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07/14/2015

4 Companies to Pay $300K in EPA Penalties for EPCRA Reporting Violations

According to a US EPA press release dated July 13, 2015, four companies in Washington State will pay civil penalties for noncompliance with the EPA’s Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) chemical reporting requirements. Between them, the facilities will pay more than $300,000 in civil penalties and commit nearly $200,000 in supplemental environmental projects...

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07/14/2015

How GHS HazCom Affects Your EPCRA Responsibilities

Under Section 311 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities subject to OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard must submit copies of Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) to Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), and local fire departments. The Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated rules in 40 CFR 370 that cover both initial and revised submissions of SDSs to those agencies....

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07/13/2015

Retail “Reverse Logistics” Hazmat Rule Nears Final Stage

The US DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is planning a Fall 2015 Final Rule to address hazardous materials in the “reverse logistics” supply chain. “Reverse logistics” applies primarily to the retail industry, where employees face the challenge of shipping defective, damaged, or returned hazmat products—like batteries, pharmaceuticals, or household products—back to the manufacturer or vendor...

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07/09/2015

Lithium Battery Shipper Fined $63K for HMR Violations, Including Training

Last month, a Hayward, CA battery manufacturer was fined $63,000 by US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations...

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07/09/2015

EPA Memo Shows How Regulators Evaluate Ability-to-Pay Claims

A memo released late last month by the US EPA’s Office of Civil Enforcement (OCE) provides insight into the steps EPA officials follow when determining the amount of a civil penalty for environmental violations...

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07/07/2015

Tape It Up! New OSHA Interpretation on Kinesiology Tape

In response to a letter from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, OSHA has reevaluated its classification of applying kinesiology tape as a form of “medical treatment beyond first aid...

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07/07/2015

How Lithium Batteries Become a Workplace Hazard

Experts predict a $22 billion market for lithium batteries in 2016. The rising popularity of these batteries makes it crucial that manufacturers, shippers, and consumers who handle and use lithium-battery-powered devices know the safety hazards these products pose. By following some basic handling and storage guidelines, everyone who comes in contact with lithium batteries can avoid short circuits, fires, and injuries...

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07/06/2015

Changes to RCRA Hazardous Waste Generator Regulations

The United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to propose changes to the RCRA hazardous waste generator regulations this month (July 2015).  Named the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule, the forthcoming proposed rule “will suggest changes to the RCRA hazardous waste regulations to improve the effectiveness and clarity of the generator rules...

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07/01/2015

EPA Updates Rule for Underground Storage Tanks (UST)

The US EPA announced on Monday, June 29, that it will soon publish a Final Rule to update its underground storage tank (UST) regulations. While many states have kept their UST rules up-to-date with changing technology and environmental requirements, this is the first major change to the Federal standards since the rules were originally written in 1988. Hundreds of thousands of US facilities rely on underground storage tanks—because they either sell petroleum products or use the tanks to store gasoline for their own vehicles...

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06/30/2015

The 4 Approaches to Inherently Safer Technology

In response to recent industrial accidents, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is encouraging OSHA to modernize its Process Safety Management (PSM) regulations for industry. As part of this effort, which CSB has named one of its "most wanted safety improvements," the Board recommends the use of inherently safer technologies in hazardous process design and operation...

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Find out which tanks and substances are regulated under EPA’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) program.

Basics of Underground Storage Tank Compliance