Go to the Full Story at Casper Star-Tribune
Jul 31, 2012
Fracking Dust Alert - Nearly 80% of NIOSH air samples showed exposure rates above federal recommendations.
Go to the Full Story at Casper Star-Tribune
Accident Claims Second Worker at Wisconsin Paper Mill when 2 men came into contact with fly ash, a product of burning coal.
Go to the Full Story at WSAU (Wausau, Wisc.)
Britain’s huge plutonium stockpile makes it a vast energy resource.combined.While most of the world’s civilian plutonium waste is still trapped inside highly radioactive spent fuel, much of that British plutonium is in the form of plutonium dioxide powder. It has been extracted from spent fuel with the intention of using it to power an earlier generation of fast reactors that were never built. This makes it much more vulnerable to theft and use in nuclear weapons than plutonium still held inside spent fuel, as most of the U.S. stockpile is.The Royal Society, Britain’s equivalent of the National Academy of Sciences, reported last year that the plutonium powder, which is stored in drums, “poses a serious security risk” and “undermines the UK’s credibility in non-proliferation debates.”
Photo courtesy of U.S. Army.
Republicans have been going after the Navy’s biofuel program, the “Green Fleet,” as I covered here and here. As I’ve said, I have mixed feelings about military biofuels. Apart from the details of that program, though, I expect that this is the first sortie in what will become a broader conservative campaign against the military’s efforts to move beyond fossil fuels. So let’s have a reminder of just why the military is doing what it’s doing.
In 2008, the Defense Science Board Task Force on Department of Defense Energy Strategy released its findings in a seminal report called “More Fight — Less Fuel.” Here, from a slideshow summary [PDF] of the report, are the “two primary energy risks to DoD.”
- Unnecessarily high and growing operational fuel demand increases mission risk
- Critical missions at fixed installations are at unacceptable risk from extended power loss
So: too much liquid fuel needed in the field and too much reliance on unsteady power grids at the bases.
Let’s turn to recent news.
First, a couple weeks ago, “a bomb planted by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan destroyed 22 NATO fuel tankers carrying supplies to coalition forces.” Luckily the bomb went off fairly early in the morning, so there weren’t many casualties to add to the more than 3,000 Americans killed protecting fuel convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is all it took: “the device was attached under one of the trucks, which were parked close together.”
As I wrote in Outside last year:
THE TACTICAL NEED to reduce reliance on fossil fuels is not new to the Pentagon. In 2003, at the outset of the second Iraq war, General James Mattis commanded the 1st Marine Division during the initial drive to Baghdad. He found himself repeatedly outrunning his own fuel resupply lines, forcing him to slow down to remain fully powered. In a post-combat report that has since become a touchstone for military analysts, he called on the Department of Defense to “unleash us from the tether of fuel.”
Mattis’s plea served to highlight the extraordinary costs of fuel to the military in Afghanistan and Iraq—in dollars and lives. By some estimates, fully 70 percent of the convoys crisscrossing the theater of war are involved in “liquid logistics,” the delivery of fuel and water. In Afghanistan, fuel reaches the front lines via tankers and planes that cross the ocean, trucks from Tajikistan or Russia, and (sometimes) helicopters from forward bases. By the time it gets there, the fully burdened cost can reach anywhere from $30 to an astounding $400 per gallon. Then there are the casualties: one for every 24 fuel convoys, according to a 2009 report by the Army Environmental Policy Institute.
Reducing fuel use in the field is about saving lives, pure and simple.
Second, recent research has shown that power outages are becoming more common in the U.S. In 2008, “there were 2,169 power outages in the U.S. affecting 25 million people. In 2011, there were more than 3,000 outages affecting 41.8 million people.” Absent enormous investments in the grid, this trend is expected to continue as power lines get older and weather gets weirder. Meanwhile, there are 64 bases in the U.S. that operate drones by remote control. A power outage at a base during a drone mission would be … awkward.
And it’s not just U.S. bases that need to learn how to generate their own power and handle their own (micro)grids. The U.S. is building drone bases all over the world, often in places with even worse grids than ours. A blackout just yesterday in India left 300 million people in the dark. Autonomous power generation will become more and more mission critical.
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India suffered one of its worst blackouts in a decade this Monday morning when high demand for electricity cut off power to seven northern states and over 360 million people. India’s electricity demand during the hot, dry summer has greatly increased this year, especially in urban areas. Without a good monsoon and due to unusually arid weather, the nation’s electricity grid has been under a lot of strain.
The Amish are best known for their simple living, their plain dress and their reluctance to adopt many of the technological luxuries we take for granted. In many regards, they are among the greenest and most sustainable communities in the US given their farming methods, their recycling of resources, their reliance on horse power and a prohibition on automobiles. However, a new report from Ohio State University on the Amish population in the US has found that a new Amish community is founded, on average, about every 3 1/2 weeks. This would suggest that the Amish are the most rapidly growing community (and religion) in the US!
Read the rest of The Simple Living Amish Are the Fastest Growing Community In the US
Jul 30, 2012
Companies will have until September 1, 2013, the day the European Union’s updated biocides legislation applies, to prepare for the provisions it introduces. Effective from July 17, 2012, differences between Regulation 528/2012/EU and the previous framework under Directive 98/8/EC include streamlined requirements for approving active substances and authorizing products, including at Union level for certain biocidal products; new provisions aimed at reducing animal testing by making data sharing compulsory; and the introduction of the new European Commission nanomaterials definition. According to the EC, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), whose staff dedicated to biocides-related activities will eventually number 100 with an annual budget of EUR 25 million, “will provide a strong scientific and technical back-up to the Commission and the member states under this new regulation.” Regulation 528/2012/EU repeals and replaces Directive 98/8/EC on 1 September 2013.
On July 25, 2012, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed the amended version of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 bill (S. 847) to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by increasing reporting obligations of chemical manufacturers and processors and giving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more authority to remove harmful substances off the market. The legislation could be the first major overhaul of federal chemical law since 1976. Notable amendments to the bill include: requiring manufacturers to develop and submit safety data for each chemical produced without duplicate testing and by relying on existing information; prioritizing chemicals based on risk for EPA to focus its resources on evaluating those most likely to cause harm; requiring burden of proof on chemical manufacturers to demonstrate the safety of chemicals produced; restricting uses of chemicals without proof of safety; restricting eligibility of CBI protection; encouraging innovation and development of safe chemical alternatives and expediting the review process. The Committee vote was split along party lines, with every Republican member voting against it. The bill could go to the Senate floor for a vote. See more.
GREAT! Job Opportunity for Manager of #Environment, #Health, & #Safety at Chicago Tribune Media Group!
Here's a link to the job description: https://chicago-tribune.icims.com/jobs/22136/job If you know someone, please feel free to pass this message along.
Job Description for Environmental, Health and Safety Manager
Chicago Tribune Media Group, the premier media and business services company in Chicagoland, is seeking qualified candidates to serve as our new Environment, Health, & Safety Manager (EHS). In this role, you'll be responsible for directing, managing, and coordinating the activities and operations of the EHS Management at Chicago Tribune's Manufacturing & Distribution facilities (Freedom Center and Freedom Center North). In addition, you'll be responsible for the development, implementation and administration of various programs involving environmental compliance, general liability and the comprehensive safety and health programs, policies and procedures as well as collaborate with Risk Management on workers’ compensation. Also, you will be involved with the long term planning and contribute to the overall LEAN strategy by building a successful and sustainable health and safety program which combine associate behavioral programs with LEAN manufacturing.
Perks: Full health benefits, 401K, vacation, and discounts to area retailers, entertainment. Plus, enjoy working with a group of people who really love what they do.Responsibilities:
- Establish and maintain policies, practices and procedures that ensure compliance with all applicable federal, state and local environmental regulations.
- Implement and support programs that promote a safe and healthy work environment.
- Develop, implement, and track the progress of, programs for the control and reduction of environmental liability, personal injury, and property damage.
- Ensure compliance with applicable health and safety regulations affecting operations.
- Develop and support existing safety initiatives, including in-plant safety committees.
- Recommend, develop and implement environmental, health and safety policies, programs and procedures to eliminate the occurrence of environmental incidents, minimize personal injuries, property damage, and vehicular/general liability claims.
- Conduct periodic audits to identify potential environmental and workplace hazards, programs deficiencies and liabilities.
- Present control and corrective action recommendations to company management.
- Analyze, design, develop and conduct appropriate training programs to assist management with environmental, health and safety responsibilities.
- Assist in conducting the investigation of serious accidents and near-miss incidents.
- Review and analyze accident data to identify trends or areas requiring additional focus.
- Serve as a technical resource to the company in complex areas of EHS compliance, risk management, hazardous materials/waste, industrial hygiene, industrial safety, and/or ergonomics.
- Maintain monthly OSHA and environmental reports.
- Report to Corporate Risk Management and Finance as to the status/future direction/occurrences for each file in litigation and preparing summaries on current litigation cases.
- Keep abreast of industry developments and maintain professional designations through membership in professional associations (RIMS, ASSE, LEPC), by reviewing trade publications and through attendance at trade conventions, seminars, workshops and meetings as necessary. Use LEAN manufacturing methodology and LEAN tools (Kaizen events, process mapping, root cause analysis, benchmarking, and root cause analysis) to drive workplace safety improvement.
- Promote the strong connection between LEAN initiatives and safety programs.
Disappointed by the lack of aggressive action by the U.S. Federal Reserve at the meeting of its powerful rate-setting committee last week, and assuming a wait-and-see posture on results from this week's European summit, pessimistic market-watchers are turning once again to guessing when the clock atop the euro zone time-bomb will finally run to 0.
The consensus? The world economy has entered a final countdown with three months left, and investors should pencil in a collapse in either August or September.
Citing a theory he has been espousing since 2010 that predicts "a future lack of policy flexibility from the monetary and fiscal side," Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank, wrote a note Tuesday that gloated "it feels like Europe has proved us right."
"The U.S. has the ability to disprove the universal nature of our theory," Reid wrote, but "if this U.S. cycle is of completely average length as seen using the last 158 years of history (33 cycles), then the next recession should start by the end of August."
JSOnline - A growing number of residential wells found to be polluted with gasoline from a July 17 pipeline break and dramatic increases in levels of benzene in the wells prompted state environmental officials Sunday to broaden the search for contaminated groundwater in the town.
As of Sunday afternoon, three more private wells in the Town of Jackson were found to be contaminated with gasoline, bringing the total to seven, said Scott Ferguson, spills coordinator with the state Department of Natural Resources in Milwaukee.
The three latest wells were added to the list this weekend after tests of water samples found that they contained levels of benzene exceeding the federal safe drinking water standard of 5 parts per billion, Ferguson said.
The break in the pipeline occurred in the 1800 block of Western Ave., generally midway between Maple Road and county Highway G.
The pipe is owned by West Shore Pipe Line Co. of Arlington Heights, Ill.
Two of the three latest wells are west of the pipeline break in the 1900 block of Western Ave.
A third is northwest, in the 1800 block of Mill Road.
On Sunday, the DNR pushed its search for polluted wells even farther afield, generally to the southwest, west and northwest of the break. A total of 70 residential wells have been tested at least once, and the investigation now extends north of Mill Road and south of Spring Valley Road, Ferguson said.
Contractors for West Shore started installing water treatment systems at each of the seven polluted wells Saturday, and the work continued Sunday, he said.
In addition, West Shore is providing the seven families with bottled water.
By Monday, a total of 11 private wells are to be equipped with water treatment systems capable of removing gasoline, Ferguson said.
(Image Source: Facebook / Earth Warrior; June 2012)
- Text Synopsis
- What if solar got the same subsidies as fossil fuels? - US solar subsidies: $1 billion, compared to $72 billion subsidies for fossil fuels over 5 years. If the US gave the same subsidies to solar that it does to fossil fuels, solar would be cheaper than grid power in 100% of the country, rather than 14%. Germany has 6x more solar than US, even though the US gets 3.9x more sun.
As yields and corn production declines, concerns arise about the point at which ethanol plants will be forced to curtail production because of the price of corn reaching unprofitable levels. The shutdown price is a function of the price of corn as well as the price that ethanol is being sold. Currently, the price of ethanol is rising faster than the price of corn, and the shutdown price may be nearly $1 higher than are current corn prices.
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Jul 29, 2012
Our current infrastructure will break under this heat...was not created for this temperature range in mind
- A jet stuck on the tarmac as its wheels sank into asphalt softened by 100-degree heat.
Past attempts to forecast the possible costs of climate change have been largely inadequate. They failed because of unanticipated effects on and complex interconnections among various parts of critical infrastructure.Please continue reading at:
Safe Chemicals Act, calls for OSHA reform, new whistleblower complaint procedures & more on @intelex EHS This Week - Podcast
In a largely symbolic vote along party lines, on July 25, 2012, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee by a 10-8 vote passed an amended version of Senator Frank Lautenberg's (D-NJ) Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 (S. 847). Despite the Committee's passage of the bill, the legislation faces a headwind of opposition from Senate Republicans and the chemical industry and is unlikely to be passed this year. Republicans criticized the scheduled markup of the Safe Chemicals Act, particularly in light of Lautenberg's earlier agreement to enter into bipartisan negotiations to create a 'fresh legislation proposal' to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member, entered a statement criticizing the Safe Chemicals Act as currently drafted. The amended bill is available online. An archived webcast of the Committee's hearing and Inhofe's statement are available online.
One of the pillars of the legislation is a revamped chemical evaluation process. This would be launched by an update of the TSCA Inventory of existing chemicals that supporters of the legislation believe will better refocus the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) energy on priority chemicals. Once the Inventory is updated, EPA would assess chemicals on the updated Inventory over an extended period of time by creating batches of about 6,000 chemicals for review, each over a five-year period. Within each batch, EPA would identify chemicals that are either of very high concern (which would require expedited risk management) or very low concern (which would require no further action). EPA would also identify chemicals that require additional safety information and those that require a safety standard determination. For the latter category of chemicals requiring a safety standard determination, EPA would focus its resources first on the highest priority chemicals. Risk management, such as use restrictions or labeling, would be required where necessary to ensure a chemical meets the safety standard. If a chemical cannot meet the safety standard, only critical uses of that chemical would be allowed.
Jul 28, 2012
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Illinois Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Clean Air Act Violations Involving Asbestos (HQ, IL
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Among the 21 categories of items shipped by rail, none have a tighter correlation to GDP than waste.
According to a 2010 piece on Bloomberg, economists Michael McDonough and Carl Riccadonna note that waste has an 82 percent correlation to US economic growth.
This should be pretty intuitive. The more you produce, the more you throw out.
And frankly, it stinks. Waste carloads are way down.
EPA Awards Over $11 Million to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to Support the Clean Water State R
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Jul 27, 2012
- Responsible for overseeing the environmental performance and compliance of the facility.
- Develop, implement, and monitor environmental strategies, policies and programs to ensure
- Regulatory Compliance.
- Examine corporate activities to establish improvements that can be made and ensure compliance
- with all State and local environmental legislation.
- Carrying out environmental audits and assessments.
- Identify and resolve environmental problems and act on any required changes.
- Have training and specific knowledge with air permits, RCRA, CERCLA, and State Regulations.
- Have familiarity with CEMS units, their operation and daily tasks associated with such equipment.
Process Safety Manager - Greater Houston Area - Chemicals (Ref job code 5443) Our client is a global leader in processing specialty chemicals for a wide array of industries, including plastics, chemicals, aviation, agriculture, technology, and more. This position has responsibilities for PSM disciplines within the site and compliance to all related regulations. The company believes in safety first.
This position has excellent visibility and a job done well will lead to additional responsibilities.
- Responsible for facilitating for both revalidations and projects, PHAs, and LOPA studies and preparing and issuing reports from these studies.
- Identifies hazard event scenarios through reference to the PHAs.
- Assists study teams in estimating initiating event frequencies, and consequence & failure categories.
- Ensure all Independent Protection Layers (IPLs), Consequence Mitigation Systems (CMSs) and Safety
- Instrumented Functions (SIFs) are reviewed and that they achieve a level of reliability that is appropriate.
- Supports site on all matters pertaining to PSM (Process Safety Management).
- Ensures site compliance with the Management of Change process and Pre-Startup Safety Review.
- Participates in Incident Investigations as required and supports regulatory agencies and corporate
- compliance audits to the site and participates, in corporate audits at other Huntsman facilities.
- Supports the training of PSM requirements to plant personnel and guidelines and maintains compliance
- with Federal Regulation 29 CFR 1910.119 (PSM) and 40 CFR 68 (RMP).
- Maintains a high level of understanding of PSM Laws and Regulations that impact the facility.
This client is a highly regarded chemical company, known for their quality and service. This position provides leadership in developing and implementing the plant’s and the company’s safety programs, to ensure the safety of employees and the integrity of these programs.
Responsibilities and Duties
- Provide technical safety and engineering insight for the management of facility Process Safety
- Management (PSM) and OSHA systems and programs.
- Perform technical analysis of process safety programs and metrics to identify opportunities for
- Coordinate facility PSM systems and programs to comply with current and future PSM requirements.
- Drive unit Process Compliance Coordinators to achieve uniformity in approach and compliance
- Participate in Management of Change programs including conducting Process Hazard Analysis
- reviews, administering PCA, maintaining and/or creating PSM standards/procedures, and
- conducting training as needed.
- Participate in/Conduct Root Cause Analysis and provide timely follow-up of corrective actions.
- Compiles, reports, and maintains plant safety statistics and records, as required.
Please join @WasteCap for LEED Platinum Building Tour Resilience Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
September 20, 2012
9 am - Noon
Resilience Research Center
Madison, Wisconsin Registration Now Open$10 Members
$25 Non Members
Continental Breakfast Included
Whee! Have a good weekend!
...OK, so the lake’s average water temperature is still a bracing 68 degrees, but it's considered downright tropical for the region. As the above chart shows, based on the 30-year average, the lake’s average water temperature should be in the mid-50s. But thanks to scant lake ice cover this past winter, along with a rare March heat wave and warmer-than-average weather since then, the lake began warming earlier than normal, and that warming has kept right on going. Wintertime ice cover on the Great Lakes was the lowest observed since such records began in 1980.
“It’s pretty safe to say that what we’re seeing here is the warmest that we’ve seen in Lake Superior in a century,” said Jay Austin, a professor at the University of Minnesota at Duluth, who has researched the lake’s water temperatures back to the beginning of the 20th century.
The lake's record temperatures are yet another consequence of the record heat so far in 2012. The contiguous U.S. had its warmest January-to-June period since records began in the late 19th century. Manmade global warming will likely result in more years with very warm water temperatures, which could have significant adverse consequences for marine life. In a rare benefit from the ongoing drought, this summer has been so dry that the warm water temperatures are not resulting in major harmful algal blooms, such as one that occurred on Lake Erie last year.
Instrument data from three buoys in Lake Superior provide a reliable record of water temperatures since about 1980, and the information also shows that, with water temperatures running in the mid-to-upper 60s (and even warmer closer to shore), “we are at record temperatures for this time of year,” according to Austin.
Austin said that water temperatures at the westernmost edge of Lake Superior are running in the mid-70s, and it was due in part to the runoff from flooding rains that struck Duluth, Minn., in late June.
Jul 26, 2012
When: August 22, 2012
Time: North American, Latin American, and European Time Zones
How: Register for FREE!
Come hear 3E Company’s Latin America & Mexico Regulatory Analyst, Leticia Cuevas discuss the impact of GHS adoption within the new regulatory landscape in Latin America. Leticia will cover Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and more. Attendees will learn about the latest developments, take away practical ideas for effectively managing the vast amounts of complex information related to Latin American regulations, and receive Ms. Cuevas’s firsthand comparative analysis on these topics:
- Overview of GHS Classification, Labeling & MSDS regulatory update
- US adoption of OSHA's HCS 2012 for GHS
- Varied GHS adoptions among different Latin American countries
- Latin American SDSs and GHS trends
América latina: Clima regulador y conformidad de GHS
Fecha: Miércoles 22 de agosto 2012
•7:00 a. m. Zona del Pacífico de Estados Unidos
•10:00 a. m. Zona Este de Estados Unidos
•11:00 a. m. Argentina
•9:00 a. m. Colombia/México
•11:00 a. m. Brasil/Chile
•3:00 p. m. Reino Unido
•4:00 p. m. Europa
Venga y escuche a la especialista en asuntos regulatorios de la empresa 3E Company para América Latina y México, Leticia Cuevas, en la platica sobre el impacto de la adopción del sistema SGA en el marco del nuevo entorno normativo en América Latina. Leticia se referirá a Argentina, Brasil, México, Colombia, Chile y a otros paises. Los asistentes podrán conocer los últimos avances, llevarse ideas prácticas para un manejo eficaz de la gran cantidad de informaciones complejas relacionadas con las regulaciones para América Latina y ser de los primeros en enterarse de los análisis comparativos de la Abogada Cuevas respecto a estos tópicos:
•Visión general sobre las actualizaciones en la clasificación, etiquetado y regulaciones sobre las HDS del sistema SGA
•Adopción en EUA de la nueva norma de OSHA 2012 sobre comunicación de peligros para el SGA
•Variantes de la implementación del SGA en los diferentes países de América Latina
•Tendencias en América Latina respecto a las HDS y al sistema SGA
Último día para registrarse: 21 de agosto 2012.
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Go to the Full Story at Bloomberg
Gary Varvel - The rash of stories about adults leaving their children locked in cars in 100 degree heat is so gut-wrenching. I commented on this subject years ago. Unfortunately it’s happening again. Those little “Baby on Board” signs that you sometimes see in the back window of cars should be placed in the front windshield to remind drivers there’s precious cargo in the back seat.
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