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What's New on Enviro.BLR.com
Enviro.BLR.com's What's New page is where you will find all of the most recent content added and updated to the site in the last 7 days. See the latest reg activity, updated regulatory analysis, training meetings, and news.
Regulatory Analysis
We are continually updating our state and national regulatory analysis to help you keep up with the changing regs. See the updated section on the what's new page to find all of the topics.
Recent Regulatory Activity
New Documents
News:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued an interim rule incorporating programmatic changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) as amended by the 2014 Farm Bill.
By failing to pass a bill that would have authorized construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Congress allowed President Obama to avoid having to decide to either sign the bill into law or veto it.
The general duty clause requires all facilities where extremely hazardous substances are present to identify hazards and take actions to prevent and minimize the impacts of accidental releases. Does it apply to you? If it does, are you in compliance?
The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), which is intended for emergency responders at highway or rail incidents involving dangerous goods, is also used by first responders arriving at fixed facilities where a release of a hazardous material has occurred.
Following its residual risk and technology reviews (RTRs) of two National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for phosphoric acid manufacturing and phosphate fertilizer production, the EPA is proposing new emissions limits for mercury and work practice standards for hydrogen fluoride (HF).
Without providing a specific date, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that he would order a vote on the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4012).
The EPA has issued its third proposal in 3 years to amend the Agency’s original 1999 National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the mineral wool production and wool fiberglass manufacturing sectors.
The two leading associations representing the nation’s petroleum refineries delivered over 400 pages of technical, policy, and cost comments that argue against the major provisions in EPA’s proposed amendments to two NESHAP as well as NSPS affecting the sector.
Even with a clear intent on both sides to recognize the need to address climate change, there is a stark difference between the “post-2020 actions on climate change” President Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping announced for their respective nations in Beijing on November 11, 2014.
How will the 2014 elections impact environmental priorities, including the Keystone Pipeline, proposed waters of the U.S. Rule, and Obama’s Climate Action Plan?
The RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative is EPA’s program for encouraging the development of renewable energy projects on formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites.
As Republicans prepare to assume the majority role in the Senate, it is expected that Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) will reoccupy the Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), which is generally viewed as the most influential environmental committee in the Congress.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a dispute over rights to water in two Georgia rivers that flow into a Florida river and is impounded along the way by several dams and reservoirs operated in Georgia by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).
A petition from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), asking the EPA to initiate rulemaking to address the risks of disposed polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl chloride, and phthalates used as platicizers in PVC, was denied by the Agency.
The EPA has issued the first update to its TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments, which covered 83 chemicals when it was initially issued by the Agency in early 2012.
The federal government backed up the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for light-duty vehicles the EPA imposed beginning with model year (MY) 2012 by taking enforcement action against two major automakers and related entities that agreed to pay a collective $100 million civil penalty, the largest ever under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
White Papers:
In a new document, the EPA provides examples of the different types of postconstruction stormwater retention requirements built into municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) individual and general permits issued by the EPA, states, and municipalities.
Over the past year, as the winds shifted in favor of a Republican majority in the Senate, GOP lawmakers have been promising to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to stop major EPA rules.
President Obama directed four federal agencies to work together and independently to implement a national strategy to reduce releases of methane to the atmosphere. This article summarizes the principle actions the United States is taking to reduce methane emissions that result from human activities.
Guidance Documents:
This document is used to assist in complying with the Standards of Performance for Stationary Compression Ignition Internal Combustion Engines (NSPS Subpart IIII)
Mark Howard is an environmental scientist with the EPA Office of Emergency Management in the Regulation and Policy Development Division. In this webinar, Howard examines SPCC history, gives a basic overview, and describes SPCC enforcement and common violations.
Laura Casey, a Certified Safety Professional with more than 17 years in the EHS field, discusses Multi-Sector General Permits. In this webinar, Casey reviews the current law, identifies if your facility requires a NPDES permit, examines regulatory updates, examines proposed changes to the MSGP, and more.
Faith Gavin Kuhn is the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Communications for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut, and Executive Director of the Utility Contractors Association of Connecticut. Amanda Czepiel, J.D., is the Managing Editor for BLR’s environmental team and is a legal expert regarding stormwater. In this webinar, Czepiel and Gavin Kuhn identify best practices for site compliance, how to prevent enforcement actions, explain how to deal with unexpected occurrences at your site, and more.
These FAQs are intended to help economic operators interpret the provisions of RoHS 2 in order to ensure compliance with the Directive’s requirements. They are considered a ‘living document’ and are currently revised in order to align them with the new Commission Blue Guide on the implementation of EU product rules.
Michael Easter, a toxicologist, attorney, and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager with more than 20 years of experience, discusses Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) statute, regulations and background. In addition, this webinar examines new and existing chemicals of TSCA Title I.
Abby Ferri, a Certified Safety Professional and an independent safety and health expert with previous experience managing EHS programs in the construction industry, discusses Aboveground Storage Tanks and gives an overview of SPCC regulations. This webinar examines key EPA studies, SPCC revised Guidance for Regional Inspectors, adequate secondary containment, and more.
Michael Easter, a toxicologist, attorney, and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager with more than 20 years of experience, discusses the relationship between CERCLA and EPCRA. This webinar examines CERCLA reporting requirements; EPCRA organization, obligations and reporting requirements; and EPCRA’s recent changes.
Laura Casey, a Certified Safety Professional with more than 17 years in the EHS field, reviews the existing federal requirements and regulations concerning USTs. This webinar examines key proposed changes, reviews dates for adoption and compliance, and explores potential strategies for future compliance.
Laura Casey, a Certified Safety Professional with more than 17 years in the EHS field, discusses what you need to know for the March Tier II filing deadline. This webinar examines the facility/owner requirements and obligations under EPCRA. In addition, this webinar defines Tier I & II reporting and reviews recent changes made to the Tier II reporting form and identifies sources for specific state information and resources available.
The DOT has issued non-site-specific special permits to companies for handling waste related to the Ebola virus.
This guidance is intended for persons who prepare packages containing waste contaminated or suspected of being contaminated with Ebola, for transportation to off-site treatment and disposal.
Questions & Answers:
Are lab chemicals reportable under Tier II? And if you have and EHS on-site above the reportable trigger, do you have to aggregate lab chems such as sulfuric acid?
An EHS chemical, Sulfuric Acid, exceeds 500 pounds. Therefore aggregation of Sulfuric Acid containing compounds is required in TRI reporting. In that aggregation, are lab chemicals included or exempted?
Regarding the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act: In the FAQ guidance from EPA, I cannot find any mention of water meters. Are they exempt?
We had a TCLP run to determine if a product met the 0.5 mg/l threshold for Benzene (D018). The detectable limit for Benzene in the SW846-8260B test is 1.1 mg/L. Is there a another test that can be ran that will detect benzene at 0.5 mg/L?
Updated Documents
Guidance Documents:
This document is used to assist in complying with the Standards of Performance for Stationary Compression Ignition Internal Combustion Engines (NSPS Subpart IIII)
Mark Howard is an environmental scientist with the EPA Office of Emergency Management in the Regulation and Policy Development Division. In this webinar, Howard examines SPCC history, gives a basic overview, and describes SPCC enforcement and common violations.
Laura Casey, a Certified Safety Professional with more than 17 years in the EHS field, discusses Multi-Sector General Permits. In this webinar, Casey reviews the current law, identifies if your facility requires a NPDES permit, examines regulatory updates, examines proposed changes to the MSGP, and more.
Faith Gavin Kuhn is the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Communications for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Connecticut, and Executive Director of the Utility Contractors Association of Connecticut. Amanda Czepiel, J.D., is the Managing Editor for BLR’s environmental team and is a legal expert regarding stormwater. In this webinar, Czepiel and Gavin Kuhn identify best practices for site compliance, how to prevent enforcement actions, explain how to deal with unexpected occurrences at your site, and more.
These FAQs are intended to help economic operators interpret the provisions of RoHS 2 in order to ensure compliance with the Directive’s requirements. They are considered a ‘living document’ and are currently revised in order to align them with the new Commission Blue Guide on the implementation of EU product rules.
Michael Easter, a toxicologist, attorney, and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager with more than 20 years of experience, discusses Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) statute, regulations and background. In addition, this webinar examines new and existing chemicals of TSCA Title I.
Abby Ferri, a Certified Safety Professional and an independent safety and health expert with previous experience managing EHS programs in the construction industry, discusses Aboveground Storage Tanks and gives an overview of SPCC regulations. This webinar examines key EPA studies, SPCC revised Guidance for Regional Inspectors, adequate secondary containment, and more.
Michael Easter, a toxicologist, attorney, and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager with more than 20 years of experience, discusses the relationship between CERCLA and EPCRA. This webinar examines CERCLA reporting requirements; EPCRA organization, obligations and reporting requirements; and EPCRA’s recent changes.
Laura Casey, a Certified Safety Professional with more than 17 years in the EHS field, reviews the existing federal requirements and regulations concerning USTs. This webinar examines key proposed changes, reviews dates for adoption and compliance, and explores potential strategies for future compliance.
Laura Casey, a Certified Safety Professional with more than 17 years in the EHS field, discusses what you need to know for the March Tier II filing deadline. This webinar examines the facility/owner requirements and obligations under EPCRA. In addition, this webinar defines Tier I & II reporting and reviews recent changes made to the Tier II reporting form and identifies sources for specific state information and resources available.
The DOT has issued non-site-specific special permits to companies for handling waste related to the Ebola virus.
This guidance is intended for persons who prepare packages containing waste contaminated or suspected of being contaminated with Ebola, for transportation to off-site treatment and disposal.
Guidance for PM2.5 Permit Modeling: This document recommends procedures for permit applicants and permitting authorities to use to show that they have satisfied the criteria for obtaining or issuing a permit.
U.S. Supreme Court Decision: Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA
EPA Memo: Next Steps and Preliminary Views on the Application of CAA Permitting Programs to GHGs Following the Supreme Court's Decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA
Use this EPA flowchart to determine your refrigerant leak repair requirements.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Database provides information about EISs prepared by federal agencies, as well as EPA's comments concerning the EISs.
Regulatory Analysis:
Although climate change remains a topic surrounded by controversy and debate that is zealously supported on both sides, actions are being taken that necessitate businesses evaluate their overall GHG management strategy. Regardless of whether you are a believer or nonbeliever in the climate change issue, regulations are being developed and implemented to monitor and control GHG emissions, and those taking note of these actions will be able to remain in compliance with any applicable requirements and avoid enforcement actions from regulatory authorities.
"Brownfields" is the commonly known term for abandoned and idle properties often found in poor urban communities that are, or are thought to be, contaminated with chemical wastes from manufacturing processes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a Brownfields Program designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together to assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields
Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) management encompasses the regulation of all ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) that break down the stratospheric ozone layer through the reaction of chlorine and bromine with ozone. Sources of chlorine and bromine are both natural and man-made.
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program was established under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and regulates discharges of pollutants from point sources (pipe, ditch, well, etc.) to U.S. waters. Under NPDES, all facilities that discharge pollutants from any point source into waters of the United States are required to obtain a permit. The permit provides two levels of control: technology-based limits (based on the ability of dischargers in the same industrial category to treat wastewater) and water-quality-based limits (if technology-based limits are not sufficient to provide protection of the water body).
Employers must provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and training to each employee who is or may be exposed to physical or health hazards in the workplace when engineering and administrative controls cannot feasibly or effectively reduce exposures to safe levels. The PPE must be designed to effectively protect employees from absorption, inhalation, or physical contact with chemical, physical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Employers must conduct a hazard assessment to determine if PPE should be used to protect their workers. It is up to the employer to assess the hazards and to select proper equipment.
The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) added new operating permit requirements in Title V that changed the way America's industries handle environmental regulations. The purpose of Title V is to reduce violations of air pollution laws at major sources and improve enforcement of those laws.
Biomonitoring is the term used to describe a broad category of monitoring methods used to test the toxicity of the wastestream flowing from wastewater treatment plants, streams, rivers, and other surface water. States are responsible for providing the water quality standards that individual discharges under authority of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (33 USC 1251 to 1387) must meet.
Toxic air pollutants, also known as HAPs, are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer, other serious health effects, or adverse environmental effects. Other health effects can include damage to the immune system, as well as neurological, reproductive, developmental, respiratory, and other health problems.
Making a hazardous waste determination is the key to the applicability of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste management regulations. One of the most frequently asked questions by generators is, "Is my waste a hazardous waste regulated under RCRA?" If the answer is "no," the RCRA hazardous waste laws and regulations do not apply to the management of that waste. If the answer is "yes," however, the generator and subsequent handlers of the hazardous waste must comply with myriad RCRA rules that are in place in order to ensure the safe management of the hazardous waste.
The 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) expanded a federal air quality permitting program called New Source Review (NSR) to clean up and maintain air quality across the country. Each state must include air quality permitting requirements that meet the standards of the federal NSR program in their state implementation plans (SIPs) to attain or maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that regulated oil storage facilities develop and implement oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans. In addition to the CWA requirements, the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) requires that facilities detail and implement spill prevention and control measures in their plans.
Thermal effluents are regulated because heat is defined as a pollutant under Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 502(6). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines thermal pollution as discharges of heated water from industrial processes that have the potential to alter the growth and existence of aquatic organisms. Therefore, a water quality standard exists for temperature and it is applied to all regulated discharges to waters of the United States. A facility may be authorized to discharge pollutants into U.S. waters by obtaining a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Air emissions permits are divided into two distinct categories: construction permits and operating permits. The applicability of various permitting programs within each category is dependent on the type and quantity of the pollutants emitted, the attainment status of the area where the source is located, and the date the source was constructed or modified. The quantity of emissions from a source will determine whether the source can be classified as a major source or if changes at the source can be classified as a major modification. Major sources must comply with federal construction and operating permit programs, most of which are administered at the state or local level.
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• Is large enough for an employee to enter fully and perform assigned work.
• Is not designed for continuous occupancy by the employee.
• Requires a ladder or other assistance for entry and exit.
• Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazards.