Volume 12, Issue 2

February 2011

In The Works is a monthly newsletter providing Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) news and regulatory updates. The newsletter is provided by Loureiro Engineering Associates, Inc. of Plainville, Connecticut. In this issue you will find links to the following articles:

Air

  • Ethanol Blend: In response to a request by Growth Energy under section 211(f)(4) of the Clean Air Act, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has partially granted a waiver to allow fuel and fuel additive manufacturers to introduce into commerce gasoline that contains greater than 10 volume percent (vol%) ethanol and up to 15 vol% ethanol (E15) for use in model year (MY) 2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, subject to several conditions. On October 13, 2010, EPA granted a partial waiver for E15 for use in MY2007 and newer light-duty vehicles (i.e., cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles). On January 21, 2011, EPA granted a partial waiver for E15 for use in MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles. These decisions were based on test results provided by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and other information regarding the potential effect of E15 on vehicle emissions. Taken together, the two actions allow, but do not require, E15 to be introduced into commerce for use in MY2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles if conditions for mitigating misfueling and ensuring fuel quality are met.  E15 is gasoline containing 15 vol% ethanol.  Ethanol when mixed with gasoline results in a cleaner-burning fuel.  For more information, click here.


Water

  • Perchlorate: On February 2, 2011, the EPA announced that it is moving forward with the development of a regulation for perchlorate to protect Americans from any potential health impacts, while also continuing to take steps to ensure the quality of the water they drink. Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and man-made chemical, and scientific research indicates that it may impact the normal function of the thyroid, which produces important developmental hormones.  For more information, click here.


Superfund

  • Addition of Vapor Intrusion Component to the Hazard Ranking System: As noted in EPA's Rulemaking Gateway, additional pathways have been identified as posing significant threats to human health and the environment that should be considered when evaluating sites for the National Priorities List (NPL).  One such pathway is vapor intrusion. Vapor intrusion occurs when contaminants enter into indoor spaces, generally residences, from environmental sources such as contaminated groundwater or contaminated soil.  The Hazard Ranking System (HRS), required by the Superfund statute, is the primary mechanism used by EPA to assess the relative threat associated with actual or potential releases of hazardous substances. As a matter of Agency policy, those sites that score 28.50 or greater under the HRS are eligible for inclusion on the NPL.  For more information, click here.


USTs

  • Underground Storage Tank Flood Guide: This EPA guidance document provides information for state, local, and tribal authorities in the event of a threatened or actual flood.  The guide provides information about preparing for a flood, important actions after the disaster strikes, and information on financial assistance.  For more information, click here.


TSCA

  • Confidentiality Claims: The EPA notified five companies that the identities of 14 chemicals associated with a number of health and safety studies submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and claimed as confidential are not eligible for confidential treatment.  Last year, EPA put in place a plan to review confidentiality claims for the name of chemicals addressed in health and safety studies. Under these new procedures EPA is moving to declassify many chemical identities so they are no longer secret. More chemical names connected with health and safety studies will be released in the future. The agency plans to deny confidentiality claims for chemical identity in health and safety studies provided to the agency under TSCA unless the chemical identity contains process or mixture information that is expressly protected by the law.  For more information, click here.


NIOSH

  • Prevention through Design: On November 19, 2010, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a document entitled “Prevention through Design: Plan for the National Initiative.” This document includes a statement of goals and strategies for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses by designing occupational hazards out of work equipment, structures, materials, and processes.  For more information, click here.



Regional

  • Connecticut – Re-issuance of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Programmatic General Permit: The New England District of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) has published a public notice for its intent to issue a Programmatic General Permit (PGP) for activities in waters of the United States that have minimal individual and cumulative impacts on the aquatic environment within the State of Connecticut and lands located within the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation.  The CTDEP and ACOE will hold a public informational session on the re-issuance of the PGP on March 3, 2011 at 79 Elm Street, Hartford, Connecticut.  For more information, click here.


  • New Hampshire - Stormwater: A legislative commission to study issues relating to stormwater was established in 2008. Over the course of two years, the 20-member stakeholder commission researched stormwater as it relates to water quality, water supply, flooding, drought hazards, climate change and land use change. They also studied existing federal, state and local stormwater regulations, the adequacy of conventional stormwater management practices, and options for sustainable funding.  The work of the commission is documented in its final report, which was submitted to the legislature in early November 2010. In addition to a discussion of their findings, the report details a set of recommendations that the commission believes, if implemented, will improve stormwater management in the state and reduce the negative impacts of stormwater on New Hampshire’s water resources.  For more information, click here.



International

  • Canada - Overview of the Reported 2009 Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Environment Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program has completed its collection of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions information from Canadian facilities, covering the 2009 calendar year. The Overview of the Reported 2009 Greenhouse Gas Emissions provides more details on the analysis of the 2009 data as well as short-term and long-term trends observed at a national, provincial and sector level. This report also discusses underlying trends in these emissions for the period 2004-2009.  The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program (GHGRP) is Canada’s legislated, publicly-accessible inventory of facility-reported GHG data and information.  For more information, click here.





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