At an Oct. 18-19 Federal Electronics Stewardship Forum in Arlington, VA, EPA and the electronics industry took the first steps toward developing a voluntary initiative to recycle millions of tons of government electronics. By using the purchasing power of the federal government, as well as the massive amounts of electronics waste federal agencies produce each year, the goal is to move forward with a formal national electronics recycling program that will help build the infrastructure for computer and other electronics recycling.
The administration is considering an array of compliance options -- including a new executive order, strengthening of existing statutory authority, and a government-wide guidance -- as follow-up to a recently signed interagency memorandum of understanding (MOU) on electronics procurement and disposal practices. The MOU, "Improving Environmental Management of Electronic Assets," has been signed by several federal agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Interior, EPA, and the White House.
The MOU is now circulating throughout the government, with the hopes that more agencies will sign on.
For more information, please contact Chris Kent at 202-564-8842
or firstname.lastname@example.org .
DESIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM WEB SITE IS UPDATED
This new site will keep you on top of the latest developments in the U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) Program and its efforts to help businesses incorporate environmental considerations into both the design and redesign of products and processes, and into technical and management systems. DfE is currently working in voluntary partnership on several projects with the following industry sectors:
- Printed Wiring Board
- Lithographic Printing
- Foam Furniture / Adhesives
- Computer Display
- Automotive Refinishing
- Industrial / Institutional Laundry
- Integrated Environmental Management Systems
- Formulator Initiative
- Garment and Textile Care
UPCOMING DEADLINES - CLEAN AIR ACT
November 14. Each producer, importer, or exporter of a Class II controlled substance must submit a report to EPA providing information on the production, imports, and exports of such chemicals during the previous quarter.
November 19. Sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant
emission controls under 40 CFR 63, Subpart G, for synthetic
organic chemical manufacturing industry production processes must
submit semiannual report.
IDAHO REFRIGERATION REPAIR COMPANY AND OWNERS INDICTED
Travis Scott Erickson and Deborah Ann Erickson, owners and managers of Cool Unit, L.L.C. in Post Falls, Idaho, and Cool Unit, L.L.C., were indicted on Oct.16 for conspiracy and for allegedly violating three federal laws, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Act and the Clean Water Act.
Cool Unit is a business which is engaged in repairing and reconditioning ammonia-based refrigeration units that are commonly found in recreational vehicles. The defendants allegedly stored at least 9,000 gallons of hazardous wastes illegally. The wastes contained ammonia and chromium which were drained from refrigeration units under repair. The indictment further alleges they illegally transported the wastes to Coeur d'Alene and illegally disposed of significant quantities of hazardous wastes containing ammonia and chromium by dumping them into the city sewer system. Such dumping can risk the health of sewage treatment plant workers, damage sewage treatment equipment and create a risk for people, fish and wildlife that come into contact with waters discharged from wastewater treatment plants.
If convicted, the individual defendants each face sentences of up
to five years in prison and/or up to $250,000 on each count. Cool
Unit faces fines of up to $500,000 on each count, if convicted.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation
Division, the FBI and the Idaho State Police and is being
prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Last week's tip article, Final Version Of The Handbook Of
Groundwater Protection And Cleanup Policies For RCRA Corrective
Action Now Available, included an incorrect phone number for the
RCRA hotline. The correct number is 800-424-9346. Also, there are
no hard copies of the handbook available.
NEW POLLUTION PREVENTION RESOURCE EXCHANGE TOPIC HUBS RELEASEDP2Rx has added 25 "Topic Hubs" to their website, providing pollution prevention information and expertise on a particular subject. Topic Hubs provide quick answers to frequent questions about why a topic is important, how it operates, what options for change are available, and who has expertise with the topic. Topic Hubs also invite the user to add resources pertinent to the topic, provide juried comments/reviews, and ratings of the collected materials, and offer direct referrals to expert resources. The Topic Hubs can be found at http://www.p2rx.org Hubs now available include: -Aerospace -Mercury -Ag Teaching Labs -Auto Body -Clean Snowmobiles -Electric Utilities -Metal Fabrication -Fiberglass Fabrication and Machining -Green Procurement -Metal Finishing -Household Hazardous Waste -Oil and Gas -Paint and Coating Manufacturing -Lean Manufacturing -Lithographic Printing -Pollution Prevention -Managing Community Growth -Regulatory Integration -Ship Building and Repair The P2Rx Centers encourage feedback on the layout and content of the Hubs. As Topic Hubs are completed, they will be added to http://www.p2rx.org . For more information on the P2Rx Topic Hubs, please contact Jini Cook at 217-244-6553 or email@example.com or contact your regional P2Rx Center, which can be located at http://www.p2rx.org/centerdirectory.htm
NEW POLLUTION PREVENTION RESOURCE EXCHANGE TOPIC HUBS RELEASED
P2Rx has added 25 "Topic Hubs" to their website, providing pollution prevention information and expertise on a particular subject. Topic Hubs provide quick answers to frequent questions about why a topic is important, how it operates, what options for change are available, and who has expertise with the topic. Topic Hubs also invite the user to add resources pertinent to the topic, provide juried comments/reviews, and ratings of the collected materials, and offer direct referrals to expert resources. The Topic Hubs can be found at http://www.p2rx.org
Hubs now available include:
- Ag Teaching Labs
- Auto Body
- Clean Snowmobiles
- Electric Utilities
- Metal Fabrication
- Fiberglass Fabrication and Machining
- Green Procurement
- Metal Finishing
- Household Hazardous Waste
- Oil and Gas
- Paint and Coating Manufacturing
- Lean Manufacturing
- Lithographic Printing
- Pollution Prevention
- Managing Community Growth
- Regulatory Integration
- Ship Building and Repair
The P2Rx Centers encourage feedback on the layout and content of
the Hubs. As Topic Hubs are completed, they will be added to
http://www.p2rx.org. For more information on the P2Rx Topic
Hubs, please contact Jini Cook at 217-244-6553 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your regional P2Rx Center, which
can be located at http://www.p2rx.org/centerdirectory.htm
EPA ANNOUNCES ARSENIC STANDARD FOR DRINKING WATER OF 10 PARTS PER BILLION
EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced that the arsenic standard in drinking water will be 10 parts per billion (ppb). "Throughout this process, I have made it clear that EPA intends to strengthen the standard for arsenic by substantially lowering the maximum acceptable level from 50 parts per billion (ppb), which has been the lawful limit for nearly half a century," Whitman wrote in a letter to the conferees on the Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies appropriations measure.
"The Bush Administration is committed to protecting the environment and the health of all Americans," Whitman said. "This standard will improve the safety of drinking water for millions of Americans, and better protect against the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes."
When the Administrator initiated review of the standard for arsenic, there were indications that additional information was available that had not been considered previously. She asked for time to look at the new science and data that have come to light since the original (1999) study by the National Academy of Sciences on this matter. Whitman also asked that three expert panels review all the new and existing materials. The National Academy of Sciences looked at risk, the National Drinking Water Advisory Council examined costs to water systems throughout the nation and EPA's Science Advisory Board assessed benefits.
Whitman reiterated that the additional study and consultation have not delayed the compliance date for implementing a new standard for arsenic in 2006. "Instead it has reinforced the basis for the decision," said Whitman. "I said in April that we would obtain the necessary scientific and cost review to ensure a standard that fully protects the health of all Americans, we did that, and we are reassured by all of the data that significant reductions are necessary. As required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, a standard of 10 ppb protects public health based on the best available science and ensures that the cost of the standard is achievable."
Nearly 97 percent of the water systems affected by this rule are
small systems that serve less than 10,000 people each. EPA plans
to provide $20 million over the next two years for the research
and development of more cost-effective technologies. The Agency
also will provide technical assistance and training to operators
of small systems, which will reduce their compliance costs,
Whitman told conferees. EPA will work with small communities to
maximize grants and loans under current State Revolving Fund and
Rural Utilities Service programs of the Department of
Agriculture. Last year EPA provided more than $600 million in
grants and loans to water systems for drinking water compliance.
"Our goal is to provide clean, safe, and affordable drinking
water to all Americans," said Whitman.
USA PATRIOT ACT OF 2001 AMENDS CRITERIA ON ISSUANCE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS CDLS
The President recently signed a bill that will require changes in the issuance of drivers' licenses for the transportation of hazardous materials. Sec. 1012 of the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001" [Public Law 107-56, October 26, 2001] amends the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.
The amendment prohibits states from issuing or renewing a license to operate a motor vehicle transporting a hazardous material in commerce unless the Department of Transportation (DOT) has first determined that the applicant does not pose a security risk warranting denial of the license. It also requires the Department of Justice to perform a background records check on anyone requesting a license (or renewal) to transport hazardous materials. vSection 1012 cannot be implemented without U.S DOT rulemaking. Until regulations to implement Sec. 1012 are in place, states should continue to renew old, and issue new, commercial driver's licenses under their usual procedures.