Alaskan Seafood Processing Effluent Limitations Guidelines, 66916-66929 [2013-26483]

Download as PDF 66916 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices Dated: October 31, 2013. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2013–26656 Filed 11–6–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–OW–2013–0652; FRL 9902–37– OW] Alaskan Seafood Processing Effluent Limitations Guidelines Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of availability of data and information. AGENCY: This notice makes available for public review and comment additional data and information gathered recently by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from seafood processing facilities in Alaska and other publicly available sources. These data relate to the applicability of and discharge requirements for the Alaskan seafood subcategories of the Canned and Preserved Seafood Processing effluent limitations guidelines. EPA is providing preliminary results of analyses of the updated data and preliminary indications of how these results may be reflected in EPA’s final response to petitions submitted in 1980 by certain members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry, and in amended effluent limitations guidelines applicable to certain Alaskan seafood processing discharges which EPA is considering whether to promulgate in final form. DATES: Comments on this Notice, as well as any additional pertinent information and data must be received on or before January 6, 2014. Comments and additional data and information SUMMARY: postmarked after this date may not receive the same consideration. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OW–2013–0652, by one of the following methods: • www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • Email: OW-Docket@epa.gov, Attention Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW– 2013–0652. • Mail: Water Docket, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code: 4203M, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. Attention Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2013– 00652. Please include three copies. • Hand Delivery: Water Docket, EPA Docket Center, EPA West Building Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC, Attention Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2013–00652. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information by calling 202–566–2426. Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Water Docket in the EPA Docket Center, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566–1744, and the telephone number for the Office of Water is (202) 566–2426. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lindsay Guzzo, Office of Water and Watersheds, NPDES Permit Unit (OWW–130), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101; (206) 553–0268, guzzo.lindsay@epa.gov, or Donald F. Anderson, Engineering and Analysis Division (4303T), U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; (202)566–1021; anderson.donaldf@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. General Information II. Purpose of This Notice III. Background IV. Recent Data and Information Gathering V. Summary of What EPA Learned From New Data, Analyses, and Findings A. Updated Industry Description B. Continued Impacts on Humans and the Environment C. Updated Information on Wastewater Treatment and Solids Disposal VI. Revised Cost and Economic Impact Analyses A. Cost and Pollutant Reduction Analysis B. Economic Impact Analysis C. Costs vs. Pollutant Reductions, Other Factors VII. Updated Response to Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being Considered A. Summary B. Revision of New Source Performance Standards C. Location-by-Location Analysis 1. Anchorage 2. Cordova 3. Juneau 4. Ketchikan 5. Petersburg VIII. Solicitation of Comments A. Dutch Harbor B. Kenai Peninsula C. Sitka D. Specific Comment Solicitations I. General Information A. Does this notice apply to me? Entities potentially affected by this action include: North American Industry Classification System Code Example of regulated entity Industry ......................................... States ............................................ tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Category Seafood Canning; Fresh and Frozen Seafood Processing ............. Where they are the Control Authority .............................................. This section is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this notice. Other types of entities that do not meet the above criteria could also be affected. To determine whether your facility would be affected by this notice, you should carefully examine the applicability criteria listed in the Code of Federal VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 Regulations, Chapter 40, Part 408, § 408.40, § 408.60, § 408.90, § 408.160, § 408.170, § 408.200, § 408.290, § 408.310, and the definitions in § 408.10 of the regulation and detailed further in Section VI of this Notice of availability of data and information (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘NODA’’). If you still have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 311711; 311712 221320 particular entity, consult one of the persons listed for technical information in the preceding section, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA? Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OW–2013–0652. EPA’s policy is that all comments received E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ‘‘anonymous access’’ system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD–ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. No confidential business information (CBI) should be sent by email. C. Submitting CBI tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Do not submit CBI to EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD–ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD–ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD–ROM the specific information you are claiming as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, you must submit a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR Part 2. D. Tips for Preparing Your Comments When submitting comments, remember to: • Identify the action by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number). VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 66917 • Follow directions—The Agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number. • Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes. • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/ or data that you used. • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow it to be reproduced. • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives. • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats. • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified. EPA recently gathered new data and information and performed supporting analyses to update the 1981 proposal. In the current notice, EPA is making available to the public for review and comment the new data and information recently gathered along with supporting analyses. EPA presents further discussion of how the updated record material may affect a final response and amendment of the ELGs in Section VII. of this notice, below, Updated Response to Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being Considered. The scope of EPA’s action in the 1981 proposal and in this notice pertains only to the applicability of the effluent limitations guidelines for Alaskan subcategories in areas subject to the 1980 petition, EPA’s 1980 suspension, and EPA’s 1981 proposal. EPA is not reconsidering the numerical effluent limitations either for remote or nonremote subcategories. II. Purpose of This Notice In 1980, members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry submitted two petitions to EPA. The first petition, submitted on May 7, 1980, requested that EPA modify the effluent limitations guidelines (ELG) regulations for facilities located in five areas— Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg—which the ELGs classified as ‘‘non-remote.’’ The petition presented preliminary material; the petitioners stated that they would submit additional material by June 16, 1980. On May 19, 1980, EPA suspended the applicability of ELGs for non-remote facilities in the five areas pending submission of additional new information and data by the industry. The suspension had the effect of designating these locations as remote for BPT for the facilities in the five locations. In a supplemental petition, dated June 16, 1980, the Petitioners again requested that EPA modify the regulations to remove Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg from the non-remote Alaska subcategories. Petitioners also presented additional material and supporting documentation for the May 7, 1980 petition. On January 9, 1981, EPA proposed to deny the petition to modify and amend the ELGs for Anchorage, Cordova, Ketchikan and Petersburg. EPA also proposed to grant the petition to remove Juneau from the non-remote subcategories. EPA stated that the May 1980 suspension would remain in effect until EPA made a final decision. The Agency has not made a final decision and the suspension has remained in effect since 1980. III. Background The Clean Water Act (CWA, or the Act), 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., requires, among other things, that EPA establish effluent limitations guidelines for point sources, other than publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). The Act requires that the effluent limitations must be achieved not later than July 1, 1977, based on the application of the best practicable control technology currently available (BPT) as defined by the Administrator pursuant to Section 304(b) of the Act, 33 U.S.C. 1314(b). See 33 U.S.C. 1311(b)(1)(A). Section 304(b) requires the Administrator to publish regulations providing guidelines for effluent limitations and to revise those regulations as appropriate. 33 U.S.C. 1314(b). The factors relating to the assessment of the BPT currently available to comply with Section 301(b)(1)(A): PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 * * * shall include consideration of the total cost of application of technology in relation to the effluent reduction benefits to be achieved from such application, and shall also take into account the age of equipment and facilities involved, the process employed, the engineering aspects of the application of various types of control techniques, process changes, non-water quality environmental impact (including energy requirements), and such other factors as the Administrator deems appropriate. 33 U.S.C. 1314(b)(1)(B). The Administrator published final effluent limitations guidelines (ELGs) for the Canned and Preserved Seafood Processing Point Source Category, 40 CFR Part 408, on June 26, 1974 (39 FR 23134), and December 1, 1975 (40 FR 55770). The seafood processing ELGs created two groups of subcategories for E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 66918 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices seafood processing facilities in Alaska based on location: remote and nonremote. For remote facilities, the effluent limitations guidelines representing best practicable control technology currently available (BPT) are based on grinding and discharge of the facility’s effluent with a numerical effluent limitation on the size of particles discharged (not greater than c inch in any dimension). (Hereinafter referred to as ‘‘grinding’’). Remote ELGs are applicable to seafood processors not located in a ‘‘population or processing center’’ (this term is explained below). For non-remote facilities, the BPT limits are based on screening the wastewater to meet the mass-based effluent limitations for total suspended solids (TSS) and oil and grease, and an allowable range for pH. (Hereinafter this process is referred to as ‘‘screening’’). Non-remote facilities are those located in ‘‘population or processing centers.’’ The phrase ‘‘population or processing centers’’ intentionally was not defined in the regulations. Instead, the nonremote ELGs provide a non-exclusive list of locations, which include, but are not limited to, Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, and Petersburg. See 40 CFR 408.40, 408.60, 408.90, 408.162(b)(1), 408.165(a)(1). 408.172(b)(1), 408.175(a)(1), 408.202(b)(1), 408.205(a)(1), 408.292(b)(1), 408.295(a)(1), 408.312(b)(1), and 408.315(a)(1). In nonremote population or processing locations, the ELGs as originally promulgated are applicable to landbased processors. However, with the growth of floating processors in Alaskan waters, the ELGs also have been applied as necessary and appropriate in general permits issued to many of these floating processors since the mid-1980s. In 1980, the Association of Pacific Fisheries, a trade association representing processors in affected subcategories, challenged the EPA regulations in federal court. The petitioners argued that in evaluating BPT, EPA improperly ignored or underestimated the benefits of grinding technology and overestimated the benefits of using screening technology. On February 4, 1980, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld EPA’s BPT regulations in all respects raised in the present petition. Assn. of Pac. Fisheries v. EPA, 615 F.2d 794 (9th Cir. 1980). The Court found that ‘‘[g]iven the limitations the Agency faced when it adopted industry standards for the first time . . ., there was a sufficient basis for promulgating the regulations as an initial matter.’’ Id. at 809. The Court noted, however, that VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 various avenues for reexamination of the regulations remained. These avenues included the possibility that the seafood processors might file a petition for reconsideration requesting that EPA consider whether new evidence offered by the Petitioners requires EPA to review its original actions. Id. at 812. Subsequently, in a May 19, 1980 Federal Register notice, EPA announced that members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry had submitted a Petition for Suspension and Preliminary Petition for Modification requesting that EPA suspend the applicability of the ELGs for the 1980 salmon processing season (May 15, 1980—October 15, 1980). 45 FR 32675 (May 19, 1980). EPA noted that processing plants in Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan and Petersburg had not yet installed wastewater screening equipment necessary to comply with the effluent limitations guidelines applicable in these locations. Id. The ELGs for nonremote Alaskan seafood subcategories also include Kodiak as a non-remote location. However, Petitioners conceded that Kodiak was not included in the original or supplemental petition because the location met the statutory criteria for BPT based on screening. 45 FR 52411, 52412 (August 7, 1980). The industry anticipated a record salmon catch for the 1980 season, creating concerns about the potential impact of non-compliance. If facilities in Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan and Petersburg were unable to operate due to non-compliance with the effluent limitations, the result would be an incomplete salmon harvest and a significant negative impact on the Alaskan economy. 45 FR 32675 (May 19, 1980). The petition also expressed the concern that costs of the BPT effluent limitations guidelines based on screening were out of proportion to effluent reduction benefits. 45 FR 52411, 52412–52416 (August 7, 1980). EPA announced in the May 19, 1980 notice that the Agency would temporarily suspend the applicability of the non-remote ELGs for Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg to allow time for the Agency to consider all the new information relevant to the costs and effluent reduction benefits and to provide economic relief for the industry. (45 FR 32675, May 19, 1980). As a result, facilities in those locations became subject to the less stringent effluent limitations guidelines based upon grinding applicable in remote locations. The temporary suspension was to expire on October 15, 1980. The Petitioners PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 agreed to submit a complete Petition for Modification by June 16, 1980. Id. The Petitioners submitted the supplemental petition on June 16, 1980 requesting a new rulemaking to modify the Alaskan non-remote ELGs affecting seafood processing wastewater discharges in Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan and Petersburg. In the supplemental petition to modify the regulations, the Petitioners maintained, in part, that the costs of screening associated with the non-remote ELGs were out of proportion to the effluent reduction benefits achieved and that screening was not a practicable technology. In a letter dated July 16, 1980, EPA asked the Petitioners to submit additional information; Petitioners submitted the additional information on August 15, 1980. On August 7, 1980, EPA published a notice of availability of the industry’s supplemental petition to modify (published in its entirety). In the August 7, 1980 notice, EPA reiterated that the suspension would remain in effect until October 15, 1980. By that date, EPA expected to either grant or deny the petition for modification 45 FR 52411 (August 7, 1980). After reviewing all of the information submitted as well as other information available in the record, EPA published a proposed response and amendments to the ELGs for public comment in the Federal Register in January 1981. 46 FR 2544 (January 9, 1981). In the response, EPA proposed to deny the petition to remove the locations of Anchorage, Cordova, Ketchikan and Petersburg from the non-remote ELG subcategories, and to grant the petition to remove Juneau from the non-remote subcategories. EPA also proposed to include Ward Cove as part of Ketchikan in the list of nonremote locations. EPA’s notice also indicated that it was considering, but not proposing at that time, the addition of Dutch Harbor and the Kenai Peninsula as non-remote processing centers. Last, EPA proposed to amend the existing new source performance standards (NSPS) in the non-remote subcategories to assure that new sources in locations classified as non-remote for purposes of BPT would also be subject to new source performance standards based on screening technology representing best available demonstrated control technology. Id. EPA based its proposed response in part on an analysis of industry data submitted in 1980. EPA’s preliminary conclusion was that the number and size of processors, the quantity of wastes generated, the length of the processing season, the proximity of facilities that could process the waste solids, along E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices with other factors, made it possible for processors to meet a requirement based on screening. 46 FR 2546. (January 9, 1981). EPA noted that the petition failed to account adequately for the potential effluent reduction benefits of offshore disposal of screened fish wastes. EPA also noted that the use of by-product recovery facilities could result in lower total amounts of pollutants being discharged in the near-shore receiving waters and screened wastes disposed offshore, and a reduced overall cost of waste disposal. See 46 FR 2545–2546 (January 9, 1981) for additional details on the contents of the petition, and at pages 2546–2547 for a summary of the basis for EPA’s 1981 proposed response to the petition. EPA received comments on the 1981 proposal including comments from the Petitioners and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC). Major comments from the Petitioners and ADEC asserted that EPA was not responsive to the industry’s petition and EPA’s basis for the proposed response included a number of unsupported assertions as well as erroneous costs and underlying assumptions. Commenters also asserted that EPA underestimated the cost of the effluent limitations guidelines based on screening and underlying solids disposal technologies, including barging for offshore disposal of screened fish wastes and by-product recovery, and that the costs associated with screening and solids disposal technologies did not support the effluent reduction benefits. The Petitioners objected to relying on competitor’s by-product recovery facilities, and ADEC stated that EPA should consider the assimilative capacity of receiving bodies of water and establish site-specific effluent limitations. Comments received are found in the public record [DCN 00252– 00254]. In the 1981 proposal, EPA stated that because of the time required to obtain complete information from the Petitioners, review the petition and the public comments, and conduct the Agency’s technical and economic analyses of the petition to modify, EPA was unable to respond to the petition by October 15, 1980, the date the temporary suspension was to end. EPA also stated that the temporary suspension would remain in effect until EPA made a final decision. 46 FR 2544 (January 9, 1981). EPA has not taken action on its 1981 proposal. As a result, since May 19, 1980, the seafood processors located in Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg have remained subject to the less stringent ELGs based on grinding. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 In 2001, EPA Region 10 proposed the reissuance of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Alaskan Seafood Processors, NPDES Permit No. AK–G52– 0000 (Permit). During the public comment period for the Permit, EPA received comments about the suspended ELGs and about technological advances since 1981 that provide reasonable alternatives to the discharge of seafood processing wastes. In the response to comments document associated with the Permit, EPA responded that it did not have sufficient information about the feasibility of alternative waste disposal or re-use options. EPA committed to update the information regarding the five locations addressed in the 1980 petitions, as well as other Alaskan locations, and to coordinate with the effluent limitations guidelines program to provide current information. EPA’s recent efforts in 2010 to gather information and data (see below) are consistent with its 2001 commitments despite the delay in initiating the information gathering effort. IV. Recent Data and Information Gathering In late April 2010, EPA sent requests for information under Section 308 of the Clean Water Act to nine corporations operating seafood processing facilities in Alaska. These requests for information and data took the form of a questionnaire that included the following topics: general information about the corporation; technical information regarding fish processing operations and technologies for wastewater treatment and solids management (e.g., screening, offshore disposal of screened fish wastes, and byproduct recovery); and operating costs and financial information. EPA selected nine corporations that reflect a broad range of pertinent information, such as fish species and processing methods, production, corporation size, and processing locations. EPA received responses from all nine corporations. These corporations operate processing facilities in the processing locations covered in the original petition and EPA’s 1981 proposal, as well as other locations in Alaska. The facilities included 39 landbased seafood processing plants. In order to provide further supplemental context for the information and data gathered through the questionnaire, in August 2010, EPA representatives also visited Alaska and gathered information and data from stakeholders. EPA representatives visited 18 processing plants in most processing locations covered in the petition, four by-product PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66919 recovery plants, an industry association and technology research laboratory, ADEC, and a member of the academic community. Trip reports and related materials are included in the public record (DCN 00044–00063, DCN 00075– 00077, DCN 00081–00091, DCN 00255– 00256, DCN 00495, DCN 00502–00504). EPA reviewed annual reports submitted to EPA (through 2008) and ADEC (2009– 2010) as required in the Permit. EPA also gathered supplementary information and data from a range of other public sources. These include industry Internet Web sites and open literature, technical and cost information from equipment vendors, pictorial material, and comments from the general public and tribal interests about the effects of seafood processing wastewater discharges. The findings of EPA’s review are summarized in this Notice and in the public record (DCN 00409–00411). V. Summary of What EPA Learned From New Data, Analyses, and Findings Section 304(b)(1)(B) states that factors relating to the assessment of BPT ‘‘shall include consideration of the total cost of application of technology in relation to the effluent reduction benefits to be achieved from such application, and shall also take into account the age of the equipment and facilities involved, the process employed, the engineering aspects of the application of various types of control techniques, process changes, non-water quality environmental impact (including energy requirements), and such other factors as the Administrator deems appropriate.’’ The information and data collected in 2010 helps inform EPA as it considers the factors above in the BPT assessment. A. Updated Industry Description The Alaskan seafood processing industry is a very important part of the United States seafood processing industry. The United States is the fifth largest seafood processor in the world, accounting for approximately four million tons of fish per year. The Pacific Coast region (including the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California) of the United States is the nation’s top fish-producing region. Within that region, Alaska is the largest producer, and Alaskan processors contribute approximately 80 and 50 percent of the Pacific Coast region and the total U.S. fish catch (landings), respectively (DCN 00412). The five major fisheries in Alaska are 1) salmon (e.g., coho, sockeye), 2) halibut, 3) herring, 4) shellfish (e.g., king and tanner crab), and 5) groundfish (e.g., E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 66920 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices pollock, flounder, haddock, cod). Salmon is the primary fishery and seafood processed and accounts for more than 90 percent of all fisheries and seafood processed for the non-remote processing locations addressed in the petition and this notice, with the exception of Dutch Harbor where pollock is the primary fishery and seafood processed. The number of land-based seafood canning establishments in Alaska to which these ELGs apply has decreased substantially over the past decade, with production being concentrated in fewer, larger facilities. At the same time, the number of fresh and frozen processors has grown somewhat since 1997, and the size of those establishments, on average, has become larger (based on average employment). Thus, overall, the total number of land-based seafood processing facilities has declined only slightly, while the processing has shifted from canning to fresh and frozen products. In addition, fresh and frozen processing facilities have become larger over the years (U.S. Census, 1997; 2007). A small number of parent corporations own these facilities. There are now 14 land-based processing facilities in the non-remote processing locations addressed in the petition and this notice. Another 16 facilities are located in the three additional processing locations that EPA is considering classifying as non-remote locations, as discussed in section VIII. Solicitation of Comments of this notice. Additional land-based processing facilities may be included in EPA’s analyses for any final rulemaking should other locations be added to the list of ‘‘non-remote’’ processing locations. The number of operating and permitted facilities and their ownership changes with some regularity due to changes in the fisheries, markets, local circumstances, and business considerations. Even though the size of the processing facilities has grown over the past decades, most of the corporations engaged in seafood processing are considered ‘‘small businesses’’ as defined by the Small Business Administration, based on average employment. EPA estimates that six small businesses in the locations covered by the petitions would potentially be affected as described in this notice. Fish products can be separated from wastes in processes ranging in complexity from traditional hand labor to fully automated mechanical separation. At the time of the 1981 proposal, the breakdown in the types of fish products produced for human VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 consumption included 77 percent fresh or frozen, 15 percent canned, and two percent cured. Other products produced included bait—and from by-product recovery—animal feed (3 percent), and fish meal and fish oil (3 percent)(DCN 00412). Since the 1981 proposal, the byproduct market and technologies have matured and grown substantially, thus enabling greater capture and utilization of valuable natural resources. For example, processors now are producing nutraceuticals from salmon and pollock used as dietary supplements, such as Omega-3 fatty acids. By-product recovery is a discretionary alternative solids management method that processors may use to replace or reduce offshore solids disposal. Section V. C. Updated Wastewater Treatment and Disposal of this notice discusses byproduct recovery in more detail. flushing from tides and strong channel currents. Where discharges have stopped, fish waste piles and their effects can remain for 10 years or more. Moreover, the ADEC report entitled: ‘‘Alaska’s Final 2010 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, July 15, 2010,’’ indicates some of Alaska’s coastal zone waters have become impaired waters due to residues from seafood processing discharges (DCN 00457), generally at pg. 3, and specifics on individual locations in various Appendices). Requiring BPT based on screening will substantially mitigate the continuing impacts of existing underwater piles of seafood waste that have been occurring over the past 30 years, prevent formation of new piles, and will have a positive long-term impact on the affected communities in these areas. B. Continued Impacts on Humans and the Environment The primary concern with land-based discharges of seafood processing wastewater is the continuing impact of waste piles and the formation of new piles at the bottom of receiving waters. EPA documented numerous human health and environmental impacts in its review of the updated information. These impacts include the difficulty of tribal and subsistence fishermen to successfully operate in affected areas, floating solids and scum, and periodic gas eruptions from waste piles sending large mats of waste to the surface and releasing toxic noxious gases. These impacts also include negative effects on tourism, local residents, and recreational activities from associated nuisances and aesthetics. At certain times and in certain locations, waste piles cause interference with and dangerous hazards to safe vessel and aircraft operations. EPA also notes the potential for physical threats to children and adults from fish wastes deposited on beaches where animals (such as dogs and bears) are attracted to the waste. Processing operations have contributed to these impacts in Ketchikan, Sitka, and Dutch Harbor, and other locations. Fish processing waste piles from landbased facility discharges cover large areas of the seafloor and contain large quantities of solids that negatively affect receiving water quality. These piles range in area, sometimes covering tens of acres. They can grow to many feet thick. (DCN 00201). The waste piles smother benthic (bottom) communities, deplete dissolved oxygen, and cause other harmful impacts on the aquatic ecosystem. In some cases, large waste piles at outfalls (both active and inactive) do not dissipate, even with C. Updated Information on Wastewater Treatment and Solids Disposal Under the Clean Water Act, individual point sources are free to achieve effluent limitations promulgated in ELGs and implemented in NPDES permits by any lawful means. EPA bases its effluent limitations guidelines and standards on a particular technology or set of technologies but does not require adoption of any particular technology to comply with ELGs. Once the limitations are established, the individual facilities may use any technology or set of technologies to meet the effluent limitations guidelines and standards. In addition, individual facilities can consider opportunities to work together and collectively take advantage of economies of scale. As stated above, existing regulations as promulgated are based on two basic wastewater treatment technologies: (1) For remote locations, grinding and discharge in the facility effluent with a numerical effluent limitation on the size of particles discharged (not greater than c inch in any dimension), and (2) for non-remote locations, screening and disposal of the screened solids offshore with mass-based effluent limitations for total suspended solids (TSS) and oil and grease, and an allowable range for pH. Based on the recent data collection, EPA did not identify any new technologies in use for treating Alaskan seafood processing wastewaters. EPA also found that both of these technologies remain feasible and applicable for addressing Alaskan seafood discharges. EPA’s review of the recently updated record and observations from on-site visits reaffirms that these technologies are available regardless of the age of seafood processing equipment or facility or the PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices type of process employed. For example, existing facilities can readily install screens and related facilities, while new sources also can install screens and related facilities prior to the facility initiating wastewater discharge. No complex engineering or internal process changes are required to screen wastes or to comply with the ELG for non-remote locations or to dispose of the solids. By-product recovery has emerged in the past three decades as a practicable discretionary option for facilities to capture the screened solids, limit these wastes, and reduce waste management costs by more completely utilizing an important natural resource. Based on a review of the record, EPA found that facilities in processing locations generally continue to have access to more reliable and cost effective ways to manage screened seafood processing wastes, including by-product recovery, than do facilities located in isolated areas. In addition, and as noted in section VIII. Solicitation of Comments, EPA found that seafood processors in Dutch Harbor, Kenai Peninsula, and Sitka also have opportunities for achieving economies of scale, including the discretionary alternative of byproduct recovery. In particular, processors in Dutch Harbor have been using wastewater screening technology and operating individual by-product recovery facilities since approximately 1997. Among the existing by-product recovery opportunities available include the Kenai Peninsula, Cordova, a byproduct recovery facility proposed for Sitka, and another facility being constructed in Naknek. At the time of the 1981 proposal and as expressed in comments on the proposal, by-product recovery was not widely available because few byproduct recovery facilities existed. Processors did not consider collective by-product recovery facilities (i.e., ‘‘sharing’’ by-product recovery facilities located in the same geographic area but owned by a competitor) a viable option at that time because of the competitive nature of the industry. Based on recent information and data, EPA found that by-product recovery technologies and markets have matured since 1981 and seafood processors have been successfully operating by-product recovery facilities. Collective by-product recovery facilities have been operating for many years in Kodiak, and in other processing locations in more recent years (e.g., Cordova, Ketchikan). These by-product recovery facilities have been able to take advantage of economies of scale, which contribute both to increasing total utilization of the natural resource purchased from fishermen and VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 to increasing total revenues to the processors from the sale of by-products, such as fish oil, fish meal, and nutraceuticals (e.g., refined fish oil dietary supplements containing Omega3 fatty acids). While the revenues may not consistently result in profits in every case, EPA’s analysis shows that with a well-established market for fish oil and fish meal (Bimbo, 2008), the potential revenues generated from the sale of these by-products will offset the overall cost of wastewater treatment and waste solids disposal and maximize the utilization of valuable natural resources. Furthermore, collective by-product recovery facilities employ a modest number of trained and skilled professionals. These processors, the byproduct recovery facilities, and their employees pay taxes to the State and local communities, thus further contributing to the State and local economies. In light of these benefits, EPA concludes that any additional economic activity generated by byproduct processing and sales could contribute to greater employment stability in the coastal Alaskan communities where seafood processing facilities and their related businesses are critical to local economies. No internal process changes are required at seafood processing facilities to produce commodity fish oil and fish meal. Some by-product recovery facilities produce food grade fish oils as intermediate products that are further processed at other locations into nutraceuticals for human consumption. Processors contributing wastes to byproduct recovery facilities to produce food-grade fish oils have found acceptable and affordable equipment and methods to maintain sanitation requirements to keep fish wastes off processing plant floors, and maintain proper temperature in insulated containers (‘‘totes’’) to prevent spoilage during storage and transport to collective by-product recovery facilities. For example, as observed during the recent EPA visits to Alaska and from other information gathered, processors in Ketchikan and Cordova as well as in Kenai Landing have demonstrated that the necessary equipment and operating methods, such as careful attention to fish processing operations, are available and feasible (DCN 00054, 00060,00076,00084,00085; DCN 00049, 00063, 00088, 00089, 00091; DCN 00044). However, while processors have demonstrated the feasibility of food grade fish oils production, EPA did not assume the use of these technologies in developing costs for collective byproduct recovery facilities. Where EPA PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66921 estimated costs for by-product recovery, it assumed that processors would produce only commodity fish meal and oil. VI. Revised Cost and Economic Impact Analyses A. Cost and Pollutant Reduction Analysis This section summarizes EPA’s approach for estimating compliance costs, and a support document entitled Report of Quality Activities Supporting Alaska Seafood Processing Cost Estimates April 2011 (DCN 00499) provides detailed information on the basis for these cost estimates. Based on the recent data collection, all of the facilities that are the subject of this notice in each of the processing locations are, at a minimum, already using grinding technologies, with a few exceptions described below. EPA examined current practice and incremental compliance costs for any facilities not currently using screening to estimate the costs of subjecting these facilities to the ELGs based on screening. All cost estimates reflect 2010 dollars and represent the cost of purchasing and installing equipment and control technologies, annual operating and maintenance costs, and associated monitoring and reporting requirements. This is the same general approach used in developing the 1981 proposal. EPA first established existing conditions (i.e., baseline) for each facility based on its responses to the questionnaire. EPA then determined what upgrades or changes, if any, would be required to comply with the limitations based on screening for processors in each of the processing locations, except for Anchorage where there are currently no direct dischargers. See section VII. Updated Response to Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being Considered, C. Location-byLocation Analysis of this notice for further discussion of Anchorage. Specifically, as appropriate, EPA estimated compliance costs for facilities to install and operate screens, to transport screened solids by an appropriate vessel for offshore disposal, and to perform compliance monitoring and reporting. Aggregate cost estimates, and other pertinent and more detailed considerations important to developing costs, are presented in the public record (DCN 00410, 00499). EPA developed costs for individual processors in each of the processing locations based upon information and data contained in responses to the questionnaire. For those facilities for which there were no E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 66922 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices questionnaire responses, EPA modeled costs. Specifically, EPA used cost estimates developed from the processing facility most closely resembling the facility being modeled (e.g., size based on total production, etc.) for which questionnaire responses and associated data and information were available. EPA used the same model plant approach for processors located in the Kenai Peninsula and Sitka. EPA determined there are no incremental costs for Dutch Harbor because all three processors in Dutch Harbor already use screening technology and individual byproduct recovery as a primary solids management alternative to offshore disposal of screened fish wastes. EPA used cost data from individual processing facilities in concert with cost information gathered from vendors and other publicly available sources (e.g., open literature, Internet Web sites, etc.) to develop costs for individual components of screening technology (e.g., waste sumps, pumps, rotary drum screens, appropriately sized vessels for transporting screened solids for offshore disposal of screened fish wastes, and monitoring). To develop facility costs, EPA assumed, in absence of other information, based on recent site visits and other information in the record that: 1) the 2010 baseline technology was the technology basis (grinding), 2) facilities would be discharging through existing outfalls, and 3) facilities would monitor particle size and the zone of deposit (i.e., seafood waste pile). EPA notes that some processors (e.g., located in Cordova and Ketchikan) access a byproduct recovery facility and thus employ screening to separate solids from the wastewater; EPA considered screening technology as the 2010 baseline for these facilities. In developing screening costs for facilities where grinding is the baseline, EPA used the following approach to estimate costs. First, based on site visits, questionnaire responses, and other information in the record, EPA assumed that facilities would install equipment to screen waste solids from the wastewater stream using a rotary drum screen and would use their existing grinder to allow pumping of waste to a vessel of appropriate size for hauling to offshore disposal. Second, EPA assumed that the vessel could be a bow picker, work vessel, fishing scow or tender owned and operated by each processor. EPA also included costs for monitoring screened wastewater for Total Suspended Solids (TSS), oil and grease (O & G), pH, and measuring the volume of wastewater discharged through an existing outfall. Tables A and B below present the resulting costs and effluent VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 reduction benefits (see section VI.B. Economic Impact Analysis of this notice). EPA presents aggregate costs as ranges in order to prevent indirect disclosure of information and data claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI). This is necessary because many processors have claimed as CBI essential components of these analyses, notably financial data. Moreover, in most processing locations there are very few processors and thus CBI may be deduced and revealed indirectly. Therefore, much of the detailed cost data developed by EPA for individual processors are protected as CBI. See Costs and Economic Impact Analysis for Alaska Seafood Processors, DCN 00410; and further discussion below. EPA also developed costs for collective by-product recovery. While it is not a requirement for complying with the ELGs, it is a practicable discretionary alternative for solids disposal. This alternative is environmentally preferable in part because it results in recovery of the waste rather than disposal. In processing locations where existing byproduct recovery facility capacity was not sufficient to accept all processing wastes, EPA developed costs for a new by-product recovery facility of a size sufficient to accommodate wastes generated by contributing processors in that location. EPA assumed that contributing processors in collective facilities share operating costs and revenues proportionally according to the amount of waste generated and processed by the collective by-product recovery facility. EPA did not consider production of food grade products such as nutraceuticals for purposes of this analysis. Further discussion of methods for developing costs for this discretionary solids management alternative is presented in the public record, in Report of Quality Activities Supporting Alaska Seafood Processing Cost Estimates (DCN 00499). Resulting aggregate costs are presented in Costs and Economic Impact Analysis for Alaskan Seafood Processors (DCN 00410). EPA developed estimates of the incremental effluent reduction benefits (pounds of pollutants removed) for screening versus grinding. Typically, EPA estimates the discharges of pollutants at baseline (in this case, grinding) and compares them to discharges assuming the technology basis is installed (in this case screening). EPA could not use its standard approach for developing reductions in TSS and oil and grease because it does not have baseline information on TSS PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and oil and grease discharges. Facilities that employ grinding do not monitor for TSS and oil and grease. Rather, they collect data on the mass of incoming raw product and the mass of the final product. As a result, for today’s notice and in the analysis supporting EPA’s 1981 proposed petition response, EPA used total waste generated (i.e., difference between the mass of incoming product minus the mass of the final product) as a proxy for the pounds of pollutants that would no longer be discharged in the facility effluent with the addition of screening. This is appropriate because, as indicated above, total waste generated is reported utilizing mass balance data regularly collected by processors for weights of incoming raw product and final products. Moreover, available mass balance data also show that facilities using screening technology achieve waste removals in excess of 90 percent. EPA estimated total loads of waste generated for individual processing facilities using data provided by processors in NPDES permit annual reports and reported in questionnaire responses. Processors report tons of waste generated by subtracting the tons of final product from the tons of raw product. Raw and final product weight data are extensive and reliable. Raw product weights are derived from carefully weighed incoming fish landings, which serve as the basis for paying fishermen for their catch. These fish landing weights are also reported to Alaska state agencies to determine state taxes. Final products are weighed carefully for packaging and related purposes. B. Economic Impact Analysis EPA has completed an updated economic impact analysis associated with effluent limitations for non-remote dischargers based on the updated costs of screening and offshore solids disposal. EPA summed the annualized costs of capital (i.e., amortized capital), annual operating and maintenance costs, and annual monitoring costs for each facility to develop total annualized costs, which it then used as inputs to the impact analysis. The impacts of these costs are discussed below. In a similar manner, EPA has also analyzed the total costs and impacts of operating and, as appropriate in certain processing locations, installing new collective byproduct recovery facilities as a discretionary solids management alternative. Summaries of these total costs and economic impacts are included in the public record (DCN 00410). E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices 66923 EPA’s updated economic impact analysis used a discounted cash flow model routinely employed in the effluent guidelines program to determine the net present value of cash flow for individual processing facilities. EPA also used the Altman’s Z’ analysis, a financial analysis tool routinely employed by investors and financial analysts and in the effluent guidelines program, for assessing the financial health of privately held owner firms operating in the same locations. EPA used these facility and firm financial models to determine the financial health and viability of facilities and owner firms in two cases: 1) a baseline calculation using the existing permit conditions generally based on grinding in all processing locations (with exceptions noted earlier), and 2) a calculation using the more stringent permit conditions based on screening and offshore screened fish waste solids disposal. EPA completed these analyses for facilities located in the processing locations included in the petition (Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg) (see section VII. Updated Response to Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being Considered, C. Location-by-Location Analysis of this notice for further discussion of Anchorage). These analyses are similar to the analyses used in EPA’s 1981 proposed response to the petitions. EPA’s approach is more fully described in the report, Costs and Economic Impact Analysis for Alaska Seafood Processors (DCN 00410). EPA used data in its analyses from responses to the questionnaire and from site visits, augmented with publicly available information where appropriate.1 For the small number of facilities for which it had no questionnaire responses or other usable data, EPA modeled the potential impacts using information for similar processing facilities for which it had questionnaire responses. EPA concluded this approach is reasonable because the selected questionnaire facilities resemble the facilities being modeled (e.g., size based on total production, species of fish processed, similarity of corporation size). For the modeled facilities, EPA extrapolated the impact analysis results to assess qualitatively potential impacts for the few non-surveyed facilities and firms in these four processing locations. EPA also used the same approach to analyze qualitatively the impacts on facilities in two of the three additional locations it is considering for inclusion as nonremote; specifically the Kenai Peninsula and Sitka. Where EPA had a questionnaire response for a facility, it used that data. Where EPA did not have a questionnaire response, it modeled the impacts based on results from a similar facility for which EPA received questionnaire responses. These nonsurveyed facilities were an even smaller portion of all processors in these two additional locations. EPA did not find additional costs were necessary for Dutch Harbor, the third additional location that EPA is considering for inclusion in the nonremote subcategory, because all three processors located in Dutch Harbor use screening technology and individual byproduct recovery for solids management. Accordingly, EPA does not expect incremental impacts for any facilities in Dutch Harbor. This cost and economic analysis for processing locations included in the petition and the additional locations EPA is considering for inclusion in the non-remote subcategories indicates that total annualized costs are low for each facility. In turn, cash flow at facilities and key financial indicators (Altman’s Z’ scores) used in the firm analysis changed only minimally between baseline (compliance with effluent limitations generally based on grinding, with a few exceptions noted previously) and screening with offshore disposal of screened fish wastes. Therefore, EPA does not project any closures of processing plants or owner firm failures for facilities located in the processing locations included in the petition, or two of the additional three locations the Agency is considering reclassifying as non-remote. Again, EPA did not project costs or any economic impact analyses for Dutch Harbor because all facilities in that location already have screening with by-product recovery, so EPA does not project facility impacts or firm failures. Similarly, the total annualized cost of screening using collective by-product recovery instead of offshore disposal to individual processors and owner firms was not projected to result in an unacceptable adverse economic impact. This is true in part because collective by-product recovery can achieve economies of scale, which also may add significant revenue from the sale of byproducts (commodity fish meal and fish oil). For processors located where byproduct recovery facilities with available capacity currently operate, annual operating costs to meet the screening requirements are lower when the processor uses collective by-product recovery rather than individual offshore disposal of screened fish wastes. The details of the analysis are presented in Costs and Economic Impact Analysis for Alaska Seafood Processors (DCN 00410). For locations where processors may elect to construct a new by-product recovery facility, the total annualized costs are higher than for a location where a facility has already been built because the costs include loan amortization in addition to operating costs. Nonetheless, some processors have constructed and operated collective by-product recovery facilities for many years—for example, the Kodiak facility has been operating under this scheme since the 1970s. EPA also considered the impact of additional costs of screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes on small businesses. EPA found these total annualized costs were less than 0.5 percent of revenues for all small surveyed firms in the analysis. Similarly, EPA concludes that all of the small businesses in the petitioning nonremote locations and additional nonpetitioning locations of interest will have total annualized costs less than 0.5 percent of revenues. EPA also analyzed the impact of the costs of screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes on new facilities and found that there would be no barriers to entry because these costs are very small in relation to the capital costs of a new processing facility or incremental to any other existing barriers to entry. EPA reached this conclusion because the capital cost for additional screening equipment and related facilities would be well within the usual engineering contingencies built into new facility construction cost estimates. Furthermore, the cost to design-in equipment is usually less expensive at new facilities than the costs to retrofit. (See Costs and Impact Analysis for Alaska Seafood Processors (DCN 00410). Results of the costs, pollutant mass removals, and economic impact analyses are summarized in the following two tables. Costs are presented in 2010 dollars. Table A presents the results for facilities in the processing locations included in the petition and Table B presents the results for the additional locations EPA is considering reclassifying as non-remote. 1 EPA has not attempted to correlate these results with any of the original Petitioners’ facilities because some have been acquired by other companies or have been closed, and those remaining are likely to be significantly different than they were more than 30 years ago. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 66924 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices TABLE A 1—RESULTS FOR PROCESSING LOCATIONS INCLUDED IN PETITION Total annualized cost per plant—million $ Number of plants 2 Location Removals per plant—lbs/yr 3 (millions) $/lb removed Anchorage ....................................................... Cordova ........................................................... Juneau ............................................................. Ketchikan ......................................................... Petersburg ....................................................... 0 4 2 5 3 ........................ ........................ <0.10 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 1–12 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 0.02–0.04 ........................ ........................ Total—all Plants ....................................... 14 <$0.75 <30 Economic impact 4 N/A. No. No. No. No. $0.03 1 Tabulation of costs and waste removals per plant, and cost per pound removed expressed as ranges to prevent indirect disclosure of data claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI). 2 Numer of plants currently operating. No processors with direct dischargers currently operate in Anchorage; therefore, they have no costs or removals. A few processors are discharging to publicly owned treatment works (POTW). 3 Pounds of fish processing waste removed. 4 Possible processing plants closures or firm failures. TABLE B 1—RESULTS FOR ADDITIONAL NON-PETITIONING LOCATIONS Number of plants 2 Location Total annualized cost per plant—million $ Removals per plant—lbs/yr 3 (millions) $/lb removed Dutch Harbor ................................................... Kenai Peninsula ............................................... Sitka ................................................................. 3 10 3 ........................ <0.10 ........................ ........................ 1–3 ........................ ........................ 0.04–0.07 ........................ Total—all Plants ....................................... 16 <$0.90 <15 Economic impact 4 No. No. No. $0.06 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1 Tabulation of costs and waste removals per plant, and cost per pound removed expressed as ranges to prevent indirect disclosure of data claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI). 2 Number of plants currently operating. In Dutch Harbor, all three processors that have operated consistently have screening and individual byproduct recovery in place and thus comply with effluent limitations based upon screening. Three additional processors have operated only intermittently in Dutch Harbor. Thus, no costs or removals were developed and no economic analyses were performed for Dutch Harbor. 3 Pounds of fish processing waste removed. 4 Possible processing plants closures or firm failures. As represented by Tables A and B, EPA found the cost of screening and offshore disposal of screened waste solids resulted in no facility or firm failures at any of the petitioning processing locations or at any of the additional non-petitioning locations EPA is considering reclassifying as nonremote. EPA also found that the range of costs per pound of waste removed were very low. The Agency solicits comments and additional data that may be available related to EPA’s recent data and information collection and EPA’s analyses of estimated costs and projected economic impacts, as summarized above and in Tables A and B. The data summarized in Tables A and B above are discussed further in Section VII. Updated Response to Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being Considered, C. Location-byLocation Analysis, and in Section VIII., Solicitation of Comments of this notice, below. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:27 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 C. Costs vs. Pollutant Reductions, Other Factors EPA estimates the updated total annualized costs for Alaska seafood processing plants to implement individual screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes range, on average, to be from $0.02 to $0.07 per pound of seafood processing waste removed. These costs of achieving BPT effluent limitations can be compared with other industries’ costs of achieving BPT effluent limitations to provide a perspective on their reasonableness. In a portion of the fruits and vegetables processing industry, the average cost of wastewater treatment to meet BPT effluent limitations for a group of model plants was $0.29 per pound of conventional pollutants removed, with a range of $0.09 to $0.55 per pound. In the corn wet milling subcategory of the grain milling industry, the cost for a medium-sized model plant was $0.41 per pound of conventional pollutants removed. For the cane sugar refining industry, a small model plant incurred a cost of $0.41 per pound of PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 conventional pollutants removed. EPA notes that in all of these examples, the values were adjusted to 2010 dollars. This comparison demonstrates that the costs to achieve screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes at all locations considered today are less than for many other food processing industries for which EPA has promulgated ELGs, and therefore are reasonable. Section 304(b)(1)(B) states that factors relating to the assessment of BPT ‘‘shall include consideration of the total costs of application of the technology in relation to the effluent reduction benefits achieved and . . . such other factors as the Administrator deems appropriate.’’ 33 U.S.C. 1314(b)(1)(B). Additionally, a similar comparison of costs to pollutant reductions for screening and by-product recovery demonstrates the costs in relation to the removals are reasonable. EPA estimates the same reduction under either solids handling approach (i.e. off shore disposal of screened fish wastes or byproduct recovery). However, where facilities employ by-product recovery, E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices reduced discharge of pollutants offshore is also an effluent reduction benefit. Clearly, a reduction in waste discharges associated with screening versus grinding at these locations will benefit the communities in the surrounding areas and the environment. Section V. B. above describes the continuing negative impact on people and the environment associated with these discharges over the last 30 years and at present. Requiring ELGs based on screening will result in mitigating impacts from existing waste piles and prevent the formation of new waste piles. EPA concludes there will be significant improvements in water quality, increased opportunities for tribal fishing and recreational activities, improved aesthetics for the local population and tourists, and reduced interference with safe vessel and aircraft operations. The Agency also considered nonwater quality impacts for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes, as well as for by-product recovery. While energy costs (e.g., fossil fuel) have increased in recent years, the largest factor in offshore disposal costs is labor to operate the vessels that transport and dispose of the waste through the entire processing season. As described above, the total costs for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes are low, and thus, the associated energy consumption and costs are also low. Furthermore, should by-product recovery be employed as a discretionary solids management alternative, use of a vessel to dispose of wastes offshore is greatly reduced because only a small amount of the total waste generated during the season is hauled offshore for disposal.2 In addition, the seafood processing industry has used fish oil as a supplemental fuel to generate electric power to operate the processing facilities. In some locations where a utility power grid connection is not available, fossil fuel is needed for onsite generation of all electric power required for processing operations. In these cases, fish oil produced from byproduct recovery offers the potential to substantially reduce fossil fuel (e.g., diesel) usage and costs. The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) notes in its Renewable Energy Atlas for 2009 and 2011 that many coastal locations offer the opportunity to use biomass (e.g., fish waste and the oil produced from it) as an important supplemental source of fuel to replace a portion of the fossil fuels used for energy generation. For example, the fish meal plant at Kodiak uses fish oil produced from pollock waste for a significant portion of its fuel needs. Also, the AEA reports that one of the large processors in Dutch Harbor uses fish oil from its by-product recovery facility to replace approximately one half of the diesel fuel it would normally have transported to the site and consumed for power generation to operate the seafood processing plant. See http:// www.akenergyauthority.org/ programsalternativebiomass.html. EPA has considered the energy costs associated with screening and disposal of the screened solids and found them to be acceptable for all of these reasons. Screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes or screening and by-product recovery, rather than grinding the wastes, should have no significant incremental adverse air quality impact. Rather, it should lead to reduced releases of noxious gas associated with waste piles. Further, as explained above, because fuel consumption for either offshore disposal or by-product recovery is quite low, any incremental air emissions associated with fuel usage would be equally low. Also, currently operating facilities have demonstrated that any odor problems that may be associated with the operation of a by-product recovery facility (e.g., meal drier exhaust) can be minimized by proper plant location, use of appropriate air pollution control equipment (e.g., wet venturi air scrubbers), and diligent operating procedures. Thus, EPA concludes that the non-water quality environmental impact of screening and solids management employing by-product recovery on air quality would be acceptable. Finally, the ELGs for seafood processors in all other states, except for those affected by the suspension in Alaska, are based on screening. Thus, seafood processors affected by the ELG suspension, which process approximately 50 percent of the total U.S fish landings, have had a cost advantage within this industry for at least 30 years while continuing to cause substantial adverse impacts to humans and the environment in many coastal communities in Alaska. 2 Information acquired primarily from industry sources indicates the non-recoverable portion of total annual waste generation is approximately five percent. A. Summary In the 1981 proposal, EPA proposed denying the industry petition for VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 VII. Updated Response to Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being Considered PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66925 Anchorage, Cordova, Ketchikan, and Petersburg and proposed granting the petition for Juneau. EPA is again considering denying the petition for Anchorage, Cordova, Ketchikan, and Petersburg, and is considering denying the petition for Juneau. All five areas would remain non-remote for BPT purposes and effluent limitations would be based on screening. The solids disposal method, either offshore disposal of screened fish wastes, or collective by-product recovery, or any other means that is developed in the future, is selected at the discretion of each processor. As EPA considered reinstating the original ELGs for all five cities named in the petition, the Agency again examined the options for screening and disposal of the screened fish waste solids. EPA’s basis for classifying the various locations as non-remote is the Agency’s finding that wastewater screening and individual offshore disposal of screened fish wastes by an appropriate vessel is available, practicable, and achievable in each location. Thus, EPA concludes that each of these areas is appropriately characterized as non-remote. EPA based this conclusion on updated data and information and technical and economic analyses. The Agency does not project any potential processing plant closures or firm failures from these costs. Furthermore, the costs are low and would lead to significant reductions in the mass of discharged waste. Where collective by-product recovery facilities are currently available or may become available, applying the ELGs based on screening to non-remote locations would promote the use of these facilities and thus remove waste solids from both nearshore and offshore receiving waters. The increased use of by-product recovery would also reduce the overall cost of waste management by recovering a significant portion of the waste for other revenue producing uses. The revenues from by-product recovery would provide the opportunity for seafood processors and associated employment in local coastal communities to become more sustainable. Where fish oil is produced and used as a fuel supplement, the amount and cost of fossil fuel (diesel) used for on-site power generation could be substantially reduced. Consistent with EPA’s 1981 proposal, EPA is again considering revising the scope of the ELGs non-remote location criteria to eliminate the possibility that a locality may be classified as nonremote based solely on its character as a population center. EPA recognizes that a processor’s location in a population center has no bearing on the costs of E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 66926 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices screening or solids disposal options. Costs for an isolated individual processor might be considerably higher than costs for a processor located near other processors, regardless of the local population. Among key factors that may determine the feasibility of screening and discretionary solids management alternatives for processors in a given location in Alaska (e.g., offshore disposal of screened fish wastes, byproduct recovery, or others) are the amount of processing waste available for waste management alternatives and the length of the processing season. In locations where one or more processors generate sufficient waste to take advantage of economies of scale, options for managing screened solids include collective offshore disposal of waste solids, collective by-product recovery, a combination of collective offshore disposal of waste solids and by-product recovery, and any other feasible option. EPA intends the term non-remote processing location to cover any geographic area or location where processors can reasonably achieve economies of scale, either individually or collectively, for managing screened seafood processing wastes, in comparison to processors in isolated locations where transportation and other costs may be substantially higher. Such locations need not have appreciable population beyond that necessary for processing operations. Therefore, the Agency is again considering removing the term ‘‘population center’’ from the definition of non-remote areas, in order to focus on non-remote processing locations. Such language was included in the amended regulations proposed in 1981. 46 FR 2552–54 (January 9, 1981). See Section VIII. Solicitation of Comments of this notice, below. As in the 1981 proposal, the Agency is again considering including Ward Cove as a part of the Ketchikan processing location, and adding Dutch Harbor and the Kenai Peninsula to the non-exclusive list of non-remote processing locations. Further, with the recently gathered information and data, EPA is also considering adding Sitka to the list of non-remote processing locations. Processors in these three locations also have access to more reliable and cost effective solids management alternatives through economies of scale. B. Revision of New Source Performance Standards Finally, and also consistent with EPA’s 1981 proposal, EPA is again considering amending the regulations for new source performance standards VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 (NSPS) to require that new sources in areas classified as non-remote for purposes of BPT also meet the nonremote ELG requirements for purposes of NSPS. See 46 FR 2550 (January 9, 1981). The NSPS in these subcategories include numerical effluent limitations for TSS, oil and grease, and a range for pH as do the limitations set out in the regulations based upon BPT. The NSPS numerical effluent limitations for TSS and oil and grease are somewhat more stringent than those based upon BPT. They are not based on any additional end-of-pipe wastewater treatment technologies, but rather on reduced inplant water use for processing operations. The reduced water usage was demonstrated by processing plants operating when the regulations were originally promulgated and is based upon good housekeeping practices achieved at very little, if any, cost. EPA’s current analysis indicates that any new sources in non-remote locations should be required to meet standards based on screening technology. New processors should be able to install screening technology and operate waste solids disposal with very small incremental costs, beyond those associated with the cost of a new processing facility. Such costs are not a barrier to entry to seafood processing in these locations. In addition, new sources may be able to access collective waste disposal, use existing by-product recovery facilities with adequate capacity in these areas, or collaborate with other processors to establish new facilities where existing facilities do not currently exist or may not have adequate capacity. Therefore, EPA is again considering amending the regulations to require that all areas categorized as non-remote for purposes of BPT similarly be categorized as nonremote for purposes of NSPS. C. Location-by-Location Analysis This section analyzes each area included in the 1980 petition: Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg. EPA is considering denying the petition for all of these locations, thus requiring facilities in these locations to comply with the effluent limitations based upon screening. 1. Anchorage EPA is again considering denying the petition to reclassify Anchorage as remote and requiring effluent limitations guidelines based on screening. In 1981, some facilities in Anchorage directly discharged effluent. However, circumstances have changed since 1981; all seafood processors PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 currently operating in Anchorage discharge to the local publicly owned treatment works (POTW). In other words, no seafood processors currently are discharging directly to waters of the United States in the Anchorage processing location. Therefore, because there are no direct dischargers in Anchorage, EPA estimated no costs for this requirement in Anchorage. Even though processing plants currently operating in Anchorage currently do not directly discharge seafood processing waste, they have the option to do so. Throughout Alaska, there have been ongoing changes in location, size, and fish species processed at processing plants. The ownership of processing plants and the corporate structure of the seafood processing industry throughout Alaska also have evolved. These factors could lead to a change in discharge practices. In addition, new processing plants could be sited in Anchorage and choose to discharge directly to waters of the United States, and thus be subject to the new source performance standards for non-remote locations. Based on EPA’s review of the information and data in the public record, the Agency concludes it is likely that processing plants now operating or ones that could be operating at a future date in Anchorage would be similar to those operating in the other processing locations for which EPA has analyzed recently gathered information and data. EPA observed similarities among all facilities in fish species, processing methods, wastewater generation, applicability of screening technology and discretionary solids management alternatives. There were also similarities in the range of low costs and effluent reduction benefits for all locations other than Anchorage, to both individual processors and owner firms. Therefore, effluent limitations based upon screening and solids disposal are appropriate for both existing and new sources for the Anchorage processing location. Any such facilities that choose to cease discharging to the POTW and begin discharging directly, or any new facilities with direct discharge, may find it advantageous to cooperate in a collective by-product recovery facility to further reduce waste management costs and make their operations more sustainable. As already noted above, EPA has determined there are no barriers to entry for new facilities due to these very small incremental costs. 2. Cordova EPA is again considering denying the petition to reclassify Cordova as remote and requiring effluent limitations based E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices upon screening. Four processors located in Cordova process a variety of fish (mostly salmon) and generate a total of approximately 22 million pounds of waste per year. One processor in Cordova constructed a new by-product recovery facility and began operation in 2009. This new facility was designed with the intention of having the capacity to accept all of the waste generated by all four processing plants operating in Cordova. EPA’s analysis of this processing location indicates total annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per plant, or approximately $0.02 to $0.04 per pound of waste removed (see Table A above). These costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits are substantial (approximately 22 million pounds per year). No projected processing plant closures or firm failures resulted from imposing these costs, and EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for new sources. EPA’s analysis indicates the four processors accessing the by-product recovery facility are incurring lower operating costs than for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes as noted above. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 3. Juneau EPA is considering denying the petition for Juneau, thus retaining the location’s non-remote classification as promulgated in the original regulations prior to the suspension, and requiring effluent limitations based upon screening. Two processors in this location generate approximately four million pounds of waste per year, mainly from the processing of salmon. EPA’s analysis of this processing location indicates the approximate total annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per plant, or approximately $0.02 to $0.04 per pound of waste removed (see Table A above). These costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits are substantial (approximately four million pounds per year). No projected processing plant closures or firm failures resulted from the facilities incurring these costs, and EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for new sources. 4. Ketchikan EPA is again considering denying the petition for Ketchikan, thus retaining this location’s classification as nonremote and requiring effluent limitations based on screening technology. As in the 1981 proposal, EPA also is again considering including VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 Ward Cove in the Ketchikan processing location. Five processors located in Ketchikan process a variety of fish, mostly salmon, and generate a total of approximately 14 million pounds of waste per year. Alaska Protein Recovery, a mobile barge-based by-product recovery facility, began operating at this location in 2007. It produces primarily food grade salmon oil, which is converted into nutraceuticals at another site, and salmon protein hydrolysates. [See http:// www.alaskaproteinrecovery.com/home] This by-product recovery facility processes the waste generated by four of the five processors in Ketchikan. EPA’s analysis of this processing location indicates total annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per plant, or approximately $0.02 to $0.04 per pound of waste removed (see Table A above). The costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits are substantial (approximately 14 million pounds per year). No projected processing plant closures or firm failures resulted from the facilities incurring these costs, and EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for new sources. EPA’s analysis indicates the four processors accessing the by-product recovery facility are incurring lower operating costs than for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes as noted above. 5. Petersburg EPA is again considering denying the petition for Petersburg, thus retaining the location’s classification as nonremote and requiring effluent limitations based upon screening technology. Three processors located in Petersburg process a variety of fish, mostly salmon, and generate a total of approximately 10 million pounds of waste per year. An existing by-product recovery facility has been operating in conjunction with one of the processing plants for many years. However, the existing capacity of this facility is insufficient to accommodate the wastes from all three processors. EPA’s analysis of this processing location indicates total annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per plant, or approximately $0.02 to $0.04 per pound of waste removed (see Table A above). These costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits are substantial (approximately 10 million pounds per year) as generated by two of the three processors. No projected processing plant closures or firm PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66927 failures resulted from the facilities incurring these costs, and EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for new sources. EPA’s analysis indicates the processor operating a by-product recovery facility is incurring lower operating costs than for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes as noted above. VIII. Solicitation of Comments The Agency is considering classifying three additional locations as non-remote for purposes of compliance with BPT effluent limitations and New Source Performance Standards based upon screening: Dutch Harbor, the Kenai Peninsula, and Sitka. In the 1981 proposal, EPA solicited comment on adding Dutch Harbor and the Kenai Peninsula, while newly gathered information and data has resulted in EPA also considering adding Sitka. A. Dutch Harbor The Dutch Harbor processing location has expanded dramatically since 1981, when its production capacity was largely devoted to shellfish (mostly crab). Today, Dutch Harbor is the largest seafood processing location in the United States. In recent years, the three long-standing processors in Dutch Harbor have focused on processing pollock (more than 90 percent of total production). Shellfish processing, which had accounted for a large share of the total production, is now a small portion. As the result of an increase in serious environmental impacts in Dutch Harbor since 1981, in 1995 EPA developed a TMDL for South Unalaska Bay, which was on the State’s 303(d) list of impaired waters due to seafood waste. As a result of the TMDL, seafood processors that discharge into South Unalaska Bay have individual NPDES permits that contain water quality based effluent limitations based on waste load allocations (WLA) in the TMDL for South Unalaska Bay. In turn, these water quality based effluent limitations are being achieved primarily by screening. Nonetheless, EPA also recognizes the need to establish appropriate technology-based effluent limitations and standards for purposes of BPT and NSPS for this processing location. Three processors generate approximately 300 million pounds in total waste per year. After examining the site-specific circumstances and in-place screening and by-product recovery at all three processors, EPA does not estimate any additional costs or effluent reduction benefits. Also, EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for new sources. Therefore, EPA concludes that it is E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 66928 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices reasonable to consider establishing technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and standards for purposes of BPT and NSPS based upon screening technology for Dutch Harbor. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES B. Kenai Peninsula The Kenai Peninsula currently hosts ten seafood processors within a relatively small geographical area. The processors are dispersed around the perimeter of the peninsula and linked by a paved road system. They are located in municipalities including Kenai, Soldotna, Ninilchik, Homer, and Seward, and their combined annual waste production is approximately 10 million pounds. EPA performed cost analysis and an economic impact analysis of processors and owner firms on the Kenai Peninsula. These analyses were based on both questionnaire responses for some of the facilities and modeling for facilities with no questionnaire responses. See the discussion of use of model facilities in section VI. B. Economic Impact Analysis of this notice, above. EPA’s analysis of this processing location indicates total annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per plant, or approximately $0.04 to $0.07 per pound of waste removed (see Table B above). These costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits are substantial (10 million pounds per year). No projected processing plant closures or firm failures resulted from the facilities incurring these costs, and EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for new sources. Therefore, EPA concludes that it is reasonable to consider establishing technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and standards for purposes of BPT and NSPS based upon screening technology for the Kenai Peninsula. C. Sitka The Sitka location currently includes three operating processors, whose combined annual waste production is approximately four million pounds. EPA’s analysis of this processing location indicates the approximate total annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per plant, or approximately $0.04 to $0.07 per pound of waste removed (see Table B above). These costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits are substantial (approximately four million pounds per year). No projected processing plant closures or firm failures resulted from VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 the facilities incurring these costs, and EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for new sources. Therefore, EPA concludes that it is reasonable to consider establishing technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and standards for purposes of BPT and NSPS based upon screening technology for Sitka. D. Specific Comment Solicitations The Agency also solicits comments, data, and information specifically on the following: (1) Additional anecdotal, photographic, dive studies, and other related information that would assist EPA in analyzing impacts of seafood waste discharges and receiving water waste piles on humans, including impacts on minority, low-income, and indigenous populations overburdened by pollution, and related potential impacts. EPA also solicits information on the impacts on local tourism, nuisances, safe operation of vessels and private and commercial aircraft, etc., as well as impacts on the nearshore and offshore receiving water environments. (2) Any information that would assist the Agency in assessing plant-specific costs for and economic impacts of individual screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes, and similar information for collective byproduct recovery facility costs for nonremote processors. This information could include equipment and installation costs, operating costs and factors that influence the designs and the magnitude of these costs, detailed fish processing production data, and financial data including revenues. EPA is also soliciting information on the cost of capital, cost of electric power delivery from local grids where available, etc., for individual facilities for which EPA has not received questionnaire responses in 2010, and any other relevant data and information. EPA would use this information to inform data and analyses for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes presented in Tables A and B, in section VI. B. Economic Impact Analysis of this notice, above. (3) Short- and long-term trends in the seafood processing industry, the range of species and fisheries, landings, values, etc., as they relate to the industry as a whole and to the processing locations being considered by the Agency for classification as nonremote. (4) Adding Dutch Harbor, Kenai Peninsula, and Sitka to the list of processing locations considered nonremote, and thus requiring effluent limitations based upon screening. EPA PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 also seeks comment on other potential processing locations that the commenters believe the Agency should consider, but did not specifically identify in this notice. For instance, EPA may consider adding other locations such as Naknek and possibly others to the list of ‘‘non-remote’’ locations. EPA will carefully consider the characteristics of any additional locations where information and data supplied with comments show that economies of scale, either individually or collectively, offer opportunities for cost effective management and utilization of screened solid seafood processing wastes similar to existing processing locations already considered to be non-remote. (5) Factors that influence the economics of the discretionary solids management alternative of collective byproduct recovery, primarily within the Alaskan and United States markets for seafood waste by-products. EPA seeks comments and data on the factors affecting the maturing and substantial expansion of collective by-product recovery as it has occurred over the last 30 years in Alaska. EPA is seeking information on supply, demand, and price, long-term and short-term market trends and competing products such as soybean oil, and other sources and types of fish meal. EPA is seeking information also on chitin produced from shellfish, nutraceuticals used as dietary supplements (e.g., Omega-3 fatty acids, chondroitin, etc.), compost and fertilizer supplements, supplemental animal feeds and pet foods, bone meal, and fish waste used to generate methane, etc. EPA also seeks information on the use of fish oil produced from fish wastes as a non-fossil fuel supplement (e.g., diesel fuel) primarily for local or on-site power generation. (6) Denial of the petition for the five locations addressed in this notice, specifically Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg. (7) Revising the definition of applicability of the regulations at 40 CFR 408.40, 408.60, 408.90, 408.162(b)(1), 408.165(a)(1). 408.172(b)(1), 408.175(a)(1), 408.202(b)(1), 408.205(a)(1), 408.292(b)(1), 408.295(a)(1), 408.312(b)(1), and 408.315(a)(1) to a non-exclusive list of ‘‘non-remote’’ facilities from ‘‘population or processing centers’’ to ‘‘processing locations’’ where one or more seafood processing facilities are located. E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices Dated: October 24, 2013. Nancy K. Stoner, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Water. [FR Doc. 2013–26483 Filed 11–6–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL–9902–47–OA] Meetings of the Local Government Advisory Committee and the Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS) will meet via teleconference on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. (ET). The Subcommittee will discuss small systems waste treatment, water infrastructure, air quality issues and other issues and recommendations regarding environmental issues affecting small communities. This is an open meeting and all interested persons are invited to participate. The Subcommittee will hear comments from the public between 10:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m. on November 26, 2013. Individuals or organizations wishing to address the Committee will be allowed a maximum of five minutes to present their point of view. Also, written comments should be submitted electronically to eargle.frances@epa.gov. Please contact the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the number listed below to schedule a time on the agenda. Time will be allotted on a first-come first-serve basis, and the total period for comments may be extended if the number of requests for appearances requires it. The Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) will meet via teleconference on Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (ET). The Committee will discuss Draft 2014– 2018 EPA Strategic Plan, air quality issues, brownfield clean ups, water quality issues, environmental justice and other environmental issues of importance to local governments. This is an open meeting and all interested persons are invited to participate. The Committee will hear comments from the public between 11:30 a.m.–11:45 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, November 26, 2013. Individuals or organizations wishing to address the Committee will be allowed a maximum of five minutes to present their point of view. Also, written comments should be submitted tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 66929 electronically to eargle.frances@epa.gov. Please contact the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the number listed below to schedule a time on the agenda. Time will be allotted on a first-come first-serve basis, and the total period for comments may be extended if the number of requests for appearances requires it. ADDRESSES: EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee meetings will be held via teleconference. Meeting summaries will be available after the meeting online at www.epa.gov/ocir/ scas_lgac/lgac_index.htm and can be obtained by written request to the DFO. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) contact Frances Eargle at (202) 564–3115 or email at eargle.frances@ epa.gov. Information Services for Those With Disabilities: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Frances Eargle at (202) 564–3115 or eargle.frances@epa.gov. To request accommodation of a disability, please request it 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request. threshold and is therefore not subject to a detailed economic impact analysis. DATES: The Federal Register notice published on August 5, 2013 at 78 FR 47317 is withdrawn as of November 7, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Interested parties may submit comments on this transaction by email to economic.impact@exim.gov or by mail to 811 Vermont Avenue NW., Room 442, Washington, DC 20571. Frances Eargle, Designated Federal Officer, Local Government Advisory Committee. SUMMARY: [FR Doc. 2013–26490 Filed 11–6–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P EXPORT-IMPORT BANK Intent To Conduct a Detailed Economic Impact Analysis Policy and Planning Division, Export-Import Bank of the United States. ACTION: Notice; withdrawal. AGENCY: This notice is to inform the public that the Export-Import Bank of the United States is withdrawing a previous Federal Register notice informing the public of its intent to conduct a detailed economic impact analysis regarding a loan guarantee to support the export of U.S.-manufactured Boeing 787 wide-body passenger aircraft to an airline in China. Export-Import Bank has recently learned that the Chinese airline will not likely operate on routes in direct competition with U.S. airlines. This recent information was not available at the time the original Federal Register notice was posted on August 5th, 2013. Based on this new information, the evaluated transaction does not meet the substantial injury SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 James C. Cruse, Senior Vice President, Policy and Planning. [FR Doc. 2013–26684 Filed 11–6–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690–01–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority Federal Communications Commission. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501— 3520), the Federal Communications Commission invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection(s). Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission’s burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that does not display a valid OMB control number. E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 216 (Thursday, November 7, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66916-66929]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-26483]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OW-2013-0652; FRL 9902-37-OW]


Alaskan Seafood Processing Effluent Limitations Guidelines

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability of data and information.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice makes available for public review and comment 
additional data and information gathered recently by the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) from seafood processing facilities in Alaska 
and other publicly available sources. These data relate to the 
applicability of and discharge requirements for the Alaskan seafood 
subcategories of the Canned and Preserved Seafood Processing effluent 
limitations guidelines. EPA is providing preliminary results of 
analyses of the updated data and preliminary indications of how these 
results may be reflected in EPA's final response to petitions submitted 
in 1980 by certain members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry, 
and in amended effluent limitations guidelines applicable to certain 
Alaskan seafood processing discharges which EPA is considering whether 
to promulgate in final form.

DATES: Comments on this Notice, as well as any additional pertinent 
information and data must be received on or before January 6, 2014. 
Comments and additional data and information postmarked after this date 
may not receive the same consideration.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-
2013-0652, by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: OW-Docket@epa.gov, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OW-2013-0652.
     Mail: Water Docket, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Mail code: 4203M, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. 
Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2013-00652. Please include three 
copies.
     Hand Delivery: Water Docket, EPA Docket Center, EPA West 
Building Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC, 
Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2013-00652. Such deliveries are only 
accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special 
arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information by 
calling 202-566-2426.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Water Docket in the EPA 
Docket Center, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. until 
4:30 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The 
telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the 
telephone number for the Office of Water is (202) 566-2426.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lindsay Guzzo, Office of Water and 
Watersheds, NPDES Permit Unit (OWW-130), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, 
Seattle, WA 98101; (206) 553-0268, guzzo.lindsay@epa.gov, or Donald F. 
Anderson, Engineering and Analysis Division (4303T), U.S. EPA, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; (202)566-1021; 
anderson.donaldf@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. General Information
II. Purpose of This Notice
III. Background
IV. Recent Data and Information Gathering
V. Summary of What EPA Learned From New Data, Analyses, and Findings
    A. Updated Industry Description
    B. Continued Impacts on Humans and the Environment
    C. Updated Information on Wastewater Treatment and Solids 
Disposal
VI. Revised Cost and Economic Impact Analyses
    A. Cost and Pollutant Reduction Analysis
    B. Economic Impact Analysis
    C. Costs vs. Pollutant Reductions, Other Factors
VII. Updated Response to Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being 
Considered
    A. Summary
    B. Revision of New Source Performance Standards
    C. Location-by-Location Analysis
    1. Anchorage
    2. Cordova
    3. Juneau
    4. Ketchikan
    5. Petersburg
VIII. Solicitation of Comments
    A. Dutch Harbor
    B. Kenai Peninsula
    C. Sitka
    D. Specific Comment Solicitations

I. General Information

A. Does this notice apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by this action include:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       North American
                              Example of regulated        Industry
          Category                   entity            Classification
                                                         System Code
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Industry....................  Seafood Canning;      311711; 311712
                               Fresh and Frozen
                               Seafood Processing.
States......................  Where they are the    221320
                               Control Authority.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This section is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides 
a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this 
notice. Other types of entities that do not meet the above criteria 
could also be affected. To determine whether your facility would be 
affected by this notice, you should carefully examine the applicability 
criteria listed in the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 40, Part 
408, Sec.  408.40, Sec.  408.60, Sec.  408.90, Sec.  408.160, Sec.  
408.170, Sec.  408.200, Sec.  408.290, Sec.  408.310, and the 
definitions in Sec.  408.10 of the regulation and detailed further in 
Section VI of this Notice of availability of data and information 
(hereinafter referred to as ``NODA''). If you still have questions 
regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, 
consult one of the persons listed for technical information in the 
preceding section, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2013-0652. EPA's 
policy is that all comments received

[[Page 66917]]

will be included in the public docket without change and may be made 
available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed 
to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information 
that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through 
www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an 
``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your 
identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of 
your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without 
going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you 
submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name 
and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any 
disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to 
technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA 
may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid 
the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of 
any defects or viruses. No confidential business information (CBI) 
should be sent by email.

C. Submitting CBI

    Do not submit CBI to EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. 
Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be 
CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark 
the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify 
electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information you 
are claiming as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment 
that includes information claimed as CBI, you must submit a copy of the 
comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI for 
inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be 
disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR Part 
2.

D. Tips for Preparing Your Comments

    When submitting comments, remember to:
     Identify the action by docket number and other identifying 
information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).
     Follow directions--The Agency may ask you to respond to 
specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
     Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives 
and substitute language for your requested changes.
     Describe any assumptions and provide any technical 
information and/or data that you used.
     If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how 
you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow it to be 
reproduced.
     Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and 
suggest alternatives.
     Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the 
use of profanity or personal threats.
     Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period 
deadline identified.

II. Purpose of This Notice

    In 1980, members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry 
submitted two petitions to EPA. The first petition, submitted on May 7, 
1980, requested that EPA modify the effluent limitations guidelines 
(ELG) regulations for facilities located in five areas--Anchorage, 
Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg--which the ELGs classified 
as ``non-remote.'' The petition presented preliminary material; the 
petitioners stated that they would submit additional material by June 
16, 1980. On May 19, 1980, EPA suspended the applicability of ELGs for 
non-remote facilities in the five areas pending submission of 
additional new information and data by the industry. The suspension had 
the effect of designating these locations as remote for BPT for the 
facilities in the five locations. In a supplemental petition, dated 
June 16, 1980, the Petitioners again requested that EPA modify the 
regulations to remove Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and 
Petersburg from the non-remote Alaska subcategories. Petitioners also 
presented additional material and supporting documentation for the May 
7, 1980 petition. On January 9, 1981, EPA proposed to deny the petition 
to modify and amend the ELGs for Anchorage, Cordova, Ketchikan and 
Petersburg. EPA also proposed to grant the petition to remove Juneau 
from the non-remote subcategories. EPA stated that the May 1980 
suspension would remain in effect until EPA made a final decision. The 
Agency has not made a final decision and the suspension has remained in 
effect since 1980.
    EPA recently gathered new data and information and performed 
supporting analyses to update the 1981 proposal. In the current notice, 
EPA is making available to the public for review and comment the new 
data and information recently gathered along with supporting analyses. 
EPA presents further discussion of how the updated record material may 
affect a final response and amendment of the ELGs in Section VII. of 
this notice, below, Updated Response to Petition and Amendment to 
Regulations Being Considered.
    The scope of EPA's action in the 1981 proposal and in this notice 
pertains only to the applicability of the effluent limitations 
guidelines for Alaskan subcategories in areas subject to the 1980 
petition, EPA's 1980 suspension, and EPA's 1981 proposal. EPA is not 
reconsidering the numerical effluent limitations either for remote or 
non-remote subcategories.

III. Background

    The Clean Water Act (CWA, or the Act), 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., 
requires, among other things, that EPA establish effluent limitations 
guidelines for point sources, other than publicly owned treatment works 
(POTWs). The Act requires that the effluent limitations must be 
achieved not later than July 1, 1977, based on the application of the 
best practicable control technology currently available (BPT) as 
defined by the Administrator pursuant to Section 304(b) of the Act, 33 
U.S.C. 1314(b). See 33 U.S.C. 1311(b)(1)(A). Section 304(b) requires 
the Administrator to publish regulations providing guidelines for 
effluent limitations and to revise those regulations as appropriate. 33 
U.S.C. 1314(b). The factors relating to the assessment of the BPT 
currently available to comply with Section 301(b)(1)(A):

    * * * shall include consideration of the total cost of 
application of technology in relation to the effluent reduction 
benefits to be achieved from such application, and shall also take 
into account the age of equipment and facilities involved, the 
process employed, the engineering aspects of the application of 
various types of control techniques, process changes, non-water 
quality environmental impact (including energy requirements), and 
such other factors as the Administrator deems appropriate. 33 U.S.C. 
1314(b)(1)(B).

    The Administrator published final effluent limitations guidelines 
(ELGs) for the Canned and Preserved Seafood Processing Point Source 
Category, 40 CFR Part 408, on June 26, 1974 (39 FR 23134), and December 
1, 1975 (40 FR 55770). The seafood processing ELGs created two groups 
of subcategories for

[[Page 66918]]

seafood processing facilities in Alaska based on location: remote and 
non-remote.
    For remote facilities, the effluent limitations guidelines 
representing best practicable control technology currently available 
(BPT) are based on grinding and discharge of the facility's effluent 
with a numerical effluent limitation on the size of particles 
discharged (not greater than [frac12] inch in any dimension). 
(Hereinafter referred to as ``grinding''). Remote ELGs are applicable 
to seafood processors not located in a ``population or processing 
center'' (this term is explained below).
    For non-remote facilities, the BPT limits are based on screening 
the wastewater to meet the mass-based effluent limitations for total 
suspended solids (TSS) and oil and grease, and an allowable range for 
pH. (Hereinafter this process is referred to as ``screening''). Non-
remote facilities are those located in ``population or processing 
centers.'' The phrase ``population or processing centers'' 
intentionally was not defined in the regulations. Instead, the non-
remote ELGs provide a non-exclusive list of locations, which include, 
but are not limited to, Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, 
and Petersburg. See 40 CFR 408.40, 408.60, 408.90, 408.162(b)(1), 
408.165(a)(1). 408.172(b)(1), 408.175(a)(1), 408.202(b)(1), 
408.205(a)(1), 408.292(b)(1), 408.295(a)(1), 408.312(b)(1), and 
408.315(a)(1). In non-remote population or processing locations, the 
ELGs as originally promulgated are applicable to land-based processors. 
However, with the growth of floating processors in Alaskan waters, the 
ELGs also have been applied as necessary and appropriate in general 
permits issued to many of these floating processors since the mid-
1980s. In 1980, the Association of Pacific Fisheries, a trade 
association representing processors in affected subcategories, 
challenged the EPA regulations in federal court. The petitioners argued 
that in evaluating BPT, EPA improperly ignored or underestimated the 
benefits of grinding technology and overestimated the benefits of using 
screening technology. On February 4, 1980, the United States Court of 
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld EPA's BPT regulations in all 
respects raised in the present petition. Assn. of Pac. Fisheries v. 
EPA, 615 F.2d 794 (9th Cir. 1980). The Court found that ``[g]iven the 
limitations the Agency faced when it adopted industry standards for the 
first time . . ., there was a sufficient basis for promulgating the 
regulations as an initial matter.'' Id. at 809. The Court noted, 
however, that various avenues for reexamination of the regulations 
remained. These avenues included the possibility that the seafood 
processors might file a petition for reconsideration requesting that 
EPA consider whether new evidence offered by the Petitioners requires 
EPA to review its original actions. Id. at 812.
    Subsequently, in a May 19, 1980 Federal Register notice, EPA 
announced that members of the Alaskan seafood processing industry had 
submitted a Petition for Suspension and Preliminary Petition for 
Modification requesting that EPA suspend the applicability of the ELGs 
for the 1980 salmon processing season (May 15, 1980--October 15, 1980). 
45 FR 32675 (May 19, 1980). EPA noted that processing plants in 
Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan and Petersburg had not yet 
installed wastewater screening equipment necessary to comply with the 
effluent limitations guidelines applicable in these locations. Id. The 
ELGs for non-remote Alaskan seafood subcategories also include Kodiak 
as a non-remote location. However, Petitioners conceded that Kodiak was 
not included in the original or supplemental petition because the 
location met the statutory criteria for BPT based on screening. 45 FR 
52411, 52412 (August 7, 1980).
    The industry anticipated a record salmon catch for the 1980 season, 
creating concerns about the potential impact of non-compliance. If 
facilities in Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan and Petersburg were 
unable to operate due to non-compliance with the effluent limitations, 
the result would be an incomplete salmon harvest and a significant 
negative impact on the Alaskan economy. 45 FR 32675 (May 19, 1980). The 
petition also expressed the concern that costs of the BPT effluent 
limitations guidelines based on screening were out of proportion to 
effluent reduction benefits. 45 FR 52411, 52412-52416 (August 7, 1980).
    EPA announced in the May 19, 1980 notice that the Agency would 
temporarily suspend the applicability of the non-remote ELGs for 
Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg to allow time for 
the Agency to consider all the new information relevant to the costs 
and effluent reduction benefits and to provide economic relief for the 
industry. (45 FR 32675, May 19, 1980). As a result, facilities in those 
locations became subject to the less stringent effluent limitations 
guidelines based upon grinding applicable in remote locations. The 
temporary suspension was to expire on October 15, 1980. The Petitioners 
agreed to submit a complete Petition for Modification by June 16, 1980. 
Id.
    The Petitioners submitted the supplemental petition on June 16, 
1980 requesting a new rulemaking to modify the Alaskan non-remote ELGs 
affecting seafood processing wastewater discharges in Anchorage, 
Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan and Petersburg. In the supplemental petition 
to modify the regulations, the Petitioners maintained, in part, that 
the costs of screening associated with the non-remote ELGs were out of 
proportion to the effluent reduction benefits achieved and that 
screening was not a practicable technology. In a letter dated July 16, 
1980, EPA asked the Petitioners to submit additional information; 
Petitioners submitted the additional information on August 15, 1980. On 
August 7, 1980, EPA published a notice of availability of the 
industry's supplemental petition to modify (published in its entirety). 
In the August 7, 1980 notice, EPA reiterated that the suspension would 
remain in effect until October 15, 1980. By that date, EPA expected to 
either grant or deny the petition for modification 45 FR 52411 (August 
7, 1980).
    After reviewing all of the information submitted as well as other 
information available in the record, EPA published a proposed response 
and amendments to the ELGs for public comment in the Federal Register 
in January 1981. 46 FR 2544 (January 9, 1981). In the response, EPA 
proposed to deny the petition to remove the locations of Anchorage, 
Cordova, Ketchikan and Petersburg from the non-remote ELG 
subcategories, and to grant the petition to remove Juneau from the non-
remote subcategories. EPA also proposed to include Ward Cove as part of 
Ketchikan in the list of non-remote locations. EPA's notice also 
indicated that it was considering, but not proposing at that time, the 
addition of Dutch Harbor and the Kenai Peninsula as non-remote 
processing centers. Last, EPA proposed to amend the existing new source 
performance standards (NSPS) in the non-remote subcategories to assure 
that new sources in locations classified as non-remote for purposes of 
BPT would also be subject to new source performance standards based on 
screening technology representing best available demonstrated control 
technology. Id.
    EPA based its proposed response in part on an analysis of industry 
data submitted in 1980. EPA's preliminary conclusion was that the 
number and size of processors, the quantity of wastes generated, the 
length of the processing season, the proximity of facilities that could 
process the waste solids, along

[[Page 66919]]

with other factors, made it possible for processors to meet a 
requirement based on screening. 46 FR 2546. (January 9, 1981). EPA 
noted that the petition failed to account adequately for the potential 
effluent reduction benefits of offshore disposal of screened fish 
wastes. EPA also noted that the use of by-product recovery facilities 
could result in lower total amounts of pollutants being discharged in 
the near-shore receiving waters and screened wastes disposed offshore, 
and a reduced overall cost of waste disposal. See 46 FR 2545-2546 
(January 9, 1981) for additional details on the contents of the 
petition, and at pages 2546-2547 for a summary of the basis for EPA's 
1981 proposed response to the petition.
    EPA received comments on the 1981 proposal including comments from 
the Petitioners and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation 
(ADEC). Major comments from the Petitioners and ADEC asserted that EPA 
was not responsive to the industry's petition and EPA's basis for the 
proposed response included a number of unsupported assertions as well 
as erroneous costs and underlying assumptions. Commenters also asserted 
that EPA underestimated the cost of the effluent limitations guidelines 
based on screening and underlying solids disposal technologies, 
including barging for offshore disposal of screened fish wastes and by-
product recovery, and that the costs associated with screening and 
solids disposal technologies did not support the effluent reduction 
benefits. The Petitioners objected to relying on competitor's by-
product recovery facilities, and ADEC stated that EPA should consider 
the assimilative capacity of receiving bodies of water and establish 
site-specific effluent limitations. Comments received are found in the 
public record [DCN 00252-00254].
    In the 1981 proposal, EPA stated that because of the time required 
to obtain complete information from the Petitioners, review the 
petition and the public comments, and conduct the Agency's technical 
and economic analyses of the petition to modify, EPA was unable to 
respond to the petition by October 15, 1980, the date the temporary 
suspension was to end. EPA also stated that the temporary suspension 
would remain in effect until EPA made a final decision. 46 FR 2544 
(January 9, 1981). EPA has not taken action on its 1981 proposal. As a 
result, since May 19, 1980, the seafood processors located in 
Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg have remained 
subject to the less stringent ELGs based on grinding.
    In 2001, EPA Region 10 proposed the reissuance of the National 
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for 
Alaskan Seafood Processors, NPDES Permit No. AK-G52-0000 (Permit). 
During the public comment period for the Permit, EPA received comments 
about the suspended ELGs and about technological advances since 1981 
that provide reasonable alternatives to the discharge of seafood 
processing wastes. In the response to comments document associated with 
the Permit, EPA responded that it did not have sufficient information 
about the feasibility of alternative waste disposal or re-use options. 
EPA committed to update the information regarding the five locations 
addressed in the 1980 petitions, as well as other Alaskan locations, 
and to coordinate with the effluent limitations guidelines program to 
provide current information. EPA's recent efforts in 2010 to gather 
information and data (see below) are consistent with its 2001 
commitments despite the delay in initiating the information gathering 
effort.

IV. Recent Data and Information Gathering

    In late April 2010, EPA sent requests for information under Section 
308 of the Clean Water Act to nine corporations operating seafood 
processing facilities in Alaska. These requests for information and 
data took the form of a questionnaire that included the following 
topics: general information about the corporation; technical 
information regarding fish processing operations and technologies for 
wastewater treatment and solids management (e.g., screening, offshore 
disposal of screened fish wastes, and by-product recovery); and 
operating costs and financial information. EPA selected nine 
corporations that reflect a broad range of pertinent information, such 
as fish species and processing methods, production, corporation size, 
and processing locations.
    EPA received responses from all nine corporations. These 
corporations operate processing facilities in the processing locations 
covered in the original petition and EPA's 1981 proposal, as well as 
other locations in Alaska. The facilities included 39 land-based 
seafood processing plants. In order to provide further supplemental 
context for the information and data gathered through the 
questionnaire, in August 2010, EPA representatives also visited Alaska 
and gathered information and data from stakeholders. EPA 
representatives visited 18 processing plants in most processing 
locations covered in the petition, four by-product recovery plants, an 
industry association and technology research laboratory, ADEC, and a 
member of the academic community. Trip reports and related materials 
are included in the public record (DCN 00044-00063, DCN 00075-00077, 
DCN 00081-00091, DCN 00255-00256, DCN 00495, DCN 00502-00504). EPA 
reviewed annual reports submitted to EPA (through 2008) and ADEC (2009-
2010) as required in the Permit. EPA also gathered supplementary 
information and data from a range of other public sources. These 
include industry Internet Web sites and open literature, technical and 
cost information from equipment vendors, pictorial material, and 
comments from the general public and tribal interests about the effects 
of seafood processing wastewater discharges. The findings of EPA's 
review are summarized in this Notice and in the public record (DCN 
00409-00411).

V. Summary of What EPA Learned From New Data, Analyses, and Findings

    Section 304(b)(1)(B) states that factors relating to the assessment 
of BPT ``shall include consideration of the total cost of application 
of technology in relation to the effluent reduction benefits to be 
achieved from such application, and shall also take into account the 
age of the equipment and facilities involved, the process employed, the 
engineering aspects of the application of various types of control 
techniques, process changes, non-water quality environmental impact 
(including energy requirements), and such other factors as the 
Administrator deems appropriate.'' The information and data collected 
in 2010 helps inform EPA as it considers the factors above in the BPT 
assessment.

A. Updated Industry Description

    The Alaskan seafood processing industry is a very important part of 
the United States seafood processing industry. The United States is the 
fifth largest seafood processor in the world, accounting for 
approximately four million tons of fish per year. The Pacific Coast 
region (including the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and 
California) of the United States is the nation's top fish-producing 
region. Within that region, Alaska is the largest producer, and Alaskan 
processors contribute approximately 80 and 50 percent of the Pacific 
Coast region and the total U.S. fish catch (landings), respectively 
(DCN 00412). The five major fisheries in Alaska are 1) salmon (e.g., 
coho, sockeye), 2) halibut, 3) herring, 4) shellfish (e.g., king and 
tanner crab), and 5) groundfish (e.g.,

[[Page 66920]]

pollock, flounder, haddock, cod). Salmon is the primary fishery and 
seafood processed and accounts for more than 90 percent of all 
fisheries and seafood processed for the non-remote processing locations 
addressed in the petition and this notice, with the exception of Dutch 
Harbor where pollock is the primary fishery and seafood processed.
    The number of land-based seafood canning establishments in Alaska 
to which these ELGs apply has decreased substantially over the past 
decade, with production being concentrated in fewer, larger facilities. 
At the same time, the number of fresh and frozen processors has grown 
somewhat since 1997, and the size of those establishments, on average, 
has become larger (based on average employment). Thus, overall, the 
total number of land-based seafood processing facilities has declined 
only slightly, while the processing has shifted from canning to fresh 
and frozen products. In addition, fresh and frozen processing 
facilities have become larger over the years (U.S. Census, 1997; 2007). 
A small number of parent corporations own these facilities.
    There are now 14 land-based processing facilities in the non-remote 
processing locations addressed in the petition and this notice. Another 
16 facilities are located in the three additional processing locations 
that EPA is considering classifying as non-remote locations, as 
discussed in section VIII. Solicitation of Comments of this notice. 
Additional land-based processing facilities may be included in EPA's 
analyses for any final rulemaking should other locations be added to 
the list of ``non-remote'' processing locations. The number of 
operating and permitted facilities and their ownership changes with 
some regularity due to changes in the fisheries, markets, local 
circumstances, and business considerations.
    Even though the size of the processing facilities has grown over 
the past decades, most of the corporations engaged in seafood 
processing are considered ``small businesses'' as defined by the Small 
Business Administration, based on average employment. EPA estimates 
that six small businesses in the locations covered by the petitions 
would potentially be affected as described in this notice.
    Fish products can be separated from wastes in processes ranging in 
complexity from traditional hand labor to fully automated mechanical 
separation. At the time of the 1981 proposal, the breakdown in the 
types of fish products produced for human consumption included 77 
percent fresh or frozen, 15 percent canned, and two percent cured. 
Other products produced included bait--and from by-product recovery--
animal feed (3 percent), and fish meal and fish oil (3 percent)(DCN 
00412). Since the 1981 proposal, the by-product market and technologies 
have matured and grown substantially, thus enabling greater capture and 
utilization of valuable natural resources. For example, processors now 
are producing nutraceuticals from salmon and pollock used as dietary 
supplements, such as Omega-3 fatty acids. By-product recovery is a 
discretionary alternative solids management method that processors may 
use to replace or reduce offshore solids disposal. Section V. C. 
Updated Wastewater Treatment and Disposal of this notice discusses by-
product recovery in more detail.

B. Continued Impacts on Humans and the Environment

    The primary concern with land-based discharges of seafood 
processing wastewater is the continuing impact of waste piles and the 
formation of new piles at the bottom of receiving waters. EPA 
documented numerous human health and environmental impacts in its 
review of the updated information. These impacts include the difficulty 
of tribal and subsistence fishermen to successfully operate in affected 
areas, floating solids and scum, and periodic gas eruptions from waste 
piles sending large mats of waste to the surface and releasing toxic 
noxious gases. These impacts also include negative effects on tourism, 
local residents, and recreational activities from associated nuisances 
and aesthetics. At certain times and in certain locations, waste piles 
cause interference with and dangerous hazards to safe vessel and 
aircraft operations. EPA also notes the potential for physical threats 
to children and adults from fish wastes deposited on beaches where 
animals (such as dogs and bears) are attracted to the waste. Processing 
operations have contributed to these impacts in Ketchikan, Sitka, and 
Dutch Harbor, and other locations.
    Fish processing waste piles from land-based facility discharges 
cover large areas of the seafloor and contain large quantities of 
solids that negatively affect receiving water quality. These piles 
range in area, sometimes covering tens of acres. They can grow to many 
feet thick. (DCN 00201). The waste piles smother benthic (bottom) 
communities, deplete dissolved oxygen, and cause other harmful impacts 
on the aquatic ecosystem. In some cases, large waste piles at outfalls 
(both active and inactive) do not dissipate, even with flushing from 
tides and strong channel currents. Where discharges have stopped, fish 
waste piles and their effects can remain for 10 years or more. 
Moreover, the ADEC report entitled: ``Alaska's Final 2010 Integrated 
Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, July 15, 2010,'' 
indicates some of Alaska's coastal zone waters have become impaired 
waters due to residues from seafood processing discharges (DCN 00457), 
generally at pg. 3, and specifics on individual locations in various 
Appendices). Requiring BPT based on screening will substantially 
mitigate the continuing impacts of existing underwater piles of seafood 
waste that have been occurring over the past 30 years, prevent 
formation of new piles, and will have a positive long-term impact on 
the affected communities in these areas.

C. Updated Information on Wastewater Treatment and Solids Disposal

    Under the Clean Water Act, individual point sources are free to 
achieve effluent limitations promulgated in ELGs and implemented in 
NPDES permits by any lawful means. EPA bases its effluent limitations 
guidelines and standards on a particular technology or set of 
technologies but does not require adoption of any particular technology 
to comply with ELGs. Once the limitations are established, the 
individual facilities may use any technology or set of technologies to 
meet the effluent limitations guidelines and standards. In addition, 
individual facilities can consider opportunities to work together and 
collectively take advantage of economies of scale.
    As stated above, existing regulations as promulgated are based on 
two basic wastewater treatment technologies: (1) For remote locations, 
grinding and discharge in the facility effluent with a numerical 
effluent limitation on the size of particles discharged (not greater 
than [frac12] inch in any dimension), and (2) for non-remote locations, 
screening and disposal of the screened solids offshore with mass-based 
effluent limitations for total suspended solids (TSS) and oil and 
grease, and an allowable range for pH. Based on the recent data 
collection, EPA did not identify any new technologies in use for 
treating Alaskan seafood processing wastewaters. EPA also found that 
both of these technologies remain feasible and applicable for 
addressing Alaskan seafood discharges. EPA's review of the recently 
updated record and observations from on-site visits reaffirms that 
these technologies are available regardless of the age of seafood 
processing equipment or facility or the

[[Page 66921]]

type of process employed. For example, existing facilities can readily 
install screens and related facilities, while new sources also can 
install screens and related facilities prior to the facility initiating 
wastewater discharge. No complex engineering or internal process 
changes are required to screen wastes or to comply with the ELG for 
non-remote locations or to dispose of the solids.
    By-product recovery has emerged in the past three decades as a 
practicable discretionary option for facilities to capture the screened 
solids, limit these wastes, and reduce waste management costs by more 
completely utilizing an important natural resource. Based on a review 
of the record, EPA found that facilities in processing locations 
generally continue to have access to more reliable and cost effective 
ways to manage screened seafood processing wastes, including by-product 
recovery, than do facilities located in isolated areas. In addition, 
and as noted in section VIII. Solicitation of Comments, EPA found that 
seafood processors in Dutch Harbor, Kenai Peninsula, and Sitka also 
have opportunities for achieving economies of scale, including the 
discretionary alternative of by-product recovery. In particular, 
processors in Dutch Harbor have been using wastewater screening 
technology and operating individual by-product recovery facilities 
since approximately 1997. Among the existing by-product recovery 
opportunities available include the Kenai Peninsula, Cordova, a by-
product recovery facility proposed for Sitka, and another facility 
being constructed in Naknek.
    At the time of the 1981 proposal and as expressed in comments on 
the proposal, by-product recovery was not widely available because few 
by-product recovery facilities existed. Processors did not consider 
collective by-product recovery facilities (i.e., ``sharing'' by-product 
recovery facilities located in the same geographic area but owned by a 
competitor) a viable option at that time because of the competitive 
nature of the industry. Based on recent information and data, EPA found 
that by-product recovery technologies and markets have matured since 
1981 and seafood processors have been successfully operating by-product 
recovery facilities. Collective by-product recovery facilities have 
been operating for many years in Kodiak, and in other processing 
locations in more recent years (e.g., Cordova, Ketchikan). These by-
product recovery facilities have been able to take advantage of 
economies of scale, which contribute both to increasing total 
utilization of the natural resource purchased from fishermen and to 
increasing total revenues to the processors from the sale of by-
products, such as fish oil, fish meal, and nutraceuticals (e.g., 
refined fish oil dietary supplements containing Omega-3 fatty acids). 
While the revenues may not consistently result in profits in every 
case, EPA's analysis shows that with a well-established market for fish 
oil and fish meal (Bimbo, 2008), the potential revenues generated from 
the sale of these by-products will offset the overall cost of 
wastewater treatment and waste solids disposal and maximize the 
utilization of valuable natural resources. Furthermore, collective by-
product recovery facilities employ a modest number of trained and 
skilled professionals. These processors, the by-product recovery 
facilities, and their employees pay taxes to the State and local 
communities, thus further contributing to the State and local 
economies. In light of these benefits, EPA concludes that any 
additional economic activity generated by by-product processing and 
sales could contribute to greater employment stability in the coastal 
Alaskan communities where seafood processing facilities and their 
related businesses are critical to local economies.
    No internal process changes are required at seafood processing 
facilities to produce commodity fish oil and fish meal. Some by-product 
recovery facilities produce food grade fish oils as intermediate 
products that are further processed at other locations into 
nutraceuticals for human consumption. Processors contributing wastes to 
by-product recovery facilities to produce food-grade fish oils have 
found acceptable and affordable equipment and methods to maintain 
sanitation requirements to keep fish wastes off processing plant 
floors, and maintain proper temperature in insulated containers 
(``totes'') to prevent spoilage during storage and transport to 
collective by-product recovery facilities. For example, as observed 
during the recent EPA visits to Alaska and from other information 
gathered, processors in Ketchikan and Cordova as well as in Kenai 
Landing have demonstrated that the necessary equipment and operating 
methods, such as careful attention to fish processing operations, are 
available and feasible (DCN 00054, 00060,00076,00084,00085; DCN 00049, 
00063, 00088, 00089, 00091; DCN 00044). However, while processors have 
demonstrated the feasibility of food grade fish oils production, EPA 
did not assume the use of these technologies in developing costs for 
collective by-product recovery facilities. Where EPA estimated costs 
for by-product recovery, it assumed that processors would produce only 
commodity fish meal and oil.

VI. Revised Cost and Economic Impact Analyses

A. Cost and Pollutant Reduction Analysis

    This section summarizes EPA's approach for estimating compliance 
costs, and a support document entitled Report of Quality Activities 
Supporting Alaska Seafood Processing Cost Estimates April 2011 (DCN 
00499) provides detailed information on the basis for these cost 
estimates. Based on the recent data collection, all of the facilities 
that are the subject of this notice in each of the processing locations 
are, at a minimum, already using grinding technologies, with a few 
exceptions described below. EPA examined current practice and 
incremental compliance costs for any facilities not currently using 
screening to estimate the costs of subjecting these facilities to the 
ELGs based on screening. All cost estimates reflect 2010 dollars and 
represent the cost of purchasing and installing equipment and control 
technologies, annual operating and maintenance costs, and associated 
monitoring and reporting requirements. This is the same general 
approach used in developing the 1981 proposal.
    EPA first established existing conditions (i.e., baseline) for each 
facility based on its responses to the questionnaire. EPA then 
determined what upgrades or changes, if any, would be required to 
comply with the limitations based on screening for processors in each 
of the processing locations, except for Anchorage where there are 
currently no direct dischargers. See section VII. Updated Response to 
Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being Considered, C. Location-by-
Location Analysis of this notice for further discussion of Anchorage. 
Specifically, as appropriate, EPA estimated compliance costs for 
facilities to install and operate screens, to transport screened solids 
by an appropriate vessel for offshore disposal, and to perform 
compliance monitoring and reporting. Aggregate cost estimates, and 
other pertinent and more detailed considerations important to 
developing costs, are presented in the public record (DCN 00410, 
00499). EPA developed costs for individual processors in each of the 
processing locations based upon information and data contained in 
responses to the questionnaire. For those facilities for which there 
were no

[[Page 66922]]

questionnaire responses, EPA modeled costs. Specifically, EPA used cost 
estimates developed from the processing facility most closely 
resembling the facility being modeled (e.g., size based on total 
production, etc.) for which questionnaire responses and associated data 
and information were available. EPA used the same model plant approach 
for processors located in the Kenai Peninsula and Sitka. EPA determined 
there are no incremental costs for Dutch Harbor because all three 
processors in Dutch Harbor already use screening technology and 
individual by-product recovery as a primary solids management 
alternative to offshore disposal of screened fish wastes.
    EPA used cost data from individual processing facilities in concert 
with cost information gathered from vendors and other publicly 
available sources (e.g., open literature, Internet Web sites, etc.) to 
develop costs for individual components of screening technology (e.g., 
waste sumps, pumps, rotary drum screens, appropriately sized vessels 
for transporting screened solids for offshore disposal of screened fish 
wastes, and monitoring). To develop facility costs, EPA assumed, in 
absence of other information, based on recent site visits and other 
information in the record that: 1) the 2010 baseline technology was the 
technology basis (grinding), 2) facilities would be discharging through 
existing outfalls, and 3) facilities would monitor particle size and 
the zone of deposit (i.e., seafood waste pile). EPA notes that some 
processors (e.g., located in Cordova and Ketchikan) access a by-product 
recovery facility and thus employ screening to separate solids from the 
wastewater; EPA considered screening technology as the 2010 baseline 
for these facilities.
    In developing screening costs for facilities where grinding is the 
baseline, EPA used the following approach to estimate costs. First, 
based on site visits, questionnaire responses, and other information in 
the record, EPA assumed that facilities would install equipment to 
screen waste solids from the wastewater stream using a rotary drum 
screen and would use their existing grinder to allow pumping of waste 
to a vessel of appropriate size for hauling to offshore disposal. 
Second, EPA assumed that the vessel could be a bow picker, work vessel, 
fishing scow or tender owned and operated by each processor. EPA also 
included costs for monitoring screened wastewater for Total Suspended 
Solids (TSS), oil and grease (O & G), pH, and measuring the volume of 
wastewater discharged through an existing outfall. Tables A and B below 
present the resulting costs and effluent reduction benefits (see 
section VI.B. Economic Impact Analysis of this notice).
    EPA presents aggregate costs as ranges in order to prevent indirect 
disclosure of information and data claimed to be Confidential Business 
Information (CBI). This is necessary because many processors have 
claimed as CBI essential components of these analyses, notably 
financial data. Moreover, in most processing locations there are very 
few processors and thus CBI may be deduced and revealed indirectly. 
Therefore, much of the detailed cost data developed by EPA for 
individual processors are protected as CBI. See Costs and Economic 
Impact Analysis for Alaska Seafood Processors, DCN 00410; and further 
discussion below.
    EPA also developed costs for collective by-product recovery. While 
it is not a requirement for complying with the ELGs, it is a 
practicable discretionary alternative for solids disposal. This 
alternative is environmentally preferable in part because it results in 
recovery of the waste rather than disposal. In processing locations 
where existing by-product recovery facility capacity was not sufficient 
to accept all processing wastes, EPA developed costs for a new by-
product recovery facility of a size sufficient to accommodate wastes 
generated by contributing processors in that location. EPA assumed that 
contributing processors in collective facilities share operating costs 
and revenues proportionally according to the amount of waste generated 
and processed by the collective by-product recovery facility. EPA did 
not consider production of food grade products such as nutraceuticals 
for purposes of this analysis. Further discussion of methods for 
developing costs for this discretionary solids management alternative 
is presented in the public record, in Report of Quality Activities 
Supporting Alaska Seafood Processing Cost Estimates (DCN 00499). 
Resulting aggregate costs are presented in Costs and Economic Impact 
Analysis for Alaskan Seafood Processors (DCN 00410).
    EPA developed estimates of the incremental effluent reduction 
benefits (pounds of pollutants removed) for screening versus grinding. 
Typically, EPA estimates the discharges of pollutants at baseline (in 
this case, grinding) and compares them to discharges assuming the 
technology basis is installed (in this case screening). EPA could not 
use its standard approach for developing reductions in TSS and oil and 
grease because it does not have baseline information on TSS and oil and 
grease discharges. Facilities that employ grinding do not monitor for 
TSS and oil and grease. Rather, they collect data on the mass of 
incoming raw product and the mass of the final product. As a result, 
for today's notice and in the analysis supporting EPA's 1981 proposed 
petition response, EPA used total waste generated (i.e., difference 
between the mass of incoming product minus the mass of the final 
product) as a proxy for the pounds of pollutants that would no longer 
be discharged in the facility effluent with the addition of screening. 
This is appropriate because, as indicated above, total waste generated 
is reported utilizing mass balance data regularly collected by 
processors for weights of incoming raw product and final products. 
Moreover, available mass balance data also show that facilities using 
screening technology achieve waste removals in excess of 90 percent.
    EPA estimated total loads of waste generated for individual 
processing facilities using data provided by processors in NPDES permit 
annual reports and reported in questionnaire responses. Processors 
report tons of waste generated by subtracting the tons of final product 
from the tons of raw product. Raw and final product weight data are 
extensive and reliable. Raw product weights are derived from carefully 
weighed incoming fish landings, which serve as the basis for paying 
fishermen for their catch. These fish landing weights are also reported 
to Alaska state agencies to determine state taxes. Final products are 
weighed carefully for packaging and related purposes.

B. Economic Impact Analysis

    EPA has completed an updated economic impact analysis associated 
with effluent limitations for non-remote dischargers based on the 
updated costs of screening and offshore solids disposal. EPA summed the 
annualized costs of capital (i.e., amortized capital), annual operating 
and maintenance costs, and annual monitoring costs for each facility to 
develop total annualized costs, which it then used as inputs to the 
impact analysis. The impacts of these costs are discussed below. In a 
similar manner, EPA has also analyzed the total costs and impacts of 
operating and, as appropriate in certain processing locations, 
installing new collective by-product recovery facilities as a 
discretionary solids management alternative. Summaries of these total 
costs and economic impacts are included in the public record (DCN 
00410).

[[Page 66923]]

    EPA's updated economic impact analysis used a discounted cash flow 
model routinely employed in the effluent guidelines program to 
determine the net present value of cash flow for individual processing 
facilities. EPA also used the Altman's Z' analysis, a financial 
analysis tool routinely employed by investors and financial analysts 
and in the effluent guidelines program, for assessing the financial 
health of privately held owner firms operating in the same locations. 
EPA used these facility and firm financial models to determine the 
financial health and viability of facilities and owner firms in two 
cases: 1) a baseline calculation using the existing permit conditions 
generally based on grinding in all processing locations (with 
exceptions noted earlier), and 2) a calculation using the more 
stringent permit conditions based on screening and offshore screened 
fish waste solids disposal. EPA completed these analyses for facilities 
located in the processing locations included in the petition (Cordova, 
Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg) (see section VII. Updated Response 
to Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being Considered, C. Location-
by-Location Analysis of this notice for further discussion of 
Anchorage). These analyses are similar to the analyses used in EPA's 
1981 proposed response to the petitions. EPA's approach is more fully 
described in the report, Costs and Economic Impact Analysis for Alaska 
Seafood Processors (DCN 00410).
    EPA used data in its analyses from responses to the questionnaire 
and from site visits, augmented with publicly available information 
where appropriate.\1\ For the small number of facilities for which it 
had no questionnaire responses or other usable data, EPA modeled the 
potential impacts using information for similar processing facilities 
for which it had questionnaire responses. EPA concluded this approach 
is reasonable because the selected questionnaire facilities resemble 
the facilities being modeled (e.g., size based on total production, 
species of fish processed, similarity of corporation size). For the 
modeled facilities, EPA extrapolated the impact analysis results to 
assess qualitatively potential impacts for the few non-surveyed 
facilities and firms in these four processing locations. EPA also used 
the same approach to analyze qualitatively the impacts on facilities in 
two of the three additional locations it is considering for inclusion 
as non-remote; specifically the Kenai Peninsula and Sitka. Where EPA 
had a questionnaire response for a facility, it used that data. Where 
EPA did not have a questionnaire response, it modeled the impacts based 
on results from a similar facility for which EPA received questionnaire 
responses. These non-surveyed facilities were an even smaller portion 
of all processors in these two additional locations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ EPA has not attempted to correlate these results with any of 
the original Petitioners' facilities because some have been acquired 
by other companies or have been closed, and those remaining are 
likely to be significantly different than they were more than 30 
years ago.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA did not find additional costs were necessary for Dutch Harbor, 
the third additional location that EPA is considering for inclusion in 
the non-remote subcategory, because all three processors located in 
Dutch Harbor use screening technology and individual by-product 
recovery for solids management. Accordingly, EPA does not expect 
incremental impacts for any facilities in Dutch Harbor.
    This cost and economic analysis for processing locations included 
in the petition and the additional locations EPA is considering for 
inclusion in the non-remote subcategories indicates that total 
annualized costs are low for each facility. In turn, cash flow at 
facilities and key financial indicators (Altman's Z' scores) used in 
the firm analysis changed only minimally between baseline (compliance 
with effluent limitations generally based on grinding, with a few 
exceptions noted previously) and screening with offshore disposal of 
screened fish wastes. Therefore, EPA does not project any closures of 
processing plants or owner firm failures for facilities located in the 
processing locations included in the petition, or two of the additional 
three locations the Agency is considering reclassifying as non-remote. 
Again, EPA did not project costs or any economic impact analyses for 
Dutch Harbor because all facilities in that location already have 
screening with by-product recovery, so EPA does not project facility 
impacts or firm failures.
    Similarly, the total annualized cost of screening using collective 
by-product recovery instead of offshore disposal to individual 
processors and owner firms was not projected to result in an 
unacceptable adverse economic impact. This is true in part because 
collective by-product recovery can achieve economies of scale, which 
also may add significant revenue from the sale of by-products 
(commodity fish meal and fish oil). For processors located where by-
product recovery facilities with available capacity currently operate, 
annual operating costs to meet the screening requirements are lower 
when the processor uses collective by-product recovery rather than 
individual offshore disposal of screened fish wastes. The details of 
the analysis are presented in Costs and Economic Impact Analysis for 
Alaska Seafood Processors (DCN 00410). For locations where processors 
may elect to construct a new by-product recovery facility, the total 
annualized costs are higher than for a location where a facility has 
already been built because the costs include loan amortization in 
addition to operating costs. Nonetheless, some processors have 
constructed and operated collective by-product recovery facilities for 
many years--for example, the Kodiak facility has been operating under 
this scheme since the 1970s.
    EPA also considered the impact of additional costs of screening and 
offshore disposal of screened fish wastes on small businesses. EPA 
found these total annualized costs were less than 0.5 percent of 
revenues for all small surveyed firms in the analysis. Similarly, EPA 
concludes that all of the small businesses in the petitioning non-
remote locations and additional non-petitioning locations of interest 
will have total annualized costs less than 0.5 percent of revenues. EPA 
also analyzed the impact of the costs of screening and offshore 
disposal of screened fish wastes on new facilities and found that there 
would be no barriers to entry because these costs are very small in 
relation to the capital costs of a new processing facility or 
incremental to any other existing barriers to entry. EPA reached this 
conclusion because the capital cost for additional screening equipment 
and related facilities would be well within the usual engineering 
contingencies built into new facility construction cost estimates. 
Furthermore, the cost to design-in equipment is usually less expensive 
at new facilities than the costs to retrofit. (See Costs and Impact 
Analysis for Alaska Seafood Processors (DCN 00410).
    Results of the costs, pollutant mass removals, and economic impact 
analyses are summarized in the following two tables. Costs are 
presented in 2010 dollars. Table A presents the results for facilities 
in the processing locations included in the petition and Table B 
presents the results for the additional locations EPA is considering 
reclassifying as non-remote.

[[Page 66924]]



                       Table A \1\--Results for Processing Locations Included in Petition
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Total
                                                    annualized     Removals per
            Location                 Number of       cost per      plant--lbs/yr   $/lb removed      Economic
                                    plants \2\    plant--million  \3\ (millions)                    impact \4\
                                                         $
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anchorage.......................               0  ..............  ..............  ..............  N/A.
Cordova.........................               4  ..............  ..............  ..............  No.
Juneau..........................               2           <0.10            1-12       0.02-0.04  No.
Ketchikan.......................               5  ..............  ..............  ..............  No.
Petersburg......................               3  ..............  ..............  ..............  No.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total--all Plants...........              14          <$0.75             <30           $0.03
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Tabulation of costs and waste removals per plant, and cost per pound removed expressed as ranges to prevent
  indirect disclosure of data claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI).
\2\ Numer of plants currently operating. No processors with direct dischargers currently operate in Anchorage;
  therefore, they have no costs or removals. A few processors are discharging to publicly owned treatment works
  (POTW).
\3\ Pounds of fish processing waste removed.
\4\ Possible processing plants closures or firm failures.


                          Table B \1\--Results for Additional Non-Petitioning Locations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Total
                                                    annualized     Removals per
            Location                 Number of       cost per      plant--lbs/yr   $/lb removed      Economic
                                    plants \2\    plant--million  \3\ (millions)                    impact \4\
                                                         $
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dutch Harbor....................               3  ..............  ..............  ..............  No.
Kenai Peninsula.................              10           <0.10             1-3       0.04-0.07  No.
Sitka...........................               3  ..............  ..............  ..............  No.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total--all Plants...........              16          <$0.90             <15           $0.06  ..............
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Tabulation of costs and waste removals per plant, and cost per pound removed expressed as ranges to prevent
  indirect disclosure of data claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI).
\2\ Number of plants currently operating. In Dutch Harbor, all three processors that have operated consistently
  have screening and individual by-product recovery in place and thus comply with effluent limitations based
  upon screening. Three additional processors have operated only intermittently in Dutch Harbor. Thus, no costs
  or removals were developed and no economic analyses were performed for Dutch Harbor.
\3\ Pounds of fish processing waste removed.
\4\ Possible processing plants closures or firm failures.

    As represented by Tables A and B, EPA found the cost of screening 
and offshore disposal of screened waste solids resulted in no facility 
or firm failures at any of the petitioning processing locations or at 
any of the additional non-petitioning locations EPA is considering 
reclassifying as non-remote. EPA also found that the range of costs per 
pound of waste removed were very low.
    The Agency solicits comments and additional data that may be 
available related to EPA's recent data and information collection and 
EPA's analyses of estimated costs and projected economic impacts, as 
summarized above and in Tables A and B. The data summarized in Tables A 
and B above are discussed further in Section VII. Updated Response to 
Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being Considered, C. Location-by-
Location Analysis, and in Section VIII., Solicitation of Comments of 
this notice, below.

C. Costs vs. Pollutant Reductions, Other Factors

    EPA estimates the updated total annualized costs for Alaska seafood 
processing plants to implement individual screening and offshore 
disposal of screened fish wastes range, on average, to be from $0.02 to 
$0.07 per pound of seafood processing waste removed. These costs of 
achieving BPT effluent limitations can be compared with other 
industries' costs of achieving BPT effluent limitations to provide a 
perspective on their reasonableness. In a portion of the fruits and 
vegetables processing industry, the average cost of wastewater 
treatment to meet BPT effluent limitations for a group of model plants 
was $0.29 per pound of conventional pollutants removed, with a range of 
$0.09 to $0.55 per pound. In the corn wet milling subcategory of the 
grain milling industry, the cost for a medium-sized model plant was 
$0.41 per pound of conventional pollutants removed. For the cane sugar 
refining industry, a small model plant incurred a cost of $0.41 per 
pound of conventional pollutants removed. EPA notes that in all of 
these examples, the values were adjusted to 2010 dollars. This 
comparison demonstrates that the costs to achieve screening and 
offshore disposal of screened fish wastes at all locations considered 
today are less than for many other food processing industries for which 
EPA has promulgated ELGs, and therefore are reasonable. Section 
304(b)(1)(B) states that factors relating to the assessment of BPT 
``shall include consideration of the total costs of application of the 
technology in relation to the effluent reduction benefits achieved and 
. . . such other factors as the Administrator deems appropriate.'' 33 
U.S.C. 1314(b)(1)(B).
    Additionally, a similar comparison of costs to pollutant reductions 
for screening and by-product recovery demonstrates the costs in 
relation to the removals are reasonable. EPA estimates the same 
reduction under either solids handling approach (i.e. off shore 
disposal of screened fish wastes or by-product recovery). However, 
where facilities employ by-product recovery,

[[Page 66925]]

reduced discharge of pollutants offshore is also an effluent reduction 
benefit.
    Clearly, a reduction in waste discharges associated with screening 
versus grinding at these locations will benefit the communities in the 
surrounding areas and the environment. Section V. B. above describes 
the continuing negative impact on people and the environment associated 
with these discharges over the last 30 years and at present. Requiring 
ELGs based on screening will result in mitigating impacts from existing 
waste piles and prevent the formation of new waste piles. EPA concludes 
there will be significant improvements in water quality, increased 
opportunities for tribal fishing and recreational activities, improved 
aesthetics for the local population and tourists, and reduced 
interference with safe vessel and aircraft operations.
    The Agency also considered non-water quality impacts for screening 
and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes, as well as for by-
product recovery. While energy costs (e.g., fossil fuel) have increased 
in recent years, the largest factor in offshore disposal costs is labor 
to operate the vessels that transport and dispose of the waste through 
the entire processing season. As described above, the total costs for 
screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes are low, and 
thus, the associated energy consumption and costs are also low. 
Furthermore, should by-product recovery be employed as a discretionary 
solids management alternative, use of a vessel to dispose of wastes 
offshore is greatly reduced because only a small amount of the total 
waste generated during the season is hauled offshore for disposal.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Information acquired primarily from industry sources 
indicates the non-recoverable portion of total annual waste 
generation is approximately five percent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, the seafood processing industry has used fish oil as a 
supplemental fuel to generate electric power to operate the processing 
facilities. In some locations where a utility power grid connection is 
not available, fossil fuel is needed for on-site generation of all 
electric power required for processing operations. In these cases, fish 
oil produced from by-product recovery offers the potential to 
substantially reduce fossil fuel (e.g., diesel) usage and costs. The 
Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) notes in its Renewable Energy Atlas for 
2009 and 2011 that many coastal locations offer the opportunity to use 
biomass (e.g., fish waste and the oil produced from it) as an important 
supplemental source of fuel to replace a portion of the fossil fuels 
used for energy generation. For example, the fish meal plant at Kodiak 
uses fish oil produced from pollock waste for a significant portion of 
its fuel needs. Also, the AEA reports that one of the large processors 
in Dutch Harbor uses fish oil from its by-product recovery facility to 
replace approximately one half of the diesel fuel it would normally 
have transported to the site and consumed for power generation to 
operate the seafood processing plant. See http://www.akenergyauthority.org/programsalternativebiomass.html. EPA has 
considered the energy costs associated with screening and disposal of 
the screened solids and found them to be acceptable for all of these 
reasons.
    Screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes or 
screening and by-product recovery, rather than grinding the wastes, 
should have no significant incremental adverse air quality impact. 
Rather, it should lead to reduced releases of noxious gas associated 
with waste piles. Further, as explained above, because fuel consumption 
for either offshore disposal or by-product recovery is quite low, any 
incremental air emissions associated with fuel usage would be equally 
low. Also, currently operating facilities have demonstrated that any 
odor problems that may be associated with the operation of a by-product 
recovery facility (e.g., meal drier exhaust) can be minimized by proper 
plant location, use of appropriate air pollution control equipment 
(e.g., wet venturi air scrubbers), and diligent operating procedures. 
Thus, EPA concludes that the non-water quality environmental impact of 
screening and solids management employing by-product recovery on air 
quality would be acceptable.
    Finally, the ELGs for seafood processors in all other states, 
except for those affected by the suspension in Alaska, are based on 
screening. Thus, seafood processors affected by the ELG suspension, 
which process approximately 50 percent of the total U.S fish landings, 
have had a cost advantage within this industry for at least 30 years 
while continuing to cause substantial adverse impacts to humans and the 
environment in many coastal communities in Alaska.

VII. Updated Response to Petition and Amendment to Regulations Being 
Considered

A. Summary

    In the 1981 proposal, EPA proposed denying the industry petition 
for Anchorage, Cordova, Ketchikan, and Petersburg and proposed granting 
the petition for Juneau. EPA is again considering denying the petition 
for Anchorage, Cordova, Ketchikan, and Petersburg, and is considering 
denying the petition for Juneau. All five areas would remain non-remote 
for BPT purposes and effluent limitations would be based on screening. 
The solids disposal method, either offshore disposal of screened fish 
wastes, or collective by-product recovery, or any other means that is 
developed in the future, is selected at the discretion of each 
processor.
    As EPA considered reinstating the original ELGs for all five cities 
named in the petition, the Agency again examined the options for 
screening and disposal of the screened fish waste solids. EPA's basis 
for classifying the various locations as non-remote is the Agency's 
finding that wastewater screening and individual offshore disposal of 
screened fish wastes by an appropriate vessel is available, 
practicable, and achievable in each location. Thus, EPA concludes that 
each of these areas is appropriately characterized as non-remote. EPA 
based this conclusion on updated data and information and technical and 
economic analyses. The Agency does not project any potential processing 
plant closures or firm failures from these costs. Furthermore, the 
costs are low and would lead to significant reductions in the mass of 
discharged waste.
    Where collective by-product recovery facilities are currently 
available or may become available, applying the ELGs based on screening 
to non-remote locations would promote the use of these facilities and 
thus remove waste solids from both nearshore and offshore receiving 
waters. The increased use of by-product recovery would also reduce the 
overall cost of waste management by recovering a significant portion of 
the waste for other revenue producing uses. The revenues from by-
product recovery would provide the opportunity for seafood processors 
and associated employment in local coastal communities to become more 
sustainable. Where fish oil is produced and used as a fuel supplement, 
the amount and cost of fossil fuel (diesel) used for on-site power 
generation could be substantially reduced.
    Consistent with EPA's 1981 proposal, EPA is again considering 
revising the scope of the ELGs non-remote location criteria to 
eliminate the possibility that a locality may be classified as non-
remote based solely on its character as a population center. EPA 
recognizes that a processor's location in a population center has no 
bearing on the costs of

[[Page 66926]]

screening or solids disposal options. Costs for an isolated individual 
processor might be considerably higher than costs for a processor 
located near other processors, regardless of the local population. 
Among key factors that may determine the feasibility of screening and 
discretionary solids management alternatives for processors in a given 
location in Alaska (e.g., offshore disposal of screened fish wastes, 
by-product recovery, or others) are the amount of processing waste 
available for waste management alternatives and the length of the 
processing season. In locations where one or more processors generate 
sufficient waste to take advantage of economies of scale, options for 
managing screened solids include collective offshore disposal of waste 
solids, collective by-product recovery, a combination of collective 
offshore disposal of waste solids and by-product recovery, and any 
other feasible option. EPA intends the term non-remote processing 
location to cover any geographic area or location where processors can 
reasonably achieve economies of scale, either individually or 
collectively, for managing screened seafood processing wastes, in 
comparison to processors in isolated locations where transportation and 
other costs may be substantially higher. Such locations need not have 
appreciable population beyond that necessary for processing operations. 
Therefore, the Agency is again considering removing the term 
``population center'' from the definition of non-remote areas, in order 
to focus on non-remote processing locations. Such language was included 
in the amended regulations proposed in 1981. 46 FR 2552-54 (January 9, 
1981). See Section VIII. Solicitation of Comments of this notice, 
below.
    As in the 1981 proposal, the Agency is again considering including 
Ward Cove as a part of the Ketchikan processing location, and adding 
Dutch Harbor and the Kenai Peninsula to the non-exclusive list of non-
remote processing locations. Further, with the recently gathered 
information and data, EPA is also considering adding Sitka to the list 
of non-remote processing locations. Processors in these three locations 
also have access to more reliable and cost effective solids management 
alternatives through economies of scale.

B. Revision of New Source Performance Standards

    Finally, and also consistent with EPA's 1981 proposal, EPA is again 
considering amending the regulations for new source performance 
standards (NSPS) to require that new sources in areas classified as 
non-remote for purposes of BPT also meet the non-remote ELG 
requirements for purposes of NSPS. See 46 FR 2550 (January 9, 1981). 
The NSPS in these subcategories include numerical effluent limitations 
for TSS, oil and grease, and a range for pH as do the limitations set 
out in the regulations based upon BPT. The NSPS numerical effluent 
limitations for TSS and oil and grease are somewhat more stringent than 
those based upon BPT. They are not based on any additional end-of-pipe 
wastewater treatment technologies, but rather on reduced in-plant water 
use for processing operations. The reduced water usage was demonstrated 
by processing plants operating when the regulations were originally 
promulgated and is based upon good housekeeping practices achieved at 
very little, if any, cost.
    EPA's current analysis indicates that any new sources in non-remote 
locations should be required to meet standards based on screening 
technology. New processors should be able to install screening 
technology and operate waste solids disposal with very small 
incremental costs, beyond those associated with the cost of a new 
processing facility. Such costs are not a barrier to entry to seafood 
processing in these locations. In addition, new sources may be able to 
access collective waste disposal, use existing by-product recovery 
facilities with adequate capacity in these areas, or collaborate with 
other processors to establish new facilities where existing facilities 
do not currently exist or may not have adequate capacity. Therefore, 
EPA is again considering amending the regulations to require that all 
areas categorized as non-remote for purposes of BPT similarly be 
categorized as non-remote for purposes of NSPS.

C. Location-by-Location Analysis

    This section analyzes each area included in the 1980 petition: 
Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Petersburg. EPA is 
considering denying the petition for all of these locations, thus 
requiring facilities in these locations to comply with the effluent 
limitations based upon screening.
1. Anchorage
    EPA is again considering denying the petition to reclassify 
Anchorage as remote and requiring effluent limitations guidelines based 
on screening. In 1981, some facilities in Anchorage directly discharged 
effluent. However, circumstances have changed since 1981; all seafood 
processors currently operating in Anchorage discharge to the local 
publicly owned treatment works (POTW). In other words, no seafood 
processors currently are discharging directly to waters of the United 
States in the Anchorage processing location. Therefore, because there 
are no direct dischargers in Anchorage, EPA estimated no costs for this 
requirement in Anchorage.
    Even though processing plants currently operating in Anchorage 
currently do not directly discharge seafood processing waste, they have 
the option to do so. Throughout Alaska, there have been ongoing changes 
in location, size, and fish species processed at processing plants. The 
ownership of processing plants and the corporate structure of the 
seafood processing industry throughout Alaska also have evolved. These 
factors could lead to a change in discharge practices.
    In addition, new processing plants could be sited in Anchorage and 
choose to discharge directly to waters of the United States, and thus 
be subject to the new source performance standards for non-remote 
locations. Based on EPA's review of the information and data in the 
public record, the Agency concludes it is likely that processing plants 
now operating or ones that could be operating at a future date in 
Anchorage would be similar to those operating in the other processing 
locations for which EPA has analyzed recently gathered information and 
data. EPA observed similarities among all facilities in fish species, 
processing methods, wastewater generation, applicability of screening 
technology and discretionary solids management alternatives. There were 
also similarities in the range of low costs and effluent reduction 
benefits for all locations other than Anchorage, to both individual 
processors and owner firms. Therefore, effluent limitations based upon 
screening and solids disposal are appropriate for both existing and new 
sources for the Anchorage processing location. Any such facilities that 
choose to cease discharging to the POTW and begin discharging directly, 
or any new facilities with direct discharge, may find it advantageous 
to cooperate in a collective by-product recovery facility to further 
reduce waste management costs and make their operations more 
sustainable. As already noted above, EPA has determined there are no 
barriers to entry for new facilities due to these very small 
incremental costs.
2. Cordova
    EPA is again considering denying the petition to reclassify Cordova 
as remote and requiring effluent limitations based

[[Page 66927]]

upon screening. Four processors located in Cordova process a variety of 
fish (mostly salmon) and generate a total of approximately 22 million 
pounds of waste per year. One processor in Cordova constructed a new 
by-product recovery facility and began operation in 2009. This new 
facility was designed with the intention of having the capacity to 
accept all of the waste generated by all four processing plants 
operating in Cordova.
    EPA's analysis of this processing location indicates total 
annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of 
screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per 
plant, or approximately $0.02 to $0.04 per pound of waste removed (see 
Table A above). These costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits 
are substantial (approximately 22 million pounds per year). No 
projected processing plant closures or firm failures resulted from 
imposing these costs, and EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for 
new sources. EPA's analysis indicates the four processors accessing the 
by-product recovery facility are incurring lower operating costs than 
for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes as noted 
above.
3. Juneau
    EPA is considering denying the petition for Juneau, thus retaining 
the location's non-remote classification as promulgated in the original 
regulations prior to the suspension, and requiring effluent limitations 
based upon screening. Two processors in this location generate 
approximately four million pounds of waste per year, mainly from the 
processing of salmon.
    EPA's analysis of this processing location indicates the 
approximate total annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore 
disposal of screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 
million per plant, or approximately $0.02 to $0.04 per pound of waste 
removed (see Table A above). These costs are low and the effluent 
reduction benefits are substantial (approximately four million pounds 
per year). No projected processing plant closures or firm failures 
resulted from the facilities incurring these costs, and EPA did not 
identify a barrier to entry for new sources.
4. Ketchikan
    EPA is again considering denying the petition for Ketchikan, thus 
retaining this location's classification as non-remote and requiring 
effluent limitations based on screening technology. As in the 1981 
proposal, EPA also is again considering including Ward Cove in the 
Ketchikan processing location. Five processors located in Ketchikan 
process a variety of fish, mostly salmon, and generate a total of 
approximately 14 million pounds of waste per year. Alaska Protein 
Recovery, a mobile barge-based by-product recovery facility, began 
operating at this location in 2007. It produces primarily food grade 
salmon oil, which is converted into nutraceuticals at another site, and 
salmon protein hydrolysates. [See http://www.alaskaproteinrecovery.com/home] This by-product recovery facility processes the waste generated 
by four of the five processors in Ketchikan.
    EPA's analysis of this processing location indicates total 
annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of 
screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per 
plant, or approximately $0.02 to $0.04 per pound of waste removed (see 
Table A above). The costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits 
are substantial (approximately 14 million pounds per year). No 
projected processing plant closures or firm failures resulted from the 
facilities incurring these costs, and EPA did not identify a barrier to 
entry for new sources. EPA's analysis indicates the four processors 
accessing the by-product recovery facility are incurring lower 
operating costs than for screening and offshore disposal of screened 
fish wastes as noted above.
5. Petersburg
    EPA is again considering denying the petition for Petersburg, thus 
retaining the location's classification as non-remote and requiring 
effluent limitations based upon screening technology. Three processors 
located in Petersburg process a variety of fish, mostly salmon, and 
generate a total of approximately 10 million pounds of waste per year. 
An existing by-product recovery facility has been operating in 
conjunction with one of the processing plants for many years. However, 
the existing capacity of this facility is insufficient to accommodate 
the wastes from all three processors.
    EPA's analysis of this processing location indicates total 
annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of 
screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per 
plant, or approximately $0.02 to $0.04 per pound of waste removed (see 
Table A above). These costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits 
are substantial (approximately 10 million pounds per year) as generated 
by two of the three processors. No projected processing plant closures 
or firm failures resulted from the facilities incurring these costs, 
and EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for new sources. EPA's 
analysis indicates the processor operating a by-product recovery 
facility is incurring lower operating costs than for screening and 
offshore disposal of screened fish wastes as noted above.

VIII. Solicitation of Comments

    The Agency is considering classifying three additional locations as 
non-remote for purposes of compliance with BPT effluent limitations and 
New Source Performance Standards based upon screening: Dutch Harbor, 
the Kenai Peninsula, and Sitka. In the 1981 proposal, EPA solicited 
comment on adding Dutch Harbor and the Kenai Peninsula, while newly 
gathered information and data has resulted in EPA also considering 
adding Sitka.

A. Dutch Harbor

    The Dutch Harbor processing location has expanded dramatically 
since 1981, when its production capacity was largely devoted to 
shellfish (mostly crab). Today, Dutch Harbor is the largest seafood 
processing location in the United States. In recent years, the three 
long-standing processors in Dutch Harbor have focused on processing 
pollock (more than 90 percent of total production). Shellfish 
processing, which had accounted for a large share of the total 
production, is now a small portion. As the result of an increase in 
serious environmental impacts in Dutch Harbor since 1981, in 1995 EPA 
developed a TMDL for South Unalaska Bay, which was on the State's 
303(d) list of impaired waters due to seafood waste. As a result of the 
TMDL, seafood processors that discharge into South Unalaska Bay have 
individual NPDES permits that contain water quality based effluent 
limitations based on waste load allocations (WLA) in the TMDL for South 
Unalaska Bay. In turn, these water quality based effluent limitations 
are being achieved primarily by screening.
    Nonetheless, EPA also recognizes the need to establish appropriate 
technology-based effluent limitations and standards for purposes of BPT 
and NSPS for this processing location. Three processors generate 
approximately 300 million pounds in total waste per year. After 
examining the site-specific circumstances and in-place screening and 
by-product recovery at all three processors, EPA does not estimate any 
additional costs or effluent reduction benefits. Also, EPA did not 
identify a barrier to entry for new sources. Therefore, EPA concludes 
that it is

[[Page 66928]]

reasonable to consider establishing technology-based effluent 
limitations guidelines and standards for purposes of BPT and NSPS based 
upon screening technology for Dutch Harbor.

B. Kenai Peninsula

    The Kenai Peninsula currently hosts ten seafood processors within a 
relatively small geographical area. The processors are dispersed around 
the perimeter of the peninsula and linked by a paved road system. They 
are located in municipalities including Kenai, Soldotna, Ninilchik, 
Homer, and Seward, and their combined annual waste production is 
approximately 10 million pounds.
    EPA performed cost analysis and an economic impact analysis of 
processors and owner firms on the Kenai Peninsula. These analyses were 
based on both questionnaire responses for some of the facilities and 
modeling for facilities with no questionnaire responses. See the 
discussion of use of model facilities in section VI. B. Economic Impact 
Analysis of this notice, above.
    EPA's analysis of this processing location indicates total 
annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore disposal of 
screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 million per 
plant, or approximately $0.04 to $0.07 per pound of waste removed (see 
Table B above). These costs are low and the effluent reduction benefits 
are substantial (10 million pounds per year). No projected processing 
plant closures or firm failures resulted from the facilities incurring 
these costs, and EPA did not identify a barrier to entry for new 
sources. Therefore, EPA concludes that it is reasonable to consider 
establishing technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and 
standards for purposes of BPT and NSPS based upon screening technology 
for the Kenai Peninsula.

C. Sitka

    The Sitka location currently includes three operating processors, 
whose combined annual waste production is approximately four million 
pounds. EPA's analysis of this processing location indicates the 
approximate total annualized costs per plant for screening and offshore 
disposal of screened fish wastes are in the range of less than $0.10 
million per plant, or approximately $0.04 to $0.07 per pound of waste 
removed (see Table B above). These costs are low and the effluent 
reduction benefits are substantial (approximately four million pounds 
per year). No projected processing plant closures or firm failures 
resulted from the facilities incurring these costs, and EPA did not 
identify a barrier to entry for new sources. Therefore, EPA concludes 
that it is reasonable to consider establishing technology-based 
effluent limitations guidelines and standards for purposes of BPT and 
NSPS based upon screening technology for Sitka.

D. Specific Comment Solicitations

    The Agency also solicits comments, data, and information 
specifically on the following:
    (1) Additional anecdotal, photographic, dive studies, and other 
related information that would assist EPA in analyzing impacts of 
seafood waste discharges and receiving water waste piles on humans, 
including impacts on minority, low-income, and indigenous populations 
overburdened by pollution, and related potential impacts. EPA also 
solicits information on the impacts on local tourism, nuisances, safe 
operation of vessels and private and commercial aircraft, etc., as well 
as impacts on the nearshore and offshore receiving water environments.
    (2) Any information that would assist the Agency in assessing 
plant-specific costs for and economic impacts of individual screening 
and offshore disposal of screened fish wastes, and similar information 
for collective by-product recovery facility costs for non-remote 
processors. This information could include equipment and installation 
costs, operating costs and factors that influence the designs and the 
magnitude of these costs, detailed fish processing production data, and 
financial data including revenues. EPA is also soliciting information 
on the cost of capital, cost of electric power delivery from local 
grids where available, etc., for individual facilities for which EPA 
has not received questionnaire responses in 2010, and any other 
relevant data and information. EPA would use this information to inform 
data and analyses for screening and offshore disposal of screened fish 
wastes presented in Tables A and B, in section VI. B. Economic Impact 
Analysis of this notice, above.
    (3) Short- and long-term trends in the seafood processing industry, 
the range of species and fisheries, landings, values, etc., as they 
relate to the industry as a whole and to the processing locations being 
considered by the Agency for classification as non-remote.
    (4) Adding Dutch Harbor, Kenai Peninsula, and Sitka to the list of 
processing locations considered non-remote, and thus requiring effluent 
limitations based upon screening. EPA also seeks comment on other 
potential processing locations that the commenters believe the Agency 
should consider, but did not specifically identify in this notice. For 
instance, EPA may consider adding other locations such as Naknek and 
possibly others to the list of ``non-remote'' locations. EPA will 
carefully consider the characteristics of any additional locations 
where information and data supplied with comments show that economies 
of scale, either individually or collectively, offer opportunities for 
cost effective management and utilization of screened solid seafood 
processing wastes similar to existing processing locations already 
considered to be non-remote.
    (5) Factors that influence the economics of the discretionary 
solids management alternative of collective by-product recovery, 
primarily within the Alaskan and United States markets for seafood 
waste by-products. EPA seeks comments and data on the factors affecting 
the maturing and substantial expansion of collective by-product 
recovery as it has occurred over the last 30 years in Alaska. EPA is 
seeking information on supply, demand, and price, long-term and short-
term market trends and competing products such as soybean oil, and 
other sources and types of fish meal. EPA is seeking information also 
on chitin produced from shellfish, nutraceuticals used as dietary 
supplements (e.g., Omega-3 fatty acids, chondroitin, etc.), compost and 
fertilizer supplements, supplemental animal feeds and pet foods, bone 
meal, and fish waste used to generate methane, etc. EPA also seeks 
information on the use of fish oil produced from fish wastes as a non-
fossil fuel supplement (e.g., diesel fuel) primarily for local or on-
site power generation.
    (6) Denial of the petition for the five locations addressed in this 
notice, specifically Anchorage, Cordova, Juneau, Ketchikan, and 
Petersburg.
    (7) Revising the definition of applicability of the regulations at 
40 CFR 408.40, 408.60, 408.90, 408.162(b)(1), 408.165(a)(1). 
408.172(b)(1), 408.175(a)(1), 408.202(b)(1), 408.205(a)(1), 
408.292(b)(1), 408.295(a)(1), 408.312(b)(1), and 408.315(a)(1) to a 
non-exclusive list of ``non-remote'' facilities from ``population or 
processing centers'' to ``processing locations'' where one or more 
seafood processing facilities are located.


[[Page 66929]]


    Dated: October 24, 2013.
Nancy K. Stoner,
Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
[FR Doc. 2013-26483 Filed 11-6-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P