Posts Tagged ‘Environmental’

Updated ASTM AAI Standard Referenced by EPA

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

In a direct final rule, the EPA is allowing the use of an updated nongovernmental consensus standard—American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E2247-16, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property—to meet the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) requirement applicable to purchases of forestland and rural property. (more…)

Judge Rules Corps Must Revise the Dakota Pipeline EIS

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) hit a potential roadblock when a federal district judge ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) had approved the project without adequately considering the rights of the Sioux tribe living on the Standing Rock Reservation, which spans the North Dakota/South Dakota border near Lake Oahe. The pipeline runs under Lake Oahe but does not enter the Standing Rock Reservation. Nonetheless, in a ruling issued June 14, 2017, Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the D.C. District said that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) the Corps issued for the project was incomplete.

“Although the Corps substantially complied with [the National Environmental Policy Act] in many areas, the Court agrees that it did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial,” wrote Boasberg.” To remedy those violations, the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis upon remand by the Court.” (more…)

HazMat Packages – When Is Secure Really Secure?

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

The top hazardous materials (hazmat) transportation violation uncovered by Department of Transportation (DOT) roadside inspectors since 2013 is unsecured packages in vehicles, accounting for nearly 10% of hazmat violations. You may think your hazmat package is secure in the vehicle, but the important question is whether the DOT roadside inspector thinks so. We’ll take a look at a couple of scenarios where a roadside inspector may disagree or agree with the way you secured your hazmat.

Pallet Problems

Say you’re loading and securing a number of pallets for a hazmat shipment. You have four drums loaded on each pallet, and you have shrink-wrapped the drums to the pallet. In addition, you have placed heavy cardboard on top of each set of four drums banded to a pallet. (more…)

14 AGs File a Motion to Intervene in O&G Methane Case

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

The case against EPA’s effort to freeze the Agency’s June 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) imposing air pollution controls the oil and natural gas (O&G) industry expanded when the attorneys general (AGs) of 14 states and the city of Chicago filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the plaintiffs, five environmental groups.

“State Intervenors have unique interests in the outcome of this case that may not be adequately represented by Petitioners, and State Intervenors are uniquely situated to explain the burdens and harms of staying the 2016 Rule on those State interests,” say the AGs in their motion. (more…)

What You Don’t Know About RCRA’s Waste Analysis Requirements

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

“According to the EPA, a “cornerstone” of the RCRA hazardous waste program is the ability of regulated entities to properly identify which hazardous waste(s) they are generating. As a result, the EPA issued regulations that compel large quantity generators (LQGs) and small quantity generators (SQGs) of hazardous waste to develop and implement a waste analysis plan (WAP) to classify the hazardous waste and ensure that it is managed properly.”

In addition, owners and operators of RCRA-permitted transfer, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) may also be required to develop and use WAPs if the generator does not provide the TSDF with a complete and up-to-date waste analysis. (more…)

ISO 14001 – Is it Worth the Effort of Recertification

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the largest organization in the world that develops and publishes voluntary international standards. Its environmental management standard, ISO 14001, was first published in 1996. It underwent minor revisions in 2004. In 2015, ISO published the first major overhaul of ISO 14001 since its initial publication, and participating businesses have until 2018 to update their systems and recertify under the new standard.

Is ISO Still Relevant?

A lot has changed in the 2 decades since ISO 14001 was first published and even in the 12 years since its last update. The existing standard was not equipped to address many modern issues in environmental management, including global climate change, sustainability reporting, and life-cycle considerations in environmental impact management. The newly revised standard seeks to address these issues—but does it come too late? Is there any benefit for employers to obtain or maintain ISO 14001 certification? (more…)

Getting the Most Out of Your Spill-Prevention Plan

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Creating a spill-prevention plan does more than just outline the methods for averting spills at a facility. It can help minimize other environmental, health and safety hazards and complement a variety of compliance strategies.

Like a multi-function knife, a well-prepared spill-prevention plan is a versatile tool that can be used for many purposes.

For example, EPA’s stormwater regulation and spill-prevention control and countermeasure regulation both have spill-prevention planning elements that can be served by a single well-designed spill-prevention plan.

On the safety side, managing chemicals and preventing spills can overlap with the facility’s hazard communication plan. And because spills are a risk factor for slips and falls, an effective spill-prevention plan can help reduce injuries and enhance the overall safety program. (more…)

Getting the Most Out of Your Spill-Prevention Plan

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Creating a spill-prevention plan does more than just outline the methods for averting spills at a facility. It can help minimize other environmental, health and safety hazards and complement a variety of compliance strategies.

Like a multi-function knife, a well-prepared spill-prevention plan is a versatile tool that can be used for many purposes.

For example, EPA’s stormwater regulation and spill-prevention control and countermeasure regulation both have spill-prevention planning elements that can be served by a single well-designed spill-prevention plan.  (more…)

Half-Life, Half a Loaf at N.J. Superfund Site

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Residents of tiny Newfield knew what the term “powerless voter” meant long before it became a cliche in the recent presidential election. They had no seat at the table when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $5.6 million court settlement recently in a long-standing pollution case.

Shieldalloy Metallurical Corp. vacated its 67.5-acre Newfield property 10 years ago, leaving a giant pile of mildly radioactive waste “slag,” plus underground water contaminated with hazardous volatile organic compounds and heavy metals. It’s now a Superfund site.

Local and state officials have been battling for almost two decades over a cleanup, starting when the site was operating. Generally, it’s been a fight between the state Department Environmental Protection and local citizens — who understandably want suspect materials sent far, far, away — and the company, which wants to spend not one dollar more than it has to. Too often, EPA has backed Shieldalloy’s cheaper plans to leave waste on-site, but “cap” it and monitor the handiwork. (more…)

Transporting Take-Back Drugs Made Easier

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Shipping certain pharmaceuticals is getting a bit easier now that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has been issuing special permits for take-back drugs. We’ll review how PHMSA’s special permits work and take a look at DOT-SP 20255 for take-back drugs.

What are special permits?

Special permits allow a company or individual to package or ship a hazardous material in a manner that varies from the regulations, provided an equivalent level of safety is maintained.  The PHMSA may also grant variances from the hazardous materials regulations (HMR) if actions are taken in accordance with standards issued by competent international authorities, such as the International Maritime Dangerous Goods code or the International Civil Aviation Organization. (more…)