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Title 40Chapter ISubchapter CPart 61 → Subpart W

Title 40: Protection of Environment

Subpart W—National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions From Operating Mill Tailings

§61.250   Designation of facilities.
§61.251   Definitions.
§61.252   Standard.
§61.253   Determining compliance.
§61.254   Annual reporting requirements.
§61.255   Recordkeeping requirements.
§61.256   Exemption from the reporting and testing requirements of 40 CFR 61.10.

Source: 54 FR 51703, Dec. 15, 1989, unless otherwise noted.

§61.250   Designation of facilities.

The provisions of this subpart apply to owners or operators of facilities licensed to manage uranium byproduct materials during and following the processing of uranium ores, commonly referred to as uranium mills and their associated tailings. This subpart does not apply to the disposal of tailings.

§61.251   Definitions.

As used in this subpart, all terms not defined here have the meaning given them in the Clean Air Act or 40 CFR part 61, subpart A. The following terms shall have the following specific meanings:

(a) Area means the vertical projection of the pile upon the earth's surface.

(b) Continuous disposal means a method of tailings management and disposal in which tailings are dewatered by mechanical methods immediately after generation. The dried tailings are then placed in trenches or other disposal areas and immediately covered to limit emissions consistent with applicable Federal standards.

(c) Dewatered means to remove the water from recently produced tailings by mechanical or evaporative methods such that the water content of the tailings does not exceed 30 percent by weight.

(d) Existing impoundment means any uranium mill tailings impoundment which is licensed to accept additional tailings and is in existence as of December 15, 1989.

(e) Operation means that an impoundment is being used for the continued placement of new tailings or is in standby status for such placement. An impoundment is in operation from the day that tailings are first placed in the impoundment until the day that final closure begins.

(f) Phased disposal means a method of tailings management and disposal which uses lined impoundments which are filled and then immediately dried and covered to meet all applicable Federal standards.

(g) Uranium byproduct material or tailings means the waste produced by the extraction or concentration of uranium from any ore processed primarily for its source material content. Ore bodies depleted by uranium solution extraction and which remain underground do not constitute byproduct material for the purposes of this subpart.

§61.252   Standard.

(a) Radon-222 emissions to the ambient air from an existing uranium mill tailings pile shall not exceed 20 pCi/(m2-sec) (1.9 pCi/(ft2-sec)) of radon-222.

(b) After December 15, 1989, no new tailings impoundment can be built unless it is designed, constructed and operated to meet one of the two following work practices:

(1) Phased disposal in lined tailings impoundments that are no more than 40 acres in area and meet the requirements of 40 CFR 192.32(a) as determined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The owner or operator shall have no more than two impoundments, including existing impoundments, in operation at any one time.

(2) Continuous disposal of tailings such that tailings are dewatered and immediately disposed with no more than 10 acres uncovered at any time and operated in accordance with §192.32(a) as determined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(c) All mill owners or operators shall comply with the provisions of 40 CFR 192.32(a) in the operation of tailings piles, the exemption for existing piles in 40 CFR 192.32(a) notwithstanding.

[54 FR 51703, Dec. 15, 1989, as amended at 65 FR 62159, Oct. 17, 2000]

§61.253   Determining compliance.

Compliance with the emission standard in this subpart shall be determined annually through the use of Method 115 of appendix B. When measurements are to be made over a one year period, EPA shall be provided with a schedule of the measurement frequency to be used. The schedule may be submitted to EPA prior to or after the first measurement period. EPA shall be notified 30 days prior to any emissions test so that EPA may, at its option, observe the test.

§61.254   Annual reporting requirements.

(a) The owners or operators of operating existing mill impoundments shall report the results of the compliance calculations required in §61.253 and the input parameters used in making the calculation for each calendar year shall be sent to EPA by March 31 of the following year. Each report shall also include the following information:

(1) The name and location of the mill.

(2) The name of the person responsible for the operation of the facility and the name of the person preparing the report (if different).

(3) The results of the testing conducted, including the results of each measurement.

(4) Each report shall be signed and dated by a corporate officer in charge of the facility and contain the following declaration immediately above the signature line: “I certify under penalty of law that I have personally examined and am familiar with the information submitted herein and based on my inquiry of those individuals immediately responsible for obtaining the information, I believe that the submitted information is true, accurate and complete. I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information including the possibility of fine and imprisonment. See, 18 U.S.C. 1001.”

(b) If the facility is not in compliance with the emission limits of §61.252 in the calendar year covered by the report, then the facility must commence reporting to the Administrator on a monthly basis the information listed in paragraph (a) of this section, for the preceding month. These reports will start the month immediately following the submittal of the annual report for the year in noncompliance and will be due 30 days following the end of each month. This increased level of reporting will continue until the Administrator has determined that the monthly reports are no longer necessary. In addition to all the information required in paragraph (a) of this section, monthly reports shall also include the following information:

(1) All controls or other changes in operation of the facility that will be or are being installed to bring the facility into compliance.

(2) If the facility is under a judicial or administrative enforcement decree, the report will describe the facilities performance under the terms of the decree.

(c) The first report will cover the emissions of calendar year 1990.

§61.255   Recordkeeping requirements.

The owner or operator of the mill must maintain records documenting the source of input parameters including the results of all measurements upon which they are based, the calculations and/or analytical methods used to derive values for input parameters, and the procedure used to determine compliance. In addition, the documentation should be sufficient to allow an independent auditor to verify the accuracy of the determination made concerning the facility's compliance with the standard. These records must be kept at the mill for at least five years and upon request be made available for inspection by the Administrator, or his authorized representative.

§61.256   Exemption from the reporting and testing requirements of 40 CFR 61.10.

All facilities designated under this subpart are exempt from the reporting requirements of 40 CFR 61.10.

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