As outlined in last month’s post entitled, “White House Completes Review of Effluent Limitation Guidelines Governing Discharges From Airport Deicing Operations,” the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has been working towards finalizing a rule which it says will reduce pollutant discharges from airport deicing operations by at least 16 million pounds per year at an annual cost of $3.5 million.
Earlier this month, EPA published its final rule, which takes effect on June 15, 2012. As anticipated, under the New Source Performance Standards, new airports with at least 1,000 annual non-propeller aircraft departures and an estimated 10,000 annual departures within five years of commencing operations are now required to collect 60 percent of spent aircraft deicing fluid (“ADF”). In addition, they must meet numeric effluent discharge requirements for chemical oxygen demand of a daily maximum of 271 mg/L or weekly average of 154 mg/L. Importantly, under the final rule, new runways at existing airports are not to be treated as new sources.
New airports, in addition to existing airports with 1,000 or more annual departures, performing airfield pavement deicing activities are also required to use non-urea containing deicers, or alternatively, to meet a numeric effluent limitation for ammonia of a daily maximum of 14.7 mg/L.
Requirements for existing airports with aircraft deicing operations will continue to be established in general permits, or for individual permits on a case-by-case basis. In addition, airports with less than 1,000 annual departures are beyond the scope of the final rule and will be regulated by permits on a site-specific basis.
You can read more about the final rule on EPA’s website.