Environmental Protection

Safety


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.

Sandia Lab Helps UAE Set Up Nuclear Energy Safety Institute

Over the last three years, the federal laboratory has been developing a program to ensure that local professionals in the United Arab Emirates will be trained in safety and security concepts related to nuclear energy programs.

SOCMA Welcomes Extension of Chemical Security Rules

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



TTI Study Finds Arsenic and Lead in Imported Glass Beads

The American Glass Bead Manufacturers' Association, which sponsored the study, is urging states and the U.S. government to limit heavy metal levels in glass beads used for highway markings.

Fungal Growth Standard Provides Go-To Reference for Mold Assessment

ASTM subcommittee is trying to bring consistent, reliable, and accurate sampling to the practice.

NEWEA Gives Leominster Facility Environmental Safety Honor

Leominster’s wastewater treatment plant, which is managed by Veolia Water North America, received the George W. Burke Jr. Award.

Blink EV Charging Station Earns the UL Mark

ECOtality's electric vehicle home charger receives safety and FCC approval.

EPA Fines Fertilizer Distributors for Not Updating Risk-Management Plans

Two Washington ammonia fertilizer distributors have agreed to pay more than $33,000 for failing to update their plans for preventing chemical releases at eight facilities throughout Washington.

Oil Spill Commission's Final Report: Systematic Failures in Risk Management

The European Union's energy commissioner, meanwhile, is watching the U.S. actions and will propose his own legislation soon.

EonCoat application

Technology

A Ceramic Coating without VOCs

The secret is in the manufacturing and application processes, not the chemical makeup.

HHS, EPA Announce New Assessments on Fluoride in Drinking Water

These actions will maximize the health benefits of water fluoridation, an important tool in the prevention of tooth decay while reducing the possibility of children receiving too much fluoride, according to both agencies.

EPA Updates CFL Cleanup and PCB Exposure Guidance

A new consumer brochure offers cleaning tips for broken CFLs while the agency urges schools to replace older fluorescent lamps that contain polychlorinated biphenyls.

EPA Research on Recreational Water Criteria Now Available

New criteria to protect people from potential illness will be developed by October 2012.

Wayne County, Occidental to Clean up Mercury-contaminated Bridges

Glenn Springs Holdings, an affiliate of Occidental Chemical Corp., will initially remediate three bridges in Wayne County, Tenn.

Laboratory technician

Public Now Has Access to Chemical Health and Safety Studies

The database will grow as more companies submit information electronically and as older documents are scanned into the system.

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