January 31, 2022
As part of the comprehensive Strategic Roadmap to confront the human health and environmental risks of PFAS, the EPA announced the automatic addition of four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory
TRI data are reported to EPA annually by facilities in certain industry sectors, including federal facilities, that manufacture, process, or otherwise use TRI-listed chemicals above certain quantities. The data include quantities of such chemicals that were released into the environment or otherwise managed as waste. Information collected through the TRI allows communities to learn how facilities in their area are managing listed chemicals. The data collected also help inform EPA’s efforts to better understand the listed substances. Learn more about TRI reports at Environmental Resource Center’s SARA Title III - How to Complete (TRI) Form R Reports Webcast
“We will use every tool in our toolbox to protect our communities from PFAS pollution,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “Requiring companies to report on how these PFAS are being managed, recycled, or released is an important part of EPA’s comprehensive plan to fill critical data gaps for these chemicals and take meaningful action to safeguard communities from PFAS.”
The Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides the framework for adding additional PFAS to the TRI each year. For TRI Reporting Year 2022 (reporting forms due by July 1, 2023), reporting is required for four additional PFAS.
Among other provisions, section 7321(c) of the NDAA identifies certain regulatory activities that automatically add PFAS or classes of PFAS to the TRI beginning January 1 the following year, and the agency’s finalization of a toxicity value is one of the triggering actions.
In April 2021, EPA finalized a toxicity value for perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) (Chemical Abstracts Service registry number (CASRN) 375-73-5) and potassium perfluorobutane sulfonate (CASRN 29420-49-3); therefore, these substances have been added to TRI. PFBS-based compounds are replacement chemicals for PFOS, a chemical that was voluntarily phased out by the primary U.S. manufacturer by 2002. PFBS has been identified in the environment and consumer products, including surface water, wastewater, drinking water, dust, carpeting and carpet cleaners, and floor wax.
EPA previously updated the Code of Federal Regulations with PFAS that were added to the TRI on January 1, 2021, pursuant to section 7321(c) of the NDAA and their being regulated by an existing significant new use rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (see 40 CFR 721.10536). EPA has since determined that one additional PFAS, CASRN 65104-45-2, is designated as “active” on the TSCA Inventory and is covered by the SNUR. Therefore, this substance has also been added to the TRI pursuant to the NDAA.
Additionally, under NDAA section 7321(e), EPA must review CBI claims before adding any PFAS to the TRI list whose identity is subject to a claim of protection from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(a). EPA previously identified one PFAS, CASRN 203743-03-7, for addition to the TRI list based on the NDAA’s provision to include certain PFAS upon the NDAA’s enactment (section 7321(b)(1)); however, due to a confidential business information (CBI) claim related to its identity this PFAS was not included on the TRI list until EPA completed its review of the CBI claim. This PFAS was included in updates to the confidential status of chemicals on the TSCA Inventory published by EPA in October 2021
, and thus was added to the TRI list due to the CBI declassification.
As of January 1, 2022, facilities which are subject to reporting requirements for these chemicals should start tracking their activities involving these PFAS as required by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. Reporting forms for these PFAS will be due to EPA by July 1, 2023, for calendar year 2022 data.
EPA continues to act on Administrator Regan’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap, announced in October 2021
, a plan that delivers on the agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment and answers the call for action on these persistent and dangerous chemicals. In addition to continuing to add PFAS to the TRI
, EPA also will soon announce a series of PFAS test orders
that will require PFAS manufacturers to provide the agency with toxicity data and information on PFAS.
NPDES 2022 General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities Issued
EPA is finalizing the 2022 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activities. The final permit will replace the 2017 CGP that will expire at midnight on February 16, 2022. EPA is issuing this permit for five (5) years to provide permit coverage to eligible operators in all areas of the country where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority.
The final permit can be found here
NCDOL Releases Workplace Fatality Count for 2021
Struck-by incidents caused the largest number of non COVID-19 work-related deaths last year in the Tar Heel state, based on preliminary information released recently by the N.C. Department of Labor (NCDOL). The department’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Division inspected 49 non COVID-19 work-related fatalities in 2021. The division also inspected 25 cases reported as deaths related to COVID-19.
“Workplace fatalities keep me up at night,” Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson said. “Every time there is a workplace fatality, I am notified of it and no matter what the cause, it weighs heavy on my mind. Although I am encouraged by the overall reduction in workplace fatalities, we still have work to do. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, our department will continue to put safety and health first, provide education, training and compliance resources on high hazard industries and work to continue to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.”
The OSH Division tracks work-related deaths that fall within its jurisdictional authority so it can pinpoint where fatalities are occurring and place special emphasis on counties or regions where deaths on the job are happening. By tracking fatalities in real time, the department can also notify industries of any concerning patterns or trends identified and issue hazard alerts.
“The overall reduction in occupational fatalities from 2020 to 2021, during a time that the overall workforce increased in our state, is very encouraging,” Kevin Beauregard, director of the state OSH Division, said. “In particular, North Carolina experienced significant reductions in fatalities among employees in the construction and manufacturing industries, while employment in those industries increased. Unfortunately, COVID-19 work-related fatalities accounted for 33.8% of all work-related fatalities in North Carolina last year."
NCDOL began enforcement of OSHA’s COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) in July 2021. The aim of the ETS is to protect workers who provide healthcare or healthcare support services from COVID-19 in the workplace. The Healthcare standard will remain in effect in North Carolina until the OSH Division determines the standard is no longer necessary to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 hazards.
“Over 68% of the COVID-19 work-related fatalities investigated were associated with employees within the service industry, and the majority were employed in healthcare,” Beauregard said. “These standards were adopted with the specific purpose of reducing COVID-19 work-related illnesses and fatalities among healthcare workers. The primary goals of NCDOL’s OSH Division include reducing the rates of occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities.”
The OSH Division partners with businesses and organizations that represent some of the most hazardous industries through partnerships and alliances to heighten industry awareness and assist with education and training.
The services industry suffered the most work-related fatalities with 24 in 2021, two more than in 2020. Most of the services industry deaths were due to COVID-19. The construction industry had the second highest number of work-related deaths with 15, a decrease of 12 from the previous year. Manufacturing had the third highest number of work-related deaths with 10, five less than in 2020.
In addition, government had eight fatalities in 2021, a decrease from nine in 2020. There were six fatalities in the transportation and public utility industry, an increase from five in 2020. Agriculture, forestry and fishing experienced five fatalities in 2021, a decrease from 13 in 2020. There were also three work-related fatalities in wholesale trade, an increase from two in 2020. Retail trade experienced three workplace fatalities.
There were no work-related fatalities in 65 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Guilford county led with 11 workplace fatalities, followed by Mecklenburg with 10. Wake, Buncombe, Wilson, Henderson, Cumberland, Watauga and Forsyth experienced three fatalities each. Edgecombe, Catawba, Wayne, Cherokee, Union, Lincoln and Cabarrus experienced two fatalities each. Seventeen counties experienced one fatality.
Whites accounted for 24 of the 49 non COVID-19 work-related fatalities. Hispanics accounted for 16, Blacks for seven, Asians for one and Other for one. Men accounted for 46 deaths and women accounted for three non COVID-19 workplace deaths.
The state figures exclude certain fatalities that fall outside its jurisdictional authority. These include traffic accidents, which account for nearly half of all work-related deaths, as well as some homicides and suicides that are investigated by law enforcement agencies. The count also excludes fatalities investigated by federal OSHA and other exemptions in which the department does not have the authority to investigate, such as on farms with 10 or fewer employees.
Construction Company Fined Nearly $284,000 After Worker Falls to Death from Bridge
A Bellingham construction company is facing nearly $284,000 in fines for not ensuring safeguards were in place to keep workers from falling off the Beverly Railroad bridge spanning the Columbia River in Vantage, Wash.
A 39-year-old man fell approximately 60 feet from the bridge deck to the ground below last August while laying concrete curing blankets as part of a bridge restoration project.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
(L&I) cited Boss Construction, Inc., with two egregious serious willful violations for not ensuring workers were using fall protection. State inspectors determined that many of the workers did not use fall protection on the day of the incident and on multiple other days.
“Managers and a foreman were working side-by-side with workers—none of them wearing fall protection,” said Craig Blackwood, L&I’s assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health. “That tells us the employer knowingly allowed employees to work on the bridge without using the required safety equipment.”
Multiple employee interviews corroborated the lack of fall protection during the project and spoke to a lack of safety enforcement leading up to the fatal fall.
L&I inspectors observed a catenary line—a horizontal line anchored at each end that workers can attach to for safety—installed on only one side of the bridge deck. The line spanned approximately 2,600 feet, but did not span the entire 3,052 feet of the bridge. That left about 200 feet on each end on one side of the bridge without a line for workers to attach to as they walked on the bridge. The other side of the bridge had no catenary line and was completely unguarded for the full span. Guardrails had been removed several months prior to the incident leaving a flat, unguarded surface.
L&I also cited Boss Construction for not having a rescue boat immediately available and not having ring buoys with ropes or life vests that are required for workers not using fall protection while working over water.
The work on the bridge was being done under contract with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. In a separate incident, Parks was also fined for having an employee on the bridge without fall protection.
Oregon DEQ Issued 10 Penalties for Environmental Violations
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued 10 penalties totaling $83,261 in December for various environmental violations. A detailed list of violations and resulting penalties is at https://ordeq.org/enforcement
Fines ranged from $1,154 to $30,814. Alleged violations included illegal dumping, discharging raw sewage to local waterways, failing to monitor stormwater discharges and operating a dry cleaner and gas station without an air quality permit.
DEQ issued civil penalties to the following organizations:
- Althea C. Bradley, $6,420, Shady Cove, solid waste
- Blue Sky Martinizing, $1,800, Medford, air quality
- Calbee North America, $4,400, Boardman, air quality
- CDR Maguire Inc., $12,400, Medford, asbestos
- City of The Dalles, $13,200, The Dalles, wastewater
- DAR USA Inc., $1,154, Medford, air quality
- Grain Craft Inc., $1,700, Pendleton, air quality
- Mondelez Global LLC, $9,873, Portland, stormwater
- Rogue Valley Stations Inc., $1,500, Ashland, air quality
- S. Army Corps of Engineers, $30,814, Eagle Point, solid waste
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. Learn more about these projects at https://ordeq.org/sep.
Penalties may also include orders requiring specific tasks to prevent ongoing violations or additional environmental harm.
Serious Lockout/Tagout Violations Led to Worker Fatality
A 42-year-old employee of a Crest Hill frozen-pizza manufacturer suffered a fatal injury while cleaning a machine on July 20, 2021.
An inspection by OSHA determined that Rich Products Corp.’s failure to implement energy control procedures – commonly known as lockout/tagout – exposed its third-shift sanitation workers to serious hazards.
OSHA issued one willful violation to the Buffalo, New York-based food manufacturer and proposed $145,027 in penalties
. The agency placed Rich Products in OSHA’s Severe Violator Program for a willful violation that led to an employee fatality. The company has an extensive history of OSHA violations nationwide.
“This preventable tragedy is another example of why employers must ensure lockout/tagout procedures are in place before allowing workers to clean or operate machinery,” said OSHA Chicago South Area Director James Martineck in Tinley Park. “Employers who fail to follow safety standards and train workers in operating procedures will be held accountable.”
Rich Products Corp. manufactures frozen pizza, desserts and other grocery items for food service, retail, in-store bakeries and delis. The company operates about 100 locations globally and reports annual sales exceeding $4 billion. The company employs about 375 people at its Crest Hills facility and more than 7,400 nationwide.
TCEQ Approves Fines Totaling $411,700
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently approved penalties totaling $386,913 against 30 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations.
Agreed orders were issued for the following enforcement categories: seven air quality, one multimedia, one municipal solid waste, five municipal wastewater discharge, seven public water system, three petroleum storage tank, and three water quality.
Default orders were issued for the following enforcement categories: one petroleum storage tank, and two municipal solid waste.
In addition, on January 25, 2022, the executive director approved penalties totaling $24,787 against 15 entities.
Worker Suffers Fatal Trauma at Midwest Tire Company
At the Abbotsford location of a popular Midwest tire sales-and-service provider, a worker mounting a new tire sustained fatal injuries after the tire came loose and struck him on July 28, 2021. A few weeks later, another worker from the same company suffered a similar fate at a Savage, Minnesota, location on Aug. 17, 2021.
After an investigation of the first incident, OSHA cited Pomp’s Tire Service – based in Green Bay – for one serious violation of standards for servicing multi-piece and single-piece rim wheels. OSHA has proposed $14,502 in penalties. The second incident is still under investigation by Minnesota OSHA.
“Like most fatal incidents, these tragedies could have been prevented if the employer took the necessary steps to protect their employees,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton. “Employers should develop an effective safety and health plan, and they are required to train workers on how to identify hazards and use required protective measures to help ensure their safety.”
Founded in 1939 in Green Bay, Pomp’s Tire Service has approximately 200 Midwest locations.
Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Post 2021 Annual Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses on February 1
Cal/OSHA is reminding California employers to post their 2021 annual summary of work-related injuries and illnesses, including those related to COVID-19, in a visible and easily accessible area at every worksite. The Form 300A summary must be posted each year from February 1 through April 30.
Instructions and form templates are available for download from Cal/OSHA’s Record Keeping Overview
. The overview gives instructions on completing both the log (Form 300) and annual summary (Form 300A) of work-related injuries and illnesses. The annual summary must be placed in a visible and easily accessible area at each worksite.
Employers that are required to record work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses must record a work-related COVID-19 fatality or illness like any other occupational illness. To be recordable, an illness must be work-related and result in one of the following:
- Days away from work
- Restricted work or transfer to another job
- Medical treatment beyond first aid
- Loss of consciousness
- A significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional.
If a work-related COVID-19 case meets one of these criteria, then covered employers in California must record the case on their 300, 300A and 301 or equivalent forms.
Posting the summary helps ensure workers are aware of work-related injuries and illnesses that occurred the previous year. Current and former employees and their representatives are entitled to a copy of the summary or the log upon request.
EPA Releases Screening Methodology to Evaluate Chemical Exposures and Risks to Fenceline Communities
TSCA requires EPA to evaluate all of a chemical’s conditions of use when conducting a risk evaluation. Under the previous Administration, the first 10 risk evaluations under TSCA generally did not assess air, water, or disposal exposures to the general population. Narrowing the scope of these risk evaluations left some chemical exposures to the general population unaccounted for. The approach to exclude certain exposure pathways also resulted in a failure to consistently and comprehensively abide by TSCA’s statutory direction to evaluate exposures to potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations, including fenceline communities that are near industrial facilities and may be disproportionately exposed to chemicals over long periods of time. If TSCA risk management rules are finalized for these substances without first evaluating these potential exposures, the rules could leave these communities less protected.
The Biden-Harris Administration reversed this policy in June 2021
. As an initial step to understanding risks to fenceline communities, EPA has developed version 1.0 of a screening methodology that will be used to further examine whether the policy decision to exclude air and water exposure pathways from the risk evaluations will lead to a failure to identify and protect fenceline communities.
“To protect human health and the environment, we must evaluate and understand all chemical exposures to communities, particularly historically underserved communities who have been disproportionately exposed to pollution for generations,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “The screening methodology released today will help ensure those communities are protected from any additional risk in the air or water.”
The proposed screening level methodology uses reasonably available data, information, and models to quantify environmental releases, evaluate exposures to fenceline communities and characterize risks associated with such releases and exposures for certain air and water pathways previously not evaluated in published risk evaluations.
The screening level methodology will next go through public and peer review, including by the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC). EPA will then use this feedback to modify the proposed screening level methodology, as appropriate. EPA plans to use the screening level methodology to determine the risks to fenceline communities from the air and water pathways that were not assessed previously for seven of the first ten chemicals for which EPA published risk evaluations. For the next 20 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation and beyond, EPA plans to expand this first version of the framework to include a method to address broader potential environmental justice concerns and cumulative or aggregate exposures to chemicals.
As part of the proposed screening level methodology, EPA has also provided three case study chemicals to illustrate the application of the proposed screening level methodology. Two case studies are provided for the air pathway screening level methodology (1-Bromopropane (1-BP) and Methylene Chloride (MC)) and two case studies are provided for the water pathway screening level methodology (MC and n-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)).
Once the screening methodology for a substance is completed, EPA will determine whether the risk management action being considered for that substance would address the unreasonable risks to fenceline communities that the methodology identified. As one hypothetical example, if the fenceline screening methodology identifies risks to fenceline communities located near manufacturing facilities of the substance, and the previously-published risk evaluation supports a ban on the manufacture of the substance, EPA could conclude that the unreasonable risk to fenceline communities would be addressed. As a second hypothetical example, if the fenceline screening methodology identifies an unreasonable risk to fenceline communities that cannot be addressed through the risk management rule for the substance that is supported by the previously-published risk evaluation, EPA could supplement the risk evaluation with additional analysis before proposing a risk management action for the substance.
EPA will hold a public virtual meeting
of the SACC on March 15-17, 2022, to peer review the screening level methodology. This review will ensure that the approach incorporates independent scientific advice and recommendations, and that EPA follows a transparent process. Information on registering to attend the public virtual meeting will be available in February 2022 on the SACC website
Written comments on the documents undergoing peer review should be submitted on or before February 22, 2022. Comments may be submitted to the public docket through www.regulations.gov
(Docket No. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2021-0415).
Contractor Fined $136,000 for Repeated Water Quality Violations
The Washington Department of Ecology has fined Hamilton Excavating, LLC $136,000 for repeated water quality and Construction Stormwater General Permit condition violations during construction activities at the Highland Terrace Subdivision in La Center.
The Battle Ground contractor is being fined for discharging polluted construction stormwater
into a tributary of the East Fork Lewis River. The company also failed to follow numerous best management practices required under its Construction Stormwater General Permit despite being offered technical assistance on at least nine separate occasions by Ecology and the city of La Center.
From November of 2020 to October of 2021, Ecology inspectors documented seven instances of polluted construction stormwater that found its way to a tributary of the East Fork Lewis River. Other ongoing permit violations included the non-submittal of Discharge Monitoring Reports, failure to notify Ecology of high sediment discharges, insufficient sediment controls, and destabilized soils and channels.
The East Fork Lewis River and its tributaries are home to Endangered Species Act-listed fish, including winter and summer steelhead, coho, chum, and fall chinook. Ecology, along with its public and private partners, have been working to improve water quality in the watershed through the East Fork Lewis River Partnership for Clean Water.
Stormwater runoff from construction sites can carry muddy water, debris, and chemicals into local waterways. Sediments, chemicals, and debris can harm aquatic life and reduce water quality. Ecology requires regulated construction sites like the Highland Terrace Subdivision to get coverage under the Construction Stormwater General Permit.
EPA Fined Cleaning Products Manufacturer for Clean Air Act Violations
The EPA will collect a $144,924 penalty from Fuller Industries, Inc., to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan Rule
The Great Bend, Kansas, company produces a variety of cleaning products. According to EPA, as part of its manufacturing of chemical cleaning products, Fuller Industries stores isobutane and propane, subjecting the company to regulations intended to protect workers and the surrounding community from accidental releases of regulated substances.
After inspecting Fuller Industries’ facility in 2019, EPA determined that the company failed to comply with several key release prevention requirements, including failure to develop adequate standard operating procedures; failure to establish procedures for ensuring appropriate inspections of piping; and failure to conduct certain safety reviews. In addition, EPA documented violations of hazard assessment and recordkeeping requirements.
In response to EPA’s findings, the company took the necessary steps to return the facility to compliance.
Isobutane and propane are flammable gases. High levels of exposure may lead to dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness, nausea, choking, and death.
The Clean Air Act’s
Risk Management Plan Rule regulations require facilities that use regulated toxic and/or flammable substances to develop a Risk Management Plan, which identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident; identifies steps a facility is taking to prevent an accident; and spells out emergency response procedures should an accident occur. These plans provide valuable information to local fire, police, and emergency response personnel to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in their community.
EPA has found that many regulated facilities are not adequately managing the risks that they pose or ensuring the safety of their facilities in a way that is sufficient to protect surrounding communities. Approximately 150 catastrophic accidents occur each year at regulated facilities. These accidents result in fatalities, injuries, significant property damage, evacuations, sheltering in place, or environmental damage. Many more accidents with lesser effects also occur, demonstrating a clear risk posed by these facilities.
Washington Contractor Fined $72,000 for Multiple Water Quality Violations
The Washington Department of Ecology is penalizing Milestone Companies $72,000 for multiple water quality violations during yearlong construction activities at the Woodbrook Townhomes project in Lacey.
On at least 12 occasions, the Lacey contractor discharged polluted stormwater
from the development site, despite warnings and technical assistance provided by Ecology and the city of Lacey. In addition, the company failed to report the violations, or follow best management practices required under its construction stormwater permit.
From September of 2020 to October of 2021, Ecology and city of Lacey inspectors documented numerous instances of polluted stormwater leaving the site including some that was mixed with paint and concrete. Other violations included failing to notify Ecology of high sediment discharges, unprotected inlets, unmaintained silt fences, destabilized soils, and discharge of unpermitted septic waste to ground waters.
Massachusetts Company Failed to Work Safely with Asbestos Residential Properties
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed Soriano Environmental, Inc., of Marlborough a $62,640 penalty for violations of asbestos regulations that occurred as part of the work it conducted at three residential properties located in Town of Brookline and the City of Newton.
In the fall of 2020, MassDEP approved emergency asbestos abatement waivers so that Soriano Environmental could abate 40 linear feet of asbestos-containing material on ductwork at the Taft Street home in Newton, 500 square feet of asbestos-containing tile at the Warren Street home in Newton, and 30 linear feet of asbestos-containing pipe insulation at a St. Paul Street apartment building in Brookline. In December 2020, MassDEP received a complaint regarding the asbestos abatement that had been completed at the Brookline site. A subsequent review found that Soriano had completed abatement work at all three sites but had failed to file the required Asbestos Notification Form and fee with MassDEP. State regulations require notification to MassDEP 10 working days before beginning any asbestos removal work so that the Department is aware of the removal work and can conduct inspections to ensure compliance with the regulations. Additionally, Soriano removed significantly more asbestos materials than was approved under the emergency waivers for each site.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company will pay $26,100 of the penalty with the balance suspended for one year provided it has no further violations, and the company must ensure that it performs all asbestos abatements in compliance with state regulations.
“As a licensed asbestos contractor, Soriano Environmental should be familiar with the abatement regulations and the requirements to notify MassDEP before any abatement work begins,” said Eric Worrall, Director of MassDEP’s Northeast Regional Office in Wilmington. “Asbestos is a known carcinogen and following the required notification and work practices is imperative to protect workers, tenants, and the public. As this settlement demonstrates, failure to follow the asbestos regulations will result in significant penalties.”
Property owners or contractors with questions about asbestos-containing materials, notification requirements, proper removal, handling, packaging, storage and disposal procedures, or the asbestos regulations are encouraged to contact the appropriate MassDEP Regional Office
MassDEP Levies $20,140 Fine for Asbestos Violations
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed Nahatan Development, LLC, of Newton a $20,140 penalty for violations of asbestos regulations that occurred as part of the demolition work it conducted at the site of the former St. Catherine Siena Convent, located at 253 Nahatan Street in the Town of Norwood.
Nahatan Development purchased the former convent with the intent to demolish the structure and build a condominium complex there. The company and its contractors abated some asbestos-containing materials, but during the demolition, asbestos-containing pipe insulation that was concealed in the interior walls became comingled with the general demolition debris at the site, contaminating the debris pile. MassDEP testing confirmed that the debris contained asbestos materials. During its investigation, MassDEP determined that the company failed to remove the asbestos-containing pipe insulation from the building prior to demolition, allowed dry pipe insulation to be stored on the ground, and failed to properly containerize the pipe insulation in leak-tight containers, as required by regulation.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company will pay $17,140 of the penalty with the balance suspended for one year provided it has no further violations, and the company must ensure that it performs all asbestos abatements in compliance with state regulations.
“Development companies must follow all abatement regulations when asbestos-containing materials are discovered before and during demolition and construction activities,” said Millie Garcia-Serrano, Director of MassDEP’s Southeast Regional Office in Lakeville. “Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and following the required work practices is imperative to protect both workers and the public. As this settlement demonstrates, failure to follow the asbestos regulations will result in significant penalties.”
EPA Recognizes Federal Green Challenge Winners for Conserving Resources and Promoting Efficiency
The EPA Recently announced national and regional awards to federal facilities for applying practical, cost-effective measures to conserve resources as part of the Federal Green Challenge
(FGC). The Challenge, which began in 2012, is a national effort under EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program to encourage agencies to reduce the federal government's environmental impact. Reducing the size of a facility’s environmental footprint conserves natural resources and reduces pollution that contributes to climate change.
“It’s going to take a whole-of-government approach to build a more sustainable future, and the awardees announced today are leading the charge,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These agencies are addressing the impacts of the climate crisis by reducing the use of natural resources, resulting in an estimated cost savings across the federal government of $36 million in 2019.”
For 2021, EPA congratulates its national award winner Bonneville Power Administration (Portland, Ore.) on winning the Adaptation Award for their response during the pandemic.
Regional winners include Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare (Little Rock, Ark.) in the category of Innovation, Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center (Bonham, Texas) in the category of Leadership, and Presidio Trust (San Francisco) in the category of Education and Outreach.
Over the lifespan of the program from 2012-2021, more than 400 federal agencies have made many different changes to become more sustainable. Some high-level achievements have resulted in over three million tons of waste being diverted from landfills and 3,000 tons of e-waste being recycled. Agencies have avoided purchasing 15,000 pounds of office paper by switching to electronic documents. The federal government has purchased more electric and hybrid vehicles, resulting in a reduced fleet distance traveled by 28 million miles. These efforts and more have resulted in approximately $200 million saved for American taxpayers.
Free Amazon HD 10 Tablet with RCRA and DOT Training
Annual training is required by 40 CFR 262.17(a)(7). Learn how to complete EPA’s new electronic hazardous waste manifest, and the more than 60 changes in EPA’s new Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. Environmental Resource Center’s Hazardous Waste Training
is available at nationwide locations, and via live webcasts. If you plan to also attend DOT Hazardous Materials Training
, call 800-537-2372 to find out how can get your course materials on an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet at no extra charge.
Trivia Question of the Week