40 CFR § 761.79 - Decontamination standards and procedures.

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§ 761.79 Decontamination standards and procedures.

(a) Applicability. This section establishes decontamination standards and procedures for removing PCBs, which are regulated for disposal, from water, organic liquids, non-porous surfaces (including scrap metal from disassembled electrical equipment), concrete, and non-porous surfaces covered with a porous surface, such as paint or coating on metal.

(1) Decontamination in accordance with this section does not require a disposal approval under subpart D of this part.

(2) Materials from which PCBs have been removed by decontamination in accordance with this section may be distributed in commerce in accordance with § 761.20(c)(5).

(3) Materials from which PCBs have been removed by decontamination in accordance with this section may be used or reused in accordance with § 761.30(u).

(4) Materials from which PCBs have been removed by decontamination in accordance with this section, not including decontamination waste and residuals under paragraph (g) of this section, are unregulated for disposal under subpart D of this part.

(5) Any person decontaminating porous surfaces other than concrete under paragraph (b)(4) of this section and non-porous surfaces covered with a porous surface, such as paint or coating on metal, under paragraph (b)(3) or (c)(6) of this section must obtain an alternative decontamination approval in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section.

(6) Any person engaging in decontamination under this section is responsible for determining and complying with all other applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.

(b) Decontamination standards. Chopping (including wire chopping), distilling, filtering, oil/water separation, spraying, soaking, wiping, stripping of insulation, scraping, scarification or the use of abrasives or solvents may be used to remove or separate PCBs, to the following standards, from liquids, concrete, or non-porous surfaces.

(1) The decontamination standard for water containing PCBs is:

(i) Less than 200 µg/L (i.e., <200 ppb PCBs) for non-contact use in a closed system where there are no releases;

(ii) For water discharged to a treatment works (as defined in § 503.9(aa) of this chapter) or to navigable waters, <3 µg/L (approximately <3 ppb) or a PCB discharge limit included in a permit issued under section 307(b) or 402 of the Clean Water Act; or

(iii) Less than or equal to 0.5 µg/L (i.e., approximately ≤0.5 ppb PCBs) for unrestricted use.

(2) The decontamination standard for organic liquids and non-aqueous inorganic liquids containing PCBs is <2 milligrams per kilogram (i.e., <2 ppm PCBs).

(3) The decontamination standard for non-porous surfaces in contact with liquid and non-liquid PCBs is:

(i) For unrestricted use:

(A) For non-porous surfaces previously in contact with liquid PCBs at any concentration, where no free-flowing liquids are currently present, ≤10 micrograms PCBs per 100 square centimeters (≤10 µg/100 cm 2) as measured by a standard wipe test (§ 761.123) at locations selected in accordance with subpart P of this part.

(B) For non-porous surfaces in contact with non-liquid PCBs (including non-porous surfaces covered with a porous surface, such as paint or coating on metal), cleaning to Visual Standard No. 2, Near-White Blast Cleaned Surface Finish, of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE). A person shall verify compliance with standard No. 2 by visually inspecting all cleaned areas.

(ii) For disposal in a smelter operating in accordance with § 761.72(b):

(A) For non-porous surfaces previously in contact with liquid PCBs at any concentration, where no free-flowing liquids are currently present, <100 µg/100 cm 2 as measured by a standard wipe test (§ 761.123) at locations selected in accordance with subpart P of this part.

(B) For non-porous surfaces in contact with non-liquid PCBs (including non-porous surfaces covered with a porous surface, such as paint or coating on metal), cleaning to Visual Standard No. 3, Commercial Blast Cleaned Surface Finish, of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE). A person shall verify compliance with standard No. 3 by visually inspecting all cleaned areas.

(4) The decontamination standard for concrete is ≤10 µg/100 cm 2 as measured by a standard wipe test (§ 761.123) if the decontamination procedure is commenced within 72 hours of the initial spill of PCBs to the concrete or portion thereof being decontaminated.

(c) Self-implementing decontamination procedures. The following self-implementing decontamination procedures are available as an alternative to the measurement-based decontamination methods specified in paragraph (b) of this section. Any person performing self-implementing decontamination must comply with one of the following procedures.

(1) Any person decontaminating a PCB Container must do so by flushing the internal surfaces of the container three times with a solvent containing <50 ppm PCBs. Each rinse shall use a volume of the flushing solvent equal to approximately 10 percent of the PCB Container capacity.

(2) Any person decontaminating movable equipment contaminated by PCBs, tools, and sampling equipment may do so by:

(i) Swabbing surfaces that have contacted PCBs with a solvent;

(ii) A double wash/rinse as defined in subpart S of this part; or

(iii) Another applicable decontamination procedure in this section.

(3) Any person decontaminating a non-porous surface in contact with free-flowing mineral oil dielectric fluid (MODEF) at levels ≤10,000 ppm PCBs must do so as follows:

(i) Drain the free-flowing MODEF and allow the residual surfaces to drain for an additional 15 hours.

(ii) Dispose of drained MODEF according to paragraph (g) of this section.

(iii) Soak the surfaces to be decontaminated in a sufficient amount of clean (containing <2 ppm PCBs) performance-based organic decontamination fluid (PODF) such that there is a minimum of 800 ml of PODF for each 100 cm 2 of contaminated or potentially contaminated surface for at least 15 hours at ≥20 °C.

(iv) Approved PODFs include:

(A) Kerosene.

(B) Diesel fuel.

(C) Terpene hydrocarbons.

(D) Mixtures of terpene hydrocarbons and terpene alcohols.

(v) Drain the PODF from the surfaces.

(vi) Dispose of the drained PODF in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.

(4) Any person decontaminating a non-porous surface in contact with free-flowing MODEF containing >10,000 ppm PCB in MODEF or askarel PCB (up to 70 percent PCB in a mixture of trichlorobenzenes and tetrachlorobenzenes) must do so as follows:

(i) Drain the free-flowing MODEF or askarel and allow the residual surfaces to drain for an additional 15 hours.

(ii) Dispose of drained MODEF or askarel according to paragraph (g) of this section.

(iii) Soak the surfaces to be decontaminated in a sufficient amount of clean PODF (containing <2 ppm PCBs) such that there is a minimum of 800 ml of PODF for each 100 cm 2 of contaminated or potentially contaminated surface for at least 15 hours at ≥20 °C.

(iv) Approved PODFs include:

(A) Kerosene.

(B) Diesel fuel.

(C) Terpene hydrocarbons.

(D) Mixtures of terpene hydrocarbons and terpene alcohols.

(v) Drain the PODF from the surfaces.

(vi) Dispose of the drained PODF in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.

(vii) Resoak the surfaces to be decontaminated, pursuant to paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section, in a sufficient amount of clean PODF (containing <2 ppm PCBs) such that there is a minimum of 800 ml of PODF for each 100 cm 2 of surface for at least 15 hours at ≥20 °C.

(viii) Drain the PODF from the surfaces.

(ix) Dispose of the drained PODF in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.

(5) Any person decontaminating piping and air lines in an air compressor system must do so as follows:

(i) Before decontamination proceeds, disconnect or bypass the air compressors and air dryers from the piping and air lines and decontaminate the air compressors and air dryers separately in accordance with paragraphs (b), (c)(1) through (c)(4), or (c)(6) of this section. Dispose of filter media and desiccant in the air dyers based on their existing PCB concentration.

(ii) Test the connecting line and appurtenances of the system to assure that there is no leakage. Test by introducing air into the closed system at from 90 to 100 pounds per square inch (psi). Only if there is a pressure drop of <5 psi in 30 minutes may decontamination take place.

(iii) When there is no leakage, fill the piping and air lines with clean (containing <2 ppm PCBs) solvent. Solvents include PODF, aqueous potassium hydroxide at a pH between 9 and 12, or water containing 5 percent sodium hydroxide by weight.

(iv) Circulate the solvent to achieve turbulent flow through the piping and air lines in the air compressor system until the total volume of solvent circulated equals 10 times the total volume of the particular article being decontaminated, then drain the solvent. Calculate the total volume of solvent circulated by multiplying the pump rate by the time of pumping. Turbulent flow means a Reynolds number range from 20,000 to 43,000. Refill the system with clean solvent and repeat the circulation and drain process.

(6) Any person using thermal processes to decontaminate metal surfaces in contact with PCBs, as required by § 761.62(a)(6), must use one of the following options:

(i) Surfaces in contact with liquid and non-liquid PCBs at concentrations <500 ppm may be decontaminated in a scrap metal recovery oven or smelter for purposes of disposal in accordance with § 761.72.

(ii) Surfaces in contact with liquid or non-liquid PCBs at concentrations ≥500 ppm may be smelted in a smelter operating in accordance with § 761.72(b), but must first be decontaminated in accordance with § 761.72(a) or to a surface concentration of <100 µg/100 cm 2.

(d) Decontamination solvents.

(1) Unless otherwise provided in paragraphs (c)(3) through (c)(5) of this section, the solubility of PCBs in any solvent used for purposes of decontamination under this section must be 5 percent or more by weight.

(2) The solvent may be reused for decontamination so long as its PCB concentration is <50 ppm.

(3) Solvent shall be disposed of under paragraph (g) of this section.

(4) Other than as allowed in paragraphs (c)(3) and (c)(4) of this section, solvents may be tested and validated for performance-based decontamination of non-porous surfaces contaminated with MODEF or other PCB liquids, in accordance with the self-implementing procedures found in subpart T of this part. Specific conditions for the performance-based testing from this validation are determined in the validation study.

(e) Limitation of exposure and control of releases.

(1) Any person conducting decontamination activities under this section shall take necessary measures to protect against direct release of PCBs to the environment from the decontamination area.

(2) Persons participating in decontamination activities shall wear or use protective clothing or equipment to protect against dermal contact or inhalation of PCBs or materials containing PCBs.

(f) Sampling and recordkeeping.

(1) Confirmatory sampling is required under paragraph (b) of this section. For liquids described in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section, sample in accordance with §§ 761.269 and 761.272. For non-porous surfaces and concrete described in paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section, sample in accordance with subpart P of this part. A written record of such sampling must be established and maintained for 3 years from the date of any decontamination under this section. The record must show sampling locations and analytical results and must be retained at the site of the decontamination or a copy of the record must be made available to EPA in a timely manner, if requested. In addition, recordkeeping is required in accordance with § 761.180(a) for all wastes generated by a decontamination process and regulated for disposal under this subpart.

(2) Confirmatory sampling is not required for self-implementing decontamination procedures under paragraph (c) of this section. Any person using these procedures must retain a written record documenting compliance with the procedures for 3 years after completion of the decontamination procedures (e.g., video recordings, photographs).

(g) Decontamination waste and residues. Decontamination waste and residues shall be disposed of at their existing PCB concentration unless otherwise specified.

(1) Distillation bottoms or residues and filter media are regulated for disposal as PCB remediation waste.

(2) PCBs physically separated from regulated waste during decontamination (such as by chopping, shredding, scraping, abrading or oil/water separation, as opposed to solvent rinsing and soaking), other than wastes described in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, are regulated for disposal at their original concentration.

(3) Hydrocarbon solvent used or reused for decontamination under this section that contains <50 ppm PCB must be burned and marketed in accordance with the requirements for used oil in § 761.20(e), disposed of in accordance with § 761.60(a) or (e), or decontaminated pursuant to this section.

(4) Chlorinated solvent at any PCB concentration used for decontamination under this section shall be disposed of in an incinerator operating in compliance with § 761.70, or decontaminated pursuant to this section.

(5) Solvents ≥50 ppm other than those described in paragraphs (g)(3) and (g)(4) of this section shall be disposed of in accordance with § 761.60(a) or decontaminated pursuant to this section.

(6) Non-liquid cleaning materials and personal protective equipment waste at any concentration, including non-porous surfaces and other non-liquid materials such as rags, gloves, booties, other disposable personal protective equipment, and similar materials resulting from decontamination shall be disposed of in accordance with § 761.61(a)(5)(v).

(h) Alternative decontamination or sampling approval.

(1) Any person wishing to decontaminate material described in paragraph (a) of this section in a manner other than prescribed in paragraph (b) of this section must apply in writing to the Regional Administrator in the Region where the activity would take place, for decontamination activity occurring in a single EPA Region; or to the Director, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, for decontamination activity occurring in more than one EPA Region. Each application must describe the material to be decontaminated and the proposed decontamination method, and must demonstrate that the proposed method is capable of decontaminating the material to the applicable level set out in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(4) of this section.

(2) Any person wishing to decontaminate material described in paragraph (a) of this section using a self-implementing procedure other than prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section must apply in writing to the Regional Administrator in the Region where the activity would take place, for decontamination activity occurring in a single EPA Region; or to the Director, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, for decontamination activity occurring in more than one EPA Region. Each application must describe the material to be decontaminated and the proposed self-implementing decontamination method and must include a proposed validation study to confirm performance of the method.

(3) Any person wishing to sample decontaminated material in a manner other than prescribed in paragraph (f) of this section must apply in writing to the Regional Administrator in the Region where the activity would take place, for decontamination activity occurring in a single EPA Region; or to the Director, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, for decontamination activity occurring in more than one EPA Region. Each application must contain a description of the material to be decontaminated, the nature and PCB concentration of the contaminating material (if known), the decontamination method, the proposed sampling procedure, and a justification for how the proposed sampling is equivalent to or more comprehensive than the sampling procedure required under paragraph (f) of this section.

(4) EPA may request additional information that it believes necessary to evaluate the application.

(5) EPA will issue a written decision on each application for risk-based decontamination or sampling. No person may conduct decontamination or sampling under this paragraph prior to obtaining written approval from EPA. EPA will approve an application if it finds that the proposed decontamination or sampling method will not pose an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.

[63 FR 35457, June 29, 1998, as amended at 64 FR 33761, June 24, 1999; 72 FR 57240, Oct. 9, 2007; 74 FR 30233, June 25, 2009]