GAO Recommends TSCA Improvements, and a Senate Bill Responds with a Proposal
In June, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report critical of the
federal government’s ability under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to assess and
prevent risks from new and existing chemical substances. Entitled Chemical Regulation:
Options Exist to Improve EPA's Ability to Assess Health Risks and Manage Its Chemical Review
Program,1 the report is not the first (or likely the last) word from GAO on what it believes to be
TSCA’s inherent inability to identify and address risks posed by chemical substances.
Release of the GAO report coincided with the introduction by Senators Frank Lautenberg and James Jeffords of the Kid Safe Chemicals Act (S. 1391), a bill intended to improve children’s health by reducing exposure to harmful toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products and otherwise address the deficiencies in TSCA outlined in the report.
June 2005 - Regulatory Update
The Onyx Environmental Services - Environmental, Health, Safety, and Transportation department is pleased to present the Monthly Regulatory Update. The update contains a brief summary of the proposed and final rules from EPA, OSHA, and DOT published in the Federal Register in the past calendar month. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the Monthly Regulatory Updates, please contact Kevin McGrath at (402) 991-6666 or Tom Baker at (973) 691-7330. The .pdf file contains the Monthly Regulatory...
Officials Reduce Chlorine Hazard After EIS Exercise Reveals Potential Danger to Ft. Lewis` Neighbors
Untitled Document The Challenge: Recently, the LEPC used EIS to conduct an exercise involving an H20 treatment plant located near residential housing. Prior to the exercise, the plant used gaseous chlorine which it stored in 12 one-ton cylinders and two wells (150 LB bottles). However, much to the LEPC officials` dismay, the spill exercise showed how a plume could extend into the residential housing area and envelope a child care center located nearby. As a result, the...
Be Prepared To Defend Your Product
The testing pressures on the chemical industry today are perhaps more significant than ever before. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) much-publicized voluntary chemical testing initiatives encourage or, more bluntly, subtly compel chemical testing. The business implications of chemical testing for both chemical producers and their downstream users are great. Chemical manufacturers are engaged actively in several significant chemicaltesting initiatives. The High Production Volume (HPV) Chemical...
SNPs and Chips: Genomic Data in Safety Evaluation and Risk Assessment
The biotechnology revolution is impacting all of the biological sciences, and toxicology is no exception. Perusal of the abstracts of the Society’s recent annual meetings confirms that our field is already actively using the powerful new tools of molecular biology to identify and understand the mechanisms of toxic responses. Thus, the Workshop on Toxicogenomics and Risk Assessment sponsored by the Society and discussed in this issue by Cunningham et al. was a timely undertaking. This was not the first workshop...
Decontamination Of PCB-Contaminated Equipment for Recycling and Reuse
Facility decommissioning projects often include an environmental component that involves the identification of hazardous building materials and chemicals present at the site, abatement of those materials, and proper disposal. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are one chemical hazard that may need to be addressed during the dismantling of older facilities. The continued use and handling of PCB-containing materials are highly regulated, and their disposal can be very expensive. However, decontamination methods may...
Emissions Trading under Attack
From California to New Jersey, environmentalists and politicians are rounding on emissions trading programmes. David Biello reports Even as the Bush administration continues to build support for market mechanisms to solve air pollution issues – under his Clear Skies initiative – emissions trading schemes from California to New Jersey are under attack from environmentalists, citizen advocacy groups and state governments. In New York State, Governor George Pataki is continuing a legal battle over the trading of...
Chemical Testing Under TSCA -- Who Is On the Hook (PDF)
Manufacturers of chemical products and products that contain significant chemical components need to be aware of subtle but important changes in the “persons required to test” provisions of Section 4 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Historically, those persons have included chemical manufacturers, processors, or those who intend to process or manufacture a Section 4 test rule substance. In the recent past, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sought to expand the class of...
TSCA and the Future of Chemical Regulation (PDF)
Congress enacted the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976. 1 Despite the passage of over two decades, its core provisions have not been substantively amended. 2 Some believe change is needed, even essential. Indeed, the question of whether TSCA is fundamentally flawed or whether EPA ’ s implementation of it is lacking, has been the subject of debate for years. While much has changed over the past two decades, this article concludes that TSCA is an essential environmental law that serves a vital role...
Small Diameter Pipe Wipe Sampling for PCBs: Technology Review and Status of EPA Approval
ABSTRACT The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulations governing management of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the electric and gas industry include a series of options for abandoning pipe in place and managing pipe removed for disposal. The management options available to owners are different and, in some respects, more stringent for pipe that is less than or equal to 4 inches in diameter. The differentiation comes about because, in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) view, it is not...
Evaluation of Ecological Risks Associated with the use of Chlorine Dioxide for the Bleaching of ...
1.1 Scope and Objectives A small number of viable options are presently available for the bleaching of wood pulp (delignification and brightening) during the manufacture of pulp and paper. The use of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) in the bleaching process has largely superceded the earlier use of Cl2, or elemental chlorine, in the majority of North American pulp mills: It was discovered over a decade ago that the previous widespread use of Cl2 contributed to the production and subsequent release to the environment of...
Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF): Pollution Prevention for the Pulp and Paper Industry
Imagine being in charge of a chemical company. One day a fire breaks out, and an employee, designated as a first responder, is killed fighting the blaze. Then OSHA investigators discover that the man died primarily because both his training and his equipment were inadequate. This scenario is why CPL 2-2.59A should put anyone who runs a HAZMAT facility into a state of introspection. These employers need to ask themselves: `When was the last time that our Emergency Response Plan was brought up to date? Do our...
Compilation of EU Dioxin Exposure and Health Data
Introduction There is considerable public, scientific and regulatory concern over the possible adverse health effects of chronic exposure to trace levels of persistent organic pollutants. The class of compounds made up of the polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF), often collectively known as dioxins, has received widespread attention and attracted a great deal of research, following the accidental release of the most toxic of these (2,3,7,8 TCDD) at Seveso in 1976. Diox...
Performance-Based Measurement Systems
Many of the Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA`s) methods used to monitor air, water and soil for environmental contaminants prescribe step-by-step details on how the chemical analysis must be conducted and prohibit any deviations or variations. The EPA has recognized that monitoring equipment and technology have improved tremendously over the last few years; that environmental media do not always act the same way for each analysis; and that the matrix may affect the analysis and results. The EPA has been...
Inspection Manual: Federal Equipment Leak Regulations for the Chemical Manufacturing Industry
Untitled Document Abstract The purpose of this manual is to enhance an inspector`s ability to conduct more complete and effective inspections at facilities in the chemical industry that are subject to Federal equipment leak regulations. Equipment leak standards are designed to reduce or eliminate emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), volatile hazardous air pollutants (VHAPs), and organic HAPs from the miles of piping and numerous components found in chemical manufacturing processes. This...
Introduction The utilization of fungal biodegradation involves the controlled usage of these specially cultivated fungi to treat contaminants. White Rot Fungus White rot fungus has been reported to degrade a wide variety of organopollutants because of its lignin-degrading or wood-rotting enzymes. Two different treatment configurations have been tested for white rot fungus, in situ and bioreactor. An aerobic system using moisturized air on wood chips is used in a reactor for biodegradation. A reactor was used...
Comparative Risk Assessment
` Comparative risk assessment provides a systematic way to compare environmental problems that pose different types and degrees of health risk. It combines information on the inherent hazards of pollutants, exposure levels and population characteristics to predict the resulting health effects. Using data from available sources, rapid, inexpensive comparative risk assessments can identify the most significant health problems. Together with consideration of costs, technical feasibility and other factors, the...
Vapor-Phase Biofilters Show Promise for Treating High VOC Emissions
Evaluating the Feasibility of Natural AttenuationUsing natural attenuation to remediate organic compounds in groundwater has gained popularity. In some cases, this process can reduce contaminant levels to below risk-based corrective action criteria or regulatory standards without implementing additional remedial action alternatives. However, it is often difficult to prove that natural attenuation is capable of reducing contamination to acceptable levels. The article discusses a recently developed protocol that...
A Workplace using Pesticide that contains Chlorpyrifos: Hazardous Substances Case Study
The hazardous substances compliance standard was previously the Regulation Part 27 -Hazardous Substances and the advisory standard was previously the Code of Practice for the Management of Hazardous Substances at Work. Your task as an employer is to assess the risk of chemical exposure and if necessary, to take steps to control it, in line with the Hazardous Substances Compliance Standard. Download the full document in pdf format (25 Kb)
Hazardous Waste Identification Studies
This is a final report of the study on spent solvents under taken as a result of a consent decree between the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The study discusses the wastes associated with the use of the materials as solvents, the toxicity of the wastes, and the management practices for the wastes. The chemicals included in this study are diethylamine, aniline, ethylene oxide, allyl chloride, 1,4-dioxane, 1,1-dichloroethylene, and bromoform. In addition, this...
The Waste Minimation National Plan
Executive Summary The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to making pollution prevention the guiding principle of the Agency`s environmental efforts. The 1984 Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the 1990 Pollution Prevention Act set in policy the preference for source reduction over waste management. EPA is reaffirming this commitment. With the release of the Waste Minimization National Plan on November 18, 1994, EPA outlines its major goals, objectives, and action...