FaxBack # 11
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
DECEMBER 20, 1991
I am writing in response to your letter, dated November 11, 1991, requesting a public hearing
pursuant to 40 CFR Section 260.20(d) on our proposal to exclude (“delist”) from
the lists of hazardous
wastes the residues generated from the incineration of canceled pesticides by Aptus, Inc., in Coffeyville,
Kansas. As allowed under that regulation, EPA is exercising its discretion not to hold a public hearing
on the proposed deci
I do not believe a public hearing is warranted for two reasons. First, most of the issues you
have raised concern the entirely separate proceedings that addressed the decision made by EPA and
the State of Kansas to issue a permit to the Aptus facil
ity for incineration of hazardous wastes. Second,
the Agency does not heed oral presentations in a hearing to respond fully and fairly to the issues that you
have raised which do relate to the proposal to delist the residues of the incinerated canceled pe
We received only one other comment on the proposed delisting, an no one else requested a public
The key concern you raised in your letter is that “EPA is proposing to transfer a permit to
incinerate hazardous waste and the related deli
without a Public hearing.
” You suggested that EPA
was somehow taking a “shortcut” in the proper procedures, and argued that EPA should not “transfer”
the permit and delisting to an incinerator at a different location without a hearing for the reside
In response to your key concern over the “transfer” of the permit without a hearing, I would like
to point out that permits and delistings address separate issues and are subject to separate procedural
requirements. The permit will authori
ze Aptus to incinerate hazardous wastes under RCRA once the
facility completes a successful trial burn. EPA and the State of Kansas issued a permit to Aptus in June
of this year only after two public hearings; one prior to the first trial burn in 1989, an
d a more recent one
in June of this year. These hearings were the
proper forum for public comments on the decision to allow Aptus to incinerate hazardous wastes,
including dioxin wastes, and EPA Region VII and the State of Kansas considered all comments
eceived before issuing the permit.
In a delisting determination, EPA decides whether a particular hazardous waste presents so little
risk to human health and the environment that it can be “reclassified” as a non
Delistings are accomplis
hed through a petition process that requires publication of proposed decisions in
. While public hearings are an option, delistings rarely present issues that cannot be
addressed adequately through written comments and responses. In f
act, although EPA has taken final
FaxBack # 11
action on over 200 delisting petitions, it has not found it necessary to hold a hearing for any of them. As
noted in the proposed rule, EPA believes that the Aptus incinerator will be at least as effective as the
MIS in r
endering the waste non
hazardous. Therefore, the proposal to transfer the delisting was
justified and was consistent with the facility
specific nature of delisting.
Although the issues you have raised concerning the trial burn and the Missouri incinerati
permit are outside the scope of the delisting decision, I will provide brief responses to your concerns.
First, the performance standards that an incinerator must meet in order to treat dioxin wastes are very
stringent. Specifically, Aptus must demonst
rate 99.9999% destruction and removal efficiency for
hazardous constituents that are more difficult to incinerate than the key dioxin compound (TCDD).
Aptus must complete a trial burn and meet these standards before it can incinerate the canceled
Missouri did not extend the permit for the MIS in 1988, allowing the canceled pesticides to be
incinerated, due to a prior understanding between Missouri and EPA concerning the limitations placed
on the time period the MIS could operate, and t
he wastes it could treat. The MIS had successfully
treated a fairly large volume of dioxin
contaminated materials, and Missouri did not raise any technical
reason in denying the permit modification. In any case, Kansas, in conjunction with EPA, has fully
evaluated the Aptus incinerator and approved the permit for the incineration of dioxin wastes (upon
completion of a fully successful trial burn).
Turning to the comments relevant to the delisting petition, EPA has never specifically designated
site for a delisted waste. In evaluating the ultimate disposal of the delisted waste, EPA
assumed a reasonable worst
case disposal in a Subtitle D landfill without any modern engineering
barriers. Therefore, EPA believes that the waste, if delisted, may
be safely disposed at any typical solid
waste landfill. Note also that the delisting is conditional, and would require Aptus to test the residues to
ensure that the delisting levels are achieved. EPA has no knowledge that Missouri has refused to allow
sposal of delisted residues; however, landfills typically have the option to restrict the wastes they
choose to accept. If the residues are delisted, Aptus still must dispose of the residues according the
state regulations for non
hazardous solid waste.
In the past, Aptus has chosen to dispose of non
hazardous waste from the incineration of PCBs in a commercial hazardous waste landfill, and Aptus
may decide to dispose of the delisted residues in a similar fashion.
Finally, EPA proposed to make the delis
ting effective immediately upon final promulgation under
Section 3010(b) (1) of RCRA, because the regulated community (i.e., Aptus) does not need the usual
six months to come into compliance. Delaying the effective date of a decision to delist these waste
would continue to impose hazardous waste management requirements on residues that EPA has
determined were not hazardous. Setting the effective date on the date of publication is standard
practice for delistings granted in the past, and does not represen
t any special exception for the Aptus
delisting. Your letter did not present any specific issues or information regarding the Aptus delisting that
warrant investigation in a public hearing.
FaxBack # 11
Thank you for submitting comments. Nevertheless, I have determi
ned that the Agency need not
provide a hearing to give them full consideration. We will respond to your comments in the
notice finalizing the decision on the Aptus petition. However, EPA Region VII has agreed to
meet with you, if you wi
sh, to listen to your specific concerns about the permitting of the Aptus
incinerator. A Region VII representative will be contacting you shortly to schedule such a meeting.
Sylvia K. Lowrance, Director
Office of Solid Waste
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