to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (2024)

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (1)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 1/156

EPA/625/R-94/009September 1994

Environmental Planning forSmall Communities

A Guide for LocalDecision-Makers

United States Environmental Protection Agency

Office of Research and DevelopmentOffice of Science, Planning and Regulatory Evaluation

Center for Environmental Research Information26 West Martin Luther King Drive

Cincinnati, Ohio 45268

Office Of Regional Operations and State/Local RelationsWashington, DC 20460

2Printed on Recycled Paper

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (2)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 2/156


This document has been reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does notconstitute endorsem*nt or recommendation of their use.


Many people contributed their expertise to the preparation and review of this publica-tion. Overall technical guidance was provided by Randy Revetta and James Kreissl of

U.S. EPA’s Center for Environmental Research Information. The document wasprepared by Eastern Research Group, Inc. The following people provided guidanceand review:

Pauline Afshar EPA Region 8

Kelly Beard-Tittone EPA Region 7

Kate Becker EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response

Sylvia Bell EPA Office of Water

Hamilton Brown National Association of Towns and Townships

Michael Caughman South Carolina State Budget and Control BoardAnn Cole EPA Office of Regional Operations and State/Local Relations

Henry Ferland EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response

David Flowers Cedarburg, WI

Richard Gardner Idaho Rural Development Council

Charles Gomez EPA Region 8

Beth Hall EPA Office of Water

John Harkins EPA Region 4

Jack Hardinger EPA Region 8

Judy Kane EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response

Keith Jones National Rural Water Association

Ken Jones Northeast Center for Comparative Risk

Lou Kerestesy EPA Office of Regional Operations and State/Local Relations

Contents i

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (3)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 3/156

Acknowledgments (continued)

Alfred Krause EPA Region 5

Jan Lambert EPA Region 7

Vanessa Leiby Association of State Drinking Water Administrators

Lawrence Martin EPA Office of Research and Development

Patricia Miller National Small Flows Clearinghouse

Wade Miller Wade Miller Associates, Inc.

Richard Minard Northeast Center for Comparative Risk

John Mori West Virginia University

Amy Naylor State Office Representative, Lewiston, ME

Lane Nothman Ross & Associates

Ernesto Perez EPA Region 4

Jackie Pine EPA Region 3

Charles Pycha EPA Region 5

A.R. Rubin North Carolina State University

Deborah Rutherford EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response

Jane Schautz The Rensselaerville Institute

Mary Settle EPA Office of Water

Peter Shanaghan EPA Office of Water

Ron Slotkin EPA Office of Research and Development

James E. Smith, Jr. EPA Office of Research and Development

Kathy Stanley Rural Community Assistance Program

John Thune South Dakota Municipal League

Charles Vanderlyn EPA Office of Water

Stephanie von f*ck EPA Office of Water

Sam Wade National Rural Water Association

Dov Weitman EPA Office of Water

James Werntz EPA Region 10

Floyd Winsett EPA Region 10

ii Contents

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (4)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 4/156


1 Introducing Environmental Planning for Small Communities: An Open Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2 Getting the Right People Involved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Forming a Planning Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Finding Local Experts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Working with Local, County, State, and Federal Personnel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Encouraging Public Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

3 Developing a Community Vision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Involving the Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Asking the Right Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Pulling the Vision Together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

4 Defining Your Community’s Needs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 What Are the Boundaries of Your Environmental Planning Area? . . . . . . . . . 19

What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Do Any Environmental Problems Threaten Public Health, Ecosystems, orthe Quality of Life in Your Community? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

How Effective Are Your Community’s Environmental Facilities? . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Is Your List of Needs Adequate To Meet Your Community’s Vision for the Future? . . 34


to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (5)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 5/156

5 Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community . . . . . . . . . 37

Technology and Management Options for Small Communities: An Overview . . . . 37

Evaluating Costs for Technology and Management Options . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Narrowing the Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Finding Solutions: Drinking Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42Finding Solutions: Wastewater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Finding Solutions: Solid Waste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Finding Solutions: Hazardous Waste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Finding Solutions: Nonpoint Source Pollution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Finding Solutions: Underground Storage Tanks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

6 Putting the Plan Together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Targeting the Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Setting Priorities for Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Looking at the Big Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

7 Implementation: Putting the Plan Into Action and KeepingIt On Track . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Developing a Schedule for Putting the Plan Into Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Financing the Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Roles of Government and Other Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79Roles of Community Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

Evaluating and Revising the Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

Appendix A Environmental Community Agreement Betweenthe Kenai Peninsula Borough and the Alaska Departmentof Environmental Conservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

iv Contents

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (6)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 6/156

Appendix B What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

Drinking Water Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

Wastewater Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

Wetlands Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112Nonpoint Source Pollution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

Solid Waste Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

Hazardous Waste Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

Underground Storage Tank Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

Emergency Response to Hazardous Substance Spills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

Asbestos-Containing Materials in Buildings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

Radon Gas in Homes and Other Buildings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Air Pollution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130

Floodplain Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

Appendix C Assessing Risks from Environmental Problemsin Your Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

Questions to Help You Assess Risks to Health, Ecosystems, and Quality of Life . . 133

Assessing Human Health Risks in Your Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Assessing Ecological Risks in Your Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

Assessing Risks to Quality of Life in Your Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137

Status of Comparative Risk Projects: States, Cities, and Tribes . . . . . . . . . . 138

Appendix D Where To Turn for Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Small Community Contacts . . . 143

Other Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144

Technical Support Centers and Hotlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146

Publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149

Electronic Bulletin Boards and Databases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152

Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

Contents v

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (7)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 7/156

Introducing EnvironmentalPlanning for Small Communities:

An Open Letter

Dear Small Community Decision-Maker:

As a leader in a small community, you face many difficult challenges in managing

environmental issues. You must juggle many issues at once, including how to provide safedrinking water, how to manage wastewater from homes and businesses, and how to managethe community’s solid waste. The list seems endless, and the resources available are all toolimited and continue to dwindle. Not only that, but you have many other responsibilitiesbesides environmental protection, such as schools, roads, and public safety. How do youdo it all?

This book offers a tool to help you meet these challenges—a process for developing acommunity environmental plan.The goals of creating this plan and putting it into actionare to:

Provide a sensible way for your community to set priorities and decide how

to make the best use of your resources to protect people’s health and theenvironment.

Help your community save money—by dealing with issues before theybecome big problems, by making sure that environmental services areprovided in the most efficient way possible, by planning to use the rightcombination of environmental programs and services, by working with othercommunities where possible, and by making use of local talent and resources.

A plan also will help you take advantage of opportunities to prevent pollu-tion, the cheapest and most effective solution of all.

Provide a blueprint for compliance with the environmental regulations

that affect your community, to help you avoid the need to react to enforce-ment actions by state, county, or federal agencies.

Empower your community to take charge of its own destinyby chartingits best course.



to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (8)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 8/156

Build community awareness and supportfor actions (such as possible rateincreases) that you, the decision-maker, must take to protect public healthand the quality of the environment.

Help promote the economic health and well-being of your communityby providing the environment, infrastructure, and quality of life that make

your community a good place to live and to do business.In the past, people tended to look at the environment in pieces: how to protect the air,how to protect the water, how to protect the land. Today we know that environmentalprotection won’t really work unless we treat the environment as an integrated whole. Wealso know that local governments can’t carry out their environmental protection respon-sibilities without considering the community as a whole: its resources, its economy, publicopinion, and all its other needs. With a comprehensive environmental plan, you can createan integrated approach to protecting the environment and meeting your community’sneeds. (Keep in mind that this guidebook focuses on the environmental issues andproblems addressed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; your community musttake into account other issues, such as public safety and agriculture, that are important in

your community.)

The environmental plan described in this book is like a road map that shows you whereyou are and where you are going, and provides some ideas of how to get there. Without aplan for your community’s environment, you are likely to waste a lot of time and money.

You also might lose valuable natural resources, as well as community support, that cannever be replaced.

Developing a plan and putting it into action, on the other hand, can help put you “in thedriver’s seat.” Planning ahead to solve environmental problems can especially help smallcommunities that do not have the resources to meet all of the regulatory requirements atonce. Your environmental plan will help the community prioritize solutions to environ-

mental problems and develop a strategy for regulatory compliance. This approach lets thecommunity decide how best to use its resources, rather than simply react to regulatorydeadlines set by distant government offices. It gives you the time and opportunity todevelop the best approach for complying with important regulations, well before anyenforcement actions are taken.

Federal and state regulatory agencies are aware of the problems that face small communi-ties in meeting environmental regulations. It will take time, however, to modify the existinglaws and regulations to allow for the community-based approach discussed throughoutthis guidebook. Some state regulators have already been flexible regarding enforcement(fines) when a community can show that it has a schedule for meeting regulatory

requirements and intends to address the worst environmental problems first. Your com-munity can use its environmental plan to begin a discussion with regulators. You mightneed to negotiate which problems to solve first, but the regulatory agencies will probablyaccept a well-planned schedule of environmental actions if you show that you are doingthe best you can with the resources you have.

This guidebook presents some ideas and approaches to creating and implementing a com-munity environmental plan. Adapt them to your local needs as you see fit:

2 Chapter 1: An Open Letter

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (9)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 9/156

Chapter 2 helps you build a planning teamthat can lead your communityin creating its environmental plan.

Chapter 3 helps you develop a sharedvisionfor your community’s future—that is, decide what you want your community to be like in 10 or 20 years.

Chapter 4 shows you how to define your community’sneeds by determining

the greatest problems facing your community’s public health, environment,and quality of life; by determining which environmental regulations apply to

your community; and by evaluating the effectiveness of your environmentalfacilities.

Chapter 5 explains how to figure out which technologies and strategiescan work in your community.

Chapter 6 discusses how to weigh your community’s needs and possible waysof meeting those needs to setpriorities for action. Here, you will put all your

work together into your plan.

Chapter 7 helps you implementyour plan.Throughout the planning process, you will discover many people outside your commu-nity—such as people from government agencies, colleges and universities, and organiza-tions that specialize in helping small communities—who can give you assistance and advice.Ultimately, however, the residents of your community are responsible for making decisionsthat reflect your community’s history, values, resources, and vision for the future. It’s upto you and your community to decide how best to handle your environmentalchallenges. No other community faces exactly the same environmental issues, with thesame constraints and the same resources. No one outside your community knows what isbest for you. Local talent and energy are needed to develop the plan that’s right foryourcommunity. The tools in this guidebook, adapted for your situation, can help your

community turn its environmental challenges into a positive force for the future.

Major Environmental Responsibilities of Small Communities

Part of creating a comprehensive environmental planis identifying the environmental issues facing your com-munity. If you don’t recognize the problems, you can’tfigure out the solutions.

Although each small community is unique, nearly allhave responsibilities in the following areas:

Drinking water quality.

Wastewater management.

Solid waste management.

Leaking underground storage tanks.

Household hazardous waste management.

Emergency response to hazardous waste spills.

Ground-water protection.

Some environmental issues affect some communitiesmore than other communities, including:

Wetlands protection.Air pollution.

Industrial wastewater management.

Nonpoint source pollution (pollution carried by storm-water runoff, etc.).

Floodplain zoning.

Asbestos in public buildings.

Chapter 1: An Open Letter 3

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (10)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 10/156

ComprehensiveEnvironmental Planning

4 Chapter 1: An Open Letter

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (11)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 11/156

Meet Ruraltown, USA

R uraltown, population 1,500, could be in any region of the United States.About half of the families in the community own and run farms. Another

100 people work in a coal mine in Quarryville, 15 miles away. Employers in

Ruraltown include a tannery, several small stores, one restaurant, and a movietheater. The nearby county park provides many summer jobs. The average house-hold income is about $25,000 a year. The average home is worth $70,000. Theaverage farm is worth $500,000. The 300 children in Ruraltown go to RuraltownElementary and to Carroll County High School, which is 20 miles away. Thereare no buses, taxis, or subways in Ruraltown.

The nearest town, Hoppington, is 10 miles away and has 2,500 residents. The

nearest city, Metro Center, is 45 miles away and has a population of 300,000 people.Ruraltown, Hoppington, and Metro Center are all part of Carroll County.

Ruraltown has no full-time mayor, no town attorney, and no environmental planner.Ruraltown does have two full-time paid government employees. One is the townclerk, who writes all birth and death certificates, keeps track of all state and federal

requirements (and does all the accompanying paperwork), collects all town taxes,and is part of the volunteer fire department. The town also employs a full-time

public works director to operate the drinking water and wastewater treatment plantsand coordinate the municipal solid waste program.

Decisions in Ruraltown are made at a twice-yearly town meeting. The town meetingis run by the part-time mayor, who has served as Ruraltown’s mayor for more than30 years. Ruraltown also has a part-time town council. The town council presentsinformation at the town meeting and gives advice on what the town should do.The council also meets every month to take care of business that needs attending

to between town meetings.

Ruraltown is facing some serious environmental issues. Its drinking water treatment

plant is barely big enough to supply water to all the people in the community whocurrently use town water. In addition, the drinking water plant has recently hadviolations of the limit for coliform bacteria.

Chapter 1: An Open Letter 5

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (12)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 12/156

About 200 residents get their drinking water from private wells instead of the publicwater supply. Some private wells have been contaminated by nearby septic tank systems;

others could be contaminated in the future by sources such as underground storage tanks,improperly disposed of used oil and household hazardous waste, runoff from farms, andcontaminants leached from the landfill. The solid waste landfill poses other problems:It does not meet all state design requirements, and it’s running out of space.

Ruraltown also has problems in the area of wastewater treatment. Only 20 percent ofthe homes and businesses in the town have sewer hookups, and the wastewater treatmentfacility is old and sometimes violates permit levels. The rest of the homes and a few

businesses use septic systems. In the areas of town with shallow ground water, septicsystems have been failing during the wet seasons (spring and fall).

To help meet its environmental challenges, Ruraltown leaders have decided they need acommunity environmental plan.

Throughout this guidebook, we will check in with Ruraltown and see how it’s doing with its

community environmental plan. This will give you a better idea about how the planning process

works and what it might look like in one small community.

6 Chapter 1: An Open Letter

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (13)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 13/156

Getting theRight People



ho are the “right” people to get in-volved in creating your environmentalplan? Anyone who is concerned

enough about the quality of life in thecommunity to invest some time and energy. You

will also need people with some expertise onenvironmental and health issues. You will probably find that people welcome thechance to work together to find solutions to challenging issues that will shape the com-munity’s future as well as save tax dollars.

Forming a Planning Team

Someone needs to oversee the community’s environmental plan. That “someone” can be

a planning team made up of people who represent the different views and constituenciesin your community. The planning team will guide the community through each step ofthe planning process, including developing a community vision, identifying needs andpossible solutions, setting priorities for action, and carrying out the plan.

There are many possible approaches to forming a planning team. For example, manycommunities already have land use planning commissions. This commission has demon-strated an interest and commitment to community environmental issues, and might be

willing to oversee the environmental planning process. This approach will ensure that theenvironmental planning process is well integrated with your community’s comprehensiveland use plan, and vice versa.

No matter what approach you use, your team should include some of the following typesof people:

Managers or operators of environmental facilities (such as water and wastewatersystems), who are knowledgeable about environmental issues and the condition ofexisting facilities.

Elected officials or board members, who already are involved in managing localcommunities and are familiar with issues that affect the area’s environment.



to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (14)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 14/156

Local physicians, engineers, and scientists, who can provide technical informationabout environmental and health issues, links between pollution and health, and otherkey data.

County and state health agencies, which can provide local, state, and national healthstatistics so that local conditions can be compared with state and national averages.

Emergency response personnel, usually the community’s fire department, who oftenknow about environmental accidents, the location of underground storage tanks, andpotential sites and types of community exposure or risk.

Community residents, who represent specific interests or the “general public.”

Business owners and farmers, who represent important views in the community andcan help determine future trends. (Getting a local industry or agriculture enterpriseinvolved is especially important if the industry or enterprise is a current or potentialsource of pollution.)

Make an open invitation to the members of your community to join the planning team

and see who is interested. Try to assemble a planning team of a workable size. A team of20 people would probably be unwieldy, but only one or two people probably would beunable to handle all the work involved, and probably could not represent the diverseinterests of the community. If too many people volunteer, divide up into different teamsto handle specific problems or to seek out different types of information. Never turnanyone away—you can always find some productive way to use someone’s time and energy.If too few people volunteer, keep spreading the word. No matter how large or small theteam, however, the team mustinclude effective leaders who can produce agreement onsolutions and get results for your community.

Finding Local ExpertsRight in your community, you probably have some of the expertise you need to develop asound environmental plan. For example, managers or operators of systems that can directlyaffect the environment and people’s health—drinking water, wastewater treatment, andsolid waste management systems—have the most detailed knowledge of the operation ofthese systems. Scientists or engineers from local businesses and schools might be able toanswer technical and scientific questions that arise. Long-time residents often are a goldmine of information about your community, past and present, and they might also havefinancial, management, or other experience to contribute. Physicians or environmentalhealth professionals can provide public health statistics that might identify problems that

need to be solved immediately.Every knowledgeable person in the community does not need to serve on the planningteam. Some people can give advice to the team when needed, even if they don’t have timeto attend regular meetings. Some ways local experts can assist the committee includeanswering questions by phone, providing written materials, reviewing technical documentsthat deal with relevant information, and speaking at public meetings. Your team shouldseek advice from local experts early on. In this way, experts can help shape the plan from

8 Chapter 2: Getting the Right People Involved

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (15)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 15/156

the beginning, knowing their ideas are valued and will be considered throughout theprocess.

Working With Local, County, State, and Federal Personnel

As your team develops its environmental plan, you should consult with people in local,county, state, and federal agencies. Most of these people will do their best to be a valuablesource of information and assistance for the environmental concerns your communityfaces. In fact, your state environmental agency is generally the best place to start to obtainassistance for dealing with environmental issues. (One model for state assistance is shownin Appendix A, which presents a cooperative environmental community agreement be-tween state government and a borough in Alaska.) In addition, if regulatory agenciesunderstand your efforts to address environmental problems in your community, they mightbe able to exercise some flexibility in dealing with the community on enforcement ofregulations.

The planning team might want to offer certain government agency personnel an openinvitation to attend the planning team meetings. The main role of government agencyemployees, however, will be to provide information that the planning team has determinedto be important to its efforts. Local resource providers, such as Rural Community

Assistance Programs, the National Rural Water Association, and the Cooperative Exten-sion Service, can also be a valuable source of information and assistance for smallcommunities. See Appendix D for a list of these useful organizations.

Encouraging Public Participation

The public includes everyone in the community. Members of conservation and environ-mental groups, long-time residents, and people who are active in the community are goodcandidates to become involved in creating the environmental plan. Including the publicin local environmental planning is essential for the following reasons:

The residents of your community are the ones who will end up paying for most newenvironmental programs.

Residents will benefit from good environmental planning and management.

The public knows the community and has ideas about the kind of place in which theywant to live.

If concerned, responsible community leaders are involved in the process, they are morelikely to generate broader support for the environmental plan and for the work neededto carry it out.

With their knowledge and ideas, community residents can help the planning team defineenvironmental needs and priorities.

Once you have your planning team set up, local experts committed, and key residentsidentified, you are ready for the next step: creating a vision of what residents want theircommunity to be like in the future.

Chapter 2: Getting the Right People Involved 9

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (16)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 16/156

Ways Your Planning Team Can EncouragePublic Participation

Distribute flyers and other information, such as one-page fact sheets on local environmental issues written

by local experts, minutes of planning team meetings,or information about important team decisions. Youcan give out these materials at public meetings,through mailings (such as with utility bills), and at localstores, and publish them as notices or articles in thelocal newspaper. The planning team should develop amailing list of interested groups and individuals.

Talk to local groups, such as volunteer organizations,PTAs, service clubs, and business associations. Tellthem about the issues your planning team will address,how the community will be affected, and why it wouldbe valuable for them to participate at this stage of theplanning process.

Publicize the meetings of your planning team, or holdspecial meetings to get community input, so thatresidents, experts, and team members can expresstheir concerns, exchange views, and explore possiblesolutions. These meetings can be large (in the schoolauditorium) or small (in someone’s living room). If theyare held as part of a town meeting, you may have thebenefit of more people attending, but the agenda willprobably be quite full and the evening a long one. Besure to advertise the meetings well in advance—inlocal newspapers, on local radio and television sta-tions, through public notices in the town hall and in

local businesses, and in mailings to interested parties.Ask for volunteers for tasks such as conducting sur- veys, taking minutes at team meetings, organizingpublic meetings, and reviewing information.

Invite the public to attend planning team meetings. Ifelected officials serve on the team, allowing the public

to attend your meetings may be required by local orstate law. In any case, having at least some of your

team meetings open to interested members of thepublic is a good idea.

Do a survey. Ask people how they feel about localenvironmental issues. The survey can include questionssuch as: “Which of the following do you think is themost important environmental issue in our community,and why?” List areas of particular concern in yourcommunity. Also, use the survey to find out whetherand how much people would be willing to pay forimprovements in the areas about which they are mostconcerned. The survey can be done in several ways,such as mailing the survey to all or a percentage of

town residents (perhaps with a utility bill) or interview-ing people about their concerns. Make sure that surveyrespondents explain their views (such as why drinking

water quality is an important concern to them).

Organize school activities on local environmentalissues. You can hold a workshop, classroom program,or festival on water conservation, recycling, or otherenvironmental issues. These events can be for childrenonly, or can be set up so that the activities are fun forboth adults and children. Children often communicateideas from school projects to their parents.

Talk to your friends and neighbors. Don’t forget howmuch news is spread by word of mouth. Talk with andlisten to your neighbors about the community environ-mental plan at the barber shop, grocery store, gasstation, and post office. Let them know that the plan-ning team wants their help.

10 Chapter 2: Getting the Right People Involved

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (17)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 17/156

How Ruraltown Got the RightPeople Involved

A Ruraltown town council member, a county health officer (Ruraltowndoesn’t have one of its own), and the Ruraltown public works director

got together to form the planning team. First, they made an announcement atthe next council meeting inviting all interested citizens to contact them aboutbecoming members of the planning team. They also asked the local paper to

carry the same announcement. Then, they made a list of people with particularexpertise in environmental issues, including local, county, and state governmentofficials, facility managers and operators, local businesses, scientists and engi-neers, environmental and civic groups, long-time residents, members of thefire department, farmers, and school staff. They got some of these names by

looking at a local business directory and the phone book, and by asking peoplein town for suggestions. They came up with a long list:

n Drinking water and wastewatertreatment plant manager.

n Town council member.

n County health officer.

n Landfill manager.

n Fire chief.

n Soil scientist from CountyCommunity College.

n Engineer from Tech, Inc..

n Manager of the Quarryvillecoal mine.

n Manager of the local tannery.

n Three farmers.

n Town clerk.


Three retired members of thecommunity.


Member of PROTECT, a county-wide conservation group.


League of Women Voters member.


Rotary Club member.

n Owner of Construction, Inc..


County Extension Service agent.n

Staff person from State Departmentof the Environment regional office.


Staff person from State Department ofHealth regional office.

n Restaurant owner.

Chapter 2: Getting the Right People Involved 11

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (18)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 18/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (19)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 19/156

Developing aCommunity Vision

What do you want your community to be like in10 or 20 years? This is one of the first questionsthat planning team members should ask them-selves and other people in the community. The

picture you come up with is your community vision. Thisvision should address not only environmental issues but all the issues you consider cen-tral to your community’s future, such as economic development, education, govern-ment services, and quality of life. You will be creating a framework to help you makechoices about environmental goals and solutions as you develop your comprehensiveenvironmental plan.

To create your community vision, let your imagination go. Forget about what needs to getdone by tomorrow at noon, and instead picture what you would like to see when you lookat your town some time in the future.

Involving the Community

Because the community vision will shape important decisions, it needs to represent a broadconsensus. Your team needs to make residents aware of what is at stake for the communityand invite them to participate in creating the vision. If you have done this well, you aremuch more likely to have support for the work you do later in the planning process.

A community meeting is a good place to develop a vision for the future. (See page 10 forsome ideas about how to interest people in attending such a meeting.) Explain to thoseattending what comprehensive environmental planning is all about, and ask them to guidethe planning team by defining what they want for their community.

Asking the Right QuestionsYou can ask questions to help people focus on what they would like the community to belike in the future. Questions that can help the process along include:

What makes our community what it is today? Who makes up our population(average age, income, and other characteristics)? What is unique and important aboutour community socially, culturally, and historically? What are the strengths and

weaknesses of the local economy? What are important characteristics of the commu-nity’s natural environment?



to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (20)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 20/156

What are our community’s values with respect to the environment, economic

growth, and lifestyle? For example, different communities have different attitudestoward growth: some prize stability and traditional ways of life, while others vieweconomic growth as much more important. Some communities place great value onpreserving their surroundings in a natural state; others are more interested in promotingpopulation growth or industrial development.

What changes or improvements would we like to see? Changes or improvementsin the following areas might be appropriate:

— Our community’s natural environment. Do we see any trends, such as loss of naturalresources or increasing pollution, that should be reversed?

— Land use. Is the current mix of land used for industrial, commercial, residential, andrecreational purposes a good balance? Should some areas be used differently in thefuture? What is happening in surrounding areas? Could a major manufacturingplant be built in the town next door? Should the planning area be enlarged toinclude such possibilities? What does the county comprehensive plan call for?

— Infrastructure (roads, environmental facilities, parks, schools, libraries, police and firedepartments, etc.). What level of services do we think the community should provide?Do we need to correct problems with our current infrastructure? How old arecomponents of the infrastructure, and how long will they last? If we expect thepopulation to grow, what new services or facilities will we need? How can thesebest be integrated with existing services and facilities within the community andneighboring communities?

— Demographics (population size, number of school-aged children, retired persons, etc.). Dowe want our population to grow or remain about the same? How much could thepopulation grow without seriously straining our infrastructure, resources, and theenvironment?

— Economic growth. Do we want to attract new businesses to our community? Whatkinds? What resources should be developed to attract new businesses? How willthis affect our quality of life?

— Community health. Does our community need to address health problems such asinfant mortality, childhood lead poisoning, nutrition, or access to health care? Howdoes public health in our community compare with national, state, and rural norms?

— Quality of life.What is our vision for our community in areas such as economicwell-being of residents, safety, recreational activities, aesthetics, and our sense ofcommunity?

— Local government. Would we like to change the size, role, or structure of localgovernment? Should it take on or drop any areas of responsibility? Will it beadequate given how we see our community changing in the future?

— Pollution prevention. What can be done to prevent pollution from occurring in thefirst place?

14 Chapter 3: Developing a Community Vision

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (21)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 21/156

Pulling the Vision Together

List all the suggestions for elements of a community vision on a flip chart or blackboardin your meeting room. After you have discussed the questions above (and any others youdecide are important), you are likely to have a fairly long “wish list” for the future—as wellas a list of problems that residents are concerned about. You might want to take a straw

poll to let participants choose the five or six elements of the community vision that aremost important to them. Ask for more discussion of items that seem controversial, andtake another straw poll. (Expect some extreme positions to come up—such as “no growth”or “growth at any cost”—and encourage open, frank discussion of these views.) Alterna-tively, use a technique like that described in the box on the following page.

When you’ve reached some consensus, ask participants to discuss how the different partsof the vision fit together. Do any of the goals for the future seem to conflict with eachother (such as preserving the natural environment and attracting certain businesses)? If so,ask the participants to come up with some ideas for solving the conflict. (You might decideto change your ideas about what types of industry you favor; or you might try to find out

whether a historically “dirty” industry has adopted cleaner manufacturing methods.)A strong, unbiased chairperson or facilitator for this meeting is crucial to make sure thateveryone has a chance to participate and to keep the discussion on track. But don’t worryabout dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” in your vision statement. The importantthing is to get direction from the community as a whole about where the community shouldbe going. Think of the meeting as a group of artists creating a picture in broad, bold strokes;

you and the rest of the planning team can fill in missing details later.

To tap the creativity and energy that people will bring to the meeting, be flexible and makethe meeting fun. Don’t burden people with speeches that are too long or too technical.

Make sure everyone understands that they have something to contribute, even if they have

no training in planning or environmental issues.After you’ve created your initial community vision, it’s time for the next step: developinga plan to make that vision a reality. This will be a dynamic process—you will need to revise

your vision as your team gathers new information and your community makes newdecisions.

Chapter 3: Developing a Community Vision 15

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (22)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 22/156

Techniques for Your Community Meeting

Many different techniques are available for helping agroup define problems and agree on solutions. One ofthese is the Nominal Group Technique, developed byDr. Andre Delbecq of the University of Wisconsin/Madi-son. It is designed to help a group of people fromdifferent backgrounds and experiences to clarify issues,achieve insights into complex problems, and come to ashared judgment. The technique allows the group to reachconclusions in just a few hours, and it ensures equalparticipation by preventing more outspoken participantsfrom having too much influence in group decisions.

No special training is necessary to lead a group throughthe Nominal Group Technique. Materials for the methodinclude paper, pencils, and 3x5 index cards for the par-ticipants, and a blackboard or flip chart for each groupleader. The seven steps in the process are describedbelow.

Step 1: Introduction and Statement of Task(5 to 10 minutes). On a flip chart, the coordinator writesthe question that the participants are to respond to andbriefly explains what is going to happen. Participantsare then divided into groups of five to seven people witha leader assigned to each group. The coordinator canlead a group, or float between groups to ensure theyare keeping on roughly the same schedule.

Step 2: Silent Generation of Ideas (10 to 20 minutes).Each person works silently and independently using

paper supplied to list his or her own items in responseto the statement of the task. The group leader can alsoparticipate.

Step 3: Round-Robin Listing of Items on Flip Chart(10to 25 minutes). Each group member concisely states oneitem from his or her list. The group leader writes theitem (withoutrewording) on the flip chart and assignsit a number. There is no discussion at this time. Do notbe concerned if items appear to duplicate or overlap.Continue in round-robin fashion until all items havebeen covered.

Step 4: Discussion of Items (15 to 30 minutes). Eachgroup member, in turn, clarifies one of the items he orshe has listed on the sheet. Other members may askquestions about the item to be sure of its meaning. Donot combine items. This continues until each item hasbeen discussed.

Step 5: Silent Listing and Ranking by Priority(5 to 10minutes). On separate 3x5 cards, each group memberlists, by name and number, 10 of the items that he orshe considers most important from the total list. Groupmembers then rank the items according to their personalpriorities and write a large number 10 (for 10 points)on the corner of the card that has the highest priority;9 (for 9 points) on the next, and so forth for all 10 cards.The group leader collects the cards and has someonehelp record directly on the flip chart the number of voteseach item received. The number of votes received foreach item is tabulated.

Step 6: Discussion of Vote (10 to 15 minutes). Thegroup discusses the results of the vote. If necessary, thegroup members can get additional clarification aboutthe meaning of individual items.

Step 7: Silent Re-Ranking of Items (5 to 10 minutes).Using the same procedure as in Step 5, re-rank those10 items which received the highest total scores. Re-member, use the number 10 for the highest priority itemand the number 1 for the lowest priority item. The group

leader and his or her assistant collect the cards, recordthe number of votes each item received, and tabulatethem. If there is more than one group, each groupleader turns in the completed flip chart and the 3x5cards to the coordinator.

Many other methods exist for reaching agreement in agroup. (See Effective Meeting Skills: A Guide for MoreProductive Meeting, by Marion E. Haynes, Crisp Pub-lications, Inc., 95 First Street, Los Altos, CA 94022.)Choose or design a discussion or voting technique thatfits your particular meeting goals and needs.

16 Chapter 3: Developing a Community Vision

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (23)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 23/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (24)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 24/156

Defining YourCommunity’s



nce you have established your planning teamand defined your vision for the future, it istime to turn to your community’s current

environmental needs. The planning teamshould clearly identify the environmental needs

within the community and collect information onthese issues. Answering the following questions can help the planning team identify thecommunity’s needs:

What are the boundaries of your environmental planning area?

What environmental regulations affect your community?

Do any environmental problems threaten public health, the environment, or the qualityof life in your community?

How effective are your community’s environmental facilities?This chapter helps you answer these questions.

What Are the Boundaries of Your Environmental Planning Area?

Defining the boundaries of your community’s environmental planning area will help youdetermine your community’s environmental needs. Your community’s environmentalplanning area should include:

“Problem” areas that might have actual or potential public health and ecological

impacts, such as waste disposal sites and industrial areas.Areas and resources that you want to preserve and protect, such as drinking watersupplies and rivers.

Facilities and resources that are used to protect public health or environmental quality,such as solid waste and wastewater facilities.



to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (25)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 25/156

You can define the boundaries of your community’s environmental planning area indifferent ways. Choose the approach that makes sense for your community.

Advantages of Beginning Small

Begin with a geographic area small enough to ensure that your community has theresources and authority to carry out the plan it develops. For example, you could define

your environmental planning area as the area within your town or village boundaries,if your community is incorporated. You might also wish to add nearby areas that are not

within the town or village boundaries but that might influence or be affected by your town’senvironmental planning, for example, areas served by your drinking water, wastewater,

solid waste, fire department, or other facilities.

The Regional Advantage

Alternatively, you might wish to use county boundaries (or boundaries of other politicalunits) to define the environmental planning area. And, if an important natural resource,such as an underground drinking water source, crosses county lines, consider including

the larger area served by this resource in your environmental planning area. County orother regional boundaries offer the opportunity for several localities to work cooperativelyon common environmental and infrastructure issues and to share costs. If you areconsidering a regional approach, consult with the neighboring communities to see whetherthey are interested in collaborating with your community. Check with county agencies,too; without county support, a lack of authority will limit the value of a regional approach.

Where permitted, special purpose districts may solve this problem.

Physical Characteristics and Natural Conditions

You could also limit your planning area by using physical characteristics rather than townor county boundaries. This approach is appropriate for regions where a mountain ridge,for example, tends to separate the towns on one side from towns on the other. If this is thecase in your community, consider limiting your community’s environmental responsibility(facilities) to the area on your side of the mountain or other natural feature that separatesthe two regions.

To prepare for the planning process, be sure to examine the natural conditions within yourplanning area to identify locations that might be more or less vulnerable to environmentaldamage. For example, if you overlay a map showing onsite septic system failures onto asoil map, you might be able to see clearly the areas of good soil where onsite wastewatertreatment systems will work well and the areas where wastewater collection and cluster orcentralized treatment and disposal are needed. An additional overlay of ground-water

quality might further refine this analysis.

Adjusting the Area as Appropriate

In general, you should begin with your community boundaries. These boundaries can beadjusted if needed, for example, if new data on projected growth becomes available, or ifone or more issues suggest that you should consider a combined (regional) approach. Once

you have defined the boundaries of your environmental planning area, you can identifythe environmental concerns within this area.

20 Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (26)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 26/156

What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

As you develop a community environmental plan, keep in mind that you are not operatingin a vacuum. Federal, state, and county governments have many regulations coveringalmost every environmental issue that could concern local governments. These regulationsare meant to protect everyone from the potential hazards associated with pollution.

Unfortunately, this goal cannot be achieved in the same way in all types of communities.Local governments have justifiable concerns that these regulations cannot be implemented

without outside funding, but remember that pollution does not respect boundaries. If atown upriver from your town dumps untreated sewage into the river, this sewage couldpollute your water supply. Even if your community is environmentally responsible, youcan’t be sure that other communities will be the same. Protecting the environment andpreventing pollution has to be a collective effort.

You should be aware of environmental regulations when you develop your environmentalplan for several reasons:

The regulations might help you identify some of the environmental issues that you face.

Complying with regulations will help you protect people’s health and the environment.

Complying with regulations will help you avoid the direct financial costs of pollution.(Pollution of natural resources costs money and jobs.)

You might incur fines and legal fees if you don’t comply with environmental regulations,even if your reason for noncompliance was being unaware of the regulation’s existence.Understanding what regulations apply to your community will help you avoid thesecosts.

Environmental regulations might themselves present major problems for small commu-nities. These are some common complaints heard from small community decision-makers:

There are too many different regulations. (Actually almost 800 regulations exist, ofwhich half require the town to do something and the other half require the town tooversee other people, places, or things.)

Finding out about new regulations that affect my community is difficult.

The regulations are written in complicated, technical language.

The regulation deadlines don’t give my community enough time to comply.

The regulations require my community to do something that it can’t affordand don’t help pay for it.

The regulations require costly actions to prevent or stop problems that do notexist in my community.

These are important concerns, addressed in part by Appendix B of this guidebook. Theappendix describes the major federal regulations that affect most small communities andgives information on the steps your community is expected to take to meet these require-ments. In addition, the assistance providers listed in Appendix D can help you understandexactly which regulations apply to you and how.

Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs 21

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (27)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 27/156

Regulatory Compliance Needsin Ruraltown

Ruraltown planning team members consulted with state regulatory officialsto review the regulations that applied to the town. The team then made

a list of the regulations that the town was not meeting:

Drinking water samples at the community treatment plant recently ex-ceeded the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for coliform bacteria.

The drinking water system cannot meet firefighting requirements incertain parts of town due to low pressure.

The drinking water plant is not meeting all the applicable monitoring

requirements for chemical contaminants.

Discharges from the wastewater treatment plant exceed permit limits forsuspended solids and organic matter during some periods.

The landfill does not meet state design requirements.

The elementary school has not been inspected for materials containingasbestos.

22 Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (28)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 28/156

The information in Appendix B can help you determine which regulations apply to yourcommunity and what the deadlines for compliance are. You will probably need to consult

with staff from your state agency to develop a complete and accurate list of the regulatoryrequirements you must meet. This list can be important when you set priorities for action(Chapter 6).

The descriptions in Appendix B are based on information available in 1994. Some of thisinformation is likely to change in the future. In addition, state and local requirements mightdiffer from federal regulations. Be sure to contact someone at your state regulatory agencyto find out if your state’s rules are different in any way. Also, find out whether there arecounty regulations in addition to your state’s requirements.

Do Any Environmental Problems Threaten Public Health, Ecosystems, orthe Quality of Life in Your Community?

A key step in defining your community’s needs is determining whether any environmental

problems pose a serious threat to your residents and surrounding ecosystems. Your teamcan develop a list of environmental problems by thinking about possible threats to thehealth of residents (such as unsafe drinking water), specific pollutants or pollutant sourcesin the community (such as pesticides used near drinking water wells or leaking petroleumstorage tanks), and natural resources being affected by pollution (such as a river withdegraded aesthetic qualities and a declining fish population). Also think about threats toresidents’ quality of life, such as loss of recreation areas or higher taxes to pay for replacinga polluted drinking water well.

Your list of environmental problems should include not only concerns that exist today butalso possible future problems. For example, a town’s drinking water well might not becontaminated now, but possible releases of pollutants from particular sources (such as gasstations or a landfill) near the well might contaminate the well in the future. Suchpotential

risks should be included in your list of environmental concerns. To help determinepotential risks, ask “what if” questions, such as “If pollutants leaked from the landfill,

what effects might this have on people’s health or the environment?”

It’s a good idea to involve the broader community in this step. People outside your planningteam might have concerns that you haven’t considered. If these concerns are never heardby the team, public support for the comprehensive environmental plan might suffer. If youheld a communitywide meeting to define a community vision, you probably came up witha list of residents’ concerns at that time. If not, consider conducting a special open meetingof the planning team to involve interested members of the public.

After you’ve developed a comprehensive list of environmental problems, your team shoulddetermine which are the “high-risk” problems: which pose a serious threat to health, theenvironment, or quality of life. This will help you target your resources wisely when putting

your environmental plan together. To help you figure out which problems are high-risk,Appendix C presents a more detailed discussion about risks along with some questions tohelp you assess risks. You might also want to consult with experts to help you determinethe high-risk problems in your community. Start with any scientists who have been

Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs 23

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (29)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 29/156

Potential Sources of Information About Risks in Your Community

Topic Potential Source (see key)

Air quality 1, 8, 14

Asbestos in public buildings 1, 8, 16

Business and industry information 7, 8, 17, 19

Chemical hazards 1, 6, 8, 14, 15, 19

Chemical releases/spills 1, 7, 8, 19

Climate 5, 14

Disease rates in the community 6, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16

Drinking water quality 1, 8, 13, 16

Ecosystem/habitat quality 1, 8, 9, 10, 14, 20Fish and wildlife 1, 8, 9, 10, 14, 20

Flood hazard areas 2, 18

Forest quality 1, 8, 9, 10, 14, 20

Ground water 1, 2, 8, 14, 21

Hazardous waste sites 1, 8, 19

Land use/topography 2, 4, 8, 14, 18

Lead paint hazards 1, 8, 13, 15, 16

Nonpoint source pollution 1, 8

Parks and other recreation areas 9, 10, 20

Pesticides 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14

Population figures 8, 16, 18, 22

Regulatory information 1, 8, 12, 13, 16, 18

Radon 1, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16

Soils 2, 4, 8, 12, 14

Solid waste 1, 8

Surface water 1, 2, 8, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21

Underground storage tanks 1, 8, 19

Wastewater system performance(onsite)

1, 8, 12, 16

Wellhead/watershed protection 1, 2, 8, 12, 14, 21

Wetlands 1, 2, 4, 8, 14


1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) regional office

2. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

3. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

4. USDA Soil Conservation Service

5. National Weather Service

6. Agency for Toxic Substances and DiseaseRegistry (ATSDR)

7. Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)

8. State regulatory agency (e.g., departmentof health, department of environment, de-partment of natural resources)

9. State department of fish and wildlife

10. State department of forestry; U.S. ForestService

11. State farm bureau

12. County agricultural extension service

13. Local or county board of health

14. Local university or college15. Local physician

16. County health officer

17. Local chamber of commerce

18. Local/Regional planning board

19. Local emergency response team (usuallythe fire department)

20. State, county, or local parks and recreationdepartment

21. Local water department

22. State data center

24 Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (30)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 30/156

working with or advising your planning team. If they can’t provide the help you need, askthem who might be able to, or get in touch with one or more of the following:

Representatives of the state department of health, natural resources, or environmentalprotection, or of the EPA regional field office.

Scientists at a nearby college or university.

The county health officer or local physicians.

The box on page 24 contains a more detailed list of information that might be availablefrom agencies and organizations. These experts will not have any magic formulas to help

you understand the risks you face. Scientific information about environmental risks oftendoes not exist, is incomplete, or is hard to interpret. Experts should, however, help you geta clearer picture of what the most serious risks are, and perhaps help you uncover someproblems you otherwise would not have addressed.

Of course, identifying certain problems as “high-risk” is only one of the tools to help youput together your environmental plan—it does not mean you can forget about the rest of

the problems. You might need to address lower risk problems for regulatory reasons.Community residents might consider lower risk problems of great importance. You mightbe able to implement some simple, low-cost solutions to lower risk problems, while stillgiving adequate attention to the highest risks. Chapter 6 discusses in more detail how youcan take all these factors into account and set priorities for action.

A number of states and cities have carried out complex “comparative risk” projects toevaluate risks to people and ecosystems and to help them make the best use of theirenvironmental protection resources. These projects usually involve teams of scientists andother experts who spend months analyzing data and discussing their relevance. AppendixC includes a list of the states, cities, and tribes that have comparative risk projectscompleted, under way, or in the planning stages. If such a project exists in your state, you

might be able to obtain valuable information or insight from the project to help you identifyhigh-risk problems in your community.

The box on pages 26 through 28 describes how Ruraltown went about defining theboundaries of its environmental planning area, listing its environmental problems, andidentifying which problems were potentially serious threats to its residents and theenvironment.

Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs 25

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (31)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 31/156

Ruraltown’s EnvironmentalProblems: Defining Boundaries andIdentifying High-Risk Problems

The planning team discussed what locations to include in the community’s en-vironmental planning area. Everyone on the team agreed that at least everything

within the town boundaries should be included, since the town had its own landfilland drinking water and wastewater plants. Using town boundaries would also include

private wells and septic systems. A staff person from the State Department of NaturalResources suggested that the team consider including a larger area than the townboundaries, because some areas near the town’s drinking water wells but outside ofthe town boundaries (including some farms and onsite septic systems) could affectdrinking water quality in the future. The team discussed this with county officials,who agreed to help the team implement necessary programs in these areas where

they had the authority to do so.

The planning team held a meeting to develop a list of environmental concerns inthe community. The team opened the meeting up to interested members of the

public, placing a notice in the local newspaper several weeks in advance. At themeeting, team members listed the following environmental concerns:

The drinking water treatment plant had recent violations of the coliform maxi-

mum contaminant level (MCL).

The drinking water treatment plant’s monitoring program for chemical con-taminants had been cited as inadequate by the state.

The drinking water system is undersized; pressure is too low to meet firefight-ing requirements in some parts of town.

There are high fecal coliform counts in private well supplies near septic tank

systems in areas with high ground water.

Pesticides are used near drinking water wells.

Underground fuel storage tanks at the school and fire station are aging andmight leak.

Discharges from the wastewater treatment plant occasionally exceed permitlimits for suspended solids and organic matter, especially after severe storms.

26 Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (32)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 32/156

The landfill is almost full and doesn’t meet the new state guidelines.

Land-applied fertilizers in rainfall runoff are polluting lakes and streams.

Leaf burning by residents is blamed for some health problems in the town.

Improper disposal of used oil on the ground and to septic systems by “do-it-your-self” oil changers could cause contamination of drinking water wells.

Improper disposal of household hazardous waste to the landfill could result in con-tamination of drinking water wells.

The custodian suspects that there is deteriorating asbestos insulation in RuraltownElementary School, which has not been tested for asbestos.

Several community residents attending the meeting added concerns to the list:

There is deteriorating lead paint in many homes.

Runoff from construction sites upriver from the town might be causing a reducedfish catch in Running River; tannery wastes also might be polluting the river.

The planning team then spent time over the next several weeks talking to local and stateexperts about each topic. They asked the experts to help them figure out the risks posedby each problem. These advisors provided much of the information the team needed.

For example, the team had the drinking water from two private wells tested for pesticidesused on nearby farms. The wells chosen for testing were those located closest to and

“downstream” from the farms. The team asked a scientist from the state environmentalagency to explain the potential health effects from consuming water containing the smallquantities of pesticides that were detected. This scientist advised the team that the currentrisks were small but could increase in the future if pesticide contamination continued.She confirmed the town’s concern that the aging underground storage tanks and surface water pollution from fertilizer were serious threats to natural resources. Several other

scientists suggested that the team consider radon in homes a potential concern, since anumber of homes in nearby communities had been found to have elevated levels of radon.

Armed with the information they had obtained, the team met again, discussed Ruraltown’senvironmental problems, and hammered out a list of the high-risk problems. They


Drinking water samples that exceed coliform MCL (high risk to health).

Drinking water system that is undersized (high risk to quality of life).

High coliform counts in drinking water well supplies near septic systems in areaswith high ground water (high risk to health).

Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs 27

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (33)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 33/156

How Effective Are Your Community’s Environmental Facilities?

The most basic step in identifying your community’s needs is the evaluation of yourcommunity’s environmental facilities, such as solid waste (some combination of landfills,incinerators, transfer stations, and recycling centers), drinking water (some combinationof a centralized source and treatment plant, distribution system, and private wells), and

wastewater (either a centralized collection and treatment plant, smaller plants servingseveral buildings with sewers, or individual home systems). Your environmental facilitiesmight also include structures involving little or no capital or equipment, such as bufferstrips, wet ponds, and swales for runoff management.

Your planning team should work with the people who manage and operate your environ-mental facilities to identify problems. A facility might perform ineffectively if it is toosmall to serve the number of people in the community or if it is operated improperly orinefficiently. Some problems might even pose a risk to health, ecosystems, or quality oflife. For example, a landfill could leach chemicals into ground water that constitutes thetown’s drinking water, or a wastewater treatment plant could generate odors in the

surrounding area.Ineffective performance of environmental facilities is also a constant drain on a commu-nity’s finances. Inadequate performance might indicate that operations at the existingfacility could be improved or that a community needs a new or upgraded facility. Often,minor modifications of an existing facility greatly improve performance and lower costs.Evaluating facility performance also helps the community identify potential risks topeople’s health and the environment and helps determine whether the community iscomplying with regulatory requirements.

Aging underground storage tanks (high risk to health and quality of life).

Wastewater treatment plant effluent that exceeds organic matter and suspended sol-ids limits (high risk to natural resources and quality of life).

Septic systems failing during wet seasons (high risk to health andquality of life).

Landfill that doesn’t meet design requirements and is almost full (high risk toquality of life).

Surface water pollution by fertilizers (high risk to natural resources andquality of life).

Lead paint in homes (high risk to health and quality of life).

28 Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (34)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 34/156

To find out whether your community’s environmental facilities are performing adequately,the planning team, along with each facility’s manager, should consider several factors,including the design, administration, operation, and maintenance of each facility, asdiscussed below. This step might require assistance from outside experts. Many states canassist in this process, as can independent resource providers such as the National Rural

Water Association and the Rural Community Assistance Program (see Appendix D).

Does the Facility’s Design Meet the Community’s Needs?

Each facility, including its equipment and processes, was designed with certain goals inmind. Determine whether your community has the same goals today. Your communitymight or might not have changed since the facility was designed. Asking the followingquestions will help the planning team determine whether the facility’s design is stilladequate:

Is the plant design adequate for the community’s current requirements (such as thenumber of people now receiving public drinking water)? Can it meet needs (such asnew people or businesses moving into the community)?

Does the facility meet the requirements of current regulations? Will it meet therequirements of regulations that have been issued but are not yet in effect?

Are maintenance problems increasing as the plant ages? For example, do staff often“jury-rig” solutions to operating problems?

Will the facility meet your future needs? (Refer to your community’s vision for thefuture.)

Is the Facility Run Effectively?

Administration of a facility involves managing, staffing, training, and funding. You can

assess how well the facility is run by asking the questions below.


Are facility managers clear about what the system is supposed to accomplish andwhether these goals are currently being achieved?

Have managers evaluated whether services, equipment, and facilities will need expan-sion to meet future needs?

Have alternatives (such as another water source, transfer of solid waste to anotherfacility, alternate wastewater treatment options, or intergovernmental agreement toshare equipment, personnel, or services) been identified if needed in an emergency or

for future increased use?


Are there enough employees to handle the job?

Do employees understand their specific responsibilities?

Are staff encouraged to make recommendations for improved performance?

Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs 29

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (35)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 35/156

Are employees capable of handling future needs if services change or increase (forexample, if recycling is added to solid waste facilities)?

If the state requires certified (licensed) operators to perform certain tasks, does yourstaff meet these requirements, or have you made other arrangements with neighboringcertified operators?

TrainingDo any employees need specific training to perform tasks properly?

Do employees periodically receive additional training from universities or other sourcesto update their knowledge and skills?

Do they receive proper training whenever they are required to perform new tasks orprocedures?

Is the staff encouraged to seek certification training (if a certification program exists)?


Are the revenues generated adequate to meet operation, maintenance, and all othercosts, including unanticipated emergencies? Do customer rates include all costs ofproviding the service?

Are enough funds available to replace equipment at the end of its nominal or estimatedservice life?

Are funds being set aside for improvements and expansions?

Has the community considered using qualified local people, rather than more expensiveoutside personnel, to perform necessary tasks? Has the community considered recruit-ing qualified volunteers (individuals or service/professional organizations)?

Efficient Operations Are Key to Good Performance

The following operational factors should be evaluated for each of the environmentalfacilities in a community:

Capacity. Are the drinking water and wastewater facilities operating close to the limitsof their design? Is the landfill almost full? If the answer is “yes” to either of thesequestions and you expect the population to increase significantly in the near future,increased capacity will probably be needed in the near future. Consider alternativeapproaches to such costly expansion as soon as possible, while they are still viable.

Flexibility.Can the facility cope with potential changes in the quality of raw water supply,

changes in wastewater flow during storms, or changes in the flow of solid waste?

Equipment. Is old equipment breaking down often? Should it be rebuilt or replaced? Isequipment performing as efficiently as possible? Does it meet design performancespecifications?

Processes. Are mechanisms that control each process operating well? Have adjustmentsbeen made to make the process more efficient or effective?

30 Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (36)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 36/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (37)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 37/156

How Effective Is Your Drinking Water Facility?

Are water samples taken regularly andproperly as required by the state?

Has drinking water failed to meet regula-

tory limits? How many violation noticeshas the facility received?

Have residents complained often aboutthe odor, appearance, or taste of the


Are operators knowledgeable about thefacility’s treatment processes (such as floc-culation, sedimentation, filtration, anddisinfection)? Are these processes per-forming effectively, and are correctionsmade when they are not functioning attheir best?

Does the facility use water meters tocharge its customers for water use? Me-ters can provide an incentive to conserve

water, since the less a customer uses, theless he or she pays. Is the accuracy ofmeters checked periodically?

Does the facility manager know howmuch “water loss” is occurring? Waterloss is the amount of water being pro-duced that is not being received by orbilled to customers.

Do charges cover the cost of operationand maintenance and planned replace-ment costs?

How Effective Is Your Wastewater Facility?

Are your wastewater treatment plant op-erators knowledgeable about the treat-ment facility’s processes, such as aeration,clarification, and sludge (biosolids) han-dling? Do they regularly monitor andadjust processes to improve perform-ance?

Is your sludge management system capa-ble of properly processing all the sludgeproduced?

Does excessive infiltration/inflow ofstormwater occur in the collection sewer

line? Does the flow bypass the treatmentsystem during peak flow conditions?

Is your system in compliance with all Na-tional Pollutant Discharge EliminationSystem (NPDES) permit limits or condi-tions?

Has the facility received complaints from

residents regarding odors, appearance,receiving water quality, overflows, or highuser charges?

How Effective Are Your Community’s Septic Systems?

Is the water draining slowly from or back-

ing up into sinks or toilets? If so, the pipesmight be clogged (with disposable dia-pers, sanitary napkins, etc.), a pipe mightbe broken (from heavy machinery travel-ing over the ground above the pipe), ortree roots might have entered a pipe.

Is smelly or dark liquid present on theground surface above the drainfield? If

so, the drainfield or soil may be inade-

quate to soak up the liquid during wetperiods of the year.

How often has the tank been pumped? Ifmore often than every 3 years, the reasonshould be determined. The problem isusually in the soil, not the tank, and pump-ing only provides temporary relief.

32 Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (38)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 38/156

How Effectively Does Your Community Manage Solid Waste?

Even if your community’s handling of solidwaste is not an immediate concern, it mostlikely will be in the very near future. Think

about the following questions:Landfill Concerns

Is the community’s landfill almost full?Will you need a new place to dispose ofsolid waste within the next few years?Has the community identified an alterna-tive disposal method or area?

Does the landfill meet state/federalground-water monitoring requirements?(Check with your state agency.)

Waste Reduction

Does your community have a waste re-duction program? Is one required by thestate?

Recycling Efforts

Does the community have a recycling pro-gram (including collecting the materials,finding markets, and getting and keepingresidents involved)? Many states havepassed regulations requiring increasedrecycling of various materials, such aspaper, glass, metals, yard wastes, andplastics. Check with your state agency tofind out about your current and futurecompliance with the regulations and themarkets for these materials in your area.


How much does solid waste disposal costyour community? Is the cost rising signifi-cantly? If so, think about alternatives todisposal (recycling, composting, or re-gional incineration programs).

Do fees charged to community residentsreflect all costs of solid waste manage-

ment (such as costs to collect the trash, runthe disposal facility, and administer theprogram)?

Can the community’s landfill meet staterequirements for financial assurance, li-ability, and postclosure care? Check with

your state agency about these require-ments.


Has the community conducted an analysisof its solid waste to determine its contentand amounts produced? Most small com-munities have not done such an analysis,but it could help the community decide thebest ways to manage wastes (such as whatpercentages could be recycled, com-posted, incinerated, and disposed of in alandfill). This information can also helpthe community decide what services orequipment are needed (such as trucks,bins, landfill/incinerator capacity, typesof markets for recyclables). This analysisshould include anticipated future changesin disposal and recycling patterns. (Referto your community’s vision for the future.)Since local data are not likely to be avail-able, national average data can be usedfor planning purposes.

Regional Approaches

For many small communities, a regionalapproach to solid waste management isthe best solution. If several communitiesjoin together, they can:

— Share the task of looking for marketsfor recyclables and offer these marketslarger quantities of materials (a bigplus in the recycling business).

— Combine the wastes that each commu-nity sends to landfills or incineratorsand pay lower user fees for thesehigher volumes.

— Jointly use collection trucks.

Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs 33

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (39)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 39/156

Is Your List of Needs Adequate To Meet Your Community’s Visionfor the Future?

After you have done the work suggested in this chapter, you will have defined yourcommunity’s environmental needs using three approaches: what problems pose the great-est threat to your community’s residents and natural resources, how well your environ-mental facilities are serving your community, and what regulations you must meet. You

will probably see a lot of overlap among these three lists. Combine all three into a “masterlist” of needs that eliminates duplication and is easier to work with. Then revisit thecommunity vision to make sure that the goals expressed there are addressed by your listof current needs. If an important item is missing, you might want to add it to your list ofcurrent needs. For example, if you envision economic or population growth in the coming

years, as Ruraltown does, make sure that you evaluate whether expanded capacity of yourdrinking water, wastewater, and solid waste facilities is needed.

34 Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (40)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 40/156

Ruraltown Evaluates ItsEnvironmental Facilities

Ruraltown’s planning team talked with the people who manage and operatethe town’s environmental facilities, and summarized the facility needs in

the following list:

Landfill does not meet state requirements and is almost full; need toexpand or find alternatives.

Need to increase capacity of drinking water treatment system; already un-able to attain firefighting pressures at certain locations, and some people

with private wells want to be connected to public water supply. Also needto meet coliform MCL and monitoring requirements for chemicalcontaminants in drinking water.

Need to improve performance of wastewater treatment plant with respectto suspended solids and organic matter removal, because town wants to re-

duce reliance on septic systems, especially in areas with shallow groundwater. Improving the wastewater treatment system will encourage growth

and development in the town center and help prevent further loss of rurallandscape and farms.

Before making any final decisions about the drinking water and wastewaterfacilities, the planning team asked for help from state and local assistanceproviders. The state performed a comprehensive performance evaluation on the wastewater treatment plant. This evaluation showed that the plant could bebrought into compliance, except during rainstorms and snow melting periods.

(The town would need to make long-term improvements in the collectionsystem and the treatment plant, however, to realize its vision for the future.) Acoalition of resource providers analyzed the drinking water plant. This analysis verified earlier findings that distribution system and disinfection system up-grades were needed.

Chapter 4: Defining Your Community’s Needs 35

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (41)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 41/156

Finding FeasibleSolutions for Your



nce you’ve defined your community’sneeds and refined your community visionfor the future, it’s time to look for possible

solutions. You’ve pinpointed a destinationon the road map and convinced many peoplein the community to make the journey. Now it’stime to look at the vehicles you can use to getthere. There are many factors to consider: Youprobably can’t afford a Porsche, but you don’t

want an old car that breaks down in the middle of a trip. To get adequate transportation,you might need to car pool with neighbors. And you have to consider whether your vehiclewill need frequent maintenance.

This chapter helps you begin to figure out which solutions will work for your community.Although most small communities do not have every problem discussed in this chapter,and many will have problems that are not discussed, some of the best solutions for thetypical problems faced by small communities are presented. This chapter shows you howto evaluate available options, taking into account such factors as cost and local environ-mental constraints. Some of the possible “vehicles” for reaching your destination aretechnological (structural), such as new treatment technologies. Others are management(nonstructural) solutions—setting up a water conservation program or an educationalprogram about household hazardous waste, for example. A solution to one problem mightaffect (positively or negatively) another problem. At this step, you should determine allsolutions that are feasible for your community and estimate what they might cost and whatthey might achieve. This information will be critical when you set priorities for action.

Technology and Management Options for Small Communities:An Overview

The list of solutions that can be applied to environmental problems is nearly endless. Thischapter presents a brief description of some of the solutions to issues that nearly all smallcommunities face. You will need to find out more about these solutions if you think they



to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (42)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 42/156

might be suitable for your community. Your goal here is to gain information about thesolutions that might be suitable for your community, including:

What each solution can achieve.

What factors can limit a solution’s effectiveness.

What the capital and operating costs are.How easy or difficult implementation is.

Pollution Prevention

Preventing pollution—rather than trying to treat it afterit happens—should be a basic principle of your com-munity’s environmental plan. Pollution prevention is theprocess of identifying areas, processes, and activitiesthat create excessive waste byproducts to try to minimizeor eliminate the amount or toxicity of these byproducts.

This approach will help you avoid the costs of cleaningup pollution. Here are just a few examples:

Conserve water!A communitywide effort to conservewater can help your town in several important ways.Heavy pumping of an aquifer over time can causechanges in the amount you can pump and the chemicalquality of the water you pump. High water usage alsomeans that more wastewater is generated that needsto be managed. Some simple steps—such as startinga leak detection program and using water-savingdevices in homes—can help prevent these problemsand help avoid the cost of developing additional

drinking water and wastewater facilities.Don’t dump used oil! Used oil should be recycled ordisposed of so that it won’t pollute the environment.Even small amounts of used oil poured on the ground,down the drain, or into the water can contaminate thedrinking water supply of an entire community. Yourused oil should be taken to a collection center orservice station that can handle it properly. The com-munity is responsible for providing a market or use forthis used oil for ensuring its safe disposal.

Safely dispose of household hazardous waste!Manycommon household products (e.g., most cleaning flu-

ids, disinfectants, pesticides, and paint thinners andremovers) contain hazardous constituents. Dumpingthese household hazardous wastes down the drain,into the garbage can, or on the ground can contami-nate ground water, surface water, and soil. Manycommunities have started household hazardous wastecollection programs (or worked with other communi-ties to start them) to gather these wastes and disposeof them safely.

Save energy! This is something every resident can doto prevent pollution. In most areas of the country,power plants burn oil, coal, or gas to generate elec-tricity. Burning these fuels creates air pollution. If lessenergy is needed, less air pollution is produced. Sav-ing energy can also save you money. Your community

should promote energy conservation through publicservice announcements and other means.

Protect the area around your drinking water wells!Every state in the nation has had incidents of contami-nated ground water. If you protect your water sourcebefore it gets contaminated, you can avoid some majorcosts, such as the costs of sophisticated treatmentequipment, cleanup and remediation, consulting andlegal fees, water rate increases, and even reduced realestate prices. Ask your state environmental agency,

your state Rural Water Association, or other resourceprovider how to start a wellhead protection program

in your community.Don’t be a throw-away community! Landfill space isbecoming limited, and building a new landfill thatprotects water, soil, and air from contamination isexpensive. At the same time, people keep generatingmore and more trash. Try to reuse materials instead ofthrowing them away. Try to recycle glass, plastic,aluminum, and paper. Don’t buy products with extrapackaging that has to be thrown away. A communitycan provide leadership in such efforts by developingpurchasing programs that reduce waste and maximiz-ing the use of recycled materials.

Don’t litter! If everyone helps, the cost of litter collectionand management can be reduced.

Your environmental plan should also include teachingcommunity residents about pollution prevention. Pollu-tion prevention is a “mind set”—a way of looking atthe world and the way we live. If everyone reducespollution in his or her own life, the community, itsenvironment, and the future will benefit.

38 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (43)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 43/156

How a solution might affect other environmental problems you face or other importantcommunity considerations.

What opportunity costs are associated with various options. (Opportunity costs are thecosts of the next best alternative—what you are giving up by choosing the option youchoose.)

At the end of this chapter, some specific solutions are presented for the following issueareas:

Drinking water.


Solid waste.

Hazardous waste.

Nonpoint source pollution.

Underground storage tanks.

For more information, you can read the publications listed in Appendix D and talk to oneof your local experts, your state environmental agency, and some of the organizations listedin Appendix D.

Evaluating Costs for Technology and ManagementOptions

To evaluate the costs of possible solutions, consider several cost factors:

Unit costs (such as the cost per thousand gallons treated, cost per cubic yard or ton ofwaste disposed).

Capital costs (the costs of constructing, purchasing, or upgrading equipment orfacilities).

Annual operating costs (the costs of running equipment and facilities on a day-to-daybasis).

To make meaningful cost comparisons, the facility size must be comparable betweenoptions and must be sufficient to handle the maximum material flows (drinking water,

wastewater, solid waste, recyclables) anticipated over the estimated life of the facility. Forexample, a low unit cost for wastewater treatment will not save money if the minimum

plant size required to achieve that cost savings is four times the maximum expectedwastewater flow from your community.

Even before cost comparisons, the best screening method is to identify the conditions forwhich the option is best suited. For example, small-diameter gravity systems are likely tobe the first choice where slopes provide gravity drainage to a treatment plant. “Pockets”of homes that do not drain in this way because of their lower elevation can be fitted withseptic tank effluent pumping (STEP) units and fed into the small-diameter system.Likewise, dense developments of 50 or more homes might be best served by vacuum

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community39

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (44)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 44/156

sewers, while pressure sewers may be more suitable for developments of fewer than 50homes. By knowing the best uses of each technology, a preliminary screening can assistthe planning group in discarding certain options that are unlikely to solve identifiedproblems.

All cost factors—unit costs, capital costs, and operating costs—should be evaluated

together. There might be a tradeoff between capital costs and operating costs. A well-de-signed facility with higher initial costs usually provides better performance and has loweroperating and maintenance costs than a lower capital-cost, high-maintenance facility. A

variety of financial factors should be considered when deciding among options, as discussedin Chapter 7.

Narrowing the Options

Once you have a list of possible generic options for the key environmental issues facingyour community, you need to eliminate the options that are not feasible. First, you can

eliminate any option that will not work because of factors specific to your community.These factors could include:

Population density.

Distance from significant population centers.

Type of water bodies and land features.

Water quality, chemistry, and quantity.

Soil type and geology.

Even though the solutions described in this guide are considered appropriate for small

communities, local conditions can preclude their use in certain circ*mstances. For exam-ple, there is little point in planning for long-term use of onsite septic tank systems if nosoils in the community can support their proper functioning (because they are all imper-meable clay soils).

Second, you can eliminate solutions that are clearly more expensive than your communitycan afford. Also consider whether the costs (economic, social, ecological, or health-related)of failing to invest in a solution are acceptable. Be careful, however, not to underestimate

what your community can afford. Your community might be able to get grants andlow-interest loans to pay for some options. Your community can also cooperate with othercommunities or form partnerships with private companies to pay for some solutions (seeChapter 7).

Third, eliminate options that require more advanced technical skills than your communityhas access to, or that are too complicated for your community to administer. For example,

waste-to-energy facilities are an option for solid waste management. Solid waste is burnedin these facilities, and the heat produced is used to generate electricity. Waste-to-energyfacilities use very advanced technology, however, and are probably not feasible for mostsmall communities. Keep in mind, though, that cooperating with other communities andforming partnerships with private companies might allow you to use technologies that aretoo complex for your community to use alone.

40 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (45)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 45/156

Make sure that you understand exactly what each remaining solution can achieve andwhether it will create any new problems. Reviewing this information for each solution stillon your list might cause you to remove some solutions from consideration. For example,if your community has a corrosive water supply that causes the wastewater treatment plantto exceed discharge limits for lead and copper, you might consider adding phosphate tothe drinking water to inhibit corrosion. This strategy, however, could cause wastewaterdischarges to exceed phosphate limits, and removing phosphate before discharging thetreated wastewater will increase costs.

Finally, keep in mind that you might want to use a combination of solutions for someproblems. Different solutions can complement each other or be used to handle differentaspects of a problem. For example, a community experiencing problems with septic tanksystems might develop a combination of onsite, cluster, and centralized systems for treating

wastewater, along with a communitywide water conservation program to improve theperformance of all of them. A central treatment plant can be built to serve residences andbusinesses in more densely settled areas of the community, while cluster systems can serveoutlying homes for which onsite systems are not suitable.

Looking at Characteristics ofSoil and Ground Water in Your Community

To determine whether certain technologyoptions are feasible, it is important to un-

derstand the characteristics of soil andground water in your community. For ex-ample, some soil conditions, such as shal-low bedrock or water table, might requirethe use of special onsite wastewater systemsin unsewered areas. By the same token, ashallow water table is more easily contami-nated than a deep water table. The vulner-ability of ground water affects site selectionfor landfills, underground storage tanks,and a variety of potentially contaminatingindustrial/commercial activities.

Information about soil and ground water inmany areas is available from the U.S. Geo-logical Survey and from soil surveys pro-duced by the Soil Conservation Service(SCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.SCS has published soil surveys for mostcounties in the eastern and midwesternUnited States and many counties in westernstates. SCS soil maps define map units con-taining similar soil characteristics based onlandscape position, slope, soil wetness,depth to bedrock, type of bedrock, andother factors. A published soil survey con-

tains tables providing information for eachmap unit, including:

The number of acres mapped.Ratings for corrosion risk for uncoatedsteel and concrete.

Limitations for sanitary facilities, includingembankments, ditches and levees, septictank soil absorption fields, sewage la-goons, trench landfills, and area landfills.

Suitability ratings for use as daily coverfor landfill.

Suitability for dwelling structural support.

Potential for flooding.

These maps are a very useful planning andevaluation tool. For example, the soil mapcan be placed over a township map marked

with sites where septic systems have beenrepaired or replaced. This can show

whether and where a long-term strategyrelying on these systems is feasible. Layinga map of the wellhead protection area forthe community’s water supply over the othertwo maps could show additional areas

where the use of septic systems should berestricted.

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community41

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (46)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 46/156

Once you have narrowed the options, you will have a list of the solutions that are feasiblefor your community, along with a good idea of what they cost and what they can achieve.

Finding Solutions: Drinking Water

Your community needs an adequate supply of safe drinking water. The solutions toconsider fall into two categories: quality (source protection and treatment) and quantity(conservation, leak detection, and expansion of supply).

Drinking Water Quality: Protecting the Source

About 95 percent of rural communities use ground water as a drinking water source. Thebest way to protect ground-water resources is a wellhead protection program. Awellhead protection program seeks to manage the land area through which water entersthe ground water that provides your drinking water. For communities that use ground

water as a drinking water source, a wellhead protection program minimizes contaminationof this valuable resource.

Similarly, your community can protect its drinking water source through awatershed

protection programif your drinking water is drawn directly from a lake, river, or otherbody of surface water. Yourwatershed is the area of land from which water drains intothat source of surface water. Through a watershed protection program, your communitycan protect its surface water resources by limiting contamination in surrounding areas.

Both wellhead protection and watershed protection are forms of pollution prevention,which can directly benefit your community. Wellhead and watershed protection programsinvolve:

Forming a community planning team.

Delineating the wellhead or watershed area.

Identifying and locating potential sources of contamination in the wellhead protectionarea or watershed.

Managing the area to prevent contaminants from entering the water supply. This

includes regulatory (such as zoning), nonregulatory (such as public education), andfinancing strategies (such as purchase of development rights).

Reviewing the protection program every year and developing a contingency plan foralternative water supplies.

These programs are the “ounce of prevention” that can help you avoid some very expensivecures—installing treatment, cleaning up the source, or finding a new water source, all of

which are far more costly than preventive measures. In most cases, your state and county

42 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (47)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 47/156

officials can help you implement simple, inexpensive preventive measures that go a longway toward protecting your drinking water source.

Drinking Water Quality: Treatment Technologies

Drinking water must be treated to protect the health of the people who drink it. Differenttypes of treatment processes tend to be used for ground water than for surface water. Themajor types of drinking water treatment include disinfection, organics removal, inorganicsremoval, and filtration. Although filtration is sometimes used for ground-water sources,this process is primarily used with surface water. Table 5-1 describes some of the advantagesand disadvantages of some treatment technologies appropriate for small communities.

Proper disinfectionkills disease-causing microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, and someparasites). The process that small communities use most often is chlorination, in whichchlorine gas or hypochlorite solutions are added to the water. Removal of organiccontaminants (such as pesticides and solvents) and inorganic contaminants (such as

nitrate and lead) is important if your drinking water contains any of these substances at alevel that might be harmful to human health (usually equated to a level higher than theEPA maximum contaminant level [MCL]). For small communities, the most suitabletechnologies for removal of organic contaminants might be aeration, which strips certainorganics from the water to the air, or granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment, in which

water passes through specially treated carbon particles that have an extensive surface areaonto which the organics can attach. In the few cases where the additional removal ofinorganic contaminants is required, any one of several processes listed in Table 5-1 can beused. Filtrationremoves particles of solid matter from water, usually by passing the waterthrough sand or other porous materials. Filtration also helps to control biological con-tamination. Cloudy water (cloudiness is measured as turbidity) can contain harmful

microorganisms and reduces the effectiveness of disinfection.

Drinking Water Quality: Restructuring Options

Small communities may at times feel overwhelmed by the cost and complexity of owningand operating a water treatment and distribution system. Every community wants toprovide its residents with the best possible service at the lowest possible cost. Many smallcommunities have found that they can achieve this goal by restructuring their water system.Restructuring refers to changes in ownership, management, or operations that allow asystem to improve service and/or lower costs.

There are many different restructuring options available to small communities. Forexample, a community may wish to join together with some of its neighbors to form a“mutual aid” network. Through such a network, communities can share expensive equip-ment and staff. Another restructuring option is contracting out the operation and main-tenance of the water system. Contract service companies can be hired to handle some orall aspects of operating and managing the water system. With contract operations, thepolicy-making and financial decisions remain with the town council, thus preserving localcontrol. For some adjacent communities, physical interconnection with a neighboring

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community43

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (48)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 48/156

system might be possible and might allow communities to share the cost of treatmentfacilities. See Chapter 7 for more information about restructuring options.

Table 5-1Technologies for Drinking Water Treatment

Purpose Technology Advantages Disadvantages Costs

Disinfection Chlorination s Economical.s Easy to operate.

s Chlorine can combinewith other compounds tocreate byproducts harmfulto consumers exposed overlong periods.

s Safety problems with

gaseous units.




s Easy to operate andmaintain.

s Produces no known toxicbyproducts.

s Safer than chlorine foroperations.

s A secondary disinfectant(chlorine) must be used toprevent bacterial regrowthin the distribution system.



Corrosion control Limestonecontactor

s Easy operation.s Compact.s Best for acid waters.

s Not for very hard,high-iron, high-CO2




Aeration s Easy operation.s No chemicals.s Also removes other

contaminant gases.s Best for high CO2 waters.s See aeration systems on

next page.

s Energy costs higher.s May have high O&M

with hard water.s See aeration systems on

next page.


Seeaerationsystemson nextpage

Chemical addition s Economical first cost.s Very compact.s Capable of best lead and

copper control.

s High operation costs—chemicals andequipment/controlsrequirements.



Organics removal:

Radon and organicchemicals, including

volatile organicchemicals (such asbenzene, PCBs,carbon tetrachlo-ride, and gasoline)


activated carbon

s No gaseous emissions.s Low to medium O&M, labor,

and power requirements.s Relatively low energy needs.

s Potential waste disposal

problems.s Very expensive.





44 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (49)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 49/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (50)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 50/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (51)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 51/156

Drinking Water Quantity: Conservation

People can do many simple things to use less water, for example, use low-flow showerheads and toilets, place a filled plastic bottle or toilet dam in the toilet tank, or shut off thetap while brushing teeth. Every gallon saved is one less gallon pumped, treated, anddelivered to the consumer. A water conservation program can consist of updating building

codes, conducting public education, or promoting conservation through financial incen-tives, such as higher water rates or scaled charging systems. For example, a powerful toolto keep water demand in check is regressive user charges, which charge customers whouse more water a higher fee per gallon used. These charges penalize usage beyond basicrequirements and encourage people to use less so that they can save money.

Check with your state about water conservation requirements. For example, for more than10 years, California and other states have required communities planning expansion of

water infrastructure to compare structural approaches to expansion (wells, sewers, treat-ment plants) with nonstructural approaches (leak repair, rate structure modification, andtoilet and other water fixture retrofits).

Drinking Water Quantity: Leak Detection

Finding and preventing leaks can save a lot of water. Awater auditcompares the totalquantity of water produced with metered water consumption. If the total metered waterusage is less than 85 percent of the total metered water production, a systemwide leakdetection survey should be conducted. Distribution pipes, treatment facilities, and waterpumps all can be sources of large leaks. Finding a leak can be difficult and expensive. Fixingthe leak, which often involves excavating covered pipes, can also be expensive. If the leakis severe, however, the expense can be justified.

Drinking Water Quantity: Finding a New Supply

Except for communities with large growth potential or a major new water-consuming user(such as a large subdivision), water conservation, leak correction, reuse options, andregressive user charges may be enough to keep a community from having to seek a new

water supply. To justify these programs to members of the community, explain that theprograms avoid major capital expenses that go along with developing new water supplies.If a major increase in the demand for drinking water is expected, however, a new watersupply might be necessary. This could be an excellent long-term alternative if a relatively

pure supply is close and available. Depleting a natural resource, however, always has a price.Keep in mind, too, that increasing the supply will increase the cost of drinking water andwill also affect wastewater management costs.

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community47

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (52)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 52/156

Finding Solutions: Wastewater

Domestic wastewater must be properly managed to avoid public health problems. Threetypes of wastewater handling systems can be used in small communities: onsite systems,cluster systems, and centralized systems. Your community might need a combination ofthese systems, such as onsite systems in outlying areas, cluster systems in small residentialsubdivisions, and centralized systems in more populated or commercial areas.

Onsite Systems

Septic systems handle the wastewater from one residence on site. These systems are verycommon in small communities where homes are not close together. Septic systems consistof a tank that retains the wastewater solids and a drainage field (leachfield) where the tankeffluent is distributed. In the leachfield, natural processes purify the liquid as it drainsthrough the soil.

Conventional septic systems work best on large lots with deep, permeable soils. A varietyof alternative onsite system designs are available to accommodate a range of difficult siteand soil conditions. The most appropriate system depends on factors such as howpermeable the soil is, how high the water table is, and how shallow the bedrock is.

Poorly sited, designed, installed, or maintained septic systems can result in surface ponding

in yards. Surface ponding that continues for an extensive period is considered a healthhazard and requires corrective action. Because maintenance is the only factor that can becontrolled once an onsite system is installed, a program of periodic inspection and/orpumping is advisable. This approach, combined with public education to ensure thatowners are putting only appropriate materials down the drain, is the easiest to implement.Repairs and replacements should always be done by professionals with the approval of localor state authorities, since exposure to inadequately treated sewage and hydrogen sulfidegas presents a health risk.

Although individuals usually own septic systems, a community can take a variety of stepsto maintain effective systems, including:

Periodically inspecting the system and requiring pumping when necessary.

Requiring an operating permit that must be renewed periodically to ensure mainte-nance.

Keeping files of all septic system locations and maintenance performed.

Requiring prior approval by the town or county health officer of all repairs andreplacements.

48 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (53)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 53/156

Setting up a fund to help homeowners with needed repairs or replacements.

In some states, legislation permits setting up onsite wastewater management districts. Ofcourse, one important way to improve the performance of an onsite system is to conserve

water. This reduces the volume of water the system has to handle. Detecting and repairingleaky faucets and toilets, using low-flow showerheads, toilet dams, low-flush toilets, and

faucet aerators, and eliminating wasteful water use habits all conserve water.

Cluster Systems

In some neighborhoods individual onsite systems are inappropriate, either because lots aretoo small or because other land characteristics make them impractical. In this situation, acluster system might be appropriate. A cluster system normally uses low-cost alternativesewers to collect wastewater from homes in the area and transport it to a reliable, low-cost,easily operated treatment/disposal facility. This type of system can be suitable for devel-opments or neighborhoods of up to 100 homes but is often used for smaller groupings.

Several types of alternative sewer systems can be used to collect and transport wastewaterfrom residences to the treatment facility. (See Table 5-2 for a description of alternativesewer systems.) The treatment facility is usually a larger version of an individual onsitesystem, such as subsurface soil absorption systems or sand filters.

As with any treatment system, a maintenance program is essential to ensure properoperation of a cluster system. Compared with conventional collection and treatmentsystems, cluster systems require minimal maintenance. The maintenance program, how-ever, should always be in place and clearly spelled out to homeowners who use the clustersystem.

Centralized Systems

In more densely settled areas, where multiple cluster systems are needed and onsite systemsare not practical, a centralized wastewater system might be necessary. Constructingconventional sewers to collect the wastewater, however, is almost never practical for smallcommunities because of the high cost. Conventional sewers usually account for overthree-quarters of the total cost of a conventional wastewater collection and treatmentsystem. The high cost of constructing the sewer system might be acceptable on aper-household basis, however, if no lift stations are required, but alternative designs arealmost always cheaper under the same circ*mstances. Alternative sewers—small-diameter

gravity, pressure, and vacuum sewers—can save 25 to 50 percent of the capital cost ofwastewater collection in small communities.

Many types of technologies are available for treating wastewater at a centralized plant.Natural treatment technologies use natural processes associated with soils, vegetation, or

wetland environments to treat wastewater and include land treatment, lagoons, slow sandfilters, and constructed wetlands (see Table 5-3). These systems generally require largerland areas than mechanical systems. Wastewater must be treated (usually by sedimentationor lagoons) before application to land, filters, or wetlands.

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community49

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (54)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 54/156

Table 5-2Alternative Sewer Systems

SewerOption Description Applications Advantages Disadvantages

Costs Relativeto Conventional

Small-diametergravity sewers

A septic tank ateach house,usually followed bya small-diametersewer oflightweight plasticthat can be buriedat shallow depths.

Suitable for areaswith:s Topography

slopingdownwardtoward treatmentsite.

s Low-densitypopulation.

s High groundwater or shallowbedrock.

s Can be easily divertedaround, above, orbelow obstacles.

s Installed at shallowdepth; can often followcontours of land.

s Low infiltration ofground water andstormwater.

s No power required.

s Each serviceconnection requiresa septic tank.

s Pumping anddisposal of septagefrom each tankrequired.

s Pump stations mightbe required in rollingterrain.

Capital: LowO&M: Low


diameterpressuresewerss Septic tank


s Grinderpump (GP).

STEP sewers pump

settled septic tankliquid to atreatment facility.GP sewers grindup solids in

wastewater andpump liquids andsolids to treatmentfacility. Both usesmall-diameterpiping buried atshallow depths.

Suitable for areas

with:s Flat or upward-

sloping topo-graphy.

s Low-densitypopulation.

s High groundwater or shallowbedrock.

s No infiltration of

ground water orstormwater.

s Can be built aroundbuildings and trees.

s No septic tankrequired for GP.

s Installed at shallowdepth.

s Some manufacturertechnical assistanceavailable.

s Power required for

pumping units ateach house.

s Higher operationand maintenancecosts.

s Septic tankpumping andseptage disposalrequired for STEP.

s High-strength GPwastewater.

Capital: Low

O&M: Medium


Wastewater iscollected in sumpsand enters sewerthrough valve.

Wastewater isdrawn throughsmall-diameterpipes to a central

vacuum station,where it is thenpumped toconventional seweror treatment facility.

Suitable for areaswith:s Flat terrain.s Higher density

population.s High ground

water or shallowbedrock.

s Single central powerconnection.

s No septic tanksrequired.

s Least likely to haveodor and corrosionproblems.

s Minimal infiltration ofground water andstormwater.

s Installed at shallowdepth.

s Manufacturer provides

technical assistanceprogram.

s Skilled operationand maintenancerequired.

s Minimum number ofconnections is about50 homes per

vacuum station.

Capital: LowO&M: Medium

50 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (55)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 55/156

Table 5-3Centralized Wastewater Treatment Technology Options

Technology Description Advantages/Disadvantages Costs

Land application:s Slow-rate infiltration (SRI).s Rapid infiltration (RI).s Overland flow (OF).s Subsurface wastewater

infiltration systems (SWIS).

Treated wastewater is sprayed or

flooded onto vegetated soils, sandybasins, or a grass-covered slope,or is distributed from pressurizedlaterals below the surface in graveltrenches. Natural processes purifythe wastewater.

s All but SWIS require buffer area

for separation and require along-term commitment of alarge land area.

s Ground water contamination bynitrates might be a concern withSWIS and RI.

s Except for overland flow, nodischarge permit required.

s SRI and OF unsuitable fortreating wastewater in cold

weather, requiring holding pondsfor storage during winter months.

Capital: Medium

O&M: Low

Lagoons:s Facultative.s Aerated.s Controlled discharge.

Wastewater is placed in a largepond and is treated by theinteraction of sunlight, wind, algae,and oxygen over time. Deeperlagoons can be aerated to provideadditional oxygen.

s Odors possible.s Large amount of land required.s May not always meet

effluent requirements.s Aerated lagoons require

significant power.

Capital: LowO&M: Low to


Constructed wetlands:s Free water surface (FWS).s Submerged flow (SF).

Settled wastewater is applied to aSF-constructed wetland. Lagoon-treated effluent is applied to FWS

wetlands. Natural processes purifythe wastewater.

s FWS requires very large landarea.

s Present SF design removesorganics and solids.

s Low energy requirements.

Capital: LowO&M: Low

Trickling filter Settled wastewater trickling downthrough a bed of rock or plasticmedia is purified by the bacterialiving in the medium. The bacteriaslough off and separate as sludgein a final settling tank.

s Process is vulnerable tofreezing temperatures.

s Less effective removal of toxicsand metals than activated sludge(AS) systems.

s Capable of meeting secondaryeffluent standards.

s Large volume of sludgegenerated.

s High power requirements.

Capital: MediumO&M: Medium

Oxidation ditches Screened and degritted raw

wastewater is mechanically aeratedin an oval ditch. After treatment,liquid and sludge are separated ina final settling tank.

s Most stable performance of all

continuous flow mechanicalbiological systems.s May be designed and operated

to meet water quality limitsbeyond secondary effluent.

s Skilled maintenance required.s Large volume of sludge


Capital: Medium

O&M: High

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community51

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (56)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 56/156

Mechanical treatment technologies use engineered facilities that treat large volumes ofwastewater in a relatively small space. They require more skilled attention and energy tooperate and are less sensitive to changes in climate compared with most natural systems.

Mechanical systems appropriate for small communities include trickling filters, oxidation

ditches, and sequencing batch reactors.

All of the above treatment systems are usually capable of meeting state standards fordischarge to surface water. (All systems that discharge to surface water must obtain aNational Pollutant Discharge Elimination System [NPDES] permit, which determinesthe amount of treatment and monitoring required.)

All treatment systems produce some amount of sludge, which must also be treated and/orproperly managed. Sludge treatment systems reduce sludge volume by removing water(dewatering). They can reduce the number of disease-causing organisms in sludge andreduce its attraction for insects, rodents, and other animals through digestion, composting,or adding lime. Spreading treated sludge on the land to improve soil or placing it in a

landfill are the most common disposal methods for small communities.

Depending on the wastewater discharge standards that apply to your community, acentralized wastewater treatment facility might be required to disinfect the effluent beforedischarging it to a water body. Your state may also restrict the use of certain natural

wastewater treatment or sludge disposal techniques.

Technology Description Advantages/Disadvantages Costs

Sequencing batchreactor

A tank is filled with screened anddegritted wastewater. Wastewateris aerated, solids are allowed tosettle, and the effluent is drawn offand discharged. One tank ormultiple parallel tanks can be used.

s Subsequent (disinfection)processes must be oversizedor require equalization.

s Most flexible mechanicalbiological treatment systemscapable of phosphorus and/ornitrogen removal.

s Large volume of sludgegenerated.

s Can be designed and operatedto meet water quality limitsbeyond secondary effluent.

Capital: MediumO&M: Medium

Slow sand filters:s Recirculating (RSF).s Intermittent (ISF).

Settled wastewater is applied to the

surface of a sand bed and allowedto percolate through the bed,

where it receives treatment.

s Reliable, high-quality treatment.s RSF capable of removing (~50%)

nitrogen.s Required land area intermediate

between natural and mechanicalsystem.

Capital: Medium

O&M: Low

Table 5-3Centralized Wastewater Treatment Technology Options (continued)

52 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (57)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 57/156

Finding Solutions: Solid Waste

The best approach to solving a community’s solid waste problem is integrated solid wastemanagement—using a combinationof techniques and programs to manage the municipal

waste stream. An integrated system is designed to address a specific set of local solid wastemanagement problems, and its operation is based on local resources, economics, andenvironmental impacts.

The idea behind integrated solid waste management is that a combination of approachescan be used to handle targeted portions of waste stream. Local officials should consider aseries of activities, each of which is designed to complementthe others. For example, arecycling program can have positive impacts on the development of a waste-to-energyfacility. Source reduction, recycling, combustion, and landfilling can all have positiveimpacts on the local municipal waste management problem.

To reduce waste management problems at the national level most effectively, states,municipalities, and the waste management industry should first consider source reduc-tion—reducing the amount and toxicity of the solid waste generated. Recycling of useful

waste materials is the next most desirable approach. Finally, composting, incineration, andlandfilling complete the solid waste hierarchy. Suitable combinations of these alternativesare considered an integrated management program.

For small communities, regional cooperationin solid waste management offers severaladvantages. Communities that join forces can share the resources needed to promotereduction at the source and operate recycling and composting programs. For example,communities often can obtain better contracts for selling recyclable materials with thehigher volume of materials resulting from regional cooperation. With incineration, aregional facility is probably the only economically feasible approach. With landfilling,regional cooperation can result in greater efficiency and cost savings in collecting andtransferring trash and in operating the solid waste facility. Larger facilities are moreattractive to private industry, which can relieve individual towns of the responsibilities ofoperating these facilities. Host counties and communities can also claim additional costsavings.

Pollution Prevention: Source Reduction, Recycling, and Composting

Source reduction, recycling, and composting reduce the total volume of waste that mustbe disposed of, thereby lowering disposal costs and extending the life of your disposalfacility (landfill).

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community53

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (58)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 58/156

Source Reduction

Source reduction is an approach that changes the way products are manufactured,purchased, and used so that less solid waste is generated. You can ask community membersto generate less waste by:

Reusing plastic and paper shopping bags, lunch bags, and containers. For example, local

merchants can cooperate by offering a reward for each bag returned.Eliminating unnecessary packaging.

Using long-life and energy-efficient products (such as light bulbs).

Avoiding disposable products if reusable items are available (such as razors and batter-ies).

Using mulching mowers so that grass does not have to be bagged.

Similarly, your town government should consider leading by example, revising its purchas-ing practices to follow the same principles listed above. Your community could alsoconsider using “pay-as-you-throw” rates for garbage collection to reduce the amount ofgarbage. Over 1,000 communities, including many small communities, have adopted thiskind of system, which charges residents different disposal rates based on the amount ofgarbage they generate. However, charges should reflect community attitudes. At manylocations where these systems were initiated without community support, illegal dumpingof solid waste has increased.


Some solid wastes can be collected separately and sold to manufacturers as raw materialsfor making products. Town leaders can tap into the desire among community members to“do the right thing” by designing programs that make it easy to recycle. Recycling

collection programs range from simple, low-technology dropoff centers to complexseparation at material recovery facilities. Table 5-4 shows several recycling options.

Critical to the success of a recycling program is the availability of markets for collectedmaterials. Without proper markets, storing, transporting, and disposing of the recyclablesthat have been collected can result in significant costs. You will need to identify marketablematerials and the potential volume of each, and find potential buyers for the materials. Ingeneral, marketable recycling materials include:

Aluminum cans Other metal cans

Glass bottles Some plastic bottles

High-grade office paper Newspaper and magazines

Cardboard Metals

Wet cell batteries (such as car batteries)

For the recycling process to go full circle, the recyclable materials that have been collectedmust actually be reused. Small communities can help “close the loop” by purchasingproducts with recycled content and encouraging citizens and local industries to do thesame; this helps create markets that ensure collected recyclables are reused.

54 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (59)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 59/156

Recycling alone will not solve a community’s solid waste problems, but it can divert asignificant portion of the waste stream from disposal in landfills or combustion facilities.For a community of 1,000 people, recycling the materials listed on the previous page wouldtypically reduce the amount of waste disposed of in a landfill by about 5 percent.


Yard wastes (leaves, grass, weeds, and remains of plants) account for close to 20 percent(by volume) of the municipal solid waste stream. Yard wastes can be easily decomposed bybacteria and fungi to form a humuslike product useful as a soil amendment for gardening,landscaping, and agriculture. A centralized yard waste composting program can be

relatively inexpensive and easy to operate, and can help reduce the amount of solid wastebound for disposal. You can encourage homeowners to compost yard waste on theirproperty if a centralized system is not practical. Because home composting might attractunwanted animal life or breed insects if not done properly, a public education or assistanceprogram is important. In addition, community programs that encourage the use ofmulching mowers and low-maintenance plantings can be very effective in reducing theamount of yard waste generated.

Table 5-4Recycling Options for Small Communities

Collection System Description Advantages/Disadvantages

Recycling in conjunction withother public service

Recyclables are collected with otherpublic services, such as solid wastecollection.

s Profits from sales of recyclable materialsare internalized within the solid wastemanagement program.

Regional facilities Collected materials are pooled in aregional recycling center or facility.

s Practical in areas with sparse population.s The recycling program has independent

budgeting and money-raising power.s Able to handle more recyclable

materials, which are more marketablefor buyers.

Private recycling


Recycling is done through private entities,

such as industry or waste managementfirms.

s Reduces capital investment in collection

equipment.s Can be selective in accepting recyclable

materials (low-value materials such asmixed paper may not be accepted).

Public recycling drives withvolunteers

Recycling programs are run asfundraising or public service activities.These programs are often operated inconjunction with local governments,

which may supply buildings, equipment,and staff.

s Increases public involvement andawareness.

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community55

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (60)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 60/156

Solid Waste Collection and Transfer

Because it is labor intensive, collection is often the most costly part of a community’s solid waste management program. Efficiency in the collection system can therefore save acommunity a significant amount of money. Municipal workers or private collectionservices can operate the collection system. Table 5-5 describes the advantages and disad-

vantages of alternative collection systems.

Collected solid wastes are delivered either to a transfer stationor directly to disposalfacilities. Transfer stations are centralized facilities where waste is unloaded from several

small collection vehicles and loaded into a large vehicle; the large vehicle then transportswaste to the disposal facility. In this way, only one vehicle has to travel the last segment ofthe journey to the disposal facility. In addition, operation of a transfer station can beintegrated with other waste management options such as recycling programs. Because ofits high capital and operating costs, however, you will need to perform a careful cost-benefitanalysis when evaluating the use of a transfer station. By sharing a regional transfer station,communities that use the same disposal facility can substantially reduce their individualcosts.

Table 5-5Alternative Collection Systems for Sparsely Populated Areas

Collection System Description Advantages Disadvantages

Direct haul Wastes are directly hauled byresidents to a transfer ordisposal facility.

s Appropriate in sparselypopulated areas, where acollection system is impractical.

s Low costs.

s Can be inconvenient forresidents.

s Difficult to control wasteseparation.

s Higher incidence of illegaldumping.

Green box or roll-offcontainers

8- to 12-cubic-yard (or larger)steel containers are placedstrategically throughout thecommunity, to which residentsmust deliver waste. A largercollection vehicle collects the

waste from the container.

s Reduces the travel distancefor residents, compared withdirect haul.

s Less traffic congestion neardisposal facilities.

s Reduces incidence of illegal

dumping compared with directhaul.

s Difficult to control wasteseparation.

s Costs somewhat more thandirect haul.

“Mailbox” collection Residents leave their wastenear their mailboxes forscheduled collection.

s No community capital costsfor purchasing containersand constructing pads.

s Minimizes illegal dumping.

s Assumes a collection vehiclecan travel same routes asmail delivery vehicle.

s More expensive due to laborand need for collection vehicle.

Green bag/blue bagcollection

Residents separate their wastesfor curbside pickup.

s Allows collection of com-postable and noncompostable


s Usually feasible only for alarge (e.g., countywide)program.

56 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (61)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 61/156

For most rural and sparsely populated communities, green box or mailbox collectionprograms are the most practical approach, but in some very rural settings, direct haulmight be the only option.

Solid Waste Disposal

The most common methods for solid waste disposal are landfilling and incineration.Landfillinginvolves placing wastes in a large, specially designed cavity, then covering them

with soil (or approved alternative materials) each day. The daily cover prevents attractionof animals and insects. Federal law mandates many specific requirements for landfills,including that the bottom of the landfill be lined with more than one layer of impermeablematerials (synthetic plastic and natural clay) to prevent the contamination of ground waterby liquid leaching from the landfill.

Incinerationinvolves burning combustible solid wastes (such as paper and plastic mate-rials) in a large, specially designed furnace. The waste is reduced to an ash, which must

then be disposed of, usually in a landfill. Incinerators can generate valuable energy as abyproduct.

Regional landfills and incineration facilities can provide practical and cost-effective re-gional solutions for several small communities. Capital and operating costs for thesefacilities are shared by a larger number of users, reducing the cost to individuals in any onecommunity.

Finding Solutions: Hazardous Waste

Improper disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW), including used oil, can havemajor environmental consequences for small communities, especially for drinking watersupplies. A number of small communities have begun HHW collection programs and usedoil recycling programs to prevent pollution from these substances.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Programs

Many common household products contain hazardous constituents (see Table 5-6). Theseproducts become HHW once the consumer no longer has any use for them. The averageU.S. household is estimated to generate more than 20 pounds of HHW per year. As muchas 100 pounds can accumulate in the home, often remaining there until the family movesor does an extensive cleanout. HHW can pose risks to people and the environment if it isnot used and stored carefully and disposed of properly.

HHW programs benefit communities by reducing the risks to health and the environmentresulting from improper storage and disposal of HHW. While programs vary across the

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community57

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (62)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 62/156

Table 5-6

Some Potentially Harmful Components of Common Household Products

Product Typical Toxic or Hazardous Components

Antifreeze (gasoline or coolants systems) Methanol, ethylene glycolAutomatic transmission fluid Petroleum distillates, xylene

Automobile battery acid (electrolyte) Sulfuric acid

Degreasers for driveways and garages Petroleum solvents, alcohols, glycol ether

Degreasers for engines and metal Chlorinated hydrocarbons, toluene, phenols, dichloroperchloroethylene

Engine and radiator flushes Petroleum solvents, ketones, butanol, glycol ether

Hydraulic fluid (brake fluid) Hydrocarbons, fluorocarbons

Motor oils, waste oils, grease and lubes,gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene,#2 heating oil


Rustproofers Phenols, heavy metals

Carwash detergents Alkyl benzene sulfonatesCar waxes and polishes; bug/tarremovers

Petroleum distillates, hydrocarbons, xylene

Asphalt and roofing tar Hydrocarbons

Paints, varnishes, stains, dyes Heavy metals, toluene

Paint and lacquer thinner Acetone, benzene, toluene, butyl acetate, methyl ketones

Paint and varnish removers, deglossers,strippers

Methylene chloride, toluene, acetone, methanol, xylene

Paintbrush cleaners Hydrocarbons, toluene, acetone, methanol, glycol ethers, methyl ethyl ketones

Metal polishes Petroleum distillates, isopropanol, petroleum naphtha

Laundry soil and stain removers Hydrocarbons, benzene, trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloromethane

Other solvents Acetone, benzeneRefrigerants 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane

Household cleansers, oven cleaners Xylenols, glycol ethers, isopropanol

Drain cleaners 1,1,1-trichloromethane

Toilet cleaners Xylene, sulfonates, chlorinated phenols

Disinfectants Cresol, xylenols, heavy metals

Ointments Heavy metals

Pesticides (all types) Naphthalene, phosphorus, xylene, chloroform, heavy metals, chlorinatedhydrocarbons

Photochemicals Phenols, sodium sulfite, cyanide, silver halide, potassium bromide

Printing ink Heavy metals, phenol-formaldehyde

Wood preservatives (creosote) PentachlorophenolsSwimming pool chlorine Sodium hypochlorite

Lye or caustic soda Sodium hydroxide

Jewelry cleaners Sodium cyanide

Cosmetics Heavy metals

Source:Adapted from University of Rhode Island. 1988. Natural resources facts: Household hazardous wastes. Fact sheet no. 88-3(August).

58 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (63)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 63/156

country, most include both educational and collection components. Public education aboutHHW is necessary no matter what collection/disposal strategy is used. Education can focuson:

How HHW contributes to pollution.

Which kinds of products contain hazardous constituents.

Which alternative products contain fewer or no hazardous constituents.

How to reduce the amount of HHW generated in the home (such as using up household

products or giving away what cannot be used).

How to properly store, handle, and dispose of products in the home containinghazardous constituents.

Communities usually begin a HHW program by designating a specific day for residentsto drop off HHW. Organizing a collection event, perhaps with neighboring communities,is an important first step in reducing and managing risks associated with HHW. Optionsfor HHW collection are shown in Table 5-7.

Table 5-7Selected Household Hazardous Waste Collection Systems

System Description Advantages Disadvantages

One day dropoffcollection A licensed hazardous wastecontractor signs a contract withthe community (or severalcommunities) to collect HHWon site. Residents drop off the

wastes at specified locationson a specified day.

s Most HHW is accepted.s Costs may be reduced if

more communities are involved.s Most widely used collection


s Possible congestion or delaysat collection point.s Public participation is limited

to volunteers.s Some cost to community.

Mobile facilitydropoff

A moveable facility allowsperiodic collections on aregular schedule at differentsites within a county or severalcommunities.

s Increases public participationover dropoff method asnumber of sites increases.

s Initial investment is very high(contract rental may reducethe costs).

Curbside collection Scheduled collectionconducted by contract collector(usually 1–4 times/year).

s Efficient if well managed.s Maximizes public

participation.s Most convenient for


s Expensive.s Types of wastes usually

limited to waste oil, paint,or certain hazardous wastessuch as explosives andcorrosive wastes in corrodedcontainers.

Point of purchase Residents return HHW to retailstores where the products wereoriginally purchased.

s Low cost.s Deposit requirement on

purchase may enhance publicparticipation.

s Types of wastes are limited(usually car batteries and

waste oils).

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community59

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (64)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 64/156

Finding Solutions: Nonpoint Source Pollution

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution comes from many different sources and affects bothsurface water and ground-water quality. NPS pollution can especially be a problem whenit affects drinking water supplies. Even water bodies that are not used for drinking water,however, can become so degraded that they can no longer be used for desirable purposes,such as fishing and swimming.

Because of the strong relationship between drinking water and NPS issues, many of thetechnology and management options presented in this chapter for drinking water are alsouseful for NPS pollution. NPS pollution control should be part of wellhead and watershedprotection programs. The most important aspects of NPS pollution control programs are:

Identifying sources of NPS pollution.

Developing management strategies to control NPS pollution. As with wellhead andwatershed protection, this includes regulatory strategies, nonregulatory strategies, andfinancing strategies, as well as control methods that the local government can usedirectly.

Educating the community on NPS pollution problems and strategies to reduce thoseproblems.

Sources of NPS PollutionMany different activities and land-use patterns create NPS pollution. Commonly, NPSpollutants are carried by rain and snowmelt that run into lakes, streams, and other waterbodies. Stormwater runoff can carry soil, fertilizers, pesticides, oil and other car fluids,trash, and other materials that affect water quality. Runoff increases when natural vegeta-tion, which captures and uses much of the rainwater, is removed. Problems also occur whennatural lands are developed and covered with houses and hard surfaces such as asphalt thatdo not absorb water. Rainwater that falls on these surfaces quickly runs into surroundingareas. This problem is worsened when contaminants on these surfaces, such as antifreezeleaked from cars, are washed with the runoff into surrounding water bodies.

Runoff is also a major problem on surfaces that cannot absorb water quickly enough, suchas exposed soil. This is a particular concern because runoff over bare soils causes erosion,

which increases water quality problems and wastes valuable soil resources.

Air pollution also contributes to NPS water pollution. Contaminants that are released tothe air settle or are ultimately washed out of the air by rain or snow.

60 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (65)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 65/156

Management Strategies for NPS Pollution

There are two practical ways to reduce NPS pollution:

Reducing contaminants that are applied to the soil or released to the air.

Keeping stormwater runoff to a minimum.

For small communities some of the most common contaminants that contribute to NPSpollution are pesticides and fertilizers. Most pesticides contain toxic substances that cancontaminate drinking water and poison plant or animal life. Fertilizers can cause excessivelevels of nitrate in ground water and can cause excessive algae growth in surface waterbodies. Too much algae reduces the oxygen and sunlight available in the water, whichharms naturally growing plants and animals. When too much of a pesticide or fertilizer isapplied to plants or soils, the excess is washed away into receiving waters. When pesticidesand fertilizers are used before a rainstorm, much of what has been applied can beimmediately washed away. Using too much of these substances and using them at the wrongtime also wastes money.

The best way to reduce NPS pollution is to reduce the amount of nonabsorbent andminimally absorbent ground cover. A good approach is to surround areas such as parkinglots with plant-covered strips that can capture and soak up runoff. Finally, exposed or baresoil should be limited as much as possible. Stalks, leaves, and other plant residue can beleft to cover the soil after crops are harvested, or quick-growing plants such as grasses canbe planted on exposed soils. These methods protect the soil for the next growing seasonand help reduce pollution of nearby water bodies.

Examples of regulatory, nonregulatory, and financing strategies available to small commu-nities for NPS pollution control are presented in Table 5-8.

Educating the Community

Because NPS pollution control strategies can help both the environment and communityresidents, educational programs can be extremely successful. Before people will changetheir actions to reduce NPS pollution, they need to be made aware of how their activitiesaffect local water bodies. They also need to be educated on how to best reduce NPSpollution. You can make a big difference by educating community residents. Use publicservice announcements and press releases to spread the word about the causes of NPSpollution problems. Set up a committee that can provide advice to local residents on howbest to reduce NPS pollution and save money at the same time. Send out pamphlets that

outline the problems and possible solutions.Educational programs can be both popular and powerful. Communities around thecountry have used educational programs to spur actions that protect their valued water-

ways. People are willing to help once they are armed with the knowledge they need.

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community61

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (66)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 66/156

Table 5-8Table 5-8Reducing Nonpoint Source Pollution: Options for Small Communities

Program Type Description Advantages Disadvantages

Protective zoning Areas within the communityare separated into land-usezones and districts. Sensitiveareas, such as wetlands andstrips along rivers, lakes, andother water bodies, areidentified. Potentiallydamaging activities in theseareas, such as excessivepesticide use anddevelopment, are restricted.

s Water bodies susceptible toNPS pollution can be directlyprotected.

s Environmentally beneficialland-use practices can beencouraged, while land-usepractices that causeenvironmental problems canbe discouraged or eliminated.

s Does not affect current land-use practices that are causingpollution.

s Can be controversial becauseit affects how residents canuse their land.

s Requires significant admini-stration and enforcement.

Acquisition Sensitive areas, or buffer

zones around sensitive areas,are purchased by thecommunity. The communitycan then directly controlactivities in these areas toreduce NPS pollution.

s Offers the most direct

protection for water bodiessusceptible to NPS pollution.

s Can achieve other goals,such as flood management,creation of open space forrecreation, and preservationof ecologically importantsettings.

s Potentially high costs.

Tax incentives Landowners that keep theirland in a state that reducesNPS pollution, such as forestland, are taxed at a lower rate

than those that develop theirland.

s Promotes environmentallybeneficial land-use practices

while discouraging practicesthat cause environmental


s Limits local governmentintervention.

s Might result in lost taxrevenue for the community.

s Requires significantadministration, assessment,and bookkeeping.

s Landowners might stilldevelop their lands, despitethe program.

62 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (67)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 67/156

Finding Solutions: Underground Storage Tanks

Thousands of small and rural governments own and operate underground storage tanks(USTs). Eighty percent or more of the USTs in small towns are made of unprotected steeland might leak after as few as 10 years in the ground. Leaking tanks pose a major threatto ground water. In 1992, corrective action costs for a spill or leak contaminating only soilranged from $10,000 to $125,000. Cleanup costs involving ground water can range from$100,000 to over $1 million, depending on the extent of contamination.

Your community should develop a list of private existing and abandoned undergroundstorage tanks, as well as those owned and operated by the community. Contact your stateregulatory agency to see if it has a list of USTs in your area.

A community has two basic options for reducing the potential risks associated with owningan UST:

Closing existing USTs. This option eliminates potential future liabilities. The cost ofremoving old tanks and assessing the site ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. Table 5-9shows a number of options that small communities can choose if they close existingUSTs. More than one of these options can be used at the same time.

Upgrading existing community-owned USTs through repair and installation of re-quired systems that protect against leaks and spills. This may be a very expensive option—$20,000 to $30,000 for equipment and labor and $2,000 to $6,000 annual operating

costs—and does not relieve the community of liability for future leaks and spills.

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community63

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (68)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 68/156

Table 5-9Options for Communities That Close Existing USTs


Option Description Advantages Disadvantages Category Range

1. Usingcommercialsupplies

Maximize use ofnearby commercialpetroleum productsuppliers.

s If convenientlylocated suppliersare available,eliminates futureliability with onlyslightly higher costs.

s Depends on theavailability andlong-term stabilityof the suppliers.

s Slight increase infuel costs.

s Additional fuelcosts.

$0.05–$0.20more for eachgallon of fuelpurchased.

2. Usingalternativefuels

Use alternatives to oil(such as electricity ornatural gas) forheating purposes.

s Potential addedbenefit of reducedpollution.

s Fuel costs may besubstantially higher.

s O&M costs maybe changed.

s Conversion costscan be substantial.

s Conversion andoperating costs.

Determinedby type ofalternative.

3. Regionaliza-tion

Several communitiesshare one large,centrally locatedfacility with one orseveral USTs andclose some or alltheir USTs.

s Has some of theadvantages ofclosing existingUSTs.

s Communities sharethe cost of compli-ance and liability.

s Not practical insparsely settled areas.

s Possibleinconvenience dueto travel distanceand time.

s New tankinstallation andoperating costs.

Determined byfacility sizeand complexity.

4. Privatizationof USTs

Community signslease agreement witha private vendor;under agreement,

the vendor constructs,operates, and ownsthe facility.

s Reduces oreliminates liability.

s Capital costs arespread out over the

term of the lease.s Used where #1 isnot feasible.

s Higher costs perunit of storagecapacity.

s Typical annuallease paymentsfor 5 years.


5. Above-ground tanks

Construct storagetanks above theground.

s Reduces manyenvironmental risksassociated with USTs.

s Lower O&Mand possiblycapital costs.

s Easy leak detectionand remediation.

s Subject to moredangerousexplosions from

vapor leaks.s Safety issues may

result in prohibitionof construction incertain areas.

s Tank installation. $20,000–$50,000.

6. Installationof new USTs

Install state-of-the-artUST for bestperformance andmanagement.

s Protection againstleaks and spills.

s Most expensiveoption.

s Still liable for spillsand leaks.

s Typicaloperating costs.

s Typicalinstallation costs(equipment andlabor) per tank.

$2,000–$6,000(annual only).


* Costs are in addition to the $5,000–$10,000 cost of closing existing USTs (removing old tanks and assessing sites).

64 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (69)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 69/156

Ruraltown Narrows the Options:Septic Tank Problems

Septic systems are a serious problem in certain areas of Ruraltown,causing high coliform counts in nearby private wells. Some septic

systems had been installed in areas where they could never accept thewastewater properly because the soil was too shallow or impermeable.

After discussion with the local extension agent and a state official, theplanning team obtained soil maps for the area. Overlaying the septic system

failures revealed that certain areas of the town were unsuitable for the useof these systems, with the areas of failures generally matching the areaswith unsuitable soils. Other, outlying areas had good soils for septic systems,and the overlay revealed few problems there.

The planning team drew up a list of possible options to address this problemand eliminated some from consideration. Where conventional onsite septicsystems wouldn’t work, the team learned, some other types of onsite systems

(such as mound systems) might be feasible for the soil conditions in the

area. Conveying wastewater from a number of homes via a small diametereffluent sewer to a “cluster” treatment facility (large soil absorption systemor sand filter) might also be possible on a suitable site a short distanceaway. The team ruled out conventional sewers and centralized wastewatertreatment for the homes in question because of the large distances between

homes and between these homes and the existing underused collectionsystem, which would have resulted in prohibitive costs. Low-cost sewers,however, could be used to carry wastewater to the existing mains.

The Ruraltown team narrowed the options in this manner for each of theproblems and needs it had identified. The list of feasible options is shownon the next page.

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community65

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (70)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 70/156

Feasible Solutions to Ruraltown’s Problems

Problem Solution

Drinking water samples exceedcoliform MCL

Obtain outside assistance (such as a circuit rider orcontract O&M) to provide on-the-job training andsupervision for Ruraltown’s operators/administrators.

Improve chlorination equipment (upgrade mixing systemand contact tank).

Implement wellhead protection program.

Hire engineering firm to evaluate long-term needs.

Inadequate drinking water system


Conduct full professional evaluation.

Upgrade current treatment facility.

Dig new wells in protected areas.

Replace portions of distribution system.

Implement water supply program (water conservation,leak detection, new rate structure, and public education).

Drinking water plant does notmeet all monitoring requirements

Determine and conduct all required monitoring.

Investigate possibility of monitoring waiver for somecontaminants.

Seek agreement with other communities to poolsamples to reduce costs of commercial laboratory, orconsider using an academic institution in area.

High coliform counts inprivate well supplies near septicsystems in areas with high ground


Install new onsite mound systems (for problem systems).

Install cluster collection and treatment facility.

Add point-of-use and point-of-entry disinfection unitsat problem locations.

Pesticide use near drinking waterwells

Set limits on type and amount of pesticides applied inwellhead protection areas.

Encourage farmers and homeowners to use lesshazardous chemicals with more efficient application.

Provide hazardous waste collection system for area.

Aging underground storage tanksowned by town

Close all underground petroleum tanks.

Get petroleum products from nearby commercialsources.

Replace tanks.

66 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (71)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 71/156

Problem Solution

Poor wastewater treatment plantperformance; effluent exceedsorganic matter and suspendedsolids limits

Conduct full professional treatment plant evaluation.

Obtain circuit rider assistance and training.

Implement water supply program (water conservation,leak detection, new rate structure, and public education).

Failing septic tank systems Replace with new onsite systems where soils acceptable.

Collect with low-cost sewers to cluster disposal system.

Collect with low-cost sewers to existing sewer mains.

Landfill doesn’t meet state designrequirements; almost full

Construct a new landfill with new required design.

Close landfill and build transfer station.

Implement a source reduction program with publiceducation; charge residential customers by the bag andreview results annually.

Enter regional agreement to build new disposal facilityand materials recovery facility.

Pollution of surface water byfertilizers (nitrates and phosphates)

Educate farmers on use of grassy strips and othermeans to contain runoff pollutants.

Educate farmers, commercial appliers, and residentson more efficient use of fertilizers in the watershedprotection area.

Leaf burning Encourage yard waste composting by residents.

Initiate townwide yard waste collection and composting.

Household hazardous waste(including used oil) contaminatingground water near landfill

Start public education program about householdhazardous waste and used oil.

Identify or provide a market/use for used oil.

Ask the gas station to collect used oil.

Start periodic household hazardous waste collectiondays with neighboring communities (e.g., once or twiceper year).

Feasible Solutions to Ruraltown’s Problems (continued)

Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community67

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (72)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 72/156

Problem Solution

Might be asbestos in elementaryschool

Make sure school is inspected.

If asbestos is found, see if containment option is feasible.

Lead paint in homes Start educational program through schools about what the hazards are and how to minimize them.

Radon in homes Determine if radon exists in planning area; if so, start

educational program about what the hazards are andhow to check for and minimize them.

Runoff from construction sites andtannery

Notify construction companies and tannery about NPSpollution regulations and provide information on storm-

water best management practices (BMPs) alternatives.

Monitor their implementation of these practices andkeep authorities informed of violations.

Feasible Solutions to Ruraltown’s Problems (continued)

68 Chapter 5: Finding Feasible Solutions for Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (73)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 73/156

Puttingthe Plan



y this point, you have gatheredtogether the information you need toput together your community environ-

mental plan. You have defined yourcommunity’s vision for the future, yourcommunity’s environmental problems andneeds, and feasible solutions. Now it’s timeto set priorities for action and produce a coherent plan—your road map and your schedulefor reaching your goals.

To create your community environmental plan, three steps remain:

Target the most important problems for your community to solve.

Set priorities for action and choose the solutions to implement.

Put the plan together, making sure that all the solutions fit together(including coordinating with regulatory agencies to make sure that they agree).

Targeting the Problems

At this step, the planning team needs to decide which problems to target. You have alreadylaid much of the groundwork for this in Chapter 4, when you determined the greatesthazards to people and the environment, determined the regulatory requirements you haveto meet, and evaluated how effective your environmental facilities are.

You should target the problems your planning team considers to pose the highest risk,since protecting the health and environment of your community’s residents is your firstpriority. If your community is not in compliance with regulations covering other problems,however, it is in your community’s best interest to consider these regulations as you put

your plan together. Make sure that you discuss this situation with your state agency as earlyas possible. Explain your community’s desire to solve the high-risk problems first. Let themknow that, in your plan, you will address how and when your community will meet theregulatory requirements that cover the other problems. Be willing to discuss a timetablefor compliance. If you have a clear plan for addressing the regulatory requirements in the



to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (74)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 74/156

future, regulatory agencies should be able to negotiate with you to develop a long-termagreement and exercise some flexibility in their enforcement roles. The state can be a

valuable ally in your efforts to “do the right thing.”

If you have facilities that are not performing well, you might want to target those problemstoo, even if they don’t yet pose a high risk or cause you to be out of compliance with

regulations. Poorly working environmental facilities waste money and other resources andare likely to cause bigger problems in the future.

Finally, your community probably has other important considerations besides risks,regulations, and performance of environmental facilities. These might be social or eco-nomic goals, such as:

Attracting businesses to the community.

Making the community a nicer place to live.

Promoting tourism.

Each community has its own set of considerations and priorities. For some communities,

these other considerations might even be more important than reducing risk. This wouldbe a good time to revisit your community vision to see what goals residents value the most.

At this stage in the planning process, you should rearrange the list of your community’sneeds and problems according to the considerations that are most important to yourcommunity. Since some will probably be equally pressing, you can arrange them incategories, such as “action is urgent,” “action is necessary,” and “action is desirable.” Thebox entitled “Ruraltown’s Priorities” shows how Ruraltown grouped its needs and prob-lems.

Setting Priorities for ActionWhich solutions will you implement to address your problems and needs? Which will youimplement now, and which will you implement farther down the road?

You should already have a handle on which solutions are feasible for your community, howquickly or easily they can be implemented, approximately how much they cost, and whatthey can achieve (see Chapter 5). List these solutions, along with key information aboutthem, next to the problems.

70 Chapter 6: Putting the Plan Together

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (75)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 75/156

Ruraltown’s Priorities

The Ruraltown planning team grouped its environmental problems as shownbelow. The “urgent” problems were those that presented the highest risks to

human health. Those grouped under “action is necessary” were high or medium

risks, or were regulatory violations. Those grouped under “action is desirable”were not regulatory issues and had lower or longer term risks.

In its discussions with state officials, the Ruraltown team learned that the townmight be able to obtain “use waivers” from the expensive drinking water monitoringrequirements for certain organic and inorganic chemicals. States can grant these

waivers when it can be shown that a contaminant has not been used, manufactured,or stored in the wellhead area. The state agreed to help the team develop a planto apply for a waiver and comply with all other monitoring requirements.

Action Is Urgent Drinking water samples exceed coliform MCL

High coliform counts in wells near septic systems in areas with highground water

Landfill doesn’t meet state design requirements; almost full

Action Is Necessary Poor wastewater treatment plant performance

Failing septic tank systems

Inadequate drinking water plant capacity

Drinking water plant does not meet all monitoring requirements

Improper disposal of used oil and household hazardous waste

Pesticide use near private drinking water wells

Might be asbestos in elementary school

Pollution of surface water by fertilizers

Aging underground storage tanks owned by town

Lead paint in homes

Action Is Desirable Runoff from construction sites and tannery

Radon in homes

Leaf burning

Chapter 6: Putting the Plan Together 71

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (76)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 76/156

Setting your priorities for action requires a balancing act. You want to solve as many ofthe most urgent problems as you can with the resources you have. You might also want toaddress problems that don’t necessarily pose a high risk but that have easy and inexpensivesolutions. For example, littering generally does not pose a great hazard to public health orto ecosystems. The littering problem, however, might be easily solved by providing trashcans in public places, having school children make posters that can be displayed throughout

town asking people not to litter, or even getting local law enforcement involved, ifnecessary. Activities that involve a broad spectrum of your community help generate publicsupport for the overall environmental program.

Also, keep in mind that your resources might not be as limited as you think. Chapter 7provides some information about obtaining resources to implement your plan, includinghow to draw on the resources of other communities and the private sector. Be creative

when making your choices, and be open to new resource possibilities.

Give special attention to solutions that can address more than one problem. For example,you might decide that leaf burning is a low-priority problem in your community, whilemanaging solid waste is a high priority. Yard waste composting is a solution for reducing

solid waste that also helps discourage leaf burning and its associated air pollution problems.

The matrix below can help you set short-term priorities for action. Keep in mind that yourcommunity is likely to have longer term needs that might require substantial resources tosolve.

Remember, this is the environmental plan foryourcommunity. Only the people in yourcommunity know what the priorities for action should be. So take charge, be creative, anddo your best to juggle your options to solve as many of your community’s environmentalproblems as possible while maintaining public support and using resources wisely.

Looking at the Big PictureAt this stage in the planning process, your community environmental plan will be prettywell hammered out. The only thing left to do is to look at the big picture. For each of theproblems that are priorities for action in your environmental plan, try to predict the fulloutcome of using the solution (or solutions). See if any of the solutions you have chosenmight cause new problems or interfere with one another. Say, for example, that yourcommunity decides to expand its ground-water supply system. This could mean that the“zone of contribution” for the well—the area of an aquifer that recharges the well—could

Problem Is Very Importantfor the Community to Solve

Problem Is LessImportant for theCommunity to Solve

Solutions Require FewResources

Include solutions in the plan Probably include solutionsin the plan

Solutions Require ManyResources

Include as many solutions aspossible in the plan

Don’t include solutions inthe plan

72 Chapter 6: Putting the Plan Together

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (77)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 77/156

expand to encompass more septic tank leachfields or other potential sources of contami-nation. Talk to your local experts and county, state, and federal contacts. Ask them if theyforesee any problems with how the solutions fit together.

Community support will be crucial to the success of your plan. As you look at each solution,ask yourselves questions about how much support it will have in the community:

How concerned is the community about the problem that the solution addresses?

Do you have local leadership necessary to undertake and complete the needed changes?

Can you draw on local capabilities, equipment, and ingenuity to implement thesolution?

Consider that the county, state, and federal governments have to protect the broader publicinterest and might find your plan too narrow. Keeping an eye on environmental problemsthat you might be exporting to other communities will help you anticipate and avoidconflicts with higher levels of government.

Finally, never lose sight of your community vision. Looking at each problem indepen-

dently can make it difficult to see how it all fits together. Throughout the process, stopand consider what you are really trying to accomplish.

Chapter 6: Putting the Plan Together 73

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (78)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 78/156

Ruraltown Puts Together ItsEnvironmental Plan

The Ruraltown planning team, with the assistance of representatives fromthe state environmental agency, selected the solutions to implement based

on several factors. After reviewing the list of feasible solutions, the team clearly

saw that lower cost strategies emphasizing pollution prevention and public

education would provide major benefits for the town. In several cases, the teamselected educational strategies over more coercive methods. For example, theteam decided to provide information to farmers and residents about ways toreduce pollution from pesticides and fertilizers. In its work with residents, theteam found several people who were enthusiastic about developing education

programs for the community.

Despite the benefits of voluntary efforts, Ruraltown still needed major im-provements to its environmental facilities. To address the failing onsite septicsystems in areas with unsuitable soils, the team determined that a new clustertreatment system would be the most cost effective of the feasible options. The

team contacted local construction companies about using equipment to helpconstruct such a system. A civic organization and the residents who would be

served by the systems agreed to donate time to the project to help reduce costs.

For the drinking water and wastewater treatment plants, the team decided toobtain circuit rider assistance to improve operator skills in the short term(instead of hiring a trained full-time operator) and to plan for major capitalimprovements over the next 5 years. In the long term, the plants may have tobe upgraded and expanded to accommodate growth in the area (if the growthdemand exceeds water savings due to the new rate structure designed to dis-

courage unnecessary water use.) Ruraltown would fund a professional evaluationof the long-term needs of both plants after the immediate programs have beenin place long enough for the town to assess their effects.

Finally, the town would pursue a regional agreement to build a new disposalfacility and materials recovery facility. The team determined that in the longrun this would be less expensive than building and using a transfer station,especially since several other towns in the county were also experiencing prob-

lems managing their solid waste.

74 Chapter 6: Putting the Plan Together

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (79)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 79/156

Ruraltown Chooses Priorities for ActionAction Is Urgent

Drinking water samplesexceed coliform MCL

Obtain assistance from a circuit rider (immediately)

Improve chlorination equipment

Take the first steps in setting up a wellhead protection program;determine low-cost ways to protect ground water (immediately)

Hire engineering firm to evaluate long-term needs (later)

High coliform counts inwells near septic systemsin areas with high ground


Install new onsite mound systems

Have engineers design and install cluster collection and treatmentfacility

Install point-of-use/point-of-entry disinfection units in affected homes(temporary)

Landfill doesn’t meet statedesign requirements;almost full

Construct a new landfill with new required design

Close landfill and build transfer station

Enter regional agreement to build new disposal facility and materialsrecovery facility

Implement source reduction program with public education; includingyard waste collection/composting

Charge residential customers by the bag and review results annually

Action Is Necessary

Poor wastewater treatmentperformance; effluentexceeds organics andsuspended solids limits

Conduct full professional treatment plant evaluation

Obtain circuit rider assistance/training

Implement water supply program (water conservation, leak detection,new rate structure, and public education)

Failing septic tank systems Replace with new onsite systems where soils are acceptable

Collect with low-cost sewers to cluster disposal system (see above)

Collect with low-cost sewers to existing sewer mains

Inadequate drinking watersystem capacity

Conduct full professional evaluation

Begin planning capital improvements (5 years) to upgrade currenttreatment facility and replace portions of distribution system

Dig new wells in protected areas Implement water supply program (see above)

Drinking water plant does notmeet monitoring requirements

Apply for monitoring waiver for contaminants not present or used inthe area

Conduct all other monitoring

Seek agreement with other communities to pool samples to obtainbetter analytical rate from commercial laboratory or academicinstitution in area

Chapter 6: Putting the Plan Together 75

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (80)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 80/156

Action Is Necessary (continued)

Household hazardouswaste (including used oil)contaminating landfillleachate and ground water

Start public education program about household hazardous wasteand used oil disposal

Identify or provide a market/use for used oil

Ask the gas station to collect used oil

Start periodic household hazardous waste collection days withneighboring communities (once or twice per year)

Pesticide use near privatedrinking water wells

Set limits on type and amount of pesticide application in wellheadprotection areas

Encourage farmers and homeowners to use less hazardous chemicalswith more efficient application

Provide hazardous waste collection system for area (see above)

Might be asbestos inelementary school

Make sure school is inspected

If asbestos is found, determine if containment solution is feasible

Pollution of surface waterby fertilizers (nitrates andphosphates)

Educate farmers on use of grassy strips and other means to containrunoff pollutants

Educate farmers and residents on more efficient use of fertilizers inthe watershed protection area

Aging undergroundstorage tanks owned bytown

Close the community-owned underground petroleum tanks

Get petroleum products from nearby commercial sources

Replace tanks

Lead paint in homes Start educational program through schools about what hazards areand how to minimize them

Action Is Desirable

Runoff from construction sitesand tannery

Notify construction companies and tannery about NPS pollutionregulations and provide information on stormwater BMPs

Monitor their implementation of these practices and keep stateauthorities informed of violations

Radon in homes Determine if radon exists in planning area; if so, start educationalprogram through schools about what hazards are and how to checkfor and minimize them. If not, no action necessary

Leaf burning Encourage yard waste composting by residents

Initiate town-wide yard waste collection and composting

Ruraltown Chooses Priorities for Action (continued)

76 Chapter 6: Putting the Plan Together

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (81)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 81/156

Implementation:Putting the Plan Into Action

and Keeping It On Track


ow you have your communityenvironmental plan—yourroad map to the destination

your community wants toreach. But even the best map will be

worthless if you never buy yourvehicle, gas it up, and hit the road.You’ll need a maintenance scheduleto keep things running smoothly. And don’t forget—no matter how good your roadmap is, detours, flat tires, and accidents might force you off course. You need to check

your progress regularly and see whether you need to change your route.

This chapter is about implementation: putting the plan into action, evaluating how wellthe plan works, and revising the plan as you need to. In your environmental plan, yourcommunity has outlined the solutions it wants to use to manage environmental issues. Nowit is time to iron out the approach for implementing the plan, which includes:

Developing a schedule for putting the plan into action.

Financing the plan.

Determining the role your local government and other governments and organizationswill play.

Determining the role individuals in your community will play.

Evaluating and revising the plan as necessary.

Developing a Schedule for Putting the Plan Into Action

To begin implementing the plan, develop a step-by-step approach for each solution yourcommunity has chosen. Start by making a list of concrete actions that must be taken, inthe order in which they should be taken, for each solution. Once these step-by-stepapproaches have been ironed out, draw up a schedule for taking the steps. The scheduleshould include a start date and a completion date for each step, when possible. Sometimes,however, the actual dates will have to be established after other actions are completed. An



to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (82)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 82/156

approximate target date should be included in these situations. In some cases, the solutionswill take only days or weeks to complete. In other cases, however, completion will takeyears. A schedule is especially important for issues that involve regulatory requirements;you will need to show regulatory agencies when you will be able to comply with thoseregulations.

After the schedule has been drawn up, determine who is responsible for “making thingshappen.” List those responsible for completing each step. This way, you can easily checkwith the right people to see if the plan remains on schedule and to determine what shouldbe done if the schedule slips. Check the schedule regularly to make sure things arehappening as planned. If not, take steps immediately to keep up the momentum.

Your community should also set up a way to measure the plan’s successes and failures. Foreach solution, specific goals should be given. For example, a specific goal might be to cutthe amount of trash each family produces from three to two bags a week.

Your community might consider focusing on one major project in your plan that addressesa key concern—such as beginning a water conservation program—and mobilizing the

community to get results. This can help build momentum and community support forother actions specified in your plan, and can help you identify and correct weaknesses inone project before you’ve gone far on other projects.

Financing the Plan

The approach your community uses to implement its environmental plan must include astrategy for how to pay for solutions. Your community must cover both the operatingcosts and the capital costs of any equipment and facilities included in your plan.Generally, different types of financing are used for operating costs than for capital costs.

You will need to choose which combination of financing options you will use to cover bothof these costs. Some excellent guides to financial management for small communities arelisted in Appendix D.

Common operational costs include the costs of employee salaries and benefits; supplies; fuel,utility, rent, and insurance bills; maintaining equipment; monitoring; and interest pay-ments on loans. Another type of operational cost that all communities face, but many donot think about, is depreciation, the reduction in value of a facility or piece of equipment.

All of the equipment and facilities that your community uses are getting older. The older theyget, the less valuable they are because they are more likely to break down. Each piece ofequipment has a useful life, which is the duration of time that the equipment is expectedto last before it must be replaced. Financially preparing to replace equipment when its

useful life is over is important. Although depreciation is an operational cost, replacementis a capital cost, which is discussed on the next page.

Operational costs tend to stay about the same from year to year, although they can risebecause of the age of equipment and because of inflation. A steady flow of funds shouldtherefore be used to finance operational costs. Small communities usually generate thesefunds through local taxes and fees.

78 Chapter 7: Implementation

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (83)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 83/156

Capital costs are different from operating costs because they involve a one-time investmentthat is usually relatively large. Common capital financing options are grants, loans, bonds,and notes. For many of these options, the useful life of the equipment or facility must beconsidered when choosing a financing option and the level of debt. If the equipment orfacility must be replaced before the debt is repaid, your community will be carrying morethan one debt for the same service.

Table 7-1 presents information about common financing options for both operational andcapital costs.

Another important alternative is saving money. Saving money allows your community tobecome more efficient and provide services at a lower cost. A community can save moneyin many ways, such as by using local people, equipment, and financial resources (includingbusiness donations and volunteer help); increasing employee productivity; properly main-taining equipment; running equipment at times when electrical costs are lower; and buyingsupplies in bulk with other towns at a discount. Although financing minor capital costs

with money saved is possible, this rarely happens. Instead, savings are usually used to fundoperational costs and to avoid the need to raise taxes or fees.

The affordability of your environmental solutions depends on community involvement aswell as the funding available. If community residents have not participated in shaping theenvironmental plan, its affordability may well be reduced, because residents will be less

willing to pay for changes in which they have had no role.

Roles of Government and Other Organizations

Your local government has three basic choices about the role it will play when implement-ing your community environmental plan: implement solutions alone, cooperate with other

local governments, or form a partnership with private companies. Your community doesnot have to choose just one of these roles; you can mix and match roles to implementdifferent solutions. For example, your local government can implement an undergroundstorage tank program alone, become partners with other local governments to build andoperate a wastewater treatment plant, and contract with a private company to collect anddispose of solid waste.

Working Alone

Working alone may be the easiest role for your community to play because it does notrequire you to develop any special arrangements. Working alone may be an option if thesolutions you choose are inexpensive and do not require advanced technology. When more

complicated systems or facilities are needed, you should consider cooperating with othercommunities or forming a partnership with private companies.

If local government organizations are understaffed or do not have the expertise toimplement the new solutions, new organizations might be necessary. In these cases, yourcommunity can set up committees or agencies and delegate the power to perform certainfunctions. The members of the committee can also be specially trained to deal with thesolution they are implementing. For example, many communities have set up wellheadprotection committees that work with state agencies or local experts to define wellhead

Chapter 7: Implementation 79

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (84)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 84/156

protection areas, identify sources of ground-water contamination in those areas, andimplement strategies to protect the community’s ground-water resources.

Cooperating With Other Local Governments

Cooperating with other local governments can be the best way to implement some of thesolutions in your community environmental plan. Small communities can cooperatethrough joint ownership and operation of drinking water, wastewater, and solid wastemanagement facilities. Communities can also cooperate by sharing personnel who docertain common jobs, such as billing customers, purchasing supplies, maintaining equip-ment, and testing samples. To cooperate with other local governments, decide the roleeach community will have, how conflict among the communities will be resolved, and howthe cooperative activity or facility will be paid for.

There are many advantages to cooperation. For example, communities can pool funds sothat they can afford facilities or technologies that individual communities cannot affordalone. Providing a service to a small number of people is often more expensive per personthan providing a service to a large number of people. Economies of scale allow you to

increase the number of people that are served to achieve lower costs per person. Finally,larger operations are often more efficient than smaller operations because they allow fulluse of staff who otherwise are not fully occupied by a single smaller operation.

The major disadvantage to cooperation is some loss of local control. When you arecooperating with other communities, your community will no longer be able to act alone.Negotiations will have to occur to make any changes to the ways in which environmentalservices are provided. In addition, when communities are far apart or there is rugged terrainbetween them, increased costs for distribution pipes or transporting wastes can outweighsome of the savings achieved through economies of scale and increased efficiency.

Table 7-2 shows the different options for formally cooperating with other communities,

along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Forming a Partnership With the Private Sector

In many cases, there are advantages to the private sector rather than the public sectorproviding environmental services. Your community might therefore want to considerforming a public-private partnership. The five main types of public-private partnershipsare:

Contract Services.The community contracts with a private company to provide a service(such as garbage collection) or to run a facility that is owned by the community (suchas a wastewater treatment plant). Firms or experts also can be contracted with to

perform specific duties, such as accounting or maintenance of electrical systems.

Turnkey Facilities.The community owns a facility but contracts with a private companyto design, construct, and operate the facility. The community is responsible for fundingthe facility, while the private company is responsible for providing a certain level ofservice or regulatory compliance.

80 Chapter 7: Implementation

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (85)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 85/156

Leasing.The community pays rent to a private owner in exchange for using a facilityfor a specified period. The community controls the facility until the lease is over, whenthe facility is returned to the owner. With a finance lease, however, the community paysto lease a facility but then owns the facility at the end of the lease.

Developer Financing.A private developer finances construction or upgrading of a facility

to gain the right to build homes, stores, or other buildings.Privatization.A private firm owns, builds, operates, and partially or totally finances afacility or service. The local community decides it wants the facility or service, andmight partially fund it.

Merchant Facility.This is similar to privatization except that the private firm also decidesto provide the service. The local community plays no role at all.

Just like cooperating with other communities, the main disadvantage of public-privatepartnerships is some loss of local control. To get rid of the headaches of responsibility, youalso have to be willing to allow someone else to make most of the decisions. Partnershipsalso take work: Legal issues have to be ironed out, and the actions of the private company

have to be overseen. Public-private partnerships aren’t the right choice for all smallcommunities because many communities do not need to use sophisticated technologies,or they are not located close enough to a company that provides the services they need.

If your community decides to use a private company to implement part of your environ-mental plan, you should choose that company carefully. Try to identify companies withexperience working with small communities with problems similar to yours. Ask thosecommunities about the company to make sure that it has a good track record. Thecompanies should also have experience with the type of technologies you are interestedin. In many cases, you can also find companies with experience helping small communitiesget the financing that they need. Finally, try to choose the company that can give the best

service for the best price. (The state utility commission must approve rates, an importantprotection for the ratepayer.)

Some Reasons To Form a Public-Private Partnership

A public-private partnership can help yourcommunity by:

Allowing your community to use a moresophisticated technology that the privatecompany uses.

Giving your community ways to financeenvironmental services using privatecapital.

Letting your community know exactly howmuch the service will cost, because thecost is written into the contract.

Chapter 7: Implementation 81

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (86)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 86/156

Table 7-1Financing Plan Options


Method Description Advantages DisadvantagesTaxes Property taxes (e.g., on

buildings, land, and/orvehicles) are the most commontype of taxes used by localgovernments.

s Easy to administer.s Generate a relatively steady

flow of funds, therefore goodfor financing operational costs.

s Tax burden is spread overa small number of people ina small community.

s Taxes are unpopular and taxincreases may require formalapproval by those affected.

Hotel taxes, rental taxes, andtaxes on other tourist activities(such as restaurants,nightclubs, and guided tours)can be used by communities

with high tourist populations.

s Can increase revenueswithout placing a higher burdenon permanent residents.

s Higher taxes mightdiscourage tourism.

s Amount of revenue variesaccording to the number oftourists during a season.

Fees Service fees can be chargedfor using an existing service(such as billing customers forthe drinking water they use) ordemanding a service (such ascharging homeowners to behooked up to the wastewatertreatment system). Fees can beflat fees (everyone who usesthe service pays the sameprice) or graduated fees

(based on the amount eachperson uses).

s Generate a steady flow offunds, therefore better forfinancing operational costs.

s Graduated fees could providecustomers with incentives to useless if fee rates are increasedas more water is used.

s Flat fees discourageconservation and promote

wasteful use.s Service fees might be

unpopular.s Fees based on how much

water is used coulddiscourage industries andother businesses fromlocating in an area.

Punitive or corrective fees canbe charged to people orbusinesses that pollute (e.g.,releasing chemicals into

wastewater treatment systems).The community can also givespecial fee reductions forindustries that start out with

water conservation andpollution prevention measures.

s Generate revenue whilediscouraging pollution.

s In some cases, avoidnoncompliance with permitrequirements caused byindustrial pollutants.

s Cannot be relied upon asa source of income.

ss If too stringent, could loseindustry to another locationor encourage illegalavoidance fees.

Recreational fees can becharged for hunting andfishing licenses or privileges.

s Only paid by those whoparticipate in certain activities.

s The money raised can beearmarked to protect theenvironment and maintainrecreational areas.

s Generate a relatively smallamount of money.

s If recreational fees are toohigh, they might encourageillegal activities.

82 Chapter 7: Implementation

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (87)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 87/156

FinancingMethod Description Advantages Disadvantages

Fees (continued) Impact fees can be charged todevelopers, who will createdemand for local infrastructure.

s Only paid by those who profit.s Money can be used to offset


s Might reduce potential fordevelopment.

Grants Grants are funds that areprovided by the federalgovernment, states, or otherorganizations to pay forspecial projects (e.g., U.S.Department of Agriculture’sRural Development

Administration, the U.S.

Department of Housing andUrban Development [HUD]).

s Small communities may beeligible for many differentgrants to build or upgradetheir environmental facilities.

s Grants do not have to bepaid back.

s Most grants have specificeligibility requirements thata community must meet.

s Grants tend to be verycompetitive. Your communitymust invest time and moneyto apply for a grant that youmight not get.


Grant use requirements maybe expensive.

Loans A loan is money lent withinterest. Low-interest loansmight be available through thestate (e.g., State RevolvingFunds) or federal government(e.g., from the RuralDevelopment Administration orHUD). If federal and state loansare not available, your smallcommunity can borrow from acommercial bank.

s A long-term, low-interest loanwill allow your community topay for capital expenses thatrequire a large one-timeinvestment.

s Loan payments can be spreadout over time so that repaymentis manageable.

s Loans can be used for shorterterm financing while waiting forgrants or bonds.

s Unlike a grant, a loan mustbe repaid. Over time, bothinterest and principal must berepaid with money collectedthrough taxes, fees, or moneypreviously saved.

s State Revolving Fund loansrequire adherence to federalrules and regulations.

s Commercial bank loans maybe difficult to obtain withoutadequate collateral.

Revolving Funds Revolving funds are self-sustaining funds set up toprovide loans to communities forconstruction and modification offacilities. As the loans arerepaid, the money is returned tothe fund so that it can beborrowed by other communities.State Revolving Funds currentlyfinance wastewater treatmentplants, but can be used for NPS

pollution control and drinkingwater facilities.

s Offer below-market interestrate loans.

s Are often targeted toward theimprovement of environmentalfacilities in communities.

s Legal requirements can limitthe use of funds.

s Most communities have legallimits on the amount of debtthey can accrue, includingthrough revolving fund loans.

Privatization Under privatization, a privatefirm owns, builds, operates,and partially or totally financesa facility or service.

s Reduces or eliminates debtneeded to provide service.

s Reduces local governmentresponsibility for providingservice.

s Some loss of local controloccurs.

s Oversight of private firm isnecessary.

s Legal issues must beresolved.

Table 7-1Financing Plan Options (continued)

Chapter 7: Implementation 83

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (88)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 88/156

FinancingMethod Description Advantages Disadvantages

Bonds A bond is an interest-bearingcertificate of public or privateindebtedness, often sold tofinance long-term projects withhigh capital costs.


Bonds typically are used forfinancing capital costs.s The community only has to

make interest payments untilthe bond is due.


Issuing bonds can becomplicated and may requirethe help of a financial advisor.

s Bonds are usually only usedwhen large amounts of moneyare needed for long periods.

General obligation bonds aresecured by the taxing power ofthe community, which meansthat the community pledges topay back the interest andprincipal through taxes (ifnecessary).

s General obligation bondsshould be used, when possible,to save money in interestpayments.

s Most communities have legallimits on the amount ofmoney they can borrowthrough general obligationbonds, and voters often mustapprove of using these bonds.

s Because of the limits placedon them, general obligationbonds are usually used forfacilities that do not generaterevenues.

Revenue bonds are secured bymoney that will be generatedby the use of the loan, such asuser fees from a wastewatertreatment facility that will bebuilt or upgraded.

s Most communities do not havea limit on the amount of moneythey can borrow with revenuebonds.

s Revenue bonds are appropriatefor environmental facilities sincemost can generate revenuesthrough user fees and tipping


s The interest rates for revenuebonds are usually higherthan for general obligationbonds.

Many states now have bondbanks from which communitiescan obtain bond money. Thestate uses its taxing power tosecure a large bond issue thatcan be divided among itscommunities.

s Because the state has moretaxing power than individualcommunities, it can get a bondat a lower interest rate.

s Because the costs of issuing abond are about the same nomatter how big the bond is,bond banks also save moneyby spreading out the costs ofissuing the bond.

s With a state bond bank, the

state can issue the bond inanticipation that its communitieswill need it, reducing the time ittakes for each community to getbond money.

s Many communities competefor a limited amount ofavailable bank bond funds.

Table 7-1Financing Plan Options (continued)

84 Chapter 7: Implementation

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (89)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 89/156

Roles of Community Members

Once your community has a picture of which organizations will play a role in implementingthe plan, you’ll need time to figure out how individuals will be involved. Your communityshould decide who is responsible for making the solutions work and what their specificresponsibilities are. Some people on the planning committee might continue to be involvedas the plan is implemented. Stay on the lookout for new people who might step forward

to help carry out new programs and activities.When the approach to implementing the environmental plan calls for community resi-dents to play a role, they should be knowledgeable about their new responsibilities. If theplan includes a used oil program, for instance, the people of the community must beprovided with clear instructions on how to collect their oil and where to bring it forrecycling or proper disposal.

Actively seek volunteers to donate both time and materiel. The more you involve people inimplementing the plan, the greater the support from the community and the fewer the problems.

FinancingMethod Description Advantages Disadvantages

Certificates of


Certificates of participation

(COPs) can be issued by acommunity instead of bonds.Unlike bonds, COPs are issuedto several lenders that all“participate” in the same loan.

s Costs and risks of the loan are

spread over several lenders.s Where authorized under

state law, COPs may be issuedwhen bonds would exceed debtlimitations.

s Requires complicated

agreements among theparticipating lenders.

Notes A note is a written promise topay a debt. The communitypromises to pay the principaland the interest at a specifiedtime. Notes are a short-termoption usually used to financecosts during construction.

Grant anticipation notes aresecured by a community’sexpectation that it will receive agrant. In essence, it allows thecommunity to “borrow against”the grant. (You should neverrequest a grant anticipation notefor more money than the grant.)Bond anticipation notes aresecured by the community’sability to sell its bonds. Yourcommunity must therefore satisfyall legal requirements for issuinga bond before it applies for a

bond anticipation note.

s Notes can be used as a short-term financing option while youare waiting for money fromgrants or bonds.

s Grant anticipation notesshould only be used when theorganization giving the granthas made a firm commitmentthat your community will getthe grant, and when you needmoney immediately and you

don’t expect to receive thegrant for some time.s Voters usually have to

approve a general obligationbond, making a bondanticipation note very riskyunless the community hasshown overwhelming support.

Table 7-1Financing Plan Options (continued)

Chapter 7: Implementation 85

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (90)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 90/156

Table 7-2 Options for Cooperating With Other Communities

Option Advantages Disadvantages

Authorities—Communities and countiescan establish an authority to finance,build, and operate a public facility or

system that generates revenues. Theauthority is a corporate body with acharter that must be approved by the statelegislature. Authorities operate outside theregular structure of government and arefinanced through user fees or otherrevenues.

s Local debt ceiling doesn’t affectfinancing.

s Voter approval of financing isn’t

necessary.s Local politics are less likely to affect

service because private citizens, ratherthan government officials, are on theboard.

s Can increase efficiency by avoidinggovernment budgeting andadministration.

s Revenues can make the service self-supporting.

s Capital financing is tax-exempt.

s Financing can be complex toadminister.

s Government or public control can be

too limited.s In some areas, authorities can compete

with private industry.

Special districts—Communities can

establish a special district to perform asingle function, such as drinking watertreatment. The special district acts as agovernment agency outside the regularstructure of government and uses specialtaxes for financing. Special districts mustrespond to local needs and cooperate

with local jurisdictions to be successful.

s The residents to which the district is

responsible are a distinct constituency.s Elected officials can serve on the board

for the district to give the localgovernment some say.

s State statutes limit powers.s

Financing requires special taxes thatmust be approved by voters.s Might not be as responsive to residents

as arrangements where voters elect theboard.

Nonprofit public corporations—These aresimilar to authorities except that they mustbe approved by all member communitiesand state officials, as required by law.They are financed by issuing bonds, anddirectors of the corporation must be localgovernment or state officials.

s Local debt ceiling doesn’t affectfinancing.

s Voter approval of financing isn’tnecessary.

s After bonds are paid, the corporationgives assets to member communities.

s Not subject to real estate or federaltaxes.

s Capital financing is tax exempt.

s It is difficult to get out of thecorporation if better service becomesavailable.

s The corporation cannot use taxingpower of local governments to securefinancing.

s Local government and state officialsmight exert political influence.

Multicommunity cooperatives—This is away to gain cooperation betweengovernments without legal charters oragreements. Communities agree to worktogether to build a facility or provide aservice. Usually, one community takes thelead.

s These have less restrictive legal andinstitutional structure than othermulticommunity options.

s Communities can pool resources toprovide services that they may not beable to provide alone.

s Member communities loseindependence and must cooperate inmaking decisions about how the service

will be provided, where the facility willbe sited, etc.

s Interest rates on loans or bonds couldincrease if leader community is not asfinancially strong as other communities.

Intergovernmental agreements—Formaland informal agreements can be madebetween two or more local governmentsto provide services. Contracts are the mostcommonly used type of intergovernmentalagreement.

s Contracts are flexible, predictable,and enforceable.

s Basic government structures are notaffected.

s Saves time because no new structuresare necessary.

s Because each community, rather thana single unit, must borrow money, itmay be more difficult to get financing.

s Misunderstandings may occur if theagreement is not spelled out in detail ina contract.

s Each participant must reach agree-ment every time a new issue comes up.

86 Chapter 7: Implementation

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (91)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 91/156

Evaluating and Revising the Plan

No matter how much thought your community has put into the environmental plan, youmight find that some of the solutions you have chosen just don’t work out. Other solutionsmight work, but not as well as your community had hoped.

When solutions do not meet expectations, it’s time to reevaluate your community envi-ronmental plan. In some cases, your community will decide not to do anything becausethe flaws in the plan are not big enough to justify the money and time it would take to fixthem. For example, if trucking solid waste to the landfill costs more than you expected,building a more central landfill would probably not be a better solution.

Sometimes your community will have to modify solutions only slightly. If your planincludes wellhead protection and people are still accidently polluting the wellhead area,the only change that might be necessary is to increase public education and post signs thattell people what they can’t do in the wellhead area. Unfortunately, in some cases majorchanges to the plan might be necessary. Some of Ruraltown’s solutions, for example, reliedon voluntary action by residents. To address surface water pollution by nitrates, the

community got the local extension agent to explain to farmers the value of using fertilizersmore efficiently and using grassy strips to contain runoff. If problems with nitratepollution of surface water continue, the town might have to take stronger action to reducefertilizer use.

Even if your community finds that all of the solutions in its environmental plan areeffective, the plan might still have to be revised in the future. Changes outside thecommunity might affect your plan. For example, new technologies might be developedthat can better solve environmental problems, and new regulations might be made on howcommunities should handle environmental issues. Your community should be aware ofthese changes so that its environmental plan can be updated when revisions make sense.

Changes within your community might also affect the environmental plan. As yourcommunity grows, for example, solutions might have to be revised to handle unforeseenproblems. Also, growth might allow you to implement solutions that previously were tooexpensive for a smaller community. Finally, the people in the community might developnew priorities, and your plan will need to change to reflect those priorities.

Just as water, soil, and air are connected, so are creating the plan and implementing it.What your community does with one will continue to affect what happens to the other.

Chapter 7: Implementation 87

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (92)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 92/156

Ruraltown Sets a Schedule

After Ruraltown chose the solutions it would implement in its environmental

plan, the planning team filled out an implementation worksheet (page 89).First, the team drew up a detailed schedule for implementation. The scheduleincluded the specific goals to be achieved, a step-by-step approach for each solution,and a list of people responsible for the plan. The team also listed the financingmethods it would use for each solution.

The state environmental agency, which had helped the team throughout this proc-ess, approved Ruraltown’s priorities for action and the schedule the team had set.

The state agreed that, if the town implemented the strategies according to the

schedule the team developed, no enforcement actions would be taken regardingtemporary, intermittent violations of effluent permit limits or drinking water re-quirements. To keep the plan on track, the team decided to meet every 3 monthsto review the schedule and progress with the plan. The team also agreed that thegoals listed in the implementation worksheet would help them in the evaluationand review process.

88 Chapter 7: Implementation

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (93)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 93/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (94)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 94/156

Problem/Specific Goals Solutions Step-by-Step Approach Start/Completion Date Person(s) Responsible


PROBLEM: Wastewatertreatment plant perform-ance is poor: effluentsometimes exceeds or-ganic matter and sus-pended solids


GOAL: Consistently meetall effluent limits by 2005.

SOLUTION: Implementwater supply program.

Form a water supply team. 6/10/96 - 6/24/96. Led by the planning team.

Quantify all water users inRuraltown.

7/1/96 - 7/22/96. Water supply team.

Conduct water leak detectionstudy.

7/1/96 - 7/22/96. Public works division.

Develop a plan to reduce waterusage, including a revised feestructure.

7/29/96 - 9/9/96. Water supply team.

Create a fact sheet describing thewater conservation plan.

9/16/96 - 9/30/96. Member of the water conse

Send the fact sheet out with thewater bills.

10/1/96. Drinking water plant person

Develop and distribute a pressrelease on the water conservationplan.

10/1/96 - 10/15/96. Member of the water supply

Research and purchase modernleak detection and repairequipment.

10/15/96 - 10/28/96. Public works director.

SOLUTION: Conductfull professionaltreatmentplant evaluation.

Research firms in the areaspecializing in wastewater facilityevaluations.

4/1/96 - 4/15/96. Planning team and wastewapersonnel.

Review research, and interviewfirms.

4/16/96 - 4/30/96. Planning team.

Choose and hire best firm. 5/1/96. Town council.

Complete evaluation. 8/4/96. Consulting firm.

Review firm’s evaluation andpresent to town council.

8/4/96 - 9/1/96. Planning team (including thdirector).

SOLUTION: Follow appropriate recommendations from theprofessional treatment plant evaluation.

Target date depends on recommendations(goal is to implement allrecommendations by 2001).

Depends on recommendatio




to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (95)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 95/156

Problem/Specific Goals Solutions Step-by-Step Approach Start/Completion Date Person(s) Responsible


PROBLEM: Leaf burning.

GOAL: Prevent disposalof yard waste withmunicipal solid waste.

SOLUTION: Initiate atownwide yard wastecomposting program.

Form yard waste team. 1/7/97 - 1/21/97. Led by the planning team.

Research yard waste compostingalternatives.

1/28/97 - 3/11/97. Composting team.

Identify a composting site. 3/18/97 - 4/15/97. Composting team.

Develop a pamphlet that describesthe benefits of composting andexplains to residents how toparticipate in the compostingprogram.

3/28/97 - 4/25/97. Member of the composting

Mail the pamphlet to all townresidents.

4/26/97. Composting team.

Begin yard waste composting. 5/14/97. Member of public works din charge of composting.




to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (96)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 96/156

Appendix A:

Environmental Community AgreementBetween the Kenai Peninsula Boroughand the Alaska Department ofEnvironmental Conservation

a. Introduction

The goal of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is to protectpublic health and the environment through cost-effective environmental problem solving.In the spirit of achieving this goal DEC and the Kenai Peninsula Borough (KPB) agree todevelop, maintain, and update a cooperative working agreement to identify public health

and environmental issues.This agreement is not to be construed as an enforceable document, but rather as a checklistfor identifying issues, and solving problems within reasonable timeframes.

This agreement is limited to programs and activities that are the primary responsibility ofthe Department of Environmental Conservation.

b. Purpose Statement

By this agreement, KPB and DEC establish a common agenda to work together onenvironmental protection objectives and specific goals. This will include efforts to solveenvironmental problems in the KPB in a cost-effective manner.

c. Changes to the Agreement

The signatories will review this document annually from the effective date of this agree-ment. Amendments or additional appendices may be developed and implemented bymutual agreement at any time, without renegotiating the entire environmental communityagreement.


to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (97)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 97/156

d. Effective Date of Agreement

This agreement is effective March 20, 1992.

e. Contact Persons

The contact persons for initiating any of the activities defined in this agreement are: for

DEC, Les Buchholz, the DEC District Manager (or his successor) located in Soldotna;for KPB, the Mayor or his designee.

f. Schedule and Purpose of Meetings

The contact people for KPB and DEC will meet at least once every two months at amutually agreeable location. The purpose of these regular meetings is to identify andaddress environmental concerns within the KPB.

g. Regulations Assistance Workshops

DEC is available to conduct a regulations assistance workshop on state environmentalregulations that affect the KPB. The workshop agenda can be expanded to allow partici-pation from other communities and state and federal agencies. DEC expects to conductthe workshops on various regulation topics and issues in central locations around the state.

h. Pollution Prevention

KPB agrees to promote pollution prevention practices that focus on eliminating orreducing pollution to the air, land, and water rather than on controlling pollution after ithas been created. In order to minimize present and future threats to human health andthe environment KPB, with assistance from DEC, agrees to the pollution preventionhierarchy as local policy, declaring that:

1. pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source to the maximum extentpossible;

2. pollution that cannot be prevented should be recycled in an environmentallysafe manner;

3. pollution that cannot be prevented or recycled should be treated in an environ-mentally safe manner; and

4. disposal should be employed only as a last resort and should be conducted in anenvironmentally safe manner.

i. Pollution Prevention Technology Roundtable for Local Governments

KPB agrees to designate one or more local governmental personnel to attend PollutionPrevention Technology Transfer Roundtable meetings as they occur. The next scheduledmeeting will occur in Anchorage on April 9 and 10, 1992. The Roundtables wereestablished by DEC in cooperation with the Alaska Municipal League. The purpose ofthe Roundtable is to transfer information to local governments about opportunities toprevent pollution through waste reduction and recycling in their communities.

94 Appendix A: Environmental Community Agreement

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (98)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 98/156

j. KPB Comprehensive Planning Effort

DEC is available to assist in developing environmental quality goals and objectives for theKPB Comprehensive Plan and to also assist in incorporating state regulations withborough regulations.

k. Areas of Agreement

The following pages will outline the programs that KPB and DEC have agreed to initiallyaddress as priority issues. The programs are ranked in the order of their priority.

l. Other Programs

Pursuant to the authority granted to DEC by A.S. Title 46 and the authority granted toKPB by A.S. Title 29, and their respective regulations and ordinances, other programsmay be identified and added to the list of priority issues.

The department is available to assist KPB in these program areas.

Village Safe Water (Facility Planning, Construction, and Operations)

Safe Drinking Water

Domestic & Industrial Waste Water Treatment

Solid & Hazardous Waste

Water Pollution Prevention

Animal Health and Dairy


Radiation Protection

Underground Storage Tanks

Pollution Prevention (waste reduction and recycling )

Environmental Health

The following consent to the above agreement for the mutual benefit of the State of Alaskaand to the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Appendix A: Environmental Community Agreement 95

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (99)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 99/156

Don Gilman, MayorKenai Peninsula Borough Date

Jon Sandor, CommissionerAlaska Department of Environment Conservation Date

Svend Brandt-ErichsenRegional AdministrationSouthcentral Regional Office

Alaska Department of Environment Conservation Date

Les BucholzKenai District Manager

Alaska Department of Environment Conservation Date

96 Appendix A: Environmental Community Agreement

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (100)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 100/156

Present Situation Strategy Goals

1. Oil and Hazardous SubstanceSpillsThere have been a number ofhazardous substance spills in the


DEC recognizes local concernabout hazardous substance spillprevention and response.

Assist KPB with development of a localemergency plan.

If the Emergency Response Commissionapproves the local emergency plan, thenan amendment to this agreement will bedeveloped which assures that DEC willreimburse KPB for expenditures that mayoccur in the event KPB participates in oilspill or hazardous substance dischargeresponse and cleanup.

Assist KPB with implementation of thelocal emergency plan after it is approved

by the SERC. Ongoing.

2. Solid Waste and DisposalThe KPB has responsibility forsolid waste disposal throughout

the entire borough. KPB operatesa number of landfill sites withDEC permits.

DEC will process applications for solidwaste disposal permits as efficiently as

possible, assist the city in public meeting,and provide suggestions for differenttechniques for disposing of wastewaterand solid wastes.

Assist in long-range planning foroperation of solid waste sites in a cost-

effective and environmentally safemanner.

3. Leaking UndergroundStorage Tank ProgramThere are leaking undergroundstorage tanks in the KPB area.

DEC will meet regularly and coordinateactivities with other State agencies, localgovernments within the KPB to assist inproblem identification and to promotecompliance. Assist tank owners to remainin compliance with all applicable Stateand federal regulations to maintain

eligibility for participation in the State’sUnderground Storage Tank AssistanceFund Program.

Cleanup of existing leaks and spills,prevent future leaks from UST systems inorder to prevent the public fromcontamination of drinking water and toprotect the environment.

4. Treatment/Disposal ofContaminated SoilsThere are contaminated soils atmany and scattered locations

within the borough but there isno place to store or dispose ofthis material.

Assist in locating an acceptable site fordisposal of contaminated soils. Assist indeveloping methods for treatment ofcontaminated soils.

To provide an environmentally safelocation for storage/disposal ofcontaminated soils. To assist indevelopment of treatment methods.

5. Household Hazardous Waste(Spring Cleanup)

Residents and small businessesgenerate hazardous wastes. Since 1983 DEC has funded an annualhazardous waste cleanup. The strategy isto first determine how much waste existsand to divert as much hazardous wastesfrom landfills.

Continue to fund KPB for this year anddivert as much residential and smallbusiness waste as possible from thelandfills. In the future DEC wants to bringthis service to more communities.

6. Air and Water QualityThere are concerns regardingexisting and the future qualityof air and water resources.

Continue to identify sources of pollutionand provide monitoring assistance.

Work toward improving andmaintaining high quality of air and

water resources.

Appendix A: Environmental Community Agreement 97

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (101)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 101/156

Present Situation Strategy Goals

7. Subdivision Plan ReviewThere are conflicting interpreta-tions of the subdivision reviewprocess.

Cooperate in resolving proceduralproblems regarding subdivision platreviews and approvals.

To ensure that new parcels created bysubdivisions are adequate to supportonsite septic systems.

8. Hazardous Waste SitesThere are a number of hazar-dous waste sites located in theKPB.

The ADEC will provide to the KPBquarterly copies of the Hazardous SiteStatus Report and provide the KPB withfurther guidance and assistance todetermine the impacts of these sites.

A detailed impact assessment of existinghazardous waste sites as identified in theKenai cleanup inventory is needed.

9. Septage Disposal and SmallIncineratorsThe KPB is concerned about thenumber and impact of smallincinerators as well as theimpacts of septage disposal.

A continued dialogue will be maintainedwith the KPB with regard to incineratorsites and impacts from septage disposalto ensure that actions serve the public


Ensure that ADEC actions meet withgoals of the KPB and serve the publicpurpose.

10. Public RelationsThe amount of information pro-

vided to the public and the KPBregarding environmental issuesand regulations is limited.

Provide for continued dialogue with theKPB to ensure adequate transfer ofinformation and enhance the relationshipand understanding between the KPB andthe ADEC.

Develop a Kenai Environmental AdvisoryBoard to provide community input andguidance regarding local environmentalissues.

Ensure that the KPB and the public arekept informed about changes to and newenvironmental regulations and issues intheir community.

11. Oil and Hazardous

Substance Release andResponse Fund (OHSRRF)Limited information is availableregarding the expenditure ofOHSRRF monies.

Provide the KPB a statement ofaccounting for this fund upon request.

Ensure that the KPB has adequateinformation regarding the expenditure ofOHSRRF monies.

98 Appendix A: Environmental Community Agreement

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (102)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 102/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (103)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 103/156

The Safe Drinking Water Act also applies to privately owned public water systems suchas mobile home parks and water companies. noncommunity systems, such as factories,schools, and campgrounds with their own water supply, also fall within the regulations.Compliance is the responsibility of the owner/operator of these nonmunicipal systems,but people will probably turn to local officials if something is wrong with their watersystem. Therefore, if such systems exist in your community, it’s a good idea to be aware of

the requirements for these systems and work with the systems’ owners/operators to providesafe drinking water. These systems may also benefit from consolidation with the municipalsystem.

As a local official responsible for a community water system, you need to do several thingsto make sure that your community is in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act:

Make sure that a certified operatorruns your public water system. Most states havemandatory certification for operators.

Make sure that your operator takes advantage of training opportunities by the stateand others.

Your operator is responsible forwater quality testing. Make sure that your operator istaking water samples correctly and sending them to a state-certified laboratory for analysis.

Test results must be reported to the state agency within 10 days of receiving them. If samplesexceed safe levels of a regulated contaminant, the operator must notify the state within 48hours and the public as soon as possible and begin efforts to correct the problem.

According to the Surface Water Treatment Rule, if your water system uses surfacewater (an intake in a river or lake) or ground water that is under the direct influence ofsurface water (your state agency will determine this), you must disinfect your water.

Your state agency can tell you if your system also requires filtration. If your drinkingwater source is surface water, you may also want to work with the state to protect the

watershed area from contamination.If your drinking water source is ground water, find out more aboutwellhead protec-tion. Work with your state to protect wellhead areas from contamination. Also consider

working with private water systems in your community to implement wellhead protection.

Some communities find that forming partnerships with neighboring communities toshare the cost of needed monitoring, improvements, or qualified personnel is a good

way to save money.

What Contaminants Does My Community Need To Test For?EPA has established maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) based on estimated healthrisks that many contaminants might cause. Eighty-three substances are regulated by theSafe Drinking Water Act, and the list is growing. Most of these substances fall into one ofthe following categories: coliform bacteria, disinfection byproducts, inorganicchemicals, synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, fluorides, lead and copper,

radionuclides,nitrate/nitrite, and asbestos. Information about each of these categories

100 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (104)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 104/156

is provided below. In addition, basic monitoring requirements for these categories are listedin the table on page 106. Contact your state agency to find out more information aboutdrinking water standards as they apply to your community.

Coliform Bacteria Total coliform bacteria are known as “indicator organisms” because they are easilymeasured and serve to “indicate” if disease-causing bacteria (pathogens), such as fecalcoliform, are present.

Most community water systems, as well as most noncommunity water systems (publicwater systems that do not serve residential populations), must submit samples for coliformbacteria on a regular monthly basis. You are required to submit at least one routine sampleper month for your system depending on its size. Follow procedures for sampling providedby your testing laboratory or state agency.

If your system does not test positive for total coliforms:

Continue to submit regular samples and review results.

Maintain a good operation and maintenance program for your water system, includingregular line flushing at fire hydrants and on dead ends.

If your system has a positive total coliform sample result:

Immediately call your state agency and ask for help in repeating sampling and analysisand locating any possible sources of contamination.

Follow the state agency’s direction in issuing public notices and any state emergencymeasures that may be required.

Correct any problems causing contamination immediately. Contact one of the resourceagencies listed in Appendix D of this book if you need technical support or help infinancing arrangements.

Disinfection Byproducts

Disinfectants (such as chlorine) are the primary defense against diseases caused bymicrobiological contaminants in public water systems. The disinfectants themselves,however, have the potential to react with organic materials in the water and form

byproducts that can contaminate the water. All public water supply systems are requiredto disinfect their water, although exceptions may be granted if the water comes fromsources that are determined not to be at risk from microbiological contamination. Indi-

vidual states will determine if monitoring for disinfection byproducts is necessary, depend-ing on each system’s vulnerability to byproduct development. At present, four disinfectionbyproducts are regulated, but only in community water supplies serving populations of10,000 or greater. New rules are under development that might include smaller systems.

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 101

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (105)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 105/156

Contact your state agency for more information about monitoring for disinfection bypro-ducts.

Inorganic Chemicals

Even if your community has little pollution, inorganic chemicals are likely to enter yourwater naturally from the rocks and soil surrounding the water supply. Exposure to highlevels of certain inorganic chemicals can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, nervous system,and circulatory system.

EPA has set MCLs for 17 inorganic chemicals. All community water supply systems mustmonitor for regulated inorganic chemicals in their water supplies. Under the present rules,sampling for inorganic chemicals is required every 3 years from each sampling point forground-water supplies and every year from each sampling point for surface water supplies.Contact your state agency to obtain more detailed information about sampling require-ments and MCLs for inorganic chemicals.


Nitrates and nitrites are inorganic compounds that can occur naturally or can be intro-duced into drinking water from feedlots, fertilizers, and wastewater. Community watersystems must monitor annually for nitrates/nitrites if they use ground-water sources andquarterly if they use surface water sources. Contact your state agency for more informationabout nitrate/nitrite monitoring requirements.

Synthetic and Volatile Organic Chemicals

Synthetic organic chemicals are human-made compounds used for a variety of industrial,manufacturing, and agricultural purposes. For testing purposes, synthetic organic com-pounds are divided into two groups: volatile synthetic organic chemicals (VOCs) andnonvolatile synthetic organic chemicals (SOCs), depending on how easily they are releasedinto the atmosphere. The effects of these chemicals include damage to the nervous systemand kidneys, as well as possible cancer risks.

Unless you are granted a waiver by the state, all public water supply systems are requiredto test for SOCs, such as pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). All small water

systems (defined as less than 150 service connections) must monitor for 21 regulatedVOCs. Contact your state agency for more specific information on monitoring require-ments and MCLs for both SOCs and VOCs.

102 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (106)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 106/156


Fluorides are compounds that contain the element fluorine. They occur naturally in manywater sources and are added in the treatment process by many public water supply systems.In small amounts (between 1.0 and 1.5 milligrams per liter), fluoride helps reduce toothdecay; amounts greater that 2.0 milligrams per liter can have harmful health effects.

All community public water systems must test for fluoride at every entry point to thedistribution system after treatment. Tests must be made every 3 years for ground-watersupplies and/or every year for surface water supplies. Contact your state agency forinformation about fluoride sampling requirements.

Lead and Copper

Lead and copper are inorganic chemicals that often come from pipes or plumbing fixturesin water systems that have corrosive water. Lead can cause damage to the nervous system

and kidneys, and can be very toxic to infants and pregnant women. Copper causes stomachand intestinal problems.

In June 1991, EPA published new rules requiring tests at customer taps. Monitoring mustbe conducted in “high-risk” homes (those with newer lead solder, lead pipes, or lead servicelines). High levels of lead and copper require treatment to reduce the corrosiveness of the

water, and possibly replacement of lead service lines. Ask your state agency for moreinformation about monitoring, treatment, and public education requirements.

EPA also banned the use of solder and flux with more than 0.2 percent lead and the use ofpipes containing more than 8.0 percent lead in new plumbing installed in facilitiesconnected to the public water supply. This law only applies to plumbing that distributes

drinking water and does not require the removal of existing solder. Check with your stateagency for more information about the Lead Materials Ban.


Radionuclides are radioactive particles that occur naturally in areas of uranium and radiumdeposits and also are found in nuclear waste. Radionuclides that can occur in drinking

water include gross alpha, gross beta, radium 226 and 228, uranium, and radon. Radionu-clides, even in very small concentrations, pose a cancer risk. Radon, for example, can occurin almost all ground-water supplies, and concern exists about possible cancer risks fromair exposure to radon volatilized through shower heads or laundry.

All community public water supply systems must test for radionuclides (except radon anduranium) every 4 years. Check with your state agency to find out if there have been anychanges to the monitoring requirements.

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 103

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (107)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 107/156


Asbestos fibers in drinking water are a suspected cancer-causing agent. Asbestos occursnaturally in some water supplies, or it can enter water in the distribution system as a resultof corrosive action on asbestos cement water pipes. All public water supply systems mustmonitor for asbestos. If asbestos is not likely to occur in your water source, you do not

have asbestos cement pipes, or your water is noncorrosive, you could be eligible for awaiver from your state agency. Contact your state agency for more information aboutasbestos monitoring requirements and waiver eligibility.

What Should I Do if Test Results Exceed MCLs?

In all cases, if the level of a contaminant in the public water supply is higher than theMCL, you should:

Notify your state agency as soon as possible.

Notify the public of the violation as directed by your state agency.

Work with your state agency and/or an engineer to find the source of contaminationand the best way to reduce the amount of the contaminant in your water supply.

Work with your state agency to see if your community can continue to use the watersupply while you explore solutions to the contamination.

Ask your state agency and other assistance agencies (listed in Chapter 8) for help infinding the financial resources you need to make the necessary changes in the watersystem.

Public Notification

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires that all owners or operators of public drinkingwater systems notify their customers when drinking water standards are violated. Thepurpose of public notification is to inform consumers of any potential adverse healtheffects, and to tell them what steps they can take to minimize their impact. Always notify

your state agency of the violation first, and ask their direction in proceeding with publicnotification.

Where Are the Regulations Published?

The regulations implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act can be found in the Code ofFederal Regulations, Title 40, Parts 141, 142, and 143.

104 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (108)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 108/156

Wellhead Protection

The best way to avoid contamination and expensive cleanup procedures is to prevent yourwater supply from becoming polluted in the first place. The 1986 Amendments to the SafeDrinking Water Act ask each state to develop awellhead protection programto protect

public water supply wells and wellfields from contamination. The law specifies that allstates participate; however, there are no penalties for states that do not participate, nor arethere funds available to help states develop these programs. In addition, EPA has noauthority to set up a wellhead protection program if a state chooses not to establish one.

According to the 1986 Amendments, each state must develop a wellhead protectionprogram that:

Specifies roles and duties of local governments, state agencies, and public watersuppliers with respect to the state’s wellhead protection program.

Establishes a wellhead protection area for each wellhead.

Identifies the sources of contamination at each wellhead.Develops ways to protect the water supply within wellhead protection areas from thosecontaminants.

Develops plans for each public water supply to respond to well or wellfield contamina-tion.

An effective wellhead protection program requires the participation of all levels ofgovernment. Your responsibilities as a local government official depend on the specificrequirements of your state’s wellhead protection program. Frequently, local governmentsare responsible for ensuring that the wellhead areas are properly protected from contami-nation. Typical practices used by local governments to protect ground-water quality include:

Implementing zoning ordinances that protect wellhead areas, such as ground-waterprotection districts, and implementing restrictions on certain types of land uses.

Developing land-use plans, such as a regional or local master plan.

Developing health regulations that prohibit certain activities, such as the use ofunderground fuel storage tanks or chemical septic cleaners, within the wellheadprotection area. Local health regulations also can require businesses using hazardousmaterials to register with local authorities, who can inspect these facilities periodicallyto ensure proper handling of those materials.

If your state adopts a wellhead protection program, you will be required to enforce yourstate’s specific requirements for your area. Even if your state does not adopt a wellheadprotection program, it is in your community’s interest to do everything possible to protect

your water supply. To find out more about protecting the quality of your community’swater supply, contact your state agency.

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 105

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (109)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 109/156

Drinking Water Regulations

SubstanceWhat Should Be Done To Comply Withthe Regulation?*¦ How Often Do I Need To Take Samples?


s Test for total coliform bacteria.s Work with state to establish a “sample-siting

plan” for your community that lists wheresamples should be taken each month.

s Complete a sanitary survey of your watersystem at least once every 5 years. This isusually done by the state agency. The initialsurvey must be conducted by June 29, 1994.

s Take and submit at least one sample per month. Thenumber of samples required depends on your system’ssize.

s If the sample tests positive for total coliform, collectfour repeat samples within 24 hours of notification ofthe positive result. Repeat samples must be collected

within five service connections of the original sample,with at least one at the original location, one upstreamand one downstream. Analyze the positive sample forfecal coliform (E. coli).

s After the state reviews the sanitary survey, it canchange the monitoring frequency, which may reducethe number of routine samples required. Without the

sanitary survey, you need to collect five routine samplesevery month.


s Test water for inorganic chemicals.s If levels of inorganic chemicals in your

water are low, apply for a waiver from yourstate agency to reduce required testing.

s Nitrate/nitrite sampling requirements cannotbe waived.

s Test surface water systems yearly and ground-water systems every 3 years.

s With waiver, test every 9 years (from 1993).s For nitrates, test surface water systems quarterly

and ground-water systems yearly.s Every public water system must sample for nitrites

once. The state then determines whether and howoften systems must do repeat sampling.

SOCs s Cooperate with your state agency todetermine your water supply’s vulnerabilityto SOCs. If your system is not vulnerable,apply for a waiver from the state exempting

you from sampling requirements until 1996.s If your system is vulnerable, work with your

state agency to take the first round of samples.

s Vulnerable systems must be sampled every 3 months,beginning in 1993.

s If no SOCs are found in the first round of sampling,repeat sampling as follows:Population Served Number of Samples> 3,300 Two samples every 3 years< 3,300 One sample every 3 years

s With a waiver, no monitoring is required until 1996.Before 1996, the vulnerability assessment must beupdated and a new waiver must be granted for thenext compliance period.

VOCs s Conduct initial sampling and repeatsampling, if necessary, for regulated

VOCs in the water supply.s Inform your customers if you find out

that your public water supply has VOCsviolations or a monitoring waiver.

s For initial sampling, take one sample every 3 monthsfor 1 year before 1996. Your state will designateeither 1993, 1994, or 1995 as the year in which

your system will be required to take samples.s For repeat sampling, take yearly samples for both

ground-water and surface water systems.s Conduct a “vulnerability assessment” and use data

from initial sampling or previously collected data toapply for a waiver for additional sampling requirements.

*If MCL is exceeded, see “What Should I Do If Test Results Exceed MCLs?” on page 104.

¦Contact your state agency for more detailed and up-to-date information on drinking water regulations affecting your


106 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (110)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 110/156

Drinking Water Regulations (continued)

SubstanceWhat Should Be Done To Comply Withthe Regulation?*¦¦ How Often Do I Need To Take Samples?

Fluoride s Test water at every entry point to the

distribution system after treatment.s If fluoride levels are over 2.0 mg/L, ask your

state agency and/or engineer how to lowerthe fluoride level, and notify the public aboutthe health effects of fluoride.

s Test surface water systems yearly and ground-water

systems every 3 years.

Lead andcopper

s Complete a “materials evaluation” of thedistribution system.

s Collect tap water samples from high-riskplaces (homes with lead pipe, lead servicelines, and copper pipe with lead solderinstalled after 1982). Contact your stateagency for sampling procedures.

s If the system exceeds either action level inmore than 10 percent of tap samples, addi-tional monitoring, corrosion control, and publiceducation requirements apply. Your state willhelp you.

s Collect one tap sample from the following number ofsites every 6 months:Population Number of Sites<100 5< 500 10501-3,300 20

s Collect samples from each entry point into the

distribution system every 6 months.s If the system meets the action levels for copper and

lead for two consecutive monitoring periods, checkwith your state agency about reducing the samplingfrequency to once per year. If the system continues tomeet action levels for 3 years, sampling frequencymay be further reduced.

Radionuclides s Test for gross alpha particle activity andcombined radium 226 and 228.

s For initial sampling, take one sample every 3 monthsfor 1 year.

s Unless the average of initial tests results showsradionuclide levels above or near the MCL, repeat thetest once every 4 years.

s A revised regulation, which will include monitoringrequirements for uranium and radon, is scheduled tobe published in April 1995. Contact your state agencyto find out how the new regulation will affect yourcommunity.

Asbestos s Cooperate with the state agency to performa vulnerability assessment.

s If you have asbestos cement pipes, takesamples from the tap.

s If you have asbestos in the source water only,take samples from each entry point to thedistribution system.

s If asbestos is unlikely to be in yoursystem, apply for a waiver from your stateagency to avoid unnecessary testing.

s Test for asbestos once every 9 years (at least oncebefore 1996).

s With an asbestos waiver, no testing for asbestos isrequired.

*If MCL is exceeded, see “What Should I Do If Test Results Exceed MCLs?” on page 104.

¦Contact your state agency for more detailed and up-to-date information on drinking water regulations affecting your


Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 107

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (111)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 111/156

Wastewater Treatment

Federal regulations have been developed to govern various aspects of wastewater treat-

ment. These regulations cover:Pretreatment of industrial wastewaters.

Limitations on the level of pollutants in wastewater discharged into waterways.

Management of the solid materials removed from the wastewater during the treatmentprocess (sludge).

Each of these topics, and the federal regulations governing them, are discussed below.

Pretreatment of Industrial WastewaterPretreatment of industrial wastewaters refers to the steps that industries take to removepollutants from wastewater before they discharge it into the public sewer system. Pretreat-ment must remove toxic and hazardous pollutants from wastewaters, which could eitherpass through or interfere with the community treatment plant. The Clean Water Act of1977 setNational Pretreatment Standards to control pollutants that cannot be removedby or might interfere with wastewater treatment processes.

The National Pretreatment Standards specify quantities or concentrations of pollutantsthat may be discharged to a treatment plant by industrial users. In addition, the National

Pretreatment Standards prohibit everyone, including the public, from putting the follow-ing pollutants in their wastewater:

Flammable, corrosive, solid, or viscous pollutants.

Any pollutant released at a high concentration that can interfere with the collectingsewer and the treatment process.

Petroleum oil, nonbiodegradable cutting oil, and products of mineral oil origin.

Pollutants that result in toxic gases or vapors.

Any trucked or hauled wastes, except at discharge points designated by the publicly

owned treatment works (POTW).

Does This Regulation Apply to My Community?

Traditionally, small wastewater treatment plants with a design flow of less than 1 milliongallons per day are not required to establish local pretreatment programs. Very smallcommunities often have few, if any, industrial users.

108 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (112)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 112/156

If your community does have industrial users (such as sawmills, food processing plants,and metal finishers) that discharge the type of pollutants described on the previous page,

which could pass through or interfere with your treatment facility, your community mighthave to implement a pretreatment program to satisfy the National Pollutant DischargeElimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. EPA or approved state environmentalcontrol agencies have the responsibility for administering these permits. (NPDES permits

are discussed later in this section.) In addition, state agencies will implement pretreatmentprograms for communities that are too small to implement their own.

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

To determine whether you are required to set up a pretreatment program in yourcommunity, contact your state water quality agency. If such a program is necessary, theagency will assist you in its development. Make sure that all affected industries are awareof the pretreatment standards that they need to meet.

If you are required to establish a pretreatment program, you must establish local ordinancesand other procedures to implement program requirements. You must also identify per-sonnel who will be responsible for administering and enforcing the program.

Finally, any time you suspect a problem caused by a nondomestic wastewater producer, notifyyour treatment works operator, county sanitarian, andappropriate state agency or department.

Where Are the Regulations Published?

The regulations for pretreatment of industrial wastewater are in the Code of Federal

Regulations, Title 40, Part 403.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

In response to the nation’s growing concern about water pollution, major federal laws werepassed in the 1970s that required the restoration and maintenance of clean water forresidential, commercial, recreational, and agricultural uses. The 1972 Amendments to the

Water Pollution Control Act, which was later amended and renamed the Clean WaterAct in 1977, set federal water quality standards and cleanup schedules for meetingpollution control requirements. One way in which the goals of these acts are achieved isthrough NPDES permits, which set limits on the level of pollutants allowed to bedischarged. These permits, issued mostly by state agencies but in some cases by EPA, areissued to operators that discharge any pollutant from point sources to a navigable waterway,such as a lake, river, stream, wetland, or ocean.

Under the Clean Water Act, states must determine how each body of navigable water isto be classified. This classification designates the water body for one or more of the

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 109

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (113)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 113/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (114)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 114/156

Where Are the Regulations Published?

The regulations governing the NPDES permitting process are in the Code of FederalRegulations, Title 40, Parts 122 to 125. The Secondary Treatment Regulations are in Title40, Part 133.

Sludge Management

Sewage sludge (biosolids) is removed from wastewater during the treatment process.Federal regulations require that sludge be handled properly when it is used for beneficialpurposes (such as for a soil conditioner or fertilizer) or when it is disposed of in a landfill,other surface disposal site, or an incinerator. Different requirements apply for sludge thatis used for beneficial purposes and sludge that is disposed of. Sludge can be stored on sitefor up to 2 years before use or disposal. Sludge that remains on site for more than 2 years

must meet disposal requirements.

Do These Regulations Apply to My Community?

These regulations apply to all communities that use a central wastewater treatment plantor mechanical plant, including a lagoon, which produces sludge.

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

If your community generates sludge through its wastewater treatment process, you should:

Contact the water division of your EPA regional office to find out about obtaining apermit for sludge generation and management. You will have to apply for a sludgepermit during your next NPDES permit renewal.

Collect representative samples of the sewage sludge and test for regulated metals.

Properly dispose of the sludge. Sludge may not be placed in unlined surface areas whenarsenic, chromium, and nickel levels are above regulatory pollutant levels.

If your community uses sludge for beneficial purposes, you should be aware of and followproper methods for the agricultural and nonagricultural land application of sludge. Theuse of contaminated sludge can threaten the health of the residents of your community.

Where Are the Regulations Published?

Sewage Sludge Program Regulations are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title40, Parts 122, 123, and 501. Technical regulations for sewage sludge use and disposal arein Title 40, Parts 258 and 503.

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 111

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (115)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 115/156

Wetlands Protection

“Wetlands” are marshes, swamps, bogs, and other similar wet areas. Wetlands can be

coastal or inland, saltwater or freshwater. They are an important resource because theyhelp improve water quality, reduce flood and storm damages, provide important fish and

wildlife habitats, and support hunting and fishing activities. The two most important lawsdealing with wetlands protection are Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and theSwampbuster Section of the Food Security Act.

Under Section 404, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established a permitprogram to control the release and dumping of dredged or fill materials into most wetlands.

As a result, you need to apply for a permit for almost any type of activity that affects ormight affect wetlands, such as dumping or building on or near a wetland. The Swampbusterprogram withholds federal farm program benefits from anyone who:

Plants a crop on a wetland that was converted into farm land after December 23, 1985.

Converts a wetland to use as farm land after November 28, 1990.

Does This Regulation Apply to My Community?

Wetlands can be found in almost every county of every state in the United States. Althoughthere are many exceptions, especially for farmers, you should always assume that you needa permit and check with someone from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before you

begin any activities that might affect a wetland. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers willbe able to tell you if you need an individual permit or not. Anyone who violates Section404, either by not getting a permit or by disregarding the conditions of a permit, may haveto pay to restore the area, pay fines, and/or go to jail.

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

To comply with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, you should:

Find out where wetlands are located in your community by ordering wetland maps(800-USA-MAPS).

Before beginning any projects that might affect wetlands in your area, check with theU.S. Army Corps of Engineers to see if a Section 404 permit is needed.

Inform your community about the requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Actthrough public education, particularly directed to land developers and builders, so thatcorrect procedures are used and costly violations are avoided.

112 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (116)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 116/156

Where Are the Regulations Published?

The regulations implementing Section 404 of the Clean Water Act are in the Code of FederalRegulations, Title 40, Part 230.

Nonpoint Source Pollution

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants—such as grease and oil from streets and parking lots,pet wastes, lawn fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals from agricultural and industrial sites, soilfrom construction sites—can enter ground water and surface waters, causing problems

with water quality in your community. NPS pollutants are typically carried over and

through the ground by rainfall and snowmelt. Rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters, andwetlands all experience major negative effects as the result of nonpoint source pollution.

NPS pollution is difficult to regulate because it comes from a variety of sources and oftenresults from the ordinary and necessary things that we do, such as farming and buildinghouses. EPA has decided that flexible state and local decision-making is the best way tocontrol NPS pollution. TheNational Nonpoint Source Programunder Section 319 ofthe Clean Water Actrequires states to identify:

Any navigable waters that are affected or threatened by NPS pollution

The pollution sources affecting those same waters

How Do NPS Pollution Control Regulations Affect My Community?

Control of NPS pollution is voluntary for most small communities. If NPS pollution is havinga major effect on the water quality of your community, it is in your best interest to control theproblem. EPA’s system for choosing a plan to control NPS pollution is calledbest managementpractices (BMPs). BMPs can be cost effective and easy to use if they are prudently applied.

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

As a local official, you are responsible for finding out if your state has laws regulating NPSpollution. You should:

Contact your state environmental agency to ask if any navigable waters in yourcommunity are affected or threatened by NPS pollution.

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 113

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (117)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 117/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (118)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 118/156

water. In states without EPA-approved programs, landfills must be designed with acomposite liner (made of synthetic material) covering a 2-foot clay liner and a collectionsystem to capture and treat leachate.

Small community landfills are exempt from the design requirements of the regulation ifthey receive less than 20 tons of solid waste each day (based on a yearly average), show no

evidence of ground-water contamination, andmeet one of the following conditions:Weather or other causes make it difficult for community residents to get to a regionallandfill for 3 months in a row of every year.

There are no practical alternatives for solid waste disposal, and there is less than 25inches of precipitation each year.

Your state agency must approve of the design before a landfill can be built or structuralchanges to an old landfill or dump can be made.

All landfills must have monitoring wells to detect any ground-water contamination. Ifground water is contaminated, the owner/operator is required to clean it up to acceptable

standards to protect people’s health and the environment.Check with your state agency to learn the schedule you must follow to comply with theground-water monitoring requirements.


Owners and operators of both new and existing landfills must observe the followingoperating criteria:

Keep out hazardous waste.

Cover each day’s waste with soil to prevent the spread of disease by rats, flies,mosquitoes, and other animals.

Monitor for methane gas. If emission levels in the landfill are over a certain limit, notifyyour state agency and develop a plan to solve the problem.

Restrict access to the landfill to prevent illegal dumping and other unauthorized intrusions.

Control stormwater runoff and discharge to surface waters.

Refuse bulk or noncontainerized liquid waste, such as from tank trucks or in 55-gallon drums.

Control air emissions. Emissions from landfills may not violate state and federal cleanair laws and regulations. Open burning of waste is prohibited at landfills.

Keep records.

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 115

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (119)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 119/156

Closure and Postclosure Care

Landfills can close for many reasons. Eventually every landfill becomes full and cannotaccept more solid waste. Landfills also may be required to close if they violate a require-ment, such as location or design, or if the presence of the landfill has become a threat to

people’s health or the environment in the area. When a landfill closes, the owner andoperator must follow very specific procedures to prevent the closed landfill from causinghealth or environmental problems:

Prepare, in advance, a written plan that describes all of the steps that will be taken toclose the landfill.

Develop a plan to pay for the maintenance, closure, and postclosure care of the landfill.Owners and operators need to prepare a detailed written cost estimate of how much it

would cost to hire someone else to complete the closure, postclosure care, and anynecessary cleanup. They need to assure the state that they will set aside at least thatmuch money. Each owner or operator should consult with the state agency about the

best way to do this.Notify the state agency of the intention to close the landfill.

Complete closure activities within 180 days of starting closure.

Install a final cover over the landfill to prevent rainwater from getting into the landfilland to prevent as much erosion as possible.

Hire an engineer to verify that the closure has been completed according to the closureplan.

Make a note on the property deed to inform anyone who might buy the land in thefuture that the land had been used as a landfill and therefore its use is restricted.

Prepare, in advance, a written plan for postclosure that includes:

— A description of the required monitoring and maintenance equipment.

— The name, address, and telephone number of the person or office to contact aboutthe landfill during the postclosure period.

— A description of the planned uses for the property during postclosure.

The owner or operator is also responsible for postclosure care of the landfill area for 30years after the landfill closes. Postclosure care includes:

Maintaining the final cover, including making repairs caused by erosion or any other

damage.Maintaining and operating the leachate collection system, if there is one.

Monitoring the ground water as necessary.

Maintaining and operating a gas monitoring system.

Hiring an engineer to inspect the landfill at the end of the postclosure period to verifythat everything has been done according to the postclosure plan.

116 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (120)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 120/156

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

To comply with the Subtitle D Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Criteria, you should contactyour state agency to find out if your community’s landfill is exempt from any of the SubtitleD regulations. Then follow the regulations that do apply.

In addition, as a community leader, you should try to reduce the amount of solid wastethat your community produces by:

Conducting public education programs that encourage people to buy reusable productsand products with less packaging.

Evaluating a recycling program for materials such as glass, aluminum, plastic bottles,white paper, and newspaper, either alone or in cooperation with other communities inyour area.

Considering the pros and cons of a community program for composting yard wastes.

Educating your community about the proper way to deal with wastes that should not

be taken to the landfill, such as tires, batteries, used motor oil, and many hazardoushousehold products. Contact your state agency about ideas for collecting these mate-rials.

Where Are the Regulations Published?

The Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Criteria can be found in theCode of Federal Regula-

tions, Title 40, Part 258.

Hazardous Waste Management

RCRA, as amended in 1984, regulates the disposal of all household, municipal, commer-cial, and industrial waste, including hazardous waste. The main goals of RCRA are:

To protect people’s health and the environment from the potential hazards of wastedisposal.

To reduce the amount of waste generated, including hazardous waste.

To conserve energy and natural resources.

To ensure that wastes are managed properly.

A hazardous waste is a waste that poses a potential danger to people’s health and/or theenvironment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 117

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (121)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 121/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (122)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 122/156

ground water. Toxicity is identified through a laboratory test called the Toxicity

Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP).

EPA regulations require all waste generators to evaluate whether their wastes have any ofthe four hazardous characteristics. Wastes that have any of these characteristics are subjectto Subtitle C hazardous waste regulations. In addition, some wastes are considered to be

“acutely hazardous.” These are wastes that EPA has determined to be very dangerous, evenin small amounts, such as certain pesticides and wastes containing dioxins.

The following wastes are among those not included in the RCRA hazardous wasteregulations:

Domestic sewage.

Irrigation return water or industrial wastewater effluent permitted under NPDES (seethe section on wastewater treatment).

Household hazardous wastes.

Agricultural wastes generated by the growing or harvesting of crops or raising of

animals (including animal manures) that are returned to the soil as fertilizer.

Wastes from businesses that generate fewer than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) ofhazardous waste each month.

If you are not sure if a business, industry, or municipal facility in your community isgenerating a hazardous waste or is subject to the RCRA hazardous waste regulations,contact your state agency or the RCRA Hotline at 800-424-9346.

Where Are the Regulations Published?The hazardous waste regulations can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40,Parts 260-272.

Underground Storage Tank Safety

There are several million underground storage tanks (USTs) in the United States thatcontain petroleum or hazardous chemicals. As many as 20 percent of all USTs might nowbe leaking, and many more are expected to leak in the future. Leaking USTs can causefires or explosions that threaten people’s safety. They also can contaminate nearby ground

water and cause problems with drinking water quality.

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 119

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (123)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 123/156

Congress responded to the problem of leaking USTs by adding Subtitle I to RCRA. Thegoals of the UST regulations are to:

Prevent leaks and spills.

Find, correct, and clean up leaks and spills.

Make sure that owners and operators of USTs can pay for fixing the problems causedby their leaks.

Does This Regulation Apply to My Community?

These regulations apply to you if you own or operate a UST storing either petroleum orcertain hazardous chemicals. A UST is one or any combination of tanks, includingunderground piping connected to the tank, that has at least 10 percent of the volumeunderground.

Some kinds of tanks are notcovered by these regulations:

Farm and residential tanks holding 1,100 gallons or less of motor fuel used fornoncommercial purposes.

Tanks storing heating oil that is used on the premises where it is stored.

Tanks on or above the floor of underground areas, such a basem*nts or tunnels, whereit is possible to physically inspect the tank for leaks.

Septic tanks and systems for collecting stormwater and wastewater.

Tanks holding 110 gallons or less.

Emergency spill and overfill tanks.

If you are unsure whether or not the UST regulations apply to you, contact your stateenvironmental agency or the RCRA Hotline at 800-424-9346.

What Are the Specific Requirements of RCRA Subtitle I?

RCRA Subtitle I regulates the installation, maintenance, monitoring, and closure of both

new and existing USTs. The regulations also give specific instructions for the proper wayto deal with leaks and spills, including corrective action. According to the regulations, newUSTs are those installed after December 22, 1988, and existing USTs are those installedon or before December 22, 1988. All new USTs must comply with the regulations beforeinstallation. Existing USTs will eventually need to comply with the same regulations asnew USTs. The deadlines for compliance, however, are spread out over time. Therequirements for petroleum and chemical USTs are very similar, although there are a fewspecial requirements for chemical USTs.

120 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (124)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 124/156


Subtitle I requires that you:

Use qualified installers who follow industry codes.

Certify on a notification form (available from your state agency) that you have used a

qualified installer who can assure you that your UST has been installed correctly.

Corrosion Protection, Spill/Overfill Prevention, and LeakDetection

The box on page 122 lists the regulations regarding corrosion protection, spill/overfillprevention, and leak detection for new and existing USTs. Existing tanks must be equipped

with leak detection by December 1993 and must have corrosion protection and spill/over-fill prevention by December 1998. All existing piping must comply with corrosion

prevention requirements by December 1998 and with leak detection requirements byDecember 1993; however, spill/overfill prevention requirements do not apply to piping.

Leaks and Spills

There are several requirements for both reporting and correcting leaks and spills. Ingeneral, here is what you should do when you have a leak or spill:

Stop the leak or contain the spill immediately.

Within 24 hours, notify your state agency of the leak or spill. Report all underground

leaks. Report petroleum spills and overfills of 25 gallons or more, or any that cause an“oil slick” on nearby surface water.If you are not sure of the amount, report it.

Identify and mitigate fire, explosion, and vapor hazards. Ask your local fire departmentto test for explosive conditions and to help you decide how to deal with any poisonous

vapors or flammable liquids and how to go about cleaning up the leak or spill.

Contact professionals who might be able to help you determine the extent of contami-nation, prepare a cleanup plan, and clean up the site.

Keep detailed records of the actions you have taken or plan to take:

— Report your progress to your state agency or regulatory authority no later than 20

days after the leak or spill.

— Report whether the leak has damaged or might damage the environment within 45days of the leak or spill, including how you plan to remove leaked petroleum.

You must repair your UST system in accordance with a national code of practice, whichgenerally requires retesting of repaired cathodic protection within 6 months, replacementof all damaged metal piping, and lifetime recordkeeping. Chemical leaks and spills havethe added requirements of also reporting the spill or overfill to the National ResponseCenter at 800-424-8802 or 202-267-2675 if they exceed “reportable quantities.” You can

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 121

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (125)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 125/156

Underground Storage Tank Requirements:Corrosion Protection, Spill/Overfill Prevention, and Leak Detection

Corrosion Protection

New tanks (Three choices) s Coated and cathodically protected steel.s Fiberglass.s Steel tank clad with fiberglass.

Existing tanks (Four choices) s Same options as for new tanks.s Add cathodic protection system.s Interior lining.s Interior lining and cathodic protection.

New piping (Two choices) s Coated and cathodically protected steel.s Fiberglass.

Existing piping (Two choices) s Same options as for new piping.s Cathodically protected steel.

Spill/Overfill Prevention

All tanks s Catchment basins and one of the following:— Automatic shutoff devices.— Overfill alarms.— Ball float valves.

Leak Detection

New tanks (Two choices) s Monthly monitoring.*s Monthly inventory control and tank tightness testing every 5 years

(only an option for 10 years after installation).¦

Existing tanks (Three choices) s Monthly monitoring.*s Monthly inventory control and annual tank tightness testing (only an

option until December 1998).

s Monthly inventory control and tank tightness testing every 5 years(only an option for 10 years after adding corrosion protection andspill/overfill prevention or until December 1998, whichever date islater).¦

New and existing pressurized piping(Choice of one from each set)

One of the following: And one of the following:s Automatic flow restrictor. sAnnual tightness testing.s Automatic shutoff device. s Monthly monitoring (excepts Continuous alarm system. automatic tank gauging).*

New and existing suction piping(Three choices)

s Monthly monitoring (except automatic tank gauging).*s Tightness testing every 3 years.s No requirements (if the system has the characteristics described in

the regulations).

Chemical USTs s Interstitial monitoring (monitoring between the layers of double-walled tanks and pipes) and secondary containment.

* Monthly monitoring includes: automatic tank gauging, vapor monitoring in soil, interstitial monitoring (i.e., monitoring between thelayers of double-walled tanks and pipes), ground-water monitoring, statistical inventory reconciliation, and other approved methods.

¦Very small tanks may also be able to use manual tank gauging.

122 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (126)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 126/156

get information about the “reportable quantities” by calling the RCRA Hotline at 800-424-9346.


If you close your UST, you must follow the requirements for permanent closure. Notifyyour state agency 30 days before you plan to close your UST. Your state agency will helpyou decide how to meet all local requirements for closure. Although USTs can also beclosed temporarily, the requirements are difficult. Details of temporary closure require-ments can be obtained from your state agency.

Reporting and Recordkeeping

As noted above, you will need to report to your state agency at the beginning and end of

your UST’s operating life, and in the case of a leak or spill. You will also have to keeprecords that can be provided to an inspector during an onsite visit that prove your facilitymeets certain requirements. These records must be kept long enough to show your facility’scompliance status in four major areas:

Keep the following leak detectionrecords:

— Last year’s monitoring results and the most recent tightness test.

— Copies of performance claims provided by leak detection manufacturers.

— Records of recent maintenance, repair, and calibration of leak detection equipmentinstalled on site.

Keep records showing that the inspections of the corrosion protectionsystem werecarried out by properly trained professionals.

Keep records showing that repairs and upgrades to the USTs were properly con-ducted.

For at least 3 years after closingan UST, keep records of the site assessment resultsrequired for permanent closure.

Check with your state agency about the particular recordkeeping requirements in yourarea. The general rule of thumb for recordkeeping is: When in doubt, keep it.

Financial Responsibility

Owners and operators of USTs are required to show, through insurance coverage or otheracceptable financial mechanisms, that they can pay for the cost of cleanups and third-partydamages resulting from any leaks that might occur. The other acceptable mechanisms forcompliance include state assurance funds, letters of credit, surety bonds, a financial test ofself-insurance, guarantees, and trust funds. Four additional mechanisms are available for

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 123

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (127)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 127/156

local government entities: bond tests, government guarantees, local government funds(trust funds), and a local government financial test.

As of January 1994, 40 states had state assurance funds that can be used as partial or evenfull mechanisms for compliance with the financial responsibility regulations. For addi-tional information about these funds, call your state regulatory agency.

The compliance deadline for petroleum marketers and nonmarketers was December 31,1993, and the deadline for local government entities was February 18, 1994.

Contact the RCRA Hotline (800-424-9346) for more information.

Where Are the Regulations Published?

The Underground Storage Tank regulations are contained in the Code of Federal Regula-

tions,Title 40, Part 280.

Emergency Response to Hazardous Substance Spills

In 1986, Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-KnowAct (EPCRA, also known as SARA Title III) to help U.S. communities deal safely and

effectively with the many hazardous substances that are used throughout our society. Thelaw has two main purposes:

To encourage and support emergency planning for responding to chemical accidents.

To provide local governments and the public with information about possible chemicalhazards in their communities.

EPCRA requires facilities to notify communities and states immediately if there is achemical spill. In addition, the act requires all facilities—large or small, manufacturing ornonmanufacturing, industrial or government—to report information about the amounts,location, and potential effects of certain hazardous chemicals present above the thresholdlevels specified by EPA.

Does This Regulation Apply to My Community?

Yes, every community in the United States must be part of a comprehensive plan forresponding to chemical emergencies. The governor of your state has appointed a State

124 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (128)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 128/156

Emergency Response Commission (SERC). Each SERC, in turn, has divided its stateinto local emergency planning districts and appointed a Local Emergency PlanningCommittee (LEPC) for each district. At a minimum, each committee must includerepresentatives of state and local government; law enforcement officials; firefighters; firstaid, health, hospital, environmental, and transportation workers; community groups;broadcast and print media; and owners and operators of industrial plants and businesses.

The LEPC is responsible for:

Developing a plan to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in its districtand reviewing the plan annually.

Receiving emergency release and hazardous chemical inventory information from localfacilities and making this information available to the public upon request.

Visiting facilities in the district to find out what they are doing to reduce hazards andprepare for accidents.

Serving as an informal source of information and discussion about hazardous sub-stances, emergency planning, and health and environmental risks for the community.

What Chemicals Must Be Reported Under the Act?

Over 1,000 chemicals are considered to be hazardous or extremely hazardous sub-stances that could represent an immediate danger to the community if they are spilled orreleased into the environment. Releases of these substances must be reported immediatelyto the SERC and LEPC. Thousands of other chemicals are considered to be hazardousor toxic chemicals that represent a significant physical or health hazard when present in

critical amounts. Facilities need to inventory these chemicals and submit specific informa-tion about these materials to the SERCs, LEPCs, and local fire departments (the firedepartment, paid or volunteer, that serves your community). For more information onhow to comply with these regulations, contact your SERC or LEPC.

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

As a local official, you are responsible for making sure that all public facilities in yourcommunity (such as hospitals, schools, wastewater or drinking water treatment plants)comply with the act by immediately reporting any hazardous or extremely hazardoussubstances that they release or spill to the SERC and LEPC.

In addition, you should take the following steps to ensure that your community is preparedto respond to chemical accidents:

Learn who represents public institutions (hospitals, schools, state and local govern-ment) on the LEPC, and contact that person to find out the information that affects

your community.

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 125

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (129)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 129/156

Make sure that the local fire department is familiar with the emergency response planfor your community and that the LEPC is satisfied with its preparedness.

Use the information collected by the SERC and LEPC to find out about hazardouschemicals in your community to help identify any potential risks to people’s health andthe environment.

Encourage public facilities in the community to voluntarily report inventories of thehazardous chemicals present at these facilities. Even though public facilities are notrequired by law to provide this information, this effort would ensure that the localresponders (fire departments, law enforcement officials, etc.) would be better informedof the hazards present in the community. This information could also be incorporatedinto the local community planning efforts for emergencies.

Where Are the Regulations Published?

The regulations implementing EPCRA can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations,Title 40, Parts 300, 350, 370, 372.

Asbestos-Containing Materials in Buildings

TheAsbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) of 1986 requires schoolsto inspect buildings for materials containing asbestos and to develop a plan to properlymanage asbestos-containing materials in all school buildings. The management plans weresubmitted to state agencies in May 1989, and school districts and individual private schoolsbegan implementing their plans in July 1989. School districts and individual private schoolsshould update their management plans to reflect any actions that they have taken.

Under theNational Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants(NESHAP),all public buildings must be inspected for asbestos-containing materials before any reno-

vation or demolition occurs. The owner must notify the appropriate regulatory agency forall demolition activities, even if asbestos is not found. If asbestos is found in a building to

be demolished, NESHAP establishes certain work practices, waste disposal methods, andrecordkeeping requirements that must be followed. For renovations, the owner must onlynotify the regulatory agency and meet work practice, waste disposal, and recordkeepingrequirements if the quantities of asbestos-containing materials exceed 160 square feet, 260linear feet, or 35 cubic feet. In addition, the 1990 amendments to AHERA mandate thatif a building owner renovates or demolishes a building regulated under NESHAP, peopleaccredited under AHERA must be used to inspect, design, and conduct all asbestos-relatedactivities.

126 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (130)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 130/156

Finally, under the Asbestos Abatement Projects Worker Protection Final Rule

(WPR), employers of public employees that are handling friable asbestos-containingmaterials must comply with provisions to protect their employees from exposure toasbestos fibers. Employers must monitor the air, use specific engineering controls and workpractices, provide medical surveillance and training to employees, and notify the EPAregional asbestos coordinator of their activities.

Do the Asbestos Regulations Apply to My Community?

Every local public school system or nonprofit private school (K-12) must designate andtrain one person to oversee asbestos-related activities, including:

Conducting inspections in every school building for asbestos-containing materials.Reinspections are required every 3 years.

Preparing and submitting management plans to the state agency. A management planincludes maintenance, repair, encapsulation, enclosure, and removal, if absolutelynecessary. The plan should include a time frame for implementation of recommendedactions.

Ensuring that only properly authorized people conduct inspections, develop the asbes-tos management plan, and design and conduct any asbestos-abatement actions.

Informing custodial and maintenance workers about the location of asbestos andposting warning labels.

Providing appropriate training for custodial and maintenance staff.

Notifying parents, teachers, and other school employees about the asbestos inspectionand the fact that they have the right to review the school’s management plans.

Keeping records of all asbestos-related activities in the plan and making them availablefor public review.

All small communities involved with the renovation or demolition of buildings mustcomply with NESHAP and AHERA accreditation requirements. In addition, if publicemployees are used to handle friable asbestos-containing materials, the community mustalso follow the WPR.

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

As a local official, you should ensure that:

Any school district within your community has complied with AHERA.

You have the names of people who are responsible for all asbestos-related activities inthe district and trained and certified asbestos inspectors and removers in the area.

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 127

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (131)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 131/156

The proper regulatory agency is notified before the demolition of any buildings.

Public employers are aware of their responsibilities under the WPR and have notifiedthe regional asbestos coordinator.

Where Are the Regulations Published?

The Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rules and the Worker Protection Rule arein the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 763. The NESHAP rules for asbestos arein Title 40, Part 61.

Radon Gas in Homes and Other Buildings

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) ofuranium in soil, rocks, and water. The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that radon is thesecond leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Radon moves up throughthe ground and enters homes and other buildings through the basem*nt or foundation. Inalmost 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States, indoor radon levels are estimated toexceed levels recommended by EPA to protect people’s health.

In 1988, Congress enacted the Indoor Radon Abatement Act (IRAA) with the goal ofreducing indoor radon levels to those found in outside air. In response to IRAA, EPA has:

Published the Citizen’s Guide to Radon and other documents describing suggestedprocedures for testing homes, schools, and buildings.

Completed national surveys on radon exposure in homes and schools.

Drafted suggested standards and techniques for controlling radon in new buildings. Adraft of these guidelines will be available for public comment soon.

Set up programs to train radon professionals.

IRAA also provided funds for state governments and Native American tribes to help local

governments and communities encourage residents to test for and reduce radon levels.

Does the Indoor Radon Abatement Act Apply to My Community?

Your community might have homes, day care centers, schools, or commercial buildingswith indoor radon levels higher than the federal guidelines. Most radon-related policies,

128 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (132)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 132/156

however, are not federal laws. EPA, state, and local governments have focused theirenergies on educating the public about the health risk of radon and encouraging voluntarytesting of homes and buildings. Some states have developed radon regulations, however,including training and certification of radon experts and required testing of all publicschools.

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

To protect your community from the harmful effects of indoor radon, you should contactyour state radon office. Ask them to give you public information about radon, including:

The Citizen’s Guide to Radon.

Predicted Average Indoor Screening Levels For Radon in the United States (by County)

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 129

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (133)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 133/156

Lists of EPA- or state-certified radon experts who can test homes and other buildingsfor radon levels.

Information on state radon regulations.

Use this information to educate your community about the risks of radon and encouragevoluntary testing. Make the list of EPA- or state-certified radon inspectors available for

anyone in your community who would like to test for radon.

Air Pollution

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 give EPA the authority to set national outside

(ambient) air quality standards to protect people’s health and the environment from airpollutants. Most air pollution comes from stationary sources (e.g., factories, powerplants, and smelters) or from mobile sources (e.g., cars, buses, planes, trucks, and trains).

Do the Clean Air Act Amendments Apply to My Community?

Most provisions of the Clean Air Act Amendments will not affect very small communities.Some communities, however, might have wood burning or particulate problems that willneed to be solved. In addition, the act contains several new requirements that are ofparticular concern to small businesses, including:

Lower emissions from small industrial and service companies that contribute toground-level ozone pollution (smog).

Reduce automotive emissions by establishing tailpipe inspections and maintenanceprograms for motor vehicles, and by expanding the development of cleaner automotivefuels.

Sharply curb emissions of 189 toxic air pollutants from hundreds of industries.

Prevent or minimize the risks from the accidental release of very hazardous chemicalsinto the air.

Recycle and eliminate the production and use of products and substances that destroythe earth’s upper ozone layer.

Require many sources affected by the Act to have a permit listing their air pollutioncontrol methods.

This is a general list of the typical kinds of small businesses that will be affected by one ormore of the air pollution control programs under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments:

130 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (134)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 134/156

Agricultural chemical applicators Asphalt manufacturers/applicators

Auto body shops Bakeries

Distilleries Dry cleaners

Foundries Furniture manufacturers and repairers

Gasoline service stations Hospitals

Laboratories Lawnmower repair shops

Lumber mills Metal finishers

Newspapers Pest control operators

Photofinishing laboratories Printing shops

Refrigerator/air conditioning services Tar paving applicators

Textile mills Wood finishers

All small businesses should consult their state pollution control agency for more detailsabout the specific controls required in their area.

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

Before taking any action on air pollution issues, contact your state air pollution agency orcounty health department and your regional EPA small community coordinator forguidance. If problems with air pollution exist, meet with your state air pollution agency orregional EPA office to discuss problems and possible solutions.

Where Are the Regulations Published?

The regulations implementing the Clean Air Act Amendments can be found in the Code

of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Parts 1 to 99.

Floodplain Zoning

Floodplain zoning is part of the federal government’s national flood insurance program.Flood insurance is not available through private insurance companies. If a community

wishes to be part of the national flood insurance program, it is required to follow certain

Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community? 131

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (135)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 135/156

building and zoning requirements set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency

(FEMA). FEMA is responsible for:

Publishing floodplain maps.

Preparing minimum standards for development within floodplain zones, includingbuilding codes and zoning ordinances.

Requiring communities that apply for national flood insurance to adopt these standards.

FEMA has prepared flood insurance maps for every community in the country. Thesemaps outline the flood hazard areas in each community. To order a map of the floodplainsin your area, call the Flood Map Distribution Center at 800-333-1363.

Does Floodplain Zoning Affect My Community?

Floodplain zoning is not a federal regulation. If your community wants to be covered bythe national flood insurance program, however, it must meet the minimum standards setby FEMA’s building codes and zoning ordinances to qualify.

What Action Should My Community Be Taking?

As a local official, you need to decide whether your community is at risk for flood damageand if your community could benefit from being a part of the national flood insuranceprogram. You should:

Call FEMA’s Flood Map Distribution Center to get a map of flood hazard areas in yourcommunity.

Contact your state environmental agency or state department of natural resources todiscuss floodplain zoning requirements for your community.

If your community is already part of the national flood insurance program, make surethat it meets FEMA zoning requirements.

132 Appendix B: What Environmental Regulations Affect Your Community?

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (136)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 136/156

Appendix C:

Assessing Risks from EnvironmentalProblems in Your Community

This appendix presents information about how to assess potential risks to public health,the environment, and the quality of life in your community. In addition, it lists statesand cities that have undertaken or are planning projects using “comparative risk” tohelp set priorities in environmental decision-making. Information from one of these

projects in your state or a nearby city might be valuable in your efforts to identify“high-risk” problems in your community.

Much of the information in this appendix is adapted from Richard Minard and Ken Jones,Comparative Risk Lab Manual, Northeast Center for Comparative Risk.

Questions to Help You Assess Risks to Health,Ecosystems, and Quality of Life

Answers to the following questions will help you assess risks to health, ecosystems, andquality of life in your community:

What harmful effects can the substance or activity cause to public health, the environ-ment, or the quality of life? Examples include cancer, gastrointestinal illnesses, or adecline in the number of fish or birds in the area.

Are the effects permanent or reversible?

What are the effects at different levels of exposure?


to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (137)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 137/156

How much of the substance do people (or ecosystems) in your planning area come incontact with? How many people are affected (or how widespread an area)? Informationfor answering these question can come from many different sources, such as results ofenvironmental monitoring (e.g., for drinking water or surface water quality); dischargelimits set by permits; reports made by businesses under the Title III “Right to Know”law about how much of certain substances they discharge to air, water, and land; and

mathematical models that estimate the distribution of hazardous substances in air andwater.

Is there evidence of harm to people, ecosystems, or quality of life in your planning area?For example, do data about human health and natural resources in your communitypoint to any areas of concern (such as a higher rate of certain diseases than the nationalaverage)? What pollutants are known to contribute to these conditions? Federal, state,and county agencies have useful data on these issues.

Assessing Human Health Risks in Your Community

Chemicals and biological contaminants in the environment can cause a variety of healthproblems. Some of these health effects are temporary or easily treated, such as headaches,nausea, diarrhea, or rashes. Other health effects can be permanent and difficult orimpossible to treat, such as learning disabilities, chronic pain, or disabling heart orrespiratory problems. Some stressors* can cause cancer.

Individual health risk depends on two variables, hazard and exposure, as shown by thefollowing equation:

Risk = Hazard x Exposure

Hazard— Toxicity, a measure of the stressor’s potency or ability to cause healthproblems.

Exposure—How much of the stressor individuals come in contact with, and overwhat period of time.

Many chemicals and organisms in the home or outside environment pose little or no riskbecause they are nontoxic: they have no effect on biological processes. Other stressors are

very hazardous but may pose little health risk if individuals are not exposed to them.

In assessing the risk of a chemical, scientists examine all the available scientific data for

that chemical, including data from animal studies, human data (when available), and resultsof tests with isolated human cells or microorganisms. They use this information to estimate

whether and to what degree the chemical poses a human health risk.

*The term “stressor” refers to many different types of pollution, including any material, organism, radiation, temperature change, or activity that puts astress on human health, the environment, or quality of life.

134 Appendix C: Assessing Risks from Environmental Problems in Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (138)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 138/156

For noncancer effects, scientists usually assume there is a threshold of exposure. Belowthis threshold level, the harmful effect will not occur, and above it, the exposed individualis at risk. Risk information for noncancer effects is usually expressed as an estimate of dailyexposure of a chemical that is likely to have no significant harmful effects during anindividual’s lifetime (estimated at 70 years).

For cancer, scientists assume that any dose of the substance poses some degree of risk, andthat risk increases as exposure increases. Risk information for cancer is usually expressedas a mathematical factor that relates the level of exposure to the number of additional casesof cancer that are expected to be caused by that exposure.

To get an idea of the potential health risk of a chemical in your community, you’ll need toknow (1) the level of actual exposure to that chemical in your community, and (2) riskinformation on the degree of hazard that particular chemical poses. Local emergencyresponse coordinators should have complete listings of hazardous chemicals in the area,along with material safety data sheets with information on toxic and hazardous charac-teristics of those chemicals. A public health expert or toxicologist can help you obtainavailable risk information, assess local risks by comparing your community’s exposure with

the chemical’s estimated hazard level, and provide perspective that will be useful inconstructively interpreting the risk information for your community. To locate thisassistance, start by contacting your state agency or local college or university.

Assessing Ecological Risks in Your Community

Ecological risks are threats to ecosystems themselves: the health and diversity of plants,animals, and natural communities.

When considering ecological damage, four measures can be used. The measures helpdistinguish between localized problems and those that threaten much larger areas, andbetween problems that cause short-term damage and those that cause permanent damage.

The measures also focus on whole natural communities rather than individual species. Thefour measures are:

Structure—The diversity and interrelationships of species inhabiting or using anecosystem.

Function—Ecological processes, such as the conversion of energy and nutrients intoplants and animals, decomposition, and movement of water.

Recovery time—How long it takes an ecosystem to recover from stress or damageafter the stressor is removed.

Space or scale—The size of the area affected by an environmental stressor.

Appendix C: Assessing Risks from Environmental Problems in Your Community135

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (139)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 139/156

Below are three examples of how a community might consider the ecological risks ofhuman activities:

EXAMPLE: A Chemical Spill

A chemical spill in a small river might kill many of the fish and insects living downstream.For a time, the complex balance among fish, insects, aquatic plants, birds, and mammals

may be disrupted, leaving only a few pollution-tolerant species alive. This sharp reductionin the river’s diversity would be a fairly severe structural change, but it might have littleimpact on some of the river’s basic ecological functions, which include transporting waterand breaking down biological debris.

The polluted stream may recover quickly. Flowing water will immediately dilute the chemicalspill and push it downstream. When the water chemistry returns to normal, plants and animalsfrom upstream will probably move back into their own niches, replicating the system’s originalstructure. If the same chemical had spilled into a pond, the recovery time might be muchlonger because the chemical might persist in the standing water or bottom sediment, andbecause some lake species are less mobile than river species. If the spill affects a drinking water

supply, it will pose health as well as ecological risks.EXAMPLE: Filling a Wetland

Filling a substantial wetland to create developable land would cause both structural andfunctional changes. The diverse community that thrives in wetland soils would be replacedby a much simpler system. The area also would lose its ability to absorb pollutants fromflood water in a storm.

A drained and filled wetland will likely never recover, even if the fill were removed. Mostecologists agree that wetlands soils and their connections with ground-water systems areso complex that they are extremely difficult to repair or recreate.

EXAMPLE: Building a New HouseThe ecological impact of building a new house depends on where it is built. If it is built inthe woods at the edge of a forest, the house may have a tiny local impact: a few trees maybe lost, but the health of the forest community is undiminished. If the same house consumesa deer-wintering yard, however, it may affect the deer population in the whole region. Ifthe construction were to destroy a unique habitat, it would have a wider impact.

Natural environmental stressors, such as droughts, floods, forest fires, or even beavers,also can have dramatic effects on ecosystems. Today’s ecosystems have evolved in responseto natural and human-made stressors.

136 Appendix C: Assessing Risks from Environmental Problems in Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (140)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 140/156

Assessing Risks to Quality of Life in Your Community

Environmental problems can degrade a wide range of resources, activities, or intangiblevalues that are important to people. The costs may be direct or indirect, monetary or

emotional. These risks come under the broad heading of “Quality of Life.”One way to look at quality-of-life risks is to consider how environmental problems threatenthe following seven broadly held values:

Aesthetics Negative impacts include:

Reduced visibility.

Noise, odors, dust, and other unpleasant sensations (e.g., water weeds or turbidity in alake, grime on buildings).


Negative impacts include:

Higher out-of-pocket expenses or taxes to fix, replace, or buy support services (such ashigher waste disposal fees, cost of replacing a well, higher housing costs) without anyimprovements in those services.

Net loss of jobs, higher health care costs, or lost productivity.

Fairness Negative impacts include:

Unequal distribution of costs and benefits (costs and benefits may be related toeconomics, health, aesthetics, etc.).


Negative impacts include:

Shifting the costs (economic costs, health risks, ecological damage, etc.) of today’sactivities to people not yet able to vote or not yet born.

Peace of Mind Negative impacts include:

Feeling threatened by potentially risky structures or facilities (such as hazardous wastesites).

Recreation Negative impacts include:

Loss of access to recreation lands (public and private).

Degraded quality of recreation experience (spoiled wilderness, fished-out streams,dammed whitewater, etc.).

Appendix C: Assessing Risks from Environmental Problems in Your Community137

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (141)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 141/156

Sense ofCommunity

Negative impacts include:

Development that changes the appearance and characteristics of a town.

Loss of mutual respect, cooperative spirit, or willingness to solve problems together.

Individual liberty exercised at the expense of the common good.

Community authority exercised at the expense of individuals.

These seven values are intangible and therefore are extremely difficult to measure. However, they focus attentionon issues of importance to whole communities (or large parts of communities), and so are useful tools forunderstanding and comparing risks.

Status of Comparative Risk Projects:States, Cities, and Tribes

Projects withCompleted


California: Dan Liebermann, Project Administrator, at 510-849-5211; and MichaelDiBartolomeis, Office of Health Hazard Risk Assessment, 2151 Berkeley Way, Annex 11,Berkeley, CA 94704; 510-540-2665.

Colorado: Gerard Bulanowski, Colorado Department of Health, Office of EnvironmentB-2, 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO 80222-1530; 303-692-3004.

Guam: Mike Hammet, Center for Development Studies, Social Science Research Insti-tute, Porteus Hall 719, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822; 808-956-7469.

Louisiana: Chuck Killebrew, Office of the Secretary, Department of EnvironmentalQuality, P.O. Box 82263, Baton Rouge, LA 70884; 504-765-2726.

Michigan: Keith Harrison, Environmental Administration Division, Department ofManagement and Budget, P.O. Box 30026, Lansing, MI 48909; 517-335-3666.

Seattle, WA: Steven Nicholas, Room 200, Seattle Municipal Building, 600 FourthAvenue, Seattle, WA 98104; 206-684-8377.

Vermont: Doug Kievit-Kylar, Pollution Prevention Division, West Office Building,

Agency of Natural Resources, 103 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05676; 802-241-3888.

Washington: Dee Peace Ragsdale, Dept. of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA98504-7600; 206-407-6986.

Wisconsin Tribes: John Haugland, U.S. EPA Region 5, Planning and ManagementDivision, 77 West Jackson Boulevard (ME-19J), Chicago, IL 60604-3507; 312-886-9853.

138 Appendix C: Assessing Risks from Environmental Problems in Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (142)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 142/156

Projects UnderWay

Alabama: Marilyn Elliott, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, 1751Congressman W.L. Dickenson Drive, Montgomery, AL 36130; 205-271-7715.

Arizona: Pat Mariella, Department of Environmental Quality, 3033 North CentralAvenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012; 602-207-4603.

Florida: Nancy Muller and Gil Bergquist, Florida Center for Public Management, FloridaState University, B-149, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4025; 904-922-8042.

Atlanta, GA: Eric Wilson, Atlanta Department of Planning and Development, 55 TrinityAvenue SW, Suite 1450, Atlanta, GA 30335-0308; 404-330-6348.

Hawaii: Patrick Felling, Department of Health, Environmental Planning, 500 Ala MoanaBoulevard, Suite 250, Honolulu, HI 96813; 808-586-4337.

Illinois: Bob Liebermann, Office of Research & Planning, Illinois Department of Energyand Natural Resources, 325 West Adams, Springfield, IL 62704; 217-785-0124.

Jackson, MS: Scott McDonald, Public Policy and Administration Program, Jackson StateUniversity, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211; 601-982-6405.

Kentucky: Karen Armstrong Cummings, Kentucky Natural Resources EnvironmentalProtection Cabinet, 4th Floor, Capital Plaza Tower, Frankfort, KY 40601; 502-564-3350.

Maine: Cindy Bertocci, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, State HouseStation 17, Augusta, ME 04333; 207-287-7842.

Maryland: Matt Thayer, Maryland Department of the Environment, 2500 BroeningHighway, Baltimore, MD 21224; 410-631-3114.

Ohio: Michelle Morrone, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, 1800 Watermark

Drive, Columbus, OH 43266-0149; 614-644-3638.

Greater Cleveland (OH) Area: Norman Robbins, Department of Neurosciences,School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland,OH 44106-4975; 216-368-2194.

Columbus, OH: Richard Hicks, Columbus Health Department, 181 Washington Boule-vard, Columbus, OH 43215-4096; 614-645-6189.

Oregon: Dick Nichols, Environmental Partnership for Oregon Communities, 2020 SW4th, Suite 400, Portland, OR 97201-4987; 503-229-5323.

Texas: Wendy Gordon, Texas Water Commission, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-

3087; 512-463-8448.

Houston, TX: John D. Wilson, Houston Advanced Research Center, Center for GlobalStudies, 4800 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77381; 713-363-7913.

Utah: Bruce Slater, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 144810, SaltLake City, UT 84114-4810; 801-536-4480.

Charlottesville Area, VA: Mike Collins, Thomas Jefferson Planning District, 413 EastMarket Street, Suite 102, Charlottesville, VA 22901; 804-972-1720.

Appendix C: Assessing Risks from Environmental Problems in Your Community139

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (143)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 143/156

Elizabeth River, VA: Marjorie Mayfield, Elizabeth River Project, 100 West Plume Street,Suite 220, Norfolk, VA 23510; 804-625-3648.

Western Tribes: Mike Frost, Southern Ute Tribe, Box 737, Ignacio, CO 81137; 303-563-0135.

Projects in thePlanning Stages

Alaska:James Powell, Division of Environmental Quality, 410 Willoughby Avenue, Suite105, Juneau, AK 99801-1795; 907-465-5260.

Arkansas: Dick Cassat, Department of Pollution Control & Ecology, P.O. Box 8913, LittleRock, AR 72219-8913; 501-570-2131.

Minnesota: Paul Schmiechen, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette RoadNorth, St. Paul, MN 55155; 612-296-7795.

Mississippi: Sam Mabry, Chief, Hazardous Waste Division, Mississippi Department ofEnvironmental Quality, P.O. Box 10385, Jackson, MS 39289-0385; 601-961-5545.

Missouri: David Bedan, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 176,Jefferson City, MO 65102; 314-751-4533.

New Hampshire: Kate Hartnett, Water Supply and Pollution Control Division, NewHampshire Department of Environmental Services, P.O. Box 95, 6 Hazen Drive, Concord,NH 03301; 603-271-2989.

New Jersey:Martin Rosen, Division of Science and Research, Department of Environ-mental Protection and Energy, CN 409, Trenton, NJ 08625-0409; 609-984-5312.

New York: Mary Werner, Pollution Prevention Unit, New York State Department ofEnvironmental Conservation, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12233; 518-457-2480.

North Dakota: Teri Lunde, North Dakota Department of Health and ConsolidatedLaboratories, P.O. Box 5520, Bismark, ND 58502-5520; 701-221-5150.

Hamilton County (Cincinnati), OH: Walter S. Handy, Jr., Cincinnati Department ofHealth, Community Services Division, 3101 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229;513-357-7271.

Allegheny County, PA: David Piposzar, Allegheny County Health Department, 3333Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; 412-578-8030.

Tennessee: Angie Pitco*ck, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation,Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Awareness, 401 Church Street, 14thFloor, Nashville, TN 37243-1551; 615-532-0736.

Wisconsin:Tim Mulholland, Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Review, Departmentof Natural Resources, 101 South Webster Street, Madison, WI 53707-7921; 608-266-0061.

140 Appendix C: Assessing Risks from Environmental Problems in Your Community

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (144)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 144/156

Comparative Risk Projects: July/August 1994

* Western Tribes* Wisconsin Tribes

Columbus &


* Charlottesville

* Elizabeth River

* Atlanta


* Houston

* Guam


Implementing Under Way Planning Uncommitted

Appendix C: Assessing Risks from Environmental Problems in Your Community141

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (145)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 145/156

Appendix D:

Where To Turnfor Help

This guide provides general information about environmental issues facing your

community and offers suggestions for dealing with many of these issues. After readingthe guide, you will still have questions about what your community can and shoulddo. In addition, you will need technical help to accomplish many of the things that

this guide suggests. This chapter tells you about some places and resources where you canfind more help. These listings are up-to-date as of mid-1994.

U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyRegional Small Community Contacts

EPA’s small community contacts are designated by the Agency to provide assistance tosmall communities. They will provide assistance directly or refer you to others within theiroffices who are best suited to provide the help you need.

EPA Region 1 EPA Region 2JFK Federal Building, Room 2203Boston, MA 02203617-565-3412Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New

Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

26 Federal PlazaNew York, NY 10278212-264-7834New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin


EPA Region 3 EPA Region 4841 Chestnut StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19107215-597-9072Delaware, Maryland,Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia,District of Columbia

345 Courtland Street, NE Atlanta, GA 30365404-347-7109Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi,North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee


to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (146)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 146/156

EPA Region 5 EPA Region 677 West Jackson BoulevardChicago, IL 60604312-353-6218Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan,Minnesota, Wisconsin

1445 Ross Avenue, 12th Floor, Suite 200Dallas, TX 75202214-655-2203 Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma,Texas

EPA Region 7 EPA Region 8726 Minnesota AvenueKansas City, KS 66101913-551-7768Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska

One Denver Place999 18th Street, Suite 500Denver, CO 80202303-294-7009Colorado, Montana, North Dakota,South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming

EPA Region 9 EPA Region 10215 Fremont StreetSan Francisco, CA 94105415-744-1568 Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada,American Samoa, Guam, Trust Territories ofthe Pacific

1200 Sixth AvenueSeattle, WA 98101206-553-1138Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

American Petroleum Institute1220 L Street, NWWashington, DC 20005202-682-8000

Provides information and technical assis-tance to communities on how to set up usedoil collection programs and encourage usedoil recycling.

USDA Extension ServiceUnited States Department of Agriculture

14th & Independence Avenue SWRoom 3547 SWashington, DC 20250-0992202-720-0987 (or see your local directoryfor your local or county extension agent)

Provides education in wastewater and otherenvironmental subjects for local officialsand residents.

International City/CountyManagement Association777 North Capitol Street, NE, Suite 500Washington, DC 20002202-289-4262

Provides information and training for localgovernments on a variety of issues. Sets uppeer matches for people to learn from oneanother.

Other Organizations

144 Appendix D: Where To Turn for Help

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (147)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 147/156

Northeast Center for Comparative RiskVermont Law SchoolP.O. Box 96Chelsea StreetSouth Royalton, VT 05068802-763-8303or

Western Center for Comparative Risk5398 Manhattan CircleBoulder, CO 80303202-494-6393

Work with EPA to help states and cities usecomparative risk. Can provide small com-munities with publications on comparingenvironmental risks.

National Association of Towns andTownships1522 K Street, NW

Washington, DC 20005202-737-5200

Offers educational services, technical assis-tance programs, and public policy supportto local governments.

National Environmental Training CenterWest Virginia UniversityP.O. Box 6064Morgantown, WV 26506800-624-8301

Develops training materials on water, waste-water, and solid waste issues.

National Recycling Coalition1101 30th Street, NWSuite 305Washington, DC 20007202-625-6406

Answers requests for information on recy-cling; maintains lists of state recycling asso-ciations and market development contacts.

National Rural Water Association2715 M Street, NWSuite 300Washington, DC 20007202-333-8830

Provides training and technical assistance to

small water and wastewater systems. Con-tact the national NRWA office to find outabout the Rural Water Association in yourstate.

Rural Community AssistanceProgram602 South King StreetSuite 402Leesburg, VA 22075703-771-8636

A national network of nonprofit organiza-

tions assisting rural and small communitieswith drinking water, wastewater, and solidwaste management.

Rural Development AdministrationUnited States Department of

Agriculture14th and Independence Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20250202-720-9589

Provides loans for rural water and wastewa-ter systems and communities with popula-

tions less than 10,000.

Small Towns Environment ProgramThe Rensselaerville InstituteRensselaerville, NY 12147518-797-3783

Helps small towns solve water and wastewa-ter problems. Provides tools for local ac-tion, self-help approaches to design andconstruction, nonbureaucratic low-interestloans, and technical support.

Appendix D: Where To Turn for Help 145

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (148)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 148/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (149)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 149/156

Asbestos OmbudsmanClearinghouse/Hotline800-368-5888 (703-305-5938 for Virginiacallers)

Provides the public sector with informationon handling and abatement of asbestos in

schools, workplaces, and homes.

Asbestos School Hazard AbatementAct Hotline800-462-6706

Provides information about the AsbestosSchool Hazard Abatement Act loan andgrant program, which provides funds topublic and private schools to aid in asbestosabatement.

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)Information Service202-554-1404

Provides technical and general informationon TSCA regulations.

Pollution Prevention InformationClearinghouse703-821-4800

Provides technical, policy, programmatic,legislative, and financial information aboutreducing industrial pollutants.

RCRA/Superfund/EPCRA Hotline800-424-9346800-535-0202

Provides general assistance and informationregarding underground storage tanks.

AWWA Small Systems TechnicalAssistance Line800-366-0107

Provides technical support for operators ofdrinking water systems serving fewer than3,300 persons. Sponsored by the AmericanWater Works Association.

Clean Lakes Clearinghouse800-726-LAKE

Provides information on lake and watershedrestoration, protection, and management.

National Drinking Water ClearinghouseWest Virginia UniversityP.O. Box 6064Morgantown, WV 26506800-624-8301

Assists small communities by collecting,developing, and providing timely informa-

tion about drinking water issues.

National Small FlowsClearinghouse800-624-8301

Provides information for small communi-ties about wastewater management.


UndergroundStorage Tanks

Pesticides andToxics

Water andWastewater

Appendix D: Where To Turn for Help 147

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (150)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 150/156

National Water Efficiency Clearinghouse6666 West Quincy AvenueDenver, CO 80235303-347-6134

Provides information on water conservationand water efficiency issues.

Safe Drinking Water Hotline800-426-4791

Assists public water systems and the publicwith their understanding of the regulationsand programs developed in response to theSafe Drinking Water Act Amendments of1986.

EPA Water Resource Center401 M Street, SWWashington, DC 20460202-260-7786

Distributes EPA Office of Waterpublications.

Wetlands Information Hotline800-832-7828

Responds to requests for information aboutthe value and functions of wetlands and op-tions for their protection.

U.S. EPA Center for Environmental Re-search Information (CERI) Publications26 West Martin Luther King DriveCincinnati, OH 45268513-569-7562

Distributes brochures, reports, handbooks,newsletters, and manuals based on the scien-tific and technical environmental informa-tion produced by EPA.

U.S. EPA Public InformationCenter (PIC)

401 M Street, SWWashington, DC 20460202-260-2080 or 202-260-7751

Distributes a wide variety of general, non-technical information about EPA and itsprograms.

U.S. EPA National Small CommunityContact

U.S. EPA-OROSLR (1502)401 M Street SWWashington, DC 20460202-260-0244Coordinates efforts within EPA related tosmall communities.

Water andWastewater



148 Appendix D: Where To Turn for Help

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (151)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 151/156

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (152)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 152/156

UndergroundStorage Tanks

Musts for USTs, a summary of regulations for USTs, is available from the U.S. GovernmentPrinting Office, Washington, DC 20402, (202-783-3238). Stock no. 055-000-00294-1.

Also available in Spanish.

Dollars and Sense (a summary of financial responsibility regulations for USTs),Leak Lookout

and Straight Talk on Tanks(summaries of leak detection methods for petroleum USTs), andOh No!(a brochure on what to do in the case of petroleum leaks and spills) are availablefrom the National Center for Environmental Publications and Information (513-891-6561).

Getting Out From Under: Underground Storage Tank Alternatives for Small Towns, NationalCenter for Small Communities (1991), is available from the National Association of Townsand Townships (202-737-5200).

Recommended Practices Package on Tank Management (Video) is available from the AmericanPetroleum Institute (202-682-8000).

Ground Waterand Drinking


Environmental Pollution Control Alternatives: Drinking Water Treatment for Small Communi-ties(EPA/625/5-90/025) is available from CERI Publications (513-569-7562).

The Local Decision-Makers’ Guide to Groundwater and Wellhead Protection, Small System Guideto the Safe Drinking Water Act, Small System Guide to Risk Management and Safety, SmallSystem Guide to Financial Management, Small System Guide to Board Responsibilities for

Operation and Maintenance, Small System Guide to Developing and Setting Water Rates, andThe Board Guide to Small System Policies(1993) are available from Community ResourceGroup, Inc./Southern RCAP, 2705 Chapman, Springdale, AR 72762 (501-756-2900).

Why Do Wellhead Protection? andProtecting Local Ground-Water Supplies Through Wellhead

Protectionare available from the National Drinking Water Clearinghouse (800-624-8301).

Seminar Publication: Wellhead Protection—A Guide for Small Communities(EPA/625/R-93/002) can be ordered from CERI Publications (513-569-7562).

The Watershed Protection Approach—Annual Report 1992 (EPA 840-S-93-001) is availablefrom the National Center for Environmental Publications and Information (513-891-6561).

Pocket Sampling Guide for Operators of Small Water Systems(EPA/814-B-92-001 for PhaseI volatile organic chemicals, total coliform rule, surface water treatment rule, and lead andcopper rule; EPA/814-B-94-001 for Phase II and Phase V chemicals) is available from

CERI Publications (513-569-7562).Tapping Your Own Resources—A Decision-Maker’s Guide for Small Town Drinking Water isavailable from the National Association of Towns and Townships (202-737-5200).

150 Appendix D: Where To Turn for Help

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (153)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 153/156


and LeakDetection

Decision-Makers’ Guide to Water Supply Management(EPA 570/9-80-003, PB158-973) isavailable from the National Technical Information Service (703-487-4650).

Leaks in Water Distribution Systems(1987), Water Conservation (1987), Water ConservationStrategies(1980), Before the Well Runs Dry (Volumes I and II) (1984), Water Resources Audit

(1988), and Water Audits and Leak Detection (1990) are available from the American WaterWorks Association, 6666 West Quincy Avenue, Denver, CO (303-795-2449).

An Introduction to Water Loss and Leak Detection (1988) is available from the National RuralWater Association (405-252-0629).

Wastewater It’s Your Choice: A Guidebook for Local Officials on Small Community Wastewater ManagementOptions(EPA 430/9-87-006) is available from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse(800-624-8301).

Treat It Right: A Local Official’s Guide to Small Town Wastewater Treatment(1989) can be

ordered from the National Association of Towns and Townships (202-737-5200).

Manual: Wastewater Treatment/Disposal for Small Communities(EPA/625/R-92/005) isavailable from CERI Publications (513-569-7562).

Wetlands America’s Wetlands: Our Vital Link Between Land and Water (U.S. EPA, 1988) can beordered from the Wetlands Protection Hotline (800-832-7828).

Protecting Coastal and Wetlands Resources: A Guide for Local Governments(EPA 842-R-92-002) is available from EPA’s Water Resource Center (202-260-7786).

NonpointSource Pollution

Managing Nonpoint Source Pollution (EPA-506/9-90) is available from EPA’s WaterResource Center (202-260-7786).

Development and Water Quality: A Decisionmaker’s Guide to Protecting the Urban Environment(1994), Decisionmakers Stormwater Handbook (1992), Urban Runoff and Stormwater Manage-ment Handbook (1990), andLake Smarts: The First Lake Maintenance Handbook (1994) areavailable from the Terrene Institute, 1717 K Street, NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC20006 (202-833-8317).




A State and Local Government Guide to Environmental Program Funding Alternatives

(EPA841-K-94-001) is available from CERI Publications (513-569-7562).Building Together: Investing in Community Infrastructure (1990) is available from theNational Association of Counties (202-393-6226).

Decision-Makers Guide to Solid Waste Management(EPA/530-SW-89-072) is available fromthe RCRA/Superfund Hotline (800-424-9346).

Small System Guide to Financial Management is available from the Rural CommunityAssistance Program (703-771-8636).

Appendix D: Where To Turn for Help 151

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (154)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 154/156

Public-Private Partnerships for Environmental Facilities: A Self-Help Guide for Local Govern-ments(EPA/20M-2003) is available from the National Center for Environmental Publi-cations and Information (513-891-6561).

Helping Small Systems Comply With the Safe Drinking Water Act: The Role of Restructuring(EPA/812-K-92-001) is available from the National Center for Environmental Publica-

tions and Information (513-891-6561). Restructuring Manual(EPA/570-9-91-035) is available from the National Center forEnvironmental Publications and Information (513-891-6561).

The Self-Help Handbook by Jane W. Schautz is available from Rensselaerville Institute,Rensselaerville, NY (518-797-3783).

Innovative Grassroots Financing—A Small Town Guide to Raising Funds and Cutting Costsisavailable from the National Association of Towns and Townships (202-737-5200).

Touching All the Bases: A Financial Management Handbook for Your Wastewater Treatment Project

(EPA/430-9-86-001) is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

Affordability of Major Wastewater Systems Improvements for Small Montana Communitiesisavailable from the Montana Department of Commerce (406-444-3757).

Drinking Water Information ExchangeBulletin Board System (DWIE-BBS),Phone 800-624-8301, Modem 800-932-7459 or 304-293-7108.

The National Drinking Water Clearing-house’s electronic bulletin board service,which provides information regardingdrinking water systems in towns of up to10,000 people.

WATERNET, Phone 303-794-7711

The American Water Works Association’sdatabase of information on water conserva-tion; utility management; drinking waterquality, analysis, and treatment; water pollu-

tion; wastewater treatment; and legal issues.

Wastewater Treatment Information Ex-change Bulletin Board Service (WTIE-BBS), Phone 800-624-8301, Modem800-544-1936.

The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’sforum for discussion and exchange of infor-mation about small-scale wastewater systems.

Solid Waste Information Clearinghouse(SWICH), Phone 800-677-9424, Modem301-585-0204.

Provides information on all aspects of solidwaste management.

Nonpoint Source InformationExchange, Phone 703-385-6000 or301-589-5318, Modem 301-589-0205

A bulletin board that provides informationabout nonpoint source water pollution andother water environment-related issues.

Alternative Treatment Technology In-

formation Center (ATTIC), Phone 800-424-9346, Modem 703-908-2138.

Provides information on innovative treat-ment technologies for hazardous wastecleanup.

Electronic Bulletin Boards and Databases

152 Appendix D: Where To Turn for Help

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (155)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 155/156

Environmental Financing InformationNetwork (EFIN), available through theLocal Exchange (202-626-2400), LEGIS-NET (303-830-2200), and the GovernmentFinance Information Network (312-977-9700).

A service of EPA’s Office of Water that pro-vides access to an on-line search of financialmaterials and publications and informationabout environmental programs and events.

EPA Office of Research and Develop-ment Bulletin Board System (ORD-BBS), Phone 513-569-7272, Modem513-569-7610.

A forum for exchange of scientific and tech-nical research information. Includes a data-

base of all ORD publications producedsince 1976.


B142 Steenbock Library550 Babco*ck DriveMadison, WI 53706608-262-0024

A voluntary program in which states, in con-junction with the Cooperative ExtensionService, the Soil Conservation Service, andEPA, conduct farmstead assessments toidentify potential sources of and solutionsto ground-water pollution.

Waterplan 1.0. Available from California

Department of Water Resources, P.O. Box942836, Sacramento, CA 94236.

A software package that allows planners toevaluate the costs and benefits of more than75 water conservation measures.

Optimizing Water Treatment Plant Per-formance Using the Composite Correc-tion Program(EPA/625/6-91/027).Available from CERI Publications (513-569-7562).

Provides procedures for evaluating and im-proving the performance of drinking watertreatment facilities. Includes methods tooptimize existing unit process without ma-jor capital improvements.

Drinking Water Treatment Plant

Advisor. Available from CERI Publications(513-569-7562) or from EPA’s Office ofResearch and Development Bulletin BoardSystem.

A software product for evaluating the per-formance of small-to-medium drinkingwater treatment plants. Can help optimizeplant performance to achieve compliancewith the surface water treatment rule.

POTW Self-Assessment: MechanicalWastewater Treatment Facility (April

1993) and Non-Mechanical WastewaterTreatment Facility(November 1993).Available from Water Management Divi-sion, U.S. EPA Region 8, Denver, CO.

Guidance and workbook materials to helpPOTWs achieve compliance with NPDESpermit limitations.

Retrofitting POTWs (EPA/625/6-89/020). Available from CERI Publications(513-569-7562).

Describes methods for evaluating andimproving the performance of wastewatertreatment facilities. Focuses on optimizingexisting facilities without major capital ex-penditures.


Appendix D: Where To Turn for Help 153

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (156)

8/8/2019 to Ambiental EPA 156/156

POTW Expert, Version 1.1: An AdvisorySystem for Improving the Performance of

Wastewater Treatment Facilities(EPA/625/11-90/001). Available from CERIPublications (513-569-7562).

A software program designed to help opera-

tors identify causes of inadequate wastewatertreatment plant performance using the Com-posite Correction Program (CCP) approach.

TANKMAN, Version 1.0 (U.S. Army Envi-ronmental Center. ATTN: SFIM-AEC-ECS,Mr. Durant S. Graves, Aberdeen ProvingGround, MD 21010-5401).

A management and reporting software tooldeveloped for the U.S. Army’s undergroundstorage tanks (USTs). Allows the user to tracka wide range of information about their

USTs, including physical characteristics, com-pliance status, historical data, and budgetinformation.

Solid Waste Management Options(SW-Options) for Municipal Planners,

Version 1.0, 1992. Available from CERI Pub-lications (513-569-7562) or from EPA’s Officeof Research and Development Bulletin BoardS

Environmental Compliance AssessmentSystem(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Con-struction Engineering Research Laboratories,1992).

Contains procedures developed for U.S.Army installations and facilities to determine

compliance with federal environmentalregulations. Brings together environmentalregulations, good management practices,and risk management issues in easy-to-usechecklists.

RISK *ASSISTANT(Available from ThistlePublishing, P.O. Box 1327, Alexandria, VA22313).

A software system designed to evaluate hu-man health risks associated with chronic expo-sures to chemicals. Provides analytical tools

and databases covering approximately 500chemicals, and information-handling capabili-ties for risk assessment tailored to individualsites or situations.

to Ambiental EPA - [PDF Document] (2024)


What is the format of the EPA document? ›

The EPA standard formats for publishing information on the Web are HTML and PDF. Many programs create file formats with unique file extensions (e.g.; . doc, . pptx, .

Is the EPA a reliable source? ›

EPA ensures the scientific integrity of the climate change indicators through a rigorous development process, as described below. For every indicator, EPA also develops technical documentation that describes the data sources and analytical methods used.

What are the critiques of the EPA? ›

EPA lacks an organic statute and a clearly articulated mission. It lacks the ability to deal effectively with problems requiring an integrated approach. It cannot set rational priorities among different programs. It faces major impediments in trying to identify new environmental programs.

Is the EPA effective? ›

In 2019 alone, EPA's climate partnership programs helped Americans save $44 billion and prevented 530 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emission of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere.

What are the two types of EPA? ›

Setting up an EPA will give you peace of mind that your assets and personal welfare will be properly managed on a temporary or permanent basis by someone you trust, if you become unable to do so. There are two types of EPAs: one for property, and the other personal care and welfare.

What are the 3 EPA source list? ›

These lists are organized into three categories:
  • The F-list (non-specific source wastes). ...
  • The K-list (source-specific wastes). ...
  • The P-list and the U-list (discarded commercial chemical products).
Apr 4, 2016

What are the negatives of the EPA? ›

Environmental regulation in the United States stands accused of causing a broad array of undesirable economic consequences. It is said that environmental regulation is too expensive, reduces economic growth, hurts international competitiveness, and causes widespread layoffs and plant closures.

Who is behind the EPA? ›

EPA was created on December 2, 1970, by President Richard Nixon to protect human health and the environment.

Who controls the EPA? ›

The head of EPA is the administrator, a cabinet-level political appointee nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

Why is the EPA weak? ›

An underlying reason for the control weaknesses is that EPA has not fully implemented a comprehensive information security program. Although EPA has established a framework for its security program, the agency has not yet fully implemented all elements of its program.

Has anyone sued the EPA? ›

May 9 (Reuters) - Republican attorneys general from 27 U.S. states and industry trade groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, seeking to block a landmark rule requiring sweeping reductions in carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants and new natural gas plants.

What does EPA not regulate? ›

Indoor Air Quality: EPA does not regulate indoor air, but we do offer assistance in protecting your indoor air quality. Find information about mold, radon, formaldehyde and other indoor air quality issues.

Has the EPA done anything? ›

Since 1970, EPA has set and implemented emissions standards to control pollution from everything from passenger vehicles, heavy duty trucks and buses, construction and farm equipment, locomotive and marine engine and even lawn and garden equipment.

Is the EPA part of the federal government? ›

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal government agency, created by the Nixon Administration, to protect human health and the environment.

Does the EPA have any power? ›

This statute formally empowers the EPA, an independent agency of the federal government, to issue regulations about what companies must do to help bring about that cleaner air. Congress also gives money to the EPA to enforce those rules.

How is the EPA structured? ›

The Administrator is responsible to the President for providing overall supervision to the EPA. The Deputy Administrator, whom the President also appoints by the advice and with the consent of the Senate, assists the Administrator and serves as the Acting Administrator in the absence of the Administrator.

What is the format for the EPA 608 exam? ›

The EPA 608 Exam Decoded

It is divided into four main sections: Type I, Type II, Type III, and the Universal Certification, each focusing on different aspects of refrigerant handling, including small appliances, high-pressure systems, low-pressure systems, and a comprehensive understanding of all types.

How do you cite an EPA document? ›

As part of the U.S. government, information on EPA pages is a reliable and authoritative source for research. webpages do not have one author, so use “U.S. EPA” or “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency” in your sources. Find the last updated date at the bottom right of all EPA webpages.

What is the full form of the EPA report? ›

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5865

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.