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Rad NESHAPS
Air and Water:  

Subpart W Rulemaking Activity

Rad NESHAPs

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NESHAP Subpart W is a radon emission standard for operating uranium mill tailings. In accordance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, EPA has formed a workgroup to review, and possibly revise the standard. EPA invites and encourages the public to provide comments on our review of Subpart W.

As the Workgroup on Subpart W develops its tentative rulemaking, we will provide up-to-date information on recent or upcoming conference calls, resource documents, and contact information. Please check back regularly, as more items will be added.

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Public Participation by E-Mail

EPA welcomes public participation in the review of Subpart W. We are interested in hearing about issues that you think EPA should address in the rule, as well as any thoughts you may have on the review and rulemaking process. You may submit your thoughts and read what others have submitted on our message page.

Conference Call Information

EPA will hold quarterly conference calls with interested stakeholders. The next conference call will occur on Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 11 AM EDT, 10am CDT, 9am MDT and 8am PDT. The call in number is 1-866-299-3188. You will be prompted for a conference code, which will be 2023439563. After entering the conference code press the # key and you will then be placed into the conference call.

Year 1st Quarter
January - March
2nd Quarter
April - June
3rd Quarter
July - September
4th Quarter
October - December
2009       Minutes from December 3, 2009 conference call.
2010 Minutes from January 5, 2010 conference call. Minutes from April 6, 2010 conference call. Minutes from July 6, 2010 conference call. Minutes from October 5, 2010 conference call.
2011 Minutes from January 5, 2011 conference call. Minutes from April 7, 2011 conference call. Minutes from July 7, 2011 conference call. Minutes from October 6, 2011 conference call.
2012 Minutes from January 5, 2012 conference call. Minutes from April 5, 2012 conference call. Minutes from July 5, 2012 conference call. Minutes from October 4, 2012 conference call.
2013 Minutes from January 3, 2013 conference call. Minutes from April 3, 2013 conference call. Minutes from July 11, 2013 conference call. Minutes from October 17, 2013 conference call.
2014 Minutes from January 2, 2014 conference call. Minutes from April 3, 2014 conference call.    

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Tentative Completion Estimate

EPA plans to propose a decision on Subpart W by the first quarter of of 2014. After allowing for public comment and/or hearings we plan to have a final decision in late 2014. This estimate will be revised as needed.


Documents

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Current Action
April 26, 2007 Notice of Intent to sue (3 pp, 48.0 K) April 2007
Notice of intent to sue on behalf of Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action and Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste.
Civil Suit filed against EPA for failure to review/revise Subpart W in a timely fashion (12 pp, 118.1 K) August 2008
History of NESHAPS and Subpart W (14 pp, 107 K), September 2008
This document describes the history of the NESHAP rulemaking process.
Tailings Impoundment Technologies (21 pp, 187 K), September 2008
This document is a review of the history of tailings impoundments, along with current design methods.

Review of Method 115 (10 pp, 132 K), September 2008
This document is a review of the current method for radon sampling and analysis to determine if it is current.

Recommended Procedures for Measuring Radon Fluxes from Disposal Sites for Residueal Radioactive Materials (38 pp, 990 K) March 1983
This document is a reference to the document above.

Radon Flux Measurements on Gardiner and Royster Phosphogypsum Piles Near Tampa and Mulberry (59 pp, 7 MB) January 1986
Appendix A of this document outlines procedures for fabricating the Method 115 flux equipment.
Quality Assurance Project Plan (22 pp, 1.13 MB), September 2008
This document describes the quality assurance procedures performed by SC&A on reports submitted to EPA.
2009 Settlement Agreement between EPA and Plaintiffs (8 pp, 317 K), September 2009
This settlement agreement defines terms and conditions for the Subpart W rulemaking effort between EPA and Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste and Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action.
November 3, 2009 letter to plaintiffs regarding settlement agreement (2 pp, 71 K) November 2009
Letter from DOJ to plaintiffs establishing date the settlement agreement became effective.
Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste concerns about Cotter Uranium Mill (58 pp, 3 MB) January 2010
EPA Contract number EP-D-10-042 (133 pp, 11.67 MB), March 2010
This document is the current contract between EPA Office of Radiation and Indoor Air and S. Cohen and Associates, signed March 24, 2010.
Work Plan for Risk Assessments (14 pp, 4.35 MB) May 2010
This document describes how S. Cohen & Associates will perform the risk assessment work at operating uranium facilities.
Uranium Mill Tailings Radon Flux Calculations (34 pp, 3.62 MB) August 2010
ATSDR Public Health Assessment for Lincoln Park/Cotter Uranium (212 pp, 5.80 MB) September 2010
Note this is a draft document. The comment period has ended. The final version will be posted when received.
Draft ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Uranium Exit EPA Disclaimer May 2011 (note this is a draft document, the comment period ends on July 29, 2011)
Comments by Steven H. Brown, CHP (12 pp, 1.81 MB) November 2010
EPA Review of Standards for Uranium and Thorium Milling Facilities @ 40 CFR Parts 61 and 192, by Steven H. Brown, CHP of SENES Consultants Limited.
November 10, 2011 Risk Assessment Revision for 40 CFR Part 61 Subpart W – Radon Emissions from Operating Mill Tailings (80 pp, 2.02 MB) November 2011
This document revisits risk methods used for radon emissions from uranium recovery facilities.
Risk Assessment Model Selection Methodology (45 pp, 248 K) August 2010
This document shows the methodology used to determine the model for the revised Subpart W Risk Assessment.
Freedom of Information Act Request
On May 11, 2011 EPA submitted a final response to a Freedom of Information Act Request regarding the on going review of radon emissions regulations at uranium recovery facilities and for information regarding regulation of radon emissions from the uranium mill in Canon City, CO. Two thousand three hundred and three (2,303) responsive e-mails were identified, including 2,065 un-redacted e-mails. If you would like a cd version of the responsive e-mails, please submit your request via the public participation link above.
Rio Tinto (842 pp, 87.1 MB) April 2012
Kennecott Uranium Company, Comments on the Review of 40 CFR 61 Subpart W
Uranium Watch (8 pp, 125.4 K) July 2013
This document contains comments on Subpart W from Uranium Watch.

Presentations

Uranium Recovery Workshop April 29 - 30, 2008

Uranium Recovery Workshop July 1- 2, 2009

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Historical Rulemakings

April 6 1983 Proposed Rule (17 pp, 2.33 MB), April 1983
This is a 1983 proposal for regulating hazardous air pollutants.

40 CFR Part 61 192.32 a (2 pp, 287 K), October 1983
These are the operating standards for uranium recovery facilities (Subpart W).

October 31 1984 ANPR Radionuclides (13 pp, 1.85 MB), October 1984
This document is EPA's advance notice of a proposed rulemaking concerning radionuclides in 1984.

40 CFR Part 61 General Requirements (4 pp, 594 K), November 1985
These are the general operating and permitting requirements for NESHAP facilities.

Geotechnical & Geohydrological Aspects of Waste Management (3 pp, 428 K) February 1986
Surface water hydrology considerations in predicting radon releases from water-covered areas of uranium tailings ponds.

Background Information Document for Final Rule for Radon-222 Emissions from Licensed Uranium Mill Tailings (224 pp, 6.25 MB), [EPA 520-1-86-009], August 1986
This is the background information used to make the determination on the Subpart W rule.

September 24 1986 Final Rule (13 pp, 3.17 MB), September 1986
This is a 1986 rule that establishes work practices at uranium tailings facilities.

Draft EIS Statement for Proposed NESHAPS for Radionuclides (260 pp, 7.76 MB), [EPA 520-1-89-005], February 1989
This document is a draft of the original 1989 environmental impact statement for the 1989 NESHAP rulemaking.

March 7 1989 Proposed Rule (58 pp, 8.19 MB). March 1989
This is a proposed rule for the NESHAP requirements.

Risk Assessments Methodology, EIS, NESHAPS for Radionuclides (1) (278 pp, 12,433 K), [EPA 520-1-89-005], September 1989
This is the environmental impact statement for the 1989 NESHAP rulemaking.

Risk Assessments Methodology, EIS, NESHAPS for Radionuclides (2) (378 pp, 27 MB), [EPA 520-1-89-006-2], September 1989
This is the environmental impact statement for the 1989 NESHAP rulemaking.

Risk Assessments Methodology, EIS, NESHAPS for Radionuclides (3) (575 pp, 1 2MB), [EPA 520-1-89-007], September 1989
This is the environmental impact statement for the 1989 NESHAP rulemaking.

December 15 1989 Final Rule (63 pp, 9.25 MB), December 1989
This is the final rule for regulating hazardous air pollutants using NESHAP.

Method 115 (3 pp, 443 K), December 1989
This is the monitoring method which must be used to determine radon emissions for Subpart W.

Subpart T Rescission (24 pp, 3.38 MB), December 1991
This document describes how EPA's uranium tailings disposal standards apply to the Department of Energy.

40 CFR Part 61 192.32 a Errata (1 pg, 131 K), November 1993
This rule replaces some language from the original operating standards for uranium recovery facilities (Subpart W).

40 CFR Part 61 General Requirements Errata (2 pp, 312 K), March 1994
This rule replaces some language from the original general operating and permitting requirements.

EPA Procedures for Determining Confidential Business Information (9 pp, 96.9 K), July 1995
This document describes the process EPA uses to determine if information is confidential business information, for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

October 17 2000 Errata (1 pg, 127 K), October 2000
This document clarifies some test method and procedures language.

NRC's In-Situ Leach Facility Standard Review Plan (255 pp, 193 MB), June 2003
This NRC document provides guidance to NRC staff on reviewing applications to develop and operate uranium recovery facilities.

IAEA Uranium Mill Tailings Report (309 pp, 7.30 MB), August 2004
This document details international efforts to ensure long-term stabilization of uranium mill tailing.

EPA Contract number EP-D-05-002 (103 pp, 10.9 MB), November 2004
This document is the contract between EPA Office of Radiation and Indoor Air and S. Cohen and Associates. Note that this contract expires on March 26, 2010.

Construction of an Environmental Radon Monitoring System using CR-39 Nuclear Track Detectors (6 pp, 746. K) December 2004

Applications

Pinon Ridge Mill: Application for Approval of Construction of Tailings Facility

Enforcement

Section 114 Letters/Responses
These documents are EPA requests (with responses as they are received) for facility information from uranium recovery facilities

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Useful Links

Mine Location Database

EPA worked with the multi-agency Colorado Plateau Data Coordination Group Steering Committee to develop a geographic information database on uranium mines and mills. (The Agency also coordinated this effort with federal, state, and tribal agencies in other parts of the western U.S.)

The database identifies and shows the location of active and inactive uranium mines and mills, as well as mines which principally produced other minerals, but were known to have uranium in the ore. The database covers mine locations in fourteen western states. It also contains other information about the sites. Originally compiled as an important component of the uranium mining technical reports currently being developed, the database was reviewed and checked for its quality to eliminate duplicate and erroneous sites, and subjected to EPA’s scientific peer review process.

The database and descriptive materials about its content are now available.


Contact Information

Reid Rosnick, Chair
202-343-9563

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