The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) recently proposed amendments to regulations concerning emergency actions procedures to handle any emergency that endangers the waters of the state.
The proposed amendments would clarify the conditions that warrant the characterization of a major spill. According to EPD, the amendments are aimed at reducing operational costs incurred by publicly owned treatment works plants (POTWs).
Under the existing rule, a single daily excursion of a specific effluent limitation for POTWs that meets the definition of a major spill triggers requirements for notifying local media and establishing a 1-year stream-monitoring program. According to EPD, these actions are appropriate for some spills, but for POTWs with very strict effluent limits, a daily excursion should not always warrant the same actions.
Under the proposed amendments, the definition of a “major spill” would be changed to “The discharge of pollutants into the waters of the State by a POTW that exceeds the weekly average permitted effluent limit for biochemical oxygen demand (5-day) or total suspended solids by 50 percent or greater for any one day, provided that the effluent discharge concentration is equal to or greater than 25 mq/L for biochemical oxygen demand or total suspended solids.”
INFO: Contact EPD at 404-362-2680.