Pt. 35, Subpt. E, App. E
Appendix E to Subpart E of Part 35
—Innovative and Alternative Technology Guidelines
1. Purpose. These guidelines provide the criteria for identifying and evaluating innovative and alternative waste water treatment processes and techniques. The Administrator may publish additional information.
2. Authority. These guidelines are provided under section 304(d)(3) of the Clean Water Act.
3. Applicability. These guidelines apply to:
a. The analysis of innovative and alternative treatment processes and techniques under § 35.917-1(d)(8)
c. The funding available for innovative and alternative processes and techniques under § 35.915-1(b)
d. The funding available for alternatives to conventional treatment works for small communities under § 35.915-1(e)
e. The cost-effectiveness preference given innovative and alternative processes and techniques in section 7 of appendix A to this subpart;
f. The treatment works that may be given higher priority on State project priority lists under § 35.915(a)(1)(iii)
g. Alternative and innovative treatment systems in connection with Federal facilities;
h. Individual systems authorized by § 35.918
, as modified in that section to include unconventional or innovative sewers;
i. The access and reports conditions in § 35.935-20
4. Alternative processes and techniques. Alternative waste water treatment processes and techniques are proven methods which provide for the reclaiming and reuse of water, productively recycle waste water constituents or otherwise eliminate the discharge of pollutants, or recover energy.
a. In the case of processes and techniques for the treatment of effluents, these include land treatment, aquifer recharge, aquaculture, silviculture, and direct reuse for industrial and other nonpotable purposes, horticulture and revegetation of disturbed land. Total containment ponds and ponds for the treatment and storage of waste water prior to land application and other processes necessary to provide minimum levels of preapplication treatment are considered to be part of alternative technology systems for the purpose of this section.
b. For sludges, these include land application for horticultural, silvicultural, or agricultural purposes (including supplemental processing by means such as composting or drying), and revegetation of disturbed lands.
c. Energy recovery facilities include codisposal measures for sludge and refuse which produce energy; anaerobic digestion facilities (Provided, That more than 90 percent of the methane gas is recovered and used as fuel); and equipment which provides for the use of digester gas within the treatment works. Self-sustaining incineration may also be included provided that the energy recovered and productively used is greater than the energy consumed to dewater the sludge to an autogenous state.
d. Also included are individual and other onsite treatment systems with subsurface or other means of effluent disposal and facilities constructed for the specific purpose of septage treatment.
e. The term “alternative” as used in these guidelines includes the terms “unconventional” and “alternative to conventional” as used in the Act.
f. The term “alternative” does not include collector sewers, interceptors, storm or sanitary sewers or the separation thereof; or major sewer rehabilitation, except insofar as they are alternatives to conventional treatment works for small communities under § 35.915-1(e)
or part of individual systems under § 35.918
5. Innovative processes and techniques.
Innovative waste water treatment processes and techniques are developed methods which have not been fully proven under the circumstances of their contemplated use and which represent a significant advancement over the state of the art in terms of meeting the national goals of cost reduction, increased energy conservation or recovery, greater recycling and conservation of water resources (including preventing the mixing of pollutants with water), reclamation or reuse of effluents and resources (including increased productivity of arid lands), improved efficiency and/or reliability, the beneficial use of sludges or effluent constituents, better management of toxic materials or increased environmental benefits. For the purpose of these guidelines, innovative waste water treatment processes and techniques are generally limited to new and improved applications of those alternative processes and techniques identified in accordance with paragraph 4 of these guidelines, including both treatment at centralized facilities and individual and other onsite treatment. Treatment processes based on the conventional concept of treatment (by means of biological or physical/chemical unit processes) and discharge to surface waters shall not be considered innovative waste water treatment processes and techniques except where it is demonstrated that these processes and techniques, as a minimum, meet either the cost-reduction or energy-reduction criterion described in section 6 of these guidelines. Treatment and discharge systems include primary treatment, suspended-growth or fixed-growth biological systems for secondary or advance waste water treatment, physical/chemical treatment, disinfection, and sludge processing. The term “innovative” does not include collector sewers, interceptors, storm or sanitary sewers or the separation of them, or major sewer rehabilitation, except insofar as they meet the criteria in paragraph 6 of these guidelines and are alternatives to conventional treatment works for small communities under § 35.915-1(e)
or part of individual systems under § 35.918
6. Criteria for determining innovative processes and techniques. a. The Regional Administrator will use the following criteria in determining whether a waste water treatment process or technique is innovative. The criteria should be read in the context of paragraph 5. These criteria do not necessarily preclude a determination by the Regional Administrator that a treatment system is innovative because of local variations in geographic or climatic conditions which affect treatment plant design and operation or because it achieves significant public benefits through the advancement of technology which would otherwise not be possible. The Regional Administrator should consult with EPA headquarters about determinations made in other EPA regions on similar processes and techniques.
b. New or improved applications of alternative waste water treatment processes and techniques may be innovative for the purposes of this regulation if they meet one or more of the criteria in paragraphs e(1) through e(6) of this paragraph. Treatment and discharge systems (i.e., systems which are not new or improved applications of alternative waste water treatment processes and techniques in accordance with paragraph 4 of these guidelines) must meet the criteria of either paragraph 6e(1) or 6e(2), as a minimum, in order to be innovative for the purposes of these guidelines.
c. These six criteria are essentially the same as those used to evaluate any project proposed for grant assistance. The principal difference is that some newly developed processes and techniques may have the potential to provide significant advancements in the state of the art with respect to one or more of these criteria. Inherent in the concept of advancement of technology is a degree of risk which is necessary to initially demonstrate a method on a full, operational scale under the circumstances of its contemplated use. This risk, while recognized to be a necessary element in the implementation of innovative technology, must be minimized by limiting the projects funded to those which have been fully developed and shown to be feasible through operation on a smaller scale. The risk must also be commensurate with the potential benefits (i.e., greater potential benefits must be possible in the case of innovative technology projects where greater risk is involved).
d. Increased Federal funding under § 35.908(b)
may be made only from the reserve in § 35.915-1(b)
. The Regional Administrator may fund a number of projects using the same type of innovative technology if he desires to encourage certain innovative processes and techniques because the potential benefits are great in comparison to the risks, or if operation under differing conditions of climatic, geology, etc., is desirable to demonstrate the technology.
e. The Regional Administrator will use the following criteria to determine whether waste water treatment processes and techniques are innovative:
(1) The life cycle cost of the eligible portion of the treatment works excluding conventional sewer lines is at least 15 percent less than that for the most cost-effective alternative which does not incorporate innovative waste water treatment processes and techniques (i.e., is no more than 85 percent of the life cycle cost of the most cost-effective noninnovative alternative).
(2) The net primary energy requirements for the operation of the eligible portion of the treatment works excluding conventional sewer lines are at least 20 percent less than the net energy requirements of the least net energy alternative which does not incorporate innovative waste water treatment processes and techniques (i.e., the net energy requirements are no more than 80 percent of those for the least net energy noninnovative alternative). The least net energy noninnovative alternative must be one of the alternatives selected for analysis under section 5 of appendix A.
(3) The operational reliability of the treatment works is improved in terms of decreased susceptibility to upsets or interference, reduced occurrence of inadequately treated discharges and decreased levels of operator attention and skills required.
(4) The treatment works provides for better management of toxic materials which would otherwise result in greater environmental hazards.
(5) The treatment works results in increased environmental benefits such as water conservation, more effective land use, improved air quality, improved ground water quality, and reduced resource requirements for the construction and operation of the works.
(6) The treatment works provide for new or improved methods of joint treatment and management of municipal and industrial wastes that are discharged into municipal systems.
[43 FR 44049, Sept. 27, 1978, as amended at 44 FR 37596, June 27, 1979; 44 FR 39340, July 5, 1979]