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Title 40Chapter ISubchapter HPart 227 → Subpart G


Title 40: Protection of Environment
PART 227—CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR OCEAN DUMPING OF MATERIALS


Subpart G—Definitions


Contents
§227.27   Limiting permissible concentration (LPC).
§227.28   Release zone.
§227.29   Initial mixing.
§227.30   High-level radioactive waste.
§227.31   Applicable marine water quality criteria.
§227.32   Liquid, suspended particulate, and solid phases of a material.

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§227.27   Limiting permissible concentration (LPC).

(a) The limiting permissible concentration of the liquid phase of a material is:

(1) That concentration of a constituent which, after allowance for initial mixing as provided in §227.29, does not exceed applicable marine water quality criteria; or, when there are no applicable marine water quality criteria,

(2) That concentration of waste or dredged material in the receiving water which, after allowance for initial mixing, as specified in §227.29, will not exceed a toxicity threshold defined as 0.01 of a concentration shown to be acutely toxic to appropriate sensitive marine organisms in a bioassay carried out in accordance with approved EPA procedures.

(3) When there is reasonable scientific evidence on a specific waste material to justify the use of an application factor other than 0.01 as specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, such alternative application factor shall be used in calculating the LPC.

(b) The limiting permissible concentration of the suspended particulate and solid phases of a material means that concentration which will not cause unreasonable acute or chronic toxicity or other sublethal adverse effects based on bioassay results using appropriate sensitive marine organisms in the case of the suspended particulate phase, or appropriate sensitive benthic marine organisms in the case of the solid phase; and which will not cause accumulation of toxic materials in the human food chain. Suspended particulate phase bioaccumulation testing is not required. These bioassays are to be conducted in accordance with procedures approved by EPA, or, in the case of dredged material, approved by EPA and the Corps of Engineers.

(c) Appropriate sensitive marine organisms means at least one species each representative of phytoplankton or zooplankton, crustacean or mollusk, and fish species chosen from among the most sensitive species documented in the scientific literature or accepted by EPA as being reliable test organisms to determine the anticipated impact of the wastes on the ecosystem at the disposal site. Bioassays, except on phytoplankton or zooplankton, shall be run for a minimum of 96 hours under temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen conditions representing the extremes of environmental stress at the disposal site. Bioassays on phytoplankton or zooplankton may be run for shorter periods of time as appropriate for the organisms tested at the discretion of EPA, or EPA and the Corps of Engineers, as the case may be.

(d) Appropriate sensitive benthic marine organisms means two or more species that together represent filter-feeding, deposit-feeding, and burrowing characteristics. These organisms shall be chosen from among the species that are most sensitive for each type they represent, and that are documented in the scientific literature and accepted by EPA as being reliable test organisms to determine the anticipated impact on the site.

[42 FR 2476, Jan. 11, 1977; 43 FR 1071, Jan. 6, 1978, as amended at 59 FR 26572, May 20, 1994; 59 FR 52652, Oct. 18, 1994; 61 FR 51203, Sept. 30, 1996; 65 FR 47325, Aug. 2, 2000; 73 FR 74987, Dec. 10, 2008]

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§227.28   Release zone.

The release zone is the area swept out by the locus of points constantly 100 meters from the perimeter of the conveyance engaged in dumping activities, beginning at the first moment in which dumping is scheduled to occur and ending at the last moment in which dumping is scheduled to occur. No release zone shall exceed the total surface area of the dumpsite.

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§227.29   Initial mixing.

(a) Initial mixing is defined to be that dispersion or diffusion of liquid, suspended particulate, and solid phases of a waste which occurs within four hours after dumping. The limiting permissible concentration shall not be exceeded beyond the boundaries of the disposal site during initial mixing, and shall not be exceeded at any point in the marine environment after initial mixing. The maximum concentration of the liquid, suspended particulate, and solid phases of a dumped material after initial mixing shall be estimated by one of these methods, in order of preference:

(1) When field data on the proposed dumping are adequate to predict initial dispersion and diffusion of the waste, these shall be used, if necessary, in conjunction with an appropriate mathematical model acceptable to EPA or the District Engineer, as appropriate.

(2) When field data on the dispersion and diffusion of a waste of characteristics similar to that proposed for discharge are available, these shall be used in conjunction with an appropriate mathematical model acceptable to EPA or the District Engineer, as appropriate.

(3) When no field data are available, theoretical oceanic turbulent diffusion relationships may be applied to known characteristics of the waste and the disposal site.

(b) When no other means of estimation are feasible.

(1) The liquid and suspended particulate phases of the dumped waste may be assumed to be evenly distributed after four hours over a column of water bounded on the surface by the release zone and extending to the ocean floor, thermocline, or halocline if one exists, or to a depth of 20 meters, whichever is shallower, and

(2) The solid phase of a dumped waste may be assumed to settle rapidly to the ocean bottom and to be distributed evenly over the ocean bottom in an area equal to that of the release zone as defined in §227.28.

(c) When there is reasonable scientific evidence to demonstrate that other methods of estimating a reasonable allowance for initial mixing are appropriate for a specific material, such methods may be used with the concurrence of EPA after appropriate scientific review.

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§227.30   High-level radioactive waste.

High-level radioactive waste means the aqueous waste resulting from the operation of the first cycle solvent extraction system, or equivalent, and the concentrated waste from subsequent extraction cycles, or equivalent, in a facility for reprocessing irradiated reactor fuels or irradiated fuel from nuclear power reactors.

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§227.31   Applicable marine water quality criteria.

Applicable marine water quality criteria means the criteria given for marine waters in the EPA publication “Quality Criteria for Water” as published in 1976 and amended by subsequent supplements or additions.

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§227.32   Liquid, suspended particulate, and solid phases of a material.

(a) For the purposes of these regulations, the liquid phase of a material, subject to the exclusions of paragraph (b) of this section, is the supernatant remaining after one hour undisturbed settling, after centrifugation and filtration through a 0.45 micron filter. The suspended particulate phase is the supernatant as obtained above prior to centrifugation and filtration. The solid phase includes all material settling to the bottom in one hour. Settling shall be conducted according to procedures approved by EPA.

(b) For dredged material, other material containing large proportions of insoluble matter, materials which may interact with ocean water to form insoluble matter or new toxic compounds, or materials which may release toxic compounds upon deposition, the Administrator, Regional Administrator, or the District Engineer, as the case may be, may require that the separation of liquid, suspended particulate, and solid phases of the material be performed upon a mixture of the waste with ocean water rather than on the material itself. In such cases the following procedures shall be used:

(1) For dredged material, the liquid phase is considered to be the centrifuged and 0.45 micron filtered supernatant remaining after one hour undisturbed settling of the mixture resulting from a vigorous 30-minute agitation of one part bottom sediment from the dredging site with four parts water (vol/vol) collected from the dredging site or from the disposal site, as appropriate for the type of dredging operation. The suspended particulate phase is the supernatant as obtained above prior to centrifugation and filtration. The solid phase is considered to be all material settling to the bottom within one hour. Settling shall be conducted by procedures approved by EPA and the Corps of Engineers.

(2) For other materials, the proportion of ocean water used shall be the minimum amount necessary to produce the anticipated effect (e.g., complete neutralization of an acid or alkaline waste) based on guidance provided by EPA on particular cases, or in accordance with approved EPA procedures. For such materials the liquid phase is the filtered and centrifuged supernatant resulting from the mixture after 30 minutes of vigorous shaking followed by undisturbed settling for one hour. The suspended particulate phase is the supernatant as obtained above prior to centrifugation and filtration. The solid phase is the insoluble material settling to the bottom in that period.

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