Environmental Protection

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It's Not My Job

Environmental, health, and safety (EHS) roles and responsibilities have been shaped over the past 30 years primarily by U.S.-based regulatory requirements. But what happens if other forces were to dominate how EHS professionals add value? That tipping point may be approaching, and once reached, EHS roles and responsibilities could dramatically shift, hopefully for the better -- but maybe for the worse. Will other functional areas grab the very best jobs? The answer lies in whether EHS professionals will lead, follow, or get pushed out of the way.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Passing the NPDES Litmus Test

When people think of water issues at electric utilities, the first thought that usually comes to mind is production of high-purity water for steam generation. Even though a power plant may not have myriad fluid processes like a refinery or petrochemical facility, water discharge from a steam-generating facility is usually considerable. Chemistry in discharge streams must be carefully controlled to prevent pollution of receiving bodies of water or surrounding land.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

The Show Must Go On

Critical infrastructures are industrial sectors based on areas of utilization and specialty that are critically vital to the continued operations and maintainability of our nation's way of life. Several sectors are more important than others, either based upon financial or human risk factors.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

A Dark Legacy's Impact

PITTSBURGH -- This, the sixth installment of my column, Waterlawged, has been difficult to write -- and I finally figured out why. Any lawyer who writes in earnest about "Superfund" and that statute's mission to address the serious, disturbing, and, indeed, darkest legacies of America's industrial history almost immediately starts to sound like next year's chapter president of the Sierra Club in Marin County, Calif.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Speeding Up Meth Lab Remediation

U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez has called it "a unique and deadly threat to our nation -- which destroys lives far beyond those of just the addicts and the users."

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Weathering the Storm

Aug. 25, 2005: Hurricane Katrina, the 11th named tropical storm, fourth hurricane, and first Category 5 hurricane of the season, makes landfall north of Miami, Fla., killing dozens. Four days later, the slightly weakened system touches down on the Central Gulf Coast of Louisiana.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

If You Build It

Stormwater managers around the country are challenged by growing regulatory requirements in the face of increasingly urbanized land uses. As cities continue to grow, more and more areas are covered with roads, buildings, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Auditing

The nature of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) auditing has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. It may be on the verge of making its next big transformation: joining ranks with mainstream business governance functions. How has EHS auditing changed, and what may be on the horizon?

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.



This Year's Model

A new air dispersion modeling system is helping create more accurate industrial source models

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Environmental Justice: Beginnings Through Today (Part 2)

The environmental justice movement found its roots in the 1980s when studies were published describing environmental and public health injustices in minority communities. Impacted areas across the southern United States continued to surface throughout the decade.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

The New Iron-fisted Approach to Mercury

The California Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC) began enforcing Universal Waste management rules for all waste generators effective Feb. 9, 2006. All businesses and households are now required to properly dispose of batteries and mercury-containing lamps and devices at a certified recycling facility.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

There and Back Again

A serious problem faces our society as the demand for clean water begins to exceed the available supply. Treating and reusing wastewater is becoming an acceptable solution to this problem.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

The Fight for Funding

Nearly 35 years have passed since the historic enactment of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972. And thanks to the hard work of the nation's municipal clean water agencies, great gains have been made during that time. Yet, three decades since the CWA's enactment, we are still far from the "zero discharge" and swimmable/fishable goals of the CWA.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

In the Storm's Wake

When a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or a major flood, strikes, a typical first response is to evacuate quickly. Upon return and property review, the next priority is to find clean water to drink and use for washing and cleaning. The need for a functioning sanitary sewer system is of equal importance to bring a community back to normal functioning capacity.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

The Folly of 100% Compliance

Environmental, health and safety (EHS) departments were created in response to regulations. For most, it continues to be their raison d'être in the minds of most business managers.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Hustle & Flow

Managing stormwater infiltration is an ongoing and increasing need. Factors influencing stormwater filtration management include:

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

XRF Marks the Spot

This case study describes the use of portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrumentation in site characterization and corrective remediation for heavy metals and other contaminants, a process that allowed the environmental engineers to accelerate remediation efforts as the client prepared to invest in the redevelopment opportunities of a commercial 26-acre site in Massachusetts.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Still Hazy After All These Years

2006 promises to be a contentious and litigious time in the air pollution control area. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced some significant new hazardous and traditional pollutant regulatory programs that will be legally challenged as either too stringent or too lax, depending upon the litigant.

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Exorcising Groundwater Contaminants

Groundwater and soil contamination are among the most time-consuming and costly environmental remediation challenges facing our communities today. Solvents, metals, organic compounds, and other chemicals remain in the soil and seep into groundwater long after the facilities that used or created the contaminants have stopped operating.

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

Under Surveillance

The Wastewater Operations Division of Charlotte County Utilities in Charlotte County, Fla., operates in a unique underground construction setting. The county is in the process of substantially expanding its utility infrastructure to serve thousands of platted residential lots and accommodate the demands of rapid population growth.

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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