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Review of Secondary Waste Disposal Planning for the Blue Grass and Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants 3 Regulatory Requirements Applicable to BGCAPP and PCAPP Secondary Waste Management This chapter describes federal and state regulations relevant to secondary waste management at BGCAPP and PCAPP that must be satisfied and examines compliance with these requirements at the time this report was being prepared. FEDERAL REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR BGCAPP AND PCAPP OPERATIONS The accumulation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes are regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Hazardous Solid Waste Amendments of 1984. Wastes derived from the management and destruction of chemical agents and munitions—i.e., “secondary wastes”—must be assessed against them and the applicable state regulations, and, if determined to be hazardous, must be managed under them. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorizes states to regulate hazardous wastes within their borders under RCRA using provisions that are no less stringent than the requirements adopted by the EPA (40 CFR 271). Kentucky and Colorado, as well as all of the states with currently operating chemical agent disposal facilities, have obtained EPA authorization to implement and enforce state requirements for the management of hazardous waste. Each of these states has adopted the basic EPA hazardous waste management program, including regulations for identification and listing of hazardous wastes; requirements applicable to generators and transporters of hazardous waste; requirements for facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste; and restrictions for the land disposal of specific hazardous wastes. Each state has a program for granting permits for the construction and operation of treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs). Permits establish appropriate site-specific conditions for all aspects of the hazardous waste management and destruction processes used. Secondary waste from the two chemical agent disposal facilities covered in this report is also governed by the TSDF regulations and requirements established by the respective states in which these facilities are located. Waste Characteristics and Listing There are two types of regulated hazardous waste: “characteristic” wastes and “listed” wastes. A solid waste is classified as a characteristic hazardous waste if it exhibits any of the following properties: ignitability, corrosivity, toxicity, or reactivity. A solid waste is a “listed” hazardous waste if it is specifically listed by the EPA or a state regulatory body based on established criteria (40 CFR 261.11). Phosgene is the only chemical agent that is a listed hazardous waste under the federal RCRA program. It is listed in the category “acute hazardous waste, commercial chemical, or manufacturing chemical intermediate” (Hazardous Waste Code1 P095). Mustard agent is the only chemical agent included as a hazardous constituent under 40 CFR 261.11.2 Therefore, it can be considered for listing by the EPA or state regulatory authorities, but it is not currently a federally listed waste. One of the important differences between characteristic hazardous wastes and listed hazardous wastes is that, under RCRA regulations, any wastes derived from the treatment, 1 A hazardous waste code, consisting of a letter followed by three numbers, is assigned by the EPA or the state regulatory agency to each listed waste. The code is associated with a specific type of listed waste. The F list (e.g., Fxxx) designates particular solid wastes from certain common industrial or manufacturing processes as hazardous. Because the processes producing these wastes are found in different sectors of industry, the F list wastes are known as wastes from nonspecific sources. The P list (e.g., Pxxx) addresses pure or commercial-grade formulations of certain specific unused acutely hazardous chemicals. 2 Appendix VIII of 40 CFR 261.11 identifies the universe of hazardous constituents of concern and is used by EPA primarily to identify wastes that should be considered for listing. It consists of chemicals that have toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic effects on humans or other life forms.
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Review of Secondary Waste Disposal Planning for the Blue Grass and Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants storage, or disposal of a listed hazardous waste (e.g., treatment residues or secondary wastes from storage) are themselves regulated as a listed hazardous waste. In addition, any mixture of a solid waste and a listed hazardous waste is also designated as a hazardous waste. The listed hazardous waste designation applies regardless of the actual hazardous characteristics of the waste. Unlike listed hazardous wastes, wastes that exhibit one or more of the RCRA characteristics are not subject to the mixture or derived-from rules. Once these “characteristic wastes” no longer exhibit the characteristic, they are no longer hazardous wastes and may be managed under the less stringent rules for nonhazardous solid wastes. Scrap Metal Exclusion EPA regulations for scrap metal are not straightforward. They provide that all “excluded scrap metal”3 that is recycled is not a “solid waste,” so that hazardous waste regulations do not apply (40 CFR 261.4(a)(13)). The regulations go on to state that all other scrap metal sent for recycling or reclamation is a solid waste and is therefore a hazardous waste if it exhibits any of the four characteristics or has become contaminated with a listed waste (40 CFR 261.2(c)). However, a later section exempts from RCRA regulation all hazardous scrap metal if it is sent for recycling or reclamation (40 CFR 261.6(a)(3)(ii)). Therefore, under the federal and most state RCRA regulatory schemes, all scrap metal going to recycling, whether or not it exhibits a characteristic or has become contaminated with a listed waste, is exempt from the hazardous waste regulations. No waste characterization is necessary for material that meets the definition of scrap metal that will be recycled. Scrap metal that is to be disposed of rather than recycled, however, is a “solid waste” and must be characterized and disposed of accordingly. BLUE GRASS CHEMICAL AGENT DESTRUCTION PILOT PLANT Applicable Kentucky Statutes and Regulations The Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection (KDEP) regulations generally adopt the federal RCRA regulations on identification and listing of hazardous wastes (401 Kentucky Administrative Rules [KAR] 31:040). However, the KDEP regulations also incorporate the following state-specific listed wastes (KAR 31:040 Section 7: Additional Requirement Concerning Nerve and Blistering Agents): GB, isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate and related compounds (Hazardous Waste Code N001); VX, O-ethyl-S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl)-methyl phosphonothiolate and related compounds (Hazardous Waste Code N002); and H, bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide and related compounds (Hazardous Waste Code N003).4 On September 30, 2005, the KDEP issued to Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) and Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass a research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) permit (KY8-213-820-105) to construct, test, and operate a facility designed to destroy chemical munitions containing the nerve agent GB and related waste using neutralization technology. The permit is limited to processing chemical munitions and related wastes containing the nerve agent GB. A standard RCRA permit will be required for the treatment of munitions containing the nerve agent VX and mustard agent H. Typically, a RCRA permit granted under a Part B permit application has a fixed processing scheme and operating conditions that are established before the start of operations, while an RD&D permit provides more flexibility in developing and proving out the processing scheme and operating conditions. In granting the RD&D permit, it was the opinion of the KDEP that the RD&D process is appropriate for the following reasons: Chemical agent neutralization is a proven technology. The facility operators intend to demonstrate that the various process components at BGCAPP can function together in a commercial-scale facility. The permit has performance-based conditions, such as requiring 99.9999 percent destruction efficiency (DE) of the chemical agent. No process parameters are prescribed. This allows the facility to develop the appropriate parameters (such as time and temperature) based on research data collected on the initial and subsequent real-world neutralization batches while still meeting the required DE. The risk to human health and the environment increases the longer aging chemical munitions remain in storage. Construction of hazardous waste treatment facilities cannot begin until a permit is issued. It was the opinion of the KDEP that adequate design information is already available, or will be available, in time to approve staged construction activities. The RD&D permit allows for construction activities to begin. As this report was being written, the committee expected that the RD&D permit would be converted to a RCRA operating permit granted under a Part B permit application after the system had been demonstrated on GB and before other chemical munitions (VX or H) were to be disposed of. 3 Excluded scrap metal includes processed scrap metal, unprocessed home scrap metal (steel mill scrap), and unprocessed prompt scrap metal (metal fabrication scrap) (40 CFR 261.1 (c)(9), (10), (11), and (12)). 4 The N… code designations made by the KDEP are unique to Kentucky. This designation characterizes these wastes as special hazardous wastes.
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Review of Secondary Waste Disposal Planning for the Blue Grass and Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants A RCRA permit granted under a Part B permit application is the type of permit normally necessary for the operation of hazardous waste facilities, including chemical agent disposal facilities. Kentucky law (Kentucky Revised Statutes 224.50-130) requires that before this type of permit is issued, a proposed treatment or destruction technology must have been fully proven in an operational facility of scale, configuration, and throughput comparable to the proposed facility. For chemical agent disposal, Kentucky law allows for a proposed treatment or destruction technology to either (1) have been demonstrated as effective within the chemical weapons disposal programs as directed in Public Law 104-208 and other applicable federal laws or (2) provide assurance of destruction or neutralization at an efficiency of 99.9999 percent for each chemical agent that is proposed to be treated or destroyed. In addition, monitoring data from an operational facility or alternative disposal program must show that the emissions from treatment and destruction facilities or fugitive sources present no more than a minimal risk of acute or chronic effect on human health or adverse environmental effect, as demonstrated by sufficient and applicable toxicological data. This requirement includes, but is not limited to, emissions of the chemical agents and products of combustion, incomplete combustion, and other processes alone or in combination. Moreover, an emergency response plan must have been submitted and approved after public notice and an opportunity for comments to be heard. To assure the ability of the community to respond to releases from such a facility, the plan must provide for sufficient training, coordination, and equipment for state and local emergency response personnel, including health, police, fire, and other responders. It must demonstrate a capability for evacuating prior to exposure all individuals who might be exposed to releases from the facility during a credible worst-case release or otherwise mitigating their exposure.5 BGCAPP Waste Analysis Plan At the time this report was being prepared, no waste anaylsis plan (WAP) for BGCAPP had been developed, so the committee does not know definitively how the secondary waste at BGCAPP will be managed. Therefore, the following discussions rely on information from Operations and Closure Agent-Contaminated Waste Disposal Estimate Summary Report (BPBGT, 2006a), the fact sheet “Planning for Treatment or Disposal of Secondary Wastes” (PMACWA, 2008a), the RCRA RD&D permit application (BPBGT, 2007), and presentations and information received from BGCAPP or PMACWA personnel. Plans for the disposal of secondary wastes generated at BGCAPP call for the waste to be (1) shipped offsite to an approved TSDF or (2) treated onsite and then shipped offsite. Whether onsite treatment of secondary waste is needed depends on whether the waste is agent-contaminated on noncontaminated; on whether it meets airborne exposure limit guidance standards for offsite shipment, 6 which will be set in the permit; and on what may be required by the approved WAP. A WAP must be filed with KDEP at least 18 months before the hazardous waste is delivered, which in the case of BGCAPP consists of the various chemical munitions to be destroyed. The WAP must be approved by KDEP prior to operations (401 KAR 34:030 Section 4(2)). It will detail the methods to be used for sampling, analysis, and clearance of all of the waste streams. To date no such plan has been filed. The contractor at BGCAPP has stated that it plans to use “process knowledge as the primary means of characterization, with direct sampling and analysis used to verify process knowledge.”7 Few further details were available in the permit application for the committee to review and evaluate. Finding 3-1. A detailed waste analysis plan for BGCAPP has not been developed or submitted for review and approval. Such a plan would detail sampling and analytical methods for each waste stream. Recommendation 3-1. While the Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass Team and the Program Manager for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives are not in violation of regulatory requirements and have ample time to meet the requirement to submit a waste analysis plan for BGCAPP 18 months prior to receipt of munitions at the facility, it would be prudent to develop and submit the plan as early as possible in order to determine the requirements that may be placed on the operations by the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection and avoid unnecessary delays to the operation. PUEBLO CHEMICAL AGENT DESTRUCTION PILOT PLANT Applicable Colorado Statutes and Regulations Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) regulations generally restate the federal RCRA regulations on the identification and listing of hazardous wastes (6 Code of Colorado Regulations [CCR] 1007-3, Part 261). However, the CDPHE regulations also incorporate the following state-specific listed wastes: 5 In determining the population and area of potential exposure during a worst-case release, all possible climatic conditions and population distributions must be assumed for the largest area where any exposure to the release could induce acute or chronic health consequences or environmental impact (KRS 224-50-130(3c)). 6 This level is not the same as the target release level for release of treated process wastes from the various treatment trains (e.g., from the energetics batch hydrolyzer to the hydrolysate storage tanks). 7 Kevin Regan, environmental manager, BGCAPP, “Process alternates for wastes,” presentation to the committee, January 23, 2008.
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Review of Secondary Waste Disposal Planning for the Blue Grass and Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants Bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide [mustard, mustard agent, mustard gas, H, HD] (Hazardous Waste Code P909), Bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide and bis(2-chloroethylthio)ethyl ether [mustard, mustard agent, mustard gas, HT, mustard T] (Hazardous Waste Code P910), O-isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate (GB, sarin) (Hazardous Waste Code P911), Waste chemical weapons using or containing any chemical compound identified in Appendix VII of Part 261 as the basis for this listing; residues resulting from treatment of hazardous wastes with the codes P909, P910, and P911 are included in this listing (Hazardous Waste Code K901), and Any soil, water, debris, or containers contaminated through contact with waste chemical weapons listed as K901 or hazardous wastes listed as P909, P910, or P911 (Hazardous Waste Code K902). CDPHE issued a permit (CO-04-07-01-01) to the U.S. Department of the Army and to Bechtel National, Inc., to build an RD&D hazardous waste treatment facility at the Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD). The CDPHE found that an RD&D permit is appropriate for PCAPP because this treatment technology had already been demonstrated on a laboratory-scale basis. As in the case of BGCAPP, the overall objective of the RD&D permit is to authorize the construction and eventual testing of the processes and equipment that are to be used at PCAPP to destroy chemical munitions. The current permit allows for limited construction activities. Construction of the primary hazardous waste treatment units will require further authorization through subsequent modifications of the permit. Once the facility is built, has undergone thorough testing, and demonstrated its ability to treat chemical munitions in a way that adequately protects human health and the environment, full-scale operation of the facility will require approval through the standard Part B RCRA application permitting process. CDPHE expects this transition will not delay plant operations.8 The current RD&D permit allows for completion of Phase I and II construction. The Phase I permit, issued in 2004 and modified in 2006, covers site preparation. The Phase II permit, issued in 2005 and modified in 2006, covers support facilities. Phase I construction activities include the construction of site civil work such as grubbing, grading, drainage design, construction of underground utilities, roads, construction support facilities, and staging areas. Phase II construction activities will include installation of a variety of buildings and support systems ancillary to the primary permitted hazardous waste management units. Only limited treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous waste is authorized under the RD&D permit. An application for the Phase III permit, covering process buildings, was submitted to CDPHE on December 1, 2006, and is currently under review. In addition, PCAPP is required to obtain a certificate of designation (COD) from the Pueblo County Board of County Commissioners authorizing it to begin operations. The county grants such a certificate only after the CDPHE has reviewed and recommended approval of the specific facility (see CRS 30-20-100 and Pueblo County Code Section 17.176.090). The Department of the Army and Bechtel National, Inc., applied to the Board of County Commissioners for the Phase II COD for PCAPP to be located at the Pueblo Chemical Depot. The Board has determined that the phasing of the project and CODs is appropriate and has directed the phasing to be in the form of multiple applications and certificates generally paralleling the three stages of the RD&D permits and the three stages of construction, as outlined in the initial application for a COD. The Phase I and Phase II CODs were approved and issued by the Board of County Commissioners in 2004. PCAPP Waste Analysis Plan A WAP for PCAPP has been submitted to the CDPHE (PMACWA, 2006).9 It covers both process and waste analysis and appears to have appropriate sampling and analytical discussions. For liquid streams in the process, proven analytical methods are incorporated that have been used before in the disposal of bulk mustard agent at the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (Maryland). For other possible contaminants, analytical methods listed in EPA publication SW-846, Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods, are specified (EPA, 2007). For solid wastes, vapor screening is proposed for determination of agent concentration. Process and generator knowledge10 is proposed to establish that certain materials are noncontaminated. The plan was submitted well before the start of agent operations and was in the approval stage as this report was being prepared. This timely submission provides ample time for the CDPHE to review and approve the plan. It also allows time to negotiate any changes called for by the regulators at CDPHE. Finding 3-2. The waste analysis plan for PCAPP was submitted in a timely manner for approval by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 8 Meeting by a fact-finding team of the committee with CDPHE staff on February 14, 2008. 9 See Attachment C of the PCAPP RCRA RD&D Stage III, Class 3, permit. 10 Process and generator knowledge refers to an operator’s understanding of the processes as well as other aspects of the operations of a facility.