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BoRit Questions & Answers - Laws and Regulations

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  1. Does EPA have a remedy for the BoRit site and does is comply with Pennsylvania’s landfill requirements? (7-3-2010)

  2. Is the BoRit Asbestos site in violation of the Clean Water Act? (7-3-2010)

  3. Is the air quality in Whitpain, Upper Dublin and Ambler, and the surrounding communities in compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA) for asbestos?
    (7-3-2010)


  4. Is EPA governing the BoRit Asbestos Superfund site using the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) law and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts? (7-2010)

  5. Has EPA reviewed the depositions and court case documents from U.S. vs. Nicolet Industries? (8-10-2009)

  6. What are the 9 criteria and how are they ranked in importance? (5-18-2009)

  7. What is the disclosure responsibility for the EPA if waste is kept in place (signs, fences, etc.)? (5-18-2009)

  8. Are there any protections that may be offered to a potential buyer of a parcel of the site to free the buyer of liability? (5-18-2009)

  9. Was the fact that West Ambler is an Environmental Justice community included as one factor in the National Priorities List (NPL) decision? (9-5-2008)

  10. Could Turner and Newell have been forced under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to clean up the current BoRit Site if it was on the National Priorities List along with the Locust Street and CertainTeed Plant Pile? (1-2008)

  11. What enforcement authorities do EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Health have for the BoRit Site? (1-2008)

  12. How could Kane Core be held legally responsible for remediation and did Kane Core sign any agreements with EPA? (1-2008)

  13. If the BoRit Site is not listed on the National Priorities List (NPL), what courses of action are available to see that the site is remediated? (1-2008)

  14. Who is responsible for monitoring the BoRit property for compliance? (8-8-2007)

  15. I was reading several articles regarding asbestos and this Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) citizen's suit provision keeps on appearing and I do not understand what it is. Can someone explain this to me? (8-8-2007)

  16. Has Kane Core responded to EPA's September 21, 2006 letter requesting information pursuant to Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Section 104(e)? How will EPA's follow up on this response, and what is the role of EPA's Office of Regional Counsel in this process? (3-12-2007)

  17. What environmental regulations are used to determine compliance at asbestos disposal sites? (9-2006)

  18. What would be considered a violation for these sites? (9-2006)

  19. If asbestos-containing material can be seen on the surface of these sites, isn't that a violation? (9-2006)

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  1. Does EPA have a remedy for the BoRit site and does is comply with Pennsylvania’s landfill requirements? (7-3-2010)

    EPA is currently using Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) authority to address the conditions at the BoRit Asbestos Site. We are using Removal authority to deal with the imminent risks that have been identified, and we are conducting a Remedial Investigation to evaluate the long-term threats. To date, EPA has not selected a long-term remedy for the waste pile or any portion of the Site. The selected remedy must be protective of human health and the environment and in compliance with substantive applicable or relevant and appropriate Federal and state environmental legal requirements (ARARs); unless a specific ARAR is waived. During the remedy selection process, EPA will evaluate state and Federal requirements related to the waste pile and other areas of the Site.

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  2. Is the BoRit Asbestos site in violation of the Clean Water Act? (7-3-2010)

    In April 2009, the BoRit Asbestos Site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL), a national list of sites where hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants may impact public health and/or the environment. An NPL site must undergo a thorough Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study, which can take several years to complete, before a final remedy can be selected. The first phase of environmental sampling for the Remedial Investigation was completed in January 2010, and EPA is currently planning for the Phase II sampling effort, which is anticipated to occur in the fall of 2010. As part of Phase II, EPA is planning to install groundwater monitoring wells and sample the seep that appears to be discharging from the reservoir.

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  3. Is the air quality in Whitpain, Upper Dublin and Ambler, and the surrounding communities in compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA) for asbestos?
    (7-3-2010)

    The EPA is using Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) authority to address the conditions at the BoRit Asbestos Site. Superfund was established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites and conduct response actions that permanently and significantly reduce the dangers associated with releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances to the environment. Under the CAA, among other things, EPA sets limits on certain widespread common pollutants, known as criteria pollutants, to ensure environmental protection from air pollution throughout the United States. Individual states may establish stronger air pollution laws, but they may not have weaker pollution limits than those set by EPA. EPA has established National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six criteria pollutants: carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. State Implementation Plans provide for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the NAAQS in each state.

    Other contaminants regulated under the CAA include a list of more than 180 Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), including asbestos. Section 112(c) of the CAA directs EPA to develop a list of source categories that emit any of the HAPs and to develop regulations for these categories of sources. EPA's regulations governing HAPs are the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, or NESHAPs, which are nationally uniform standards oriented toward controlling each of the listed HAPs. The CAA does not require ambient air monitoring for asbestos.

    EPA's Site Assessment and Removal Programs have conducted air monitoring events at the BoRit Asbestos Superfund Site and within the nearby community since 2006. As described in the response to Question 4, in April 2006, EPA's Site Assessment Program conducted air sampling at the BoRit Asbestos Site. A preliminary review of the air samples indicated the presence of airborne asbestos. However, the results were inconclusive because four of the six air samples were overloaded with dust/particulates and a non-preferred method of analysis was used for those samples. As a result, the EPA Removal Program conducted air sampling events in October/November 2006 and in March/May/June/July/August and September 2007 to determine whether airborne results would change throughout the year. During each of the sampling events, there were eight sampling locations within the boundaries of the BoRit Asbestos Site (which were moved depending on the direction of the wind the day of sampling) and five fixed off-site sampling locations within 1/4 mile of the perimeter of the Site that were monitored for airborne asbestos.

    Since July 2008, EPA has conducted air sampling when intrusive activities at the BoRit Asbestos Site were taking place. Out of the 32 total locations, to date, 12 air monitors have been placed just outside the boundary of the Site (fence line along Maple Street and Chestnut Avenue and on the sewer easement on the right side of the Wissahickon Creek). To date, air sampling results indicate that the levels of asbestos fibers are within acceptable levels and do not pose a significant health risk to the residents.

    Furthermore, EPA's Remedial Program is in the process of summarizing and reviewing the stationary air monitoring data that has been collected. EPA will evaluate this data to determine if stationary air monitoring is necessary for the Remedial Investigation and will share this information with the public at the conclusion of its review.

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  4. EPA governing the BoRit Asbestos Superfund site using the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) law and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts? (7-2010)

    EPA is addressing the sites under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) authority. Under CERCLA, any selected remedy must be protective of human health and the environment and in compliance with applicable or relevant and appropriate Federal and state environmental legal requirements, which may include the Clean Air Act (CAA) and Clean Water Act.  The NESHAPs are regulations established under the federal CAA that specifically relate to asbestos and other contaminants that have been identified as 'hazardous air pollutants.' Under Section 112(d) (6) of the CAA, EPA is required to review standards issued under Section 112 and to revise them "as necessary (taking into account developments in practices, processes and control technologies)."

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  5. Has EPA reviewed the depositions and court case documents from U.S. vs. Nicolet Industries? (8-10-2009)

    EPA has not reviewed the depositions and court case documents from U.S. vs. Nicolet Industries. However, EPA recognizes this comment and will consider reviewing such documents.

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  6. What are the 9 criteria and how are they ranked in importance? (5-18-2009)

    By law, EPA is required to conduct a detailed analysis of remedial alternatives considered for a Superfund site, using nine specific criteria. The nine criteria are grouped into 3 categories: threshold criteria, balancing criteria, and modifying criteria.

    The two threshold criteria are the minimum requirements that each alternative must fulfill in order to be considered a potential remedy. These include:

    1. Overall Protection of Human Health and the Environment
    2. Compliance with Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements
      The remedy may need to comply with other environmental laws, as well as state and local laws.

    The five balancing criteria are used to conduct a detailed analysis of the alternatives. These criteria include:

    1. Long-term Effectiveness and Permanence
      The alternatives are evaluated to ensure they are protective over time.
    2. Reduction of Toxicity, Mobility, or Volume through Treatment
      The remedy must ensure that the risk posed by the site is mitigated through some kind of treatment.
    3. Short-Term Effectiveness
      Risks associated with the construction of the remedy are considered.
    4. Implementability
      The difficulty of constructing the remedy is taken into consideration.
    5. Cost Effectiveness
      Capital, operation, and maintenance costs are compared to other, equally protective alternatives.

    The two modifying criteria are used to modify the preferred remedial action alternative. These two criteria are:

    1. State Acceptance
    2. Community Acceptance

    New information or comments made during the Proposed Remedial Action Plan comment period may either modify the preferred alternative or lead to consideration of another alternative. EPA must respond to all significant comments during the comment period in a Responsiveness Summary.

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  7. What is the disclosure responsibility for the EPA if waste is kept in place (signs, fences, etc.)? (5-18-2009)

    The site will be cleaned up to ensure it is protective of human health and the environment. If asbestos waste is kept in place, the remedy must comply with applicable or relevant and Federal and state environmental legal requirements. Under this possible remedial action, the remedy would have to comply with National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) Part 61 Subpart M for asbestos, which would require actions to prevent the emission of asbestos fibers from disposal sites. These actions may include installation of cover materials, warning signs, security fencing, or other approved actions.

    It is important to note that the site will be cleaned to ensure it is protective to the appropriate clean up goals. For instance, if an area is to be used as a residential property, EPA would clean the site to ensure the contamination is not hazardous to residents based on risk calculations. The same would go for recreational or commercial uses.

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  8. Are there any protections that may be offered to a potential buyer of a parcel of the site to free the buyer of liability? (5-18-2009)

    Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), there is a liability exemption for Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers (BFPP). To qualify, a prospective purchaser must demonstrate that certain legal criteria are met, including, but not limited to: acquiring the property after January 11th, 2002; not being a Potentially Responsible Party (PRP); not being affiliated with a PRP; and must have undertaken "all appropriate inquiry" into the previous ownership of the site. The prospective purchaser must also fulfill certain obligations, including but not limited to, providing cooperation, assistance, and access to the EPA.

    It is strongly recommended that a prospective purchaser consult with an attorney to see if he or she qualifies as a BFPP.

    In addition to the above clarifications, EPA would like to make a recommendation regarding future requests for information. Although the Community Advisory Group has the option of requesting Technical Assistance to Communities services for informational purposes, EPA has many resources available within the Regional Office and from across the country. For instance, EPA has people that would be able to give a presentation regarding possible land reuse. Please do not hesitate to speak with the Community Involvement Coordinators regarding options for EPA to provide information.

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  9. Was the fact that West Ambler is an Environmental Justice community included as one factor in the National Priorities List (NPL) decision? (9-5-2008)

    The NPL scoring process simply takes into consideration the kind of contamination at the site, the data collected during the sampling events and the possible receptors. No other factors (e.g., environmental justice, petitions) are considered when determining whether a site score high enough for consideration of listing on the NPL.

    The Hazard Ranking System package for the site is posted on the website. The package includes the parameters that were considered in the scoring.

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  10. Could Turner and Newell have been forced under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to clean up the current BoRit Site if it was on the National Priorities List along with the Locust Street and CertainTeed Plant Pile? (1-2008)

    EPA is currently investigating the existence of any Possible Responsible Parties.

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  11. What enforcement authorities do EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Health have for the BoRit Site? (1-2008)

    Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), EPA has enforcement authority to achieve cleanup and seek reimbursement for cleanup at sites such as this one. For example, EPA can do short or long-term cleanups at a site (under Section 104) and later recover its costs from potentially responsible parties (PRPs) (under Section 107). EPA can also order, or ask a court to order PRPs to cleanup a site when an imminent or substantial endangerment may exist (under Section 106). EPA can also enter settlement agreements with PRPs, to cleanup a site or pay for cleanup conducted by EPA (under Section 122).

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  12. How could Kane Core be held legally responsible for remediation and did Kane Core sign any agreements with EPA? (1-2008)

    Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), certain parties may be liable, or legally responsible, for the costs EPA spends to cleanup a facility/site (where hazardous substances have been disposed and have been released into the environment). These parties include the current owner of the site property; the owner at the time disposal of hazardous substances occurred on the site; any person/entity that arranged for the disposal of hazardous substances onto the site; and any person/entity that transported the hazardous substances to the site. There are limited defenses and exemptions to CERCLA liability.

    EPA cannot comment further on Kane Core or other parties' liability at the site. This information is enforcement confidential.

    Kane Core has signed access agreements with EPA.

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  13. If the BoRit Site is not listed on the National Priorities List (NPL), what courses of action are available to see that the site is remediated? (1-2008)

    Any site not listed to the NPL typically undergoes the following:

    1. The site is not listed; however, any significant or immediately hazardous materials may be addressed under the EPA Removal Program.
    2. The responsibility for the site may be turned over to the State.
    3. The responsibility for the site may be turned over to the property owners.

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  14. Who is responsible for monitoring the BoRit property for compliance? (8-8-2007)

    Responsibility for enforcement of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulation has been delegated to the State. Neither EPA nor the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) can be present at all of our sites all of the time. The PADEP Air Quality inspector for that area does make it a point to monitor site and fence conditions on a regular basis. If you should see a condition that causes concern, such as a downed portion of the fence, please contact EPA and PADEP as soon as you can. We will respond appropriately once we become aware of a problem.

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  15. I was reading several articles regarding asbestos and this Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) citizen's suit provision keeps on appearing and I do not understand what it is. Can someone explain this to me? (8-8-2007)

    As with other federal environmental laws, CERCLA section 310, 42 U.S.C. 9659, contains a provision which allows members of the public to initiate a lawsuit, except as provided, in federal court against any person, including the United States, who is alleged to be in violation of federal environmental laws and regulations. Such lawsuits are referred to as citizen suits.

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  16. Has Kane Core responded to EPA's September 21, 2006 letter requesting information pursuant to Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Section 104(e)? How will EPA's follow up on this response, and what is the role of EPA's Office of Regional Counsel in this process? (3-12-2007)

    EPA has not yet received a response to its September 21, 2006 letter to Kane Core. On Monday, February 5, 2007, EPA sent Kane Core a letter regarding its overdue response to EPA's information request. In both letters, EPA advised Kane Core of the agency's enforcement options should Kane Core fail to respond, or adequately justify its failure to respond. EPA's plans for additional action, if any, are enforcement-confidential.

    The referenced letters have been made available to the public on the BoRit website. EPA will also post any responses received, subject to certain exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act, including requirements for handling any claims of business confidentiality.

    EPA's Office of Regional Counsel provides legal advice at many stages of site work, including information gathering under Section 104(e) of CERCLA. The Office of Regional Counsel assists in identifying the information sought, and evaluating responses and enforcement options, as appropriate.

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  17. What environmental regulations are used to determine compliance at asbestos disposal sites? (9-2006) Pennsylvania Air Quality regulations (25 PA Code Chapter 124) or National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants were adopted verbatim from the federal regulation, (40 C.F.R. Sections 61 et seq., standards for asbestos) http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/eparules.html.  According to the requirements for inactive asbestos disposal sites, property owners have three options for maintaining compliance:
     
    1. Cover the pile with six inches of compacted, non-asbestos containing material and vegetate;
    2. Cover the pile with two feet compacted, non-asbestos containing material; or
    3. Fence off the perimeter, post warning signs, and ensure there be no discharge of visible emissions to the outside air from the inactive waste disposal site. A natural barrier that deters access can be used in lieu of a fence and signs.

    This third option is being used at the BoRit, Reservoir and Wissahickon Park (a.k.a. Whitpain Park) sites.

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  18. What would be considered a violation for these sites? (9-2006)

    Under our Air Quality regulations, a violation would be documented if visible emissions were being discharged to the outside air from these inactive waste disposal sites. Visible emissions, as defined in the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulations for asbestos, are emissions visually detectable by the naked eye and without the aid of instruments. Also, a violation would be noted if site owners were not making reasonable efforts to maintain fencing or warning signs for these properties.

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  19. If asbestos-containing material can be seen on the surface of these sites, isn't that a violation? (9-2006)

    No. Under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants regulations it is not necessary to cover the asbestos containing material. Consequently, exposed asbestos containing material may be visible on the surface of the ground.

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