Aug 15, 2018

Updates to Wisconsin Porposed SPS 330-Fire Department Safety and Health Standards

Update on proposed SPS 330
SPS 330-Fire Department Safety and Health Standards

The Department of Safety and Professional Services is pleased to announce legislative approval of CR-17-067 regarding SPS 330 Fire Department Safety and Health Standards.  The rule will be published at the end of September 2018 and become effective October 1, 2018.  Here is a link to the updated code package:  CR 17-067/SPS 330.

Aug 1, 2018


(NIRS) Washington DC – Citing concerns about "national security" and "grid reliability," the Trump Administration is weighing options for subsidizing and preventing the closure of environmentally polluting nuclear and coal plants made uneconomic by growing competition from renewable energy and natural gas. However, an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) suggests that such concerns are not only unfounded but the trend is also potentially too late to reverse.

A review of 2017 state-by-state data presented in EIA's "Electric Power Monthly" report reveals that renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) are now providing more electricity than nuclear power in over half the states and more electricity than coal in a third [see Note A]. And the numbers continue to shift in favor of renewable sources, particularly as falling renewable energy prices and declining electricity demand make nuclear and coal ever-more uneconomic.

Nationwide, according to FERC's latest "Energy Infrastructure Update," renewable sources now account for 20.66% of the total available installed generating capacity. That is more than double the generating capacity of the nation's nuclear power plants (9.12%) and is rapidly approaching the capacity of the nation's coal plants (23.04%), which has dropped precipitously from 28.90% just five years ago. [1]

Moreover, FERC reports that proposed generation additions and retirements over the next three years could result in a net loss of an additional 15,898-MW of coal capacity and an increase of just 756-MW of nuclear capacity [see Note B] while utility-scale renewable sources are projected to mushroom with 156,981-MW of new capacity -- primarily from wind (90,981-MW) and solar (52,216-MW). [2]  And the potential growth in solar does not include distributed, small-scale PV systems (e.g., rooftop solar) which could account for an additional 30% or more in solar capacity.

Renewable energy critics are quick to note that generating "capacity" is not the same as actual electrical "generation" because nuclear and coal typically have higher capacity factors than most renewable sources. True enough, but ...

In terms of actual "generation," renewables are now neck-and-neck with nuclear power ... and may hold a small lead. The most recent EIA data show renewables (including distributed solar) providing 20.17% of the nation's electrical generation during the first five months of 2018 compared to 20.14% from nuclear power. In fact, during the two most recent months reflected in EIA's data (i.e., April & May 2018), renewables provided 10.6% more electricity than did nuclear power. [3]  (Renewables also similarly outpaced nuclear power twice last year -- in March and April 2017.)

While coal still provides a greater share of U.S. electrical generation (26.6% for the first five months of 2018) than renewables, it is in a tailspin -- dropping from 39.0% five years ago -- while renewables have grown from a 14.3% share over the same period. [4]

These trends are likewise playing themselves out on the state level.

End-of-the-year data issued by EIA for calendar year 2017 reveal that nuclear power is now providing no electrical generation in 20 states plus Washington DC. Of these, four states have gone nuclear-free in recent years (CO, ME, OR, VT). Consequently, renewables are now providing more electricity than nuclear power in 27 states plus Washington DC; solar (utility-scale + distributed) alone is outpacing nuclear in 21 states while wind alone already exceeds nuclear in 22 states and is rapidly closing the gap in others. Even in six states still using nuclear power (CA, IA, KS, MN, TX, WA), renewable sources are providing more electricity. [5]

In addition, utility-scale renewable energy sources are out-producing electrical generation by coal in 17 states (plus Washington DC). Further, EIA reports no  electrical generation from coal in 2017 in two states (Rhode Island and Vermont) as well as Washington DC. [6]

"EIA and FERC data underscore that the renewable energy train has left the station," noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. "Trying to reverse that situation with costly subsidies for environmentally-polluting nuclear power and coal defies common sense."

"Nuclear and coal simply can't compete with renewable energy," said Tim Judson, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. "Renewables will be generating more power than nuclear by 2020, and nuclear is poised for the same precipitous decline as coal in the coming years."


Nuclear Power vs. Renewables: *
Utility-Scale + Distributed Solar-Generated Electricity Exceeds Nuclear Power in 21 states + DC:
AK, CA, CO, DE, HI, ID, IN, KY, ME, MT, ND, NM, NV, OK, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT, WV, WY, + DC

Utility-Scale Wind-Generated Electricity Exceeds Nuclear Power in 22 states:
AK, CO, DE, HI,  IA, ID, IN, KS, ME, MT, ND, NM, NV, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WV, WY (in addition, wind-generated electricity is close to that from nuclear power in Washington state; the gap is also small in Nebraska)

Utility-Scale Wind + Utility-Scale & Distributed Solar Combined Exceed Nuclear Power in 24 states + DC:
AK, CA, CO, DE, HI, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, ME, MT, ND, NM, NV, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WV, WY, + DC

Utility-Scale Non-Hydro Renewables Combined Exceed Nuclear Power in 25 states + DC:
AK, CA, CO, DE, HI, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, ME, MT, ND, NM, NV, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WY, + DC (in addition, the numbers are very close in Minnesota; non-hydro renewables should outpace nuclear power in 2018 if they did not already do so in 2017)

All Utility-Scale Renewables Combined Exceed Nuclear Power in 27 states + DC:
AK, CA, CO, DE, HI, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, ME, MN, MT,  ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WY, + DC

*EIA reports no electrical generation by nuclear power in 20 states (AK, CO, DE, HI, ID, IN, KY, ME, MT, ND, NM, NV, OK, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT, WV, WY) + DC.

Coal vs. Renewables: **
Utility-Scale + Distributed Solar-Generated Electricity Exceeds Coal in 9 states + DC:
CA, CT, ID, MA, NJ, NV, NY, RI, VT, + DC

Utility-Scale Wind-Generated Electricity Exceeds Coal in 11 states:

Utility-Scale Non-Hydro Renewables Combined Exceed Coal-Generated Electricity in 15 states + DC:
CA, CT, ID, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OK, OR, RI, SD, VT, WA, + DC

Utility-Scale Wind + Utility-Scale & Distributed Solar Combined Exceed Coal-Generated Electricity in 16 states + DC:
CA, CT, HI, ID, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OK, OR, RI, SD, VT, WA, + DC

All Utility-Scale Renewables Combined Exceed Coal-Generated Electricity in 17 states + DC:
AK, CA, CT, HI, ID, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OK, OR, RI, SD, VT, WA, + DC (in addition, utility-scale renewables almost equaled the electrical output of coal in Kansas in 2017 and could exceed it in 2018; Iowa is also very close in coal vs. utility-scale renewable energy)

** EIA reports no electrical generation by coal in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington DC.


# # # # # # # # #
[2]  pdf  [see table entitled "Proposed Generation Additions and Retirements by June 2021"]

[3] (issues released June 25, 2018 and July 24, 2018) [see tables ES1.A. and ES1.B.]

[5] [see tables 1.4.B. (coal); 1.9.B. (nuclear energy); 1.10.B. (hydropower); 1.11.B. (non-hydro renewables); 1.14.B. (wind); 1.17.B. (solar PV - utility + small-scale); 1.18.B. (solar thermal)]

[6] Ibid.

A.) EIA's data for solar include utility-scale solar PV and solar thermal as well as small-scale, distributed solar (e.g., rooftop solar systems). However, EIA's data for non-hydro renewables only reflect utility-scale facilities; they do not include state-by-state data for distributed photovoltaics. In its most recent "Electric Power Monthly" report (with data for the first five months of 2018), small-scale solar photovoltaic is estimated to account for ~31% of total electrical generation from solar sources.
Thus, the state-by-state comparisons of nuclear and coal to all renewables combined does not include distributed solar and therefore understates the actual amount of electricity being generated by renewable sources.

B.) FERC's data for capacity additions and retirements is subject to numerous variables such as the Trump Administration's possible proposals to bailout uneconomic nuclear and coal plants. In the case of net nuclear additions, for example, FERC's numbers may prove unduly optimistic. Currently, four reactors with 3175 MW of capacity are scheduled to retire in 2018-2020. The only new nuclear reactors under construction in the U.S., Vogtle 3 and 4 (2234-MW), are officially past the 2020 timeframe now (2021-22), but even if FERC is counting them, it should be a 941-MW net loss of nuclear capacity over the three-year timeframe (2018-2020), not a 756-MW increase. If one extends that out to three years from present, the net loss is greater: 7 reactors closed with 6038-MW, and 3804-MW net reduction.

By the time Vogtle 3 and 4 are scheduled to come online, there are a total of 9 scheduled retirements with 8080-MW of capacity, for a net reduction of 5846-MW of nuclear generation. During that timeframe, two more states will go nuclear-free (MA and OH), one state will reduce nuclear generation by nearly 40% (NY), and another by nearly 30% (PA).

WHMIS 2015: We're Almost There!

The multi-year WHMIS 2015 transition is getting closer to the deadline.  Now it's not too late to make sure that employers and workers are up to speed with courses and information to help them understand the system.

Remaining Transition Phases

Phase 2

From June 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018

Distributors can continue to sell, and those importing for their own use can continue to use, hazardous products with labels and (M)SDSs that are compliant with WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015.

During this phase, manufacturers and importers are required to only sell or import hazardous products with labels and SDSs that are compliant with WHMIS 2015. The transition to WHMIS 2015 for manufacturers and importers is now complete.

Phase 3

From September 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018

During this phase, manufacturers, importers and distributors are required to sell or import only those hazardous products that are complaint with WHMIS 2015. At this point, transition to WHMIS 2015 is complete for all suppliers.

Full Implementation of WHMIS 2015

By December 1, 2018, all suppliers and employers will be required to be in compliance with the new Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR).


CCOHS WHMIS 2015 online training and resources

  • WHMIS 2015: An Introduction provides a basic overview of the changes to WHMIS after its alignment with GHS. Free.
  • WHMIS 2015 for Workers provides worker education on the new WHMIS system, along with an exam and a certificate for those who complete it successfully.

For chemical suppliers


Free WHMIS 2015 Resources from CCOHS:

For WHMIS updates visit

#HaveYourSay On the Prevention of Harassment and Violence in the Workplace

he Government of Canada made a commitment to Canadians through Bill C-65 to help ensure that federally regulated workplaces, including Parliament Hill, are free from harassment and violence.

On July 24th, 2018, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, invited Canadians to voice their opinion on the proposed regulatory framework to be implemented should Bill C-65 become law.

All Canadians are welcome to participate in this consultation as your insights will help shape the new framework. You are invited to read  the consultation paper before completing the survey as it provides a comprehensive overview of the proposed regulatory framework.

For more information, follow the Labour Program on Twitter.

EPA Facts and Figures Report available and A to Z Directory!

Data Update to Facts and Figures Website and Fact Sheet
EPA has released its most recent Facts and Figures data on national municipal solid waste (MSW), which is for the year 2015. EPA published these data on its Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling website and in a summary fact sheet, which includes new numbers, trends, charts and data tables. In 2015, 262.4 million tons of MSW, or trash, were generated. The per capita generation rate was 4.48 pounds per person per day. Of the MSW generated, approximately 68 million tons were recycled and 23 million tons were composted. In addition, 33 million tons were combusted with energy recovery and more than 137 million tons of MSW were landfilled. Since the passage of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 1976, the recycling and composting rate has more than tripled to the current rate of 34.7 percent.
For more information: 

Also see the EPA A to Z Directory at this link:

EPA Extends Comment Period for Proposal to Reconsider RMP Rule Amendments

PAINT.ORGOn July 24, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a notice of data availability and extension of the comment period for its May 30 proposed rule to reconsider the final Risk Management Program (RMP) amendments. The extension follows an inquiry from nonprofit EarthJustice, which questions 2017 RMP data that EPA collected from industrial facilities and used to roll back the RMP amendments.

EPA officially finalized the RMP amendments on Jan. 13, 2017; however, the effective date of the final RMP amendments was delayed several times, with the last one delaying the amendments until Feb.19, 2019. Since the final RMP amendments have not become effective yet, EPA is now proposing to rollback several provisions of that 2017 RMP rule. Among others, EPA is proposing to rescind amendments relating to third-party compliance audits, safer technology and alternatives analyses, incident investigations, and information availability to the public. In addition, EPA is also proposing to retain, modify, or incorporate some amendments relating to local emergency response coordination, emergency response exercises, and CBI protections. More information can also be found on EPA's website.

The agency is now accepting comments on its proposal through Aug. 23, 2018ACA is seeking member input on any concerns with EPA's latest proposal.

In general, EPA's RMP program applies to all stationary sources with processes that contain more than a threshold of a regulated substance. The program's elements are intended to prevent accidental releases and reduce the seve

rity of releases that occur. All sources must prepare and submit an RMP to EPA at least every five years. In addition,
RMP Program 3 facilities involve processes subject to OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) standard or are in one of the specified NAICS codes, such as chemical manufacturing. Together, PSM and RMP form the regulatory framework for prevention of catastrophic chemical accidents at fixed facilities. Several ACA companies have facilities subject to RMP requirements, particularly Program 3 facilities, which have the most stringent requirements. ACA's main concern with the 2017 RMP amendments was that the changes would not actually enhance chemical facility safety, but would instead create significant administrative burdens and higher compliance costs without commensurate benefits in safety.

In May 2017, ACA submitted comments to EPA in support of the agency's proposed rule to further delay the effective date of the RMP regulation. ACA underscored that during this proposed delay, the existing RMP regulations will remain in place, and noted that the already robust RMP requirements have resulted in a steady decline in reportable accidental releases over the past 20 years. From 2004 to 2013, EPA data shows that there were roughly 12,500 facilities subject to RMP. During that 10-year span, 92 percent of these facilities had no RMP reportable accidents. This decline in reportable accidental chemical releases is expected to continue under the existing RMP regulations.

The 2017 RMP rule amendments encountered extreme resistance since EPA first issued them in mid-January 2017. 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 pushed back against implementation of these amendments.

Energy Department Releases Request for Information on Multi-Sector Uses of Hydrogen

DOE today's H2@Scale project kickoff meeting in Chicago, EERE's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Steven Chalk announced the release of a request for information (RFI) soliciting stakeholder feedback on opportunities to enable high volume production and multi-sector use of hydrogen.

Hydrogen is an energy carrier and a feedstock used in industrial applications today including petroleum refining, ammonia production for fertilizers, and steel production, and can also be used in fuel cells to generate power for homes or to drive cars, buses or trucks. With the help of this RFI, hydrogen use could be expanded and made more affordable across multiple applications such as energy storage, running large turbines at power plants, supporting grid flexibility and enabling baseload operation of nuclear plants, as well as increased renewable power generation.

The objective of this RFI is to assess the domestic resources compatible with large-scale hydrogen production, as well as to identify pathways to effectively leverage these resources for near- and long-term use in major industries. Responses to this RFI will provide DOE insight into the technical and economic barriers associated with these production pathways and end-uses to help establish a more focused and relevant H2@Scale research portfolio.

"The H2@Scale initiative is looking at ways that hydrogen can help make nuclear and fossil baseload plants more economical, and increase the flexibility and utilization of variable resources like solar and wind," said Chalk. "Greater use of all of our domestic energy resources increases the nation's energy security and resiliency."

This RFI supports the H2@Scale initiative vision to enable affordable, reliable, and secure energy through hydrogen production from domestic fossil, nuclear, and renewable resources and hydrogen utilization across multiple sectors.

RFI Topics include:

  • Domestic Hydrogen Supply Expansion/ Diversification
  • Demand-Sector Market Expansion
  • Leveraging Current Industries and Infrastructure
  • H2@Scale H-Prize Competition Concepts
  • Innovative Approaches for Enabling H2@Scale

Senate Passes Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018

PAINT.ORG: On July 26, the U.S. Senate approved the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018 by a voice vote with amendments offered by Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The measure now returns to the U.S. House of Representatives. If the House concurs with the Senate amendments, the legislation would be cleared for the president's signature. At this writing, the House hadn't scheduled action yet on this amended bill.

The bill, H.R. 4318, amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to temporarily modify certain rates of duty for provisions recommended by the International Trade Commission (ITC) pursuant to the new process established in the American Manufacturing and Competitiveness Act of 2016. The legislation includes more than 1,600 products that were recommended by the ITC. The legislation, as approved by the Senate, contains several chemicals of interest to coatings manufacturers, including Industrial grade nitrocellulose and heat-curable epoxy resin mixture.

Through the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), Congress temporarily suspends or reduces tariffs on certain imports for three years. Most of these duty suspensions relate to chemicals or other inputs used by U.S. manufacturers, who assert that the tariff relief provided by the MTB helps reduce their manufacturing costs, thus making their products more competitive. The tariff changes contained in this bill will apply to goods imported or shipped 30 days after the bill's enactment.

Criteria for MTB consideration are that each duty suspension must be noncontroversial (e.g., no domestic producer or Member objects); revenue-neutral (foregone tariffs of no more than $500,000 per product in a calendar year); and administrable by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The MTB offers only temporary, not permanent, relief from tariffs, maintaining an incentive for companies to develop the capability to manufacture these products in the United States.

Congress passed the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 to establish an open and transparent process for consideration of the MTB. This bill established a three-step process that allowed companies to petition the ITC, an independent and non-partisan independent agency. The process begins with petitions from interested parties, after which, the public and the Administration provides comments to the ITC, which then conducts an analysis. Following that, the ITC issues a public report to Congress with its analysis and recommendations regarding products that meet the process bill's standards.