Over a Dozen Changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations Announced

October 26, 2020
In an upcoming issue to the Federal Register, the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration will publish a final rule that revises the Hazardous Materials Regulations in response to petitions for rulemaking submitted by shippers, carriers, manufacturers, and industry representatives. These revisions update, clarify, or provide relief from various regulatory requirements that the DOT has indicated will not adversely affect safety.
The rule changes will:
  • Revise 49 CFR 173.31 to prohibit the use of tank cars with shells or heads constructed of non-normalized steel in the transportation of poison-by-inhalation hazard (PIH) materials by rail after December 31, 2020.
  • Harmonize availability of limited quantity shipping exceptions for more than 100 entries for corrosive materials in the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT, 49 CFR 172.101)
  • Revise 49 CFR 172.302(b)(2) to allow a minimum height of 12 mm (0.47 inches) for a proper shipping name marked on a portable tank with a capacity of less than 3,785 L (1,000 gallons)
  • Revise 49 CFR 173.28(c)(1)(i) to allow for regulatory flexibility for cleaning metal drums for reuse and clarifying the existing cleaning standard
  • Revise 49 CFR 173.5b to allow for the continued use of portable and mobile refrigerator systems placed into service prior to 1991 that are rated to a minimum service pressure of 250 pounds per square inch (psig)
  • Incorporate by reference updated editions of multiple Compressed Gas Association (CGA) publications into 49 CFR 171.7
  • Remove the reference to special provision 103 in 49 CFR 172.101 from Column (7) for four HMT entries
  • Remove the words “manufactured before September 1, 1995” from 49 CFR 180.417(a)(3) to allow for an alternative report for cargo tanks manufactured after September 1, 1995
  • Revise the basis weight tolerance provided in 49 CFR 178.521 from ±5 percent to ±10 percent from the nominal basis weight reported in the initial design qualification test report for paper shipping sacks
  • Revise 49 CFR 173.308(d)(3) to harmonize with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code by removing the requirement for a closed transport container to have the warning mark “WARNING - MAY CONTAIN EXPLOSIVE MIXTURES WITH AIR - KEEP IGNITION SOURCES AWAY WHEN OPENING” when transporting lighters
  • Revise 49 CFR 173.244(a)(2) and 173.314(c) to make the “interim” rail tank car specifications the “final” specifications for the transportation of PIH materials
  • Revise 49 CFR 173.31 to prohibit the use of certain rail tank cars for the transportation of PIH materials after December 31, 2027
  • Allow all waste materials to be managed in accordance with the lab pack exception and associated paragraphs in 49 CFR 173.12 irrespective of whether they meet the definition of a hazardous waste per EPA regulations implementing RCRA
  • Incorporate by reference the 2017 edition of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) Sections II (Parts A and B), V, VIII (Division 1), and IX into 49 CFR 171.7.
  • Revise 49 CFR49 CFR 171.23, 173.302, and 173.304 to permit the import of filled pi-marked foreign pressure receptacles for intermediate storage, transport to point of use, discharge, and export as well as the import of certain pi-marked foreign pressure receptacles for filling, intermediate storage, and export.
  • Revise 49 CFR 172.101(c) to clarify that the word “stabilized” must be included as part of the proper shipping name when stabilization is required for transportation
  • Revise 49 CFR 171.7(r) to update the address of the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) and to incorporate by reference the Association of Energy Service Companies (AESC)/IME Jet Perforating Gun (JPG) Standard, also known as the “Guide to Obtaining DOT Approval of Jet Perforating Guns using AESC/IME Perforating Gun Specifications,” Ver. 02, dated September 1, 2017.
  • Incorporate by reference the January 1, 2018, edition of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) Standard 87-1 A, B, C, “Standard for Construction and Approval for Transportation of Fireworks, Novelties, and Theatrical Pyrotechnics,” replacing the December 1, 2001 edition into 49 CFR 171.7
Safely Get Your EHS Training at Home or in Your Office

To help you get the training you need, Environmental Resource Center has added a number of dates to our already popular live webcast training. Stay in compliance and learn the latest regulations from the comfort of your office or home. Webcast attendees receive the same benefits as our seminar attendees including expert instruction, comprehensive course materials, one year of access to our AnswerlineTM service, course certificate, and a personalized user portal on Environmental Resource Center’s website.

Upcoming hazardous waste and DOT hazardous materials webcasts:
Hazardous Waste Management: Annual Update – November 17, December 15
DOT Hazardous Materials Update – November 18, December 16
Frequently Asked Q&A on N95 Respirators: Do They Protect Against the Coronavirus?
OSHA has published a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on how N95 respirators effectively protect wearers from coronavirus exposure.
The Agency is aware of incorrect claims stating that N95 respirators filter does not capture particles as small as the virus that causes the coronavirus. OSHA's new FAQ explains why an N95 respirator is effective at protecting users from the virus.
Here’s the full text of the FAQ:
“Will an N95 respirator protect the wearer from the virus that causes COVID-19?
Yes, an N95 respirator is effective in protecting workers from the virus that causes COVID-19. "N95" refers to a class of respirator filter that removes at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles from the air. Some people have mistakenly claimed that since the virus that causes COVID-19 is approximately 0.1 microns in size, wearing an N95 respirator will not protect against such a small virus. That mistaken claim appears to result from a misunderstanding of how respirators work.
When an infected person expels the virus into the air by activities like talking, coughing, or sneezing, the airborne particles are composed of more than just the virus. The virus is part of larger particles that are made up of water and other materials such as mucus. These larger particles are easily trapped and filtered out by N95 respirators because they are too big to pass through the filter. This is called mechanical filtration. But mechanical filtration is just one of the ways that respirator filters keep particles from passing through the filter. An electrostatic charge also attracts particles to fibers in the filter, where the particles become stuck. In addition, the smallest particles constantly move around (called Brownian motion), and are very likely to hit a filter fiber and stick to it.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) tests respirators using particles that simulate a 0.3 micron diameter because this size particle is most likely to pass through the filter. If worn correctly, the N95 respirator will filter out at least 95% of particles this size. An N95 respirator is more effective at filtering particles that are smaller or larger than 0.3 microns in size.
The N95 respirator filter, as is true for other NIOSH-approved respirators, is very effective at protecting people from the virus causing COVID-19. However, it is important for employers and workers to remember that the respirator only provides the expected protection when used correctly. Respirators, when required, must be used as part of a comprehensive, written respiratory protection program that meets the requirements of OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard. The program should include medical evaluations, training, and fit testing.”
EPA Relaxes New Source Review Permitting Process
EPA has finalized a rule to further streamline the Clean Air New Source Review (NSR) permitting process. The new rule will clarify the process for evaluating whether a NSR preconstruction permit is needed when an existing major-emitting facility plans to make changes to its facility.
The New Source Review preconstruction permitting program was established in the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments. The program is intended to ensure environmental protection while allowing for economic growth by requiring the installation of state of the art technology when new plants are built or existing plants undergo major modifications since that is the most cost effective time to make such emission controlling improvements.
Under the NSR program, before constructing a new stationary emission source or a modification of an existing major source, the source owner or operator must determine whether the new source will emit or the modification will increase air emissions above certain thresholds. If so, the source owner or operator must obtain a permit from a state permitting agency (or EPA in limited areas) that may require installation of pollution control technology or other emission controlling measures.
“Today’s rule is part of the Trump Administration’s goal to revitalize and modernize our nation’s industrial operators while maintaining clean air progress,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This rule incentivizes installation of new technologies that can both improve operator efficiency and reduce air pollution.”
In March 2018, the EPA Administrator issued a memorandum titled “Project Emissions Accounting Under the New Source Review Preconstruction Permitting Program.” In the memorandum, the Administrator explained that the agency interprets current NSR regulations to allow emissions decreases as well as increases from a project to be considered at Step 1 of the NSR applicability process. This rule provides further clarity and certainty to the regulated community regarding the permissibility of project emissions accounting.
EPA expects that allowing project emissions accounting will reduce regulatory burden -- saving time and money without sacrificing environmental protection. Where a review of both the emissions increases and the emissions decreases associated with a proposed project indicates that the project will not result in a significant emissions increase, this review would end the applicability evaluation. In general, the project could then proceed under a minor source permit as applicable. Those state and local air agencies that implement the NSR program through EPA-approved State Implementation Plans (SIPs) need not allow for project emissions accounting nor are they required to submit SIP revisions or stringency determinations to EPA as a result of this action.
Under this Administration, EPA has taken numerous steps to clarify and improve New Source Review (NSR) permitting requirements including guidance to:
  • Communicate how EPA would apply and enforce the Actual-to-Projected Actual Emissions Applicability Test;
  • Clarify the meaning of “Common Control” and “Adjacent” in the context of determining the scope of a stationary source;
  • Identify additional circumstances under which an area may be excluded from “Ambient Air”;
  • Provide PM2.5 and Ozone Significant Impact Level (SIL) guidance; and
  • Provide guidance on plantwide applicability limits or PALs.
EPA has also issued final actions to complete the reconsideration of prior agency actions on project aggregation and reasonable possibility in the context of Clean Air Act permitting and to streamline tribal oil and gas permitting activities. All of these actions will improve regulatory certainty and remove unnecessary obstacles to projects aiming to improve the reliability, efficiency, and safety of facilities while maintaining air quality standards.
$10,000 Fine for Asbestos Violations
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced it has fined Compass Restoration Services of Ludlow $10,000 for asbestos violations that occurred at Holyoke Medical Center. MassDEP discovered the violations while conducting a compliance inspection of asbestos abatement activities at the hospital and observed the potential release of asbestos fibers from improper management of asbestos-containing building materials.
On October 4, 2019, MassDEP personnel conducted an unannounced compliance inspection while Compass personnel were performing asbestos abatement activities in two areas of the medical center. Several violations of Massachusetts asbestos regulations were observed. Specifically, a work area at the first-floor blood-drawing laboratory was inspected and asbestos-containing material was observed stored in a hallway outside of an established containment area. Compass workers also failed to completely wet asbestos-containing materials, including floor tiles, sheet rock and joint compound, during removal in violation of the wetting requirements specified in the regulations. MassDEP also determined that Compass personnel were removing asbestos-containing floor tile from a third-floor area of the medical center, and that MassDEP had not been notified in advance of that activity as required.
“Asbestos is a known carcinogen and following required work practices is imperative to protect hospital employees, patients and visitors. Additionally, Compass failed to notify MassDEP of all areas of asbestos abatement at the hospital,” said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield. “Although Compass corrected the violations on the date of inspection, MassDEP has issued this penalty for failure to fully comply with required notification and work practices.”
Compass will pay $6,500 of the assessed penalty, with the balance suspended provided Compass re-trains its personnel.
15 Gallon Oil Spill Leads to $31,000 Fine
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced it has assessed a $31,0000 penalty to Cretecrew Concrete Services, Inc., a concrete foundation company based in Westfield, for failing to complete cleanup of a hydraulic oil spill that occurred at a construction site in Chicopee.
On September 20, 2019, the Chicopee Fire Department notified MassDEP regarding the spill of up to 15 gallons of hydraulic oil associated with the failure of a hydraulic hose on a concrete form truck owned and operated by Cretecrew. The spill occurred at a construction site at 114 McKinstry Avenue in Chicopee. MassDEP staff inspected the site that day and confirmed that a reportable spill of hydraulic fluid to the environment had occurred. Massachusetts regulations require that spills of more than 10 gallons be reported to MassDEP and that immediate cleanup be undertaken. MassDEP staff spoke with Cretecrew on that date to advise of the necessary cleanup.
“MassDEP made numerous attempts to assist Cretecrew Concrete Services in complying with Massachusetts waste site cleanup regulations,” said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP’s Western Regional Office in Springfield. “MassDEP will continue to ensure that parties responsible for oil spills undertake all required cleanup actions.”
Although Cretecrew personnel initially took some action to contain and clean up the spill, Cretecrew failed to submit a notification form and a cleanup plan or closure statement for the spill. Cretecrew also failed to submit the documentation within deadlines set forth in a Notice of Noncompliance issued on December 17, 2019, that extended the timeframes for Cretecrew to submit the reports. On February 18, 2020, MassDEP issued an order in a final attempt to compel Cretecrew to comply with the necessary requirements. Cretecrew failed to respond to any attempts by MassDEP staff to contact the company and failed to contact MassDEP after receiving documents issued by MassDEP.
Oregon DEQ Fined 35 Sites for Environmental Violations
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued 35 penalties totaling $855,111 in August and September for various environmental violations. A detailed list of violations and resulting penalties is at https://go.usa.gov/xEQJn.
Fines ranged from $350 to $308,656. Alleged violations included illegal disposal of radioactive solid waste, improper asbestos abatement, and exceeding wastewater permit limits.
DEQ issued civil penalties to the following organizations and individuals:
  • Beaverton 2000 LLC, $400, Beaverton, underground storage tanks
  • Bruce Myers, $14,000, Portland, asbestos
  • C4 Investments LLC, $10,400, Coos Bay, asbestos
  • Calbee North America LLC, $1,700, Boardman, asbestos
  • Chemical Waste Management of the Northwest, $60,000, Arlington, solid waste
  • City of Cascade Locks, $7,552, Cascade Locks, wastewater
  • City of Hood River, $9,400, Hood River, wastewater
  • City of Joseph, $2,250, Joseph, wastewater
  • City of Junction City, $1,250, Junction City, water quality
  • City of Lafayette, $12,235, Lafayette, wastewater
  • City of Molalla, $6,000, Molalla, wastewater
  • City of Monmouth, $4,389, Monmouth, wastewater
  • City of Scappoose, $350, Scappoose, wastewater
  • CNW Construction, $14,000, Portland, asbestos
  • DANJ LLC, $15,600, Grants Pass, solid waste
  • David Moullet, $4,282, Lebanon, air quality
  • Davis Trans-Lite Inc., $6,767, Clackamas, stormwater
  • Diversified Marine Inc., $25,010, Portland, stormwater
  • Eagle Star Rock Products LLC, $5,400, St. Helens, stormwater
  • Georgia-Pacific Toledo LLC, $63,600, Toledo, air quality
  • Granado Services LLC, $32,000, Coos Bay, asbestos
  • Greenworks Contractors LLC, $61,341, Estacada, stormwater
  • Harrington Rock Products, $15,727, Lebanon, stormwater
  • JTM Custom Homes LLC, $24,400, Portland, asbestos
  • Letica Corporation, $0, St. Helens, water quality
  • Maximos Behnan, $6,482, Monroe, asbestos
  • NorthStar CG LP, $10,000, Gresham, asbestos
  • Oilfield Waste Logistics Inc, $308,656, Arlington, solid waste
  • Raef Habashi, $5,200, Monroe, asbestos
  • Remlap Corp. dba Steve's Chevron, $1,000, The Dalles, underground storage tanks
  • Sheldon Petroleum Services LLC $16,800, Hood River and The Dalles, underground storage tanks
  • Ten Four Investments LLC, $16,800, Portland, asbestos
  • Trails End Recovery, $89,820, Warrenton, stormwater
  • Uddin LLC, $2,300, Dallas, underground storage tanks
Organizations or individuals must either pay the fines or file an appeal within 20 days of receiving notice of the penalty. They may be able to offset a portion of a penalty by funding a supplemental environmental project that improves Oregon’s environment.

Penalties may also include orders requiring specific tasks to prevent ongoing violations or additional environmental harm.
Target Corp. to Correct Exit and Storage Hazards, Enhance Safety
OSHA has executed a region wide corporate settlement agreement with Target Corp. to correct exit access and storage hazards and enhance worker safety at about 200 of the retailer's stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
Between May and December 2019. OSHA cited eight Target locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York for numerous violations involving blocked or obstructed access to emergency exits and fire exit routes and/or unsafe storage of materials in stores' backrooms and storage areas.
Target Corp. initially contested its citations but with this settlement, it will pay $464,750 in penalties and implement enhanced actions to abate and prevent egress and storage safety issues at all Target stores in the four states over the next two years.
"Obstructed emergency exit access impedes employees' ability to exit swiftly in the event of a fire or other emergency and unsafe storage of materials exposes employees to crushing and struck-by hazards. Employers are responsible for supplying their employees with safe and healthful workplaces," said OSHA Regional Administrator Galen Blanton in Boston, Massachusetts.
"Under this agreement, Target Corporation is taking steps to proactively address and prevent two of the major safety hazards in the retail industry and maintain safe working conditions for its employees," said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson in New York.
"We are pleased that Target Corporation has chosen to resolve these cases by taking positive steps in worker safety, and we invite other retail employers to consider taking similar actions to protect their employees' safety and health," said regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey S. Rogoff in New York.
Under the agreement, Target Corp. will build on its existing safety programs through the following commitments:
  • Authorize stores' management to delay incoming delivery of inventory if needed to ensure safe egress conditions;
  • Authorize stores' management to requisition additional storage capacity, such as storage trailer or offsite storage space, if needed to ensure safe egress conditions.
  • Conduct surveillance camera monitoring of egress conditions at select "high-risk" stores.
  • Have outside managers visit each store at least twice per year to monitor egress safety, and address any problems;
  • Arrange unannounced third-party audits of egress safety at each store at least once each year, with a second audit the next quarter if a store fails the initial audit;
  • Retrain all affected employees on issues covered by settlement.
  • Permit OSHA access to the stores to verify compliance with the settlement agreement and determine if cited conditions were addressed.
The Department filed a joint notification of the settlement of the New York cases with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission on October 15, 2020, and filed a joint notification of the settlement of the Massachusetts and Connecticut cases on October 16, 2020. The settlement will become a final order 30 days after the docketing of the Administrative Law Judge's Order Terminating Proceedings.
Legislation Introduced to Prevent Dumping Plastic Pellets into Waterways
Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced the Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act to prohibit the discharge and pollution of pre-production plastic pellets. Pre-production plastic pellets, tiny granules of plastic less than 5 millimeters in size, are the building blocks of virtually all plastic products. Sometimes called “nurdles,” they are produced by major petrochemical companies from fossil fuels and then shipped to thousands of plastic processing plants that melt, mold and turn them into plastic products, such as plastic bags, bottles, utensils, and more.
Udall and U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) are the authors of the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act, comprehensive legislation to require big corporations to take responsibility for the plastic waste they produce.
A 2016 report by Eunomia, a global consulting firm based in England, estimated that 230,000 tons of pellets pollute the marine environment each year. About 22,000 pellets are found in a single pound, meaning trillions of pellets are scattered into the environment every year. Like other plastic products, pellets take decades to break down and are often mistaken for fish eggs or other food by sea life and birds and can lead to malnourishment and death.
“The plastic pollution crisis rears its ugly head at every step of the plastic supply chain, starting with small plastic manufacturing pellets infiltrating our waterways, parks and oceans,” said Udall, author of the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. “Trillions of plastic pellets leak into our environment from lax plastic producers and shippers, and the problem is only getting worse as big oil corporations ramp up their investment in plastic as their path to future profit. It’s time to end the avalanche of plastic pellets damaging wildlife and the livelihoods of entire American communities that depend on healthy rivers, streams and beaches. We can put simple solutions into action today to prevent plastic pellets from continuing to pollute and damage our health—we have no more time to waste.”
The risks of discharging these plastic pellets are enormous and pollution attributed to them has been documented for several decades with little to no enforcement against these spills. In 2019, Formosa Plastic agreed to spend $50 million on local environmental clean-up projects in Texas to address decades of spills – the largest settlement ever in a citizen clean-water-suit. Formosa also agreed to be held to a zero-discharge standard for plastic pellets.
In South Carolina, two citizens groups filed a pellet case in March against Frontier Logistics, a major shipper of resin pellets, for a major spill in Charleston Harbor in 2019 along with smaller spills. Just last month, a cargo ship on the Mississippi River in New Orleans was involved in a major pellet spill, further complicated by confusion over which federal or state agency is responsible for responding. Far more often, however pellets leak from negligent or lax control at industrial and transportation sites due to a failure of federal or state oversight officials to enforce pellet practices and loose industry self-policing. Citizen lawsuits have been necessary because federal and state authorities have failed to act.
A coalition of 280 environmental, public health and community groups has petitioned the EPA to monitor and prevent pellet pollution, including implementing a zero-discharge standard for pellets.
The Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act requires the EPA to finalize a rule within 60 days to:
  • Prohibit the discharge of plastic pellets or other pre-production plastic materials from facilities and sources that make, use, package, or transport those materials; and;
  • Update all existing permits and standards of performance to reflect those prohibitions.
The full text of this legislation can be found here. Learn more about the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act here.
“We keep seeing more and more evidence of plastic particles finding their way into our rivers, lakes and oceans, posing risks to sea life and, potentially, to our health,” said Jon Devine, director of federal water policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “This measure would be a meaningful step forward to reduce that harmful pollution. It’s long overdue and if the industry wants to be a constructive partner it should join with us in supporting it.”
“Plastic pellets are an uncontrolled scourge that fouls waterways and harms wildlife. This important legislation holds EPA to account to stem the tide of this pervasive and preventable pollutant,” said Julie Teel Simmonds, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Trillions of plastic pellets are released into our oceans every year and plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050. We need to hold polluters accountable for the irreparable damage they’re doing to our oceans.”
“Right now, the only thing stopping plastics manufacturers from discharging hundreds of thousands of metric tons of plastic pellets into our waterways are their voluntary commitments, and that just isn’t good enough,” said Doug Cress, vice president for conservation at Ocean Conservancy. “Recently published research confirms that voluntary commitments have fallen far short of what we need to do to tackle the ocean plastics crisis. Regulating plastic pellet discharge – just as we regulate dumping of other pollutants – should not be up for debate, especially when the ocean plastics crisis is so dire.”
“We applaud Senator Udall for introducing the Plastic Pellet Free Waters Act, which would support critically important efforts to prevent plastic pollution from harming people and the environment,” said Roberta Elias, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at World Wildlife Fund US. “Scientists are increasingly concerned about the ongoing discharge of plastic into nature and its impacts on ecosystems and communities. The provisions in this legislation are needed to better protect public health and to shift incentives and funding schemes away from those that favor virgin plastic production and use toward those that minimize waste and encourage reliance on recycled content.”
$1,603,544 in Coronavirus Penalties Announced by OSHA
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Oct. 15, 2020, OSHA has cited 112 establishments for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $1,603,544.
OSHA inspections have resulted in the agency citing employers for violations, including failures to:
OSHA has already announced citations relating to 85 establishments, which can be found at dol.gov/newsroom. In addition to those establishments, the 27 establishments below have received coronavirus-related citations totaling $381,388 from OSHA relating to one or more of the above violations from Oct. 9 to Oct. 15, 2020. OSHA provides more information about individual citations at its Establishment Search website, which it updates periodically.
Establishment Name
Wintonbury Care Center LLC
The Children's Center of Hamden Inc.
Chelsea Place Care Center LLC
Trinity Hill Care Center LLC
SecureCare Options LLC
Rocky Hill
Alden-Valley Ridge Rehabilitation and Health Care Center Inc.
Greystone Healthcare Management Corp.
Lutheran Senior Services
Conagra Brands Inc.
Andover Subacute and Rehab Center Services One Inc.
New Jersey
Clark Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
New Jersey
St. Joseph's University Medical Center Inc.
Cedar Grove
New Jersey
Emerson Convalescent Center
New Jersey
Humc Opco
New Jersey
Care One at Livingston Assisted Living
New Jersey
Sinai Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare LLC
New Jersey
Prime Healthcare Services-St. Mary's Passaic LLC
New Jersey
Hackensack Meridian Medical Group, Primary Care
Red Bank
New Jersey
Atrium Post-Acute Care of Wayneview
New Jersey
Sapphire HC LLC
Briarcliff Manor
New York
Montefiore Medical Center
New York
Gilani Medical Services PC
New York
Haven Manor Health Care Center LLC
Far Rockaway
New York
Jawonio Inc
New York
New York
GEC Youngstown Management LLC
JBS Green Bay Inc.
Green Bay
A full list of what standards were cited for each establishment – and the inspection number – are available here. An OSHA standards database can be found here.
Resources are available on the agency's COVID-19 webpage to help employers comply with these standards.
PA DEP Maintains Permitting Efficiency, Environmental Protection Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is continuing its efforts to maintain environmental protections and even increased permitting efficiency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Department staff have taken final action on nearly 20,000 permit applications since March. DEP used innovative cloud-based tools and Governor Tom Wolf’s ongoing e-Permitting initiative to improve efficiency while protecting the environment.
“Thanks to the tireless work of staff, DEP is processing 94 percent of applications within the Permit Decision Guarantee timeframe,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It is a testament to the dedication of DEP staff that they are demonstrating high performance standards despite the tumult caused by the pandemic.”
Since telework began in March 2020, DEP has processed 19,971 permit applications and authorizations. For applications covered by the PDG, DEP processed 4,975 applications, with 4,663 (94 percent) within the Permit Decision Guarantee (PDG) timeframe.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, DEP staff have ensured that permit applications are thoroughly reviewed,” said McDonnell. “Through new technology solutions like the OnBase permit application submissions, we are improving the efficiency of our reviews while still ensuring compliance with environmental laws and regulations.”
DEP launched the OnBase permit submission tool in June 2020 to better help businesses and streamline permit review. Since the tool was launched, there have been more than 2,000 applications submitted. Throughout the Wolf administration, DEP has worked to increase availability of online permit application tools, including common permits like Chp. 105 wetland and waterway encroachment permits.
Guidance for the OnBase permit application tool can be found here.
Instructions for applicants to submit permit fees can be found here.
Updated MFIRE Software for Modeling Fire and Contaminant Spread
Mining engineers now have a fully updated software program – MFIRE – to model fire and contaminant spread in their underground mines. By offering a more accessible program to simulate fires underground, researchers at the Pittsburgh Mining Research Division (PMRD) of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have given mining engineers a valuable tool to conduct fire emergency planning, as well as test if ventilation controls can contain a fire.
Using the MFIRE computer modeling program, users can perform normal ventilation network planning as well as dynamic underground mine fire and contaminant spread simulation. The program is used for mine fire emergency training and planning as well as fire risk assessment.
Originally released in 1977 as a DOS-based program by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the software has been completely rewritten in the C++ operating language and packaged into a dynamic link library—meaning it contains code and data that can be used by other programs, making it easy for all mining engineers to adopt.
Using MFIRE, engineers can understand where in a mine that smoke and toxic gases could spread, whether designated mine escapeways could be compromised by smoke and toxic gases from the fire, and what ventilation control methods could be used to reduce the fire damage in the event of a mine fire.
To access the simulation portion of the software, users can construct the ventilation network (layout of the airways), then enter ventilation parameters (such as resistances, fan curves, and elevations), and thermal properties for heat transfer. The user can then specify any size of fire at any location of the mine to simulate spread and contamination.
You can download MFIRE from the NIOSH Mining website. More information can also be found about the NIOSH Mining Program.
Contractor Fined More than $38,000 for Multiple Job Safety Violations
Oregon OSHA has fined a general contractor in Roseburg more than $38,000 for multiple serious job safety violations, including repeatedly failing to follow the minimum requirements to protect workers from fall hazards that could kill them.
The division cited Mid Oregon Builders LLC following an inspection prompted by a confidential complaint. The inspection included an examination of work activity at residential construction sites in Sutherlin, Winston, and Roseburg; interviews of employees and a supervisor; and a review of the company's recordkeeping practices.
In one violation, the company failed to follow requirements to implement adequate fall protection systems – such as personal fall arrest or guardrail systems – where workers are exposed to falling six feet or more to a lower level. One example involved roofing work at a jobsite in Sutherlin, where the company left employees in danger of potentially falling at least 13 feet.
The failure to comply with Oregon OSHA's six-foot trigger-height requirements was a repeat violation by Mid Oregon Builders. In fact, it was the fourth such violation committed by the company since October 2018.
Under Oregon OSHA's rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat offenses. In this case, the division cited Mid Oregon Builders $36,000 for not ensuring employees are protected from falling when working six feet or more above a lower level.
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.
“Our fall protection requirements are designed to prevent serious injury or death, and they have proven effective at protecting workers," said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “Repeatedly failing to take them seriously demonstrates a lack of responsibility and serves only one purpose – to further put lives at risk."
The citation against Mid Oregon Builders proposes a total fine of $38,390. In addition to the repeat violation, the citation includes the following four serious violations:
  • The company did not ensure employees were trained by a competent person qualified in the use and operation of fall protection systems, such as guardrail systems and personal fall arrest systems. Proposed penalty: $490.
  • The company did not take all reasonable steps to provide adequate fall protection and to ensure employees used protective systems while working on elevated surfaces so they could safely accomplish their work. Proposed penalty: $1,400.
  • The employer did not provide copies of injury and illness records for 2019 in a timely manner. Proposed penalty: $150.
  • The employer did not enter each recordable injury or illness on the proper documents in a timely manner for 2018 and 2019. Proposed penalty: $350.
The citation issued against Mid Oregon Builders includes a standard penalty reduction based on the small size of the company. In addition to the increase in the penalty for the repeat violation, the fine amount reflects upward adjustments for the company's poor faith and negative history.
In addition to its enforcement activities, Oregon OSHA offers employers resources to help improve workplace safety and health. These resources include the division's Fall Protection Suite of online video training and its A-to-Z topic page about fall protection.
Significant Link Found Between Air Pollution and Neurological Disorders
Air pollution was significantly associated with an increased risk of hospital admissions for several neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias, in a long-term study of more than 63 million older U.S. adults, led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The study, conducted with colleagues at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, is the first nationwide analysis of the link between fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution and neurodegenerative diseases in the U.S. The researchers leveraged an unparalleled amount of data compared to any previous study of air pollution and neurological disorders.
The study was published online October 19, 2020 in The Lancet Planetary Health.
“The 2020 report of the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care has added air pollution as one of the modifiable risk factors for these outcomes,” said Xiao Wu, doctoral student in biostatistics at Harvard Chan School and co-lead author of the study. “Our study builds on the small but emerging evidence base indicating that long-term PM2.5 exposures are linked to an increased risk of neurological health deterioration, even at PM2.5concentrations well below the current national standards.”
Researchers looked at 17 years’ worth (2000–2016) of hospital admissions data from 63,038,019 Medicare recipients in the U.S. and linked these with estimated PM2.5 concentrations by zip code. Taking into account potential confounding factors like socioeconomic status, they found that, for each 5 microgram per cubic meter of air (μg/m3) increase in annual PM2.5 concentrations, there was a 13% increased risk for first-time hospital admissions both for Parkinson’s disease and for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. This risk remained elevated even below supposedly safe levels of PM2.5 exposure, which, according to current EPA standards, is an annual average of 12 μg/m3 or less.
Women, white people, and urban populations were particularly susceptible, the study found. The highest risk for first-time Parkinson’s disease hospital admissions was among older adults in the northeastern U.S. For first-time Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias hospital admissions, older adults in the Midwest faced the highest risk.
“Our U.S.-wide study shows that the current standards are not protecting the aging American population enough, highlighting the need for stricter standards and policies that help further reduce PM2.5 concentrations and improve air quality overall,” said Antonella Zanobetti, principal research scientist in Harvard Chan School’s Department of Environmental Health and co-senior author of the study. 
Liuhua Shi, research assistant professor at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, was a co-lead author and Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, assistant professor in environmental health sciences at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, was a co-senior author.
Other Harvard Chan School authors included Mahdieh Danesh Yazdi, Danielle Braun, Yaguang Wei, Yun Wang, Joel Schwartz, and Francesca Dominici.
This study was supported by the Health Effects Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute on Aging, and the HERCULES Center. Research described in this article was done under contract to the Health Effects Institute, an organization jointly funded by the EPA and some motor vehicle and engine manufacturers.
1,275 Miles Added to the National Trail System
U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced 30 new national recreation trails in 25 states, adding more than 1,275 miles to the National Trails System. Secretary Bernhardt made the announcement from Lake Mead National Recreation Area, where he designated 76 miles of the Colorado River within Lake Mead National Recreation Area as a national water trail. The newly designated Mohave National Water Trail begins where the Black Canyon National Water Trail ends, providing water recreation opportunities for 106 miles along the Colorado River.
The announcement is in addition to the 370 miles of national recreation trails that were designated in 2018, bringing the Administration’s total to 49 national recreation trails added, spanning 1,645 miles.
“I encourage Americans to get outside, enjoy our incredible public lands and visit a nearby national recreation trail. Spanning more than 83,000 miles, larger than the interstate highway system, the National Trails System provides easy access to a wide variety of outdoor experiences,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “The Trump Administration is committed to expanding public access to the outdoors, so more Americans have the opportunity and ability to experience it in all of its splendor.”
The new designations advance the Administration’s priority to increase public access to outdoor recreational opportunities in alignment with Secretary’s Order 3366. Interior-managed outdoor recreation activities support more than 452,000 jobs and account for more than $58 billion in economic output across the country.
“American Trails promotes and maintains the database of our country’s National Recreation Trails (NRT) and applauds this new slate of Secretarial designations from the Department of the Interior," said NRT Executive Director Mike Passo. "The NRT program brings vibrancy to the National Trail System by uniquely highlighting trails that are accessible, relatable, and serve a wide diversity of our nation's public. With these designations, the NRT database at AmericanTrails.org exceeds 1,300 trails."
“American Hiking Society welcomes the designation of 30 new National Recreation Trails that will create enhanced recreational opportunities for hikers and all types of trail users," said American Hiking Society Executive Director Kate Van Waes. "Each trail selected to receive this honor must support a diversity of users, reflect its region, and be among America's best trails, all qualities that benefit the hiking community.”
"Americans are enjoying close-to-home recreation and thanks to our amazing National Trails System, they have even more places to explore. With a 75% increase in bike ridership on trails this year, we commend the Department of the Interior for this expansion and granting our nation more access to the outdoors," said PeopleForBikes President and CEO Jenn Dice. "Thanks to these initiatives, we're getting closer to meeting the needs of a fast-growing community of people outdoors and on bikes finding joy, freedom and health on our trails nationwide."
The National Trails System, which includes national scenic, national historic, and national recreation trails, offers an abundance of scenic, historic, and recreation trails for outdoor enjoyment on America’s public lands. The system promotes preservation, public access, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas, and historic resources of the United States.
The National Recreation Trails program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of federal and nonprofit partners. The designation of a national recreation trail can be done by either the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture on an existing local or regional trail with the consent of the federal, state, local, nonprofit or private entity that has jurisdiction over the trail.
The trail's managing agency or organization must apply for the distinction. Each of the newly designated trails will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers and a letter of recognition from Secretary Bernhardt.
Secretary Bernhardt designated the following trails as national recreation trails:
Arizona & Nevada
The 76-mile long Mohave Water Trail stretches along the Arizona and Nevada shoreline of Lake Mohave and the Colorado River below Davis Dam to Laughlin/Bullhead City. The water trail provides access to sandy beaches, scenic desert areas, and unique historic sites, including submerged cultural resources. Boat rentals, shuttle and guide service for paddle craft, scuba diving, fishing, camping, and overnight accommodation and restaurants are available at two marinas and in Laughlin and Bullhead City.
Located in Cheaha State Park, the Doug Ghee Accessible Trail (Bald Rock Boardwalk) is a 0.3-mile boardwalk trail that allows users of all abilities to journey through the enchanted hardwood forested foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Interpretive signs along the accessible boardwalk unfold the history, culture, and natural history of Cheaha Mountain. This unique boardwalk invites and enables all guest to embrace the natural wonder and beauty of the Bald Rock Overlook located at the end of the boardwalk.
The 1.5-mile-long Amboy Crater Trail takes hikers through a sprawling lava field to the top of the iconic Amboy cinder cone volcano. The view from the 984-foot rim will awe those who take in the vastness of the Mojave Desert, where faraway cars on the desert highway appear to be miniature toys against this epic landscape.
The Staunton State Park Loop Trail System is an 18.8-mile loop that gives visitors a glimpse of everything Colorado has to offer. From expansive views of sprawling meadows to mountain vistas to diverse wildlife, the Staunton State Park Scenic Loop Trail System is a true gem of Colorado.
Florida & Georgia
The majestic 235-mile Suwanee river begins just below the Okefenokee national wildlife refuge in southeast Georgia. The meandering waterway then coils through the heart of north central Florida, ending in the lower Suwannee national wildlife refuge on the gulf coast. Steeped in rich culture and history, this beloved river remains a wild natural wonder with endless delights for adventurous explorers.
The Des Plaines River Trail – Lake County is a 31.4-mile, scenic multi-use trail that spans nearly the entire length of Lake County, Illinois. Meandering along the Des Plaines River, the regional gravel trail is open for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling on some sections in the winter. The trail follows the Des Plaines River’s edge from Wadsworth, Illinois south to where it connects to the Cook County Forest Preserve Trail.
The panhandle pathway is a 22-mile rail-trail corridor running through Pulaski And Cass Counties, Indiana. The trail follows the historic rail path of the Pennsylvania railroad line through farmland, shady wooded areas, the beginning of the Wabash valley, and across the Tippecanoe river. The trail provides wide views of farmland and a dedicated prairie preserve. The panhandle pathway is ideal for walking, hiking, running, biking and skating.
Well maintained by volunteers, the panhandle pathway is a lovely rural experience offering new things to see and hear on every visit.
As the seventh longest rail trail in the nation, the 95-mile flint hills state park trail runs from Osawatomie, Kansas in the east to Herington, Kansas in the west. The trail passes through river bluffs, riparian zones, agricultural fields and the last remaining remnant of the tall grass prairie. The trail roughly follows the route of the Santa Fe national historic trail and forms a component of the American Discovery trail.
Migrants mile is a self-guided nature and fitness trail that offers wildlife viewing throughout the year. It traverses a variety of habitats, including freshwater marsh, woodland, and sand prairie. Waterfowl, herons, egrets and shorebirds frequent area wetlands. Eleven markers along the trail highlight both fitness information and natural features to explore.
The outlet campground trail system is composed of three individual trails intertwined to provide a little over three miles of outdoor recreational experiences for campers, as well as, the community of Osage County, Kansas. The trail system provides a half-mile of paved surface accessible to the people with disabilities in addition to another 2.5-miles of compacted soil and gravel trail.
As Kansas’ first state-managed rail trail, the prairie spirit rail-trail gives users a 51-mile tour through tallgrass prairie, woodlands, agricultural fields and eight small rural communities combined with country hospitality. The trail connects with a system of trails including the flint hills state park trail and the Southwind Trail, creating a network of recreation opportunities.
The Manhan Rail Trail is a 6-mile, paved multi-use path that traverses Easthampton, Massachusetts. The trail provides spectacular views of mount tom, the oxbow, and several flourishing ponds. The trail provides easy access to a vibrant downtown and restored mill housing studios, restaurants and shops, Pascommuck Trust conservation areas, arcadia wildlife sanctuary, city parks, and the Manhan rail trail millennium mural.
The flint river water trail is a 73-mile water trail that provides a variety of recreational experiences and opportunities by connecting users to natural, cultural, and historic features along a safe and accessible river trail. It brings about awareness for stewardship of the flint river and surrounding lands. The water trail crosses through two counties, natural areas, and an urban core, and is available to the hundreds of thousands of residents within an hour’s drive.
The shiawassee river water trail is an 88-mile long navigable waterway of central michigan. This trail provides paddlers with a multitude of natural, historical, and cultural experiences. The trail’s proximity to the million-plus population within a half-day’s drive to any trail segment enables close-to-home outdoor recreation and readily accessible communion with nature for everyone.
Minnesota & Wisconsin
The St. Louis river estuary water trail provides a unique opportunity to explore one of the world’s largest freshwater estuaries. A major tributary to lake superior, the trail covers 16.5 miles of the st. Louis river shoreline and over 12,000 acres and sports 11 distinct routes that cover 73 miles. Visitors can immerse themselves in the river’s varied landscapes ranging from the working port of duluth and superior to complex, diverse, wild ecosystems.
The spyglass hill trail is a 22-mile, multi-purpose trail that winds along the u.s. army corps of engineers enid lake shoreline. The spyglass hill trail provides moderately hilly terrain with rock out crops and scenic views of enid lake. The trail runs through ford’s well campground, which serves as the trail’s center point. Ford’s well campground offers trail users a spot to rest and camp and enjoy the history and scenery of the trail.
New Jersey
The Musconetcong watershed national water trail promotes recreational access in the Musconetcong watershed. The Musconetcong river begins at lake hopatcong and runs 42 miles down to the Delaware river. Surrounded by rugged highland ridges, the river flows by state and county parks, historic hamlets, nature preserves, and one of the region's most scenic agricultural valleys. Located in northwestern new jersey, the Musconetcong watershed provides a much-needed opportunity for recreating in natural, historical, and agricultural landscapes near a metropolitan area where 20 million people live.
North Carolina
The smoky mountain Blueways Trail is 167 miles of waterways in the little Tennessee river basin. The natural landscape of the little Tennessee river basin has unparalleled beauty, diverse outdoor recreation opportunities, and a string of private and public infrastructure in place for outdoor recreationist. The 1,800 square mile basin contains 2,500 miles of streams and rivers and 18,000 acres of lakes. These waters, used by residents as well as millions of visitors, provide both economic viability and a natural, healthy environment for physical and mental revitalization.
The great guernsey trail is a 7-mile, paved rail trail that occupies a former CSX railroad
corridor through rural wooded countryside. Because it parallels leatherwood creek for much of its route, the trail provides a great opportunity for viewing waterfowl and bald eagles. Rabbits and other local wildlife have been known to make appearances along the trail, which is open to walkers, joggers, bicyclists, roller-bladers, and cross-country skiers.
The three miles of trails at the ray Harral Nature Park offer a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to get out of the house and explore. The trail system at the ray harral nature park provides a great chance to hike, walk pets, trail run, mountain bike, and view wildlife.
The Tualatin River is a relatively slow, meandering river that is ideal for beginner paddlers and families. The water trail flows from west to east, starting in the coastal mountains and ending at the confluence with the willamette river with public facilities providing services along the trail.
Window cliffs trail provides a unique showcase of rare geological features and plant populations placed throughout a challenging but rewarding 2.7-mile roundtrip hike. The trail traverses through the cane creek gorge to reach some of the most unique rock formations in tennessee. Trail users ascend to the top of the cliffs, where they are greeted with a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape.
The knobby knees trail is located in liberty municipal park in liberty, texas. It is a gateway into the bottomland hardwood forests of trinity river national wildlife refuge. From this trail, visitors can explore nine miles of trail network. Several scenic areas await, including palmer bayou boardwalk, josie lake, sycamore swales, and the sandbars of the trinity river.
The trinity river paddling trail is located in the middle of america’s fourth largest metro area with a population of 7.5 million people. Traversing peaceful countryside and the bustle of world-class cities, this texas-sized paddling trail covers 130 river miles, spanning nine cities and three counties. Twenty-one official launch sites along its length allow access to three major river tributaries, the clear fork, west fork, and elm fork, as well as 40 miles of the main stem of the trinity river.
This trail follows a perennial clear stream for two miles along the Grandstaff Canyon bottom. The trail is in a classic riparian setting, rare in the desert region of Moab. The canyon itself empties into the Colorado River and is directly across from arches national park. The trail is surrounded by high sandstone cliffs along its entire length. The trail ends at morning glory natural bridge, which at 243 feet long, has the sixth-longest natural rock span in the united states. The canyon is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and school groups from Moab as part of the area’s environmental education programs.
Moab brands is a system of eighteen multiple interconnecting mountain bike trails, totaling over 31 miles, for riders of all abilities. Trail difficulty levels range from a children's enclosed ‘play and practice’ area to trails which challenge the most experienced riders. Trails range from easy slickrock to challenging steep terrain. All of the trails offer great views of the Moab area's iconic landscape such as arches national park, the Moab red rock country and the La Sal mountains.
The Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail is an 8.5-mile, mostly paved hiking and biking trail located on southwestern Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula. The trail traverses’ beaches, grassy dunes, transitional wetlands and forest groves. The trail also offers the opportunity to explore public art and artifacts from the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery as it offers easy access points and is accessible to people with disabilities for most of its length.
West Virginia
The 57.7-mile Ohio River Water Trail provides accessible recreation opportunities to residents and visitors of Parkersburg, West Virginia. There are 13 river access points with ample parking and boat ramps, half of which are accessible for people with disabilities. Paddlers on the Ohio River Water Trail can feel a sense of remoteness and find natural beauty. The Ohio River offers abundant wildlife viewing, as 200 bird species, 100 fish species, and 25 mammal species call the river home. There are three islands that are part of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which allow visitors to pull their canoes and kayaks up onto the shore and explore these islands on foot during the day.
The 52-mile Heart of Vilas County Paved Bike Trail System provides users a ticket to the beauty and heritage of northern Wisconsin’s wilderness. The paved, carefully maintained system runs through a swatch of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, connecting the communities of St. Germain, Sayner-Star Lake, Boulder Junction, and Manitowish Waters in Vilas County, and Mercer in Iron County. The multiuse trail is one of the longest paved trails in Wisconsin.
The immensely popular Chippewa River Water Trail courses through historic downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The 4.2-mile water trail flows through an urban landscape endowed with natural beauty including clean water, strong fisheries, native grasses and trees, sandstone cliffs, and cave formations. The Chippewa River Water Trail provides a conduit for paddlers to retrace the former logging paths of the mid-1800s and understand the river’s role as an economic and cultural driver for the city.
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Environmental Resource Center Update
The health and wellbeing of our employees, customers and our communities is what matters most to all of us. To continue to serve you, our seminars have been converted to live online webcasts. You can find a list of upcoming live webcasts at this link.
If you have enrolled in a seminar in October through December, in most cases the seminar will be held on approximately the same dates and at the same times via online webcast. We will contact you by phone or email regarding the details on how to attend the class. On-site training and consulting services are proceeding as usual. If you wish to convert these to remote services, please call your Environmental Resource Center representative or customer service at 800-537-2372.
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