NCRO Weekly Report for Nov. 2nd-6th, 2009

NORTHCENTRAL REGIONAL OFFICE-WILLIAMSPORT

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 2-6, 2009

Issues Requiring the Governor’s (or Governor’s staff) ACTION

 

Nothing new to report

 

Issues Requiring the Governor’s (or Governor’s staff) ATTENTION

 

Nothing new to report

 

Management and Productivity

 

Nothing new to report

Recovery Activities

 

ARRA Green Infrastructure Grant, Snyder County Conservation District: The Snyder County Conservation District, working closely with the Watershed Management program, completed its $128,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant on Oct. 30. There were 10,038 containerized trees planted, and the project established 52 acres of riparian forest buffers on 26 sites throughout five northcentral region counties. Twenty-one of the riparian buffer sites were at previous DEP stream bank fencing projects completed over the last 14 months at agricultural operations.  The project improves water quality and reduces stormwater reaching the streams. PENNVEST signed the grant contract on Oct. 8, and tree plantings began on Oct. 13.  This is PENNVEST’s first ARRA Green Infrastructure grant completed in Pennsylvania. (David Garg 570-321-6581)

 

What’s Hot/Major Actions

Compliance Orders/Fort Worth Pipes and B&P Railroad, Sandy Township, Clearfield County: On Oct. 30, the Watershed Management program issued Chapter 102 and Chapter 105 field compliance orders to the operator and the landowner of an earth disturbance project in Sandy Township.  Fort Worth Pipes of Fort Worth, Texas, was clearing and grubbing a 30-acre parcel owned by B&P Railroad to build a natural gas equipment storage area and parking lot.  In addition to not having the appropriate Earth Disturbance permits, there were wetlands impacted and fill was being placed along a flood plain of the creek that runs along the property.  The Chapter 102 orders require an immediate halt to any further earth disturbance and direct Fort Worth Pipes to apply for a permit. The Chapter 105 order requires that a wetland delineation be made and a restoration plan be submitted regarding impacts to the wetlands and flood plain.  The owners of Fort Worth Pipes were cooperative when given the order.  They indicated to DEP staff that they had been informed by their consultant that no permit was required.  (David Garg 570-321-6581)

 

First Quality Paper, City of Lock Haven, Clinton County: A pre-application meeting was held Nov. 2 with First Quality Paper to discuss its plans to construct a third production line at its plant in Lock Haven.  First Quality presently has two parallel production lines operating which are not adequate to meet customer demand.  The company stated that while the Lock Haven site is favored, they are keeping their options open for a site located outside Pennsylvania.  Their tentative schedule is to be permitted by mid-year 2010.  The Air Quality permit needed for the increased emissions could take longer to approve than First Quality’s optimum date for starting construction.  DEP staff committed to working with First Quality staff and EPA to attempt to meet the construction schedule.  First Quality expects to make its site selection by the end of the week.  (Michael Welch 570-327-3695)

 

Fox Hill Wind Energy, Ulysses Township, Potter County: A pre-application meeting is scheduled for mid-November to review a permit submittal next month for a wind energy project in Potter County.  Fox Hill Wind Energy is preparing to submit applications to DEP on Dec. 13 to construct a 70-turbine wind farm in Ulysses Township.  The project is being designed to generate between 100 and 150 megawatts, depending on the size of turbine used. (Michael Welch 570-327-3695)

Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, Oregon Township, Wayne County: On Oct. 29, Oil and Gas program staff met with representatives of Chesapeake Appalachia LLC to discuss the Robson well and the associated spill area.  Although the main cause of the spill is still unknown, Chesapeake took full responsibility for the problem and has hired ERM of Exton as a consultant.  Chesapeake will conduct further environmental sampling and the company will remediate the site as appropriate.  Chesapeake collected samples at the spill location on Oct. 15, and forwarded those results to DEP.  Chesapeake is also working with staff from DEP’s NERO Environmental Cleanup program on the characterization of this site.  Chesapeake expressed some concerns about site security and may make some operational changes in the future. (John Ryder 570-327-0533)

PPL Montour Generating Station, Derry Township, Montour County: On Nov. 3, a multi-program inspection was conducted at PPL’s ash basin No.1 in Derry Township.  Staff from the Waste Management and Watershed Management programs, along with staff from the Division of Dam Safety met with PPL representatives to discuss repairs to several cracks discovered along the basin’s berm.  On Oct. 19, PPL informed DEP that longitudinal cracks had developed on the south side berm of the basin.  Since then, PPL, working with the Division of Dam Safety, had developed a temporary repair plan and had begun repairing the cracks.  The repair work completed so far was satisfactory to Dam Safety staff.  A permanent repair plan will be submitted to Dam Safety for work to begin in spring 2010.  Dam Safety staff also told PPL that it plans to begin immediately the process to revise the classification of the basin to a high hazard dam. Regional Watershed Management staff will begin annual inspections in 2010.  In addition, Dam Safety will work with Waste Management staff on PPL’s intent to revise the basin’s closure plan and will coordinate all approvals that are needed from both programs. During the inspection, PPL was found to be in violation of Waste Management regulations for large erosion gullies found along the berm.  (David Garg 570-321-6581)

Hawbaker Construction Services, College Township, Centre County: Regional staff met this week with Hawbaker Construction and the Centre County Solid Waste Authority on a proposed post-construction asphalt shingle project they anticipate partnering on.  Hawbaker proposes to recycle about 5,000 tons of asphalt shingles in 2010, which is the annual amount estimated going to a landfill from roof replacements in Centre County.  They estimate that these shingles are 20 percent liquid asphalt by weight.  This recycled material will be added to Hawbaker’s mixes in manufacturing residential and commercial asphalt.  The solid waste authority will offer incentives, which will reduce tipping fees for roofing contractors who are willing to separate their waste materials to facilitate this recycling opportunity.  A pilot operation is scheduled to be tested before the end of this year.  (Michael Welch 570-327-3695)

Potential Problems/Potential Major Actions

 

Rick’s Transmission and Drive Line, Cherry Township, Sullivan County: On Nov. 3, representatives from the Waste Management and Environmental Cleanup programs conducted a joint inspection on property owned by Rick Phillips in Cherry Township.  The inspection was done as a result of a complaint investigation conducted in September at the neighboring property owned by George and Vanessa Barnatovich who reported fuel odors in their home.  The Mildred Fire Company responded and detected vapors in the sewer line with the highest level of odors detected at the junction connecting Phillips and Barnatovich to the main line.  During DEP’s investigation, it was determined that a container of waste gasoline had been run over on the Phillips property, releasing it to the ground.  DEP has been conducting indoor air monitoring and testing in the living space and basement of the Barnatovich residence and has established the presence of waste gasoline vapors.  Phillips accepts junk vehicles and drains fluids from them.  During the Nov. 3 inspection, DEP determined that about 850 gallons of waste gasoline was being stored on-site in 55-gallon containers and old storage tanks.  Phillips claimed that he intended to mix the waste gasoline with heavier petroleum base lubricants, such as gear oil, to reduce the viscosity of the gear oil and burn the mixture in a waste oil burner.  Phillips has violated state and federal hazardous waste regulations for not complying with hazardous waste permit-by rule requirements, which requires DEP notification regarding the processing activity of mixing a hazardous waste with waste oil and for not sampling the waste gasoline and resulting mixture prior to burning the waste mixture in the waste oil burner.  In addition, numerous other hazardous waste violations included ten drums of waste gasoline not properly labeled as a hazardous waste; the containers did not display a start accumulation date; the waste gasoline was not being stored in secondary containment; weekly inspections of the waste storage area were not being conducted; and failure to notify DEP or EPA that he was a small quantity hazardous waste generator.  The Waste Management and Environmental Cleanup programs are drafting a notice of violation letter for Phillips and staff from both programs will be on-site at the Phillips and Barnatovich properties early next week to conduct soil and soil gas samples for volatile organic compounds.  (Patrick Brennan 570-327-3651)

 

Good News/Major Accomplishments

 

Del Monte Foods, South Center Township, Columbia County: On Nov. 4, the Waste Management program received a $4,157 civil penalty from Del Monte Foods for hazardous waste violations.  During a routine hazardous waste generator inspection in July, Waste Management staff observed a box containing eight bottles of hazardous waste video jet ink stored in the designated 90 day hazardous waste storage area.  Neither the box nor the bottles were labeled with the words “Hazardous Waste” and were not dated with a start accumulation date.  Additionally, there was universal waste fluorescent lamps at the hazardous waste storage area not labeled and not properly packaged for storage in a compatible container.  Del Monte promptly corrected the violations and evaluated its hazardous waste and universal waste management practices.  (James E. Miller 570-327-3431)

Veolia ES Solid Waste of PA Inc., College Township, Centre County: On Nov. 4, the Waste Management program received a $4,725 civil penalty from Veolia for solid waste transporter violations.  During a Sept. 9 waste vehicle inspection at the Dale Summit Transfer Station in College Township, Center County; DEP staff observed five violations involving four waste transportation vehicles operated by Veolia.  Three of the vehicles were operating without a complete daily operation log, one vehicle did not have the proper signage on the side, and one had a leaking load.  (James E. Miller 570-327-3431)

 

Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority, West Burlington Township, Bradford County: The Waste Management program will issue a permit renewal next week to the Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority (NTSWA) for the continued operation of the municipal waste landfill in Bradford County.  The facility is permitted to accept 500 tons of waste as an average daily volume with a maximum of 750 tons on any single day.  The current permit expiration date is Feb. 24, 2010.  DEP regulations require a permit renewal application to be submitted one year prior to expiration, and DEP received the application on Feb. 27.  The renewed permit will allow for an additional 10 years of operation at the facility.  A major action advisory will not be submitted due to the nature of the renewal. (Lisa Houser 570-327-3752)

 

Thomas Benjamin, Benton Township, Columbia County: On Nov. 3, the Waste Management program received a $1,382 civil penalty from Thomas Benjamin for violations of the Pa. Solid Waste Management Act. During an April complaint investigation at Benjamin’s property in Benton Township, DEP staff observed that Benjamin had dumped about 125 cubic yards of construction/demolition waste that consisted primarily of shingles and dry wall and had also burned solid waste at his property.  There were about 100 waste tires dumped on his property in another location.  Benjamin told DEP that the solid waste at the dump was from three separate roofing jobs.  He cleaned up the solid waste and disposed of it properly using a licensed waste hauler.  (James E. Miller 570-327-3431)

After Action Report, City of Williamsport, Lycomig County: On Oct. 29, Emergency Response Manager Gerald McKernan participated in the After Action Report at Pennsylvania College of Technology on the Range Resources full-scale exercise held Sept. 19.  The exercise involved multiple injuries requiring specialized rescue including a high angle, an entrapment under pipe, confined space, and an 8,000-gallon petroleum distillate release.  DEP had four Emergency Response Team members volunteer.  The After Action Report was a critique of the incident by the major parties to learn what went well, where improvement is needed, and training needs.  It was an excellent learning experience.  The exercise was video taped by Senator Yaw with interviews and will be aired Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.  (Gerald McKernan 570-327-3722)

Lycoming County Oil and Gas Sub-Committee on Safety Meeting, Loyalsock Township, Lycoming County: On Nov. 2, Emergency Response Manager Gerald McKernan, as a member of the Lycoming County Oil and Gas Sub-Committee on Safety, attended a meeting at the Lycoming County Emergency Operations Center.  Representatives from several DCNR forest districts were present to discuss signage for gas wells on state forest land to assist emergency services in responding to gas well incidents.  Other items discussed were the After Action Report, and East Resource’s $12,000 contribution for the gas leak incident in McNett Township.  The task force requested DEP to notify them by e-mail when the Oil and Gas program receives the 24-hour notification of drilling so they know there will be activity in that area.  Most of the money from Range Resources was used to purchase a portable four-color plotter for GIS mapping during incidents.  (Gerald McKernan 570-327-3722)

 

Outreach/Upcoming Events

 

Nothing new to report

 

Act 2

Nothing new to report

 

NPDES Majors Backlog Status

 

Number of Overdue Permits-0

Number of Permits Issued This Week-0

Number of Permits Newly Expired This Week-0

(Chad Miller 570-327-3639)

 

Items for the DEP Planning Calendar

 

Nothing new to report

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