EPA Action: Federal, multi-state Cargill settlement secures major pollution reductions

Also in this report: White House unveils Good Samaritan initiative at conservation conference; New handbook to help watershed protection programs; Assistant administrator tours water efficient plumbing plant; Preliminary effluent guidelines plan for 2006; Coca-Cola, Ford, 3M, 68 others commit to extra environmental improvements; Tetra Tech wins $43 million EPA clean water protection contract; NY man guilty of drinking water monitoring violation; Data sought for 26 drinking water contaminants...

In other agency news below, see:
-- Good Samaritan initiative unveiled at White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation
-- New handbook to help accelerate Watershed Protection Programs
-- Assistant administrator tours water efficient plumbing plant
-- Preliminary effluent guidelines plan for 2006
-- Adsorptive media technology for arsenic removal verified
-- Coca-Cola, Ford, 3M, 68 others commit to extra environmental improvements
-- Tetra Tech awarded $43 million EPA clean water, watershed protection contract
-- New York man pleads guilty to drinking water monitoring violation
-- Data sought for 26 drinking water contaminants

Federal, multi-state Cargill settlement secures major pollution reductions
WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 1, 2005 -- The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a multi-state Clean Air Act settlement with Cargill Inc., which will result in a reduction of approximately 30,000 tons of pollution a year and set new standards for limiting harmful emissions from specialty oilseed plants. Cargill is a multi-state agribusiness that owns and operates 27 plants which process corn, wheat, soybeans, and other oilseeds into value-added products used in the food, feed, and ethanol industries.

The government's complaint, filed in federal district court in Minnesota, alleges that Cargill had significantly underestimated emissions from its operations in 13 states. Under the settlement, Cargill is required to install air pollution control devices at its 27 corn and oilseed processing facilities and is expected to spend an estimated $130 million to meet the requirements of the consent decree. Cargill will also pay a civil penalty of $1.6 million and spend $3.5 million on environmental projects across the country...
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For the following headlines from the EPA weekly online publication WaterNews for Sept. 1, 2005, see http://www.epa.gov/water/waternews/waternews.html:
• "Good Samaritan Initiative Announced at White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation"
• "New Handbook to Help Accelerate Watershed Protection Programs"
• "Assistant Administrator Tours Water Efficient Plumbing Plant"
• "Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Plan for 2006"

Adsorptive media technology for arsenic removal verified
ANN ARBOR, MI, Aug. 31, 2005 -- The ETV Drinking Water Systems Center, in cooperation with NSF International, has verified the performance of the ADI Pilot Testing Unit No. 2002-09 with MEDIA G2 system, developed by ADI International, Inc. The unit is an adsorption media filter system designed to reduce arsenic in drinking water. The verification testing was conducted at the Hilltown Township Water and Sewer Authority Well Station No. 1 in Sellersville, PA, and consisted of two phases. The first phase, the Integrity Test, was designed to evaluate the reliability of equipment operation under the environmental and hydraulic conditions at the well station site during the initial two weeks of testing. The second phase, the Capacity Test, evaluated the capacity of the arsenic adsorption system to remove arsenic from the Well No. 1 feed water. The verification report and statement will be available on the ETV Web Site at www.epa.gov/etv/verifications/vcenter2-14.html.

Coca-Cola, Ford, 3M, 68 others commit to extra environmental improvements
WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 24, 2005 -- The EPA today announced 71 facilities from 29 states and Puerto Rico as new or renewing members in a program rewarding facilities that voluntarily exceed regulatory requirements. The National Environmental Performance Track program rewards facilities that work with their communities, set three-year goals for continuous improvements in environmental performance and have internal systems in place to manage their environmental impacts. Only facilities with a record of sustained compliance with environmental requirements are eligible to participate in this program...
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Tetra Tech awarded $43 million EPA clean water, watershed protection contract
PASADENA, CA, Aug. 23, 2005 -- Tetra Tech Inc. signed a $43 million, 5-year contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Wastewater Management to support efforts in protecting and restoring the nation's waters and watersheds...
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New York man pleads guilty to drinking water monitoring violation
WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 17, 2005 -- Dieter Greenfeld, a former employee of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), pleaded guilty on Aug. 4 in U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in White Plains, N.Y., to charges that on March 7, 2005, he falsified a log book required by the Safe Drinking Water Act while he was a DEP employee. Greenfeld's job included performing turbidity monitoring in the Catskill Lower Effluent Chamber and recording the results of his activities in a log book. The defendant admitted that on the date in question, he did not conduct water quality testing for turbidity and that he made a false entry in the log book that indicated he had done testing. While water turbidity has no directly harmful effects, it may be indirectly harmful by interfering with disinfection and by providing a medium for microbial growth. When sentenced, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. The case was investigated by the New York Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the New York City Department of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.

Data sought for 26 drinking water contaminants
WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 12, 2005 -- Twenty-six unregulated contaminants will be monitored by many U.S. drinking water suppliers under a new rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. This second cycle of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 2) also proposes the use of nine analytical methods to detect the contaminants.

The data collected will help EPA determine whether to regulate the contaminants, their occurrence in drinking water, the potential population exposed to each, and the levels of exposure.

The rule encompasses some contaminants that are not regulated under existing law. EPA currently has regulations for more than 90 contaminants. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to identify up to 30 contaminants for monitoring every five years. The first cycle, UCMR 1, published in 1999, covered 25 chemicals and one microorganism.

The contaminants are divided into two lists: assessment monitoring and screening surveys. EPA has information from some public water systems on 11 contaminants chosen for assessment monitoring but lacks a national estimate of how widely they occur. EPA needs to collect more data on the 15 selected for screening surveys because analytical methods have been only recently developed.

All public water systems serving more than 10,000 people and a sample of 800 systems serving 10,000 people or fewer will monitor those contaminants on the assessment list for 12 months during July 2007 through June 2010. Additionally, 322 systems serving more than 100,000 people and 800 serving 100,000 or fewer will conduct the screening surveys during a 12-month period from July 2007 through June 2009.

The substances were chosen through a process that included a review of:
-- An existing list of "reserved" contaminants for which no analytical methods were yet available.
-- EPA's Contaminant Candidate List, which contains priority contaminants that are researched to make decisions about whether regulations are needed. The contaminants on the list are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems. However, they are currently unregulated by existing national drinking water regulations.
-- Additional contaminants of concern based on current research of occurrence and various health-risk factors.

Costs for the five-year UCMR 2 will total approximately $42.1 million. EPA will conduct and pay for the monitoring for those water systems serving 10,000 people or fewer at a cost of $8.05 million.

For general information on UCMR 2, visit the EPA Safewater website at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/ucmr/ucmr2 or call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

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In earlier EPA reports, see:
-- "EPA Action: New tests to detect previously undetectable bacteria" (Aug. 11, 2005): New test methods proposed yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency will lead to the detection of four types of bacteria in wastewater and sewage sludge. The EPA's proposal centers on culture-based approaches to detecting enterococci and Escherichia coli (E. coli) in wastewater. Additional tests will identify salmonella and fecal coliform bacteria in sewage sludge...
-- "EPA to change effluent limit guidelines, pretreatment standards for iron, steel industry" (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...
-- "EPA Action: Federal plan to cut power plant pollution contested by six Northeast states" -- Also in this report (Aug. 8, 2005): Owner, operator of tanker plead guilty to dumping charges; Lead & Copper Rule working group being empanelled on public education needs; Security training modules for water utilities released; Scouts encouraged to participate Oct. 18 in World Water Monitoring Day; $100 million settlement reached for cleanup of Montana reservoir; Animal feeding operation air agreement signup period extended...

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