Significant Non-Compliance

Federal general pretreatment program regulations require the Narragansett Bay Commission to publish annually a list of all industrial users that violate any of the NBC Significant Non-Compliance Criteria. Please note, the NBC does not want to publish the name of any firm, but we may have no choice. Firms published in the paper are billed by the NBC for reimbursement of the cost of this Public Notice. Only you can ensure that the name of your firm is not published for being in Significant Non-Compliance with NBC and EPA regulations.

The EPA requires that the NBC must review each user file every three (3) months for Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) criteria A and B, evaluating the user’s previous six (6) month compliance status. If an industrial user exceeds the compliance percentages specified in the SNC_Criteria_A or B, even for just one (1) quarterly evaluation period, the user is in SNC and must be listed in the newspaper. This SNC data evaluation method clearly shows how important it is for an industrial user to sample early and often during each quarterly data review period, especially for any parameters for which your firm may periodically experience excursions above the discharge limits. Sampling early and often in each quarterly review period will ensure that you are not listed as a violator for criteria A and B.  Click here for more information on the Pretreatment Year.

The NBC reviews each user file annually to determine the user’s compliance status with EPA criteria C through H. Based upon the review, if an industrial user is found to be in SNC for any of these criteria, then the user must be listed in the newspaper. Click here to see SNC_ads.

Significant Non-Compliance Criteria

SNC_Criteria_A Chronic Violations of wastewater discharge limitations (66 percent or more of all measurements taken in a sic month period exceed the daily maximum or the long term average limit for the same pollutant parameter).

  • Example: Firm samples for copper ten (10) times in the six (6) month evaluation period of January 1 through June 30. Copper results as follows:

  • The discharge limit for copper is 1.20 ppm; 7 out of the 10 samples exceed this limit therefore 70% of the copper samples are in violation, resulting in firm being in SNC for Criteria A.

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SNC_Criteria_B Technical Review Criteria (TRC) violations (33 percent or more of all measurements taken in a six month period exceed 1.2 times the limit for toxics or 1.4 times the limit for Oil & Grease [O&G]).

  • Example: For copper the TRC value multiplied by the copper limit: 1.2 x 1.2 = 1.44. Using the same results for copper as given in the example above:

  • The TRC limit for copper, 1.44, is exceeded four (4) out of ten (10) samples in the review period; therefore 40% of measurements exceed the TRC limit, resulting in the firm’s SNC for Criteria B.

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SNC_Criteria_C Any other violation of an effluent limit that the NBC determines has caused, either alone or in combination with other discharges, pass through or interference at NBC facilities.

  • Example: A firm dumps an electroplating tank containing copper and cyanide. These toxic chemicals kill the microorganism at the NBC Wastewater Treatment Facility, interfering with NBC operations. The firm is in SNC for Criteria C.

  • Example: A firm discharges a concentrated red dye containing copper. The red color passes through the NBC Wastewater Treatment Facility, discoloring the receiving waters of Narragansett Bay. The firm is in SNC for Criteria C.

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SNC_Criteria_D Any discharging that causes endangerment to human health, welfare, or the environment, or causes the POTW to exercise its emergency authority to halt or prevent such discharge.

  • Example: A firm dumps a degreasing solvent such as trichloroethylene into the sewer. Toxic chemical odors evolve and enter nearby homes, businesses and endanger sewer workers. The firm is in SNC for Criteria D.

  • Example: An automotive repair facility dumps gasoline into the sewer creating toxic odors and explosive conditions in the sewer system. The firm is in SNC for Criteria D.

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SNC_Criteria_E Failure to meet a compliance schedule milestone date or enforcement order within ninety (90) days after the scheduled date for starting construction, completing construction, or attaining final compliance.

  • Example: The firm, required by a compliance order, compliance schedule, permit or other document, fails to achieve a compliance milestone such as installing a pretreatment system, by the required date and exceeds the compliance milestone by more than ninety (90) days. The firm is in SNC for Criteria E.

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SNC_Criteria_F Reports that are more than thirty (30) days late (e.g., Baseline Monitoring Reports, 90-day periodic reports, spill control plans, solvent management plans, permit applications, pretreatment plans, and compliance schedule milestone reports). Failure to submit documents within thirty (30) days from the due date.

  • Example: A firm is required to sample in May and the compliance report is due by June 30. The report is submitted to the NBC on July 31, thirty-one (31) days past the due date, therefore the firm is in SNC for Criteria F.

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SNC_Criteria_G Failure to adequately report non-compliance.

  • Example: A firm is required to continually record the pH of their effluent an to report the results monthly to the NBC on a monitoring report form. During the annual NBC inspection of the firm, the pH charts are reviewed and it is determined that low and high effluent pH violations have not been reported. The firm is in SNC for Criteria G and could face additional enforcement action for falsification of monitoring reports.

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SNC_Criteria_H Any other violation determine to adversely affect the operation or implementation of the Pretreatment Program.

  • Example: A firm refuses to allow access to NBC inspectors or harasses the NBC inspectors while performing their duties. The firm would be in SNC for Criteria H.

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