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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: rollins.christopher@epa.gov
  • Technical Issues on Sampling or Corrective action – santos.carmen@epa.gov or rollins.christopher@epa.gov