Be sure to check here first to find out what to add to your to do list for the next few weeks. (While helpful, please note that this list may not be inclusive of all deadlines affecting your facility and should not be relied upon as your only source of information.)
April 30, 2001: Fossil-fuel fired steam generating units subject to new source performance standards for electric utility steam generating units must submit quarterly reports for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and opacity emissions. (40 CFR 60.49a(i)-(j) and 60.49b(v))
May 4, 2001: Existing sources subject to the hazardous organic NESHAP for the synthetic organic chemical industry must comply with 40 CFR 63 Subparts F and G by this date (40 CFR 63.100(p)(1) and 63.100(p)(1)(ii), and 63.100(p)(2))
May 15, 2001: Producers, importers, and exporters of Class II controlled substances must submit a report to EPA on the production, import, and export of those chemicals during the previous quarter. (40 CFR 82.13(n))
May 19, 2001: Semiannual reports are due for sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant emission controls under 40 CFR 63, Subpart G, for synthetic organic chemical manufacturing industry production processes. (40 CFR 63.152(c)(1) and 63.152(d)(1))
May 26, 2001: Employers subject to process safety management
standards must update and revalidate the hazard analysis of their
process conducted pursuant to 29 CFR 1910.110(e)(1). (29 CFR
FAA PROPOSES $60,000 FINE AGAINST AMERICAN EAGLE AIRLINES, INC.
The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $60,000 civil penalty against American Eagle Airlines, Inc., Dallas, Texas, for allegedly violating U.S. Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.
The FAA alleges American Eagle knowingly offered Federal Express a one piece shipment containing hazardous materials for transportation by air from Chicago, Illinois, to Gwinn, Michigan.
The shipment was leaking when it arrived at the Federal Express sort facility at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It contained 22 nickel-cadmium aircraft batteries. The box did not contain any absorbent or cushioning materials. The poles on only one battery were protected from short circuits by a thin layer of clear tape. Each battery was tagged with an American Eagle "condemned" parts message.
American Eagle offered the hazardous materials for transportation
when they were not packaged, labeled, marked, classed, described,
documented, or in condition for shipment as required by
regulations. In addition, American Eagle failed to instruct each
employee having responsibility for the shipment of the
appropriate regulations, and the company failed to make emergency
response information available for use at all times the hazardous
materials were present.
FAA PROPOSES $60,000 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS FINE AGAINST APPLIED INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed to assess a $60,000 civil penalty against Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, for allegedly violating U.S. Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.
The FAA alleges that on or about June 29, 2000, Applied Industrial Technologies offered United Parcel Service a one-piece shipment containing hazardous materials for shipment by air from Florence, Kentucky to Alpena, Michigan.
When the shipment arrived in Alpena, UPS personnel noticed that it was emitting an unusual odor. Further inspection revealed that within the box was an inner box, marked, "PAINT ALL, Consumer Commodity, ORM-D, Contents in Aerosol Cans," and "12 AEROSOL CANS, PAINT ALL, BA. 1 170 CA65, LEVEL 2 AEROSOLS." Inside that box were 12 10-oz. metal aerosol cans of Paint All enamel, classified as "flammable aerosols," a hazardous material.
The FAA alleges that Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc., offered the hazardous materials for transportation when they were not packaged, labeled, marked, classed, described, documented, or in condition for shipment as required by regulations. The FAA also alleges that Applied Industrial Technologies, Inc., failed to properly instruct each employee having responsibility to prepare hazardous material shipments of the appropriate regulations, and that the shipment was not accompanied by the required emergency response information.
Applied Industrial Technologies has 30 days from the time it
receives the FAA's civil penalty letter to respond to the
MIT COMMITS TO THREE ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS AND $150,000 CIVIL PENALTY TO SETTLE EPA VIOLATIONS
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has settled an enforcement case with the EPA and the U.S. Attorney's Office by agreeing to fund more than $400,000 of innovative environmental projects and pay a civil penalty of $150,000.
The settlement stems from widespread environmental violations discovered during an EPA inspection at MIT's Cambridge campus in 1998. The university was specifically cited for 18 violations of federal hazardous waste laws, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
The case highlights EPA's focused efforts to bring New England colleges and universities, as well as facilities along the Charles River, into compliance with environmental laws.
Under the terms of the settlement, MIT will develop a computer-based 'virtual campus' compliance assistance tool to help universities and colleges all over the country comply with environmental laws. The virtual campus will address compliance with several environmental laws in eight featured areas, including a laboratory, an auto and grounds maintenance department and a 90- day hazardous waste storage area. When it is completed by 2004, the virtual campus will be posted on the Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence web site.
MIT has also agreed to install at the campus's new Stata Center, a major research facility situated in an area of Cambridge prone to flooding, a state- of-the-art stormwater control and treatment system utilizing biofiltration. The project will reduce the rate of stormwater runoff from the area into the Charles River by 50 percent and reduce the amount of solids in stormwater runoff by 80 percent.
MIT also agreed to develop and implement three different environmental education projects with the Cambridge public school system. The projects, which will be implemented over the next two years as part of a program called the MIT-Cambridge Schools Collaboration on Education for the Environment, will focus on water quality, pollution prevention, site cleanups or energy use - all with an urban theme. Each of the projects also will include a field activity to help improve the urban environment.
And, lastly, the settlement requires MIT to implement an Environmental Management System. As part of this effort, MIT must, among other things, identify key personnel at MIT responsible for environmental compliance issues, develop an inventory of materials used in laboratories, create a system of self inspection, improve its environmental training programs, and create a program for preventing, reducing, recycling and reusing wastes.
EPA inspectors went to MIT in May 1998. They found the university:
- Violated federal hazardous waste emergency, storage, handling and labeling regulations. Violations were found in 56 of 114 laboratories inspected.
- Failed to keep an opacity monitor on its medical waste incinerator in working order and violated several reporting requirements relating to the use of fuels in MIT's power plant.
- Did not have an adequate and fully implemented oil spill prevention plan.
"It is clear that the violations stem from institutional problems - too much decentralization of responsibility, lack of clear lines for environmental compliance, deficiencies in training programs and lack of resources dedicated to environmental compliance," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England Office.
Leighton applauded MIT for its cooperation with EPA, pointing out the university went above and beyond what the agency required.
"MIT has used this enforcement action to spur environmental initiatives above and beyond what is required by the consent decree," he said. "For example, MIT reports that it has greatly expanded its recycling program, started a 'green buildings' task force to develop and implement guidelines for the construction of more environmentally sustainable buildings on campus, and instituted a 'green goods' procurement program."
MIT is the sixth university in New England fined by the EPA in two years. After finding widespread non-compliance with environmental laws at universities and colleges, EPA New England in 1999 launched its university initiative in an effort to improve environmental compliance at college campuses. The initiative includes a stepped up inspection presence at college campuses across New England and extensive compliance assistance activities, including workshops geared for university environmental compliance personnel.
In launching the effort, EPA sent letters to the presidents of all 282 colleges and universities in New England, including the president of MIT. The letter outlined the agency's overall initiative, including a heightened enforcement presence at college campuses and a compliance assistance program specifically geared for universities.
EPA New England has conducted or participated in a dozen workshops and conferences to help universities come into compliance. Additional workshops will be held this spring. The agency has also created a university compliance web page, which can be visited at http://www.epa.gov/region01/steward/univ/.
"The fact of the matter is that colleges and universities are often the size of a town or even a small city. And like a municipality - even more so because of the nature of their business - they use hazardous materials in research and generate hazardous waste," Leighton said. "And it doesn't matter that they are an educational institution. Their hazardous material and hazardous waste can do just as much damage to the environment."
Among the campuses where EPA has levied fines or proposed fines
are the University of Rhode Island, Brown University, the
University of New Hampshire, Boston University and Yale
BALTIMORE MAN SENTENCED FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE IN TRAINING CERTIFICATE SCHEME
Edwin J. Hayes of Baltimore, Md., was sentenced to serve one year and one day in jail and pay a $20,000 fine on April 9 for obstructing justice during the investigation of a scheme to sell fraudulent asbestos training certificates in violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Hayes pleaded guilty and admitted that he had advised Omar Gonzalez, a certified asbestos trainer, to lose "all your paperwork" and "make sure it gets done" when Hayes knew that EPA Special Agents and the FBI were investigating Gonzalez for the unlawful sale of asbestos training certificates.
Proper training and certification of asbestos workers are required to prevent the inhalation of asbestos fibers during removal activities. Inhaling asbestos fibers is a known cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as "asbestosis" and mesothelioma which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation
Division and the FBI and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's
Office in Richmond.
ADMINISTRATION ENDORSES RULE TO PROTECT AMERICA'S WETLANDS
EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with a rule to ensure greater protection of America's wetlands.
This action, taken jointly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, clarifies that wetlands are protected from many types of discharges that have contributed to the loss of wetlands in the United States.
Under the Clean Water Act, discharges into the waters of the United States require a permit. However, in 1997 the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that a 1993 regulation, known as the "Tulloch Rule," should not have extended to certain discharges even when associated with activities that contribute to the loss of wetlands. Such activities can include mechanized land clearing, ditching, and channelization under certain circumstances. That court decision was affirmed in June 1998 by the U.S. Court of Appeals. Uncertainty regarding the scope of this decision is considered to be a contributor to the destruction of many wetlands. This action protects wetlands by moving forward with a rule clarifying what discharges are subject to environmental review under the Clean Water Act.
Wetlands are a collective term for marshes, swamps, bogs and similar areas. They perform invaluable functions by filtering and cleansing the nation's waters, helping to retain flood waters and providing spawning areas for commercially important fish. They are natural filters for toxins, heavy metals, nutrients, and other pollutants because the vegetation and wet soil trap toxins and sediments. They also provide habitat for numerous types of wildlife.
Additional information is available on EPA's Office of Water home
page at http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/dredgedmat/dredmat.html
or contact the wetlands helpline at 800-832-7828.
EPA ALLOWS TRI FORM R LEAD THRESHOLD TO DROP TO 100 POUNDS
If you manufacture, process, or otherwise use as little as 100 pounds of lead per year, your site is now subject to the SARA Title III Section 313 Form R requirements. The Bush Administration has announced that it will proceed with a Clinton era rule that will vastly expand the number of facilities to Form R requirements. EPA says that this action will ensure that information on hundreds of thousands of pounds of lead emissions never previously reported will become publicly available.
The new rule requires more companies to report on the lead they use and release into the air, water or land. Previously the rule required facilities report lead and lead compound emissions if they manufactured or processed more than 25,000 pounds annually or used more than 10,000 pounds annually. Under the new rule, the reporting threshold will be lowered to 100 pounds annually for each facility.
Lead is highly toxic, persists indefinitely in the environment and bio-accumulates in humans and aquatic organisms. Even small amounts of lead that enter the environment can result in elevated concentrations that can result in adverse effects.
The substance also causes health problems in adults, who can suffer pregnancy complications, high blood pressure, nervous disorders and memory and concentration problems.
This action is a final rule under EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The new requirements to report lead and lead compound emissions will begin in 2001. The reports on those emissions will be submitted in 2002. Recognizing industry concerns regarding the burden of this new TRI reporting and the uncertainty as to when reporting would begin, EPA plans to assist companies in their compliance efforts between now and July 2002 when the first reports are due.
Toxic chemical emissions data reports are required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. EPA issues an annual report on the collected toxics data as part of the Agency's continuing effort to provide access to toxic chemical release information. Since EPA began collecting the information, toxic releases have been going down substantially and are expected to do so again this year.
The final Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) rule on lead, issued Jan. 17, 2001, has been under review by the Administration as part of its broad-based review of new regulations put forth in the final days of the previous Administration.
A broad description of the TRI program including chemicals and
relevant industry sectors, guidance in reporting and other
information is available at http://www.epa.gov/tri.
EPA ADMINISTRATOR WHITMAN ESTABLISHES PROCESS TO EVALUATE ARSENIC IN DRINKING WATER STANDARD
EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced that she is moving forward to put in place a protective standard to dramatically reduce levels of arsenic in drinking water. The new standard, once established, will take effect at the same time that EPA's previous proposal was scheduled to go into place-2006.
Specifically, the EPA is asking the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to perform an expedited review of a range of three to 20 parts per billion for the establishment of a new drinking water standard. The NAS is being asked to look at new studies regarding health effects that were received after the previous comment period closed and to review EPA's risk analysis of arsenic. The NAS already has reported that the present standard of 50 parts per billion is too high, but it did not specify what a protective level should be. Consistent with this action, the Administrator has directed staff to prepare a rule proposal seeking additional public comment on this range.
Additionally, as part of her independent review, the Administrator will convene a subgroup of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council to review the economic issues associated with a standard. She also has directed EPA staff to develop a technical assistance program.
On January 22, 2001, EPA published a standard that would have lowered the current arsenic standard, setting compliance dates in 2006. Administrator Whitman extended the January standard's March 23 effective date for 60 days in a Federal Register notice published March 23. The Administrator took this step because of her concerns that the initial study had been rushed and a more precise scientific review was required. This proposal would extend for nine additional months, until February 22, 2002, the current May 22 effective date. Compliance dates will still be in 2006.
Additional information on the proposal and the comment period is
available from EPA's drinking water hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or
on EPA's Office of Water home page at
RICOH SENDS ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL
With the start of April, Ricoh Electronics, Inc. facilities in Tustin, California; Lawrenceville, Georgia; and Toluca, Mexico, have all stopped sending waste to landfills and have instead achieved 100 percent resource recovery, the company announced. The waste includes food, paper, plastic, glass, office and production supplies, equipment, production by-products, and product.
Instead, Ricoh Electronics, Inc. said it will refuse, return, reduce, reuse, or recycle items that would have previously gone to landfills. In addition, the company said it will continuously look for better ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle its resources to minimize its impact on the environment and work with its vendors to develop new technologies for the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste.
"Ricoh's philosophy is to pursue environmental conservation because we have a strong sense of mission as a citizen of this Earth," says President Takahide Kaneko. "We realize that environmental conservation is not only a social issue, but a critical part of management. We do not take action to preserve our environment simply for the sake of complying with regulations; we do so because it is fundamental to our continued success as a business."
In addition to and to aid in the zero waste initiative, Ricoh has instituted such programs as green procurement, environmental accounting, a recycled material kite contest and festival, an expanded employee matching contributions policy to include environmental nonprofit organizations, public address system announcements to raise employee awareness, use of recycled materials for holiday party decorations, creation of rain forest and waterfall environments in the buildings, a monthly newsletter dedicated to educating employees, zero waste to landfill pages on the company website, donations of reusable production supplies to a local school partner, and employee-driven community service projects to beautify the grounds at a local elementary school campus and a children's shelter.
The zero waste initiative was announced in 1998, when the company announced that all overseas production sites must achieve a 100 percent resource recovery rate by March 31, 2002. Ricoh Company, Ltd.'s Corporate Environmental Office established the goals and criteria and visited Ricoh Electronics, Inc. in March to verify that the California, Georgia and Mexico production sites meet these criteria - one full year ahead of schedule.