Comment extensions granted for green chemistry & stormwater

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Aug. 23, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

This past week, 30-day extensions were granted for written comments on two very complex, onerous issues that are facing manufacturers.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s (CalEPA’s) Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) extended the period for comments on their landmark proposed Safer Consumer Products regulations (aka. Green Chemistry) to 5:00 p.m. on October 11th. DTSC will still hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations at 10:00 a.m. on September 10, 2012 in the Byron Sher Room on the 2nd Floor of the Cal/EPA Building, 1001 “I” Street, Sacramento, at which time any person may present statements or oral arguments relevant to this proposal.  CMTA and many others believe the cost of compliance with this program will be prohibitive for any small business and most medium size businesses whose products are selected by DTSC for examination.

Likewise, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has extended the deadline for written public comment on their draft General Industrial Stormwater Permit until noon on October 22nd.  The public hearing before the Board will still take place at 9:00 a.m. on October 17th in the Coastal Hearing Room at CalEPA Headquarters in Sacramento. In addition to the two workshops held in early August, the SWRCB has announced additional workshops on September 5th and September 24th. Both workshops will be held at CalEPA in Sacramento and webcast at www.swrcb.ca.gov. The September 5th workshop will focus on the permit details overall, similar to earlier workshops, while the September 24th workshop will concentrate on training.  This permit is expected to go before the Board for adoption in early 2013.

This timing allows a more rational schedule for estimating all of the impacts of the draft permit, which is improved from the January 2011 version, but is still controversial.  At the public workshops, environmental groups voiced many concerns and objections regarding the improvements. The draft permit remains a fairly radical change from the existing permit, with many details requiring clarification relating to design storms, training, and actions needed in response to going over “action levels” (based on the 2008 US-EPA Benchmarks), measured as annual averages, plus three instantaneous levels California has added.  The proposal does not contain the existing permit’s language that avoided violations of receiving water limits when a facility is engaged with the Regional Water Board in a process of reporting and “Best management practices” (BMP) improvements. It remains important for facility operators to carefully review the impact of the permit and to develop comments, both supporting good provisions and requesting necessary changes.

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