Ohio EPA is currently developing new rules for community and nontransient noncommunity public water systems relative to lead and copper sampling, testing, reporting and notifications. Ohio House Bill 512, signed by Governor Kasich on June 9, 2016, requires the Director of Ohio EPA to adopt new rules for lead and copper monitoring and related actions within 120 days after the effective date of the bill. The Ohio EPA Early Stakeholder Outreach period for comments is in progress to solicit input prior to the issuance of Draft Rule(s).
The major provisions under H.B. 512 include the following requirements:
Due to the potential health effects of lead and copper in drinking water, the increased sampling, stricter reporting schedules, and corrosion studies are a step in the right direction. Because of the potentially labor-intensive task of mapping and identifying the potential system areas and buildings that may contain lead components, PWSs may find it necessary to seek professional assistance to meet proposed deadlines. Hull has the water system expertise, sampling experience, and GIS mapping capabilities to provide timely assistance. Our scientists and engineers are experienced in sampling, testing, and recommending treatment adjustments for desired water quality objectives, and can apply their skills to optimize corrosion control aspects of PWS finished water.
Hull can also assist with compliance with the proposed reporting and notifications requirements. The development of a public notification protocol and procedures for communication with the regulatory agencies is highly encouraged in advance of an actual need for this process. A well-established communication protocol is imperative to ensure that, in the case of an exceedance, the public is well informed and understands the ramifications of the situation, while maintaining continued confidence in their PWS. Hull has many years of experience in preparing and presenting public communications related to challenging public water issues, from participating in western Lake Erie harmful algal bloom communications to assisting with public meetings in eastern Ohio related to shale oil and gas water sourcing needs.
Hull will be following the rulemaking process and participating in the Ohio EPA Early Stakeholder Outreach, and will forward updates as appropriate.
The PIPES Act of 2016 (Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 was signed by President Obama on June 22, 2016. Under PIPES Section 16 (Emergency Order Authority), if the Secretary of Transportation determines that an unsafe condition or practice is causing an “imminent hazard”, the Secretary may issue an emergency order imposing restrictions, prohibitions and safety measures on owners and operators of gas or hazardous liquid pipelines and facilities without prior notice.
Imminent hazard is defined as existence of a condition that “presents a substantial likelihood that death, serious illness, serious personal injury, or a substantial endangerment to health property or the environment may occur”. “Substantial likelihood” is not defined, nor are “serious” or “substantial endangerment”. These appear to be at the discretion of the Secretary at this time.
However, Industry representatives will have an opportunity to participate in the development of regulations related to this new emergency order authority. The PIPES Act of 2016 directs PHMSA to issue temporary regulations within 60 days after enactment of the Act to implement the emergency order authority provided. PHMSA then must issue final regulations within 270 days of the date of enactment. Pipeline facilities owners and operators should take an active role in this rulemaking process.
With our background in risk assessment and risk-based rule development, the Hull Risk Analysis Center (HullRAC) intends to carefully review and comment on proposed rules, especially advocating reasonable definitions for the criteria defining imminent hazard under Section 16.
If you have questions or want to know more please reach out to us here at HULL.
Hull received some good news this week when the state legislature awarded the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) a $1M grant to help redevelop the Wright Factory. A special purpose entity, Home Avenue Redevelopment, LLC, owned by Hull principals, owns the 54 acre former Delphi site that was originally built by the Wright Brothers as the world’s first purpose-built airplane factory. Successors to the Wrights later expanded the manufacturing complex for auto-parts production.
Demolition and remediation is complete on the property and Ohio EPA is reviewing the Ohio VAP No Further Action letter. Home Avenue Redevelopment is partnering with NAHA and the City of Dayton to convert part of the former Wright Factory complex into a part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, with the remainder of the property slated for mixed-use development. Another major partner is the Ohio Development Services Agency, which awarded the City a $3M Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant in 2012.
Additional information can be found on the project by using the links below.