Previous month:
July 2014
Next month:
September 2014

August 2014

IDNR Files Revised Fracking Rules

Essig_Genevieve_COLOR

By: Genevieve Essig

 

Today, nearly a year after filing its first draft, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) filed revised rules implementing the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (225 ILCS 732) with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).  IDNR reports that the revised rules were generated after considering “more than 31,000 comments amounting to 43,000 pages” submitted through a variety of channels.  According IDNR’s Response to Public Comments, “IDNR saw unprecedented public involvement in this rulemaking process: the comments received were more than IDNR has received in all its other rulemakings combined, ever.”

 According to IDNR’s press release regarding the revised rules, key changes to the rules include the following:

  • Clarified rules to ensure that public hearings are held in the County where the proposed well site is located.
  • Improved transparency and public notification if water pollution problems occur.
  • Strengthened rules governing  chemical disclosure and use of trade secrets.
  • Increased transparency and toughened enforcement penalties for violations.
  • Expanded rules to cover all types (non-water) of fracturing technologies.
  • Strengthened rules to protect fresh water zones from hydraulic fracturing fluid contamination during operations.
  • Strengthened land restoration requirements.

JCAR has 45 days to consider these proposed regulations, though it can request an additional 45 days.  Rules must ultimately be adopted within one year of first notice, which in this case means November 15, 2014.  The next JCAR meeting is scheduled for September 16.

The revised rules, IDNR’s Response to Public Comments, and other related documents and information can be found on IDNR’s website here


EPA Proposes Hazardous Waste Delisting For John Deere

Grayson_Lynn_COLORBy: E. Lynn Grayson

 

EPA recently proposed to exempt 600 tons of wastewater treatment sludge filter cake from regulation as a RCRA hazardous waste. 79 FR 49253 (August 20, 2014). EPA's action follows John Deere's filing of a delisting petition on January 28, 2014 seeking to exempt these F006/F019 wastes generated at the John Deere Des Moines Works in Ankeny, Iowa.

John Deere (through its consultant) petitioned EPA to exclude from the list of hazardous wastes contained in 40 CFR 261.31, F006/F019 Waste Water Treatment Sludge Filter Cake from dewatering sludge generated by the plant wastewater treatment facility. The filter cake is subject to two waste listings as it is the result of treating a mixture of wastewater from different manufacturing processes.

The petitioned waste does not meet the criteria for which F006 was listed (i.e., cadmium, hexavalent chromium, nickel, cyanide (complexed)) or for which F019 was listed (i.e., hexavalent chromium, cyanide (complexed)) and that there are no other factors which would cause the waste to be hazardous. Specifically, the petition request is for a standard exclusion for 600 tons per calendar year of filter cake.

If approved, these wastes would be conditionally excluded from RCRA hazardous waste regulations. Even if delisted, the sludge would be disposed of at a RCRA Subtitle D landfill permitted by Iowa Department of Natural Resources to manage industrial solid wastes.

EPA is accepting comments on this proposed action until September 19, 2014.