituents that resulted in the F019 listing. The sludges from numerous automobile assembly phosphating operations have been shown to be not hazardous and have been de-listed.

Under the current approach, EPA will de-list a waste in response to a petition received from an individual facility based on a demonstration that the waste produced does not meet any of the criteria under which the waste was listed as a hazardous waste or other specific factors. This process requires an individual facility to conduct extensive sampling to make this demonstration. The actual de-listing decision essentially takes the form of formal rulemaking. Given that these operations use virtually identical processes, as will be shown through a review of the various petitions already filed, repeatedly conducting this level of analysis and demonstration for each automobile assembly phosphating sludge is an unnecessary waste of limited resources with no environmental benefit.

This facility description model, operational criteria, and the level of chemical constituents in the co-mingled sludge will be based on previous de-listed facilities in Michigan. This model and these criteria will be used to qualify new petitions for expedited de-listing from F019 designation by an automobile assembly operation.

This project will demonstrate a reliable, environmentally sound process by which phosphating sludges from automobile assembly operations can be de-listed without going through the current, extensive demonstration process. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and EPA will be developed that accepts a model or set of criteria that will be developed which will allow phosphating sludge generated at automobile assembly plant to qualify for de-listing. The de-listing under this project would still be done on a case-by-case basis, and qualifying facilities must meet the model parameters, operational criteria, and specified sludge quality testing requirements. If successful this project may guide appropriate amendments to federal regulations that will simplify de-listing of qualifying phosphating sludges at other automobile assembly operations on a national basis.

Barriers

Federal regulations require decisions on de-listing petitions to be made on a generator-specific basis. The EPA has established guidance that must be followed in conducting reviews. The EPA would need to provide flexibility from regulations and guidance for the specific phosphating sludge covered by this pilot demonstration and accept the alternative process developed under this project for the term of the project.

Essential Work Activities/Products

  • A stakeholder process to develop an expedited de-listing approach for de-listing automobile assembly plant phosphating sludge.
  • A stakeholders group will include members of the Auto Project, a pollution prevention program targeted at the auto industry.A manufacturing model, including operational criteria, and co-mingled sludge quality criteria that promptly and reliably predicts whether phosphating sludge from qualifying operations is non-hazardous and qualifies for de-listing.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between the EPA and the MDEQ on the use of the model to de-list qualifying facilities for the term of this project. Use the process to analyze and de-list qualifying phosphating sludge from Michigan automobile assembly plants that meet the criteria.
  • Review project results. If successful, develop recommendations for amending the EPA regulations and guidance to allow this process to be implemented on a national basis.

Use of Flushing to Meet the Federal Lead/Copper Regulation . . .

. . . for Non-Transient Non-Community Public Water Supply Systems

Michigan/EPA Region 5

Project Overview

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) adopted the Lead/Copper/Corrosion Control (LCR) regulations pursuant to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act on June 7, 1991. The goal of the LCR is best stated in the preamble of the regulation, as contained in the June 7, 1991 Federal Register, page 26478:

"The goal of this rule is to provide maximum human health protection by reducing the lead and copper levels at consumers' taps as close the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) as is feasible."

The U.S. EPA chose a treatment technique approach to control the lead and copper in drinking water. They established legal authority to adopt that approach, and developed specific treatment techniques allowed: corrosion control treatment, source water treatment, lead service line replacement, and public education.

The LCR also established minimum monitoring requirements for copper and lead in the regulated water supplies. When elevated levels are detected during monitoring, the suppliers of water are required to take the steps specified in the LCR to eliminate the health risk that may be associated with exposure to the drinking water.

Through this regulatory innovation project, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is proposing to allow regular, mandated system flushing as a treatment technique option for non-transient non-community public water supplies. Flushing is currently not an available treatment option for non-transient non-community water supply systems.

Concurrent State/Federal Rulemaking

Michigan/EPA Region 5

Overview

To pilot an approach by which state and federal rulemaking processes are initiated and pursued concurrently to:

  • Assure early and effective communication between the state and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and
  • Significantly shorten the time needed to promulgate a state administrative rule and make that rule federally enforceable through changes to the State’s Implementation Plan (SIP)

Project Narrative

This project will create a process and method by which the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's (MDEQ) Air Quality Division (AQD) and EPA can jointly adopt and approve, both at the state and federal level, changes to the state's air pollution control rules, that would expedite the rulemaking process for specific regulated sources while minimizing the time these regulated sources are subject to differing state and federal air pollution control requirements. The objective is to streamline the state rule approval process while maintaining continued federal enforceability of the SIP.

Specifically, this pilot project will test the concurrent rulemaking process by drafting an amendment to Michigan Rule 336.1122(f) which modifies the definition of volatile organic compound (VOC) in the Michigan Air Pollution Control Rules.

Barriers

The EPA's normal practice is to not initiate federal rulemaking until the final state rule is submitted to the USEPA as a SIP revision. Furthermore, the USEPA tends to not give intense review of state rulemaking until such time as the rule is submitted as a SIP revision. The USEPA would need to modify these practices and work more closely with the state during the state's rules development process.

Duration

This project will take approximately 18 months.

Cooperative Agreement to Meet Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Phosphorus

Michigan/EPA Region 5

Overview

This project is an innovative approach to reduce phosphorus loading in a watershed to meet a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). It will be piloted in three specific Michigan watersheds where there is a significant contribution of phosphorus from non-point sources.

Under this innovation, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) would re-issue the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits in conjunction with the development of a Cooperative Agreement among all point source and non-point source contributors in the watershed. Each re-issued NPDES permit would continue the phosphorus requirements in the current permit and reference the Cooperative Agreement as the means of attaining the TMDL. To quality, the permittee must sign a Cooperative Agreement by which the permittee commits to participate with other point and non-point contributors in the watershed to reduce point and non-point contributions of phosphorus as necessary to meet the TMDL. The permittee also agrees to develop a reduction plan or strategy to accomplish the individual or aggregate point source loading reductions to meet the TMDL, and to measure progress toward meeting the individual or aggregate loading reductions.

Project Narrative

Through the Cooperative Agreement, permittees commit to develop a plan or strategy with an approvable schedule and milestones for achieving either the aggregate or individual waste load allocations within five years of the effective date of the permit. The plan or strategy is to be submitted to the MDEQ for review and approval.

If the permittee withdraws from the Cooperative Agreement or does not fulfill its obligations under the agreement, the MDEQ has grounds to and will reopen the permit to establish specific requirements for phosphorus control as necessary to meet the TMDL. Also, the Cooperative Agreement will state that if the agreement is not successful in achieving the TMDL, the individual NPDES permits will be reopened to establish necessary discharge limitations to meet the TMDL. In this manner, the permits and Cooperative Agreement provide reasonable assurance that the TMDL will be met.

The Cooperative Agreement is signed by all parties that contribute significant quantities of phosphorus to the water body. Other potential singers include stakeholder groups that are involved or interested in pollution control activities in the watershed. The unique aspect of the approach is that the support of the point source community is obtained by allowing the existing authorized phosphorus load limits in their NPDES permits to be maintained for one permit term (5 years). After the permit term, an assessment of success of the project will determine whether the permit should be reissued with different limitations or allow the existing phosphorus limitations for one more term. This allows time for all parties to accomplish necessary reductions in point and non-point sources through incentive-based cooperative efforts.

This project has the best potential to achieve TMDL for phosphorus in water bodies that have significant loadings of phosphorus from non-point sources. It would demonstrate an effective watershed approach that could be used in other watersheds and for other pollutants. Effectiveness of the project will be measured by level of participation and actual control measures and management practices implemented, along with measured improvements to water quality.

Accomplishing necessary phosphorus loading reductions in the identified watersheds is a multi-year project, with full implementation of corrective programs taking up to 10 years. The MDEQ commitment to individual NPDES permit holders to maintain the current phosphorus limitations is for one permit term (5 years), after which an assessment of success of the project will determine whether the permit should be reissued with different limitations.