April 2019

VI Fundamentals 48 – Sanitary Sewers, the Preferential Pathway, Part 2

As discussed in last month’s installment of Vapor Intrusion Fundamentals (Number 47), sanitary sewer lines are becoming recognized as an important, yet often overlooked, pathway for vapor intrusion (VI). In this installment, we will review approaches used to evaluate sewer connections and deciphering the associated analytical data collected during a VI assessment

Michigan to Establish Drinking Water Standards for PFAS

On March 26, 2019, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the State will be establishing drinking water standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). In the March 26 press release, the Governor stated:

“Today I’m directing the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team to form a science advisory workgroup to review both existing and proposed health-based drinking water standards from around the nation to inform the rulemaking process for appropriate Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) for Michigan no later than July 1, 2010. Additionally, I’m directing the Department for Environmental Quality to immediately file a Request for Rulemaking to establish enforceable MCLs for PFAS in our drinking water supplies. The proposed regulations will be completed on an accelerated schedule with input from stakeholders by no later than October 1, 2019.”

On April 4, the Michigan PFAS Action Review Response Team (MPART) met and approved the creation of the science advisory workgroup. One week later, MPART named three experts in toxicology, epidemiology and risk assessment to develop health-based recommendations for the MDEQ to consider as part of its MCL rulemaking process. Michigan joins a growing list of states, including Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey, working on drinking water standards for PFAS. U.S. EPA, meanwhile, has signaled its intent to move toward an MCL by proposing a PFAS regulatory determination, the first step in the MCL rulemaking process.

PFAS Sample Collection

As discussed in another article in this newsletter, some states have established drinking water standards for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or they are in the process of doing so. The standards being adopted are low – in the nanograms per liter (ng/L) or parts-per-trillion (ppt) range – and require very low laboratory detection limits. The U.S. EPA has a current drinking water advisory of 70 ppt for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and/or perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). In a recent webinar for local leaders, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality used the analogy that one ppt is the same as one drop in 20 Olympic swimming pools. The low laboratory detection limits and the ubiquitous nature of these compounds have real implications for conducting sampling and analyses of environmental media.

Ohio EPA Budget Testimony Provided by Director Stevenson

On April 4, 2019, newly appointed Ohio EPA Director Laurie Stevenson provided testimony to the state House Finance Subcommittee on Agriculture, Development and Natural Resources regarding Ohio EPA’s portion of House Bill 166, Governor DeWine’s budget proposal for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021. The budget testimony provides an easily understandable summary of the agency’s organization, funding sources, staffing, and general priorities for the next few years, and is worth reading. A much more detailed accounting of the budget proposal is available through the Legislative Budget Office (LBO) analysis. Both documents are available under the April 4, 2019 hearing link on the Finance Subcommittee on Agriculture, Development and Natural Resources webpage

Lake Erie Bill of Rights

There has been a lot of talk lately here in Ohio of the controversial Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) that Toledo residents voted to approve February 26, 2019. The measure establishes rights within the City’s charter for the Lake Erie Ecosystem to “exist, flourish, and naturally evolve” as well as rights to self-government and a clean and healthy environment for Toledo and its citizens. LEBOR states that corporations or governments that violate these rights can be liable for harm caused.

Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc.

Project Spotlight

Coming Soon in the May Newsletter

  • Updating the RCRA ignitability
  • Considerations for Long-Term Monitoring of Vapor Mitigation Systems
  • Just how permanent are your electronic documents
  • PFAS – Can it be Treated?

Upcoming Events

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.

April 23-25, 2019: Craig Cox and Laurie Chilcote will be providing professional development training on Proven Active Soil Gas Sampling Techniques for Efficient Site Characterization, Vapor Intrusion Investigation and Mitigation” through Environmental Workshops – Vapor Intrusion Series in White Plains, NY (April 23, 2019); Hartford, CT (April 24, 2019); and Mansfield, MA April 25, 2019). 

May 8, 2019: George Colvin will provide “An Introduction to the Vapor Intrusion Pathway” to attendees of the May 8 2019 Northwest Ohio Safety and Health Day in Toledo, Ohio

May 9, 2019: Laurie Chilcote, Cox-Colvin & Associates, will be presenting Proven Active Soil Gas Sampling Techniques for Efficient Site Characterization, Vapor Intrusion Investigation and Mitigation at the Ground Gas Conference in London, UK 

May 15-17, 2019: Laurie Chilcote, Cox-Colvin & Associates, will be presenting Proven Method to Accurately Access Location and VI Potential to Better Define your CSM Model at the Environmental Show of the South in Chattanooga, TN.

May 20-24, 2019: Craig Cox will be presenting his poster entitled “Successful Closure of a DNAPL Site – Lessons Learned” at the Sustainable Use and Management of Soil, Sediment and Water Resources 15th International Conference in Antwerp, Belgium on Tuesday May 21, 2019.