EPA’s Annual Regulatory Plan Released

December 18, 2017

The EPA, along with the rest of the federal government, released its Semiannual Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and Regulatory Plan. The Semiannual Regulatory Agenda provides updates to the public about regulatory activity to support EPA’s core mission to protect human health and the environment. The latest Regulatory Plan describes the 13 most significant regulatory priorities the Agency expects to propose or finalize in the upcoming year.

“EPA’s plan balances its statutory requirements to issue regulations and its commitment to providing regulatory certainty through improvements to existing regulations that were flawed, outdated, ineffective, or unnecessarily burdensome,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Notably, EPA’s Regulatory Agenda and Plan demonstrates the Agency’s progress in implementing President Trump’s executive orders on regulatory reform. For Fiscal Year 2017 – consistent with Executive Order 13771—EPA finalized two deregulatory actions for each final regulatory action and did not impose any new net costs on the U.S. economy.

As required by Executive Order 12866, the Semiannual Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions and Regulatory Plan was released as part of the government-wide Unified Agenda. The agenda outlines 26 actions appearing for the first time and 54 deregulatory actions.

EPA’s plan describes regulatory and deregulatory actions that are under development or review and rules expected to be proposed or finalized with the next year.

EPA’s latest Regulatory Plan describes the 13 most significant regulations the Agency expects to propose or finalize in the upcoming year. EPA’s Fall 2017 Regulatory Agenda includes 101 active actions (e.g., actions with a projected stage within the next 12 months).

Among the actions in the latest Regulatory Agenda and Plan:

 

In addition to the release of the Fall 2017 Semiannual Agenda, EPA is announcing the launch of a new online website that will provide the public with information about EPA rules that are being repealed or modified. This website will include all EPA actions that meet the criteria of a deregulatory action as described in Executive Order 13771 and have been classified as a deregulatory action by EPA following a robust public participation process this summer. This website will be accessible in the coming weeks through EPA’s regulatory reform webpage: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/regulatory-reform.

These actions directly support Administrator Pruitt’s goal of refocusing EPA on its core mission of protecting the nation’s air, water and land while reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens on the American people.

Raleigh RCRA and DOT Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Raleigh, NC, on January 8-10 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Anaheim Hazardous Waste and DOT Training

Register for California Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Anaheim, CA, on January 9-11 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Atlanta Hazardous Waste and DOT Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Atlanta, GA, on January 23-25 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Recommendations for Wildfire Emergency Cleanup

Ash, charred debris, and other contaminated materials from burned structures may contain hazardous wastes. To minimize exposure to emergency personnel, the general public, and workers involved with restoration efforts, and to minimize dispersion to the air and run-off to surrounding surface waters, the ash and contaminated debris should be cleaned up and contained as quickly as possible. Actions taken to immediately mitigate and contain and control hazardous waste releases are exempt from hazardous waste permit requirements (22 CCR 66270.1(c)(3)(A)) after the Governor has declared the county in a State of Emergency. This document provides general guidance for the management of these materials. This guidance applies only to the emergency actions taken to clean up, contain and dispose of the ash and debris from the burn structures. This guidance does not apply to long term restoration activities.

During emergency cleanup efforts, restoration workers must evaluate readily identifiable hazardous wastes and determine if they can be safely segregated and managed separately from the ash and debris. If hazardous material cannot be separated safely, it is permissible to contain and dispose of these materials with the ash and contaminated debris. Uncontaminated and unburned hazardous materials (i.e., hazardous materials with smoke damage from partially burned structures) should not be commingled with ash and debris. These materials should be segregated and directed to local hazardous waste collection programs. See DTSC emergency guidance on the collection of hazardous wastes from burned areas at www.dtsc.ca.gov.

Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

To ensure the safety of homeowners as they access their home sites, it is recommended that all personnel accessing the home sites wear appropriate personal protection. This should include a long-sleeve shirt and trousers to minimize skin exposure to fire ash and other particulate debris; appropriate puncture I crush-resistant footwear, garden gloves to protect hands; and safety glasses or goggles to protect the eyes from physical damage or exposure to dusts. At all times while on the property, homeowners should wear a dust mask (N-95 equivalent respirator or better). To ensure ash and other contaminants are not disseminated elsewhere outside the burned areas and/or vehicles, the PPE should be taken off prior to entering the vehicle and/or leaving the area. For more information on ash cleanup and food safety after a fire, go to http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ and read the health advisory “Practice safe cleanup after a fire”.

Ash and Debris from Residential and Commercial Structures:

Ash and contaminated debris from residential structures should be contained and disposed of at a municipal solid waste landfill (class three) under the direction of the local solid waste enforcement agency. Ash and contaminated debris from commercial structures must also be contained and disposed of as quickly as possible to minimize exposure. In addition, it is more likely that hazardous materials and hazardous wastes will be found and need to be segregated from the ash and contaminated debris at commercial structures. Generally, ash and contaminated debris from these structures may be handled in the same manner as ash from residential structures.

Industrial Type Businesses Structures:

Ash and contaminated debris from these structures should be cleaned up and contained as quickly as possible. Debris from this type of business is more likely to contain hazardous waste residues not typically found in the municipal solid waste stream; and therefore, disposal to a municipal solid waste landfill (class three) may not be appropriate for these materials. The Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Health Hazardous Materials Division should be contacted if assistance is needed with ash, debris or site evaluation from such premises prior to containment.

Segregated Wastes:

Segregated hazardous wastes should be transferred to local household hazardous waste collection programs as soon as feasible. Most businesses affected by the fires will have lost all records that can be used to establish monthly generation rates. Therefore, unless the business was obviously not a small quantity commercial source, DTSC recommends that local household hazardous waste collection programs accept hazardous wastes from affected commercial sources to facilitate the safe removal of the hazardous materials.

Examples of Segregated Wastes:

The following materials should be separated to ensure safe handling and disposal of ash and debris:

  • Compressed gas cylinders and propane cylinders
  • Gasoline cans (and other fuel containers)
  • Bulk chemicals & chemical containers
  • Lead acid batteries
  • Transformers
  • Paints and thinners
  • Bulk pesticides & fertilizers
  • Munitions
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Electrical transformers
  • Air conditioners
  • Large metal appliances, lawn mowers, tractors, chainsaws, ATVs, etc.
  • Automobiles

 

Household Waste Roundup:

The County of Los Angeles offers its residents free, convenient and environmentally safe means to dispose of household hazardous and electronic waste (HHW/E-Waste). The residents may utilize the weekly mobile events or the permanent collection centers to dispose of their HHW/E-Waste.

Please note that it is illegal to transport more than 15 gallons or 125 pounds of household

hazardous waste per trip. HHW/E-Waste from businesses is not accepted. For further information in English or Spanish, please visit www.888CleanLA.com or call 1(888) CLEAN LA.

Report Highlights Pollution Risk to Residents Near California Oil and Gas Facilities 

Nearly one million Californians living within half-a-mile of the state’s 54,000 active oil and gas wells may face elevated health risks due to pollution from those operations. But a report released recently by Environmental Defense Fund says a new wave of lower-cost digital monitoring technology could give them new peace of mind by allowing companies and regulators to keep a 24-hour lookout for leaks and other dangerous emissions.

The report includes 11 recommendations for state and local officials, communities and businesses to accelerate the deployment of real-time monitoring solutions at oil and gas facilities, starting in historically underserved communities and communities facing the highest risk from nearby oil and gas operations. They also encourage operators to share their knowledge and experience with monitoring solutions.

“Reliable, inexpensive new technologies give us power we didn’t have before to track and measure pollution at these sites, and to spot emergencies like the Aliso Canyon disaster before damages start to pile up,” said Timothy O’Connor, Director of EDF’s Oil and Gas program in California and lead author of the report. “People shouldn’t be kept in the dark about their air quality, or have to wait for another disaster to see some action. Companies and safety regulators have a laundry list of reasons to start using these solutions now and help ensure clean operations.”

The EDF report, along with a comprehensive new technical analysis by the consulting firm Ramboll Environ, looks at the industry and community benefits of deploying continuous pollution monitors in California, particularly in Southern California where nearly 600,000 people live within half a mile of one of the region’s 3,500 active oil or gas facilities. Recent studies indicate oil and gas facilities can emit significant amounts of volatile organic compounds and benzene that are often difficult to spot but which can cause health problems like asthma and cancer. The facilities also emit methane, a potent climate pollutant.

Regulators typically track air pollution at a regional level, and require pollution reporting from only the largest facilities, which means hotspots and other acute issues at the local or neighborhood level are easily overlooked. Localized measurements are sometimes taken by concerned citizens or as a result of litigation, but only on a very limited scale for limited periods of time. As a result, many communities are calling for new pollution data from oil and gas sites to be made public.

Full time monitoring might have been considered too difficult or expensive in the past. But just as breakthroughs have transformed computers and cell phones, new monitoring technology is changing the equation, making it possible to continuously monitor pollution at the facility level.

EDF and its partners are responsible for two initiatives – the Methane Detectors Challenge and Mobile Monitoring Challenge – that help accelerate development and deployment of new monitoring technologies to keep watch for pollution at oil and gas facilities.

These vast new data streams open up new and better ways to reduce emissions and health risks.

“Policy that actually requires polluters to have monitoring and make that data publicly available, that would be a game changer,” said Paul Robinson, a medical geographer and professor at the Charles R. Drew University School of Public Health in Los Angeles. “It’s not until you place continuous monitoring that you can actually determine real exposure in a particular community.”

Reducing Risk

After the massive 2015 gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility pumped over 100,000 tons of methane and other pollutants into the Southern California skies—forcing residents to evacuate and sending many to seek medical care—regulators began requiring the state’s 12 gas storage fields to install continuous pollution monitors. These have already helped detect unexpectedly high concentrations of methane, but the report says that similar regulations for tens of thousands of active oil and gas wells in the state are practically non-existent.

Leveling the Playing Field

Due to the extreme proximity of many oil and gas sites to people, the Los Angeles and Central Valley areas are in immediate need of widespread, continuous air pollution monitors. A part of Los Angeles is located on the country’s largest urban oilfield – and the number of people living in close proximity to an active oil or gas site is three times higher than the national average. The majority of these facilities are located in traditionally underserved, lower-income communities, with minimal resources to address health concerns related to oil and gas pollution.

“I hope the air we’ve been breathing for years isn’t hurting us, but I just don’t know and I’m taking a gamble right now,” said Lloyd Duvernay, a resident of Gardena California who lives just a few feet from an active oil well. “If there was something that could tell [regulators] there was a problem, so it wasn’t on me to call, I think that would be a good thing.”

Ohio Universal Waste List Expands to Include Paint and Related Wastes

Ohio joined Texas and New Jersey as the only states to regulate “paint and paint-related waste” as a RCRA universal waste. The EPA universal waste regulations are a set of streamlined regulations within RCRA affording a less onerous standard of care for certain hazardous wastes that are commonly generated by a wide variety of industries. The federal universal waste regulations cover batteries, pesticides, mercury containing equipment, and lamps (most commonly, but not limited to, florescent lamps). Federal law permits States to add additional universal wastes without those wastes being first added at the federal level.

On December 8, 2017, Ohio EPA adopted new universal waste rules adding paint and paint-related wastes, aerosol containers, and anti-freeze to its list of universal wastes. These rules will be effective and will be moved to 3745-273-89 of the Ohio Administrative Code on December 21, 2017.

The purpose of designating a hazardous waste as a universal waste is to promote the proper handling, recycling, or disposal of the waste by streamlining the regulations that apply. While the additions of aerosol containers and anti-freeze to Ohio’s list of universal wastes are extremely important, paint and paint-related waste will likely have the most significant benefit considering the quantity and frequency of generation of these wastes in several Ohio industries. Among those benefits in Ohio, when following the universal waste rules, paint and paint-related waste will no longer count towards a generator’s monthly hazardous waste accumulation rate, will no longer have to be manifested as a hazardous waste, and will no longer have to be reported on a generator’s hazardous waste biennial report. The designation of paint and paint-related wastes as universal wastes will be a positive change for Ohio industries large and small from both an economic and “practicality of handling the waste” perspective.

Pruitt Refuses to Reveal His Climate Change Science 

The EPA refused to even search for, let alone produce, records Administrator Scott Pruitt relied upon in claiming that human activity is not a “primary contributor” to climate change, according to legal filings in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). U.S. Justice Department lawyers representing EPA contend the PEER suit is “a trap” and would require “an endless fishing expedition.”

In a March 9, 2017 interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Pruitt stated that as to carbon dioxide created by human activity “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” He also said, “there’s a tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact” of “human activity on the climate….”

The next day PEER filed a FOIA request asking to see the studies upon which Pruitt based his claim and whether there are any EPA scientific studies that find human activity is not the largest factor driving global climate change. After the agency failed to produce any records within the statutory deadline, PEER filed suit to compel production. In dueling filings the two sides are seeking a court ruling.

In its cross-filing this week, PEER notes that EPA told the court on October 10, 2017 that it was prepared to do a search for briefing materials and to propose search terms but EPA has done nothing to further its response to the FOIA request. Instead a month later, it filed a summary judgment motion claiming that it has no obligation to do anything to respond to any part of PEER’s FOIA request.

“Our lawsuit is neither a trap nor a fishing expedition but a rather straightforward attempt to get Mr. Pruitt to identify where is the alternative science he keeps citing,” stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein. “We presume that Administrator Pruitt must have had some factual basis for his public statements and we merely seek to see what it is.”

While refusing to search for records or ask Mr. Pruitt, EPA did produce links to large amounts of archived material that had been removed from the agency website. However, all of that material contradicted Pruitt and underscored the major role human activity plays in driving climate change. As such, it was not responsive to PEER’s request.

At the same time, Mr. Pruitt is promising to initiate a controversial “red team, blue team” review of climate science.

“If Mr. Pruitt does indeed possess facts on climate change that are different from those previously displayed on EPA webpages, he should share them with the public before spending our money to stage a debate,” Dinerstein added. “Unless he can produce some scientific basis for his assertions, Mr. Pruitt’s red team may be clad entirely in whole cloth.”

In a motion filed on November 9, 2017 on behalf of EPA, the Justice Department asked U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell to dismiss PEER’s suit as an “impermissible use of FOIA.” In its most recent motion, PEER rebutted Justice’s arguments and asked for a judgement in its favor accompanied by a court order compelling EPA to finally undertake a search and to disclose the results.

EPA Demands Clean Uniforms and More Reduce Air Emissions After Violations 

A New Bedford, Mass., industrial laundry company will take steps to significantly reduce air pollution from its operations under a settlement agreement recently finalized in federal district court. Under the settlement, which was filed concurrently with the complaint, Clean Uniforms and More also paid a penalty of $200,000 for its violations of the Clean Air Act.

In business since 1959, Clean Uniforms and More began operating at its Church Street location in May 1998. At that time, it installed new laundry equipment at the facility without installing air pollution control equipment and without applying for a permit that EPA maintains is required under the Clean Air Act's new source review provisions.

The company rents uniforms, floor mats, towels, general linen supplies, etc. to its customers and then launders them as needed. Some of the towels are used by machine shops, furniture manufacturers and printing companies. When the dirty shop, furniture, and print towels are returned for laundering, they often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs are released to the air as the towels are processed, washed, and dried.

Under the agreement, Clean Uniforms and More will put in place a capture and control system to reduce VOC emissions from the laundering of print, furniture and shop towels by at least 85%. This system will capture emissions from towel sorting areas, dryers, washers and wastewater treatment equipment and route them to a thermal oxidizer for treatment. In addition to a capture and control system, the consent decree requires Clean Rentals to conduct emissions testing and to apply for proper permits.

Over the past few years, EPA has conducted numerous inspections of industrial laundry facilities across New England in an effort to address Clean Air Act violations, and EPA has taken enforcement actions against AmeriPride, Cintas, Coyne, G&K, and Unifirst.

VOCs include a variety of chemicals that may produce adverse health effects such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, and damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Industrial laundries typically process hundreds of thousands of pounds of soiled towels per year in washers that can handle single loads of 500 lb or more. As a result, although the VOC amounts on individual towels may be small, the total VOC emissions from these facilities can be significant.

Moreover, VOCs contribute to the formation of ground level ozone, which is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight. Emissions of VOCs from facilities such as industrial laundries contribute to ground level ozone. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, particularly for children, the elderly, and anyone with lung diseases such as asthma. Ground level ozone can also have harmful effects on sensitive vegetation and ecosystems.

Clean Up Priority for Toxic Sites in Florida Reversed 

The Scott administration is targeting sites for cleanup that are less contaminated from leaking petroleum tanks, leaving the most contaminated sites unaddressed. This low hanging fruit approach gives a false picture of progress and leaves many residents, especially in rural areas, at greater risk, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

State law provides that each contaminated site requiring petroleum cleanup process be evaluated to determine a priority score based upon its proximity to health receptors such as drinking water wells. The higher the score the greater the threat to a drinking water well. The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has adopted a rule limiting cleanup assignments to sites with the highest priority scores. The only mechanism for avoiding this process is in the event of emergencies.

Under the Scott administration, however, the sites being closed following cleanup are the sites with the lowest scores, meaning that the more contaminated sites that pose a higher human health risk are not receiving the same attention. In fact, the median priority scores for remediated sites has dropped every year since 2011, falling by half in just the past six years. At the same time, the number of sites being closed each year has risen.

“When Governor Scott took office, the state was using available funds to close petroleum sites that posed a higher risk to the public’s health and welfare,” stated Florida PEER Director Jerry Phillips, a former DEP enforcement attorney. “Under Scott, the principle of ‘worst go first’ has been stood on its head.”

This problem is magnified because there are not enough funds to clean up the more than 12,000 petroleum-contaminated sites still awaiting remediation. And in recent years, the Legislature, with the support of the Scott administration, has diverted a major portion of funds dedicated to cleanup trust funds to other purposes. As more aboveground and underground petroleum tanks leak or rupture, the backlog of unaddressed sites only grows.

“Short-sheeting the petroleum trust funds led the Scott team to concentrate the fewer available dollars on low-scored sites at the expense of high-scored sites in order to create a facade of progress,” added Phillips, noting that the more contaminated sites are more expensive to clean up. “Scott’s approach produces the least bang for the buck while leaving the hardest and largest portions of cleanup work for his successor.”

The DEP site scoring system also considers whether the public gets its drinking water from municipal systems (as opposed to private wells). The idea is that municipal systems mitigate the risk associated with petroleum contamination, since the public is drinking water that has been treated by municipal plants. Those who get their water supplies from private wells, however, do not enjoy this same level of safety. Consequently, the levels of petroleum contamination in rural counties is typically higher—sometimes much higher—than levels in urban communities which provide municipal water to their residents.

Granite Rock Company Fined for Stormwater Violations at Multiple Facilities 

The EPA has reached a settlement with Granite Rock Company over Clean Water Act violations at three of its road materials manufacturing and recycling facilities in Northern California. The agreement requires the company to pay a $102,051 penalty to address stormwater discharge violations at two of its Redwood City facilities and oil pollution prevention violations at a facility in Aromas. Granite Rock will also complete a watershed cleanup project as part of the settlement.

“The waterways of San Francisco Bay and the Monterey Peninsula are important to the region’s unique ecology and economy,” said Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “It is critical for industrial facilities to control stormwater runoff and prevent oil spills, given the potential to harm precious water resources and wildlife.”

As part of the agreement, Granite Rock will also complete a Supplemental Environmental Project, removing 800 cubic yards of trash and debris from the Coyote Creek and Pajaro River watersheds. The project, which will be completed by October 2019 and cost almost $78,000, will remove contaminants and improve habitat for anadromous fish, including endangered steelhead trout.

An EPA inspection, conducted in partnership with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, found that Granite Rock’s Peninsula Road Materials and Peninsula Recycling Services facilities failed to use best management practices—such as routinely sweeping paved surfaces and using covered storage areas for potential pollutants—to reduce or eliminate pollutants in stormwater runoff. In addition to the settlement announced recently, EPA previously ordered Granite Rock to improve stormwater controls at the Redwood City facilities and to redirect stormwater flows to an active treatment system that will remove pollutants prior to discharge. These changes will be in place by July 1, 2018.

The settlement also resolves Granite Rock’s violations of the Oil Pollution Act’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure requirements at its A.R. Wilson Road Materials facility in Aromas. In response to EPA’s inspection, the company has cleaned up all petroleum product leaks and spills at the facility, installed additional secondary containment around petroleum product storage tanks, and conducted tank integrity testing.

CARB Approves Plan to Meet California's Bold Climate and Air Quality Goals

Building on the state’s success in decarbonizing its economy, the California Air Resources Board approved a bold plan to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the coming decade while improving air quality and public health, investing in disadvantaged communities, and supporting jobs and economic growth.

“At a time when science shows us that climate change is happening faster than anticipated, California is responding with a bold plan that rises to meet this global challenge,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “It builds on proven actions and presents a template for other jurisdictions who are also committed to preventing the worst impacts of a warming planet.”

Eleven years ago, the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) set the goal of reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. California is on track to exceed that target, while the state’s economic growth has continued to outpace the rest of the country. The 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan, approved unanimously by CARB, sets the state on an ambitious course to reduce climate-changing gases an additional 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 under SB 32. This will require California to double the rate at which it has been cutting climate-changing gases.

Following through on these actions, the plan estimates, could save the state in 2030 as much as $11 billion dollars in avoided environmental damage from carbon pollution in 2030. Costs of California’s 2017 wildfire season so far are now more than $10 billion.

The programs detailed in the Scoping Plan will also improve public health while reducing costs associated with healthcare and natural disasters. These include a projected reduction in premature deaths of 3,300 by 2030. The financial benefit from reduced sick days and hospital stays will be more than $1.2 billion in 2030.

Implementing this Scoping Plan will ensure that California’s climate actions continue to promote innovation, drive the generation of new jobs, and achieve continued reductions of smog and air toxics. The ambitious approach draws on a decade of successful programs that address the major sources of climate-changing gases in every sector of the economy:

  • More Clean Cars and Trucks: The plan sets out far-reaching programs to incentivize the sale of millions of zero-emission vehicles, drive the deployment of zero-emission trucks, and shift to a cleaner system of handling freight statewide.
  • Increased Renewable Energy: California’s electric utilities are ahead of schedule meeting the requirement that 33% of electricity come from renewable sources by 2020. The Scoping Plan guides utilities to 50% renewables, as required under SB 350.
  • Slashing Super-Pollutants: The plan calls for a significant cut in super-pollutants such as methane and HFC refrigerants, which are responsible for as much as 40% of global warming.
  • Cleaner Industry and Electricity: California’s renewed cap-and-trade program extends the declining cap on emissions from utilities and industries and the carbon allowance auctions. The auctions will continue to fund investments in clean energy and efficiency, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
  • Cleaner Fuels: The Low Carbon Fuel Standard will drive further development of cleaner, renewable transportation fuels to replace fossil fuels.
  • Smart Community Planning: Local communities will continue developing plans which will further link transportation and housing policies to create sustainable communities.
  • Improved Agriculture and Forests: The Scoping Plan also outlines innovative programs to account for and reduce emissions from agriculture, as well as forests and other natural lands.

 

The Scoping Plan also evaluates reductions of smog-causing pollutants through California’s climate programs. In addition, AB 617 lays the groundwork for new and enhanced efforts to identify and reduce air pollutants and air toxics with a specific focus on communities near the state’s biggest emitters and in communities disproportionately impacted by pollution.

The Scoping Plan is the result of unprecedented public outreach and coordination over the past two years. More than 20 state agencies collaborated to produce the plan, which was informed by 15 state agency-sponsored workshops, five board meetings and more than 500 public comments.

Building on this plan, CARB will continue to look for additional opportunities to reduce GHGs and criteria and air toxics emissions. A Natural and Working Lands Implementation Plan will be completed next year along with continued implementation of AB 617 and AB 197 to improve access to air emissions data and better air quality in the most burdened communities in California. CARB has also initiated a new rulemaking to design a post 2020 Cap-and-Trade program that conforms to the requirements of AB 398.

 

DHEC Introduces App to Answer Public Health Questions in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is introducing a new, innovative web portal to help answer public health questions.

DHEC's County Health Profiles allows users to access state and county health data and compare data sets.

The user-friendly application combines the most recent data available from a variety of sources within and outside of DHEC. Data is displayed in maps, tables, snapshots, and graphs. Some additional features of the web application are:

  • Ability to compare multiple counties
  • County rankings for most indicators
  • Ability to compare county estimates to the state
  • Printable PDF tables for each county
  • Clear definitions and explanatory notes

 

Along with its unique features, users can find data from various categories like births, infant mortality, chronic diseases, health care access, mortality, and so much more.

Tis the Season to Recycle – Holiday Recycling Tips

“Tis the season to be jolly,” but Louisiana, like the rest of the nation, produces more waste in December than any other month. Planning ahead of time can reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, and if you reuse, you can even generate useful items. You can “Be the Solution” and have a more waste-free holiday season by following a few simple tips from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

When you prepare for the coming holidays, think green: reduce, reuse and recycle. Wrapping gifts can be a challenge since wrapping paper is frequently not recyclable. Be creative! Wrap a gift in a gift -- such as a scarf, bandana, dishtowel or cloth shopping bag. The comic pages from the Sunday paper and most colorful flyers reuse paper and are still recyclable. Last year’s Christmas and holiday cards can be used in crafts and as ornaments. Out with the old so you have room for the new! Before the holidays is a perfect time to clean out your clutter and

unused items. If you have outgrown toys and clothing, consider donating them to charitable organizations. Discarded electronics (computers, copiers, fax machines, printers and monitors) may be donated to a local nonprofit agency or the Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council (CACRC). CACRC provides computers to schools, families and nonprofits. Visit the council’s website for details.

When decorating your home, there are ways to consider the environment. An artificial tree doesn’t have to be discarded and a live tree can be replanted. If you purchase a cut tree, remember that it cannot be flocked or have tinsel or decorations on it if it is to be recycled. Cut trees are usually collected in early January and are ground up into compost or mulch. You can find information about seasonal pickups and recycling at the East Baton Rouge Parish Recycling website.

  • LED lights last longer, save energy and money.
  • Recycling packaging materials such as cardboard and plastic foam peanuts really helps. For information on recycling plastic foam peanuts, or if you are a retailer interested in foam peanut recycling.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries for toys, cameras and gadgets. When those batteries no longer hold a charge, call the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation at 800-8-BATTERY, or go to their website

 

Have a safe holiday season and remember to never burn wrapping paper or Christmas trees in the fireplace.

Environmental News Links

Each US Family Trashes 400 iPhones’ Worth of E-Waste a Year

Proposed Cuts to EPA Threaten Public Health

How the Once Tiny Waste Management Industry Captured the EPA and Became VERY BIG

Lawsuits Challenging TSCA Regulations To Be Heard in California

EPA Stalls on Regulating Chemical that Sickened Katrina Refugees

Trump’s EPA Chemical Safety Nominee Withdraws Nomination

EPA Approves the Manufacture of Two New Polymers

Final GOP Tax Bill Would Allow Artic Refuge Drilling

EPA Recognizes ALDI for Record Breaking Environmental Efforts

Teens Acting Badly? Smog May Be to Blame

Tis’ the Season to Redesign and Reduce Our Waste

This Chic Furniture is Made Out of E-Waste

Plastics Ban Set to Frustrate Recycling Exporters

Landfill Health Study: Did the Dump Make Us Sick?

Trivia Question:

Approximately how much e-waste is recycled annually in the US?

a. 70%

b. 30%

c. 10%

d. 50%

 

Answer: b