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Crompton Corporation (Formerly Witco Corporation)

Federal Register Notice

[Federal Register: July 10, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 132)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 37309-37311]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



40 CFR Parts 264 and 265

[IL-64-2-5807; FRL-6122-8]

Project XL Site-specific Rulemaking for OSi Specialties, Inc.,
Sistersville, WV

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Supplemental proposal.


SUMMARY: This document proposes a narrow modification being considered by the EPA in implementing a project under the Project XL program for the OSi Specialties, Inc., plant, a wholly owned subsidiary of Witco Corporation, located near Sistersville, West Virginia (``the Sistersville Plant''). To implement this XL project, the EPA proposed on March 6, 1998, a site-specific regulatory deferral of certain air emission standards. That action has not yet been

[[Page 37310]]

promulgated. Today's document addresses the narrow issue of a condition contained in that proposed site-specific deferral, which requires the Sistersville Plant to conduct an initial performance test within 60 days of initial start-up of a thermal oxidizer.

DATES: Comments on this document will be accepted through July 24, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Docket. Supporting information for today's supplemental proposal is available for public inspection and copying at the EPA's docket office located at Crystal Gateway, 1235 Jefferson Davis Highway, First Floor, Arlington, Virginia. The public is encouraged to phone in advance to review docket materials. Appointments can be scheduled by phoning the Docket Office at (703) 603-9230. For information specific to today's supplemental proposal, refer to RCRA docket number F-98- MCCA-FFFFF. For information used in developing the XL project and the proposed rule, refer to RCRA docket number F-98-MCCP-FFFFF.

Hand delivery of items and review of docket materials are made at the Virginia address. To submit comments by mail, the mailing address for the RCRA docket office is RCRA Information Center (5305W), U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460.    A duplicate copy of the docket is available for inspection and copying at U.S. EPA, Region 3, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029, during normal business hours. Persons wishing to view the duplicate docket at the Philadelphia location are encouraged to contact Mr. Tad Radzinski in advance, by telephoning (215) 814-2394. NOTE: comments will not be received at the Philadelphia location; All comments must be submitted to the RCRA Information Center (5305W), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460.    Comments: Written comments regarding today's supplemental proposal may be mailed to the RCRA Information Center of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at the above-mentioned Washington, D.C. mailing address. Please send an original and two copies of all comments, and refer to Docket Number F-98-MCCA-FFFFF.

The EPA will consider comments on this supplemental proposal that are received through July 24, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about this document, the proposed site-specific regulatory deferral, or the OSi XL project, please contact Mr. Tad Radzinski, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3 (3WC11), Waste Chemical Management Division, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103-2029, (215) 814-2394.

To be included on the OSi Specialties Project XL mailing list to receive information about future public meetings, XL progress reports and other mailings from OSi on the XL Project, contact: Okey Tucker, OSi Specialties, Inc., 3500 South State Rte. 2, Friendly, WV 26146. Mr. Tucker can also be reached by telephone at (304) 652-8131.

For information on all other aspects of the XL Program contact Christopher Knopes at the following address: Office of Reinvention, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Room 1029WT, 401 M Street, SW (1802), Washington, DC 20460. Additional information on Project XL, including documents referenced in this document, other EPA policy documents related to Project XL, regional XL contacts, application information, and descriptions of existing XL projects and proposals, is available via the Internet at ``https://www.epa.gov/ ProjectXL'' and via an automated fax-on-demand menu at (202) 260-8590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 6, 1998, the EPA proposed in the Federal Register (63 FR 11200) a conditional site-specific regulatory deferral to implement a project under the Project XL program. The XL project and the conditional site-specific deferral are applicable only to the Sistersville Plant. The proposed site-specific deferral would grant to the Sistersville Plant a conditional deferral from certain technical requirements applicable to two on-site hazardous waste surface impoundments. The standards proposed to be deferred are codified in 40 CFR parts 264 and 265 under subpart CC (referred to as the ``subpart CC standards'').

The proposed site-specific deferral includes specific technical and administrative requirements for the operation of a thermal oxidizer at the Sistersville Plant. As proposed, the site-specific deferral requires the Sistersville Plant to perform initial start-up of the thermal oxidizer no later than April 1, 1998. The proposed deferral also requires the Sistersville Plant to conduct an initial performance test of the thermal oxidizer within 60 days of the initial start-up. That requirement is found at paragraph (f)(2)(ii)(B) in Secs. 264.1080 and 265.1080 of the proposed site-specific deferral. See 63 FR 11200, March 6, 1998. It is this initial performance test deadline that is the subject of today's supplemental proposal.

Following initial start-up of the thermal oxidizer on April 1, 1998, the Sistersville Plant encountered certain operational difficulties related to the new equipment. At that time, representatives from the Sistersville Plant notified EPA of those difficulties. On May 26, 1998, the Sistersville Plant notified EPA that it would not be able to meet the proposed requirement to conduct the initial performance test by May 31, 1998, which is the date 60 days after initial start-up of the on-site thermal oxidizer. Representatives from the Sistersville Plant conveyed that they expected to conduct the initial performance test by the end of June 1998; however, they requested the deadline be extended by an additional 60 days to allow for possible further delays due to additional unexpected events.

This missed deadline is a material failure by the Sistersville Plant to meet the provisions set forth in the Final Project Agreement (``FPA'') for the XL project, as well as the proposed requirements of the site-specific deferral. It is the expectation of all the stakeholders that the Sistersville Plant will adhere to its commitments to achieving the environmental benefits of this XL project in exchange for the site-specific regulatory flexibility provided by EPA and WV OAQ. The XL project and the related requirements of the proposed site- specific deferral were developed by mutual agreement among EPA, the West Virginia Office of Air Quality (``WV OAQ''), and the Sistersville Plant. The FPA was made available for public review and comment on June 27, 1997. See 62 FR 34748. Though not in itself an enforceable document, the EPA and the other Project XL stakeholders consider the FPA to be a clear expression of the Sistersville Plant's agreement with EPA and WV OAQ to comply with the specified project requirements, particularly the requirements to be codified through the site-specific deferral.

Although the site-specific deferral is not yet promulgated, the provisions of that deferral, as proposed March 6, 1998, are currently applicable to, and enforceable against, the Sistersville Plant under a consent order issued by the WV OAQ. In discussions and correspondence with OSi, EPA has emphasized the importance of meeting deadlines contained in the FPA, and complying with the conditions contained in the proposed site-specific deferral. Upon promulgation, the site- specific deferral will become directly

[[Page 37311]]

enforceable by EPA, WV OAQ and citizens.

The EPA and WV OAQ have reviewed documentation provided by the Sistersville Plant regarding their failure to conduct the initial performance test within 60 days of initial start-up, or May 31, 1998. It appears from that documentation that the Sistersville Plant made good faith efforts to comply with that requirement of the XL project, the proposed site-specific deferral, and the WV OAQ consent order. In recognition that the Sistersville Plant cannot possibly meet that passed deadline, and the site-specific deferral which proposed that requirement has not yet been promulgated, the EPA proposes to modify the site-specific deferral prior to its promulgation.

The modification would extend by 60 days, the initial performance test deadline that was contained in the proposed site-specific deferral. The EPA proposes an extension period of 60 days in response to the Sistersville Plant's representative's written statement that the test could be accomplished by the end of June, 1998, but that the recent history of operational difficulties at the Sistersville Plant indicates additional time may become necessary. A copy of that electronic mail note, dated May 26, 1998 from Mr. Tony Vandenberg to Ms. Beth Termini and Ms. Michele Aston, has been entered into the docket for this supplemental notice. A recent telephone meeting between EPA and the Sistersville Plant confirmed that further delays to the initial performance test schedule have occurred, due to continued operational problems with the thermal oxidizer and severe inclement weather in the Sistersville, West Virginia area, and that the initial performance test is scheduled for July 14 and 15, 1998.

The EPA proposes that extending the initial performance test deadline by 60 days will not result in significant, if any, decreases in the environmental benefits of this XL project. The Sistersville Plant has reported that the thermal oxidizer began operation on April 1, 1998, and following some initial technical difficulties, has been fully operational in accordance with the conditions of the proposed site-specific deferral, since April 13, 1998. The primary purpose of the initial performance test is to set a site-specific operating temperature that will indicate the thermal oxidizer is achieving the required 98 percent by weight reduction of the organics in the controlled vapor stream, as set forth in the proposed site-specific deferral. The FPA and the proposed site-specific deferral set a default operating temperature of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit for the period prior to conducting the initial performance test. This requirement is contained in the proposed site-specific deferral at Secs. (f)(2)(ii)(A)(1)(I) of paragraphs 264.1080 and 265.1080, and is currently enforceable under the WV OAQ consent order. See 63 FR 11200, March 6, 1998. Because the Sistersville Plant has reportedly operated the thermal oxidizer at 1600 degrees Fahrenheit, EPA estimates that the Sistersville Plant has been achieving the majority, if not all, of the environmental benefits of the thermal oxidizer's operation since it first began its fully operational service on April 13, 1998.

In light of the apparent good faith effort by the Sistersville Plant to meet the May 31, 1998 deadline for the initial performance test, their timely notification to EPA of the missed deadline, and their compliance with the requirements otherwise applicable to the thermal oxidizer (e.g., continuously operating the unit at 1600 degrees Fahrenheit), the EPA proposes to extend the deadline for the initial performance test.

At the EPA's request, the Sistersville Plant has agreed to provide direct written notice of this issue to the XL project stakeholder group, and to notify this group that a Federal Register document will be published requesting public comment on this issue. The Sistersville Plant has also agreed that, upon publication of today's document in the Federal Register, it will promptly notify the stakeholder group, and publish a notification in the local Sistersville newspaper of the opportunity for public comment related to today's supplemental proposal.

The EPA considers a 14-day comment period to be adequate for this document, due to the very narrow scope of the issue, the narrow applicability of the site-specific deferral being considered, and the extensive notice to interested parties that the Sistersville Plant will provide prior to, and immediately following, publication of this supplemental proposal in the Federal Register.

List of Subjects 40 CFR Parts 264 and 265

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Hazardous waste,
Organics, Surface impoundment, Thermal oxidizer.

   Dated: July 7, 1998.
J. Charles Fox,
Associate Administrator, Office of Reinvention.
[FR Doc. 98-18463 Filed 7-9-98; 8:45 am]

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