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Water: Transportation Equipment Cleaning

Effluent Guidelines - Transportation Equipment Cleaning

Final Rule

Fact Sheet; July 2000

EPA is publishing the final Effluent Limitations Guidelines, Pretreatment Standards, and New Source Performance Standards for the Transportation Equipment Cleaning Point Source Category. This regulation establishes technology-based effluent limitations guidelines for the discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States and into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) by existing and new facilities that perform transportation equipment cleaning operations.

Effluent Limitations Guidelines

Effluent limitations guidelines are national regulations that establish restrictions on the discharge of pollutants to surface waters or to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) by specific categories of industries. The requirements are developed by EPA based on the application of specific process or treatment technologies to control pollutant discharges. Although the guidelines are developed based upon particular technologies, EPA does not require that dischargers use these technologies. Individual facilities may meet the requirements using whatever types of treatment technologies and process changes they choose. Since 1974, EPA has promulgated effluent limitations guidelines and standards for 51 industrial categories.

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Transportation equipment cleaning (TEC) facilities generate wastewater from cleaning the interior of tank trucks, closed-top hopper trucks, rail tank cars, closed-top hopper rail cars, intermodal tank containers, inland tank barges, closed-top hopper barges, ocean/sea tankers, and other similar tanks (excluding drums and intermediate bulk containers) used to transport materials or cargos that come into direct contact with the tank or container interior.

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Scope of Regulation

EPA is establishing effluent limitations for facilities discharging to surface waters in the following subcategories:

  • Truck/Chemical & Petroleum;
  • Rail/Chemical & Petroleum;
  • Barge/Chemical & Petroleum;
  • Food.

EPA is establishing pretreatment standards for facilities discharging to POTWs in the following subcategories:

  • Truck/Chemical & Petroleum;
  • Rail/Chemical & Petroleum;
  • Barge/Chemical & Petroleum.

This regulation excludes:

  • Facilities which do not engage in cleaning the interiors of tanks.
  • Wastewater associated with tank cleanings operated in conjunction with other industrial, commercial, or POTW operations so long as the facility only cleans tanks that have contained raw materials, by-products, and finished products that are associated with the facility's on-site processes.
  • Wastewater generated from cleaning drums and intermediate bulk containers.

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Wastewaters Covered by Guideline

The wastewater flows covered by the rule include all contact washwaters which have come into direct contact with the tank or container interior including pre-rinse cleaning solutions, chemical cleaning solutions, and final rinse solutions. Additionally, the rule covers wastewater generated from washing vehicle exteriors, equipment and floor washings, and TEC contaminated wastewater at those facilities subject to the TEC guidelines and standards.

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Costs and Benefits

The total annualized compliance cost of the rule is projected to be $16.1 million. Compliance with this rule is estimated to reduce the annual discharge of priority pollutants by at least 60,000 pounds per year and result in annual benefits ranging from $1.5 million to $5.5 million.

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Additional Information

The Federal Register notice and supporting development documents describing this rule are available.

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