In a memo from Department of Energy (DOE) Headquarters, Jessie Roberson, the DOE Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, informed Barbara Mazurowski, head of the DOE Rocky Flats Field Office, that the Department would no longer seek to ship plutonium from Rocky Flats, Colorado in the controversial DT-22 canisters.
The DT-22 is a 45-gallon container that cannot be certified for plutonium shipments because it fails the government's "crush test," and could rupture in a highway accident.
The DOE had given itself a "national security" exemption to allow
it to ship surplus plutonium from Rocky Flats in uncertified
DT-22s to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in
California and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The
Roberson memo halts that process.
FAA SEEKING $247,500 CIVIL PENALTY AGAINST AMERICAN AIRLINES FOR SHIPPING UNMARKED OXYGEN GENERATOR ABOARD FEDEX
The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed to assess a $247,500 civil penalty against American Airlines for offering an unmarked oxygen generator to Federal Express for transportation by air from New York to Tulsa, Okla., a violation of federal hazardous material regulations.
A chemical oxygen generator is classified as hazardous material.
The package containing the generator was not properly classed,
described, packed, marked, labeled and in condition for shipment
when it was offered to Federal Express on Aug. 21, 2001. The
shipment was carried onboard a Federal Express flight from JFK
airport in New York City to American's maintenance and
engineering center in Tulsa, where the violation was discovered
by American personnel. In addition, American failed to provide
response information and failed to ensure that each of its hazmat
employees was properly trained.
- June 15, 2002 - Under 40 CFR 61.70, reports on vinyl chloride emission source activities are due
- June 23, 2002 - Existing facilities subject to the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants from pesticide active ingredient production facilities must comply with Subpart MMM of 40 CFR 63
- June 30, 2002 - HAZMAT registration due
CCR WRITER V.2.0 RELEASED
The Consumer Confidence Report Writer (CCR Writer) software is designed to help water suppliers quickly create their consumer confidence reports (CCRs) according to the requirements for report content, format, and distribution given in the CCR Rule [40 CFR part 141 Subpart O].
This application takes users through all the sections of a consumer confidence report using a friendly graphical user interface, converts lab results into "CCR units," allows users to insert and edit EPA's recommended educational and mandatory text, and customize report text for specific situations.
For more details on what a consumer confidence report should contain, refer to the documents entitled: "Preparing Your Drinking Water Consumer Confidence Report: Guidance for Water Suppliers" (EPA-816-R-02-002).
To download CCR Writer v 2.0, visit
CAMEO IS AVAILABLE
A new version of the Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations software (CAMEOfm) is now available at http://www.epa.gov/ceppo/cameo
In addition to the program, users are encouraged to download the
manual which contains useful information for new users as well as
those who will be updating from previous versions of CAMEO.
Comments on CAMEO may be made via the CAMEO website at
EPA ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF LATEST TOXIC RELEASE INVENTORY; INCLUDES NEW "PBT" DATA
EPA issued its annual report on the amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment. The report shows that trends of declining overall releases are continuing. Total releases of chemicals nationwide decreased by about 700 million pounds during 2000, the latest year for which data are available. This year's report of the Toxics Release Inventory (or TRI) contains newly-included data on persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) chemicals, such as dioxins, mercury and PCBs, giving communities a more complete picture of the sources of chemicals in their environment. As reported to EPA, total chemical releases into the environment decreased nationwide from 7.8 billion pounds in 1999 to 7.1 billion pounds in 2000. Based on trends since the inception of TRI, chemical releases have decreased approximately 48 percent since 1988.
Looking at all chemical releases, approximately 27 percent of chemicals were released to air, 4 percent to water, and 69 percent to land on and off-site. As in previous years, releases from the metal mining industry in 2000 made up a substantial portion of all chemical releases - 47 percent or approximately 3.4 billion pounds. This was a decrease of over 14 percent from their releases in 1999. Releases from manufacturing industries accounted for 32 percent of all releases or about 2.3 billion pounds - a 2.6 decrease from 1999. About 16 percent of the releases were from electric utilities - about 1.15 billion pounds - achieving a 3 percent decrease from 1999.
The 2000 Toxic Release Inventory data and background information on the TRI program are available at http://www.epa.gov/tri. A special research tool called TRI EXPLORER is available on a link from the web page, enabling users to analyze the data by facility, chemical or industry; and at the county, state or national level. The availability of these data make it possible to gauge progress in reducing toxic chemical pollution.
In 1999, EPA required certain additional persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals, including dioxins, to be reported under TRI using a lower reporting threshold than the other TRI chemicals. In that 1999 action, the Agency also established lower reporting thresholds for 13 PBT chemicals already on the inventory.
In filing reporting year 2000 chemical reports, over 600 TRI reporting facilities took advantage of EPA's new TRI interactive, intelligent reporting software tool, called "TRI-ME" or "TRI Made Easy." The program, which assists facilities in determining and completing their TRI reporting obligations, was made available on a limited basis for 2000 reporting. It has been sent to all TRI reporting facilities for 2001 reporting. TRI-ME is designed both to simplify and expedite reporting, and to improve the quality of the data submitted to TRI.
The Toxics Release Inventory was established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. Under that legislation, signed into law by President Reagan, the TRI program requires industrial facilities to publicly report quantities of toxic chemicals annually released into the air, water and land. Overall, TRI includes information on releases and other waste management methods for over 650 toxic chemicals and chemical categories. The data available are based on reports from manufacturing industries, metal mines, certain coal mining activities, electrical utilities that burn coal and/or oil, hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities, chemical wholesale distributors, petroleum bulk plants and terminals and solvent recovery services. In total, this year's data are based on approximately 91,500 forms submitted by 23,500 facilities.
TRI annual reports reflect releases and other waste management
activities of chemicals, not exposures of the public to those
chemicals. The release estimates alone are not sufficient to
determine exposure or to calculate potential adverse effects on
human health and the environment. The determination of potential
risk depends upon many factors, including toxicity, chemical fate
after release, release location and population concentrations.
LANDFILL OPERATOR STRIVES TO PROMOTE TRUCK SAFETY, BUT SAYS ENFORCEMENT IS PROPERLY IN POLICE HANDS
The district manager of the Greenridge Landfill operated by Allied Waste Industries, Inc., says Allied has a voluntary transportation compliance program that exceeds the industry standard and adds that the company has been fully cooperative with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Pennsylvania State Police relating to recent truck driver arrests.
District Manager Mike Cozad took issue, however, with DEP's contention that the landfill somehow "caused" or "assisted" in the alleged violations. Several drivers that work for independent trucking companies recently were arrested by the State Police and charged with various violations as they were entering the Greenridge Landfill. The drivers were cited for allegedly having outstanding warrants or driving with suspended licenses.
"If these drivers violated the law, then they deserve to be arrested and charged," he said. "And, in fact, the State Police is the proper agency to be exercising authority in this regard. On our end, our contracts clearly state that we will take disciplinary action against any of our independent haulers if they don't comply with all applicable motor vehicle and environmental safety regulations. We inspect trucks as a part of our truck safety program but we don't have police powers and we certainly can't run record checks on drivers and arrest drivers found in violation of Motor Vehicle Code requirements."
Cozad added, "We are doing our level best to promote safety and comply with all regulations. We take complete responsibility for our company-owned vehicles and run quarterly checks on company-employed drivers, but we have limited access to the driving record of individuals who work for independent trucking companies. That's like suggesting that the local supermarket is responsible for the driving record of every trucker who makes a delivery to the grocery store."
Allied is one of numerous waste companies in Pennsylvania that have recently implemented voluntary transportation compliance plans. With DEP's agreement, industry members have been writing and adopting voluntary plans that include provisions for daily compliance checks, coordination with state and local police on detecting and correcting safety violations, education for haulers and facility personnel on environmental and safety issues, and penalties for repeat violators.
The Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association (PWIA), which represents private-sector waste disposal site operators and waste haulers, recently worked cooperatively with DEP, PENNDOT, the State Police, and others in a special task force that came up with measures to deal with transportation-related issues in the waste industry.
PWIA also supports legislation to require annual registration of trucks that carry waste to processing or disposal sites, prohibit sites from accepting waste from trucks without valid registration stickers, and give the state the right to revoke the transporter registration of repeat safety and environmental violators. Visit http://www.pawasteindustries.org for more information.