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e-CFR data is current as of April 8, 2020

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter RPart 761Subpart G → §761.125


Title 40: Protection of Environment
PART 761—POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS (PCBs) MANUFACTURING, PROCESSING, DISTRIBUTION IN COMMERCE, AND USE PROHIBITIONS
Subpart G—PCB Spill Cleanup Policy


§761.125   Requirements for PCB spill cleanup.

(a) General. Unless expressly limited, the reporting, disposal, and precleanup sampling requirements in paragraphs (a) (1) through (3) of this section apply to all spills of PCBs at concentrations of 50 ppm or greater which are subject to decontamination requirements under TSCA, including those spills listed under §761.120(b) which are excluded from the cleanup standards at paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.

(1) Reporting requirements. The reporting in paragraphs (a)(1) (i) through (iv) of this section is required in addition to applicable reporting requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA) or the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). For example, under the National Contingency Plan all spills involving 1 pound or more by weight of PCBs must currently be reported to the National Response Center (1-800-424-8802). The requirements in paragraphs (a)(1) (i) through (iv) of this section are designed to be consistent with existing reporting requirements to the extent possible so as to minimize reporting burdens on governments as well as the regulated community.

(i) Where a spill directly contaminates surface water, sewers, or drinking water supplies, as discussed under §761.120(d), the responsible party shall notify the appropriate EPA regional office and obtain guidance for appropriate cleanup measures in the shortest possible time after discovery, but in no case later than 24 hours after discovery.

(ii) Where a spill directly contaminates grazing lands or vegetable gardens, as discussed under §761.120(d), the responsible party shall notify the appropriate EPA regional office and proceed with the immediate requirements specified under paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, depending on the source of the spill, in the shortest possible time after discovery, but in no case later than 24 hours after discovery.

(iii) Where a spill exceeds 10 pounds of PCBs by weight and is not addressed in paragraph (a)(1) (i) or (ii) of this section, the responsible party will notify the appropriate EPA regional office and proceed to decontaminate the spill area in accordance with this TSCA policy in the shortest possible time after discovery, but in no case later than 24 hours after discovery.

(iv) Spills of 10 pounds or less, which are not addressed in paragraph (a)(1) (i) or (ii) of this section, must be cleaned up in accordance with this policy (in order to avoid EPA enforcement liability), but notification of EPA is not required.

(2) Disposal of cleanup debris and materials. All concentrated soils, solvents, rags, and other materials resulting from the cleanup of PCBs under this policy shall be properly stored, labeled, and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of subpart D of this part.

(3) Determination of spill boundaries in the absence of visible traces. For spills where there are insufficient visible traces yet there is evidence of a leak or spill, the boundaries of the spill are to be determined by using a statistically based sampling scheme.

(b) Requirements for cleanup of low-concentration spills which involve less than 1 pound of PCBs by weight (less than 270 gallons of untested mineral oil)—(1) Decontamination requirements. Spills of less than 270 gallons of untested mineral oil, low-concentration PCBs, as defined under §761.123, which involve less than 1 pound of PCBs by weight (e.g., less than 270 gallons of untested mineral oil containing less than 500 ppm PCBs) shall be cleaned in the following manner:

(i) Solid surfaces must be double washed/rinsed (as defined under §761.123); except that all indoor, residential surfaces other than vault areas must be cleaned to 10 micrograms per 100 square centimeters (10 µg/100 cm2) by standard commercial wipe tests.

(ii) All soil within the spill area (i.e., visible traces of soil and a buffer of 1 lateral foot around the visible traces) must be excavated, and the ground be restored to its original configuration by back-filling with clean soil (i.e., containing less than 1 ppm PCBs).

(iii) Requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section must be completed within 48 hours after the responsible party was notified or became aware of the spill.

(2) Effect of emergency or adverse weather. Completion of cleanup may be delayed beyond 48 hours in case of circumstances including but not limited to, civil emergency, adverse weather conditions, lack of access to the site, and emergency operating conditions. The occurrence of a spill on a weekend or overtime costs are not acceptable reasons to delay response. Completion of cleanup may be delayed only for the duration of the adverse conditions. If the adverse weather conditions, or time lapse due to other emergency, has left insufficient visible traces, the responsible party must use a statistically based sampling scheme to determine the spill boundaries as required under paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

(3) Records and certification. At the completion of cleanup, the responsible party shall document the cleanup with records and certification of decontamination. The records and certification must be maintained for a period of 5 years. The records and certification shall consist of the following:

(i) Identification of the source of the spill (e.g., type of equipment).

(ii) Estimated or actual date and time of the spill occurrence.

(iii) The date and time cleanup was completed or terminated (if cleanup was delayed by emergency or adverse weather: the nature and duration of the delay).

(iv) A brief description of the spill location.

(v) Precleanup sampling data used to establish the spill boundaries if required because of insufficient visible traces, and a brief description of the sampling methodology used to establish the spill boundaries.

(vi) A brief description of the solid surfaces cleaned and of the double wash/rinse method used.

(vii) Approximate depth of soil excavation and the amount of soil removed.

(viii) A certification statement signed by the responsible party stating that the cleanup requirements have been met and that the information contained in the record is true to the best of his/her knowledge.

(ix) While not required for compliance with this policy, the following information would be useful if maintained in the records:

(A) Additional pre- or post-cleanup sampling.

(B) The estimated cost of the cleanup by man-hours, dollars, or both.

(c) Requirements for cleanup of high-concentration spills and low-concentration spills involving 1 pound or more PCBs by weight (270 gallons or more of untested mineral oil). Cleanup of low-concentration spills involving 1 lb or more PCBs by weight and of all spills of materials other than low-concentration materials shall be considered complete if all of the immediate requirements, cleanup standards, sampling, and recordkeeping requirements of paragraphs (c) (1) through (5) of this section are met.

(1) Immediate requirements. The four actions in paragraphs (c)(1) (i) through (iv) of this section must be taken as quickly as possible and within no more than 24 hours (or within 48 hours for PCB Transformers) after the responsible party was notified or became aware of the spill, except that actions described in paragraphs (c)(1) (ii) through (iv) of this section can be delayed beyond 24 hours if circumstances (e.g., civil emergency, hurricane, tornado, or other similar adverse weather conditions, lack of access due to physical impossibility, or emergency operating conditions) so require for the duration of the adverse conditions. The occurrence of a spill on a weekend or overtime costs are not acceptable reasons to delay response. Owners of spilled PCBs who have delayed cleanup because of these types of circumstances must keep records documenting the fact that circumstances precluded rapid response.

(i) The responsible party shall notify the EPA regional office and the NRC as required by §761.125(a)(1) or by other applicable statutes.

(ii) The responsible party shall effectively cordon off or otherwise delineate and restrict an area encompassing any visible traces plus a 3-foot buffer and place clearly visible signs advising persons to avoid the area to minimize the spread of contamination as well as the potential for human exposure.

(iii) The responsible party shall record and document the area of visible contamination, noting the extent of the visible trace areas and the center of the visible trace area. If there are no visible traces, the responsible party shall record this fact and contact the regional office of the EPA for guidance in completing statistical sampling of the spill area to establish spill boundaries.

(iv) The responsible party shall initiate cleanup of all visible traces of the fluid on hard surfaces and initiate removal of all visible traces of the spill on soil and other media, such as gravel, sand, oyster shells, etc.

(v) If there has been a delay in reaching the site and there are insufficient visible traces of PCBs remaining at the spill site, the responsible party must estimate (based on the amount of material missing from the equipment or container) the area of the spill and immediately cordon off the area of suspect contamination. The responsible party must then utilize a statistically based sampling scheme to identify the boundaries of the spill area as soon as practicable.

(vi) Although this policy requires certain immediate actions, as described in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (iv) of this section, EPA is not placing a time limit on completion of the cleanup effort since the time required for completion will vary from case to case. However, EPA expects that decontamination will be achieved promptly in all cases and will consider promptness of completion in determining whether the responsible party made good faith efforts to clean up in accordance with this policy.

(2) Requirements for decontaminating spills in outdoor electrical substations. Spills which occur in outdoor electrical substations, as defined under §761.123, shall be decontaminated in accordance with paragraphs (c)(2) (i) and (ii) of this section. Conformance to the cleanup standards under paragraphs (c)(2) (i) and (ii) of this section shall be verified by post-cleanup sampling as specified under §761.130. At such times as outdoor electrical substations are converted to another use, the spill site shall be cleaned up to the nonrestricted access requirements under paragraph (c)(4) of this section.

(i) Contaminated solid surfaces (both impervious and non-impervious) shall be cleaned to a PCB concentration of 100 micrograms (µg)/100 square centimeters (cm2) (as measured by standard wipe tests).

(ii) At the option of the responsible party, soil contaminated by the spill will be cleaned either to 25 ppm PCBs by weight, or to 50 ppm PCBs by weight provided that a label or notice is visibly placed in the area. Upon demonstration by the responsible party that cleanup to 25 ppm or 50 ppm will jeopardize the integrity of the electrical equipment at the substation, the EPA regional office may establish an alternative cleanup method or level and place the responsible party on a reasonably timely schedule for completion of cleanup.

(3) Requirements for decontaminating spills in other restricted access areas. Spills which occur in restricted access locations other than outdoor electrical substations, as defined under §761.123, shall be decontaminated in accordance with paragraphs (c)(3) (i) through (v) of this section. Conformance to the cleanup standards in paragraphs (c)(3) (i) through (v) of this section shall be verified by postcleanup sampling as specified under §761.130. At such times as restricted access areas other than outdoor electrical substations are converted to another use, the spill site shall be cleaned up to the nonrestricted access area requirements of paragraph (c)(4) of this section.

(i) High-contact solid surfaces, as defined under §761.163 shall be cleaned to 10 µg/100 cm2 (as measured by standard wipe tests).

(ii) Low-contact, indoor, impervious solid surfaces will be decontaminated to 10 µg/100 cm2.

(iii) At the option of the responsible party, low-contact, indoor, nonimpervious surfaces will be cleaned either to 10 µg/100 cm2 or to 100 µg/100 cm2 and encapsulated. The Regional Administrator, however, retains the authority to disallow the encapsulation option for a particular spill situation upon finding that the uncertainties associated with that option pose special concerns at that site. That is, the Regional Administrator would not permit encapsulation if he/she determined that if the encapsulation failed the failure would create an imminent hazard at the site.

(iv) Low-contact, outdoor surfaces (both impervious and nonimpervious) shall be cleaned to 100 µg/100 cm2.

(v) Soil contaminated by the spill will be cleaned to 25 ppm PCBs by weight.

(4) Requirements for decontaminating spills in nonrestricted access areas. Spills which occur in nonrestricted access locations, as defined under §761.123, shall be decontaminated in accordance with paragraphs (c)(4) (i) through (v) of this section. Conformance to the cleanup standards at paragraphs (c)(4) (i) through (v) of this section shall be verified by postcleanup sampling as specified under §761.130.

(i) Furnishings, toys, and other easily replaceable household items shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of subpart D of this part and replaced by the responsible party.

(ii) Indoor solid surfaces and high-contact outdoor solid surfaces, defined as high contact residential/commercial surfaces under §761.123, shall be cleaned to 10 µg/100 cm2 (as measured by standard wipe tests).

(iii) Indoor vault areas and low-contact, outdoor, impervious solid surfaces shall be decontaminated to 10 µg/100 cm2.

(iv) At the option of the responsible party, low-contact, outdoor, nonimpervious solid surfaces shall be either cleaned to 10 µg/100 cm2 or cleaned to 100 µg/100 cm2 and encapsulated. The Regional Administrator, however, retains the authority to disallow the encapsulation option for a particular spill situation upon finding that the uncertainties associated with that option pose special concerns at that site. That is, the Regional Administrator would not permit encapsulation if he/she determined that if the encapsulation failed the failure would create an imminent hazard at the site.

(v) Soil contaminated by the spill will be decontaminated to 10 ppm PCBs by weight provided that soil is excavated to a minimum depth of 10 inches. The excavated soil will be replaced with clean soil, i.e., containing less than 1 ppm PCBs, and the spill site will be restored (e.g., replacement of turf).

(5) Records. The responsible party shall document the cleanup with records of decontamination. The records must be maintained for a period of 5 years. The records and certification shall consist of the following:

(i) Identification of the source of the spill, e.g., type of equipment.

(ii) Estimated or actual date and time of the spill occurrence.

(iii) The date and time cleanup was completed or terminated (if cleanup was delayed by emergency or adverse weather: the nature and duration of the delay).

(iv) A brief description of the spill location and the nature of the materials contaminated. This information should include whether the spill occurred in an outdoor electrical substation, other restricted access location, or in a nonrestricted access area.

(v) Precleanup sampling data used to establish the spill boundaries if required because of insufficient visible traces and a brief description of the sampling methodology used to establish the spill boundaries.

(vi) A brief description of the solid surfaces cleaned.

(vii) Approximate depth of soil excavation and the amount of soil removed.

(viii) Postcleanup verification sampling data and, if not otherwise apparent from the documentation, a brief description of the sampling methodology and analytical technique used.

(ix) While not required for compliance with this policy, information on the estimated cost of cleanup (by man-hours, dollars, or both) would be useful if maintained in the records.

[52 FR 10705, Apr. 2, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 40884, Oct. 19, 1988; 63 FR 35461, June 29, 1998; 72 FR 57241, Oct. 9, 2007]

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