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Newsletter – Volume 3 Issue 1

News & Views

U.S. EPA PROPOSES CHANGE IN HAP AIR STANDARDS

On January 3rd of this year, U.S.EPA proposed amendments to a 1995 policy regarding hazardous air pollutants (HAP). HAP emissions are regulated under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), which rules limit emissions to 10 tons per year for a single HAP or 25 tons per year of any combination of HAP in order to not be classified a major air pollutant source under the Title V permit program. EPA’s proposal would allow a major source to become an area source by limiting its HAP potential to emit to below the major source thresholds at any time, even after the source has passed its compliance date under the NESHAP rule. This proposal remains under the public comment period until May 4, 2007. For more information, go to www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/gp/gppg.html.

REMINDER ABOUT SPENT FLUORESCENT LAMPS

Just about everyone has come to the realization that spent fluorescent lamps do not get disposed in the facility dumpster, as they are most easily managed as a Universal Hazardous Waste through recycling. However, some facility managers think that they have gone these regulations one better by using “green tipped” bulbs, then go back to throwing these spent bulbs in the trash. They equate “green tipped” with “non-hazardous”. Be reminded that as a generator, one must have solid evidence that the spent bulb is non-hazardous, meaning it must bear less than the characteristic thresholds for mercury, cadmium, lead, barium, and other limits. The only way to prove that your spent green tip lamps are non-hazardous is through laboratory analysis. Ohio EPA provides further information at www.epa.state.oh.us/dhwm.

NPDES PERMITS COMING FOR MARINAS

Many industrial facilities have been regulated for storm water releases from their properties for many years under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Next in line for such a permit will be marinas. Ohio EPA has drafted a General Permit for marinas that are involved with boat maintenance activities or equipment cleaning operations. This will keep Ohio in line with Federal storm water regulations. The draft permit is up for public comment through March 22, 2007. See documents regarding the marina permit at www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/permits/Marinas_Draft_GP_jan07.html.

OHIO LAW BANS MERCURY IN CONSUMER PRODUCTS

Ohio House Bill 443, which was authored by Ohio EPA, was signed into law on January 4, 2007. The law will, over time, ban mercury from common items such as thermometers, thermostats, and the likes of games, figurines, yard statues, and jewelry. According to Ohio EPA, our state was the only Great Lakes state without such a mandated consumer product ban. The ban will occur in phases, beginning April 6, 2007. Go to www.epa.state.oh.us/mercury_ban.html for additional information about this law.

COMMUNITY RIGHT TO KNOW

Although most facilities are aware of federal and State hazardous chemicals Right-to-Know regulations, such as State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting, they may not know that some local governments also have enacted their own Right-to-Know code. If your facility is sited in the city of Cleveland, you are required to comply with the “Hazardous Chemicals: Right-to-Know Code” under Chapter 393 of the city’s Fire Prevention Code. In addition to the requirements of annual registration and fees, applicable facilities are required to inform and train employees on the hazards associated with the chemicals used by the employees. Annual submission of an updated hazardous chemicals list is also required. Review Part 3 Title XI Chapter 393 of the City’s codified ordinance for applicability and additional requirements. If you use hazardous chemicals, you should determine whether the city or town in which you do business has Right-to-Know requirements and if such requirements apply to your operations.

OSHA MILESTONES OSHA

was designed to protect American works and their mission is to send every worker home whole and healthy every day. Since the establishment of OSHA, workplace fatalities have been cut by 62% and occupational injury rates have declined 40%, all while US employment has nearly doubled in that time frame from the 1970’s to today. The agency has made great improvements to the working environments of America’s workforce and the following milestones highlight only a few of their many accomplishments.

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act was signed in December, 1970 by President Nixon.
  • The first standards were adopted in May, 1971 to provide a baseline for safety and health protection in American workplaces.
  • The lead standard was published in November 1978 to reduce permissible exposures by three-quarters to protect 835,000 workers from damage to nervous, urinary and reproductive systems. (The Construction standard was adopted in 1995).
  • The Hazard Communication Standard was promulgated in November 1983 to provide information and training and labeling of toxic material for manufacturing employers and employees (Other industries were added in August 1987).
  • The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard was promulgated in March 1989 to protect 1.75 million public and private sector workers exposed to toxic wastes from spills or at hazardous waste sites.
  • The Lock Out / Tag Out standard was issued in September, 1989.
  • The Permit Required Confined Space standard was issued in January, 1993.
  • OSHA celebrates 30 year anniversary in April, 2001. OSHA responds to the Sept. 2001 terrorist attacks in New York. The recovery phase ends in May 2002.
  • In February, 2006 OSHA publishes the final rule on hexavalent chromium, lowering the PEL from 52 to 5 micrograms per cubic centimeters based on an 8-hour work day.

GLOBAL HARMONIZATION SYSTEMS

The Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) has been adopted by the United Nations, and there is an international goal for as many countries as possible to implement the GHS by 2008. GHS included harmonized provisions for classifications of chemicals for their health, physical, and environment effects, as well as for labels on containers and safety date sheets (SDS). Please be sure to read next month’s enewsletter for additional information on this important issue and how it will affect your business.

 

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