Proposed Listing of Hydrogen Sulfide (H
S)as a Hazardous Air PollutantIn the 1990s, EPA proposed adding H
S to the list of chemicals requiring reporting underthe Toxic Release Inventory, but the action was stayed in response to industry's demands thatmore scientific investigation was needed into the health effects of the substance. Recently,however, EPA proposed lifting the stay despite having not developed any additional scientificsupport for the listing. This is of concern to ACCCI because of the presence of H
S in coke ovengas and would be an unnecessary and unjustified additional administrative burden for theindustry.TSCA Test Rule for CoalTar and Coal Tar-Derived ChemicalsUnder authority of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) EPA can demand testing of human and ecological effects of chemicals in situations where the agency believes exposure of achemical is substantial and there is insufficient health or ecological data to assess risks. EPA hasproposed such testing for coal tar, a byproduct of cokemaking, and five other chemicals derivedfrom coal tar and processed by tar refiners. The extent of required testing amounts to severalmillion dollars that would have to be borne by coke and coal chemicals companies. ACCCI hassubmitted extensive comments demonstrating that these chemicals have minimal exposurepotential that does not justifytesting under terms ofTSCA, and, moreover, that existingscientific dataon the health effects of these chemicals are sufficient to identify risks withoutimposingadditional costly testing. Final action by EPA is pending.Conductivity (Total Dissolved Solids) Water Quality StandardsEPA has proposed exceedingly stringent conductivity standards (a measure of totaldissolved solids) for streams in the Appalachian region, ostensibly targeting coal miningoperations. However, this action, apart from impacting the coal industry, on which the cokeindustry depends for its basic raw material, has the potential for broader adoption on a nationalscale. This would impose unrealisticdissolved solids limits, in some cases tighter than naturallevels, and force the installation of expensive control systems for a wide variety of industryinstallations, including cokemaking operations. Some states are beginning to adopt stringenttotal dissolved standards in anticipation of EPA regulation.
U.S. Geological Service (USGS)
One of the products produced fromcoal tar, a cokemaking byproduct, is a refined tarproduct used in the formulation of emulsions that are used as pavement sealants, which areperiodically applied to prolong the life of asphalt driveways and parking lots. Over the past fewyears, employees of the USGS have been conducting studies and publishing papers implicatingrefined tar pavement sealants as a major source of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) inthe environment, despite evidence that PAHs are ubiquitous in the environment and have manysources attributed to societal activities generally. Other studies show sealants to be but a minorsource of PAHs,but the USGS has identified the sealants to be the dominant source. BecausePAHs have beenidentified as hazardous to health and aquatic life, the USGS has assumed anadvocacy role in promoting bans of refined tar pavement sealants, and in response to USGS