July 2020

New Ohio Law Encourages Brownfield Redevelopment

For the past 18 years, a bona fide prospective purchaser (BFPP) of a brownfield property could avoid Federal liability for investigation and cleanup if they performed appropriate Due Diligence (such as a Phase I ESA). Until now, the only similar State of Ohio liability protection was through the Ohio Voluntary Action Program (VAP). House Bill 168 changes that. It also provides a much-needed change to prevent automatic voidance of protection under the VAP.

Ohio EPA to Pilot Virtual Site Visits

Navigating this new world due to COVID-19 has been a challenge to everyone, including Ohio EPA. To protect against the potential spread of COVID-19 while maintaining their mission to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations, Ohio EPA is piloting the use of virtual site visits (VSVs) for select categories of inspections (e.g., routine, screening, non-enforcement). The first step in the process will be a pre-meeting conducted by Ohio EPA via phone/video conference to discuss logistics and necessary equipment. The actual inspection will be accomplished virtually, using a live streaming application in combination with photographs. During the virtual facility walk-through portion of the inspection, the facility contact will walk the Ohio EPA inspector through areas of the facility normally inspected using a camera phone connected to the internet. Ohio EPA has prepared a one-page document providing an overview of the process, which, at the time of publication of this article, had not been posted on the Ohio EPA website. We plan to include a newsletter article summarizing a VSV experience in the upcoming months, so keep a lookout! In the meantime, for more information contact Lindsay Johnson or Nick Petruzzi.

What Ambient Factors Contribute to Changes in Differential Pressure? – Part 2

Over the past few months, I have begun an evaluation of a variety of Indicators, Tracers, and Surrogates (ITS) that USEPA sees as candidates for predicting the best time to collect representative indoor air samples for vapor intrusion studies (Schuver, et. al., 2018). The idea is that if a predictive combination of easily obtainable, low cost ITS can be identified, they could be used to improve the collection of actionable analytical data at a lower cost. My initial indicator of interest is the differential pressure between the slab and the indoor air space. Last month, I reviewed two ambient factors that are potential contributors to changes in differential pressure – barometric pressure and temperature (indoor and external). As is common in the industry, I obtained the barometric pressure and external temperature data from a remote weather station which was many miles from my site. This month, I will compare the differential pressure data to an onsite weather station to see if we can tease out any details. To see how they differ, read on. 

EPA Updates Rule on Determination of Ignitable Hazardous Waste

Among various listings and characteristics, a solid waste is considered a hazardous waste if it exhibits the characteristic of ignitability (D001). EPA recently issued final action on rules that pertain to the determination of ignitable hazardous waste (FR 40594). Overall, the new rules provide greater flexibility in testing for flash point of a liquid waste, allows for alternate temperature measuring devices with certain air sampling and stack testing methods, and codifies guidance on the definition of “aqueous.”

Timing is Everything – ITRC Releases Risk Communication Toolkit 

The Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) has released an online Risk Communication ToolkitThe EPA defines “risk communication” as the process of informing people about potential hazards to their person, property, or community. It is a science-based approach for communicating effectively in situations of high stress, high concern, or controversy. Now more than ever, risk communication is front and center in our everyday lives and the timing of this document could not be better. 

Ohio EPA Proposes to Revise Eight Municipal Solid Waste Rules

On July 6, 2020, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) Division of Materials and Waste Management filed eight municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill rules with the Joint Committee on Agency Review. The eight rules proposed for revision are:

  1. 3745-27-02 Permit to install
  2. 3745-27-05 Applicability and relation to other laws
  3. 3745-27-06 Sanitary landfill facility permit to install application
  4. 3745-27-07 Additional criteria for approval of sanitary landfill facility permit to install applications
  5. 3745-27-08 Sanitary landfill facility construction
  6. 3745-27-09 Sanitary landfill facility operating record
  7. 3745-27-11 Final closure of a sanitary landfill facility
  8. 3745-27-14 Post-closure care of sanitary landfill facilities

The public comment period will run until August 12, 2020. On that date, the Ohio EPA will hold a virtual public hearing on the rules. The virtual hearing is at the Ohio EPA’s webex events site.

Written comments can be submitted during the virtual public hearing emailed to Michelle Mountjoy.

Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc.

Project Spotlight

Coming Soon

  • Use of horizontal drilling and horizontal wells in the environmental industry
  • PFAS sampling using dedicated wells with Teflon tubing: what the data shows
  • More on indicators, tracers, and surrogates in vapor intrusion assessments

Upcoming Events

September 30, 2020: Craig Cox will be presenting Evaluation and Remediation of a Large Commingled Dilute VOC Plume in Western, Ohio – A Case Study” at Remedy 2020.

September 30, 2020: Laurie Chilcote will be presenting Vapor Intrusion – Review of the Evolution of VI Assessment and Expected Future Trends” at Remedy 2020.