Solite, Inc.  

BREDL COMMENTS ON CLEAN AIR ACT TITLE V PERMIT FOR SOLITE CORP. IN CASCADE, VIRGINIA

BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE
www.BREDL.org ~ PO Box 88 Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email: BREDL@skybest.com

November 5, 2001

Margaret Key Senior Environmental Engineer Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality South Central Regional Office 7705 Timberlake Road Lynchburg, VA 24502 smkey@deq.state.va.us Re: Permit No. VA-30297

Solite Corporation Cascade Facility
AIRS ID No. 51-143-0005

SIC Codes: 3295, 4953
Cascade, Pittsylvania County, Virginia

Dear Ms. Key:

On behalf of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, I write to comment on the draft Title V permit for Solite Corporation Cascade Facility and to request that the Department of Environmental Quality hold a public hearing before issuing this permit.

SPECIFIC COMMENTS

1. Portable Plant Permit Status

In permit application of June 28, 2001, Solite Manager Lane Smith states, “The facility does not intend to retain the permit for Portable Plant No. 1 (Registration No. 30998). This unit has been permanently removed from the site.” Therefore, it would be appropriate for DEQ to require that the permit become null and void before Permit No. VA-30297 becomes applicable.

2. Pyro-processing Monitoring and Recordkeeping

Draft permit item III.B.2 states that if visible emissions are observed, the permittee shall either (a) take “timely corrective action” or (b) “perform a visible emission evaluation.” Option “a” is vague as to when action must be taken. This vague language is repeated in permit item IV.C.a and V.C.a. Option “a” should be eliminated, leaving option “b” as the only acceptable alternative in each case.

Item B.3.a states, “The annual throughput shall be calculated as the sum of each consecutive twelve month period,” allowing calendar year totals which may result in excess emissions. High emissions may occur at the end of one annual period and at the beginning of the next which could be split by the arbitrary year-end. This should be altered to reflect a more accurate and tightly controlled monthly rolling average method. For example, permit item IV.A.1 exhibit’s a tighter monitoring method by stating that throughput is “calculated monthly as the sum of each consecutive twelve month period.” (emphasis added) Permit item IV.D.2.a also should be changed to the tighter method.

3. Emissions Compliance, Monitoring, and the BIF Rule

In February 1991, the EPA promulgated a rule on the burning of hazardous waste in boilers and industrial furnaces (BIFs). The BIF rule set emission controls for toxic organic compounds, toxic metals, HCl, chlorine gas and particulate matter. However, for cement and aggregate kilns there was a loophole. The BIF rule allowed hazardous waste burning facilities which were in existence before August 27, 1991 to apply for interim status. Interim status facilities could burn hazardous waste without a permit so long as they filed a RCRA Subpart B permit application and certified compliance with applicable BIF performance standards. Virginia Solite has been regulated under this rule. The EPA decision to include existing facilities in the interim status category effectively eliminated public participation in the decision to burn hazardous waste in these facilities. Virginia DEQ can and must act to close the loophole and reduce emissions of toxic organic compounds, toxic metals, HCl, chlorine gas and particulate matter

Chlorine is a hazardous air pollutant (CAS #7782505). As stated in the permit application, Solite is designated as a major source for chlorine (Cl2) emissions, having the potential to emit more than 10 tons/year. However, the draft permit omits an emission standard, monitoring, testing, record keeping for chlorine and its derivatives. According to EPA, (“Delegation of 40 CFR Part 63 General Provisions Authorities to State and Local Air Pollution Control Agencies” 10 July 1998, Memorandum from John Seitz to Regional Directors ).Virginia has the following authorities to establish compliance monitoring and testing:

40 CFR 63.1 applicability determinations

40 CFR 63.6(e) operation and maintenance requirements—responsibility for determining compliance

40 CFR 63.6(f) compliance with non-opacity standards—responsibility for determining compliance

40 CFR 63.6(h) compliance with opacity and visible emissions standards—responsibility for determining compliance

40 CFR 63.7(c) approval of site-specific test plans (2)(i) and (d)

40 CFR 63.7(e) approval of minor alternatives to test (2)(i) methods

40 CFR 63.7(e) approval of intermediate alternatives to test (2)(ii) and (f) methods

40 CFR 63.7(e) approval of shorter sampling times and (2)(iii) volumes when necessitated by process

variables or other factors

40 CFR 63.7(e) waiver of performance testing (2)(iv) and (h)(2) and (3)

40 CFR 63.8(c) approval of site-specific performance (1) and (e)(1) evaluation (monitoring) test plans

40 CFR 63.8(f) approval of minor alternatives to monitoring

40 CFR 63.8(f) approval of intermediate alternatives to monitoring

40 CFR 63.9 approval of adjustments to time periods for and 63.10 submitting reports

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League submits that sufficient authority exists for Virginia to require emission limits which are protective of public health. The ATSDR public health assessment was prompted by legitimate and persistent citizens’ grievances. It is unfair to assume that the current lack of complaints indicate a solution to these problems; rather, it is a symptom of discouraged plant neighbors exhausted and disappointed by official failure to remedy their community’s plight. Other states with Solite plants have had to contend with similar levels of toxic air pollution and have taken action. Three examples:

EPA TARGETS BIFs

On September 28, 1993 an EPA Enforcement Initiative Fact Sheet was released which stated: Today “EPA Headquarters (OSWER and OE), together with the Regions and the state of Illinois, announced a cluster filing of enforcement actions against violators of hazardous waste combustion regulations. The actions seek over $22 million in civil penalties and, where violations are ongoing, to compel the facilities to return to compliance. A total of 30 federal administrative complaints, 1 state complaint, and 7 federal administrative consent agreements were filed. Most of the actions target boilers and industrial furnaces (BIFs) for failing to comply with EPA’s Burning of Hazardous Waste in Boilers and Industrial Furnaces (BIF) rule, codified at 40 CFR Part 266, Subpart H.

From Work On Waste USA, Inc., September 1993

KENTUCKY SOLITE CORP. Aggregate Kiln “Failure to perform leak detection monitoring on hazardous waste equipment, failure to make a hazardous waste/Bevill determination...failure to monitor hydrocarbon emissions.”

From Work On Waste USA, Inc., September 1993

NC FINES CAROLINA SOLITE

September 20, 1999 the NC Division of Waste Management signed a Compliance Order with Administrative Penalty for Carolina Solite of $52,499. The fines assessed included violations for failing to mark hazardous waste control piping which the state emphasized as "posing potential risk to the employees and state regulators who come in contact with the equipment." The events occurred on March 18, April 28 and June 14, 1999. Solite was issued a combined Notice of Violation for fugitive emissions occurring on January 6, 13 and 16, 1999. Solite has a long history of noncompliance with fugitive emissions. In the past a State official observed holes in the equipment plugged with bottle caps and rags. Multiple violations were issued for Solite on March 25, 1996, after several incidents of fugitive emissions.

From Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, September 1999
http://www.bredl.org/press/1999/solitefined.htm

Title V permits are meant to reduce confusion by including all applicable requirements that apply to a given source. The operating permit program is designed to define compliance, not just applicable standards. The permit must list all applicable requirements including monitoring, methods of testing, semi-annual reporting, and annual compliance certification. Compliance is determined by monitoring conditions with respect to an associated standard. If there is no federal standard for monitoring requirements, averaging times, or record keeping, Title V directs the state to determine them. This monitoring provision allows the public, the state, and the operator to know if the facility is in compliance with emission standards. According to the US EPA OAQP&S, “In effect, title V makes compliance a matter of corporate responsibility.” Virginia must use its delegated powers to reduce the impact of toxic air pollution on Pittsylvania and Rockingham counties in Virginia and North Carolina.

Respectfully submitted,

Louis Zeller

Clean Air Campaigns Coordinator


November 5, 2001
1828 Brandon Ave. SW
Roanoke, VA  24015

Margaret Key
Senior Environmental Engineer
Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality
South Central Regional Office
7705 Timberlake Road
Lynchburg, VA  24502


Dear Ms. Key:

I am submitting comments on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League regarding the Clean Air Act Title V Draft Operating Permit for Solite Corporation located in Cascade, Virginia.  BREDL is a regional, community-based, non-profit environmental organization. Our founding principles are earth stewardship, environmental democracy, social justice, and community empowerment. BREDL has chapters throughout the Southeast.

Comments on the Draft Title V Permit for Solite Corporation

General -  BREDL feels that the Draft Title V permit does not address the public health concerns nor does it offer concerned citizens important air emissions limitations and data.   A September 30, 1999 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Public Health Assessment "was unable to fully evaluate the public health hazard associated air emissions from the Virginia Solite facility."  The report further concluded that "Available environmental data are insufficient to determine if health concerns have a plausible link to site-related activities. No ambient air quality data or emission data exist."

Under Limitations - Without any emission limitations, this facility virtually has an open permit to release criteria and hazardous pollutants, without recourse.  This is especially a concern considering that the Solite plant in North Carolina has recently been prohibited from burning RCRA
hazardous waste in its kilns.  That has the potential of increasing the use of hazardous waste fuel at the Cascade plant.

Why are Particulate Matter and Benzene the only pollutants with limitations listed per unit in the permit?  There are other major air emissions that meet the 40 CFR Part 70.6 Permit content. (1) / 9 VAC 5-80-110. Permit content. requirements.  NOx and SO2 which could exceed 100 tons per year and HCl and CL2, all should be listed in the permit with appropriate emission limitations per unit and averaging times.   Since the facility meets the combined 25 tpy requirements on hazardous pollutants, all toxins (including VOCs, HCl, CL2, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, silver, thallium, dioxins and furans, and all toxins reported on the Toxics Release Inventory) and applicable limitations need to be provided.   If there are no applicable limitations for these major emissions, it needs to be noted why.

On Page 6 III. Kiln Requirements  A. Limitations  2. - The term "waste fuel" as an approved fuel is too vague.  Although it has been decades since PCB's have been used, several PCB contaminated sites and materials still exist.  A statement that prohibits PCB contaminated waste as an acceptable fuel needs to be included in the permit.

On Page 6 III. Kiln Requirements A. Limitations - From the 5/22/95 Compliance Certification Summary of Test Emissions there is a notation that "only three (3) kilns can operate at a given time."  Is this still the case? If so, that needs to be written in the permit as part of the operational limitations.

On Page 7 2a. & 2b. - "Take timely corrective action" is too vague.  An actual timeframe needs to be listed.

On Page 20 IX. B. 2. - It needs to be noted that if the TAB of Benzene increases to 10MG/yr or more, then not only does the facility have to report it, but it will be subjected to pollution controls. 40 CFR 61.342 (B & C)


Sincerely,


Mark E. Barker


cc:  Mr. Dave Campbell
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA  19103-2029


Additional Comments on the Draft Title V Permit for Solite Corporation
January 10, 2002 Public Hearing

As mentioned in the Nov. 5, 2001 comments, BREDL feels that the Draft Title V permit does not address public health concerns. In 1995 & 1997, Pittsylvania Co., VA and Caswell Co., NC were ranked number 1 in the nation for asthma mortality rates, according to information based on Health Service Area mortality data from 1994 to 1996 provided by the National Institutes of Health. It is crucial that the Virginia DEQ monitor criteria pollutants in the Virginia southside area. This issue is relevant to this permit because without proper monitoring, DEQ and the public may not be able to adequately gauge the public health risk. For example, during the 2001 ozone season the closest ozone monitors had exceedences of the EPA 8-hour ozone health standard. Roanoke had 5 exceedences and the North Carolina Triad area had 22 exceedences. It is highly probable that Pittsylvania and Henry Counties also exceeded these health standards.

This Title V permit should also take into account upcoming changes that will result from recent litigation on the Hazardous Waste Combustion MACT, 40 CFR 63, Subpart EEE.

Sincerely,

Mark E. Barker


BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE
www.BREDL.org ~ PO Box 88 Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ BREDL@skybest.com

February 20, 2002
Alan Klimek, Director Division of Air Quality
1641 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1641  


Dear Mr. Klimek:  

I write on behalf of the multi-state Blue Ridge Board of Directors to request that the NC Division of Air Quality submit formal comments to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Regions III and IV of the US EPA regarding the proposed Title V permit for Virginia Solite in Cascade, Virginia. North Carolina is assuredly an affected state: the town of Eden in Rockingham County is less than three air miles from the hazardous waste incinerator. The Virginia Solite property is located in both Virginia and North Carolina. I estimate that the kiln smokestacks are less than 2000 feet from the state line.  

Please find attached comments from both Virginia and North Carolina offices of BREDL. The public hearing held by VDEQ took place on January 10, so prompt attention to this matter is essential. As always, thank you for acting to protect the air quality for all North Carolinians.  

Sincerely,    

Janet Marsh Zeller, Executive Director  


Title V Fact Sheet
BREDL comments on other Title V permits