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EPA Withdraws Proposed Rule for an Import Exemption for Veolia ES Technical Solutions, L.L.C.

Highlights

Withdrawl of Proposed Rule

On November 14, 2006, Veolia ES Technical Solutions, L.L.C., (Veolia) submitted a rulemaking petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting to import up to 20,000 tons of PCB waste from Mexico for disposal at Veolia’s TSCA-approved facility in Port Arthur, Texas.  Based on the information available at that time, EPA proposed to grant Veolia’s request in the proposed rule, Polychlorinated Biphenyls: Manufacturing (Import) Exemption for Veolia ES Technical Solutions, LLC.  Since that time, Veolia submitted a request to withdraw its petition from the rulemaking process.  Due to this request, EPA is withdrawing this proposed rule. 

Federal Register Notice | PDF Version (2 pp, 51K, About PDF)

The support materials for this notice are available for public review online, as explained below.

To use Regulations.gov:

  1. Select Docket Search.
  2. Select "Environmental Protection Agency" from the Agency drop-down menu.
  3. In the Docket ID box, type in the docket number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081) and press the "Submit" button to receive search results.

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Proposed Rule

On February 28, 2008, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response signed the Polychlorinated Biphenyls: Manufacturing (Import) Exemption for Veolia ES Technical Solutions, L.L.C. proposal. This proposed exemption would allow Veolia ES Technical Solutions to safely import and dispose of PCBs from Mexico at its facility in Port Arthur, Texas, thereby reducing the risk of improper disposal and the release of PCBs into the environment.

The Agency held an informal public hearing on this import exemption on June 19, 2008 at City Hall in Port Arthur, Texas. On September 2, 2008, EPA sent questions on hearing presentations and exhibits to the appropriate hearing presenters. EPA has received answers from the presenters on June 3, 2009.  The complete package of hearing comments, questions, and answers are posted in the docket,  which can be found at Regulations.gov, docket number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081. See below for more information on how to access this docket. 

The following materials are included in the complete hearing question and answer package:

  1. Hearing Question and Answer Memorandum (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081)
  2. Hearing Questions from CIDA (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.1)
  3. Hearing Questions from Harold Kaufman (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.2)
  4. Hearing Questions from Sierra Club (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.3)
  5. Hearing Question Memorandum (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.4) - Memorandum in which EPA lists all the questions received after the public hearing which EPA will not require the hearing participants to answer.
  6. Cover Letter to Veolia (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.5) - Cover letter of hearing questions EPA forwarded to Veolia.
  7. Required Questions for Veolia (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.6) - List of hearing questions that the EPA forwarded to Veolia.
  8. Veolia Hearing Response (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.7) - Veolia's response to required hearing questions . Please note that required question #16 was not numbered in the Veolia hearing response document, thus the subsequent questions are offset by one.
  9. Hearing Questions for EPA (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.8) - This memorandum lists the hearing questions directed toward the EPA and outlines if and when the EPA will respond to the questions. The memo also includes EPA responses to some of the hearing questions.

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Supplementary Material

  1. EPA SEMARNAT Qs and As - October_2008 (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.9)
  2. 40 CFR 761.60(e) Approvals (EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123-0081.10)

In addition to the above listed documents, the EPA would like to make the public aware of the following websites:

The final comment period for responses to the new hearing question and answer material posted to the docket was extended for 30 additional days closing on October 18, 2009. See the Rulemaking Schedule below for subsequent steps in the question and answer process.

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Rulemaking Schedule

Timeline of Rulemaking Actions
Action Date
Proposed Rule published (PDF) (9 pp, 88K, About PDF) March 6, 2008
Original main comment period ending April 21, 2008
Extended main comment period ending (PDF) (2 pp, 49K, About PDF) June 5, 2008
Requests to participate in hearing due to Hearing Clerk June 12, 2008
Hearing Clerk distributes hearing schedule June 16, 2008
Informal hearing date (PDF) (3 pp, 61K, About PDF) June 19, 2008
Hearing transcript posted to the docket July 9, 2008
Comments and questions on hearing presentations due to Hearing Clerk July 18, 2008
Hearing Clerk sends out questions to appropriate participants September 2, 2008
Answers received by Hearing Clerk from participants June 3, 2009
Reply comments to Hearing Clerk or Docket due October 18, 2009
Proposed Rule Withdrawn January 25, 2010

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Background Information

On November 14, 2006, Veolia ES Technical Solutions, L.L.C. (Veolia) submitted a petition to EPA seeking a one-year exemption to import up to 20,000 tons of PCB waste from Mexico for disposal at Veolia's facility in Port Arthur, Texas. Veolia's facility is authorized by EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to dispose of PCBs. With certain exceptions, section 6(e)(3) of TSCA bans the manufacture (defined to include import into the U.S. Customs Territory), processing, and distribution in commerce of PCBs. One of these exceptions is TSCA section 6(e)(3)(B), which gives EPA authority to grant petitions to perform these activities for a period of up to 12 months, provided EPA can make certain findings by rule.

Proposed Rule and Supporting Information

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (9 pp, 88K, About PDF)

The support materials for this rule and the public comments EPA receives on the proposal are available for public review online, as explained below.

To use Regulations.gov:

  1. Select Docket Search.
  2. Select "Environmental Protection Agency" from the Agency drop-down menu.
  3. In the Docket ID box, type in the docket number: EPA-HQ-RCRA-2008-0123 and press the "Submit" button to receive search results. Be patient; loading the documents takes time.

For more information contact William Noggle (noggle.william@epa.gov) at 703-347-8769.

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