Mr. Michael Ebner
Re: Effluent Limitations Guidelines, Pretreatment Standards, And New Source Performance Standards for the Metal Products and Machinery Point Source Category; Proposed Rule; 66 FR 424 (3 January 2001), Docket No. W-99-23.
Dear Mr. Ebner:
Enclosed are comments on the Metal Products and Machinery (MP&M) Point Source Category proposed rule (66 FR 424, 3 January 2001) prepared by the Department of Defense (DoD) Clean Water Act Services Steering Committee (CWASSC). The DoD CWASSC represents the Departments of the Navy, Air Force, and Army, as well as several other Defense components. In general, DoD supports EPA's efforts outlined in the proposed rule to regulate a complex source category. However, we are concerned that the proposed rule needs to further address issues on applicability, accurate cost estimates, and equitable low flow exemptions.
DoD's main concern in determining applicability of the proposed rule is that additional detail should be provided for a potentially regulated facility to determine if the proposed rule applies to a source. We recommend that the rule be revised to: 1) Provide more comprehensive definitions of the 18 industrial sectors; 2) remove the "miscellaneous metal products" industrial sector from the rule; 3) identify each subcategory as being either a metal-bearing or oil-bearing waste in the rule; 4) expand the definitions of the General Metals and Oily Waste subcategories unit operations; and 5) rename the "general metals" subcategory to "captive metal finishers" subcategory.
We would be happy to discuss our comments further or to address any questions. My point of contact is Ms. Kathy Ellis at (703) 602-2568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Defense (DoD)
Comments on the
Effluent Limitations Guidelines, Pretreatment Standards, and New Source Performance Standards for the Metal Products and Machinery (MP&M) Point Source Category; Proposed Rule
66 FR 424 (3 January 2001)
Table of Contents
Department of Defense (DoD)
Comments on the
66 FR 424 (3 January 2001)
1. Proposed Rule Needs Further Clarification
The rule as written is confusing. Industrial sectors affected by the rule are not well defined, and unit operations within the industrial sectors are not described in the rule. In general, the rule is a departure from existing effluent guidelines, where specific unit operations and their associated discharges are described and regulated. In contrast, this rule attempts to regulate all wastewaters generated during the production or repair of a particular industrial sector product or part. This approach results in a very broad range of operations and wastewaters potentially subject to regulation.
The rule is confusing as currently structured because the subcategories do not align with the 18 MP&M industrial sectors. In addition, the preamble speaks to two basic types of wastes, metal-bearing wastes and oil-bearing wastes, but these two waste groups are not reflected in the rule itself. As written, one could interpret the rule to regulate a single industrial sector source under multiple MP&M subcategories.
Below are specific areas where the rule is unclear, and warrants clarification.
2. DoD Cost Information Should be Considered in EPA's Cost Benefit Analysis
Comment: EPA did not include the impact of this rulemaking on federal facilities. As the costs associated with compliance may be significant for federal facilities, this oversight may skew the cost benefit analysis.
Discussion: In Section V.B.4.of the preamble, EPA states that data from 44 surveys submitted by federal facilities were not included in national estimates. The reason given for excluding the data is that the facilities were not chosen at random by the EPA. If random sampling was a criterion for data applicability, EPA should have distributed the cost data survey randomly to federal facilities.
Regardless, cost data from DoD installations should be considered because the rule as written will impact the majority of our installations. Per the rule, DoD installations are mixed-use facilities. As mixed-use facilities, DoD installations are more like a small town than the typical manufacturing facility regulated under this rule. Whereas a manufacturing facility may only have one regulated process, a medium-sized DoD installation may have upwards of fifty or more small potentially regulated operations spread out over the installation. Most DoD operations subject to the rule are maintenance rather than manufacturing operations, and the majority will fall under the Oily Waste Subcategory. As mixed-use facilities, even if many of these operations are excluded from the rule under the low flow exemption, determining if the low flow exemption applies will require expenditure of dollars and manpower. Each source will have to be identified, and the volume of process wastewater generated will have to be determined, typically through installation of flow devices. Additionally, periodic re-evaluations for these sources will be required to ensure conditions have not changed and the low flow exemption still applies. While most private sector maintenance facilities that qualify for the low flow exemption are so small they may never even know they were potentially regulated under MP&M, DoD installations will likely be required to prove and document every exemption granted.
Since most DoD maintenance operations are scattered around an installation, and since most of these maintenance waste stream flows are intermittent and co-located with non-MP&M process flows, documenting the flow from each will be a massive effort. To prove an installation or group of operations at our mixed use facilities fall below the low flow threshold, flow meters will have to be installed, and maintenance shop workers will have to be trained to identify and log MP&M discharge occurrence. The installation wastewater compliance manager will have to ensure this data is collected, managed and reported in a manner that verifies the applicability of the exemption. The administrative costs needed just to document the low flow exemption are staggering. For an average naval station, the Navy estimates the cost of implementation to be approximately $122,000. The initial cost of implementing the low flow exemption portion of this rule alone could approach $5 million for the Navy; this does not include any costs for doing the same at smaller installations, nor does it include costs associated with complying with the rule at larger installations. In addition to the initial implementation cost, annual operating expenditures are also estimated to increase by $1.3 million, or $33,347 per year per facility. A similar estimate for the Air Force shows that it will cost about $8 to $15 million per large facility to implement the proposed requirements. These costs are not insignificant, and should be included by EPA in their cost analysis.
If EPA has not used federal facility data, including DoD data, in the development of national estimates, they have grossly underestimated the costs to implement this rule. All valid data should be used to determine national estimates, and if EPA does not believe the federal facility data to be valid, they should endeavor to get that data. Ignoring this data skews the cost results and fails to account for the true cost of implementing the rule.
Recommendation: Redo the national estimates to include data for federal facilities, including DoD installations, previously provided. If the existing survey data do not meet EPA criteria for acceptability, EPA should gather acceptable data rather than exclude the cost impacts to federal facilities.
Reference: Preamble section V.B.4, Federal Facilities Survey, pg. 438
3. Applicability of Low Flow Exemption
The low flow exemption should be expanded to cover discharges to Treatment Works Treating Domestic Sewage (TWTDSs). In addition, the determination of how the low flow exemption will be applied to MP&M sources at mixed-use facilities should be self-implementing (i.e.: made by the discharger.) Below are comments specifically addressing these two issues.
4. Increase Low Flow Exemptions Threshold for General and Oily Waste Subcategories
Comment: The low flow exemptions for the General Metals and Oily Waste Subcategories should be increased.
Discussion: EPA requested comments on whether the low flow exemption for the General Metals Subcategory should be raised above 1 million gallons per year (MGY), and whether the low flow exemption for the Oily Waste Subcategory should be raised above 2 MGY. Increasing low flow exemptions will decrease the administrative burden on POTWs and the permitted community by decreasing the number of facilities subject to regulation. It will also decrease the overall cost to facilities by reducing the level of documentation required to ensure that facilities are under the flow threshold. Due to the intermittent nature of maintenance operations and the inherent difficulty in isolating and measuring their flows, estimates and professional judgment will most likely be the methods used by small dischargers to seek flow exemptions. By raising the flow threshold, POTWs will have greater confidence when accepting these estimates and exempting small dischargers because most flows will fall well below this threshold.
Minor discharge sources are adequately covered by local limits; raising the threshold will ensure that resources are spent on treating significant discharges rather than documenting flows from minor ones.
Recommendation: EPA should raise the low flow exemption for the General Metals subcategory to 2 MGY, and raise the low flow exemption for the Oily Waste Subcategory to 3 MGY.
a. Preamble, Section 12(d)(2), Pretreatment Standards for existing sources, General Metals Subcategory, pg. 465
b. Preamble, Section 13(38), Solicitation of Comments, Flow Cut Off Level for Oily Waste Subcategory, pg. 536
5. Expand and Clarify Factors for Determining Industrial Site Boundaries at Mixed-Use Facilities
Comment: The factors used to determine industrial site boundaries at mixed-use facilities need to be expanded and clarified to include common control of discharging operations, and feasibility of combining waste flows.
Discussion: The rule does not specify factors that should be used to determine where discharges can be considered separate for purposes of applying the low flow exemption at a mixed-use facility (see Part 438.1(h)). The preamble, however, does provide two factors (66 FR 434). These two factors are: (1) degree of proximity between industrial operations; and, (2) practical application of the requirements for applicable MP&M subcategories. Additional clarifying factors that DoD believes should be included are:
Recommendation: Provide an additional section in the regulation, which clarifies that determination of industrial site boundaries for mixed-use facilities shall includes the two factors identified by EPA in the preamble: degree of proximity between industrial operations and practical application of the requirements for applicable MP&M subcategories. In addition, the rule should also include as decision factors: common control and feasibility of combining waste streams.
Reference: 40 CFR 438.1(h)
6. Reassess Microfiltration and Ultrafiltration Technology Suitability as Acceptable Treatment for Oily Wastes
Comment: Microfiltration and Ultrafiltration are not necessarily cost-effective best available technologies for removal of oily contaminants from wastewater.
Discussion: Navy experience with microfiltration and ultrafiltration treatment systems suggests that the treatment of oily waste streams with these technologies is problematic due to problems with clogging of filters. The resulting material and labor costs for filter replacement, as well as the operational labor costs needed to keep these systems running, severely compromise the cost-effectiveness of these technologies. Several other technologies are recognized for removing oils from metal-bearing wastewaters. These include the following:
Recommendation: EPA should reevaluate its selection of microfiltration and ultrafiltration as the best available technology for oily wastewaters. This reevaluation should focus on determining the suitability of this technology for treatment of oily wastes, and reassess the costs associated with frequent filter replacement due to clogging. EPA should consider alternatives such as coalescing centrifugal separators, diffused macro air flotation, automatic oil skimming, and inclined tube coalescing separators.
a. Page 471 NSPS for General Metals
b. Preamble, page 448, discussion of options (3) and (4)
c. 40 CFR 438.12
7. Clarify Whether Non-Contact Wastewaters are Regulated Under the MP&M Rule
Comment: It is unclear how non-contact, non-destructive testing wastewaters will be regulated under this rule, and whether regulation of these wastes under this rule overlaps requirements under 40 CFR 459, the Photographic Point Sources Category.
Discussion: Section 438.2 (e) defines process wastewater as "wastewater as defined in 40 CFR parts 122 and 401, and includes wastewater from non-contact, non-destructive testing (e.g. photographic wastewater from non-destructive X-ray examination of parts) performed at facilities subject to this part and includes wastewater from air pollution control devices." However, the unit operation, testing, is identified in the rule as oil-bearing wastewater and is covered under the Oily Waste Subcategory. This subcategorization does not seem appropriate for this waste stream because rather than containing oils, it contains silver. DoD believes these unit processes are more appropriately covered under 40 CFR 459, the Photographic Point Source Category. EPA has not sufficiently demonstrated that this unit process warrants regulation given that EPA chose not to regulate indirect dischargers under 40 CFR 459.
Recommendation: EPA should clarify how non-destructive testing wastewaters will be regulated under this rule.
Reference: 40 CFR 438.2(e)
8. Identify Regulated and Unregulated Vehicle Washing Wastestreams
Comment: EPA should further distinguish between regulated and unregulated vehicle washing.
Discussion: DoD agrees that cosmetic washing of vehicles should not be covered under this rule. However, subsequent interpretation of the proposed rule's wording may lead to regulation of "cosmetic" washing because all vehicle washing to some degree also serves a preventive maintenance function.
Recommendation: Reword 438.1(f) to read, "Wastewater discharges resulting from the washing of cars, aircraft or other vehicles are subject to this part only when performed as
a. Preamble, Section III, Scope of Proposal, pg. 434
b. 40 CFR 438.1(f)
9. Discharger Should Determine Monitoring Options or Management Plans
Comment: The selection of monitoring options for subcategories with limitations for Total Organics Parameters (TOPs) or Total Organic Carbon (TOC) (as indicator) should be at the discretion of the discharger, not the permitting authority or POTW.
Discussion: In the preamble, EPA solicited comments on the three alternatives that are being proposed for reducing the burden associated with monitoring for organic pollutants. While DoD supports including this flexibility in the rule, we believe the selection of the method used should not require approval by the approval authority (see comment 3.a. on pretreatment discharges to TWTDS), control authority or permitting authority.
The preamble implies that the facility may choose the method for organics monitoring (page 530, EPA Question #4); however, the wording in the rule indicates that selection of a monitoring option is subject to agreement by the control authority or permitting authority. Section 438.17(d) provides typical language: "Upon agreement with the control authority, facilities must choose to monitor for TOP or TOC, or implement a management plan for organic chemicals as specified in Section 438.4(a)."
For indirect dischargers to POTWs, monitoring requirements under the general pretreatment provisions are self-implementing; therefore, the discharger should not need permission from the POTW to choose how it will monitor for organics. Responsibility for compliance monitoring lies with the discharger, who must begin this monitoring within 180 days of rule promulgation (see 40 CFR 403.12 (b) and (d)). If final approval of the monitoring option lies with the POTW, this may create a time crunch for facilities that choose the organics management plan option.
For indirect dischargers to TWTDS that have established pretreatment programs equivalent to those governing POTWs , monitoring requirements are specified by the approval authority. This situation also must be considered.
Preparing a draft management plan within 180 days of rule promulgation will be difficult for DoD installations due to their size and complexity. If a facility has to wait for approval from the POTW to even select the organic chemicals management plan option, the facility will have even less time available to comply with the 180 day timeframe. DoD believes that the selection of the organics monitoring option should be left to the discharger, who would simply inform the approval authority, control authority or permitting authority, as applicable, of their choice. This ensures that dischargers will receive the monitoring flexibility that EPA seeks to provide.
Recommendation: All sections (see Ref. (c) below) of the rule which reference the organic pollutant monitoring should be changed to read, "Facilities must choose to monitor for TOP or TOC, or implement a management plan for organic chemicals as specified in Section 438.4. Facilities must notify the approval authority, control authority or permitting authority of the decision."
a. Preamble Part XXIII Solicitation of Comments, page 530, EPA Question #4
b. 40 CFR 403.12(b) and (d)
c. 40 CFR parts 438.12(c), 438.14(c), 438.15(c), 438.16(d), 438.17(d), 438.22(c), 438.24(c), 438.25(c), 438.26(d), 438.27(d), 438.42(c), 438.44(c), 438.45(c), 438.46(d), 438.47(d), 438.52(c), 438.54(c), 438.55(c), 438.56(d), 438.57(d), 438.62(b), 438.64(b), 438.65(b), 438.66(b), 438.67(b).
10. Allow the Use of Existing Programs in Lieu of Organic Chemicals Management Plan
Comment: Permitting authorities should accept existing spill prevention, pollution prevention, and chemical use minimization efforts as meeting the requirements of the "management plan for organic chemicals."
Discussion: Many facilities have programs and plans in place, which contain substantially the same elements specified in the "management plan for organic chemicals." They include pollution prevention plans, spill prevention plans, authorized chemical use lists, waste minimization and management plans, and Best Management Practices contained in NPDES permits. DoD believes requiring the development of a stand-alone document duplicates existing programs and adds to the administrative burden of facilities. Instead of a stand-alone plan, EPA should emphasize use of a documented management program for organic chemicals, and should clarify that existing programs may be a part of this documented management program. The rule could require the permittee to submit a certification to the permitting authority to serve as documentation of the management program.
a. Change paragraph 438.4(a)(3) to read, "Develop and certify the implementation of a documented management program for organic chemicals." Change all other references to the "management plan" to read "management program."
b. In paragraph 438.4(b), indicate that in developing the "documented management program for organic chemicals" the facility may incorporate or modify existing plans in use at the facility that collectively satisfy the requirements of paragraph 438.4 (b).
Reference: 40 CFR 438.4(a)(3)
Attachment A - Metal Products & Machinery Applicability Decision Tree (A Wastestream Analysis)
1Mixed-use facilities are covered under the MP&M rule. Mixed-use facility means any privately-owned or state, local, or federal government -owned facility which contains both industrial and commercial/administrative buildings (such as military bases or airports) at which one or more industrial sites conduct operations (including at least one that discharges wastewater subject to the MP&M Category, Part 438) within the facility's boundaries.
2Facilities other than those reasonably included in the 18 MP&M industrial sectors, are not subject to the rule when discharges from the maintenance or repair of metal parts or machines at the facility are performed only as ancillary activities.
3Wastewater discharges from electroplating during semiconductor final wafer assembly ARE subject to the MP&M rule.
4Comment 1.b. would delete this industrial sector.
Attachment A (Con't) - Metal Product & Machinery Applicability Decision Tree (A Wastestream Analysis)
1High metal content wastestream(s) are usually generated from unit operations such as electroplating, conversion coating, chemical etching and milling, and anodizing.
2High oil and grease content wastestream(s) are usually generated from unit operations such as machining, grinding, aqueous degreasing, and impact or pressure deformation.
3To be classified as a metal finishing job shop, a facility must meet the following criteria: 1)discharge wastewater from either one or more of electroplating, electroless plating, anodizing, coating (chromating, phosphating, passivation, and coloring), chemical etching and milling, or printed circuit board manufacture operqation; and 2) owns 50 percent or less (based on metal surface area processed per year) of the materials undergoing metal finishing within the boundaries of a facility.