These comments are submitted on behalf of the Kentucky Resources Council, Inc., (Council), a non-profit environmental advocacy organization incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and dedicated to prudent use and conservation of the natural resources of the Commonwealth. KRC has reviewed the proposed terms and conditions and fact sheet for the proposed reissuance of a KPDES Permit authorizing discharges of treated petroleum-impacted wastewater and of groundwater remediation wastewater discharge from one outfall discharging into Lake Cumberland and the second, discharging into Sinking Creek of Lake Cumberland. After reviewing the proposed permit reissuance document and in response to the Public Notice inviting public review and comment, KRC offers these comments:
1. To the extent that either Sinking Creek or Lake Cumberland possess water quality for any parameter that is above the minimum standard necessary to support the designated uses, a Tier II antidegradation analysis, including consideration of alternatives that would not result in a discharge to such waters, is necessary prior to approving any discharge that would lower water quality for that parameter.
2. The proposed monitoring and effluent limitations for both Outfall 001, which authorizes discharges of treated petroleum (including gasoline, diesel, kerosene and crude) impacted wastewater, and Outfall 002, which authorizes discharges of groundwater remediation wastewater discharge, are insufficient to fully protect receiving waters from constituents of concern that may be contained in such wastewaters.
a. Gasoline typically contains 150 or more chemicals, the actual composition of which varies depending on the source of the crude petroleum, the manufacturer, and the time of year. Toxicological Profile for Gasoline (ATSDR 1995). In addition to the constituents identified by the Cabinet and included as monitoring and effluent-limited parameters, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is an additive to gasoline (oxygenate) that is of potential concern since it has a higher solubility than benzene. Monitoring and effluent limits for MTBE should be imposed for both Outfalls.
b. In addition to numerical limits imposed on each outfall, the permit should include limits derived from the narrative minimum criteria applicable to all surface waters, including an obligation to avoid discharges that aesthetically or otherwise degrade the receiving stream or Lake Cumberland by adding substances that float as oil or other matter to form a nuisance or which produce objectionable color, odor, taste or turbidity. 401 KAR 5:031 Section 2. The permits should include specific requirements to prevent creation of any oily sheen or other objectionable impact on either receiving body of water. Id.
c. Since the discharges authorized by Outfall 001 include wastewaters from a range of hydrocarbon fractions, from gasoline to diesel to crude, the monitoring and effluent limitations should include a comparably broad range of analyses and limits in order to properly control discharges of all volatile and semi-volatile hydrocarbon fractions as well as all PAHs, that might be of ecological concern or human health concern because of ingestion or tainting of fish tissue. ATSDR has identified 17 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons of particular health concern, and each of those potentially present in crude oil wastewaters should be monitored and limited. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (ATSDR 1995).
Thank you for your attention to these comments.