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3M: Hutchinson, Minnesota

3M: Letter from Michael Nash to Brian Grant

Michael A. Nash Office of General Counsel
Senior Counsel

April 18, 1996

3M Brian Grant

Office of the General Counsel
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20460

Re: Authority for 3M Hutchinson Project XL

Dear Brian:

As a response to some of the questions raised in our meeting of April 15, I wanted to provide you with a description of the 3M Hutchinson Project XL effort as it exists today. My description is reflective of numerous discussions we have had with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) on the issues presented by the project.

The MPCA is scheduled to review once again many of the technical issues with EPA Region V on Friday. I wanted to provide you with this background now, however, to keep the discussion on technical issues and legal issues moving on parallel paths so that we can move this project to completion. To the extent there are technical issues that change based on the MPCA/Region V meeting, we can address those changes after Friday.

It was evident from the meeting on April 15 that EPA does not yet have a thorough working understanding of our proposed project. While we thought that our proposed covenant dealt with most of the issues raised during our meeting, we now understand that you need further explanation so that the legal issues presented by the project can be addressed. Hopefully, this explanation will supply the information necessary such that we can quickly move to resolve any remaining legal issues involving approval for the project at 3M Hutchinson.

Clean Air Act

The attached Table I reflects generally the agreement reached thus far with the MPCA on the handling of air issues although the permit language describing the issues on the table is still the subject of negotiation. We believe that the combination of (1) air caps for VOC, HAPS and particulate, (2) a HAP analysis satisfactory to the MPCA on HAP emissions, and (3) 3M's agreement to continue to implement its internal policy relative to new and existing sources of VOC accomplishes superior environmental performance at this facility.


Brian Grant
April 18, 1996
Page 2


The VOC cap constitutes not only a significant reduction in emissions from that allowed in existing regulations, but as the attached chart indicates, also represents a level of emissions below current technology requirements (NSPS) -- even assuming these requirements apply to all lines (which they do not). The HAP cap and hazard analysis performed by the MPCA have satisfied the MPCA's require- ments using guidance developed by it for chronic and carcinogenic HAPs. Moreover, 3M has agreed to abide by guidance being developed for acute hazards once that guidance is put into final rule from. 3M and the MPCA continue to discuss the issue of how short-term HAP issues will be resolved prior to the final rules on chronic and short-term HAP issues being promulgated.

3M is also agreeing as part of this XL project to continue to implement its internal policy of controlling with BACT (as defined by 3M) new VOC sources which result in an increase of greater than 40 tons per year and existing sources which exceed 100 tons per year. A copy of this policy is also attached. Other provisions, including a monitoring plan and reporting procedures, have also been developed in meetings with the MPCA.

Our proposal is that the combination of these caps, hazard analysis and clearly articulated policy requirements operate in lieu of the requirements of Title I, III, and V of the Clean Air Act. Assuming that these provisions meet with the approval of the MPCA and EPA Region V technical staff, I request that we discuss and finalize our thoughts on the legal authority for this proposal.

Clean Water Act

After careful reconsideration of all of our water issues, the only provisions from which 3M seeks alternative compliance are the requirements to prepare and maintain a separate spill control and countermeasure plan (SPCC plan) required by Section 311 of the Clean Water Act and separate stormwater pollution prevention plan required by the NPDES stormwater permitting program. While 3M will continue to maintain plans covering oil discharges at the facility and stormwater pollution prevention efforts, we would like to (1) complete all similar plans into one comprehensive plan, or (2) amend other plans to incorporate the relevant sections of the SPCC and stormwater pollution prevention plans. In this manner, we can better manage and implement all emergency response and other planning activities at the site to assure easy and appropriate use by our personnel. The permit would specify that all other provisions of the Clean Water Act would apply at 3M Hutchinson and that 3M Hutchinson would comply with the provisions of the local POTW ordinance.

Brian Grant
April 18, 1996
Page 3



With regard to RCRA compliance, our proposal is that all RCRA requirements would apply with the exception of items specifically identified in the permit. There are three areas that we believe warrant alternatives to the current regulations. First, with respect to hazardous waste storage tank systems, we propose that the air emission caps and monitoring system of our permit substitute for the command- and-control requirements of Subparts AA, BB and CC contained at 40 CFR Sections 265.1030 through 265.1102 and state counterpart rules. Because the air caps will be demonstrated to be beyond compliance with existing regulations, we believe this substitution makes sense in carrying out the multi-media nature of the Project XL permit.

Second, we propose to store hazardous waste at the 3M Hutchinson facility for up to 180 days. Such storage would take place in our existing hazardous waste storage area and no new storage capacity would be constructed. The extension of time allowed to store hazardous wastes provides flexibility to the facility to investigate and implement further recycling options at the plant. This will ensure that sufficient amounts of solvent can be stored and recycled at one time, providing important efficiencies in terms of cost and operation of the recycling equipment. Additionally, the extended storage time helps ensure that full truckload shipments of waste leave the facility if the waste is transported to 3M's corporate incinerator (also located in Minnesota), thus eliminating the transportation of less than truckload amounts simply to meet the 90-day requirement currently in the rules. Continued storage actually reduces the risk associated with transportation of these wastes.

We are also proposing that certain tanks which currently store hazardous wastes be managed under the above-ground raw material tank regulations instead of the hazardous waste regulations. These tanks are indoors and store waste solvents that are nearly identical to the solvents stored in raw material tanks outside at the facility. While the materials are nearly identical, the rules governing their management differ greatly. We propose to manage these tanks under specific rules governing raw material tanks in Minnesota law and regulations.

Again, to the extent these issues can be worked out within the technical staff of 3M, the MPCA and EPA Region V, I request that we turn our attention to how the existing RCRA law and rules can accommodate these actions.

Planning and Reporting Requirements

Finally, our proposal contemplates that we would combine and simplify some of the planning and reporting requirements in existing environmental regulations. Similar

Brian Grant
April 18, 1996
Page 4

to the SPCC plan mentioned above, our proposal contemplates that we would be allowed to include in our environmental management system one combined or several plans which cover the planning requirements of the federal Oil Pollution Act (if and when they become applicable at 3M Hutchinson) and the spill and incident planning requirements of section 303 of EPCRA. Such flexibility allows us to develop plans which make the most sense from an ease-of-use perspective at the facility and avoids duplication of effort which is imposed today by the many different planning requirements. Additionally, our proposal contemplates that other tracking and reporting requirements would substitute for the requirement to file a biennial report under RCRA Section 3002(a)(6) and the annual generator report required by Minnesota hazardous waste rules.

Therefore, assuming that the MPCA and EPA Region V are comfortable from a technical perspective with our proposal described above, I believe that we can move forward in parallel paths to address the legal issues presented by this proposal. I would welcome the opportunity to come to Washington in the near future to spend some time discussing the legal possibilities in detail. I will call to determine your availability and willingness to discuss these issues.

Very truly yours,


Michael A. Nash
cc: via Facsimile:

Tom Zosel -- 3M
Theresa Hooper -- 3M
David Gardiner -- US EPA
David Ullrich -- US EPA Region V
David Kee -- US EPA Region V
Bill Wagner -- US EPA Region V Regional Counsel's Office
Lisa Thorvig -- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

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