EPA to change effluent limit guidelines, pretreatment standards for iron, steel industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to amend certain provisions of the regulations establishing effluent limitations guidelines, pretreatment standards and new source performance standards for its Iron and Steel Manufacturing Point Source Category. Public comments must be received by Sept. 9...

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 10, 2005 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to amend certain provisions of the regulations establishing effluent limitations guidelines, pretreatment standards and new source performance standards for its Iron and Steel Manufacturing Point Source Category. Public comments must be received by Sept. 9.

Prior to 2002, regulations applicable to this category had authorized establishment of limitations applicable to the total mass of a pollutant discharged from more than one outfall. The effect of such a "water bubble" was to allow a greater or lesser quantity of a particular pollutant to be discharged from any single outfall so long as the total quantity discharged from the combined outfalls did not exceed the allowed total mass limitation.

The water bubble is a regulatory mechanism provided in the current regulation at 40 CFR 420.03 to allow for trading of identical pollutants at any single steel facility with multiple compliance points. The bubble has been used at some facilities to realize cost savings and/or facilitate compliance.

In 2002, the EPA revised the water bubble to prohibit establishment of alternative oil and grease effluent limitations. Based on consideration of new information and analysis, the agency proposes to reinstate the provision authorizing alternative oil and grease limitations with one exception. Today's notice also proposes to correct errors in the effective date of new source performance standards.

Entities potentially regulated by this action include facilities of the following types that discharge pollutants directly or indirectly to waters of the U.S.: existing and new facilities engaged in metallurgical cokemaking, sintering, ironmaking, steelmaking, direct reduced ironmaking, briquetting, and forging.

For more details of "Effluent Limitations Guidelines, Pretreatment Standards, and New Source Performance Standards for the Iron and Steel Manufacturing Point Source Category," see the Federal Register entry: http://epa.gov/EPA-WATER/2005/August/Day-10.

To submit your comments, data and information for the proposed rule identified by Docket ID No. OW-2002-0027, you can do so electronically by one of the following methods:
1. Online via...
-- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
-- The agency website: http://www.epa.gov/edocket. [EDOCKET, EPA'S electronic public docket and comment system, is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.]
2. Via email: OW-Docket@epa.gov.

For additional information on this topic, see:
-- Iron & Steel Industry Rulemaking Process, EPA: www.epa.gov/waterscience/ironsteel/
-- Iron & Steel: Section 12-17 -- Regulated Pollutants, EPA: www.epa.gov/waterscience/ironsteel/pdf/tdd/sections12-17.pdf
-- Effluent Guidelines: Iron and Steel -- Regulations, Fact Sheet - Final Rule (EPA 821-F-02-006) April 2002: http://epa.gov/waterscience/ironsteel/finalfs.htm

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