[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 141 (Monday, July 24, 1995)]
[Pages 37892-37894]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-18118]



Intent To Grant BP Chemicals, Inc. a Modification of an Exemption 
from the Land Disposal Restrictions of the Hazardous and Solid Waste 
Amendments of 1984 (HSWA) Regarding Injection of Hazardous Waste

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Grant BP Chemicals, Inc. (BPCI), of 
Cleveland, Ohio, a Modification of an Exemption for the Injection of 
Certain Hazardous Wastes.


SUMMARY: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or 
Agency) is today proposing to grant a modification to the exemption 
from the ban on disposal of certain hazardous wastes through injection 
wells to BPCI for its site at Lima, Ohio. On May 7, 1992, the Agency 
issued BPCI an exemption for injection of certain hazardous wastes 
after determining that there is a reasonable degree of certainty that 
BPCI's injected wastes will not migrate out of the injection zone 
within the next 10,000 years. On August 19, 1993, BPCI was granted an 
exemption to allow use of waste disposal well (WDW) No. 4 at the 
facility for the disposal of the same wastes injected through the 
original three wells. If granted, the proposed modification would allow 
BPCI to inject additional Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 
regulated wastes, identified by codes: P030, P069, P101, P120, U007, 
U056, U149, U191, U219, and D035 (when it is banned from injection) 
through four waste disposal wells numbered: 1, 2, 3, and 4. A new 
process facility, owned and operated by Hampshire Chemical Corporation, 
has been established at the BPCI facility to produce specialty 
chemicals based on hydrogen cyanide which is co-produced with 
acrylonitrile. Some of the waste codes which this proposed modification 
would add to those already exempted are associated with wastes 
generated by the Hampshire facility. The Hampshire Chemicals' waste 
stream is currently disposed of through off-site injection and BP would 
like to dispose of it on site.

DATES: The EPA is requesting public comments on its proposed decision 
to exempt the wastes listed above. Comments will be accepted until 
September 11, 1995. Comments postmarked after the close of the comment 
period will be stamped ``Late''. A public information meeting and a 
public hearing to allow comment on this action have been scheduled. If 
the USEPA does not receive written comments indicating substantial 
public interest, thereby warranting a public hearing on this action, 
the tentatively scheduled hearing and meeting will be canceled.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments, by mail, to: United States 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Underground Injection 
Control Section (WD-17J), 77 West Jackson Street, Chicago, Illinois 
60604, Attention: Richard J. Zdanowicz, Chief.

For Further Information Contact: Harlan Gerrish, Lead Petition 
Reviewer, UIC Section, Water Division; Office Telephone Number: (312) 
886-2939; 17th Floor Metcalfe Building, 77 West Jackson Street, 
Chicago, Illinois.


I. Background

    A. Authority--The Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 
(HSWA), enacted on November 8, 1984, impose substantial new 
responsibilities on those who handle hazardous waste. The amendments 
prohibit the land disposal of untreated hazardous waste beyond 
specified dates, unless the Administrator determines that the 
prohibition is not required in order to protect human health and the 
environment for as long as the waste remains hazardous (RCRA Sections 
3004(d)(1), (e)(1), (f)(2), (g)(5)). The statute specifically defined 
land disposal to include any placement of hazardous waste in an 
injection well (RCRA Section 3004(k)). After the effective date of 
prohibition, hazardous 

[[Page 37893]]
waste can be injected only under two circumstances:
    (1) When the waste has been treated in accordance with the 
requirements of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR) 
Part 268 pursuant to Section 3004(m) of RCRA, (the EPA has adopted the 
same treatment standards for injected wastes in 40 CFR Part 148, 
Subpart B); or
    (2) When the owner/operator has demonstrated that there will be no 
migration of hazardous constituents from the injection zone for as long 
as the waste remains hazardous. Applicants seeking this ``no-
migration'' exemption from the ban must demonstrate to a reasonable 
degree of certainty that hazardous waste will not leave the injection 
zone until either:
    (a) The waste undergoes a chemical transformation within the 
injection zone through attenuation, transformation, or immobilization 
of hazardous constituents so as to no longer pose a threat to human 
health and the environment; or
    (b) The fluid flow is such that injected fluids will not migrate 
vertically upward out of the injection zone, or laterally to a point of 
discharge or interface with an USDW, for a period of 10,000 years.
    The EPA promulgated final regulations on July 26, 1988, (53 FR 
28118) which govern the submission of petitions for exemption from the 
disposal prohibition (40 CFR Part 148). Most companies seeking 
exemption have opted to demonstrate waste confinement (option (b) 
above) rather than waste transformation (option (a) above). A time 
frame of 10,000 years was specified for the confinement demonstration 
not because migration after that time is of no concern, but because a 
demonstration which can meet a 10,000 year time frame will likely 
provide containment for a substantially longer time period, and also to 
allow time for geochemical transformations which would render the waste 
immobile. The Agency's confinement standard thus does not imply that 
leakage will occur at some time after 10,000 years, rather, it is a 
showing that leakage will not occur within that time frame and probably 
much longer.
    The EPA regulations at 40 CFR Sec. 148.20(f) provide that any 
person who has been granted an exemption to the land disposal 
restrictions may request that the Agency modify the exemption to 
include additional wastes. If the EPA determines, to a reasonable 
degree of certainty, that the new wastes will behave hydraulically and 
chemically in a manner similar to previously exempted wastes and that 
injection thereof will not interfere with the containment capability of 
the injection zone, the modification may be granted.
    Neither the existing exemption from the restrictions of the HSWA to 
RCRA nor this modification exempts BPCI from the duty to comply with 
other laws or regulations.
    B. Facility Operation and Process--The BPCI facility in Lima, Ohio, 
produces acrylonitrile and associated products. The process combines 
propylene, ammonia, and air in the presence of a catalyst to form 
acrylonitrile, acetonitrile, and hydrogen cyanide. Process waste 
waters, laboratory wastes, contaminated product, wash water, cleaning 
solutions, contaminated ground and storm waters, scrubber water, 
ammonia blowdown, and waters from the unloading sump are managed 
through a deep well disposal system.
    The waste stream is currently injected into WDWs No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 
which are Class I hazardous-waste injection wells completed for the 
disposal of liquid wastes in one or more of the Middle Run, Mt. Simon, 
and Eau Claire Formations which are found between the depths of 3,223 
and 2,430 feet in WDW No. 4. Injection of wastewater averages 435 
gallons per minute (gpm); recently, BPCI has disposed of 150 to 250 
million gallons per year.
    The Hampshire Chemical process reacts hydrogen cyanide to produce 
nitrilotriacetonitrile (NTAN), iminodiacetonitrile (IDAN), 
ethylendiamine tetracetonitrile (EDTN), propylendiamine 
tetracetonitrile (PDTN), dimethylhydantoin (DMH), methylethylhydantoin 
(MEH), and oleoylsacosinate. The processes also produce water and 
result in waste streams which are hazardous as a result of corrosivity 
(D002) and contain acetone cyanohydrin which, if commercially produced 
and then land disposed, would be a restricted waste bearing the code 
    In addition to waste constituents for which BPCI has already 
received or requested exemption, the Hampshire waste stream contains 
methyl ethyl ketone which will be banned from underground injection as 
a result of promulgation of the final Phase III Land Disposal 
Restrictions rule which is expected in January of 1996. In order to 
promote efficiency, Region 5 has reviewed BPCI's demonstration of the 
ability of the injection zone to contain migration of methyl ethyl 
ketone. Based on this review, Region 5 has determined that if the 
health-based limit for methyl ethyl ketone remains at a level as low as 
0.6 mg/l, then U.S. EPA will process a final modification granting the 
exemption for methyl ethyl ketone as D035 on or before the ban date 
established by the final Phase III rule. If the health-based limit is 
reduced from 0.6 mg/l, modification of the exemption must be 
    Although acrylamide in the waste is deemed exempted as a 
constituent of the process wastes which carry K011, K013, and K014 
codes, BPCI requested clarification of its exemption to specifically 
include acrylamide because the migration of this constituent at 
hazardous levels defines the extent of the waste-plume. BPCI requested 
that a modification of the exemption to include P030, P101, U056, and 
U219 because it wanted to dispose of possible spills of such laboratory 
chemicals on site. The remaining waste codes which are the subject of 
BPCI's modification request allow BPCI flexibility to dispose of 
wastestreams from new process lines which use raw materials or by-
products of the principal processes.
    C. Exemption--The existing exemption allows BPCI to dispose of 
wastes through its four wells. The specific waste codes are listed in 
the Federal Register notice dated March 12, 1993 (57 FR 8753). This 
modification will simply add a number of waste codes to the existing 
exemption, so that BPCI may also dispose of the wastes containing the 
following constituents when denoted by the respective RCRA waste codes: 
cyanide salts, P030; acetone cyanohydrin, P069; propionitrile, P101; 
vanadium pentoxide, P120; acrylamide, U007; cyclohexanone, U056; 
malononitrile, U149; 2 methyl pyridine, U191; and thiourea, U219. A 
final modification allowing disposal of methyl ethyl ketone (D035) upon 
the date of its restriction from underground injection will be 
processed as described above.
    D. Submission--On July 13, 1994, February 10, 1995, and June 12, 
1995, BPCI submitted requests and supporting documentation to modify 
its existing exemption from the land disposal restrictions on hazardous 
waste disposal. The submissions were reviewed by staff at the EPA. 
Although BPCI requested on May 9, 1995, that the modification include 
all D-coded wastes which would become restricted by a forthcoming rule, 
this request was withdrawn on June 7, 1995.

II. Basis for Determination

    A. Waste Description and Analysis--Compatibility testing showed 
that the wastes are chemically compatible although some mixtures do 
cause formation of precipitates. This will be controlled to some extent 
through the 

[[Page 37894]]
maintenance of pH above 3, and filtration will remove any particles 
which are formed.
    Testing of the waste's effects on well components indicated that 
the well components exposed to the waste will not deteriorate as a 
result of contact.
    B. Model Demonstration of No Migration--The grant of an exemption 
from the land disposal restrictions imposed by the HSWA of RCRA is 
based on a demonstration that disposed wastes will not migrate out of 
the waste management unit, which is defined in the background section 
of the final notice of the decision to grant BPCI an exemption from the 
HSWA, for a period of 10,000 years. The no migration demonstration is 
made through use of computer simulations which use geological 
information collected at the site or which is found to be appropriate 
for the site and mathematical models which have been proven to be 
capable of simulating natural responses to injection. The simulator is 
calibrated by matching simulator results against observations at the 
    In 1992, BPCI used the SWIFT II simulator to locate the greatest 
lateral extent of movement by the waste plume, defined at the 0.01 
concentration level, due to advective flow during the wells' 
operational lives. The result, 14,325 feet, was multiplied by 1.2 to 
17,190 feet in order to ensure that the plume would be bounded. 
Additional movement of waste constituents at hazardous levels was 
determined by calculating the extent of natural groundwater movement, 
including dispersion, and movement of hazardous molecules for the 
10,000 year post operating period. The worst case for movement was 
determined by comparing the starting concentration and health-based 
limits for each constituent and calculating the reduction factor needed 
to bring the original concentration to the health-based limit. The 
greatest reduction factor was for acrylamide and the total distance of 
travel from the wells' centroid required to reduce the concentration of 
acrylamide to its health-based limit was 28,580 feet. This estimate 
does not take into account either adsorption of acrylamide to lithic 
materials or chemical transformations which might reduce the level of 
hazard associated with the wastes. The lateral extent of migration was 
shown to be significantly less than distances to features which might 
allow discharge of hazardous waste constituents into USDWs.
    The limit of vertical movement was determined by a similar process. 
Although evidence exists that no waste has migrated upward beyond the 
lowermost Eau Claire just above 2,800 feet, it was assumed that it may 
have reached 2,640 feet and that depth was used as a starting point to 
calculate the distance to the health-based limit accounting for 
molecular diffusion through 10,000 years. This exercise found that the 
mobility and concentration of hydrogen cyanide in the waste stream make 
it the most conservative molecule to use in estimating the maximum 
vertical limits for the hazardous-waste plume. The depth at which the 
assumed maximum concentration of hydrogen cyanide would be reduced to 
its health-based limit was decreased from 2,484 (1992) feet to 2,456 
(1994) feet due to an adjustment in the maximum concentration of 
hydrogen cyanide permitted in the injectate from 8,000 to 5,300 ppm. 
This adjustment was made because of a reduction in the health-based 
limit from 0.7 to 0.02 ppm. This vertical plume was contained with the 
waste management unit defined for BPCI's four injection wells. 
Therefore, the Agency accepted the demonstration and granted an 
exemption in 1992.
    A modification of an existing exemption to allow injection of 
additional hazardous waste constituents must show that the waste 
constituents denoted by the codes for which the modification is 
requested behave similarly to those constituents for which the original 
demonstration of no migration was made. In this case, the new 
constituents are mostly organic molecules which are generally similar 
to those for which the original exemption was granted. The waste here 
proposed for exemption is similar to that currently exempted from land 
disposal restrictions although the concentrations of constituents in 
the injectate will be affected by the combination of waste streams. The 
plume boundary defined laterally by acrylamide and vertically by 
hydrogen cyanide in the exemption already granted will not be affected 
by the waste streams proposed for this modification. Accordingly, U.S. 
EPA proposes to grant the modification to the exemption as requested.

III. Conditions of Petition Approval

    The existing exemption was granted with conditions. All of the 
original conditions remain in force. No new conditions are attached to 
this modification to the exemption.

    Dated: July 10, 1995.
Richard J. Zdanowicz,
Acting Director, Water Division, Region 5, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency.
[FR Doc. 95-18118 Filed 7-21-95; 8:45 am]