EPA National Enforcement Initiatives Expanded to Include RCRA LDAR



If your plant operations include hazardous waste treatment, storage, or disposal facilities regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), now is the time for you to tune in! U.S. EPA’s on-going National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs) targeting leaks, flares and excess emissions from refineries, oil and gas, and chemical plants are expanding to specifically address air emissions from hazardous waste generator and treatment, storage and disposal facilities and large product storage tanks. Under the expanded NEIs, EPA will emphasize enforcement for violations of the RCRA Subpart BB leak detection and repair (LDAR) requirements for the above mentioned RCRA facilities.

EPA’s decision to focus enforcement resources on RCRA LDAR requirements is a continuation of the current EPA priorities for LDAR. As with LDAR enforcement in previous years, the enforcement process is expected to consist of EPA inspection, with potential for enhanced LDAR requirements and steep stipulated penalties for areas of non-compliance. Past experiences with chemicals, oil and gas, and refining industries likely foreshadow EPA’s approach to LDAR enforcement for hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities, and by utilizing their past experience, EPA is able to focus on several common problem areas during their initial inspection. These areas include:

  • Proper Method 21 monitoring of the leak interface
  • Calibration of Method 21 monitoring instrumentation
  • Identification of open-ended lines/valves
  • Implementation of delay of repair provisions
  • Conducting proper monitoring as prescribed in the regulations
  • Incorporating newly installed components

With a potential EPA LDAR inspection on the horizon, it is important to consider the state of your LDAR program, especially if you rely on outside contractors for you RCRA LDAR program. Depending on inspection results, EPA can levy substantial fines and penalties for noncompliance. In addition to monetary penalties, the inspection may result in enhanced LDAR requirements, further increasing your compliance burden. Therefore, it is essential to have up-to-date knowledge of your facility’s RCRA LDAR program.

When was the last time your RCRA program was vetted to confirm compliance with the rigorous details of LDAR requirements, such as those mentioned above? Trinity has extensive experience identifying and addressing potential LDAR compliance issues across various industries, including chemicals, refining, pharmaceutical, and oil & gas. We have provided LDAR assistance for the complete life cycle of the enforcement process, including third party LDAR audits, pre-inspection LDAR compliance gap analyses, assistance during EPA inspections, responding to EPA’s initial inspection findings, and negotiating enhanced LDAR requirements under consent agreements. If you need assistance evaluating your current compliance with RCRA LDAR requirements, or have any questions regarding Trinity’s LDAR capabilities, please contact Inaas Darrat, P.E., at 713-552-1371, Dan Smith, at 610-280-3902, or your local Trinity office.