Apr 26, 2017

1 Year ago - Department of Health Services Confirms First Case of Zika Virus in Wisconsin

Pregnant women who have traveled outside the U.S. face greatest risk

Department of Health Services (DHS) health officials today announced a Wisconsin resident has a confirmed case of Zika virus infection. The individual who tested positive is a woman who recently traveled to Honduras, where Zika-infected mosquitoes are present. There have been no locally-acquired cases of Zika virus infection in Wisconsin or in the continental United States.

"Wisconsin is one of the last states to have a confirmed case of Zika virus infection detected in a resident, but we have been actively preparing for the likelihood that this day would come," said State Health Officer Karen McKeown. "Together with partners we have been working to prepare our Zika virus response plans. This includes testing more than 300 people who have traveled to countries with known Zika virus transmission, and monitoring for the presence of mosquitoes that may carry Zika virus. We will remain vigilant in our response to ensure the safety and health of all Wisconsinites, particularly pregnant women and unborn babies, who are most at risk."

DHS has been working on this issue with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local health departments, health care professionals, the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison Entomology Department. Because Zika virus poses the greatest risk to pregnant women and their unborn babies, DHS has targeted outreach to health care providers caring for pregnant women, because an infected mother may pass the Zika virus to a baby during pregnancy. Zika virus may cause microcephaly in the infant, which is a medical condition in which the size of the head is smaller than normal because the brain has not developed properly.

About 80 percent of people who are infected with Zika virus do not have any symptoms. Illness may develop in 20 percent of infected people within 3 to 7 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. Symptoms are generally mild and can last for several days to a week. Common symptoms of Zika virus infection include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain or headache. Serious complications are extremely rare. There is no medication to treat Zika virus disease and no vaccine is currently available.

Zika is typically transmitted to people by a bite from an infected mosquito, however, it can also be spread from mother to unborn child, through sexual contact, and through blood transfusions. According to DHS, surveillance has not identified mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus in Wisconsin.

Working with the CDC, DHS has been providing guidance to clinicians for management and testing of possible cases of Zika virus infection. The CDC recommends pregnant women not travel to areas where the Zika virus is present.

The best way to prevent Zika virus infection is to avoid travel to areas where active transmission is present. Zika is only one of several diseases that can be spread by mosquitoes. To protect yourself from mosquito bites, consider the following:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellants and apply according to the label instructions.
  • Stay and sleep in places with air conditioning and screened-in windows.
  • Avoid being outside during times of high mosquito activity, specifically around dawn and dusk.
  • Prevent standing water in your yard by disposing discarded tires, cans, plastic containers; draining standing water from pool or hot tub covers; turning over plastic wading pools and wheel barrows when not in use; keeping drains, ditches and culverts clean of trash and weeds so water will drain properly; and cleaning gutters to ensure they drain properly.

See a health care provider if you develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes during a trip, or within two weeks after traveling to a place with Zika virus(link is external), or if you have had sexual contact with an individual who has traveled to a place with Zika virus. Pregnant women without symptoms that have traveled to an affected Zika virus area should contact their physicians for possible Zika virus testing.

Governor Scott Walker recently approved the addition of nine (9) project positions for the Division of Public Health, to address the workload related to the Elizabethkingia anophelis outbreak, and in anticipation of the presence of Zika virus in Wisconsin.

For more information, go to the DHS Zika virus webpage.

Radon Exposure Is The Second Leading Cause of Lung Cancer via @

Exposure is leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers

Exposure to radon gas is one of the major contributors to lung cancer nationally, yet many people aren't aware that an easy-to-use test kit can tell them if their home has high radon levels. That's why Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed January National Radon Action Month for Wisconsin residents.

"Fortunately this cause of lung cancer is largely preventable, and the first step is to test your home," said Dr. Jon Meiman, chief medical officer of the bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health in DHS. "If elevated radon is found, it can be easily and effectively corrected."

Radon causes more lung cancer among non-smokers than second-hand tobacco smoke. An estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year among non-smokers are caused by radon, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Surgeon General.

Radon, an odorless radioactive gas naturally present in the ground, can enter buildings through their foundations. "Any home having contact with the ground should be tested," Meiman said. Radon concentrations in air can be measured with simple, inexpensive test kits available from hardware stores and local public health agencies.

More than 100 radon mitigation contractors in Wisconsin are nationally certified to install radon control systems. Thousands of systems are installed in existing homes in Wisconsin each year.  Newly constructed homes should include features recommended by the National Association of Home Builders to reduce radon entry.

Both old and newer homes can be susceptible to radon. From five to 10 percent of Wisconsin homes have elevated airborne concentrations or radon in commonly used spaces.

Wisconsin residents can get radon information here(link is external), or speak with local public health department radon experts by calling 1-888 LOW-RADON. More information can be found by viewing Radon 101(link is external), a video produced by DHS and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Baby Boomers Still in Party Mode: ​Alcohol Use on the Rise Among Wisconsin Residents Age 65 and Older

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Consumption is leading to health concerns

Alcohol use is on the rise in Wisconsin adults age 65 and over, placing them at greater risk for injuries and death, according to a new analysis from the Department of Health Services (DHS).

"In Wisconsin, we want everyone to be living better, longer," said DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer. "Yet the health of many older adults is on the decline in part because of the unsafe use of alcohol."

The latest annual rates of current alcohol use, binge drinking, and heavy drinking among those age 65 and older are all higher than the previous year, according to the Wisconsin Epidemiological Profile on Alcohol and Other Drugs, 2016 (PDF).

  • Fifty-six percent have had at least one alcoholic drink in the past 30 days.
  • Nine percent report binge drinking. For women, this is four or more drinks in about two hours. For men, this is five or more drinks in about two hours.
  • Six percent report heavy drinking, which is defined as eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men.

One example of the dangers of these drinking habits is fatal falls. Vision problems and slow reaction times coupled with alcohol use have led to a steady increase in the number of fatal falls among Wisconsin residents in this age group. For example, in 2015, 365 older adults died as a result of alcohol-related falls in the state. This represents a 36 percent increase from 2010, when alcohol-related falls killed 269 older adults in Wisconsin.

Older adults who are under the care of a physician or are using medications should check with their doctor about any use of alcohol. Alcohol can make some health problems worse, such as diabetes, heart conditions, high blood pressure, liver problems, and memory problems. Mixing alcohol with prescription or over-the-counter medications can be fatal.

Making a change in drinking habits can be hard. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and now is the perfect time to take steps to better health.

  • Track the times, locations, and purposes for drinking.
  • Write down reasons to change.
  • Make a plan to cut back or quit drinking and stick to it.
Support is available. Visit an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), talk to a doctor or other health care professional, or call 1-800-662 HELP. Treatment is effective. Recovery is possible.

EPA Extends Comment Deadline for TSCA Methylene Chloride and NMP Proposal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended its comment deadline for stakeholders to submit comments on its proposed rule for methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) under the amended Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA delayed the comment deadline from April 19, 2017, to May 19, 2017.

Last month, ACA submitted several sets of comments to EPA addressing the agency's proposed rules under the recently amended TSCA.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, signed into law on June 22, 2016, mandates the agency to restrict chemicals already in commerce that pose unreasonable risks to public health and the environment. Since January, EPA has released multiple proposed regulations that will impact how EPA evaluates chemicals used in the coatings industry. ACA has been actively developing coatings industry positions and comments on these important rulemakings. As these rules are finalized, ACA will provide compliance materials for the industry.

EPA's Jan. 19 proposed rule aims, among other restrictions, to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride for consumer and most types of commercial paint and coating removal. EPA also proposed similar restrictions for NMP, along with alternative proposals. Under the first approach proposed for NMP, EPA proposed to prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of NMP for all consumer and commercial paint and coating removal, with exemptions for certain coating removal uses that EPA proposes are critical to national security. EPA is also proposing to prohibit the commercial use of NMP for paint and coating removal, with exemptions for certain coating removal uses that EPA proposes are critical to national security. These exemptions include the condition that any exempt paint and coating removal products containing NMP be packaged in containers with a volume no less than five gallons.

Unlike the option proposed for methylene chloride, these exemptions do not include the use of NMP in furniture refinishing. EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers (including importers), processors, and distributors, except for retailers, of NMP for any use to provide downstream notification of these prohibitions throughout the supply chain, and to require limited recordkeeping. Under the second approach proposed for NMP, EPA is proposing a reformulation, personal protective equipment (PPE), and labeling approach. This would require the following:

  • product reformulation to limit the concentration of NMP in paint and coating removal products;
  • testing of product formulations to identify specialized gloves that provide protection;
  • relabeling of products to provide additional information to consumers; and
  • an occupational dermal and respiratory protection program for commercial use of NMP in paint and coating removal, downstream notification when distributing NMP for other uses, and limited recordkeeping.
Under this approach, no exemption is proposed for coating removal identified as critical for national security because paint and coating removal products containing NMP would continue to be available for these national security uses under this option, even without establishing a national security exemption.
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SCAQMD Adopts New VOC Test Methods for AIM Coatings

California's South Coast Air Quality Management (SCAQMD) recently adopted two new test methods for volatile organic compound (VOC) content in its Rule 1113 for Architectural and Industrial Maintenance Coatings (AIM). The test methods — ASTM D6886 and SCAQMD Method 313—  are intended to be used to analyze the VOC content of coatings less than 150 g/L ("material "or "actual" VOC content). While coatings manufacturers can use formulation data to determine the VOC content of a product, SCAQMD will likely use Method 313 for enforcement purposes.

SCAQMD will likely add these methods to all its coating VOC rules in the future.

Currently, most coating VOC rules define VOC based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Method 24. Method 24 defines a VOC as a compound that evaporates after 1 hour at 110 degrees C (minus water and exempt VOCs).

ACA is concerned that the high injection port temperatures of ASTM D6886 and Method 313 tend to breakdown, decompose or "disassociate" larger compounds — including resins, preservatives, and other raw materials — resulting in higher VOC contents. In addition, Method 313 utilizes a VOC Marker (Methyl Palmitate) that likely results in more compounds being identified as VOC, compared to EPA Method 24. In SCAQMD Method 313, compounds that elute before Methyl Palmitate are defined as VOCs versus compounds that elute after Methyl Palmitate are not considered VOCs. Many "semivolatiles" that companies would not consider VOC based on formulation data or that would might not evaporate via Method 24 may be counted as VOCs under Method 313. As such, ACA is concerned that a coating that was compliant based on formulation data or EPA Method 24 may or may not be complaint under SCAQMD Method 313.

Additionally, apart from SCAQMD, there are no commercial labs that run Method 313. Even while ASTM D6886 produces somewhat similar results to Method 313, the repeatability (i.e., how well the method performs on the same instrument) and reproducibility (i.e., how close the results are from two separate labs) statistics for Method 313 have not been developed, so it is very difficult to correlate SCAQMD Method 313 results and results of others labs (if they were to run Method 313).

At ACA's request, SCAQMD is actively engaged with industry labs in a roundrobin study to determine reproducibility and repeatability of Method 313. ACA is also working with SCAQMD to develop an "Exclusion Pathway" to exclude compounds that elute before, but are likely less volatile than Methyl Palmitate.

It is important to note that other California air districts and other states across the United States will likely adopt ASTM D6886 and SCAQMD Method 313 in the future. In fact, in February 2017, the District of Columbia proposed to add these two test methods for determining VOC content of all District of Columbia coatings rules.
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RMP Rule Delayed till February 2019

On March 29, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule to delay the effective date of the Risk Management Program (RMP) final rule amendments to Feb.19, 2019. This action comes after a series of prior delays issued by the White House and EPA in January and mid-March. In January, the White House issued a memorandum implementing a freeze on federal regulations pending further administrative review. RMP was one of the regulations subject to the regulatory freeze, and the effective date was subsequently delayed until March 21, 2017. However, on March 16, EPA Administrator Pruitt issued a final rule that provided for a further three-month administrative stay of the effective date until June 19, 2017.

Now, EPA is proposing to significantly and concretely delay the effective date of the RMP final rule amendments until February 2019. This latest delay would allow EPA more time to review and reconsider the final RMP rule amendments.

The final RMP rule amendments have encountered extreme resistance since EPA first issued them in mid-January. EPA stated that the amendments made to the final rule were aimed at modernizing RMP by (1) making changes to the accident prevention program requirements, (2) enhancing the emergency response and preparedness requirements, and (3) modifying the information availability requirements. However, numerous industry members and trade associations have continued to push back against implementation of these amendments.

In March, ACA and 20 other trade associations signed onto a coalition petition to Congressional leaders urging them to utilize the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block implementation of this rule. ACA and the other trade associations maintained that the final RMP rule not only imposes significant new costs without identifying or quantifying the safety benefits that will be achieved through these new requirements; but that it may compromise the security of facilities, emergency responders, and communities. Moreover, ACA and the other trade associations underscored that the current RMP regulations are not in need of revision because they include requirements that have produced and will continue to drive continuous safety improvements and already provide robust protection for our employees and the public.

Because of this coalition effort, Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2) introduced H.J.Res.59 on Feb. 1, that would allow RMP to be overturned in Congress if the CRA joint resolution of disapproval passes in both the House and Senate. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) is the Senate sponsor of this CRA joint resolution. Industry members and trade associations are continuing their lobbying effort in D.C. to try and push this joint resolution through Congress.

In addition, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on March 13, 2017, against implementation of the RMP rule amendments. This lawsuit challenges the legality of the final RMP rule amendments. The suit brought by the American Chemistry Council against EPA claims that the agency exceeded its statutory authority in issuing the final rule; failed to follow procedures required by the Administrative Procedures Act and Clean Air Act for agency rulemaking; did not adequately consider costs or assess benefits; and did not adequately respond to all significant comments.
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EPA's Office of Water Seeking Feedback on Reducing Regulatory Burden

Consistent with Executive Order 13777, EPA is seeking public input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to make them less burdensome. As a part of this effort, we will be accepting written public comments through May 15, 2017, at docket EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190. In addition, EPA's Office of Water (OW) will host a public listening session to obtain additional feedback on water regulatory actions on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. Please visit: www.epa.gov/aboutepa/office-water-feedback-reducing-regulatory-burden or see below for details.

Background
On February 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order (EO) 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda. The EO establishes the, "policy of the United States to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people". Among other things, it requires each agency to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and to identify regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to make them less burdensome.
As part of implementing the EO, OW will be hosting a public listening session to solicit proposals for OW regulations that could be repealed, replaced, or modified to make them less burdensome. The focus of this listening session will be on water actions only.

Public Listening Session by Telephone and Web Conference
Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT
The session will start with brief remarks from EPA and the remainder of the session will be dedicated to listening to public comments. There are several ways to join the session:

• To join the teleconference: 150 telephone lines are set aside for people who want to speak for one to two minutes. These 150 telephone lines will be distributed randomly among those who pre-register. We expect our three hour conference will allow for about 70 to 80 persons to speak. You must pre-register in advance to be randomly selected for one of these telephone lines at: https://reducing_regulatory_burden_epa_officeofwater.eventbrite.com. Registration closes April 28, 2017 @ 12:00 pm EDT. If selected, registrants from this list will receive information about how to participate, along with a call in number. The audio of the session will be transcribed and will be submitted to the docket.


• To join the web conference: http://epawebconferencing.acms.com/owregulatoryforums/. You may sign in 15 minutes before the web conference starts. The online meeting room can accommodate 1,000 participants. Slots will be allotted on a first come first serve basis. Participants in the web session will be able to listen to a broadcast of speakers from the teleconference line through their computers, and will be able to submit written comments. Transcripts of all written comments will be submitted to the docket. For questions about this process, please contact: owregulatoryreform@epa.gov

• If you miss the meeting, or do not have the opportunity to speak on the call, please submit your input to the EPA-wide docket (docket number: EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190). OW will give equal consideration to input provided through any of the methods above.

• For more information on upcoming public engagement opportunities offered by other EPA offices please visit: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/regulatory-reform.

Submitting Comments and/or Proposals to the Docket
The docket will be open for submitting recommendations until May 15, 2017. For those wishing to submit recommendations online, visit Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190 at Regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov.

To allow us to more effectively evaluate your suggestions, the Agency is requesting comments include:
• Supporting data or other information such as cost information
• Provide a Federal Register (FR) or Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) citation when referencing a specific regulation
• Provide specific suggestions regarding repeal, replacement, or modification.

The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (e.g., audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all the points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (e.g., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system).

For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit the Commenting on EPA Dockets web page for more information.

TSCA Nanomaterials Reporting Rule Effective Date is May 12; ACA and NMA Seek EPA Stay

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) final rule for Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed as Nanoscale Materials – TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements was published on Jan. 12, 2017, with an effective date of May 12, 2017.

While EPA has said that it plans to issue guidance on the rule within 1-2 months after the effective date, ACA is developing compliance guidance for its members. In the meantime, ACA, as a member of the NanoManufacturing Association (NMA), sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt requesting a meeting to discuss the need for a stay on the nano-reporting rule, at least until guidance is issued. The letter underscores that the nano-reporting rule would fall under Jan. 20, 2017 White House "Regulatory Freeze" Memorandum, which extended the effective date for 60 days of rules that had been published but not yet taken effect. The letter also noted that the implementation guidance would fall under "substantial guidance" as defined in the Jan. 30, 2017 Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Executive Order (E.O.) 13771). E.O. 13771 clarifies that "substantial guidance" is within its scope, and will cause further delays in EPA issuing guidance on the nano-reporting rule, which would leave companies in the dark about compliance with the rule for even longer.

The final nano-reporting rule requires a one-time reporting and recordkeeping of existing exposure and health and safety information on nanoscale chemical substances in commerce, and that companies that manufacture (including importing) or process certain chemical substances already in commerce as nanoscale materials notify EPA of certain information, including specific chemical identity; production volume; methods of manufacture; processing, use, exposure, and release information; and available health and safety data, to file nanomaterial reports on May 12, 2018. There is also a standing one-time reporting requirement for persons who propose to – after May 12, 2017– manufacture or process a discrete form of a reportable chemical substance. This rule is expected to impact business development and will require greater control over product distribution.

The principle concern with the rule for the paint and coatings industry is that nanoscale materials, which may be incorporated into paint products, would not be available since they would be bound in the dry coating film. The use of emulsion polymers and the milling of pigments during the coating manufacturing process could fall below the 100 nanometers threshold and potentially trigger reporting under the final rule. Emulsion polymers and milling processes have been conducted for decades in the industry, and there is minimal opportunity for exposure to the nanoscale material after the film cures. Given the low exposure and low risk of these applications, ACA believes that EPA should exempt these substances from the reporting requirements. Existing federal information and regulatory programs for these substances provide adequate safety standards. While there are likely 10 to 15 coatings companies that will be required to report under this rule, the requirement alone could cost the industry up to $1.5 million.

Read full at:

Apr 25, 2017

FREE Remediation Workshop with CHMM Recertification Credits!! Thursday, April 27th

Wisconsin CHMM's

 

Universal Remediation would like to invite you to the Milwaukee Remediation Workshop on Thursday, April 27th at the Radisson Hotel Milwaukee West. Over 6,000 people have registered for workshops so far and there is typically a good mix of consultants, regulators, and industrial managers.

  

Our half-day technical workshops cover a range of topics from bioremediation, chemical oxidation, metals stabilization, thermal desorption, and many others.  Thanks to the workshop sponsors & exhibitors there is NO CHARGE for you to attend!  

A hot lunch buffet is also provided and you'll also receive a certificate for 4 PDH credits

 

I also wanted to draw your attention to a video we have on our website that will give you a quick peek inside one of our workshops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QJ3T5mgccU.

 

 

MILWAUKEE WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

11:15 - Registration, hot buffet lunch is served, and networking with exhibitors

11:45 - Welcome from a Workshop Representative

12:00 – Opening Remarks from Jim Delwiche with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

12:15 – Dora Taggart – "Incorporating Molecular Biological Tools into Site Management"

1:05 – Gary Simpson – "In Situ Remediation Using Trap and Treat® Technologies"

1:55 - BREAK

2:15 – Drew Dintaman – "Remote Monitoring Made Real Time"

3:05 – Bill Newman – "Economic and Technical Analysis of Electron Donors for Anaerobic Bioremediation Applications"

3:55 - BREAK

4:10 – Rich Cartwright – "Innovative Petroleum Remediation Solutions"

5:00 - After-hours networking hosted by one of our sponsoring organizations

 

Milwaukee Workshop Location – Thursday, April 27th  

Radisson Hotel Milwaukee West – 2303 N Mayfair Rd, Milwaukee

REGISTER ONLINE: http://remediationworkshop.com/workshops/2017-event-milwaukee-wi-april-27/  

 

 

Even though it's a FREE workshop, you must register online so that we know how much food to order. 

Feel free to forward this on to others in your office and I'll see you at the workshop!

Apr 21, 2017

S. 724, a bill to amend the Federal Power Act to modernize authorizations for necessary hydropower approvals

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates nonfederal hydropower projects. Prior to constructing such a project, a sponsor must obtain a license from FERC; once issued, licensees must commence construction within a specific period of time. Before applying for a license to commence construction, a potential licensee has the option to seek a preliminary permit for a particular site, which guarantees that a license application subsequently filed by the permittee will be considered before any other applications for licenses to construct projects on that site.

S. 724 would extend, from 4 to 10 years, the maximum length of time by which licensees would have to commence construction of a hydropower project under a FERC license. The bill also would extend, from five to eight years, the maximum length of time covered by a preliminary permit. View Document

EPA Announces Two Regulatory Reform Meetings On Rules Promulgated Under TSCA and EPCRA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") announced that it will host two meetings regarding regulations developed under the Toxic Substance Control Act ("TSCA") and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act ("EPCRA").  
 
Specifically, EPA seeks public input on rules that could be made less burdensome.  EPA's actions are in line with Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda," which, among other things, "requires each agency to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and to identify regulations that should be repealed, replaced, or modified."
 
Both meetings will be held on May 1, 2017 at EPA.
 
The first meeting will be held from 9 AM to 12 PM and address regulations developed under Subchapters I, II, and VI of TSCA (Control of Toxic Substances, Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response, and Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products, respectively), as well as Subchapter II § 11023 of EPCRA (the Toxic Release Inventory).  
 
The second meeting will be held from 1 PM to 2:30 PM and address regulations developed under Subchapter IV of TSCA (Lead Exposure Reduction).
 
To attend in person or via web conference, register here for the first meeting,
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/regulatory-reform-agenda-meeting-for-ocsppoppt-tsca-tri-registration-33533387264

 and here for the second meeting
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/regulatory-reform-agenda-meeting-for-ocsppoppt-lead-registration-33533763389

Registration for both meetings is open until April 27, 2017.   
 
Additionally, EPA is accepting comments until May 15, 2017.

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USA--On Monday, April 24, the EPA will be hosting a public teleconference from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM EDT to seek public and stakeholder input on the impacts of air and radiation regulatory actions.  Registration for the teleconference is not required.

Participant dial-in number: (800) 305–3182 
Conference ID number: 8535873

Further details about EPA's stakeholder outreach can be found here
https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190

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USA--EPA to Repeal and Replace WOTUS With Two Separate Rulemaking Processes
EPA to Repeal and Replace WOTUS With Two Separate Rulemaking Processes

April 10, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") Administrator Scott Pruitt, in a letter inviting state and local leaders to Washington D.C. to discuss EPA's strategy to rescind and replace the Waters of the United States ("WOTUS") rule, stated that the agency plans to use an "expeditious, two-step process" to reach that goal.

EPA's actions are in line with Executive Order ("EO") 13778, titled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule," which directs EPA to repeal or re-write the regulation.

Upon repeal, EPA would revert back to the 1986 definition, further explained by guidance issued during the George W. Bush administration, of WOTUS.  This definition is currently the status-quo, as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the regulation, pending litigation.

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USA--D.C. Circuit Strikes Down Farm Pollution Rule

Today (April 11), in Waterkeeper Alliance, et al. v EPA, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA") Farm Pollution Rule, which would exempt most farms from air pollution reporting requirements for emissions from animal waste under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act ("EPCRA") and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA").

In its opinion, the three-judge panel unanimously agreed that Congress did not give EPA the authority to make such exemptions.  Specifically, the opinion notes that EPA cannot ignore a statute "whenever it decides that the reporting requirements aren't worth the trouble" and that EPA did not properly consider the tools at its disposal to fight such emissions.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-12-18/pdf/E8-30003.pdf

https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/2E91F70B0AF28BBE852580FF004E33FF/$file/09-1017-1670473.pdf

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USA--EPA Proposes Delayed Implementation of Risk Management Program Rule
 
April 3, the EPA proposed pushing back the effective date of the Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act to February 19, 2019.  According to EPA, the delayed effective date will allow the agency "time to consider petitions for reconsideration of this final rule," including possible regulatory action or revision of the rule.  The EPA is accepting comments on the proposal until May 19, 2017.

on March 2, Sens. Inhofe (OK), Cornyn (TX), Barrasso (WY), Moran (KS), and Johnson (WI) introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution seeking to repeal the final RMP rule.  Rep. Mullin (OK-2) previously introduced a CRA resolution on the rule in the House.

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USA--The DOT HM-215N Final Rule

The HM-215N Final Rule was officially published March 30 in the Federal Register. In this final rule, PHMSA is amending the HMR to maintain consistency with international regulations and standards by incorporating various amendments.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-03-30/pdf/2017-04565.pdf

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USA--EPA Releases Initial Mercury Inventory Report

March 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the release of its initial report on mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States, pursuant to section 8(b)(10)(B) of the Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA"), as amended by the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act ("LCSA").

The report focuses on mercury as a commodity and identifies "any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury."  Specifically, EPA addresses this in three parts:

1.    An introduction, including those laws affecting mercury supply and trade and the sources of information contained in the report;
2.    Elemental mercury, including its supply, sources of the supply, uses, and trade; and
3.    Mercury compounds, including their supply, uses, and trade.

The inventory report was to be released by April 1, 2017, and will be published every three years thereafter.  EPA has stated that in future inventory reports, in addition to identifying any manufacturing processors or products that intentionally add mercury, it will "recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use." 


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cANADA-- WHMIS 2015 Compliance, Deadlines and Recent Technical Guides

On February 11, 2015, the federal government launched WHMIS 2015 to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), revision 5 of the Purple Book. CPCA wishes to remind all manufacturer/importer members that they must ensure full compliance of their significant data sheets and labels with WHMIS 2015 by the fast-approaching implementation deadline of May 31, 2017.
 
Since the WHMIS 2015's introduction in Canada, CPCA has developed and updated its own technical guidance document with regard to new GHS conversion requirements. This document is a compilation of numerous sector-related Q&As obtained from CPCA members and addressed to the WHMIS desk. This document complements the Technical Guidance Parts I & 2 Report published last year by Health Canada as well as the general information on the legislation and training currently available on the WHMIS.org portal. You can find this CPCA document, entitled "CPCA WHMIS 2015 Preliminary Conversion Guidance for Paint Manufacturers" in the Members Only section of canpaint.com under "Resources." If you do not have access to this section, please contact Micheline Foucher to obtain your company's access and log-in information.
 
Extensive information such as courses, fact sheets, posters and webinars are available on the WHMIS.org portal, as well as references to the legislative statutes and related requirements in all provincial and territory jurisdictions across Canada.
 

I. WHMIS Compliance Deadline for Manufacturers and Importers

All industrial paint manufacturers and importers must ensure their products sold in Canada are converted to WHMIS 2015 as of June 1, 2017. Other criteria include: 

•    All your SDS/labels of products manufactured or shipped after that date should be WHMIS 2015 compliant
•    Manufacturers and importers should end the sales of old labels/MSDS
•    All staff must be trained for WHMIS 2015

II. Other WHMIS 2015 Implementation Deadlines 

•    December 1, 2017: Health Canada will only accept employer claims with WHMIS 2015 SDSs and labels.
•    June 1, 2018: Distributors should have cleared all their old labels from the market.
•    December 1, 2018: Any remaining purchases of old MSDS/labels in the workplaces end by this date. The transition to WHMIS 2015 must be completed for all employers and workers. Note: Related requirements with respect to WHMIS 2015 completion may vary slightly from one provincial jurisdiction to the next. However, all manufacturers, importers, distributors, and federally regulated employers using hazardous products in the workplace must comply with WHMIS 2015 fully.

III. WHMIS 2015 Implementation e-Training from Health Canada/CCOHS 
 
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is Canada's national resource for workplace health and safety. CCOHS offers WHMIS 2015 online training materials—developed jointly with Health Canada—that are available for purchase on its website. Please also note that CPCA offers rebates for online training materials developed by the ICC.
 
Upon a CPCA enquiry, Health Canada noted that it could not provide any kind of spreadsheet or template to share with SMEs for ease of conversion of labels and safety data sheets with WHMIS 2015. However, the CCOHS is offering several SDS templates and pictograms: 
•    WHMIS 2015 SDS Template and MSDS to SDS Whitepaper
•    WHMIS 2015 (GHS) Pictograms
•    Other WHMIS 2015 informatio

FREE Webinar: Better Incident Management is no Accident

Thursday, May 4th at 10AM CDT

REGISTER NOW

Webinar Summary

A recent news release from Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, states that there were 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2015, a rate of 3 cases per 100 equivalent full time workers. This trend has been found to be a reoccurring theme every year, a challenge that Rivo Software, a Sphera company, has taken on since 2003 to reduce incidents in the workplace.

Workers tunnel vision, lack of safety precautions, inadequate training are just a few of the many root causes of injury incidents. Both private and government sector organizations can proactively reduce penalties, and related insurance claims and premiums by making it easier to train and to enable workers to follow safety procedures.

This webinar will outline key components that are an integral portion of a strong and effective safety aware culture enabled by a mobile platform driven solution.

Register Now

Learn how to:

• Equip your employees to easily record issues with quick 1-2-3 steps

• Manage the full workflow from recording to investigation to correction all in one integrated SAAS system

• Run geospatial pattern analysis, track closures, prepare executive dashboards and lay the foundation for a strong learning environment

Overview of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) 2016

Excellent video overview by Canada 
Transcript

When there's an incident involving the transportation of dangerous goods, the first thing you need to keep yourself and the public safe is information.

That's why there's the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).

For more than three decades, the ERG has helped first responders identify dangerous goods and their hazards so they can make informed safety decisions when arriving at the scene of an incident.

Every four years, officials in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Argentina revise the guide to keep it up to date with the latest dangerous goods research and transportation technologies, and to make it even easier to use.

The ERG is divided into colour-coded sections for quick reference.

First, let's look at the white pages at the front of the guide. On the very first page is a flowchart that walks you through every step of the decision-making process.

We'll go over the flowchart in more detail at the end of this video.

This section includes information about the placards, labels and markings used to identify the different classes of dangerous goods.

Beside each set of placards is a black circle with a three-digit number. This corresponds to a specific guide in the orange section that describes how to respond to an incident involving that kind of material.

You'll also find guide numbers for different types of railcars and road trailers based on their shape and the common dangerous goods usually transported in each.

If you know the material's four-digit UN number (also known as its ID number), start with the yellow pages. Here, dangerous goods are listed in numerical order by UN number followed by a three-digit number corresponding to a guide in the orange pages.

If an entry is highlighted in green, you may need to refer to the green pages for the initial isolation and protective action distances.

The blue pages work the same way, but the dangerous goods are listed alphabetically by name rather than UN number.

Watch for any guide numbers followed by a "P". This means the material may undergo violent polymerization if heated or contaminated — which could cause its container to rupture or explode.

The orange pages are the most important in the ERG. They include 63 safety guides, each covering a group of materials with similar characteristics.

Here you'll find details on potential hazards and health risks, public safety measures such as immediate isolation and evacuation distances, and emergency response actions to be taken in case of a fire or spill.

When a Canadian flag appears at the bottom of a page, Canadian responders should take note. It means an Emergency Response Assistance Plan may be required for the dangerous goods involved.

For any materials highlighted in green in the yellow and blue pages, the tables in the green section provide more detailed initial isolation and protective action distances.

Table one gives recommended distances for downwind, day and night conditions for both small and large spills.

Table two lists dangerous goods that produce large amounts of toxic gases when spilled in water, and identifies the gases produced.

For large spills of the six most common toxic-inhalation hazard gases, Table three gives recommended isolation and protective distances based on container type and wind speed.

The white pages at the end of the ERG contain a glossary of terms and other important information, including safe standoff distances for improvised explosive devices, distances for boiling liquid expanding vapour explosions (or "BLEVE"), and the user's guide.

For in-the-field decision-making, the ERG includes a colour-coded flowchart that walks you through each step.

Here's how it works. Consider, for example, a large gasoline spill.

You don't see an "explosive" placard or label on the container but the UN number is clearly visible: 1203.

That takes us to the yellow pages, where we see the material involved is gasoline. The three-digit guide number for gasoline is 128. Since there's no green highlighting and no "P" for polymerization we can go directly to guide 128 for instructions.

Now let's consider a more complex scenario: a railcar is leaking at a facility in your area.

You don't see an "explosive" placard or the UN number but an employee confirms that the railcar has chlorine inside of it. Since you know the name of the dangerous good, you go to the blue pages and see that the three-digit guide number for chlorine is 124. Be sure to note its UN number as well: 1017.

You see that the entry for chlorine is highlighted in green. So, in addition to using orange guide 124, you'll also need to check Table one in the green pages for initial isolation and protective distances.

Whether you go to the green or orange section next depends on if the material is on fire.

In this case it is not, so you can proceed to Table one. If it was, you would first check guide 124 for fire and evacuation details.

You see that the listing for UN 1017 has a note saying to check Table three.

In this case, the initial isolation distance is suggested at one-thousand metres. Protective distances are then determined by the time of day and wind speed at your location.

Don't forget to consult guide 124 for more general information on potential hazards and emergency response measures.

But what if you don't know either the name or the UN number when you arrive on the scene?

Say the only thing you can see on the railcar is a white placard with a skull above the number "2". In this case, go to pages eight and nine and find your placard among the illustrations. For this one, you'd go to guide 123 for instructions.

These guides can help you determine the best course of action until you can get the exact U-N number or name of the material.

No matter the situation, never rush in. As a first responder, safety is your primary goal. With the ERG by your side, you have everything you need to quickly make the right decisions to protect both yourself and the public.

For more information on how to get your copy of the 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook, visit CANUTEC's website today at tc.gc.ca/canutec.

A mobile app is also available for Apple and Android devices.


Apr 20, 2017

NIOSH online network helps healthcare facilities address bloodborne pathogens and other hazards


Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN)
NIOSH's Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) can help reduce worker injuries

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has established a web-based injury and exposure monitoring system available at no cost to healthcare facilities. This secure system enables participating facilities to analyze worker injury and exposure data that they already collect. Trends for traumatic injury and hazardous exposures are visualized using a chart function. The system allows facilities to track five common work-related injuries and exposures in healthcare: sharps injuries; blood and body fluid exposure; slips, trips, and falls; patient handling injuries; and workplace violence. Visit the OHSN webpage for more information and to begin the enrollment process.

Workers' Memorial Day — April 28 — honors lives lost on the job


Workers' Memorial Day

Every year, more than 4,000 workers die on the job and nearly four million workers are injured or made sick at work. Workers' Memorial Day is held on April 28 to honor those workers and renew the commitment to protect the safety and health of all workers. Regional OSHA offices, worker organizations, and individuals affected by these tragedies will hold events to honor workers across the country. For a full list of events, and to find one near you, visit the Workers' Memorial Day webpage.

Apr 19, 2017

EPA is Seeking Feedback on Reducing Regulatory Burden

EPA is Soliciting Recommendations on Regulations that could be Repealed, Replaced or Modified to make them Less Burdensome

On February 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda. The order establishes the policy of the United States to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people. Among other things, it requires each agency to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and to identify regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to make them less burdensome.

As part of implementing the order, EPA is soliciting public comments and engaging in additional outreach to identify such regulations. We will be accepting comments through May 15, 2017 at docket EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190. Go to https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/regulatory-reform to learn more about this effort.

In addition, EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM), will host a public meeting to obtain additional stakeholder feedback on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, from 9:00am to 5:00pm EDT in Arlington, Virginia.  The intent of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for interested parties to present recommendations specific to OLEM's regulations. Please see https://www.epa.gov/rcra/office-land-and-emergency-management-seeking-feedback-reducing-regulatory-burden on how you can submit comments and participate in or listen to the OLEM public meeting.  

For more information on OLEM programs, please see https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-land-and-emergency-management.