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July 30, 2010
Enviro 101: Glossary of Environmental Compliance Terms F-H

This glossary contains terms you may run across on this site or in some other EHS context.

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Feasibility Study: 1: Analysis of the practicability of a proposal (a description and analysis of the potential cleanup alternatives for a site or alternatives for a site on the National Priorities List or state “Superfund” list). The study usually recommends selection of a cost-effective alternative. It usually starts as soon as the remedial investigation is under way. The term may apply to a variety of proposed corrective or regulatory actions. 2: In research, a small-scale investigation of a problem to ascertain whether a proposed research approach is likely to provide useful data.

Feedlot: A concentrated, confined animal or poultry growing operation for meat, milk, or egg production, or stabling, in pens or houses where the animals or poultry are fed at the place of confinement and crop or forage or production is not sustained in the confinement area. For more information, see the Ag Waste topic page.

Filtration: A treatment process, under the control of qualified operators, for removing solid (particulate) matter from water by passing the water through porous media such as sand or a man-made filter.

Finding of No Significant Impact: A document prepared by a federal agency that presents information on why a proposed action would not have a significant impact on the environment, and would not require preparation of an environmental impact statement.

Flocculation: Commonly referred to as gravity settling, flocculation is a process that removes the solid particles from a liquid. It is usually done in a tank to allow the solids to settle. Floodplain: The flat or nearly flat land along a river or stream or in a tidal area that is covered by water during a flood.

Formulation: The substances comprising all active and inert ingredients in a pesticide. For more information, see the Pesticides topic page.

Free Liquids: Liquids that readily separate from the solid portion of a waste under the ambient temperature and pressure.

Friable Asbestos: Any material containing more than 1 percent asbestos, and that can be crumbled or reduced to powder by hand pressure. (May include previously non-friable material that becomes broken or damaged by mechanical force.) For more information, see the Asbestos topic page.

Fugitive Emissions: Emissions not caught by a capture system. For more information, see the Fugitive Emissions topic page.

General Permit: A water discharge permit issued to a category or class of dischargers.

Generator: 1: A facility or mobile source that emits pollutants into the air or releases hazardous waste into water or soil. 2: Any person, by site, whose act or process produces regulated medical waste or whose act first causes such waste to become subject to regulation. In a case where more than one person (e.g., doctors with separate medical practices) is located in the same building, each business entity is a separate generator. For more information, see the Hazardous Waste Generators topic page.

Greenhouse Gases: The earth's weather and climate are created by energy from the sun, which heats the earth's surface, and in turn, the earth radiates energy back into space. Atmospheric GHGs trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat within the earth's atmosphere, similar to the glass panels of a greenhouse. For more information, see the GHG Management topic page.

Groundwater: The supply of fresh water found under the earth’s surface, usually in aquifers, often used for supplying wells and springs. Because groundwater is a major source of drinking water, there is a growing concern over areas where leaching agricultural or industrial pollutants, or substances from leaking underground storage tanks, are contaminating groundwater. For more information, see the Groundwater topic page.

Hazard Analysis: It does the following: identifies potential sources of hazardous materials releases from fixed facilities or transportation accidents; determines the vulnerability of a geographical area to a release of hazardous materials; and compares hazards to determine which present greater or lesser risks to a community.

Hazard Communication Standard: Federal OSHA standard requiring employees to communicate to employees the dangers of hazardous substances present in their workplace. For more information, see the Hazard Communication Standard topic page.

Hazard Identification: Provides information on which facilities have extremely hazardous substances, what those chemicals are, and how much there is at each facility. It also provides information on how the chemicals are stored, and whether they are used at high temperatures.

Hazardous Air Pollutants: Air pollutants that may reasonably be expected to cause or contribute to irreversible illness or death. Section 112 of the Clean Air Act lists the hazardous air pollutants, which are the basis for the initial list of source categories to be regulated by NESHAPs. The list may be modified through rulemaking procedures. For more information, see the Hazardous Air Pollutants topic page.

Hazardous Ranking System: The principle screening tool used by EPA to evaluate risks to public health and the environment associated with abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. This screening tool is the primary factor in deciding if the site should be on the National Priorities List, and if so, what its ranking should be on that list.

Hazardous Substance: 1: A material that poses a threat to human health and/or the environment. 2: Any substance designated by EPA to be reported if a designated quantity of the substance is spilled in the waters of the United States, or if it is otherwise emitted into the environment.

Hazardous Waste: Solid wastes that are ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic may pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly managed. It possesses at least one of four characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity), or is listed by EPA or a state environmental agency. For more information, see the Hazardous Waste - General topic page.

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER): OSHA health and safety standard designed to protect workers engaged in hazardous waste operations and emergency response. For more information, see the HAZWOPER topic page.

Hazardous Waste Storage Tank: A stationary device, designed to contain an accumulation of hazardous waste, that is constructed of primarily non-earthen materials (wood, concrete, steel, plastic) that provide structural support. Four types of hazardous waste storage tanks are regulated. Also see Aboveground Tank, In-Ground Tank, On-Ground Tank, and Underground Tank. For more information, see the Hazardous Waste Tanks topic page.

HAZWOPER: See Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. For more information, see the HAZWOPER topic page.

HCFC: See Hydrochlorofluorocarbon.

HON: Hazardous organic NESHAP; See National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.

Hydrocarbon: Any class of substances containing only hydrogen and carbon, such as methane or ethylene.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC): A chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) that contains hydrogen. Like CFCs, HCFCs are being phased out.

Hydrography: The measurement of flow and investigation of the behavior of streams, especially with reference to the control of their waters.

Hypolimnion: The stratified layer of a lake that is below the thermocline and is made up of stagnant water and of essentially uniform temperature except during the period of overturn.

Enviro Glossary Terms A
Enviro Glossary Terms B and C
Enviro Glossary Terms D and E
Enviro Glossary Terms F through H
Enviro Glossary Terms I through L
Enviro Glossary Terms M and N
Enviro Glossary Terms O and P
Enviro Glossary Terms Q and R
Enviro Glossary Terms S and T
Enviro Glossary Terms U through Z

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