How EPA’s Implementation of Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act Will Affect You

June 04, 2018

EPA has released for public comment three actions that describe the Agency’s initial steps in implementing the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The first action is the release of ten problem formulation documents, the second is the release of EPA’s systemic review approach document, and the third is the release of a significant new use rule (SNUR) proposal enabling the Agency to prevent new uses of asbestos – the first such action on asbestos ever proposed.

The problem formulation documents refine the scope of risk evaluations for the first ten chemicals selected under the law. The Agency’s problem formulation documents are an important interim step prior to completing and publishing the final risk evaluations by December 2019. They clarify the chemical uses that EPA expects to evaluate and describe how EPA expects to conduct the evaluations.

EPA’s systematic review approach document will guide EPA’s selection and review of studies in addition to providing the public with continued transparency regarding how the Agency plans to evaluate scientific information.

For asbestos, EPA proposed a SNUR for certain uses of asbestos (including asbestos-containing goods) that would require manufacturers and importers to receive EPA approval before starting or resuming manufacturing, and importing or processing of asbestos. This review process would provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of asbestos and, when necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the use.

Upon publication in the Federal Register you can comment in each of the chemical’s respective dockets below. Comments on the documents are due in 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register.

 

Chattanooga Hazardous Waste and DOT Hazardous Materials Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Chattanooga, TN on June 12-14 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Dayton Hazardous Waste and DOT Hazardous Materials Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Dayton, OH on June 26-28 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Raleigh Hazardous Waste and DOT Hazardous Materials Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Raleigh, NC on July 10-12 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Hazardous Waste Quick Reference Guide Due Soon

EPA’s hazardous waste generator improvements rule includes over 60 changes in the hazardous waste regulations, many of which are more stringent than the current state and federal requirements. The new rule is in effect in several states now, and most will adopt it by July first of this year.

One of the changes that could take quite a bit of effort if you attempted it on your own is the development of a Quick Reference Guide (QRG) for your hazardous waste contingency plan. The QRG isn’t just a summary of your contingency plan, but includes new information that might not be in your plan, such as:

  • Names, hazards, types of hazardous waste at your site, in layman’s terms
  • Estimated maximum amount of each hazardous waste
  • Hazards requiring unique or special treatment by medical staff
  • Site map
  • Generation and accumulation areas, access routes
  • Surrounding area including businesses, schools, residential areas
  • Locations of water supply
  • Identify notification/alarm systems
  • Emergency coordinator and 24/7 phone number

 

Rather than expending the time and effort to develop the QRG on your own, you can let Environmental Resource Center develop it for you. If you have several facilities, we can ensure that all of their QRGs are accurate and consistent. And, if your contingency plan needs updating, we can update it for you at the same time.

Please contact Environmental Resource Center if you’d like a quote, or if you have any questions regarding the QRG.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Sulfur Dioxide

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has proposed to retain, without revision, the existing primary (health-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (SO2). EPA and its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), agreed that this existing standard continues to provide health protection for Americans, including respiratory effects following short-term exposures to SO2 in ambient air.

EPA’s CASAC concurred with the Agency “that the current scientific literature does not support revision of the primary NAAQS for SO2.” EPA is soliciting comment on the basic elements of the current NAAQS, including whether there are appropriate alternative approaches that provide comparable public health protection.

As a result of Clean Air Act programs and efforts by state, local, and tribal governments as well as technological improvements, SO2 concentrations in the US have fallen by more than 70% since 2000 and more than 50% since 2010.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set NAAQS for criteria pollutants. Currently, sulfur dioxide and five other major pollutants are listed as criteria pollutants. The law also requires EPA to periodically review the relevant scientific information and primary (health-based) standards. If appropriate, EPA revises the standards to ensure they provide requisite protection for public health, allowing for an adequate margin of safety.

CASAC is separately reviewing welfare-based secondary NAAQS for sulfur oxides, along with nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. Earlier this month, Administrator Pruitt announced reforms to the process for setting NAAQS.

EPA will accept comments for 45 days after the proposed decision is published in the Federal Register. The Agency plans to issue a final decision no later than January 28, 2019, consistent with the court-ordered schedule for completion of this review.

Minimize Chemical Releases during Hazardous Weather Events 

As hurricane season approaches, the EPA has issued a Hazardous Weather Release Prevention and Reporting alert to remind facility operators of certain requirements that call for preventing, minimizing and reporting chemical releases. This alert was designed to increase awareness among facility operators about their obligation to operate facilities safely, minimize releases that do occur, and report chemical releases in a timely manner.

The alert specifies release prevention and preparedness requirements and clarifies reporting requirements, including exemptions. Unlike some natural disasters, the onset of a hurricane is predictable and allows for early preparations to lessen its effect on a facility. Before hurricane force winds and associated storm surge flooding damage industrial processes, the alert recommends that operators take preventive action by safely shutting down processes, placing hazardous chemicals in safe storage locations, or otherwise operating safely under appropriate emergency procedures. If a chemical release does occur, operators should notify appropriate authorities immediately so that an appropriate response can be carried out.

Meeting on TSCA PBTs

The EPA will hold a meeting on June 25, 2018 as part of the peer review of exposure and hazard assessments on five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) substances subject to risk management action under the new TSCA.

The EPA must take expedited action on PBTs meeting certain criteria, in keeping with the 2016 Lautenberg Act, which amended TSCA. For these substances, the agency will skip their risk evaluation and proceed directly to imposing rule that will reduce their exposure "to the extent practicable".

The agency announced in October 2016 that it would take action on:

  • decaBDE, a brominated flame retardant used in textiles, plastics, wiring insulation, and building and construction materials;
  • hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), used as a solvent in the manufacture of rubber compounds and as hydraulic, heat transfer or transformer fluid;
  • pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP), used as a sulfur cross-linking agent to make rubber more pliable in industrial uses;
  • tris(4-isopropylphenyl) phosphate (IPTPP), used as a flame retardant in consumer products and as a lubricant, hydraulic fluid, and in other industrial uses; and
  • 2,4,6-tris(tert-butyl) phenol, an antioxidant that can be used as a fuel, oil, gasoline or lubricant additive.

 

As part of this process, the EPA is conducting a peer review of preliminary exposure and hazard assessments on the substances.

The June 25th meeting is for the reviewers to comment on draft ‘charge questions’. Once finalized, these will guide the individual peer reviews of the exposure and hazard documents. The public may submit oral or written comments for consideration. The meeting is by webcast and telephone only.

FMCSA Regulatory Guidance for Agricultural Commodities and Personal Conveyance

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued new regulatory guidance clarifying the longstanding 150 air-miles hours-of-service agricultural commodity exemption as well as providing additional explanatory detail of the “personal conveyance” provision.

“Due to input from commercial vehicle stakeholders and the public, the Department has taken steps to provide greater clarity and flexibility regarding the intent and effect of these regulations, for the agricultural and other sectors,” said US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

FMCSA published Federal Register notices proposing regulatory guidance for the transportation of agricultural commodities and the use of personal conveyance in December 2017 and requested public comment. FMCSA is providing clarity on the use of the agricultural exemption and personal conveyance to both industry and law enforcement along with providing as much flexibility as possible for the industry, while maintaining safety.

“We are dedicated to finding effective solutions to challenges, exploring new opportunities for innovation and constantly seeking ways to improve,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

In all, nearly 850 public comments were submitted to the Federal Register dockets on the proposed guidance pertaining to the transportation of agricultural commodities as well as on the personal conveyance provision.

The new regulatory guidance was developed within a clear, questions-and-answers format and explains the 150 air-mile radius agricultural commodity exemption and how the “source” of the commodity is determined.  Click here for a copy of the guidance.

Likewise, the new regulatory guidance outlines – and includes examples – under what circumstances a commercial motor vehicle driver may operate the truck or bus for personal conveyance.

Study Indicates Oil and Gas Wastewater Road Treatment May Cause More Harm 

A truck kicking up dust as it speeds down a dirt road is a typical image in country music videos. But this dust from unpaved roads is also an environmental and health hazard. To prevent dust clouds, some states treat dirt motorways with oil and gas wastewater. Now one group reports in Environmental Science & Technology that this wastewater contains harmful pollutants that have the potential to do more harm than good.

According to the DOT, 34% of roads in the US are unpaved. These unpaved roads contribute to almost half of the annual airborne particulate matter emissions -- such as dust, dirt and soot -- in the US, potentially causing respiratory and cardiovascular issues. In an attempt to prevent these health effects, road managers spread products on these roadways to suppress dust. Almost 200 different dust suppressants, mostly chloride salts or salt brine products that form a coating or help particles aggregate, are available. But these suppressants can be too costly in regions where budgets are tight, so many municipalities turn to a free alternative: salty oil and gas (O&G) wastewater produced from well operations. While O&G wastewater is good for a township’s bottom line, there are concerns about contaminants leaching from it into the environment. So, William D. Burgos and colleagues wanted to evaluate the potential environmental and human health impacts of this practice.

The spreading of O&G wastewater on roads is permitted in at least 13 US states, with significant spreading activity occurring in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The team studied O&G wastewater spread on roads and found them to contain salt, radioactivity and organic contaminant concentrations above their respective drinking water standards. These substances can be harmful to humans and aquatic life. In lab simulations, nearly all of the metals from these wastewaters leached out after simulated rain events, but metals such as radium – which is radioactive and a known carcinogen -- and lead were partially retained on roadways. The researchers speculate that the radium that did leach could end up in nearby bodies of water. The group proposes that establishing wastewater standards and treatment guidelines for O&G wastewaters spread on roads could help reduce the potential environmental impacts of this practice.

Hazardous Chemicals from Recycled Electronics May Remain in New Products

Hazardous chemicals such as bromine, antimony and lead are finding their way into food-contact items and other everyday products because manufacturers are using recycled electrical equipment as a source of black plastic, according to a new study.

The substances are among those applied to devices, such as laptops and music systems, as flame retardants and pigments but remain within the products when they reach the end of their useful lives.

Now scientists at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom have shown that a combination of the growing demand for black plastic and the inefficient sorting of end-of-life electrical equipment is causing contaminated material to be introduced into the recycled material.

This is in part because despite black plastics constituting about 15% of the domestic waste stream, this waste material is not readily recycled owing to the low sensitivity of black pigments to near infrared radiation used in conventional plastic sorting facilities.

The study is published in Environmental International and was conducted by Dr Andrew Turner, a Reader in Environmental Science at the University.

As well as posing a threat to human health, he says the study demonstrates there are potentially harmful effects for the marine and coastal environment either through the spread of the products as litter or as microplastics.

For this research, Dr Turner used XRF spectrometry to assess the levels of a range of elements in more than 600 black plastic products such as food-contact items, storage, clothing, toys, jewelry, office items and new and old electronic and electrical equipment.

Bromine, in the form of brominated compounds, is and has been used in electrical plastic housings as a flame retardant, while lead is often encountered in electronic plastics as a contaminant. However, both elements were found extensively in non-electrical black consumer products tested, where they are not needed or desirable.

In many products, including cocktail stirrers, coat hangers, various items of plastic jewelry, garden hosing, Christmas decorations and tool handles, concentrations of bromine potentially exceeded legal limits that are designed for electrical items. In other products, including various toys, storage containers and office equipment, concentrations of lead exceeded its legal limit for electrical items.

Speaking about the current study, Dr Turner said: "There are environmental and health impacts arising from the production and use of plastics in general, but black plastics pose greater risks and hazards. This is due to the technical and economic constraints imposed on the efficient sorting and separation of black waste for recycling, coupled with the presence of harmful additives required for production or applications in the electronic and electrical equipment and food packaging sectors."

"Black plastic may be aesthetically pleasing, but this study confirms that the recycling of plastic from electronic waste is introducing harmful chemicals into consumer products. That is something the public would obviously not expect, or wish, to see and there has previously been very little research exploring this. In order to address this, further scientific research is needed. But there is also a need for increased innovation within the recycling industry to ensure harmful substances are eliminated from recycled waste and to increase the recycling of black plastic consumer products."

This research is the latest work by Dr Turner examining the presence of toxic substances within everyday products. He has previously conducted research which showed that decorated drinking glasses can contain harmful levels of lead and cadmium, that the plastic used in second hand toys often fails to meet international safety directives, and that playground paints should be more closely monitored to reduce potential danger to public health.

New York HVAC Company Owner Charged with Attempted Assault in Mercury Poisoning

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that a Queens County HVAC business owner has been charged with attempted assault, endangering public health and other charges for allegedly placing the potentially deadly mercury chemical in the air conditioning units of a Jamaica Estates, Queens, home and sickening the residents.

"Every New Yorker should feel secure about the people they hire to work in their homes," DEC Commissioner Seggos said. "In this case, the victims were merely asking for a repair of their heating and air conditioning units, but instead found themselves fighting for their lives. If not for the persistence of these victims and the investigative work of our DEC investigators and the Queens District Attorney's Office, the mystery surrounding these victims' ailments and the criminal conduct outlined in this indictment may never have come to light."

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Yuriy Kruk, of Rego Park, Queens. The defendant was arraigned before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron on a six-count indictment charging him with second-degree attempted assault and first- and fourth-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment. Justice Kron set bail at $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash and ordered the defendant to return to court on July 30, 2018. If convicted, Kruk faces up to 5 to 15 years in prison.

"The defendant in this case is accused of attempting to poison a family with mercury after persistent complaints from the homeowners about the malfunctioning air conditioning unit," Queens DA Brown said. "The defendant allegedly had a final fix for the complainers and is alleged to have placed poisonous mercury in the new AC. Exposure to the element could prove fatal over time and did make the residents sick. Fortunately a family member spotted the chemical commonly referred to as quicksilver and alerted police. The defendant will now answer in a court of law for his alleged scheme."

District Attorney Brown said that, according to the indictment, the victim, Roman Pinkhasov hired A+ HVAC and Kitchen Corporation - owned and operated by Kruk - to do heating, ventilation and air conditioning work in his home. The victim persistently complained that the AC unit on the second floor wasn't working properly. In the summer of 2015, the defendant told the homeowner that the system could not be repaired and would need to be replaced and installed a new unit in July 2015.

The District Attorney said, according to the charges, after the installation Mr. Pinkhasov's wife Olga Yurgaueva found drops of a silver substance on the floor. In August 2015, Mr. Pinkhasov also found several more drops of the silver material in the vents and where the defendant had been working in the house. The family then called 911 and members of the New York City Fire Department's Hazardous Materials Unit responded and recovered additional mercury from the first floor vent and other parts of the AC units on both floors.

The family of three - the parents and their son - tested positive for mercury levels above acceptable norms. All three victims complained of various symptoms associated with mercury poisoning, including joint pain, headaches and lethargy.

The investigation was conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation unit, under the supervision of Captain Jesse Paluch and Investigator Jeff Conway, with the assistance of DEC Region 2 Captain Francisco Lopez. The DEC encourages anyone who may be a witness to an environmental crime to contact the NYS DEC's 24 hour Poacher and Polluter hotline at 844-DEC-ECOS (844-332-3267).

$12,800 Penalty for Sewage Treatment Violations

The town of Concrete in Skagit County, WA faces a $12,800 penalty from the Washington Department of Ecology for not properly maintaining and operating its wastewater treatment plant, discharging untreated wastewater, and for not reporting violations in a timely manner.

The facility treats sewage from approximately 400 connections and releases treated wastewater to the Baker River, a tributary to the Skagit River, about a third of a mile downstream.

Improper maintenance decreased the amount of wastewater the plant could treat. When wet weather caused high incoming flows, the town discharged excess untreated sewage to a nearby lagoon where it soaked into the ground. Doing so left no way to ensure that pollutants, especially pathogens, were removed before groundwater reached the river.

“The operating procedures required in the treatment plant’s permit protect public health and water quality downstream,” said Rachel McCrea, regional manager for Ecology’s Water Quality Program. “While the town is taking steps to fix the problems, they should have prevented, reported and addressed them much sooner.”

The town expanded and upgraded its treatment plant in 2008, using membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology. The system requires regular cleaning of membrane filters that separate clean water from very fine solid particles in the wastewater.

The penalty is for a series of violations that occurred from 2014 through 2017:

  • Unauthorized bypasses: Incoming, untreated wastewater was diverted on 69 different days into an unpermitted and improperly lined lagoon that was no longer part of the treatment system 200 feet from the Baker River.
  • Operations and maintenance deficiencies: The facility did not take proper care of the membranes, as well as other components of the treatment system, including electrical and mechanical equipment. Also, maintenance records did not include all the required information.
  • Unreported bypasses: The facility did not report 67 of these events to Ecology as required by the permit.

 

The facility also violated its permit by:

  • Discharging wastewater with higher-than-authorized levels of total suspended solids for one week in July 2017.
  • Not submitting three technical reports that were due June 30, 2017.

 

The town of Concrete began to take corrective action in late 2016, a process that is not yet complete. The plant’s five-year permit was recently renewed with timelines for several operational improvements and corrections.

Ecology water quality penalty payments go to the state’s Coastal Protection Fund which issues grants to public agencies and tribes for water quality restoration projects. The penalty may be appealed to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.

Stronger Compact Solar Power

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have designed new components for a solar power inverter that packs more energy into a smaller package, paving the way for more powerful and efficient solar installations. The devices convert the DC power generated by solar panels to the AC power required for the electrical grid. The solar inverter’s air-cooled heat sink, designed via a machine learning algorithm and then 3D printed, siphons heat away from the device. The inverter also makes use of a silicon carbide power stage component to handle 50 kilowatts of electricity with up to three times volumetric density compared with standard inverters, all while converting power at 98.4% efficiency. “Using these technologies, we can push the temperature and frequency higher while limiting power loss during conversion,” said ORNL’s Madhu Chinthavali. Partners at National Renewable Energy Laboratory and University of Purdue are collaborating to further optimize inverter performance for solar and grid applications.

Environmental Workers Trained to Assess National Rivers and Streams

The EPA held a four-day training session last week at the EPA Chelmsford Laboratory for approximately 30 state and federal workers participating in the EPA National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA), the third nationwide survey of the condition of rivers and streams. Training for the group included a visit to the Merrimack River in North Chelmsford to practice water and fish sampling techniques.

The training prepared staff to participate in the National Rivers and Streams Assessment which is a nationwide survey measuring the health of waterways nationwide to evaluate the effectiveness of protection and restoration efforts and take action to prevent pollution.

The Town of Chelmsford Conservation Commission gave EPA permission to use the Deep Brook Reservation for the wadeable stream portion of the training, which had a variety of habitat and diverse stream conditions making it ideal for trainees to learn. The training was imparted by EPA staff and its contractors for state staff from Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and EPA staff.  EPA Lab boats and equipment were used in the training, and some staff received special training in fish sampling so they can help in Vermont and New Hampshire using EPA's two electrofishing boats. 

The NRSA will be conducted at about 24 sites in each state – that were chosen randomly through a computer program – over this summer and the next. A total of 1,808 sample sites were selected nationwide, half from rivers and half from streams. This survey of rivers and streams is done every five years as part of the yearly National Aquatic Resource Surveys. In other years, the survey covers wetlands, coastal waters, and lakes. It will address rivers and streams for next two years.

The survey is designed to estimate portions of rivers and streams that are in good, fair, or poor condition, and serves as a scientific report card on the waters surveyed. It will examine ecological, water quality, and recreational indicators, and assess how widespread key "stressors," such as nutrients, fish tissue contaminants, and bacteria, are across the country.

The survey is a collaborative effort that involves many state environmental and natural resource agencies, federal agencies, universities, and other organizations. In many states, state water quality staff will conduct the water quality sampling and habitat assessments. In others, field work will be conducted by staff under contract to EPA.

Those trained will take measurements at each site, using consistent procedures so that results can be compared nationally. To sample one site, it takes a daily field team of four to five people. Conduct a variety of measurements including temperature, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, and acidity. They also use the condition of the habitat and bacteria as indicators of possible fecal contamination; the type and abundance of fish; and contaminants in fish tissue.

Data will be made available to the public in 2021 as part of the final report on the condition of our rivers and streams. Between the time sites are sampled and the national report is published, samples will be analyzed in the lab, data will be entered into a database and analyzed, and a draft report will be written and reviewed. EPA will release the results in a variety of formats to reach a range of audiences, examples include a streamlined written report, factsheet, story map and data dashboard.

California E-Waste Program Could Include Nearly All Devices with Cords or Batteries

In an effort to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery is out with a new set of recommendations to redesign California’s Electronic Waste Recycling Act (SB 20, Sher, Chapter 526, Statutes of 2003).

Right now, the state’s Covered Electronic Waste (CEW) payment program includes just a fraction of the estimated 120 million electronic devices purchased in California each year. Without a change, millions of these devices—which often contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury—could be illegally disposed or improperly managed.

“California’s CEW program created the infrastructure needed to safely manage the state’s e-waste while providing convenience for consumers and cost relief for local governments, but technology is changing and our program must change, too,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “As electronics get more complex, California must innovate e-waste management to maximize resource conservation and minimize public and environmental harm.”

Following two years of workshops, surveys, and discussions with tech leaders and other stakeholders, CalRecycle developed a summary and recommendations for the Future of Electronic Waste Management in California. Among the top recommendations are the expansion of the number and type of products covered under the CEW program.

Devices Currently Covered in the CEW Program*

  • Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Televisions, Monitors, Devices
  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Televisions and Monitors
  • Laptops with LCD screens, including most tablets
  • Plasma Televisions
  • Portable DVD Players with LCD Screens

*Screens greater than 4” diagonally

Proposed Covered Electronic Devices

  • Most Devices Requiring Batteries or Power Cords

 

Other CalRecycle recommendations to redesign California’s e-waste management efforts include:

  • Incentivizing greater repair and reuse of electronic devices
  • Increasing manufacturer responsibilities, including labeling and greater attention to durability/recyclability
  • Exploring a transition from the current consumer fee to a manufacturer funded program to cover the costs of proper end-of-life product management
  • Annually adjusting recycling and recovery payments to authorized CEW collectors and recyclers
  • Encouraging industry take-back programs for emerging technologies like electric car batteries and solar panels

 

CalRecycle formally adopted the above policy recommendations at its May 2018 public meeting. Moving forward, the department will continue to engage stakeholders on these recommendations.

You can stay informed of new developments with CalRecycle’s Future of E-waste webpage or subscribe to CalRecycle’s E-waste listserv.

Fast Facts: Electronic Waste in California

  • California’s CEW program has successfully managed more than 2.2 billion lb of e-waste since 2005
  • Electronics are considered hazardous waste and are illegal to dispose in household trash
  • 273,878 tons of (mostly non-CEW) electronics make their way to California landfills each year
  • Batteries hidden inside e-waste cause explosions and fires when shredded at recycling and recovery facilities
  • Newer electronics are smaller and more costly to dismantle, and they have less scrap material value
  • Covered Electronic Waste program payments are weight-based
  • 46% of household hazardous waste collected by local governments is e-waste
  • Roughly $55 billion is lost globally each year as a result of e-waste being trashed instead of recycled

 

Upcoming Changes to Ohio Title V Permit Rules

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC) has refiled amended rules in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-77, "Title V Permit Rules" to the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). The rules in this chapter contain the requirements for the permitting of major sources of air pollution under Title V of the Clean Air Act.

On December 21, 2017, Ohio EPA removed the rules in this chapter from the JCARR process to address comments received during the proposed rule comment period. Having addressed the comments, Ohio EPA is now returning the rules to the JCARR process. This is not a final filing of the rules; the rules will be adopted after an additional jurisdictional period by the JCARR and after a public hearing held by the JCARR.

To view the refiled amended rules and for information on changes made based on comments and Ohio EPA's response to the comments, please see the proposed rule languagesynopsis of changes, and response to comments document.

Texas Rebates for Purchase or Lease of Green Vehicles

The Texas Emissions Reduction Program is offering two rebate incentives under the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program. The program offers up to a $5,000 incentive rebate for the purchase or 3-year lease of an eligible new light-duty motor vehicle powered by compressed natural gas or liquified petroleum gas. It also offers a $2,500 incentive rebate for the purchase or lease of a light-duty motor vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell (fuel cells are similar to batteries and produce electricity without combustion or emissions), or other electric drive (plug-in or plug-in hybrid).

The rebates are offered statewide and only vehicles purchased or leased in Texas are eligible for the rebate. Interested parties should review the eligibility requirements and then apply. Rebate applications will be accepted and considered on a first-come, first-served basis during the rebate period. LDPLIP applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on May 31, 2019.

Leases for any of these vehicles will be prorated over a three-year term, 33.3% for a one-year lease, 66.6% for a two-year lease, and 100% for a three-year lease. Eligible vehicles must be purchased on or after Sept. 1, 2017. Only one incentive will be provided for each vehicle obtained in this state and only vehicles sold by a licensed dealer in Texas are eligible for the incentive.

Proposition 65 Listing - TRIM® VX

Effective May 25, 2018, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has added TRIM® VX to the list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer for purposes of Proposition 65. 

Public Health Goals for Cis- and Trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene in Drinking Water  

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has announced the availability of the revised draft technical support document for the proposed updates of the public health goals (PHGs) for cis- and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene in drinking water. OEHHA revised the document based on public and peer review comments. The agency is soliciting comments on this second public review draft. 

MFG Chemical Fined $400,000 for RMP Violations

On May 21, 2018, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed consent decree with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in the lawsuit entitled United States v. MFG Chemical, LLC. The proposed consent decree would resolve claims against MFG Chemical, LLC under Section 112(r)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) with respect to MFG's chemical manufacturing and processing facility located at 117 Callahan Road SE, Dalton, Georgia.

The claims alleged in the complaint pertain to a chemical explosion at the Facility on May 21, 2012, and are based on MFG's failure to identify and address the hazards associated with the batch manufacture of a chemical compound known as coagulant 129, in violation of the General Duty Clause (GDC) of the CAA. The proposed consent decree would require MFG to pay a civil penalty of $400,000 as well as perform injunctive relief designed to bring MFG into compliance with the GDC and to minimize the risk of future problems at the Facility.

The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the proposed consent decree and proposed settlement agreement. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States v. MFG Chemical, LLC, Civil Action Number 4:18-cv-00121-HLM, D.J. Ref. No. 90- 5-2-1-08683/1. Comments must be submitted to pubcomment-ees.enrd@usdoj.gov no later than 30 days after the publication date of this notice, which was on May 29, 2018.

Environmental News Links

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Thailand Is New Dumping Ground for World’s High-Tech Trash, Police Say

EPA’s Science Advisors Vote to Review Plan to Restrict Research

How the Reclassification of Aerosol Cans Will Affect Hazardous Waste Disposal

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Processor Faces Hazardous Waste Allegations

California Sued Trump Administration to Restore Rules Protecting Farmworkers

U.S. Companies Are Driving a Renewables Boom

In Texas, a New Power Plant Could Redefine Carbon Capture

How China Can Help London Fix Its Air Pollution Crisis. No, Seriously

United Kingdom Unveils Ambitious Air Pollution Plan

Waste Wood at CA Sites in UK Will Be Non-Hazardous

Indoor Air Pollution: Know How to Avoid it 

Trivia Question

Which type of asbestos is the most dangerous?

  1. Amphibole
  2. Chrysotile
  3. Crocidolite
  4. Anthophyllite

 

Answer:  c