Hazardous Waste Permit Renewed for Heritage Thermal

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency renewed the hazardous waste permit for Heritage Thermal Services Inc. to continue its operation of the treatment and storage facility at 1250 Saint George St. in East Liverpool, the agency reported Thursday.

According to the permit, it authorizes Heritage Thermal to “store hazardous waste in containers and tanks; and to treat hazardous waste in containers and in tanks and in miscellaneous units; and to treat hazardous waste by incineration in accordance with the terms and conditions” of the permit. Heritage Thermal is authorized to store up to 855,475 gallons of hazardous waste at any given time in the permitted container storage areas as defined in the permit.

The permit expires 10 years after the effective date. You can read the entire permit here.

In August 2017, the Ohio EPA held a public meeting regarding the permit renewal request. The agency received, responded to and published public comments from the meeting, which can be viewed here.

Some of the comments addressed Findings of Violation and Notices of Violation, or FOV and NOV, respectively, by the U.S. EPA.

One comment states that for three years starting in October 2014, Heritage was listed by the U.S. EPA as a High Priority Violator of the Clean Air Act, citing the “release of excessive amounts of hazardous air pollutants and hydrocarbons” 100% of the time, and 67% of the time from 2010 to 2012. The comment further states that Heritage was “in violation/noncompliance 895% of the time,” according to data from the U.S. EPA.

FOV and NOV violations remain in the U.S. EPA database on its Enforcement and Compliance History Online, or ECHO, website until the violations are resolved, either by Consent Decree with penalty and other requirements to ensure compliance, additional FOV or NOV violations, litigation, or no further required action, the Ohio EPA stated. Listing Heritage as a High Priority Violator “indicates that the enforcement case is still being resolved; it does not necessarily mean that there are ongoing violations,” the Ohio EPA stated in its response.

Another comment cited a four-year period from November 2010 to December 2014, during which the U.S. EPA issued an FOV to Heritage Thermal for “violating National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Hazardous Waste Combustors,” with more than 101 specific violations listed in documents by the agency. In its response, the Ohio EPA said the FOV was because of operating parameter limits, or OPLs, that were exceeded.

When an OPL is exceeded, an automatic cut-off prevents further waste from being fed until the OPL returns to acceptable levels, the Ohio EPA stated. That is “not necessarily a violation of an emission limit.” The Ohio EPA said the violations in question resulted in an enforcement action by the U.S. EPA that has not yet been completely resolved, and that the agency is currently in settlement negotiations with Heritage Thermal.

“Any settlement agreement would likely be in the form of an Administrative Consent Order and would become public once it is finalized,” the Ohio EPA stated. “If no agreement can be reached through negotiations then the matter would be resolved in court. It is anticipated that a settlement agreement will be reached between U.S. EPA and [Heritage Thermal] that will include requirements that are in addition to what is currently required under [Heritage Thermal’s] permit and applicable regulations.”

Issuance of the permit can be appealed to the Ohio EPA within 30 days of issuing a final action by calling 614 466 8950.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.