Public Participation Attenuation Factor – May 19th 2020
If you have time, it would benefit you greatly to listen and/or ask questions of the technical staff at the California EPA who are hosting a public seminar today at 1:30 pm. (You can play it in the background while you work). Interested parties and the public are encouraged to ask questions and provide comments leading up to the closure of the Final Comment period on June 1. For information about all, all this go to DTSC.ca.gov/vapor-intrusion/
While we could stand back and watch the new guidelines come into being because of the significant amount of work they will likely generate for consultants and lawyers, this swing of the environmental pendulum to the extreme seems extraordinarily overreaching. These guidelines will make “no further actions” unachievable, increase burdens due to investigation work in property transactions, and require clean-ups to levels much lower than necessary.
For some fundamental background on the new guidelines:
Last Thursday’s broadcasts revealed to us the following:
1) Staff had no idea nor had considered the cost burden to implement the new guidelines.
2) The staff has no idea of the number of cancer cases that will be saved by using the new. guidelines as studies are still in progress and this new guideline will be used as a “study” in itself as staff roll-out a new GeoTracker (public environmental database) upload requirement.
3) Staff have no idea nor have considered how the guidelines will impact the real estate capital markets.
4) Staff insist that opening old cases that were closed under the old guidelines is only going to happen on a case by case basis (there are 10,000 dry cleaners in California) unless trichloroethene (TCE) was a primary constituent of concern as it poses more significant health risks.
5) The staff understands that achieving “No Further Action” using existing technology may not be possible (They actually reference thermal resistive heating as a fix).
6) Staff acknowledge that their new guideline standards imply indoor air levels order of magnitudes lower than OSHA allowable indoor air standards. They argue that their jurisdiction is to prevent vapors entering buildings from the soil, while OSHA’s jurisdiction is indoor exposures — a conflict.
7) Staff state that the Low-Threat Closure Policy (LTCP) criteria for petroleum hydrocarbons like benzene are law and LTCP criteria are orders of magnitude greater than DTSC’s guidelines for benzene in non-UST cases.
Please let us know opinions about this development and allow us to team up with you during the public comment process.