Persons making requests for the offsite status of one or more facilities should be aware that, while all requests will be processed as quickly as possible, as much as a week or more may be required to respond.
Regional Off-Site Contacts consult with State inspectors about facilities, and perform other research in order to obtain necessary information about the facility ies in question. Therefore, requestors should plan the timing of their offsite waste shipments accordingly. Requests by e-mail are recommended. City of Evanston , Illinois , F. Lockformer Co. Mejdrech v. Met-Coil Sys. Atlantic States interpreted a nearly identical regulatory notice provision in the Clean Water Act.
Because of the similarities between the notice provisions of the Clean Water Act and the RCRA, courts sometimes rely on cases interpreting one statute to interpret the other statute. See N.
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See 42 U. Fund , U. The EPA has promulgated several regulations that provide guidance in interpreting the RCRA, including in the interpretation of pre-suit notice requirements, as discussed below. See 40 C. The Port District argues that Clean Harbors failed to provide it with any notice of the pier allegations in its notice letter. The Court agrees. Clean Harbors' notice, which is lengthy and cited verbatim in the footnote, only discussed the Port District's participation in the contamination caused by Hyon Waste.
There is no indication from the notice that the problematic contamination stemmed from the piers built by the Port District. Indeed, the notice states that the Port District contributed only as the "landlord for the Property for Hyon Waste's historical pollution and contamination of the Property. This notice failed to direct the Port District's attention to the piers as contaminants, and failed to meet the standards set out by the Seventh Circuit in Atlantic States. Relevant portions of the notice are as follows: The Port District was, at all times, the owner of the Property.
The Port District entered into a lease with one of its tenants, Hyon Waste, in the s. As the Port District's tenant, Hyon Waste received approximately 68 million gallons of chemical waste and treated the waste in the ground on the Property.
The Port District also allowed Hyon Waste to deposit the byproducts of this waste treatment on other portions of the Property, thereby contributing to the pollution at the Property. Moreover, as the Port District's tenant, Hyon Waste, received "pickle liquor" or steel mill waste at the Property and the Port District allowed Hyon Waste to bury the "pickle liquor" in the ground at the Property. Further, while a tenant at the Property, Hyon Waste operated an incinerator illegally, causing the City of Chicago, Department of Environment to shut it down. The Port District benefitted financially from Hyon Waste's contamination of the Property and took no apparent action to abate the environmental contamination caused by Hyon Waste.
The Port District was involved in the storage or disposal of the hazardous waste at the Property because it served as the landlord for the Property for Hyon Waste's historical pollution and contamination of the Property. The Port District failed to exercise the degree of care necessary for an owner with respect to Hyon Waste's pollution on the Property. These facts, together with the Port District's lack of cooperation with Clean Harbors and the IEPA to abate the historical contamination at the Property, its failure to implement the Work Plan and its failure to contribute its fair share of the clean-up costs presents a substantial endangerment to health and the environment.
Because the Court dismisses the pier allegations, it need not reach whether Clean Harbors alleged the piers contain "solid waste" to state a claim under the endangerment provision. See at Permit Allegations. The EPA requires notice regarding a permit violation to include sufficient information to allow the recipient to 1 identify the specific permit, standard, regulation, condition, requirement, or order which has allegedly been violated; 2 the activity alleged to constitute a violation; 3 the person or persons responsible for the alleged violation; 4 the date or dates of the violation; and 5 the full name, address, and telephone number of the person giving notice.
In its notice letter, Clean Harbors met the first requirement by identifying the Permit and the specific sections allegedly violated. Contrary to the Port District's arguments, 40 C. An identification of the "specific permit" is sufficient, which is what Clean Harbors provided. Clean Harbors then specified the activities that caused the violation, including the Port District's refusal to implement the Cap and Drain Plan, its refusal to cooperate to execute Permit modifications, and its demand that the engineered barrier on the property be removed. This provides notice to the Port District of the second requirement as well.
The Port District does not argue that Clean Harbors failed to satisfy the remaining requirements of 40 C. The Court finds Clean Harbors provided sufficient notice to the Port District to inform it "about what it is doing wrong" as to the permit allegations. The Port District's argument that Clean Harbors failed to provide it notice of violations of the final "Part B renewal permit which has an effective date of September 6, " R.
The allegations indicated that the renewal was just that, a renewal of the Permit. Neither party has alerted the Court that the Permit and its renewal differed in any way or that the violations changed with the renewal. Accordingly, there is no reason to require Clean Harbors to provide a second, identical notice. Clean Harbors adequately notified the Port District of the violations of the Permit to meet the standards laid out in Hallstrom and Atlantic States.
Finally, the Port District argues that Clean Harbors' allegations that "the Port District has obstructed Clean Harbors from accessing the Property in order to monitor ground water conditions in compliance with the Permit" R. Clean Harbors provided written notice to the Port District of certain violations on October 2, and provided notice of additional violations on February 19, The October notice accused the Port District of, among other things, refusing to grant Clean Harbors access to the property "for the purpose of allowing Clean Harbors to comply with conditions and requirements of the RCRA Permit, including monitoring the facility perimeter and systems.
The parties have not indicated that the previous notice letter is invalid or has been withdrawn.
RCRA's endangerment provision authorizes suit against "any past or present generator, past or present transporter, or past or present owner or operator of a treatment, storage or disposal facility, who has contributed or is contributing to the past or present handling, storage, treatment, transportation, or disposal of any solid or hazardous waste which may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment. The Seventh Circuit has interpreted the "has contributed or is contributing to" language of the RCRA to require active involvement and affirmative action rather than passive conduct.
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Sycamore Indus. Park Assocs. Ericsson , Inc. The Port District cites cases to support its argument that merely being an owner of the property is insufficient to find it was actively involved with the contamination. But the Port District's cases dealt with owners of properties who had purchased the properties after the contamination, not with owners alleged to be actively involved in the contamination. See e. Akron Prod. Ohio May 11, dismissing successor property owner but refusing to dismiss claim against the previous owner who had allegedly contaminated the property ; Marriott Corp.
Simkins Indus. Honeywell Int'l , Inc.
Clean Harbors alleges the Port District was the owner of the property at the time of contamination and had an active role in the contamination—it alleges the Port District authorized Hyon Waste to contaminate; failed to hold Hyon Waste accountable for its contamination activities; and demands Clean Harbors remove the engineered barrier that prevents additional contamination. Whether Clean Harbors can show the Port District's role with Hyon Waste was in fact active rather than passive is a matter for summary judgment or trial. Christian , Atlantic Richfield Arco is seeking to overturn a decision by the Montana Supreme Court, which they claim is pre-empted by federal law and conflicts with the decisions of other courts on CERCLA interpretation.
Supreme Court. Nonetheless, the U. EPA was required to assess the current regulations under a Consent Decree entered into with EPA and seven environmental advocacy groups. The environmental groups had filed a federal lawsuit against EPA in , in which they alleged that EPA was obligated to review and revise, if necessary, RCRA Subtitle D regulations and state plan requirements for oil and gas wastes. EPA also reviewed literature on the potential for adverse effects from the management of the oil and gas wastes, as well as data on recent environmental releases of these wastes, and concluded that existing state programs were sufficient to manage the oil and gas wastes in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment.
The information and recommendations may also be used by state, tribal, or other regulatory authorities e. This guidance does not declare PFAS chemicals to be hazardous substances under Superfund and it does not explicitly require clean up at contaminated industrial sites, landfills, or military facilities. Rather, it simply recommends cleanup when chemicals are found in groundwater being used for drinking at concentrations of 70 parts per trillion or higher.
The public will have an opportunity to submit their comments on the guidance for 45 days from April 25, to June 10, To submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No.
On April 15, , U. The CWA regulates pollution to surface water and requires permits for point-source discharges. In that case, the EPA filed a friend of the court brief, agreeing that the county was acting illegally. In February , the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Ninth Circuit case to resolve the circuit split on this issue.
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This change will ultimately make it harder to enforce the CWA in cases that involve conveyance via groundwater. Likewise, for municipal and industrial facilities that discharge to groundwater, it provides some clarity over which federal laws are supposed to cover which types of water.
On Thursday, the Trump Administration announced that it will issue a draft regulation by the end of the year placing a limit on two chemicals frequently found in drinking water. EPA head Andrew Wheeler. PFAS are man-made chemicals that are resistant to water, grease, and stains and have thousands of consumer and industrial uses. They can be found in carpets, camping gear, fast-food wrappers, fabrics for furniture, water-repellent fabrics, cleaners, cookware, and more. Industry uses include O-rings and gaskets that prevent mechanical breakdowns, metal plating, and fire-fighting foams.
Currently, many PFAS concentrated products end up in landfills which can seep into the ground in unlined landfills or pool at the bottom of lined landfills and often end up in wastewater treatment plants that are not equipped to remove PFAS.