40 CFR 228.10 - Evaluating disposal impact.
(a) Impact of the disposal at each site designated under section 102 of the Act will be evaluated periodically and a report will be submitted as appropriate as part of the Annual Report to Congress. Such reports will be prepared by or under the direction of the EPA management authority for a specific site and will be based on an evaluation of all data available from baseline and trend assessment surveys, monitoring surveys, and other data pertinent to conditions at and near a site.
(b) The following types of effects, in addition to other necessary or appropriate considerations, will be considered in determining to what extent the marine environment has been impacted by materials disposed of at an ocean disposal site:
(3) Absence from the disposal site of pollution-sensitive biota characteristic of the general area;
(5) Progressive, non-seasonal, changes in composition or numbers of pelagic, demersal, or benthic biota at or near the disposal site, when these changes can be attributed to the effects of materials disposed of at the site;
(c) The determination of the overall severity of disposal at the site on the marine environment, including without limitation, the disposal site and adjacent areas, will be based on the evaluation of the entire body of pertinent data using appropriate methods of data analysis for the quantity and type of data available. Impacts will be categorized according to the overall condition of the environment of the disposal site and adjacent areas based on the determination by the EPA management authority assessing the nature and extent of the effects identified in paragraph (b) of this section in addition to other necessary or appropriate considerations. The following categories shall be used:
(1)Impact Category I: The effects of activities at the disposal site shall be categorized in Impact Category I when one or more of the following conditions is present and can reasonably be attributed to ocean dumping activities;
(i) There is identifiable progressive movement or accumulation, in detectable concentrations above normal ambient values, of any waste or waste constituent from the disposal site within 12 nautical miles of any shoreline, marine sanctuary designated under title III of the Act, or critical area designated under section 102(c) of the Act; or
(ii) The biota, sediments, or water column of the disposal site, or of any area outside the disposal site where any waste or waste constituent from the disposal site is present in detectable concentrations above normal ambient values, are adversely affected by the toxicity of such waste or waste constituent to the extent that there are statistically significant decreases in the populations of valuable commercial or recreational species, or of specific species of biota essential to the propagation of such species, within the disposal site and such other area as compared to populations of the same organisms in comparable locations outside such site and area; or
(iii) Solid waste material disposed of at the site has accumulated at the site or in areas adjacent to it, to such an extent that major uses of the site or of adjacent areas are significantly impaired and the Federal or State agency responsible for regulating such uses certifies that such significant impairment has occurred and states in its certificate the basis for its determination of such impairment; or
(iv) There are adverse effects on the taste or odor of valuable commercial or recreational species as a result of disposal activities; or
(v) When any toxic waste, toxic waste constituent, or toxic byproduct of waste interaction, is consistently identified in toxic concentrations above normal ambient values outside the disposal site more than 4 hours after disposal.
(2)Impact Category II: The effects of activities at the disposal site which are not categorized in Impact Category I shall be categorized in Impact Category II.