September 2019

Ohio’s Gov. DeWine Orders Ohio EPA and ODH to Develop PFAS Action Plan for Drinking Water

Based on reporting by the Columbus Dispatch, Governor DeWine has ordered the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to develop an action plan “to test public and private water systems near known sources of PFAS as well as develop strategies on what to do when high levels are found.” The term PFAS refers to per-and polyfluoroalkyl substance, a topic we have covered closely through the Focus on the Environment Newsletter.  Look for more on the Governor’s announcement in next month’s newsletter.

When Repairing a Public Water Supply Well, it’s Better to Ask for Permission than Beg for Forgiveness

That is the advice we are giving our clients after hearing about a couple of instances where Public Water Systems (PWS) found themselves on the receiving end of a Notice of Violation (NOV) from the Ohio EPA for completing a relatively standard well repair. In both cases, the NOV and corresponding headaches could have been avoided had the PWS and their contractor initially engaged with Ohio EPA prior to starting the project. 

What are Your Lessees Up To?

As a landowner, do you know what your lessees, tenants, and employees are doing? Courts have found that merely including lease provisions requiring compliance with the law, without monitoring lessee conduct, may not sufficiently demonstrate due care for landowners claiming liability protection related to contamination on their property caused by a lessee. Similarly, landowners should notify contractors, subcontractors, lessees and any other parties operating at the property of existing contamination that may pose a risk, and of engineering controls such as soil caps that should not be disturbed. Talk to your environmental attorney if any of these issues are a concern to you.

September 2019 WOTUS Update

On September 12, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. EPA (EPA) released a new rule that will repeal the Obama-era 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. This is “Step 1” of the repeal and replace promise made by the Trump administration. “Step 2” is the replacement of the rule.

Strategies for Keeping your Data and Documents Alive

Environmental projects and sites generate a large amount of data and documents. With each passing year, electronic data and documents become increasingly vulnerable to permanent loss due to changing storage technology, corruption of storage media, malware and viruses, operating system upgrades, or a general loss of our ability to run the original programs that created these data or documents. Keeping these electronic data and documents alive can be a challenge, but it takes forward-thinking approaches to make it happen. Until recently, burning a document on a CD/DVD was thought to be a very cost-effective method of permanently storing and distributing documents and data. However, with the advent of cloud computing, the CD/DVD became essentially obsolete and CD/DVD drives are disappearing from new computer hardware, as did their predecessors (the floppy drive, the SD Card, etc.). So, what can you do to protect, or even resurrect these important assets?

EPA Provides Additional Cooperative Federalism Policy While Going After California for Stricter Auto Emission Standards

Earlier this year, U.S. EPA released final policy designed to enhance effective partnerships with states in civil enforcement and compliance assurance work. The policy reinforces the administration’s notion of cooperative federalism – generally deferring to states as the primary implementer of authorized programs. The administration, however, seems to have forgotten about the ideals of cooperative federalism when it comes California’s authority to set stricter auto emission standards.

New VAP Rules Effective October 17, 2019

New Ohio EPA Voluntary Action Program (VAP) rules discussed in our May 2019 newsletter will officially go into effect on October 17, 2019. The most significant change is the inclusion of standards for additional pathways and receptors, such as commercial daycare scenarios.

BUSTR Reminds UST Owner/Operators of Shear Valve Closure Assessment Requirements

Ohio’s Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR) has been reminding owner/operators that replacing any portion of a shear valve requires a permit and closure assessment. Shear valves are used beneath dispensers at grade level to stop fuel flow in the event of a collision. If the shear valve functioned properly and no product was released, then closure assessment is often a simple process with no sampling required. Suspected releases should be reported. Contact Cox-Colvin if you have had a shear valve replaced and are unsure as to what reporting is necessary.

Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc.

Project Spotlight

Coming Soon in the October Newsletter

  • Superfund task force final report
  • Ohio to develop action plan for PFAS in drinking water
  • New lead standards on their way?
  • And more…

Upcoming Events

Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc. personnel are actively involved in the technical and regulatory aspects of the environmental field as it evolves. Cox-Colvin will be participating as presenters, sponsors, or exhibitors at the following environmental conferences in the coming months.

October 1, 2019 Craig A. Cox, CPG and Laurie Chilcote will be presenting at the EnviroWorkshops Vapor Intrusion Workshop, Irvine, Ca

October 3, 2019 Craig A. Cox, CPG and Laurie Chilcote will be presenting at the EnviroWorkshops Vapor Intrusion Workshop, Oakland, Ca

October 7-9, 2019 MGP Conference Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, Pa

October 21-24, 2019 AEHS East Coast – 35th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy, Amherst, Massachusetts – See us at Booth B15

October 29 & 30, 2019 Craig A. Cox, CPG will be presenting “The Importance of Sanitary Sewers as the Expectd Preferential Pathway in Vapor Intrusion Evaluations, 4th SouthEastern States Vapor Intrusion Symposium (SESVIS 4)