Hazardous Waste Rule Update

EPA has recently finalized an update to the hazardous waste regulations that takes effect on May 30, 2017. This update is only the fourth significant change to these regulations since 1980, the most recent of which was the change to the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest in June 2005. The original EPA proposal was designed to reorganize and streamline the regulations to make them easier for lay people to understand. Of the 60 changes to the program, 23 of them are either updates to references or new CFR citations for existing rules. This does however leave 37 specific changes to current regulations covering a wide variety of differences beginning in May. Generator Status Changes (40 CFR 262

Addition of Chemicals to the European Union REACH Regulation

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is responsible for the management and implementation of the European Union (EU) Regulation called Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The objective of REACH is to review the production and use of chemicals and their effects on human health and the environment. ECHA can classify especially toxic or hazardous chemicals as substances of very high concern (SVHC). SVHC are added to the Candidate List under REACH and are under strict control. ECHA regularly reviews the Candidate List and prioritizes their recommendations for substances to be moved from the Candidate List to the Authorisation List. Once chemicals are ad

Final OSHA Rule for Maintaining Records of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

OSHA has issued a final rule that further emphasizes an employer’s ongoing responsibility to have accurate records of each recordable injury and illness, which will become effective on January 18, 2017. Employers are required to keep records for work-related injuries and illnesses for a five-year period and this new rule clarifies that they are required to update these records within this period. This final rule comes from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision from the AKM LLC v. Secretary of Labor (Volks) case. It was found that OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations did not specifically require the continuation of recordkeeping responsibilities for an e

Williams Olefin Chemical Plant Explosion

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is responsible for conducting investigation into chemical accidents at industrial facilities. Recently, CSB published the final report about the 2013 Williams Olefins chemical plant explosion case study. CSB summarized the background information on the incident, gave a technical analysis, discussed ways to improve, and provided recommendations. On June 13, 2013, a fatal explosion occurred at the Williams Olefins Plant in Geismar, Louisiana. Two workers were reported dead and 167 workers reported injuries. The Williams Olefins Plant had a “reboiler”, a heat exchanger that supplies heat to a distillation column, which failed. This reboiler was one of the t

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