Environmental Protection

Safety


BSEE Safety Panel Meeting Next Week

This will be the sixth meeting of the year-old Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee. BSEE also is accepting proposals for oil spill response research projects.

Costa Concordia Removal Planned by Fall 2013

The task of uprighting and refloating the stranded cruise ship involves about 400 workers and a seven-days-a-week schedule, the salvors reported Dec. 23.

Shell Halts Arctic Oil Search for 2012

The company announced it will stop drilling into deepwater zones for this year but will drill the top portions of as many wells as possible during the remaining season, then cap and temporarily abandon them.

Waste Connections Buying R360 Environmental Solutions for $1.3 Billion

Both are headquartered in Texas. R360 is a leading provider of non-hazardous oilfield waste treatment, recovery, and disposal services.

Marine Scientists Urge Government to Reassess Oil Spill Response

On the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout, a national panel of researchers including University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye is urging the federal government to reassess how it would respond to similar oil spills that might occur in the future.

Best Practices in Solar Energy Production Highlighted in New Report

Survey of Over 100 Solar Manufacturers Reveal Current Environmental, Worker Safety, and Fiduciary Considerations

EPA Proposes First Carbon Pollution Standard for Future Power Plants

Achievable standard is in line with investments already being made and will inform the building of new plants moving forward.

Oil- and Gas-Related Helicopter Crashes in Gulf of Mexico Killed 139 Over 26 Years

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that helicopters that service the drilling platforms and vessels in the Gulf of Mexico crash on average more than six times per year resulting in an average of five deaths per year.



Chemical drum

Making Chemicals Safer

When many people think of industrial chemicals, they think of those scary-looking yellow drums, containing unknown but almost certainly hazardous goo. A new industry initiative, though hopes to change that by giving consumers more information on the chemicals they use every day.

Roanoke Chemical Distributor To Pay $44,000 Penalty for Safety Violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that a chemical distributor in Roanoke, Va., has agreed to pay a $43,967 penalty and complete more than $200,000 in safety improvements to settle alleged violations of federal environmental laws designed to protect and inform the public about hazardous chemicals.

Ethanol Company Penalized for Failing to Develop Risk Management Plan

NEDAK Ethanol LLC, an alternative fuels manufacturer, has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $3,600 to the United States for failing to develop a risk management program and file a risk management plan for its ethanol production facility at Atkinson, Neb.

Climate Information Crucial to Help Reduce Risk, Limit Disaster Damage: Report

The report details ways in which disaster risk managers can improve their decision making by integrating climate information into their operations.

Biobased Chemicals: Fact or Fiction?

While biobased industrial performance chemicals have been around for awhile, manufacturers have made great strides in the past decade in improving their effectiveness.

Condo Owner Gets Four-Year Prison Sentence for Conspiring to Violate Clean Air Act

<p>The owner and manager of a California condominium complex were sentenced for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act’s asbestos work practice standards during the renovation of a 204-unit apartment building in Winnetka, Calif., in 2006 – work that caused asbestos to be released into the complex and the surrounding community. </p><p> Charles Yi, of Santa Clarita, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson to four years in prison. John Bostick, also of Santa Clarita, was sentenced to six months home confinement, 150 hours of community service, and three years probation. Yi was convicted after a two-week trial in March 2011 when a jury found him guilty of five felony offenses, including conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act. Bostick pleaded guilty in February 2011 to conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. </p><p> The jury also convicted Yi of failing to notify the Environmental Protection Agency and the South Coast Air Quality Management District about a renovation containing asbestos, failing to provide a properly trained person during a renovation containing asbestos, failing to properly remove asbestos and failing to properly dispose of asbestos wastes. </p><p> Yi was the owner of the now-defunct Millennium-Pacific Icon Group and Bostick was its vice-president. Millennium-Pacific owned the Forest Glen apartment complex in Winnetka that was being converted into condominiums in 2006. Knowing that asbestos was present in the ceilings of apartments in the Forest Glen complex, Yi, Bostick, and the project manager, Joseph Yoon, hired workers who were not trained or certified to conduct asbestos abatements. The workers scraped the ceilings of the apartments without knowing about the asbestos and without wearing any protective gear. The illegal scraping resulted in the repeated release of asbestos-containing material throughout the apartment complex and the surrounding area because Santa Ana winds were blowing during the time of the illegal work. After the illegal asbestos abatement was shut down by an inspector from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the asbestos was cleaned up at a cost of approximately $1.2 million. Yoon pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in June 2010 and is scheduled to be sentenced in July. </p><p> The federal Clean Air Act requires those who own or supervise the renovation of buildings that contain asbestos to adhere to certain established work practice standards. These standards were created to ensure the safe removal and disposal of the asbestos and the protection of workers. </p><p>

EPA Releases MDI, TDI Action Plans to Protect Consumers

Do-it-yourselfers may be exposed to methylene diphenyl diisocyanate and toluene diisocyanate from spray foam insulation or sealing concrete applications.

Benefits Top Costs in EPRI Smart Grid Analysis

The project team analyzed projected costs over the next 20 years, looking at core smart grid technologies in transmission, substation, distribution, and customer interface.

New York No Longer Tolerates Lead Wheel Weights

Those who violate the ban can face stiff penalties, including fines up to $1,000 per violation and an additional $1,000 per day the violation occurs.

Recycling Facility Joins Cal/OSHA SHARP Program

"There are just over 1 million employers in California and of those, only 42 are current SHARP recipients," said Cal/OSHA Area Manager Kelly Howard.

Groups Request Info on Reactor Exemptions, Evacuation

Richard Brodsky with Demos, a national policy center, and three other groups have filed Freedom of Information Act requests prompted by the nuclear disaster in Sendai, Japan.

SOCMA Welcomes Extension of Chemical Security Rules

Newly introduced Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act does not include a requirement for inherently safer technologies.

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