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News Briefs: Layers of Regulation: DNR sets emission limits for remediation Projects

Summer 1995

The Department of Natural Resources has adopted a set of rule revisions concerning air regulations affecting remediation of soil and water contaminated with organic compounds. Proposed revisions create permanent emission limits for sources that remediate contaminated soil or water. They follow up on and expand previous regulations which apply to thermal evaporation units (asphalt plants and thermal roasters). In particular, the new rules list a series of requirements pertaining to landfills and landspreadings.

The rules establish generic emission limits of 9 pounds per hour in ozone attainment areas and 5.7 pounds per hour in ozone nonattainment areas. In the alternative, emission limits for thermal evaporation units are set at 9 pounds per hour or 137 pounds per day in ozone attainment areas, and 5.7 pounds per hour in ozone nonattainment areas. Specific alternate limits for landfills are 25 tons per year in ozone attainment areas, while landfills in the ozone non-attainment areas cannot receive any soil with a contamination level greater than 250 parts per million by weight. For landspreading, the specific emission limit is 6,000 pounds per year per site, or 2,000 pounds per year per site in non-attainment areas. Facilities can choose to comply with either the generic or the specific emission limits applicable to their facility.

Under the rule revision, emission limits for non-thermal treatment facilities have been changed to specify volatile organic compounds rather than organic compounds generally, because not all organic compounds evaporate.

In addition, an alternative emission limit of 500 parts per million has been established for landfills in the ozone attainment areas for the state. This limit will sunset August 1, 1997. The revised rule will also define landfill in order to avoid confusion by remediation sites which are established at landfill facilities. Definitions specifically apply only to disposing of waste materials and does not apply to any other types of treatment located at the landfill facility.

Finally it should be noted that air permit exemptions for soil remediation have been revised so that facilities are responsible for complying with limits established under the federal Clean Air Act.

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