EPA accepting public comments on Evoqua facility

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comment regarding a proposed hazardous waste management permit for the Evoqua Water Technologies facility near Shea Road in Parker.

Evoqua, formerly Siemens, formerly U.S. Filter/Westates, is a carbon regeneration facility that takes used commercial carbon filters and burns off the contaminants that have accumulated in the carbon, purifying the filters and making them available to reuse. According to the EPA:

“The spent carbon that is shipped to the facility has been used to remove contaminants from air emissions and contaminated water at industrial and cleanup sites throughout the nation. Annually, the Evoqua facility receives over 5,000 tons of spent carbon from 30-35 states across the United States. About 11% of this spent carbon is considered hazardous waste and is regulated by EPA.”

A central focus on determining the impact on the surrounding environment is on what comes out of the ‘vent’ or ‘stack’ at the facility. An analysis was done by the EPA in July 2007, measuring the concentrations of contaminants during a trial burn. Computers modeled how emitted substances would disperse throughout the air and soil in a 154-square mile area around the facility. The emissions were 49.2% steam, 42.2% nitrogen, 4.7% oxygen, 3.9% carbon dioxide, 0.006% other, 0.005% nitrogen oxides, 0.00023% hydrogen chloride and chlorine, 0.0002% carbon monoxide, 0.00007% ash, 0.0000004% metals, 0.0000005% organics (estimated) and 0.0000000000001% dioxins. The risk assessment demonstrated that, “even with conservative assumptions, the potential risks associated with facility operations are below regulatory and target levels.”

Back in the 90s, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act began requiring new carbon regeneration furnaces to obtain hazardous waste permits. The facility in Parker was already undergoing construction, so it was allowed to go forward and operate under ‘interim status’ while the company applied for a permit. The permit application process, which included several revisions and changes over time, is now complete and the EPA is seeking public comment on the proposed permit.

“The public has until November 15, 2016 to review the draft permit and supporting documents and provide comments to EPA,” reads an EPA bulletin sent to Parker area residents in October. “Any comments submitted … will be responded to in writing after the close of the comment period.”

The draft permit, application and other documents can be seen at the link HERE. It is also available to view at the U.S. EPA in San Francisco, the CRIT Museum and Library in the Moovalya Plaza in Parker, and the Parker Public Library on Agency Road in Parker.

A public hearing will be held November 1st at 7pm in the Mohave Room at BlueWater Resort & Casino in Parker.

3 comments

  1. What will be the damages to wild life in this 154 square miles and to all those people and domestic animals living in this area?

  2. Personally, I can’t imagine there being any damage at all, if you look at the benign list of emissions. Remember, this facility is the same one that’s been running at that site since the 90s, so there’s nothing new on the table as far as practical operations.

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