Training Spotlight: Environmental Justice (EJ) Awareness
“Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” – epa.gov
The Environmental Justice movement continues to grow as communities strive for equality with environmental protection. Businesses and industries share the responsibilities in strengthening their participation in EJ, “green business” development, and sustainability. Is your business trained to understand the importance of the Environmental Justice movement as well as their participation efforts? If not, now is the time. And Envicomply can help with our Environmental Justice Awareness course.
This training serves as an introduction to Environmental Justice (EJ) and takes a look at the origins of the Environmental Justice movement, Federal actions to address EJ, how Environmental Justice is currently being addressed at the state and national level, and examples of environmental injustices globally and in the U.S.
Plus, you’ll also learn important basics like:
What is environmental justice, and why is it important
How environmental justice started
What are environmental justice communities and what are the dangers they face
How to include environmental justice principles in your daily life
Today is America Recycles Day! You probably already know how to recycle common goods like paper, plastics, aluminum and glass, but what about batteries, used motor oil, tires, light bulbs and household hazardous waste items?
If you are already an avid recycler, great! That’s the first step. Next step is to ensure you are doing it correctly. Here are a few tips on how to keep up the good work with the ‘not so easy’ items:
Never dump your used motor oil down the drain. Used oil is a hazardous waste that, even in small amounts, can contaminate our waterways and result in the pollution of our drinking water sources. Old motor oil can be refined, reconditioned or reprocessed to become usable again, so recycle it! The best places to recycle used motor oil and filters are your local service stations and auto shops.
E-Waste & HHW:
E-waste is the category for electronics and batteries, which require special handling with disposal. E-waste can be filled with toxic chemicals like mercury and lead that, if not handled properly, can leak into the environment.
Leftover household products like paints, cleaners and pesticides can contain corrosive, ignitable and toxic ingredients that should never be poured onto the ground or thrown out with regular trash. These household hazardous waste (HHW) products also require special care when disposing of them.
Did you know that many cities and counties will collect single-use batteries and household hazardous waste during their collection events? To see if you live in an area that participates in these cleanups, visit your city and county website. You can also look for in-store recycling bins to dispose of batteries.
Discarded tires may carry disease-carrying pests or worse, tire piles can catch on fire. Most garages are required to accept and recycle your used tires when you have new ones installed. Some communities will hold collection events for used tires, so be sure to check yours.
Because Compact Flourescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury, EPA recommends recycling options for CFLs and fluorescent bulbs. Find your local collection agency to drop off broken or used CFLs or visit a hardware supply store to see if they offer in-store recycling.
But there is still so much more to learn beyond the basics.
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National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is wrapping up, but the efforts to promote awareness and safety shouldn’t. The dangers of lead exposure and lead poisoning, particularly in children, continue. A window and glass installation company faces penalties for violating the federal Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule:
“Firm settles violations with U.S. EPA, provides equipment to Maricopa County clinics to identify children exposed to lead
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with True View Windows & Glass Block, Inc. for violations of the federal Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. The agreement requires True View, which operates in Arizona and Colorado, to pay a $15,060 penalty and spend $14,940 on blood lead analyzers and test kits for six Maricopa County, Ariz. health clinics.
“Exposure to lead-based paint is one of the most common ways children develop lead poisoning,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “This settlement will support local clinics in identifying and assisting children with elevated levels of lead in their blood and help prevent future exposure to lead-based paint.”
An EPA inspection found True View, a window and glass installer, performed work in Phoenix without required EPA certification. The company also failed to comply with resident notification requirements, post signs communicating the risks of lead-containing dust, or maintain records of lead-safe work practices.
Reducing childhood lead exposure and addressing associated health impacts is a top priority for EPA. Each year, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week increases public awareness and serves as a reminder that children are uniquely vulnerable to the potential health effects of lead exposure. Lead exposure can cause a range of adverse health effects and is particularly dangerous for young children because their nervous systems are still developing. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-based paint, but it is still present in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint.“
Know the facts and dangers of lead exposure. It’s important to keep yourself safe and keep your company free from dangerous and costly violations. Stay knowledgeable with our Lead Awareness and Lead & Lead-Based Paint (LBP) Management courses:
Lead & Lead-Based Paint (LBP) Management: 3 module training
Topics covered include:
Modern day products that contain lead
Lead laws and executive orders
How to detect lead-based paint & methods to test for lead in paint
Precautions you should take when remodeling buildings that contain LBP
LBP abatement activities and strategies
Overview of proper LBP cleanup methods, steps for removing LBP & proper waste disposal
Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) activities
Lead’s harmful health effects on the human body (adults and children)
Lead exposure symptoms
How to reduce potential health risks from exposure to lead
Certifications to conduct work with LBP
How to become certified to perform LBP renovations
Proper procedures for safely removing LBP
States authorized to administer the LBP program
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
TSCA notification exceptions
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and LBP
Click here for more info from the EPA on this settlement.
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This National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week marks a week of recognition and awareness, October 21-27, with the theme being Lead Free Kids for a Healthy Future. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children…”
What can you do to stay safe and raise awareness?
Get the Facts: Lead poisoning is 100% preventable! So, educate yourself and others. Learn about lead, lead-based paint and the dangers of lead exposure before it’s too late. Get involved with your local activities or events. And spread the word. Knowledge is key to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
Do your Tests: Test your home for lead with a certified professional and consult your health care provider for advice on blood tests to test your children for any lead exposure.
Click to learn more from the EPA, find out ways to get involved and spread the word.
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Do you know the Top 10 Hazardous Waste Violations? If not, you should. Businesses can be quick to dismiss the importance of proper waste disposal, but human health and the environment depend on it. Violating RCRA regulations puts you at risk. Knowing what you can do to avoid violations can help keep you and your business safe.
Top 10 Violations:
Improper Labeling: There are many ways for these violations to occur: improper information, lack of labels on tanks and containers, missing DOT placards, or wrong waste determination.
Improper Determination: This is the failure to correctly identify hazardous wastes and their properties.
Incorrect Disposal: The improper disposal, whether purposefully or mistakenly, into drainage systems, dumpsters, general trash, or sewer.
Inadequate Hazardous Waste Manifest: The failure to track hazardous waste with the appropriate paperwork when shipped off site. Manifest records must be on file and available upon request.
Improper Management of Expired Hazardous Waste: The improper tracking and disposal of expired chemicals. More common for laboratories, hospitals, and universities.
Lack of Contingency Plan: Should an unplanned release happen, lack of a Contingency Plan can lead to human health and environmental hazards. Failure to develop and notify the proper authorities is a violation of hazardous waste laws.
Inadequate Employee Training: Improper or lack of training in hazardous waste management can be extremely dangerous. No knowledge of safety, correct or precautionary procedures can create hazardous conditions for those involved.
Open Containers: One of the most common violations on this list. Containers of hazardous waste must be closed and latched at all times, except when adding or removing waste.
Improper Management of Mercury: Improper disposal of mercury waste and mercury-containing products is toxic and expensive to clean up.
Infrequent Inspections: Weekly inspections of hazardous waste container storage areas are required.
So, how do you avoid hazardous waste violations like the ones listed above? Knowledge is key. Understanding the rules and regulations pertaining to hazardous waste and its management can help you implement the necessary procedures to work safely and maintain compliance.
Remember, we offer the training you need to stay in compliance
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Hazardous waste violations lead to hefty settlement for Inglewood, California company.
“U.S. EPA Settlement with Inglewood, Calif. facility Requires Safer Management of Hazardous Waste
Company will purchase equipment for Los Angeles County first responders
LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Rho-Chem, LLC, a solvent recycling and storage facility in Inglewood, Calif., for federal hazardous waste violations. Under the agreement, Rho-Chem will take specific steps to better track and more safely manage hazardous wastes at its Inglewood facility. Rho-Chem will also purchase more than $353,000 in emergency response equipment for the Los Angeles County Fire Department and pay a $120,527 penalty.
“Improper management of hazardous waste can lead to fires, explosions or unplanned release of hazards into the environment,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “We are pleased that through this settlement, our local first responders are able to receive additional equipment necessary to protect the community.”
Rho-Chem is a fuel blending, solvent recycling and re-packaging distribution and storage facility. EPA’s September 2015 inspection found that Rho-Chem was in violation of federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. RCRA rules require the safe management of hazardous waste to protect public health and the environment and to prevent costly and extensive cleanups.
The company’s violations included:
Failure to make a hazardous waste determination for certain solid waste generated;
Failure to maintain and inspect secondary containment areas to prevent leaks and spills;
Failure to regularly inspect its hazardous waste operations area to detect discharges;
Failure to inspect and properly maintain its closed ventilation monitoring systems;
Failure to properly manage ignitable hazardous waste in certain areas of the facility;
Failure to maintain adequate operating records; and
Failure to obtain the proper permit to store and treat hazardous waste for longer than 90 days.
In addition to the penalty, Rho-Chem is required to complete a supplemental environmental project to purchase and provide at least $352,992 worth of emergency response instruments, and communication and computing equipment to the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Homeland Security/Hazardous Materials Response Section. This equipment will improve the department’s ability to identify and monitor chemicals and other hazardous materials in the field such as toxic and combustible gases, volatile organic compounds, radiation, and meteorological factors.
The settlement also requires Rho-Chem to implement an electronic system that will more accurately document the amounts and types of hazardous waste received, treated, stored, or scheduled for off-site disposal. The company will complete an audit of hazardous air emissions at its facility and provide its audit report to EPA, along with a schedule of corrective actions. As part of its renewal application for its hazardous waste permit, the company will submit a revised Waste Analysis Plan that outlines procedures for accurately determining the appropriate treatment standard for hazardous waste and debris and a revised Closure Plan to close certain units at its facility.”
Do you know the rules and regulations that can avoid violations like these? With our library of hazardous waste training, you can learn crucial topics like the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), hazardous waste determinations, HAZMAT federal laws, proper management, reporting and recordkeeping, preparing and responding to emergencies, and the differences between hazardous materials, hazardous substances, and hazardous waste.
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Did you know that Envicomply is an approved vendor of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division (EPD) for our Underground Storage Tank Class A/B Operator training? We can even be linked to directly from their site!
Successfully completing this training will award a certificate which grants UST Class A/B operator certification in the state of Georgia. Check out full training details now.
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With Hurricane Florence quickly approaching the Southeastern states, it’s important to prepare yourself in the event of a disaster. This means having your emergency kits packed, planning an evacuation route if necessary, and knowing what to do in its aftermath. We’ve assembled a checklist of helpful Hurricane Preparedness Tips for you:
Pack a kit of basic supplies:
Remember to include at least a 3 day water supply per person and for pets, too.
Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days, for drinking and sanitation
Food – at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food & a manual can opener
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
Baby items (if applicable) – food, diapers, formula, wipes, medications if needed, extra clothing
Pet supplies (if applicable) – food, medications if needed, cage, leash, collar, tags, medical records
Flashlight & extra batteries
First aid kit
Phone numbers and medical contacts
Paper products – toilet paper, cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Prescription & non-prescription medications
Glasses and contact lense solution
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Extra clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
Matches in a waterproof container
Toiletries & personal hygiene items
If you need to evacuate, make an action plan in advance. If you have any pets, make sure to find hotels that will accept them beforehand.
After the storm:
In the aftermath of a hurricane, remember these important safety rules:
Do NOT run a generator indoors – Carbon monoxide emissions are deadly.
Do NOT use a charcoal or gas grill indoors – Carbon monoxide and fire risks are too great.
Do NOT walk in flooded waters – Limit contact with flood water. Alligators, snakes, downed power lines and sewage could be in the water.
Do NOT forget about your pets – They are part of your family.
Be ready before disaster strikes. Stay safe out there.
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10% Off Your Online Environmental Compliance Training Now-Sept 12.
Avoid Workplace Violations and Fines. Get the Environmental Compliance Training you need. And now get it for 10% off! Use code: TRAIN10
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Violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act lead to large civil penalty payment for Louisiana building manufacturing company:
EPA AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REACH $365,000 SETTLEMENT WITH CERTAINTEED FOR ALLEGED
SAFE DRINKING WATER VIOLATIONS
“DALLAS – (August 24, 2018) Under a settlement announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), CertainTeed Corporation will pay $365,500 in civil penalties to resolve alleged violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) at the CertainTeed Lake Charles Polymer Plant in Westlake, Louisiana. The settlement requires the largest civil penalty payment under the Safe Drinking Water Act by a public water system with respect to drinking water in the state of Louisiana.
“This is an excellent example of EPA and Louisiana working together to ensure compliance with safe drinking water standards,” said EPA Region 6 Compliance Assurance and Enforcement Director Cheryl Seager. “We are committed to protecting the public health and will not hesitate to hold companies accountable who refuse to comply with the law.”
In a complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. alleges that CertainTeed violated drinking water treatment requirements under the SDWA by failing to correct significant deficiencies identified during a Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) sanitary survey of CertainTeed’s public water system located at the Westlake plant. These violations included, among other things, failure to provide approved and permitted drinking water at its facility for its employees and failure to monitor and test for contaminants that can result in adverse health effects. Despite numerous enforcement efforts by both EPA and the state of Louisiana, including letters from LDH, a joint inspection by LDH and EPA, and an EPA administrative order, CertainTeed took over four years to address the significant deficiencies identified in the survey.
As a result of state and federal enforcement efforts, CertainTeed has completed actions to correct the issues alleged in the Complaint and has achieved compliance with the SDWA and the rules to ensure the safety of drinking water served to its employees and facility visitors by public water providers like CertainTeed.
CertainTeed Corporation manufactures exterior and interior building products. CertainTeed Corporation’s Westlake, Louisiana facility manufactures polymer products, including vinyl siding.”
Did you know Envicomply offers a Drinking Water Awareness course?
Learn the importance of preventing contamination before it happens. Check it out now.
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