November 2008 – AggBeat
The final rule requires that mine rescue stations:
* Be equipped with 12 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), each having a four-hour capacity;
* Maintain supplies for the SCBAs with sufficient amounts to sustain each team member for eight hours;
* Have two extra, fully charged oxygen bottles for every six SCBAs; and
* Be equipped with four gas detectors appropriate for each gas that may be encountered in the mine (type of detector is up to the discretion of the mine operator).
MSHA estimated the cost of the rule to be $250,000 for metal/non-metal (M/NM) operators.
EPA issues revised stormwater permit
According to a report in the National Stone, Sand & Gravel’s eDigest & Washington Watch newsletter, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System general permit for stormwater discharges from industrial activities – the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). It became effective on Sept. 29 when it was published in the Federal Register and will expire in 2013.
The permit applies to aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, and asphalt operations in Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories where the EPA remains the permitting authority. This MSGP replaces the existing general permit issued in 2000 that expired Oct. 30, 2005, and was administratively continued for covered facilities.
For Sector J, Non-Metallic Mineral Mining and Dressing, which addresses aggregate operations, a covered facility must meet pH limits of 6.0 to 9.0, a Total Suspended Solids limit of 100 mg/L, and, for sand and gravel mining, a Nitrate plus Nitrite Nitrogen limit of 0.68 mg/L. A covered facility must also monitor stormwater discharges from construction, exploration, and reclamation activities; inactive and active aggregate sites; mine dewatering composed entirely of stormwater; and uncontaminated groundwater seepage.
The steps facility operators must take to be eligible for the general permit, which include submitting a notice of intent, installing stormwater control measures to minimize pollutants in stormwater runoff, and developing a stormwater prevention plan, are outlined in the Federal Register. Changes from the previous permit include electronic filing of notices of intent and monitoring reports; Web-based tools for locating water bodies and determining impairment status; and updated monitoring, inspection, and corrective action schedules.
According to the report, companies that want to be covered by the new permit must certify that they meet the requisite eligibility requirements, must install and implement control measures to meet effluent limits, and must develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan describing control measures used to achieve the effluent limits.
Electronic versions of the final permit, fact sheet, and notice of intent forms are available at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/msgp.cfm.
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