EPA Proposes Guidance On Cleanup Of PCB-Containing Disaster Waste Post-Hurricane Ida

September 24, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
September 24, 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed guidance related to the cleanup of Poly-Chlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)-containing disaster waste in the wake of the destruction of property resulting from Hurricane Ida.

The guidance was proposed by EPA Regions III,IV, and VI.

The EPA has routinely issued these guidance documents on clean up PCBs after a significant storm.

The guidance from Region III, which covers the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, is effective through October 30, 2021.

The guidance from EPA Region IV, which covers the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and six Tribal Nations is effective through October 31, 2021.

The guidance from Region VI, which covers the states of Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and 66 tribal nations, is effective through November 15, 2021.

The guidance applies to PCB remediation wastes, which contain PCBs as a result of spills, releases, or other unauthorized disposals, with specified limitations on PCB concentrations and disposal dates.

PCB remediation wastes include, but are not limited to, contaminated environmental media, such as soil and gravel, buildings and other man-made structures, such as concrete floors, wood floors, and walls contaminated from leaking transformers containing PCBs at or over 50 ppm.

Cleanup and disposal of PCB wastes can be based on the as-found concentrations in the spill materials for actions taken directly in response to conditions caused by the hurricanes when it is not possible to determine the spill source concentration at a site readily.

Cleanup activities in response to the hurricanes may occur beyond the 24-48 hour required spill response time period as circumstances require for the duration of the adverse conditions.

The guidance also includes a disposal option for PCB bulk product waste. 

EPA has developed an interactive mapping tool of 12 types of recyclers and landfills that manage disaster debris. The tool can be used by disaster response, recovery, and planning experts to advance the safe recovery, recycling, and disposal of disaster debris. Click here to access the tool.