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Entry of Hazardous Waste Environmental Benefit Information to ICIS (02.25.2011)

Entry of Hazardous Waste Environmental Benefit Information to ICIS

Beginning in FY2008, the Office of Compliance communicated interim end-of-year guidance to the regions implementing a standard methodology for calculating benefits from RCRA Subtitle C, RCRA Corrective Action, and CERCLA enforcement cases to clarify areas of ambiguity that existed.  The interim guidance coincides with CCDS guidance updates by the Environmental Outcome Reporting Committee (EORMC) addressing calculation of environmental benefits based on a new “nature of remedy” concept.  The concept employs a standard approach for quantifying results based on the type of remedy being achieved rather than the statutory authority under which the action is taken. Because this approach is based on what actions the enforcement action is requiring of the defendant/respondent, regardless of statute, the calculations and reporting are more apparent and understandable.

 

The interim end-of-year guidance issued for FY2008 and FY2009 reporting remains in effect for FY2011. The documents are:

 

1)  Reporting RCRA C Cases in FY08, dated October 8, 2008; and

2)  FY09 RCRA Corrective Action and Superfund, dated October 1, 2009.

 

The regions are asked to continue reporting RCRA hazardous waste, Corrective Action and CERCLA environmental benefits (including pollutant reductions, contaminated media addressed, and hazardous waste minimized) consistent with these two guidance documents.

 

What the Interim Guidance Says:

For RCRA §7003 cases that conclude with direct environmental benefits addressing hazardous waste and/or hazardous substances, the entire mass of the hazardous waste amount in pounds would be reported in ICIS using the pollutant name, “Hazardous waste.”

For RCRA Corrective Action §§3008(h) & 7003 cases, and CERCLA §§ 104/122, 106, 120 cases, direct environmental benefits would either be reported as pounds of hazardous waste or cubic yards of contaminated medium  (“VCMA”).

 

In deciding whether the environmental benefits should be counted in the hazardous waste or VCMA category, the general rule is that a pollutant which exists in its original form as generated and is containerized (e.g., drums, roll-off containers, containment areas), separately identifiable or otherwise distinct from any media it might be in, would be reported as “Hazardous waste.”  In contrast, any pollutant entrained in traditional contaminated media (i.e., soil, sediment, or groundwater aquifer) or debris (e.g., pieces of wood, cement, decommissioned equipment) would be reported as VCMA.  (Additionally, constituent pollutants of the hazardous waste and VCMA amounts, if known, are to be manually reported in the EOY certification workbook.)

 

Hazardous waste benefits should be entered to ICIS using the pollutant name, “Hazardous waste.”  Regions are to manually report speciated amounts from cases with hazardous waste and VCMA results in the end-of-year certification workbook.  Speciated pollutants/chemicals in the hazardous waste may also be entered to ICIS and, if entered, the amount for each such entry must be zero.

 

The EORMC work is proceeding and the committee’s recommendations for implementing expanded outcome reporting guidance are expected to be implemented in FY2012.  Under the new approach, quantifiable benefits are measured and reported in three major categories: 1) Removal and Restoration, 2) Reduction of Ongoing Releases, and 3) Prevention of Future Releases.

 

Questions or concerns about environmental benefits reporting should be directed to Donna Inman, OC/ Planning, Measures and Oversight Division, at 202-564-2511, or via email at: inman.donna@epa.gov.

 

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