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Agency Documents , Alerts, Comments
EPA's PCB Data Request Letter to 23 Companies (Oct. 26, 2011)
EPA Science Advisory Board Grants Deadline Extension for Comments on PCB Expert Panel (Aug. 9, 2011)
Coalition Request to EPA for Extension of Time to Comment on Expert Panel (Aug. 5, 2011)
Health Study: Japanese PCB Study of Yusho Patients Shows No Increased Mortality Risk (Feb. 2011)
AGA /Multi-party Letter to EPA Requesting Additional 45 Days to Comment on PCB Advance Notice (July 20, 2010)
AGA PCB Testimony at EPA Hearing in Chicago (May 18, 2010)
AGA Cover Letter for PCB Response to EPA (Nov. 18, 2009)
AGA PCB Response to EPA (Nov. 18, 2009)
PCB Survey Additional Responses (Nov. 6, 2009)
USWAG Letter Supporting GE Comments on PCB Dioxin-Like Toxic Equivalence Guidance (Oct. 28, 2009)
USWAG Letter to EPA re Environmental Justice NY PCB Building Caulk Suit (Oct. 27, 2009)
EPA Letter to AGA Regarding Oct. 17, 2008 PCB Meeting (Dec. 18, 2008)
PCB Inspection at a Gas & Electric Utility in Region 3: Alert and EPA PCB Inspection Checklist (July 19, 2006)
Notes from NAS Committee Meeting on Assessment of the Health Implications of Exposure to Dioxin (November 22, 2004)
USWAG Letter to EPA Region 5 Describing Electric Utility PCB Reduction Programs (Jan. 29, 2004)
New AGA PCB Task Group Is Developing Recommended PCB Rule Changes (Jan. 14, 2004 Alert)
AGA PCB Update - AGA PCB Workshop - EPA Q&A Session - EPA Plans (Nov. 10, 2003)
Letter and Task Order from EPA to NAS for Report Evaluating Science for the Dioxin Reassessment and "Appropriateness of Including Dioxin-Like PCBs" (Oct. 29, 2003)
AGA Alert - EPA Issues Interpretive Statement Saying PCB Ban on Distribution in Commerce Does NOT Apply to Real Property (August 14, 2003)
EPA Interpretive Statement Clarifying that TSCA Ban (August 14, 2003)
PCB Spills on Concrete - EPA Finally Revises C.F.R. To Remove Court-Vacated Requirement (June 20, 2003)
Meeting with EPA on PCB Fix-it Rule (May 22, 2003)
USWAG Recommended Amendments to PCB Mega Rule (April 2003)
USWAG Response to EPA Contractor re: Impact of Possible PCB Rule Changes on Electric Utilities (August 29, 2002)
Good News! EPA Clarifies Distribution in Commerce Ban Does Not Restrict Sales of Natural Gas Pipe Systems; AGA Still Seeking Broader Clarification for Real Property (July 26, 2002)
EPA Contractor Letter Seeking Information about PCB Rule Revision Impacts (July 17, 2002)
EPA Letter Clarifying that PCB Distribution in Commerce Does Not Restrict Sales of Natural Gas Systems (July 15, 2002)
Transco Settles with Justice Dept - $1.4 million civil penalty & corrective action along gas pipeline for PCB, hazardous waste, and storm water discharge issues (March 4, 2002 Federal Register notice)
Letter to Michael Shapiro, EPA, Regarding PCB Distribution in Commerce (Feburary 20, 2002)
Court Decision Overturns PCB 'Technical Rule' for Contrete and Other Porous (Jan. 30, 2001)
PCB Technical Rule Court Decision in USWAG v. EPA (Jan. 30, 2001)
EPA Final Rule Defers Land Disposal Restrictions for PCBs in Metal-Contaminated Soil (January 29, 2001)
AGA Alert - Court Issues Decision on PCB Mega Rule (Aug. 22, 2000)
Final Pipeline PCB Abandonment and Disposal Q&A Guidance (March 1999)
Final Pipeline PCB Use and Reuse Authorization Q&A Guidance (March 1999)
PCB Technical Corrections Rule, 64 Fed. Reg. 33755 (June 24, 1999)
Highlights of Questions & EPA Answers at the AGA PCB Workshop (July 29, 1998)
PCB Mega Rule Amendments, 63 Fed. Reg. 35384 (June 29, 1998)
The Complete PCB Rule - 40 C.F.R. Part 761
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 AGA Alert - Court Issues Decision on PCB Mega Rule (Aug. 22, 2000) 

    DATE:   August 22, 2000
    TO:       Environmental Regulatory Action Committee(ERAC)
    FROM:  Pamela A. Lacey, Senior Managing Counsel
    RE:       Court Decision on PCB Mega Rule Central and South West Services, Inc. v. EPA


    Decision in PCB Mega Rule Challenge

    • On August 15, 2000, a federal appeals court issued a mixed opinion on EPA’s Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Mega Rule. Central and South West Services, Inc. v. EPA (5th Cir. Aug. 15, 2000). There is a potentially useful decision on storage for reuse and on-site cleanup. However, the court rejected several other industry challenges.
      A copy of the decision is posted on under Environmental Issues on the PCB page.
    • To refresh your memory, in 1998, the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG), General Electric, Sierra Club and others challenged certain aspects of EPA’s June 1998 PCB Mega Rule. AGA did not join the court challenge. Instead, AGA focussed its efforts on negotiating the Natural Gas Q&A Guidance that allows a more flexible interpretation of the rules for managing PCBs in natural gas pipeline systems.

    Court Remands Storage for Reuse

    • USWAG argued (in essence) that EPA did not meet its burden to show why the time limit imposed by section 761.35 on storage for reuse of PCB articles should apply to transformers and other utility equipment that can last for 40 years or more.
    • Section 761.35 imposes a 5-year limit on storage for reuse. This can be extended only with written permission from the EPA Regional Administrator. To obtain an extension, a utility would have to provide an "item-by-item justification." The rule also allows the Regional Administrator to impose any conditions deemed necessary to protect health or the environment.
    • The court agreed that EPA did not provide an adequate explanation why this restriction should apply to utility equipment. But the court did not vacate 40 C.F.R. § 761.35. Instead, it remanded the provision to EPA for a better explanation regarding why EPA did not exempt electric utility equipment from the storage for reuse time limitations. The court declined to vacate the rule, noting that "EPA may well be able to justify its decision to refuse to promulgate a national variance for the electric utilities."
      As EPA will be reviewing 761.35, there may be an opportunity to coordinate with USWAG to seek a longer time for storing gas and electric utility equipment that has a long useful life.
    • Remember that Section 761.30(i)(3) allows the reuse of PCB-contaminated (50-500 ppm) drained natural gas pipe and appurtenances. If you have excavated pipe that exceeds that threshold, and you do not opt to decontaminate, that pipe would not be eligible for reuse or the storage for reuse provisions. Instead, see the storage for disposal provisions and related Q&A guidance.

    Court Ducks Preemption Issue

    • USWAG also challenged EPA’s statement in the preamble to the final rule that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) does not preempt more stringent state or local PCB cleanup, storage, and disposal regulations.
    • The court declined to rule on the merits, finding that the issue is not ripe because USWAG did not identify any particular state or local PCB rule that had imposed hardship on its members, and that TSCA should preempt.

    Court Remands Risk-Based Site Cleanup Standards

    • General Electric (GE) challenged the site cleanup standards arguing that in setting risk-based standards, EPA overestimated the health risk posed by PCBs. EPA conceded that the risk factor overstated the cancer risk, but argued that TSCA allows EPA to consider unknown threats. EPA raised the risk factor to cover non-cancer and environmental threats until it could complete its study of non-cancer risks.
    • The court did not vacate the standards, but it did remand the site cleanup and decontamination standards in 761.61(a) and 761.79(b) "to give EPA an opportunity to complete its assessment and reconsider the Final Rule in light of its study." Court Rejects Challenges to Porous Concrete Cleanup Standard
    • GE also challenged the cleanup standards for concrete established in the June 1998 Mega Rule in 40 C.F.R. § 761.30(p)(ii). The court rejected these challenges.
    • Note however that USWAG and GE have a separate challenge pending in the D.C. Circuit against the June 1999 Technical Correction to the concrete standard. The 5th Circuit decision does not address that separate challenge.

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