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Economic, Legal, and Practical Problems In Hazardous Waste Cleanup and Management VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL Vacationers in Florida usually do not think about the possibility of pollu- tion in the Sunshine State. Instead, images of white sandy beaches, palm trees, oranges, and bountiful freshwater lakes come to mind. It is true that Florida is not highly industrialized. Instead, the state's problems originate from a large number of small-quantity generators of hazardous waste. Flor- ida is among the top 20 hazardous-waste-producing states in the nation and produces 3.2 million tons of hazardous waste each year. The state's 37 Superfund sites place Florida sixth in the nation among states with Superfund sites. These sites, along with 70,000 gasoline tanks and 10,000 registered pesticides in the state, are threats to the groundwater, which provides more than 90 percent of the state's citizens with drinking water. Unfortunately, these supplies have proved vulnerable to contamina- tion because of the high water table and the porosity of the soils. Obviously, long-term solutions are needed for the proper management of waste produced by all generators but especially by the small-quantity gen- erators. In addition, it is imperative to avoid problems such as those now being experienced, including 123 cases of confirmed groundwater contami- nation from toxic chemicals, and a similar number from gasoline- and diesel-storage facilities. There are many controversies surrounding toxic chemicals in the environment from setting standards, to allocating responsibilities should something go wrong. A few examples of issues that we in Florida have faced in cleaning up hazardous waste sites will illustrate these dilemmas. As we have attempted to control pollution at these sites and to clean them 167

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168 VICTORIAN J. TSCHINKEL up, the state has encountered many interesting problems involving policy, economic, legal, and practical matters: decisions about the necessary degree of cleanup; assessments of the cost-effectiveness of alternatives to achieve the desired degree of cleanup; assignment of financial responsibility; legal problems involving sovereign immunity, liability, and delays in cleanup when a case is in court; and management problems involving the Environmental Protection Agency and state government. This paper first discusses the "How clean is clean?" issue, then the economic, legal, and management problems. Finally, it describes the frame- work needed for long-term management of hazardous waste and explains what Florida is doing to lay the groundwork for a systematic approach to long-term hazardous waste management. HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? Determining the extent of cleanup necessary at hazardous waste sites is difficult and sensitive. Everyone has a notion of how much must be done to ensure public safety. As secretary of the Florida Department of Environ- mental Regulation, I, like other regulators, enjoy philosophizing over the apparently endless subject of "How clean is clean?" It is intellectually stimulating and helps take us above the day-to-day problems. But cleanup of hazardous waste sites also requires that a regulator be a sort of glorified refuse shoveler with grimy hands. We have to contain and remove the wastes or contain and treat them or, in some cases, be satisfied to contain them. How should we decide? First, we need to estimate the risk from exposure to each hazardous waste site. State standards for a number of toxic, carcinogenic, or mutagenic substances in groundwater and drinking water provide guidance. Address- ing risk when soils are contaminated is more difficult, but it can be done. Although we recognize that we must make certain assumptions about risk, often using inadequate information, it should also be a top priority to adopt standards nationally. Otherwise, we will be involved in handwringing ad hoc decisions every time a toxic chemical is detected in the environment. When there are no standards, a miniature standard-setting process should be used to establish target levels at each site. Sometimes we are left with nothing more than the limits of routine detection as a goal-but at least this is a place to start. Then, with scientific data in hand we proceed as in any enforcement case

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PROBLEAlS IN H~Z~RDOUS WASTE CLEANUP AND M~N~G~NT 169 to weigh the social, technical, economic, and policy considerations. Fo example, we must consider actual risk to public health and safety from the contamination; impacts on the designated use of surface and groundwater protection for drinking water, propagation of fish and wildlife, and so on; existing and future land use potentially affected by migration of the pollutants; available cleanup technology;and available financial resources. Harris Corporation A case in point involves the cleanup of a contaminated drinking water supply for the protection of public health. Discharges from Harris Corpora- tion's electrical component manufacturing operations near Melbourne resulted in contamination of groundwater at the site in addition to contami- nation of a well field used by the General Development Utilities Corporation (GDU) just south of the Harris plant. Thus, this case involves a clash between two corporate giants. Under a consent agreement with the Florida Department of Environmen- tal Regulation (DER), Harris has stopped its discharges into potable ground- water and will treat the contaminated groundwater by aeration. The water is contaminated by 13 volatile organic compounds at concentrations of up to 15,000 parts per billion each, and will be treated to bring the concentrations within Florida's drinking water standards. Initially, Harris offered to supply the treated water to GDU for use as drinking water. GDU refused, citing public relations reasons and a lack of confidence that the treated water would consistently meet drinking water standards. GDU prefers that Harris furnish a new well field, but Harris's position is that cleaning up the old one is sufficient. The current plan is that once full-scale treatment begins, the treated water win be wasted and discharged to surface waters unless another use is found. It cannot be used to recharge the aquifer because of hydrological consider- ations. If GDU refuses to take the water after one year, Harris will be required to find another use for it. The dilemma here is that, despite water quality standards, it is not always technically possible to achieve them. In this case, for instance, no one is sure how clean we can make the aquifer itself through pumping. The goal will be to treat the water remaining in the aquifer to a level that will prevent contami- nation of adjacent waters and leave the water suitable for future "reasonable and beneficial uses" such as drinking water. We plan to review the situation

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170 VICTORIA] J. TSCHINKEL after two or three years of treatment. We maintain, however, that the treated water coming out of the aquifer should not be wasted. The cost of cleanup will reach the tens of millions of dollars. Harris already has spent $3 million and estimates it will take a minimum of five to seven years to effectively clean up contaminated portions of the aquifer. Sapp Battery Salvage Anotherillustration of the "How clean is clean?" dilemma concerns a site with contaminated groundwater that needed to be cleaned up to prevent poisoning of adjacent private wells. At this site, in Florida's Panhandle, different criteria were used to decide the degree of cleanup. Sapp Battery Salvage, which closed in January 1980, was engaged in recovering lead from spent storage batteries. Wastewater containing lead, zinc, magnesium, and sulfuric acid was discharged into an onsite swamp, which drains into the watershed of the most environmentally pristine bay in the state (see Figure 11. Dead and discolored vegetation, as well as strong sulfurous odors, were noted along the drainage route from the site. Signifi- cant levels of metals were found in sediments several miles downstream from the site. FIGURE 1 A cypress swamp was destroyed at the Sapp Batted hazardous waste site in Flonda's Panhandle. In the foreground, piles of battery casings-some four to six feet deep- cover the site.

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PROBLEMS IN HAZARDOUS HASTE CLEANUP Alkyd MAINAIGE1VE:NT 1 71 The site was placed on the federal Superfund list, and the Department of Environmental Regulation conducted a $235,000 remedial feasibility study as part of the Superfund process. The remedial investigation revealed areas where the soils contained lead levels as high as 140,000 milligrams per kilogram, or 14 percent lead. An unlined acid pond with a pH of 2 and lead levels at 4 milligrams per liter drinking water standards are 0.05 milli- grams per liter was a source of contamination for groundwater and surface water. These findings and the recommendations from a study funded by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prompted the state to begin cleanup of these sources. So far we have removed and properly disposed of approximately 9,200 cubic yards of highly contaminated soil and sludge and have treated 125,000 gallons of contaminated water from the acid pond (see Figure 21. Our goal was to reduce the risk of direct contact with contaminants and to minimize the potential for further groundwater contamination. Our initial target was to remove enough soil to achieve lead levels of between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per kilogram. However, intense grid sampling revealed that contamination was more widespread than expected, with extremely high lead levels in certain spots. Consequently, we elected to remove only the "hot spots" with the funds allocated for this initial measure. We believe . ~A ....... ~ ~. ~ ~ i ~ FIGURE 2 Lead-contaminated soil is removed at the Sapp Battery hazardous waste site in Florida Panhandle.

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172 VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL that these actions have controlled the source of pollution to an acceptable degree pending final, long-term cleanup of the groundwater and of sedi- ments in the swamp and creek. In the meantime, a fence has been con- structed around the site, and warning signs have been posted to limit public access and exposure. The state's initial action cost nearly $1 .7 million. It was paid for from the state s Water Quality Assurance Trust Fund and was completed in Novem- ber 1984. The DER was awarded a court judgment of $12 million in the case, but received only $30,000 from the sale of a repossessed truck. Remaining federally funded cleanup activities will begin soon after com- pletion ofthe Superfund feasibility study in early 1986. The feasibility study will include a risk assessment and will be used to determine the final action taken at Sapp. ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS Cost-Effectiveness Once it has been determined what will be cleaned up and to what degree, we must examine the cost-effectiveness of cleanup alternatives. Two case studies one involving incineration; the other, onsite treatment illustrate the economic questions involved as well as the interaction of social, policy, and governmental issues. Jacksonville A plan to incinerate oil and soil tainted with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was rejected in February 1985 by local government officials in Baldwin a town of 1,700 near Jacksonville because of local distrust of outside government and concerns about health and safety. Baldwin residents perceived their town as a dumping ground for Jacksonville when an out-of- state company mishandled Jacksonville's sewage sludge and left a foul- smelling mess in 1981. Although the state forced the company off its prop- erty two years later, the experience left residents disillusioned with government. This distrust was compounded by local fear of burning PCBs as the Envi- ronmental Protection Agency presented its proposal to incinerate 100,000 gallons of PCB-laced oil and 3,900 tons of contaminated soil. A Baldwin resident was quoted as saying, "From what happened with the sludge, there's a feeling we can't count on anybody downtown (in Jacksonville) to do what they say they're going to do."

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PROBLE1tIS IN H~Z~1RDOUS [PASTE CLEANUP AND M~NAG~ENT 173 The distrust and resentment of outside government was increased by the knowledge that the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice had known about the illegal PCB storage operation for three years but let the wastes pile up in the hope of collecting evidence against the company responsible. They were unsuccessful, and in 1984 the president of American Electric Company was found not guilty in a U.S. Department of Justice indictment with 27 criminal counts of illegal handling of PCBs. Understandably, Baldwin residents want the PCBs removed. But because EPA's proposal for so-called immediate removal by incineration was rejected, it may take two years before cleanup can begin. EPA has begun its remedial study, and it is possible that onsite incineration may be recom- mended again. At a cost of $1.5 million, incineration is more cost-effective than trucking the waste to an out-of-state landfill at a cost of $6 million. EPA maintained that incineration was safe and the state agreed, but Baldwin residents maintain that they will fight incineration again if it is recom- mended. We learned a sad lesson at Baldwin: The public's distrust of government has real foundations, and we must work hard to earn the public's trust and belief in us before we will have any real success. Whitehouse Oil Pits Another example of the importance of cost-effectiveness in cleanup involves the Whitehouse Oil Pits, near Jacksonville. Waste petroleum prod- ucts were dumped for 10 years into seven unlined pits at a site near a now- defunct waste oil refining company. The city of Jacksonville made numer- ous attempts to control pollution from the site by reinforcing the pit dikes and. dewatering the pits. But heavy rains caused the dikes to collapse. Further cleanup efforts by the EPA, the state, and the city significantly reduced hazards at the site and ensured that no further large-scale spills would occur. Steady erosion of the dike walls allowed pollutants to seep slowly into surface water, but this problem was resolved in 1983 through EPA's use of Superfund monies to stabilize the site. The $425,000 in Superfund money was also used for a remedial investigation. It showed groundwater contami- nation near the site. No private drinking water wells the closest is 200 feet downhill from the site were shown to be contaminated. It was evident that long-term cleanup was necessary to contain the spread of contamination from the site. All possible options were considered, and we decided to try one of the less-expensive ones. Underground clay walls will be constructed around the contaminated area, and a clay cap will be placed on top. Pumps will extract contaminated groundwater, which will be treated and released into a nearby creek. The flushing process could take as long as

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174 VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL 50 years. The cost for this option is $3 million, including operation and maintenance. Other suggested solutions involved excavation of the material and dis- posal in an out-of-state landfill. The cost for that option was estimated at $224 million. Clearly the flushing plan deserves a trial. Financial Responsibility We have learned that cleanup can be very expensive. Federal law now requires companies to show that they can pay for closure and any postclosure operations necessary at a hazardous waste facility they decide to shut down. Florida requires similar guarantees from municipalities, private compa- nies, and other entities for sanitary landfill closure. Eighty percent of active sanitary landfill acreage in the state is publicly owned. The closure rule, adopted recently by the state's Environmental Regula- tion Commission, was controversial because of the economic impact and financial responsibility requirements. The rule was tabled for a year before it was adopted. During that period, the Florida legislature required the DER to investigate economically feasible, cost-effective, and environmentally safe methods for landfill closure. The law required the department to incorporate these methods into the closure rule. The final closure rule requires 20 years of long-term care of sanitary landfills, including monitoring of groundwater, gas, leachate, and storm water. One-quarter to one-half of all landfill acreage in Florida will be closed by 1995 at an estimated closure cost of $400 million. Depending on the size of the landfill, the cost per acre may be as much as $100,000, and the cost increases if remedial action is necessary. This may seem high, but we have to consider the costs in perspective. The per capita cost is only $3 .33 per person per year, and closure costs will be significantly reduced as proper construc- tion and operation increase. Tower Chemical The Tower Chemical Superfund hazardous waste site in central Florida is a sad example of the need for financial responsibility by owners of hazardous waste facilities. For 24 years, pesticides and agricultural chemicals including DDT were manufactured at the 2-acre site. During this time, highly acidic wastewater was discharged into an unlined percolation pond, which occasionally overflowed into an adjoining swamp. Water from the swamp drains into Lake Apopka the state's fourth-largest lake. Analysis of water and sediment from the percolation pond showed high concentrations of pesticides and heavy metals.

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PROBLEMS IN HAZARDOUS HASTE CLEANUP AND M~N~G~=T 175 Additionally, solid chemical wastes were dumped and burned at the site in a pit dug into the water table. This left high concentrations of toxic pesticides in the soil. A major concern at the site was the potential for contamination of the deep aquifer. Because of an immediate threat to human health and the environment, EPA and the state performed an emergency removal at the site in 1983, at a total cost of $750,000. About a million gallons of water from the pond were filtered to meet state standards, then discharged to surface waters. Contami- nated sediments were excavated and shipped out of state for disposal. The ponds were capped to discourage leaching of any residual hazardous materi- als. Contaminated soils from a dumping pit were removed, and the cavity was capped. Studies are under way to determine what further cleanup actions are necessary. The owner of Tower Chemical Company has filed for bankruptcy, so it is unlikely that we will see any of the money from a $10-million judgment in the case. Liability Insurance In addition to closure and postclosure responsibility, companies are required to have liability insurance. Nationwide, about 5,100 facilities for the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste are subject to "sud- den liability" insurance requirements to cover accidents and spills. Another 1,000 surface impoundments, landfills, and land treatment facilities are required to have "nonsudden liability" insurance, which covers leaks and other gradual or "invisible" forms of contamination. In Florida, there are 60 hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities required to have sudden liability insurance, and 20 of these also must have nonsudden liabil . . try Insurance. The insurance market is in turmoil now as "sudden and accidental" cover- age is excluded from new comprehensive general liability policies. ~ Policies that now contain this coverage are being canceled or are not renewed. Markets offering sudden liability coverage are shrinking, premiums are I Comprehensive general liability provides coverage for third party bodily injury, which includes sickness and disease, and property damage. Products and completed services or operations performed by the insured are among the most important areas of potential liability covered. Comprehensive general liability provided general coverage against pollution liability up to 10 years ago when the policy was amended to provide "sudden, accidental occurrences coverage" and to delete "nonsudden and gradual coverage." "Sudden pollution coverage" has recently been deleted from policies, and the new comprehensive general liability form for January 1, 1986, deletes all coverage for exposure to pollution.

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176 VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL increasing tremendously, and applications for coverage are taking a mini- mum of six months to process. Although all of Florida's treatment, storage, and disposal facilities whose coverage has been discontinued have been able to obtain coverage else- where, the cancellation and nonrenewal of policies are expected to continue as more and more companies eliminate sudden and accidental coverage. There is no doubt that the nation's hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities will have difficulty maintaining compliance with liability requirements. Although Florida state law requires financial responsibility insurance for nonhazardous waste storage tanks, we are having difficulty developing a corresponding rule because insurance companies are unwilling to provide such insurance. EPA also is struggling with this issue at the national level. LEGAL PROBLEMS The legal problems we encounter can cause delays in cleanup when cases are tied up in court and can involve issues of liability and sovereign immu- nity. It seems that we at the state level are still dealing with the more mundane legal issues while, at the national level, EPA deals with more esoteric legal issues, such as the statute of limitations, private claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), past and present landowner liability, joint and several liability, and insurance company liability. Cleanup Delays In a case involving Montco Research Products, Inc., a circuit court judge has withheld a ruling for over a year on a motion to grant access to a site in northeast Florida. According to Montco, some 1,000 drums of hazardous wastes from its chemical manufacturing and refining operations were placed in a landfill at the site before 1980. Soil samples taken by EPA in 1981 showed contamination from cyanide, lead, mercury, and other pollutants. The water table in this area is only a few inches below the surface, and groundwater was also contaminated. Pollution problems at the site were complicated in 1980 by a fire in buildings for drying and storage. Runoff from fire-fighting activities contaminated sediments in a nearby swamp. In 1983 the DER offered the company a consent order requiring study of the area and removal of the drums. The company refused to sign the consent order, so the department went to court to obtain access to the site to conduct an assessment and begin cleanup. That was more than a year ago. The

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PROBLEAIS IN H~7~RDOUS WASTE CLEANUP AND M~NAG~NT 177 company has begun excavating the drums and at one time estimated it would take two years to remove all of them. The company now says they have removed 12 truckloads of drums and soil and that another 83 truckloads remain. We sought access for an immediate removal of the drums. In mid-1985 the judge called our department and the company into a hearing and ordered the company to turn over its manifests so we could have an idea of the number of drums remaining. The company wanted us to drop the lawsuit, but we refused for obvious reasons, which include the Act that the extent of contamination is not Filly known. The judge later met with representatives of the department and the com- pany at the site. However, he still has not ruled on whether the department may have access to the site to conduct an assessment and cleanup. Sovereign Immunity When a state spends money to clean up toxic waste, it ordinarily seeks reimbursement from the responsible parties. However, a recent court deci- sion on the Silvex site in Florida, where the U.S. Navy was one of the responsible parties, prevents states from recovering funds when the respon- sible party is the federal government. This ruling reinforced the idea of "sovereign immunity" of federal facilities from state regulations. The federal government, especially the military, is one of Florida's largest generators of hazardous waste. Recent reports estimate that the cost of cleanup at military installations around the country may reach as high as $10 billion. Despite the problems found onsite at federal facilities, the greatest difficulty has been with offsite problems. When contamination has been found on the grounds of a federal facility, states have obtained some cooper- ation and commitment from the federal government. When the problem is offsite, however, there has been no cooperation at all, making it appear that the federal government supports the concept of joint and several liability only when it applies to someone else. The site of the City Chemical Company in Orlando provides another example ofthe problem of sovereign immunity. Large volumes of hazardous waste were improperly disposed of at the site between 1979 and 1983. The state has spent more than $1 million, and the EPA more than $500,000, on surface cleanup at the site. A remedial investigation is under way to deter- mine the extent of groundwater contamination. The DER is negotiating with more than 240 hazardous waste generators for the recovery of cleanup costs at this site. Two of the generators are federal agencies. The fact that federal generators may not be required to pay their share ofthe cost has caused problems in negotiations with the other 238

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178 VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL responsible parties. The private parties are held liable for exactly the same actions as those by the federal agencies, yet the federal agencies may not pay a cent for cleanup. States are severely hindered in carrying out their roles in the Superfund process when federal facilities are held "above the law" in cases involving hazardous waste. Amendments to CERCLA that would close the loopholes for federal facilities have been proposed, but prospects for their passage are poor. PRACTICAL PROBLEMS In addition to legal problems, numerous management problems also can delay cleanup actions by the state. For instance, the EPA has changed its guidelines for feasibility studies several times. We must now identify a "no action" option and a proper closure option. In the case of the Whitehouse Oil Pits site, options added to the feasibility study to accommodate changes in the guidelines delayed us six months. Even though we knew ahead of time the options would be rejected, we were still required to incorporate them in the feasibility study. Changes in EPA guidelines also result in our having to amend contracts. In my opinion, we need to distinguish between sites with financially solvent, cooperative responsible parties, and others, to allow the Superfund process to operate as it was intended. Few people realize that listing a site on the Superfund National Priority List (NPL) can actually be counterproduc- tive in achieving cleanup of the site. The EPA, under misplaced congres- sional pressure, has listed several Florida sites for which the state had made major progress in negotiations to secure cleanup by the responsible party. When these sites are listed on the NPL, progress slows. One of the major reasons for the slowdown is that a company usually waits for EPA to evalu- ate its cleanup plan before proceeding, since it would not want to be told later by EPA that the plan was inadequate. Cleanup was delayed in this way for several months at the Harris Corporation site in Palm Bay and at the Pratt & Whitney site in West Palm Beach. However, cleanup plans have been approved by EPA at both sites, and cleanup will proceed soon. To further complicate matters, EPA is contemplating adding to the Super- fund list Florida sites that have been cleaned up by the responsible parties through state enforcement actions. Although the sites are cleaned up, EPA is required-before desisting them to confirm the cleanup with groundwater sampling, which usually costs the government between $100,000 and $250,000 per site. A practical problem that slows action on hazardous waste site cleanup at both the state and the federal levels is the long turnaround time for analysis

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PROBLEMS IN HAZARDOUS [BASTE CLEANUP AND GENT 179 of laboratory samples. The turnaround time for EPA can be as long as six months. The average is about one month for our own lab. The department is preparing for construction of a new laboratory complex at its Tallahassee headquarters to shorten the time lag. Another problem is the length of time required to begin long-term reme- dial action. Superfund sites are tested and studied for an average of two and one-half years before they reach the cleanup stage. We are hopeful that as EPA management gains stability, the complex Superfund program will mature properly. However, immediate removal actions by EPA at American Creosote in Pensacola, Tri-City Oil in Tampa, and Pepper Steel and Alloys in Miami have shown that work is under way to lessen threats posed to the environ- ment and the public by hazardous waste. More than $6 million in federal funds have been spent in Florida on immediate removals, remedial investi- gations, and feasibility studies at 14 of the state's 37 Superfund sites. A total of 63 hazardous waste sites in Florida are undergoing physical cleanup. Recovery of petroleum contaminants is under way at another 48 sites in Florida and has been completed at 37 more. HAZARDOUS AND INDUSTRIAL WASTE ENFORCEMENT Only 65 percent of the hazardous and industrial waste sources in Florida are in compliance with pertinent state and federal regulations. We would like to achieve at least a 90 percent compliance rate. The public will never have confidence in us if we are incapable of enforcing the law. In addition, new amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) require that small-quantity generators be regulated (Section 221 of the Haz- ardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 19841. This increases the size ofthe regulated public tenfold on the national level. EPA estimates that some 650,000 small-quantity generators nationwide will fall under the new regu- lations. The governor of Florida recommended to the state legislature more hazardous waste and. industrial waste enforcement personnel to increase compliance with the state's laws. We requested and have received additional enforcement positions for hazardous and industrial waste to pursue increased enforcement action and raise the compliance rate. PROSPECTS FOR LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT Because of the threats to Florida's environment posed by improper dis- posal of hazardous waste, Florida needs a network for proper waste manage- ment. The DER is in the process of learning how much and what types of

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180 VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL hazardous wastes are produced in the state and how they are disposed of to determine the nature of the required network. We are surveying 87,000 businesses that may generate hazardous waste. Based on figures from the 20 most populous counties in the state, we estimate that small-quantity genera- tors in Florida may produce some 269,000 tons of hazardous waste a year. This is more than a quarter of the total amount of noncorrosive hazardous waste produced in the state. Duval County The assessment for Duval County, which includes Jacksonville, shows that an estimated 26,500 tons of waste are produced every year. The majority is lead acid batteries and used motor oil. An estimated 84 percent of the total waste stream in Duval is reportedly recycled. The assessment shows that another4 percent ofthe wastes were disposed of in landfills and that "some generators were uncertain of how the wastes were disposed." Used motor oil accounts for a large percentage of waste in both Duval and Dade counties. Both EPA and DER are considering listing used oil as a hazardous waste. Pinellas County An estimated 30,000 tons of hazardous waste are generated annually in Pinellas County, which includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Waste oil, spent solvents, and washing and rinsing solutions with heavy metals are among the most common wastes. These materials present a large recycling market, as more than half the oil and solvents are recycled. The most common method of disposal of hazardous waste in Pinellas County is in solid-waste landfills, according to the October 1984 county assessment of hazardous waste management. Recycling is the second most common method, and disposal in the sewers is third. National Small-Quantity Generator Survey Although not all of the Florida assessments are in, indications are that the percentage of waste produced by small-quantity generators in Florida is higher then the national average. In Dade County, an estimated 30 percent of all hazardous waste is from small-quantity generators. In Brevard County, 660 small-quantity generators produce 3,000 tons of waste annually, and 12 large-quantity generators produce 3,500 tons. According to a February 1985 EPA survey, small-quantity generators represent 98 percent of the total number of hazardous waste generators, yet

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PROBLEMS IN H~Z~RDOUS WASTE CLEANUP AND MANAGEMENT 181 account for less than 0.5 percent of the total quantity of hazardous waste generated every year. Nationally, most generators ship their wastes offsite, but some 20 percent neutralize, treat, recycle, or dispose of it onsite, accord- ing to the report. We estimate that in Florida, 66 percent of the waste from small-quantity generators is recycled. Wastes that are not recycled, either because it is not technologically feasible or because it is not cost-effective, must tee managed properly. This means they must be shipped out of state for proper disposal or be managed in-state. There is a growing need for in-state management of hazardous waste as more and more states show increasing reluctance to accept waste from other states. The cost for disposal has steadily increased as well, with no improvement in services. In addition, 1984 amendments to the RCRA ban land disposal of certain waste. Amnesty Days Florida is laying the groundwork for an in-state system of hazardous waste management. A pilot program makes use of a mobile transfer station as the collection center for hazardous wastes from small-quantity generators, including homeowners and schools, and runs through 1986. The Florida legislature dubbed the program "Amnesty Days" since banned pesticides and other hazardous materials that have received media attention can be turned in anonymously. (Small-quantity generators were not subject to the regulation at the time Amnesty Days was passed. The program simply was created to encourage proper disposal. Participants may fill out an optional information form to help the state learn more about disposal practices, but they are not required to supply the information or their names.) The waste is packaged at the mobile transfer station and shipped out of state for incinera- tion, recycling, or disposal. In the first year, 305 tons of waste were collected in four metropolitan areas and surrounding counties. Eighty-five percent of the participants were homeowners. Many of the collection stations in the Amnesty Days program were sited in parking lots of shopping malls. Initially, we found that some mall managers were reluctant to allow us to collect waste there, simply out of fear of "hazardous waste." They were not aware that much of the waste consisted of the same products on their store shelves. Consider, for example, two trucks passing on the interstate one loaded with drums of hazardous waste, on its way out of Florida, with manifests and tight controls on transport and dis- posal; and the other loaded with chemical products, on its way into Florida, with hardly any controls. Both contents are hazardous. Not only is the Amnesty Days program increasing public awareness of the

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182 VICTORIA J. TSCHINK~ need for proper management of hazardous waste and showing that hazard- ous waste can be managed safely, it is also making people aware of the hazardousness of the everyday products we use, and the fact that these chemicals must be disposed of properly (see Figure 31. The Casefor Transfer Stations At the same time the collection program takes place and county assess- ments are prepared, counties must designate at least two areas where a transfer station could be located. Nearly 45 areas have been designated so far by the first 20 counties required to choose a site. Transfer stations can reduce by more than 20 times the transportation costs associated with hazardous waste disposal, when several generators consoli- date their waste before shipment. One transfer station is in operation in Florida, and another is under construction. There is an urgent need for a network of these types of facilities. The fixed cost for transport of one or more drums of hazardous waste is $2.40 per mile. Transportation costs to ship a load of from 1 to 40 drums of waste out-of-state can be nearly $2,000. Without some way for small ... ~ ~ : ................................................................. . ~. If. I'll' i''\ _ ... ~. ~0 ; S . ~,~ ~ l . ~. ~,.~. ~k. ~ ~ .......... .... . ~ - 1 l . ~ ~ ~ ~l ~ . ~ 111 !111 11 ~ 15 . 1 Ellll ~ ~ ~I ~ . ~ ~ ..e,. .5,,. ..~.., B. .,.,~,,,., i.,.... 1 [.................................... l r ,.,., ,.:.,.,: l E: ' : I Em. ''''....' :.''...:.'.''.:.'.'.'..: .. En' '''"""""'''""'"'" "'' ''" '""""'''' ............................ - - - I;.......... ~ - .:: . FIGURE 3 Outdoor advertising increases public awareness of Florida's "Amnesty Days" program for the collection of hazardous waste.

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PROBLEMS IN H~Z~RDOUS WASTE CLUMP AND MAT 183 quantity generators who each produce only half a drum per month to cost-effectively dispose of their waste, we will see increased illegal and improper waste disposal. This will become more evident now that federal law requires small-quantity generators to manifest their waste, even for disposal in the municipal landfill. Landfill operators will be reluctant to accept the waste they have been handling for years, now that they know it is hazardous and that they must sign a manifest for its receipt. Multipurpose Facility The need for a network of permanent transfer stations in Florida is only part of the long-term solution. All states, including Florida, must manage as much waste as they can within their own borders. This holds true for the cities as well. In addition to transfer stations, Florida needs a central multipurpose facil- ity for the storage, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste. We do not know how large or exactly what the components of such a facility will be. Commercial hazardous waste landfills are banned in Florida because of the state's high water table and porous soils. Our county assessments will be used to help answer these questions. We plan to hire a consultant to analyze the assessments, which should be completed in 1986 for all of the state's 67 counties. The consultant will make recommendations, based on analysis of the hazardous waste stream, on the types of technology needed at the facil- ity. In 1987, we will have definite answers on exactly what we need to prop- erly manage and dispose of the state's hazardous waste. Another Alternative: Incineration Incineration on land or at sea may have promise for Florida's hazardous waste management efforts in the future, so long as proper safeguards and strict monitoring are employed. For obvious reasons, as we saw in Baldwin with the proposed incineration of PCBs, public acceptance is slow. Consider another example: A company has proposed to operate a hazardous waste incinerator ship in the Gulf of Mexico and to build a dockside terminal and waste storage facility near Mobile, Alabama, where the ship is to be based. The proposal has met strong local opposition in Mobile, as well as concern from many Gulf states, for a variety of environmental reasons. The firm is awaiting the outcome of EPA rule hearings before deciding its next move. We understand the public's concern over such projects. Technical issues, such as temperature maintenance and control of the burn, have to be consid

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184 VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL ered in incineration. However, incineration is the best available waste dis- posal technology next to recycling, or next to reducing use of chemicals that require such technologies for disposal. The time has come to use alternative technology for disposal of hazardous waste. It is time to realize that the risks of proper waste management in no way compare with the insidious pollution problems resulting from the lack of proper management. CONCLUSION There are countless facets to the dilemmas posed by managing toxic chemicals in the environment. However, we now understand the problems and are on the verge of resolving them. For example, in just the first two years that we looked, we found 400 nonpetroleum-related sites suspected of groundwater contamination. But in the last six months, we have found only 16 new sites. In the future, efforts should be directed to the following areas, listed in order of increasing difficulty: Be open with the public we need to earn their trust and respect. Set careful standards. Enforce the law. Make it possible for the cooperative, fiscally solvent private sector to correct past mistakes. Eliminate red tape in cleanup operations. Choose cost-effective cleanup methods once the level of cleanup has been set. Examine insurance and liability questions. C? Provide for safe, legal ways to dispose of toxic chemicals so that we do not inadvertently encourage midnight dumpers. In Florida, we are making progress in all these areas. We have been operating in a state of "toxic shock" at least over the past several years as the true dimensions of the problem became known. Five years from now, however, we will look back on this time as a painful transition to competent, routine handling of an important environmental problem.