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Federal PCB Regulations and Enforcement. Jennifer Downey, Enforcement Officer US EPA Region IX, RCRA Enforcement Office. How are PCBs regulated at a federal level?. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

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Federal pcb regulations and enforcement

Federal PCB Regulations and Enforcement

Jennifer Downey, Enforcement Officer

US EPA Region IX, RCRA Enforcement Office

How are pcbs regulated at a federal level
How are PCBs regulated at a federal level?

  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

  • Section 6(e) of TSCA states that no one may manufacture, process, distribute into commerce, or use PCBs  50 ppm in any manner other than a totally enclosed manner unless authorized by the EPA Administrator.

  • TSCA isn’t delegated to the states. EPA is responsible for all PCB inspections and enforcement.

  • DTSC regulates PCBs as a hazardous waste (Greater than 2 ppm)

Sources of pcbs pre 1978
Sources of PCBs (pre 1978)

  • Historical releases.

  • Electrical Equipment – sometimes you can tell by the name of the equipment, but many tags have been removed

  • Paint – difficult to tell without sampling

  • Caulk – difficult to tell without sampling

  • Ballast – newer ballast will clearly state that it has no PCBs.

  • Wiring – difficult to tell without sampling

  • Gaskets – difficult to tell without sampling

Electrical equipment
Electrical Equipment




Key regulations
Key regulations

  • Legal uses of PCBs – must be enclosed with no leaks.

  • PCB transformers must be labeled (over 500 ppm) and/or registered.

  • When PCBs are “taken out of service”, they must be properly disposed (or decontaminated) within a year.

  • Storage requirements – for over 30 days.

How to legally dispose of pcbs
How to legally dispose of PCBs?

  • Incinerate PCBs (none in pacific southwest)

  • Landfill (Kettleman City, CA and Beatty, NV)

  • High efficiency boiler (none in pacific southwest)

  • Scrap metal recovery ovens and smelters (none in pacific southwest)

  • Decontamination of PCBs

Epa pcb inspections
EPA PCB Inspections

  • Inspect facilities that store, treat, or dispose PCBs (“PCB approved facilities”)

  • Follow-up on complaints

  • Sources of complaints

    • Exception reports from PCB approved facilities

    • Public and NGOs

    • State or other parts of EPA

Areas of pcb enforcement focus
Areas of PCB Enforcement Focus

  • PCB approved facilities

  • Ships

  • Follow-up on complaints

  • Identifying potential companies with large sources of PCBs

Recent cases
Recent Cases

1) Earth Protection Services, Inc. - 11/30/2001 - $2,500

2) Exxon Mobil - 08/21/2008 - $2.64 million

3) Global Shipping LLC and Global Marketing Systems, Inc. - 01/29/2009 - $518,500 4) US Ecology (Beatty, Nevada )09/30/2010 - $497,982 (RCRA/TSCA)5) Chemical Waste Management (Kettleman City) 11/29/2010 - $302,100

What we need from you
What we need from you!

  • Information on potential PCB sources

    • Location

    • Levels (Sampling is key)

    • Type of material (soil, equipment, paint, oil)

    • Does it appear to be a legacy issue or an ongoing issue

    • Do you know who is responsible for the source of PCBs

Hypothetical 1
Hypothetical #1

  • Leaking Transformer and sampling of oil finds level at 400 ppm.

  • Identify owner land and transformer

  • Information on the transformer. Does it have a PCB label or other labeling?

  • Photograph transformer and surrounding area.

  • Interview owner or employees to determine length of spill.

  • Immediately call EPA.

Hypothetical 2
Hypothetical # 2

  • Building paint is sampled and found to have 600 ppm

  • Identify owner

  • What is color of the paint? Are there a variety of colors on the building?

  • Photograph building

  • Interview employees and owner as to knowledge

  • Call or refer to EPA.

Hypothetical 3
Hypothetical # 3

  • Soil sampling finds PCB at 48 ppm

    • Is the source above 50 ppm?

      • Electrical equipment in use?

      • Historical use of land?

    • Can’t determine source? – If we can’t determine if source is above 50 ppm we will refer it to DTSC.

Audience hypothetical
Audience Hypothetical?

  • Questions

  • Hopefully answers!

How to contact us epa
How to Contact US EPA

  • PCB Tips go to: Christopher Rollins, RCRA Enforcement Office, US EPA Region IX

    • Address: 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

    • Phone: (415) 947-4166

    • Email: [email protected]

  • Technical Issues on Sampling or Corrective action – [email protected] or [email protected]