25 Superfund SUP


Answer the following questions.

1. In 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) created the Superfund. What were the objectives of the Superfund?

2. Identify and describe the three concepts that make CERCLA a unique law?

3. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has four options to achieve compliance with the objectives under CERCLA. What are these options?


1. In 1980, CERCLA put aside $ 1.6 billion in a trust fund that was to be used to fund cleanup efforts for the nation's highest risk hazardous waste sites. CERCLA established the means by which the highest risk sites were identified and ranked on a national priorities list (NPL) for cleanup.

2. The three concepts that make CERCLA a unique law are:

a. Ex post facto: According to ex post facto, any party can be liable for past waste disposal techniques even though they may have been once legal but are now illegal and have led to contamination of a specific area.

b. Landowner liability: Any landowner who does not perform an "all appropriate inquiry" may be found liable for hazardous waste contamination despite whether they committed the act or not.

c. Joint and several liability: Liability may be shared among several potentially responsible parties (PRP) who have occupied the property in the past.

3. The four options the EPA has to achieve compliance with under CERCLA are:

a. Voluntary compliance: Responsible party accepts liability for cleanup of a hazardous waste site.

b. Enforcement agreement: Either a judicial consent decree or administrative order that identifies a party's responsibilities with regards to a site cleanup.

c. Unilateral administrative order: A decree that forces a PRP to take responsibility for a site cleanup.

d. Lawsuit: EPA can bring charges against a PRP who then faces punitive damages up to three times the cost of the cleanup.


Answer the following questions:

1. What three criteria are used to place a hazardous waste site on the natural priorities list (NPL)?

2. Identify the steps for cleanup of a hazardous waste site once it has been put on the national priorities list.

3. Describe the steps the public may take to assist the EPA in finding a PRP or influencing the handling of an NPL cleanup.


1. The three criteria used to place a hazardous waste site on the NPL are:

a. The site receives an advisory from the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry that recommends that local residents relocate away from the site.

b. The site receives a score of 28.5 or higher on the hazard ranking system.

c. The site is selected as a state's top cleanup priority.

2. Note that a total of 10 steps have been identified as steps in the clean-up of a hazardous waste site. The first 5 deal with the steps leading up to placement on the NPL. The second 5 refer to actions taken following placement on the NPL. These 5 steps are listed as follows:

a. Remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS)

b. Remedy selection/record of decision c. Remedial design d. Remedial action e. Project close out

3. The steps the public may take to assist the EPA in finding a PRP or influencing the handling of an NPL cleanup are:

a. Report illegal hazardous waste dumping.

b. Petition the EPA to perform a preliminary assessment of a potentially affected area.

c. Collaborate cleanup discussions.

d. Solicit information from the EPA on programs or a specific site.


e. Take part in EPA-sponsored community involvement programs.


Answer the following questions:

1. Describe various response actions and remedial technologies.

2. List the principal federal agencies involved in feasibility studies.

3. List the principal federal legislative acts and policies applicable to uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.


1. Various response actions and remedial technologies are:

No action

Site access control Fencing; land-use limits Surface water control Capping; grading; revegetation; collection systems

Groundwater or leachate control Capping; containment; pumping

Onsite treatment

Incineration; physical, biological, and chemical treatment

Control of gas migration

Capping: containment; collection Removal of materials Excavation; grading; capping Off site treatment Physical, biological, and chemical

Water or sewer line decontamination In situ cleaning; replacement; alternative supply

2. The principal federal agencies involved in feasibility studies are:

• Environmental Protection Agency

Federal Emergency Management Agency

• Department of Health & Human Services

• Army Corps of Engineers

• Department of the Interior Geological Survey

Bureau of Land Management Fish & Wildlife Services

• Department of Transportation Coast Guard

3. The principal federal legislative acts and policies applicable to uncontrolled hazardous waste sites are:

• Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) PL 96-510, 42 U.S.C. 9601

• Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) PL 99-499

• Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) PL 94-580, as amended, 41 U.S.C. 6901

• Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) PL 93-523 as amended, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.

• Clean Water Act (CWA) PL 92-500, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.

• Ground Water Protection Agency (GWPS) U.S. EPA Report WH 550, November 1980

• Clean Air Act (CAA) PL 90-148 as amended, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.


A rotary kiln at a Superfund site is designed to treat contaminated soil with a nominal heat release rate (HRR) of 15,000 Btu/(h • ft3), an inside diameter of 8 ft, and a length of 30 ft. What is the design heat rate (Q) in Btu/h?


The design heat rate is given by Q = (F)(HRR) = (1508 ft3)^—jp—^ = 22,620,000 Btu/h


Normally a waste having a heating value of 750 Btu/lb is burned in a kiln. It is fed continuously through an auger. Occasionally a solid waste consisting of contaminated polyethylene pellets is "batch" fed to the kiln in 30-gal fiber containers. The pellets have a bulk density of 50 lb/ft3 and a heating value (HV) of 18,350 Btu/lb. A single container is consumed in 6.5 min. Assume the kiln described in Problem SUP.4 is employed in this operation.


1. Will the kiln operate within its design parameters?

2. Considering your answer to part 1, would you expect any combustion problems?

3. How would you correct the problem if you were the operator?


1. To determine if the kiln operates within its design parameters, the actual rate should be compared to the design value. The mass m in each container is

The actual heat release, Q, is then

= 3,688,000 Btu heat release But this will occur in 6.5 min; therefore the equivalent hourly heat rate, Q, is

Q = 60mm/h (3,688,000 Btu) = 34 million Btu/h 6.5 mm

This is about 1.5 times the design heat rate of 22.6 million Btu/h so the answer to part 1 is No.

2. There will not be enough air in the system to burn the polyethylene waste at that rate so the kiln will produce a dense black smoke.

3. To correct the situation, package the polyethylene in smaller batches. The batch size will have to be smaller by at least the same factor (1.5). Therefore, m = 201/1.5 = 134 lb/batch Q = (134)(18,350) = 2,459,000 Btu heat release

The heat rate is then

This is almost the same as the design value. Good practice would suggest that a safety margin of at least 10% be used so about 120 lb/batch is a good size.

Also, the containers must be fed at a rate not greater than one every 6.5 min, e.g., 9 per hour.


A rotary kiln incinerator is operating with an average energy release rate (HRR) of 28,000 Btu/(h • ft3) of furnace volume. During operation 4500 lb/h of a solid waste from a Superfund site with an approximate heating value of 8000 Btu/lb is to be combusted. Assume the L/D ratio of the rotary kiln to be 3.5.

1. Calculate the furnace volume required.

2. What are the dimensions of the kiln?


1. Calculate the heat released by the waste:

Q = (4500)(8000) = 3.60 x 107 Btu/h The volume required is

2. The dimensions of the kiln for an L/D ration of 3.5 are obtained as follows:

3.60 x 107 28,000

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Tests indicate that a sludge waste arriving in 55-gal drums to a treatment facility have a mean lead content of 11 ppm with a standard deviation of 10 ppm. The drums are unloaded into a 250-gal receiving tank. The facility is required to keep the lead concentration entering the incinerator at or below 15 ppm in order to meet the required particulate emission levels. Assume that the lead contents from one drum to the next are not correlated and that the tank is nearly full. What size should the receiving tank be to ensure, with 98% confidence, that the facility treats a waste with a mean lead concentration below 15 ppm?


For this condition, the probability that the Pb concentration in the receiving tank exceeds 15 ppm is

The value of z0 from the standard normal table (see Problem NUC.9 in Chapter 24) is then 2.05, which corresponds to the number of standard deviations above the mean tank concentration. According to the central limit theorem, the standard deviation of the mean is given by a 10 ppm

■s/n *Jn where n is the number of drums. Therefore, for a 2% probability that the mean concentration in the tank exceeds 15 ppm, the number of drums can be found by solving

The tank volume V must then be


The total amount of contaminated soil at the RAT (Ruocco and Theodore) company site is approximately 80,000 tons. Evaluate the cost of landfilling versus stabilization for the management of the hazardous waste at this site.

Each truck can carry 25,0001b to the nearest suitable landfill site at Theodore Estates, at a distance of 750 miles. The trucking cost per mile is $2.50. The total stabilization cost is $62 per ton. Identify advantages and disadvantages of landfilling for this site.


Stabilization cost estimate:

80,000 tons x $62/ton = $4,960,000 Trucking cost estimate:

/2000 lb\ / truck \ _ , 80,000tons(—j(^oooibj= 6400 trucks

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