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SS Badger Ferry - EPA correspondence -EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0055-0481.1

SS Badger Ferry - EPA correspondence -EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0055-0481.1

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Published by Van O
Correspondence between lobbying firm K&L Gates and EPA as part of open comment period related to VGP process administered by EPA.

K&L is representing the SS Badger / Lake Michigan Carferry, a Lake Michigan ferry, in defense of the ongoing practice of dumping coal ash and other coal combustion waste into the waters of Lake Michigan.
Correspondence between lobbying firm K&L Gates and EPA as part of open comment period related to VGP process administered by EPA.

K&L is representing the SS Badger / Lake Michigan Carferry, a Lake Michigan ferry, in defense of the ongoing practice of dumping coal ash and other coal combustion waste into the waters of Lake Michigan.

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Van O on Apr 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/01/2010

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K&L Gates uP
1601 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-160
0
1 202
.778.9000
www
.k18ates
.ro
m
Barry
M
Hartman
D 202
.778
.933
8
F 202
.778
.9100b
arry
.hartman@k1gates
.co
m
VIA EMAIL AND MESSENGE
R
October 27, 2008
All Confidential
Business Information
Redacte
d
Ryan Albert
Office of Wate
r
U
.S
. Environmental Protection Agency1200 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N
.W
.
Washington,
D.C
. 2046
0
Attention
: Docket ID No
. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-005
5
Regarding the U
.S
. Environmental Protection Agency's 2008 Proposed Issuance of aNational Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES') Vessel General Permit
("VGP') for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Commercial and Large
Recreational Vessel
s
Dear Mr
. Albert
:
These comments are submitted on behalf of Lake Michigan Carferry, Inc
. ("LMC") of
Ludington, Michigan
. LMC is the owner and operator of the S
.S
.1 Badger, a large commercial car
ferry operating on Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes that will be subject to the proposedNational Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") Vessel General Permit ("VGP") formost if not all of its discharges
. This letter supplements our submission of October 10, 2008 and
provides more detail regarding the appropriate Best Available Technology EconomicallyAchievable ("BAT") for the boiler effluent (coal ash) from the Badger's coal-fired boilersdescribed in the October 10 submission. This submission also includes information to be providedshortly to EPA Region V in response to a Clean Water Act Section 308 Information Request("Information Request")
. We are also including information previously submitted to EPA in
response to a Clean Air Act information request
.
This submission contains
confidential
information and we request
confidential
treatment
. Because
of the
limited time
for response, we
have
not yet provided
a redacted
version of
this submission that excludesthe confidential
information, but will do so in the
near future
.
K&L
I
GATE
S
1 The prefix "S
.S
." is a short form for steamship
.
 
K
&
L
I
GATE
S
Ryan Albert
All Confidential
Business Information
12edacte
d
Office of Wate
r
U
.S
. Environmental Protection Agency
October 27, 200
8
Page
2
As we explain below there is no existing technology that can be retrofitted on the Badger in order
to achieve zero discharge of boiler effluent (coal ash)
. Given these considerations, and consistent
with other streams subject to the VGP, the boiler effluent (coal ash) should be subject to th
e
following Best Management practices
:
(a)
continuous efforts must be undertaken to ensure that the engine is operatingefficiently
;
(b)
coal used to power the boilers should have ash content that does not exceed 10% by
laboratory analysis
;
(c)
discharges of boiler effluent (coal ash) should occur no closer than 5 nautical miles(nm) from shore and in waters that are at least 100 feet deep, unless safety or
necessary operational considerations dictate otherwise
;
(d)
discharges of boiler effluent (coal ash) should occur in intervals during the vessel's
voyage to ensure appropriate mixing in discharge streams
; an
d
(e)
the operators of any such vessel should develop and implement a plan that commitsthem to undertake appropriate research and development of new technologyprocesses, absent extraordinary circumstances, that will result in the substantialreduction or cessation of discharge boiler effluent containing coal ash, no later than
May 1, 2012, if appropriate
.
1
.
Effluent limits applicable to boiler effluent (coal ash) discharge
s
The EPA noted in the proposed VGP that it is required to set effluent limits for all pointsources subject to NPDES permits at the Best Practical Control Technology currently available("BPT"), Best Conventional Pollutant Control Technology ("BCT"), and Best Availabl
e
Technology Economically Achievable ("BAT")
. Fact Sheet at 44-45
. The EPA determined that"[B]ecause of the nature of vessel discharges, it is not practicable to rely on numeric effluent limitsto achieve these levels of control for the large majority discharge types until greater information isavailable," and that it is appropriate for the VGP to include non-numeric effluent limits that requirepermittees to engage in specific behaviors or best management practices ("BMP"s)
.
Id
.
The
Agency also observed that, for purposes of determining BPT, BCT, and BAT, currently there is nofeasible, available or economically achievable and practicable means of eliminating the effluent
discharge by the time the general permit comes into effect
.
Id
.
LMC believes that this conclusion
should be applied to the boiler effluent (coal ash) discharged by the Badger
.
 
K
&
L
I
GATES
All Confidential
Business Information
Redacte
d
Ryan AlbertOffice of Water
U
.S
. Environmental Protection Agency
October 27, 200
8
Page 3
BAT must be both "technologically available and economically achievable
." Fact Sheet at
45
. The factors to be considered in determining BAT include the cost of achieving BAT effluentreductions, the age of equipment and facilities involved, the process employed, potential process
changes, non-water quality environmental impacts, including energy requirements, and otherfactors as the EPA Administrator deems approp
ri
ate
.
As EPA
stated in the Fact Sheetaccompanying the proposed VGP, and according to its Permit W
r
i
ter's Manual, where there are no
effluent limit guidelines as is the c
a
s
ehere, EPA must use Best Professional Judgment ("BPJ") toestablish such limits. Under section 304(b), this requires consideration of a number of factors
:
For BPT requirements
:
- The total cost of application of technology in relation to the effluent
reduction benefits to be achieved from such application
- The age of equipment and facilities involved*
- The process employed
*
- The engineering aspects of the application of various types of control
techniques
*
- Process changes
*
- Non-water quality environmental impact including energy
requirements
*
For BCT requirements
:
- All items in the BPT requirements indicated by an asterisk (*) above- The reasonableness of the relationship between the costs of attaining a
reduction in effluent and the effluent reduction benefits derive
d
- The comparison of the cost and level of reduction of such pollutants
from the discharge of POTWs to the cost and level of reduction of suchpollutants from a class or category of industrial source
s
For BAT requirements
:
- All items in the BPT requirements indicated by an asterisk (*) above- The cost of achieving such effluent reductio
n
40 C
.F
.R
. § 125
.3
; NPDES Permit Writer's Manual, Chapter 5 at 70 (emphasis added)
.

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