Happy Memorial Day

To all those service men and women that fought and gave their lives for our country, THANK YOU. We honor their bravery and selflessness today and everyday. Let us always remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom.

Memorial Day

MOUNT KILAUEA ERUPTION AIR QUALITY

Erupting Mount Kilauea: What is it doing to Hawaii’s air quality?

How has the volcano affected Hawaiian air quality? As the eruptions continue, volcanic ash, lava and toxic gas spread far in the southern region of the Big Island. The Civil Defense Authority and reports from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory have warned that stronger trade winds and weather conditions could blow the toxic ash cloud out to the rest of the state, affecting driving conditions and quality of air for millions of other Hawaiians.

“In addition to lava flows and earthquakes, Kilauea is also producing large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas. That gas mixes with other chemicals like carbon dioxide and water to cause what scientists call volcanic smog, or vog, which is dangerous to breathe in high quantities. “Volcanic gas is coming out of these fissure vents at very high concentrations,” Tina Neal, the scientist in charge of the U.S. Geological Survey observatory monitoring volcanoes in Hawaii, said at a press conference. Chemicals produced by burning asphalt and homes are further reducing local air quality, she said.” (Newsweek)

In the past couple of days, the levels of sulphur dioxide present in the immediate vicinity of Kilauea have tripled. In addition, the combination of lava and haze (laze), is a new threat to Hawaiians. As the laze reaches the Pacific ocean, it reacts and produces hydrochloric acid, spewing volcanic glass particles in the air. Laze is toxic, hot and unpredictable, and can create dangers to human health including lung, eye and skin irritations. Volcanic smog can cause respiratory problems and irritations to skin and mucous membranes.

Mount Kilauea Hawaii eruption

Mount Kilauea Hawaii eruption

Mount Kilauea Hawaii eruption

Air quality and health dangers go hand in hand. Are you familiar with how your air quality is affecting you? Do you need to know more? Envicomply offers training in Air Quality and Air Pollution that can help keep you and those around you safe.

It’s Military Appreciation Month

Did you know May is National Military Appreciation Month?

To all members of the military, and our wonderful ECATTS clients, a big THANK YOU for your service!

Military Appreciate Month

environmental violation

Violations, Settlements and Cleanup for two California Companies

Settlements made with two California plastics manufacturers over federal Clean Water Act Violations. The companies failed to contain plastic materials from reaching local waterways where harm can be placed on marine and wildlife.  “Under the Clean Water Act, plastic manufacturers must obtain a stormwater permit from the state to discharge industrial stormwater to surface waters. The permit requires the installation of controls and use of best management practices to prevent or minimize the discharges of pollutants in runoff from their operations.”

U.S. EPA requires two Los Angeles area plastics manufacturers to protect local waterways

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently reached settlements with two Southern California plastics manufacturers over federal Clean Water Act violations. Under the terms of the settlements, both companies will take steps to prevent plastic materials they manage from washing into local waterways. Combined, the companies will pay more than $35,000 in penalties.

During inspections at the two facilities in 2016, EPA found inadequate containment measures that allowed plastic materials, including pellets known as “nurdles,” to enter local waterways. Nurdles are plastic beads about 1/5-inch in diameter that are widely used in manufacturing. These plastic materials contribute to harmful debris in the nation’s inland and coastal waters and pose dangers to fish, birds and other wildlife.

Modern Concepts Inc., located in Compton, Calif., and Double R. Trading Inc., located in City of Industry, failed to install required controls that prevent plastic and other materials from washing into storm drains and discharging into the Los Angeles River and Port of Los Angeles, respectively. Both companies have corrected the violations and returned to compliance.

“We urge manufacturers to take the steps needed to keep plastic materials out of our waterways, where they harm marine organisms and birds,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This is but one action among many we can take to minimize the scourge of marine debris.”

EPA coordinated the inspections with the Regional Water Quality Control Board in support of their efforts to reduce plastic pollution in the Los Angeles area.

“Trash in our waterways, including plastics, poses a significant threat to public health and wildlife,” said Deborah Smith, Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. “Addressing this water quality problem has been a top priority for the Los Angeles Water Board since 2001 to reduce the amount of trash being discharged to the Los Angeles River. This trash-reducing regulatory program was the first of its kind and has prevented tons of trash from entering the river. The Board will continue to work in partnership with EPA to ensure ongoing protection of the Los Angeles River and other regional waterways.”

Are you up-to-date on Clean Water Act regulations and how to protect our waterways from runoff pollution?  Are you familiar with Stormwater Management, Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Maintenance, Stormwater Low Impact Development (LID), and Best Management Practices (BMPs)? Don’t make careless mistakes that can lead to violations against your company.

Start your training now:

Violation Notice

$110,000 Civil Penalty for Violating the SDWA

Violation and Penalty for Hawaiian Supermarket Property Owner for Failing to Close Cesspool.

“5/08/2018

EPA Settles with Kauai Big Save Supermarket Property Owner to Close Illegal Cesspool

HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with N.F. Kawakami Store, Ltd.,(NFK) the property owner of the Koloa Big Save Supermarket, for failing to close a large-capacity cesspool that threatened to contaminate local water sources at the property on Kauai.

Under the settlement, NFK will pay a civil penalty of $110,000 for violating the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. In addition, NFK will close the large cesspool and replace it with a wastewater treatment plant approved by the Hawaii Department of Health. Cesspools collect and discharge waterborne pollutants like untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens can contaminate groundwater, streams and the ocean. In 2005, the federal government banned large-capacity cesspools.

“EPA is committed to protecting Hawaii’s coastal water resources by closing all large-capacity cesspools,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our large-capacity cesspool inspection and enforcement efforts will continue until all such cesspools are shut down.” 

Cesspools are used more widely in Hawaii than in any other state, even though 95 percent of all drinking water in Hawaii comes from groundwater sources. In the 13 years since the federal LCC ban took effect, more than 3,400 large-capacity cesspools have been closed statewide, many through voluntary compliance.”

Click here for the full press release article.

Failure to comply with rules and regulations lead to violations, costly fines, and bad business. Be sure to reduce your risk of violation and penalty by staying current on your compliance training.

Hurricane Preparedness Week

Did you know it’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week?

National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 6-12, is a week long reminder to everyone that hurricane season is approaching. Learn ways to plan ahead for safety, evacuations, flooding, shortages, and cleanup.Hurricane Preparedness Week

Be ready before disaster strikes. And you can start by planning now. We’ve assembled some helpful hurricane preparedness tips to make your prep easier.

Here are a few reminders of how to plan and also what not to do:

DO:

1. Get your supplies:

  • Water (one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Non-perishable foods (at least a three-day supply)
  • Batteries & flashlights
  • Battery powered radio
  • Baby items if applicable (food, diapers, formula, wipes, medications if needed, extra clothing)
  • Pet supplies if applicable (food, medicine if needed, extra cage, leash, collars & tags, medical records)
  • Cash
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air), plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Phone numbers and contacts
  • Paper products (toilet paper & towels)
  • Pack bags with important records & information if you need to leave your home quickly

2. Refill prescription medications

3. Make an evacuation plan (if you have any pets, make sure to find hotels that will accept them beforehand)

4. Be informed and ready:

  • Learn your community’s hurricane response plan
  • Register family members with special needs or requirements

Do NOT:

  1. DON’T tape the windows – it does almost no good
  2. DON’T run a generator indoors – carbon monoxide emissions are deadly
  3. DON’T use a charcoal or gas grill indoors – carbon monoxide and fire risks are too great
  4. DON’T walk in flooded waters – alligators, snakes, downed power lines, and sewage could be in the water
  5. DON’T stay after an evacuation is ordered – rescuers may not come in the height of the storm
  6. DON’T forget about your pets – they are part of your family too

For more details on hurricanes, planning and recovery, you can visit EPA’s link on Natural Disasters.

Pesticide Warning

Pesticide Application: are you avoiding pests or adding to the problem?

Without Pesticide Awareness, you could be creating more harm.

Spring is here, which means gardening, cleaning and spending time outdoors. All of which can bring us in contact with pests. Avoiding health problems from disease-carrying pests can lead to another danger, pesticides. Before you use pesticides, make sure you are using them properly.

There are so many different types of pesticides; each meant to be effective against specific pests. And with the many types come many dangers. Do you know how to safely manage them? Learn about the major federal pesticide laws, Best management practices (BMPs) when mixing pesticides, how to properly store and dispose of pesticides, and what to expect during a pesticide management inspection in our Pesticide Awareness course.

Badge icon "Ant (4744)" provided by Olivier Guin, from The Noun Project under Creative Commons - Attribution (CC BY 3.0)

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Or learn about proper management of pesticides in our Waste Management Guidelines course offered individually or in any of our Contractor Course Packs.

View these courses now.

Pests are a problem. Pesticide Awareness training shouldn’t be. 

Get your training now and make your job safer and easier.

Environmental Sustainability

Your Corporate Responsibility for Environmental Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability:

Are you doing your part?

Sustainability

Earth “Day” may be over, but our efforts to protect our environment shouldn’t be. Sustainability is meeting the increasing demands placed on the environment without compromising it today for tomorrow’s generations. It’s a priority interest for many, especially at EPA. “Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.” In fact, it’s really a part of a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR).

“A number of green issues are emerging as key components in a more global initiative to hold corporations socially, and if possible, financially responsible for their actions and inactions. Sustainable development, as a critical component of CSR, takes into account social, economic, environmental, and natural resource issues potentially affected by business. With growing awareness worldwide of environmental concerns, the CSR component of sustainability is focused on environmental sustainability.”

Are you familiar with Environmental Sustainability? How it influences your roles in the workplace? How is sustainability playing a part within your company’s corporate social responsibility? These are all important factors in building and maintaining a sustainable organization. And we can help with that.

Check out our Environmental Sustainability Courses and learn:

  • What environmental sustainability awareness is and why it is important
  • EPA’s origin and role in sustainability
  • Pollution prevention (P2)
  • Building the foundation for an organization-wide sustainability program
  • Why shifting from environmental compliance to sustainability is important
  • The science of sustainable policy
  • How does an organization’s focus on sustainability impact staff
  • What are ISO 14000/14001 standards
  • EMS and sustainability
  • Why the federal government leading the sustainability effort
  • Review of recent executive orders (EOs)
  • Environmental impact assessment (EIA) models and methods
  • Sustainable environmental systems
  • Priority environmental concerns
  • Current sustainable environmental systems technologies
  • The six themes of environmental sustainability
  • Renewable and non-renewable resource systems
  • Establishing a strategic direction for an organization
  • Development of sustainability programs for key business processes
  • Which operations should include sustainability measures
  • Good business processes for developing sustainable programs
  • Studies on sustainable practices in the workplace (case study examples)
  • Plus much more

Our Environmental Sustainability Courses are offered individually or as a bundled 4 course pack.

Sustainability Course Pack Image

Sustainability Implementation

Sustainability Leadership Sustainability Awareness

 Sustainability Sustainable Organizations Image

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NEW Lead Course Just Added!

We are happy to announce that a new Lead & Lead-Based Paint (LBP) Management course has just been added to our online training catalog! Whether you are a building contractor or doing your own home renovations, lead awareness is critical for your safety.

In this in-depth 3 module training curriculum, you will learn about vital topics such as:

  • What lead and lead-based paint (LBP) is
  • Lead laws and executive orders
  • How to detect lead-based paint
  • Precautions to take when remodeling buildings that contain LBP
  • LBP abatement activities
  • 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
  • General LBP abatement strategies
  • Steps for removing LBP
  • Proper LBP waste disposal
  • Certifications to conduct work with LBP
  • How to become certified to perform LBP renovations
  • Proper procedures for safely removing LBP
  • The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
  • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and LBP
  • OSHA and LBP

View the full list of topics covered by visiting our catalog page.

Start Your Lead & Lead-Based Paint (LBP) Management Training Now. 

Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “End Plastic Pollution.”

Plastic pollution can be a danger to all from littering our landscapes, poisoning and injuring marine life, to even disrupting human hormones. And it’s only continuing to grow. That’s why Earth Day 2018 has dedicated this year’s efforts to end plastic pollution.

10 facts you may not have known about plastic and its dangers:

Fact 1:  Over 480 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide in 2016! That is up from about 300 billion only a decade ago.

Fact 2:  About one trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually across the globe, that’s nearly 2 million every minute!

Fact 3:  More than half a million plastic straws are used every day around the world.

Fact 4:  Over half of the world’s plastic thrown out in 2015 was plastic packaging, that’s over 141 million metric tons.

Fact 5:  Takeout orders account for around 269,000 US tons of plastic waste that has entered the oceans.

Fact 6:  The amount of bubble wrap that is produced annually is enough to wrap around the Equator ten times!

Fact 7:  The world uses 500 billion plastic cups, for example party cups, every year.

Fact 8:  16 billion coffee cups are used each year. These are coated with plastic to laminate the inside and use plastic lids.

Fact 9:  The world produces more than 14 million US tons of polystyrene (plastic foam) each year. Americans alone throw away around 25 billion Styrofoam cups every year!

Fact 10:  Around the world, people litter more than 4.5 trillion cigarette butts every year.

Whether you’re one person, or leading a larger organization, there are ways to make a difference. If you need inspiration, information or resources, earthday.org can help you help our planet.

Earth Day

People all around the world are celebrating Earth Day today, but it doesn’t have to stop tomorrow. Want to learn some easy and helpful tips to help protect ourselves and our planet? Check out these earthday.org tips for ways you can make every day earth day.