Volume 13, Issue 2

February 29, 2012

In The Works is a monthly newsletter providing Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) news and regulatory updates.  The newsletter is provided free of charge by Loureiro Engineering Associates, Inc. of Plainville, Connecticut.

In this issue of In The Works you will find links to the following articles:

Wastewater

  • EPA Issues Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Sites: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a new permit, in accordance with the Clean Water Act (CWA), that will provide streamlined permitting to thousands of construction operators, while protecting our nation’s waterways from discharges of polluted stormwater from construction sites. Stormwater discharges from construction sites can contain harmful pollutants, such as nutrients, that contaminate waters, increase drinking water treatment costs, and damage aquatic ecosystems. The 2012 construction general permit (CGP) is required under the CWA and replaces the existing 2008 CGP, which expired on February 15, 2012. The new permit includes a number of enhanced protections for surface waters, including provisions to protect impaired and sensitive waters.  For more information, click here.


Risk Assessment

  • EPA Updates Science Assessment for Dioxins: On February 17, 2012 the EPA finalized its non-cancer science assessment for dioxins, which was last reviewed in the 1980s. Dioxins are toxic chemicals that naturally exist in the environment and can be released into the environment through forest fires, backyard burning of trash, certain industrial activities, and residue from past commercial burning of waste.  These latest findings show that generally, over a person’s lifetime, current exposure to dioxins does not pose a significant health risk.  Over the past two decades EPA has worked to reduce emissions from all of the major industrial sources of dioxins. As a result of efforts by EPA, state governments and industry, known and measurable air emissions of dioxins in the United States have been reduced by 90 percent from 1987 levels. The largest remaining source of dioxin emissions is backyard burning of household trash.  For more information, click here.


  • EPA Releases Final Health Assessment for PCE: On February 10, 2012, the EPA posted the final health assessment for tetrachloroethylene (PCE) – to EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database. PCE is a chemical solvent widely used in the dry cleaning industry. It is also used in the cleaning of metal machinery and to manufacture some consumer products and other chemicals. Confirming longstanding scientific understanding and research, the final assessment characterizes PCE as a “likely human carcinogen.” The assessment provides estimates for both cancer and non-cancer effects associated with exposure to PCE over a lifetime.  For more information, click here.


  • Tox21 begins screening 10,000 chemicals: In December 2011, a high-speed robotic screening system, aimed at protecting human health by improving how chemicals are tested in the United States, began testing 10,000 compounds for potential toxicity. The compounds cover a wide variety of classifications, and include consumer products, food additives, chemicals found in industrial processes, and human and veterinary drugs.  Testing this 10,000 compound library begins a new phase of an ongoing collaboration between the National Institutes of Health, the EPA, and the United States Food and Drug Administration, referred to as Tox21.  For more information, click here.


Regional

  • Connecticut - Municipal Water Pollution Control: On February 8, 2012, the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) released the draft document entitled, Clean Water Fund - Financial Assistance Programs, Municipal Water Pollution Control, State Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013.  The purpose of this document is to present the CTDEEP's state and federal funding assistance programs for municipal and state water pollution control projects during state fiscal years 2012 and 2013. This document describes the uses of funds available under Sections 22a-446 and 22a-483 of the Connecticut General Statutes and federal funds under the Water Quality Act of 1987.  For more information, click here.

  • Connecticut - Notice of Intent to Amend the State Air Quality Regulations and to Revise the SIP: The CTDEEP gave notice of a public hearing as part of a proceeding to make small changes to its procedural requirements for reviewing air quality permit applications. Upon adoption, the regulatory changes will be submitted to the EPA as a revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality to satisfy specific obligations under the Clean Air Act (CAA).  CTDEEP proposes to revise subdivisions (5) and (6) of Section 22a-174-2a(b) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RCSA). The revisions specify those individuals CTDEEP will notify concerning the Commissioner’s tentative determination on a permit application submitted under the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit program or Title V permit program. The proposed revisions make Connecticut’s procedures consistent with federal procedures. These revisions do not change the requirements on permit applicants. For more information, click here.

  • Massachusetts - Independent Expert Science Panel Releases Report on Potential Health Effects of Wind Turbines: The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) commissioned an independent panel of experts to study potential health impacts of wind turbines. MassDEP convened the panel in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). The independent report was proactively sought to help address questions that have been raised by members of the public about potential human health impacts associated with proximity to wind turbines. The panel was asked to identify any documented or potential human health impacts or risks that may be associated with exposure to wind turbines in order to facilitate discussion of wind turbines and public health based on the best available science. For more information, click here.

  • Massachusetts - MCP Revisions: The MassDEP is currently evaluating recent toxicity information relative to several contaminants including chlorinated volatile organic compounds.  This new information will be used in the development and revision of Method 1 cleanup standards as found in the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP).  The MassDEP is currently holding workgroups to discuss the proposed revisions. For more information, click here.

  • New Jersey - SRRA: Faced with the challenge of ensuring that more than 20,000 contaminated sites in New Jersey are properly remediated in a timely manner, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) worked closely with the New Jersey Legislature and stakeholders to develop legislation that is changing the process used to conduct environmental investigations and cleanups. On May 7, 2009, the Site Remediation Reform Act, (SRRA) was signed into law.  The Act required the NJDEP to phase in implementation of the use of Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) by remediating parties. All parties initiating remediation after November 3, 2009 or who opt into the use of the LSRP paradigm will be required to follow the provisions of SRRA, including the requirement to hire a LSRP to conduct the remediation, and the requirement to remediate the site without prior NJDEP approval. All parties who initiated remediation prior to November 3, 2009 will not be required to hire a LSRP to conduct the remediation right away. Remediation of those sites will follow the remediation process with traditional NJDEP oversight and approvals until 2012. All parties remediating sites on or after May 7, 2012 will be required to follow N.J.S.A. 58:10B-1.3b 1-9.  For more information, click here.

  • New Jersey - Linear Construction Technical Guidance: The New Jersey Site Remediation Program issued guidance in January 2012 regarding linear constructions.   The guidance is designed to help the investigator to conduct a linear construction project in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment.  “Linear construction project" means construction and development to create, maintain or alter a roadway, railroad or utility by a person conducting a linear construction project that: 1. includes one or more contaminated properties; and 2. will generate more than 200 cubic yards of contaminated soil for fill or disposal during the duration of the linear construction project.  For more information, click here.

  • New Jersey - Disciplinary Flowchart: The Professional Conduct Committee of the Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board is seeking feedback on its recently updated Disciplinary Flowchart. Toward that end, the Committee held an open forum on February 14, 2012 .  For more information, click here.


International

  • Europe - New Indicators Show Latest Data on Air Pollution, Ozone Depletion and Acid Rain: Updated air pollution indicators have been published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). They include indicators presenting past emission trends, contributions of different sectors and analysis of reasons for past changes. The indicators cover a range of substances affecting the ozone layer, acid rain and air quality.  For more information, click here.





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