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U.S. EPA RULES ON CHEVRON INCINERATOR APPEAL; SEEKS COMMENTS

 U.S. EPA RULES ON CHEVRON INCINERATOR APPEAL; SEEKS COMMENTS
 SAN FRANCISCO, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced its decisions on several issues in Chevron Chemical Co.'s hazardous waste incinerator permit that had been appealed by Chevron and citizens groups. U.S. EPA rejected the Richmond facility's appeal to loosen safety requirements contained in the incinerator permit, and made a tentative decision to allow the incinerator to burn an increased volume of hazardous waste, up to its design capacity, while still meeting the same stringent safety levels required in the original permit.
 In its appeal of the operating permit issued by U.S. EPA in May 1990, Chevron asked for a relaxation of strict limits on allowable levels of metals in hazardous waste burned at the incinerator. Today's decision denies that request.
 In conjunction with the request to relax metals emissions limits, Chevron also asked for a relaxation of the of the worst-case allowable risk from those emissions. U.S. EPA denied that request as well. The worst-case risk will remain a one-in-a-million cancer risk to a theoretical person who lived 70 years at the plant boundary.
 The Richmond facility, which is currently in operation, burns only liquid hazardous wastes generated on the site and piped to the incinerator.
 On another issue, U.S. EPA determined that data submitted by Chevron as confidential business information should not be released to the public. The Pipe Trades Council of Northern California had appealed for the release of this information, but U.S. EPA ruled that Chevron's claim of confidentiality was justified, and that the public had enough information available to thoroughly evaluate the permit.
 U.S. EPA has tentatively decided to grant Chevron's request for an increase in the allowable volume of waste to be burned at the facility, from a maximum of 75,000 tons per year up to the plant's capacity of 130,000 tons per year. This proposal is open for public comment until
Sept. 14, 1992. Over the past decade, the incinerator has burned, on the average, less than 60,000 tons per year. U.S. EPA has supplemented the administrative record with information submitted by Chevron indicating that the same stringent safety levels mandated in the original permit would be maintained at the increased production level. Even if the allowable volume of waste incinerated at the facility were increased, waste from outside the plant would still be prohibited.
 Written comments from the public on the matter of the incinerator's volume limits, and the inclusion of additional information on that subject in the administrative record, will be accepted until Sept. 14, 1992. Comments should be sent to:
 U.S. EPA, Region IX
 Hazardous Waste Management Division
 75 Hawthorne St., H-3-2
 San Francisco, CA 94105
 Attention: Vern Christianson (H-3-2)
 However, on Aug. 1, 1992 U.S. EPA will authorize the state of California to implement the federal RCRA program, which includes the permit process for hazardous waste incinerators. Therefore, the final decision on the appeal issues subject to public comment will be made by the state Department of Toxic
Substances Control (DTSC). Anyone who submits comments will be notified by mail of DTSC's decision.
 -0- 7/30/92
 /CONTACT: Dave Schmidt of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1578/
 (CHV) CO: U.S. EPA; Chevron Chemical Co. ST: California IN: SU:


MM -- SF006 -- 5222 07/30/92 15:26 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 30, 1992
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