Jump to main content.

Project XL Logo

Crompton Corporation (Formerly Witco Corporation)

Minutes for Meetings Used to Develop the Final Project Agreement

OSi Specialties - Project XL October 16 & 17, 1996 Meeting Minutes

I. Location and Participants
A. A meeting of the OSi Project XL Workgroup was held on October 16 and 17, 1996 at the offices of WVDEP in Charleston, West Virginia.
B. Meeting Participants:

Dennis Heintzman Witco-OSi
Okey Tucker Witco-OSi
Tony Vandenberg Witco-OSi
Dale Koontz Witco-OSi
Tim Malloy Witco-Manko, Gold & Katcher
Brenda Hustis Gotanda Witco-Manko, Gold & Katcher
Britt Ludwig WV DEP (OAQ)
Lucy Pontiveros WV DEP (OAQ)
Jonathan McClung WV DEP (OAQ)
Ahmed S. Talebi * WV DEP (OWM)
G.S. Atwal * WV DEP (OWM)
Cheryl Atkinson EPA Region III
Beth Termini EPA Region III
Maria P. Vickers EPA Region III
Julie Frieder EPA Headquarters
Michele Aston EPA (OAR)
Bruce Jordan EPA (OAR)
Jim McKnight * Pleasants Co. Citizen
Eric Peters * Tyler Co. Planning Comm.

By Phone: Jim Cashel EPA Region III
Amey Marrella * EPA Headquarters
Brian Grant * EPA Headquarters

* Participants on October 16, 1996 only.

II. October 16 Summary of Discussions
A. Public Involvement and Stakeholder Participation
1. Dennis reported that by letter dated October 9, 1996, Janet Fout of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition ("OVEC") advised OSi that because of limited time and resources, she will not be able to participate in the development of OSi's XL Project and requested that her name be removed from the distribution list. In her letter, she commends OSi for its efforts and requests that OSi look into implementing source reduction and pollution prevention strategies, including reductions of toluene emissions. Ms. Fout's letter was circulated to the Workgroup and will be placed in the administrative record file.
2. Dennis noted that, as part of its XL Project, OSi will undertake a waste minimization opportunity assessment which is intended to identify new opportunities for waste minimization and pollution prevention.
3. Beth requested that Tim and Brenda follow up with Chris van Löben Sels at NRDC for his comments on the performance standards.

4. The Workgroup welcomed two citizens from West Virginia, Eric Peters and Jim McKnight, who came to the meeting to answer questions and provide their perspectives on OSi's XL Project.
a. Eric Peters, a member of the Tyler County Planning Commission, stated that the Tyler County Planning Commission and the citizens of Tyler County fully support implementation of OSi's XL Project.
b. Jim McKnight, a longtime citizen of Pleasants County and current member of the State Board of Education, reported that there is great support in Pleasants County for OSi and the efforts it is undertaking to reduce pollution through its XL Project.
5. Julie noted that OSi has been doing a great job with informing the public about its Project and inviting public participation in the project development process.
6. EPA asked Eric Peters and Jim McKnight to describe the constituencies that they represent and the perceptions of those constituencies concerning OSi's XL Project. Eric stated that he participates in monthly meetings of the Tyler County Planning Commission, which consists of a good cross-section of the county population, and that the Commission fully supports OSi in its XL Project. He added that he has been regularly reporting on OSi's progress to the Commission and to the Tyler County Development Authority. Eric added that the OSi facility has deep roots in, and is a trusted member of, the local community. OSi is viewed as a good neighbor and citizen. Jim McKnight echoed these comments, adding that the citizens of Pleasants County similarly trust OSi and are eager to help OSi in any way needed. He also stated that he has heard only praise for OSi's Project. Eric noted that Pleasants County is located downriver from OSi's facility and that Tyler County is located downwind of the facility and yet there is tremendous support for OSi and its XL Project in both counties.
7. Jim and Eric related that both of their communities are well informed concerning OSi's environmental management practices. They explained that the local community is composed of a very tight knit group of people and that news travels quickly through the community. If there is ever a problem at the OSi facility the local community would be made aware of the problem very quickly. Eric and Jim added that OSi is always forthright in informing the community of any problems which occur and what OSi is doing to address problems which arise. Similarly, when, as here, OSi is undertaking extra efforts to improve the environment, such news also travels quickly through the community. Further, if anyone ever had a question about environmental practices at the facility, they need only ask as OSi is always willing to provide information.
8. Beth explained that OSi has undertaken extensive efforts to inform the community about its Project, but inquired of Eric and Jim what else they thought OSi could do to inform the public. They replied that almost everyone in the community is already aware of the Project and the people support the Project.
9. Julie asked Jim and Eric what are the perceived risks in the local community from the OSi facility. They replied that the local community does not perceive any risks associated with the facility, in fact, most people believe that the quality of the water discharged from the plant is better than the quality of the water being taken in to the plant from the river. Jim added that the plant facility has been a long-trusted member of the community because of its good track record. In fact, other plant facilities in the area are looking to OSi for advice in developing trust and respect in the community.
10. Both Eric and Jim stated that OSi's proactive stance on environmental issues is admired and appreciated. Further, the governmental agencies are to be commended for initiating this program which allows companies like OSi the flexibility to use innovative methods to achieve better environmental performance.
11. Dale Koontz, OSi's union representative, added that the OSi union members fully support this Project. He noted the significance of this support since it is these employees who have the most knowledge about the substances at the facility and who would be the most at risk from a faulty project. He also stated that the union members are fully informed about the Project.

B. Minutes
The minutes of the conference calls held on September 17 and 24 were approved by the Workgroup.
C. Pre-FPA Consent Order On RCRA Subpart CC Compliance
1. The Workgroup reviewed the terms of the draft consent order intended to address RCRA Subpart CC compliance issues which may arise if FPA negotiations do not result in a signed agreement.
2. The Workgroup agreed that because the consent order is designed to provide OSi with additional time, if necessary, to replace its surface impoundments with tanks, the consent order should reflect that it is limited to only this compliance task, and does not cover all RCRA Subpart CC compliance in general.
3. The Workgroup agreed that paragraph 10 of the draft consent order, which refers to regulatory changes other than issuance of a site-specific rule promulgated as part of OSi's Project XL, needs to reflect that this Project will change OSi's deadline for compliance with RCRA Subpart CC and once the Project is in place this provision will not serve as authority for imposing additional obligations upon OSi.
4. OSi stated that a provision must be added to the draft consent order describing the scope of the assurance it provides. It should state that if OSi complies with the terms of the order, that EPA (and WVDEP, if appropriate) will not take enforcement action against the company.
5. The Workgroup discussed several alternatives for dealing with the problem presented by the fact that we are attempting to resolve an anticipated, rather than existing, violation through a consent order. One alternative suggested by EPA is to leave blank the provision for the effective date of the consent order and provide a cover letter from Maria Vickers which recognizes the company's participation in the XL program, provides a detailed justification of the need for the delay in compliance, and explains that the consent order and agreement will be filed in the event that FPA negotiations terminate and OSi cannot achieve compliance by the deadline set forth in the regulations. OSi stated that the consent order and letter should provide the company with a period of 18 months to come into compliance as this is the period of time necessary for OSi to replace the surface impoundments with tanks. EPA will draft a letter for OSi to review and to determine if it meets the needs of the company.
6. WVDEP will draft a parallel consent order to address the potential for enforcement action at the state level. Britt advised that, at the state level, it is not necessary for WVDEP to file a formal complaint in order to enter into a consent order. Further, WVDEP may enter into a consent order for an anticipated violation under the authority of its voluntary compliance program.
7. A conference call will be held on Monday to finish discussing legal issues concerning the pre-FPA consent orders. The Workgroup anticipated that the consent orders could be signed by October 25.
D. Review of FPA Draft #3
1. The Workgroup reviewed and discussed draft #3 of the FPA. Revisions suggested during the meeting will be incorporated into the next draft of the FPA.
2. Julie volunteered to draft, and circulate for comments, a transmittal letter to accompany the FPA when it goes out for public comment. The transmittal letter will be signed by all signatories to the FPA and will take the form of an executive summary which describes the environmental benefits of the Project.
3. Okey will provide diagrams of the new capper unit and wastewater treatment system for inclusion as an appendix to the FPA.
4. EPA will look into whether temporary storage of the recovered methanol is subject to any existing regulation.
5. Beth requested that references in the FPA which describe OSi's actions under this Project as "voluntary" be deleted because once the legal implementation mechanisms are in place, OSi will be required to take the actions which it volunteered to undertake as part of the XL Project. She explained that including the word voluntary may confuse the public.
6. Okey distributed an insert to the FPA which will complete section II.A on Project Description. The insert contains a description of the facility, its operations, and the components of the XL Project.
7. The Workgroup agreed that a baseline must be established from which to measure the environmental benefit obtained from the Project and that there should be a comparison of the environmental effects with Project XL versus without Project XL. Without Project XL, OSi would have installed the new capper unit without 98% efficient emission controls and without methanol recovery, as neither are required under existing regulations. EPA suggested that this should be specifically set forth in the FPA and should be the baseline for the Project. Further, Michele added that no anticipated future regulations would require methanol recovery and, therefore, this undertaking should be separately identified as adding environmental benefit.
8. EPA requested that OSi prepare an analysis showing how it is "netting out" of PSD in terms of emissions from the capper unit production process.
E. Implementation Mechanisms
1. EPA will issue a site-specific rule to implement the portion of the Project which provides regulatory flexibility with regard to RCRA Subpart CC applicability to the surface impoundments. EPA explained that it needs to identify an enforceable vehicle on which to rely in issuing the site-specific rule deferring compliance with RCRA Subpart CC. Various alternatives were discussed, including a permit, a state or federal site-specific rule, and a consent order. WVDEP and OSi advised that it is unlikely that a state rule would be feasible given the tight legislative calendar and the late date. The Workgroup agreed that the alternative most likely to be achieved within the necessary time frame would be a WVDEP consent order issued to OSi. Britt noted that WVDEP has general code authority to enter into such consent orders and that it is a relatively straightforward process.

III. October 17 Summary of Discussions

A. Baseline
1. Okey described the emissions calculation summary which will be attached to the FPA. He explained that it will contrast the baseline (installation of capper without Project XL) against the scenario implementing Project XL. The assumptions used in baseline, the non-XL scenario, are that the surface impoundments would be replaced with tanks, that CAA Subpart YYY would not apply (because there would be no collection of methanol) and that there would be minimal controls on the capper until the MON becomes applicable. Under the Project, however, a vent incinerator will be used to control emission from the capper and compliance with RCRA Subpart CC and CAA Subpart YYY would be deferred until the end of the Project. Michele recommended that the FPA be clarified to explain that CAA Subpart YYY would not otherwise apply to OSi but for the fact that OSi is recovering methanol as part of this Project.
2. Okey will revise the emissions calculation chart to reflect issues discussed at the meeting and drop out scenarios which do not apply to the Project.
B. Implementation Mechanisms
1. After some discussion concerning the options available for implementation of the portion of the Project dealing with CAA Subpart YYY, the Workgroup agreed that issuance of a site-specific rule would be the most appropriate mechanism. Accordingly, EPA will issue regulations which amend the NSPS source category list and create a new source category specific to implementation of this XL Project at OSi's Sistersville facility.
2. The Workgroup then reevaluated the options for implementing the RCRA Subpart CC portion of the Project and the possibility that a site-specific rule could rely upon the new NSPS rule as its enforceable mechanism. However, EPA is not sure how long it will take to write the new NSPS and thus cannot guarantee that it will be finished in the same time frame that a state consent order could be negotiated. Michele advised that EPA will need to have the new NSPS proposed by January if EPA is going to rely on it for purposes of the RCRA Subpart CC rule making.
3. Further discussion of implementation mechanisms will be taken up in a future conference call.

C. Review of FPA Draft #3
1. The group resumed review of FPA Draft #3 and suggested changes will be incorporated into the next draft version of the document.
2. OSi will prepare and submit to EPA a proposal which describes how future de minimis increases in wastewater emissions associated with CAA Subpart YYY affected facilities will be treated under this Project and an analysis of why such treatment is appropriate. In preparing the proposal, OSi will take into account issues raised by EPA during the Workgroup meeting.
3. Jim Cashel raised several issues concerning the draft performance standards. He suggested that the standards be revised to provide for compliance upon start-up, rather than upon completion of the performance test. However, because there are no parameters established prior to the performance test, the Workgroup would need to create some other standard of compliance for this earlier period, perhaps something along the lines of compliance with manufacturer's specifications. Jim will provide OSi with suggested changes to the performance standards shortly.

IV. Schedule

A. Conference Calls
1. Legal Issues re: Pre-FPA CACO

Monday Oct. 21 at 10:00 a.m.
2. Performance Standards/Soft Landing

Tuesday Oct. 22 at 8:30 a.m.
3. General Workgroup Call

Friday Oct. 25 at 1:00 p.m.
B. Tentative Schedule for FPA Development and Consideration
1. Mon. 10/21 - EPA comments to OSi
2. Fri. 10/25 - OSi FPA Draft #4 to EPA, WVDEP
3. Mon. 11/4 - Internal EPA conference
4. Tues. 11/5 - EPA comments to OSi
5. Thurs. 11/7 - Conf. call on final draft

V. Action Items

A. Action Items Responsible Persons

1. Propose FPA Draft Cover Julie

2. Prepare PSD "Netting-Out" Tony
Summary [Completed]

3. Provide Comments on Consent Tim
Order to Beth [Completed]

4. Provide EAB decision to Tim, Britt Beth

5. Provide all comments on draft minutes Jim, Michele
for conf. calls held 9/17 and WVDEP
9/24 to Brenda [Completed]
6. Send info to Ahmed Talebi and add Tony
him to mailing list

7. Contact Chris van Löben Sels for Brenda
comments on performance standards [Completed]

8. Provide proposal addressing Dennis, Okey, Tim
de minimis issue for CAA Subpart
YYY by 10/23

9. Provide revised emissions chart Okey
w/narrative to EPA by 10/22 [Completed]
10. Provide proposed FPA revisions to EPA, WVDEP
Tim and Brenda by 10/21 [Completed]
11. Provide comments, and proposed Jim
revisions, on performance standards
to Tim [Completed]
12. Propose revised FPA language concerning Tim, Beth
termination/soft landing [Completed] Brian Grant

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.