The regulatory environment for asbestos professionals is changing. Anyone performing asbestos inspections, preparing management plans, monitoring compliance or addressing asbestos hazards should be aware of these changes and the potential for input on requirements that may affect our work.
In June 2017, the EPA published a Scope of Risk Evaluation for Asbestos in response to the TSCA § 6(b)(4) requirement to establish a risk assessment process for various chemical substances, including asbestos. The Agency has now published and is taking comments on a Problem Formulation Document in an effort to refine the conditions of use, exposures and hazards defined, and conceptual models and analysis plans that describe how EPA expects to evaluate the risk for asbestos.
The EPA is taking comments on the Problem Formulation until July 26, 2018 at this link.
There will be a lot to discuss in our upcoming asbestos professional classes! Follow the links above for details, and feel free to reach out to HMS, Inc. with your concerns.
Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA is proposing a significant new use rule (SNUR) for asbestos as defined under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act.
The SNUR would require at least 90 days’ notice before manufacturing, importing, or processing of asbestos for certain uses, including: adhesives, sealants, and roof and non-roof coatings; arc chutes; beater-add gaskets; extruded sealant tape and other tape; filler for acetylene cylinders; high-grade electrical paper; millboard; missile liner; pipeline wrap; reinforced plastics; roofing felt; separators in fuel cells and batteries; vinyl-asbestos floor tile; and any other building material (other than cement).
The deadline for submitting comments on this proposed rule to the EPA is August 10, 2018. Instructions for submitting comments are available here.
The article is below, I assume many of you are already aware of this – I found out late yesterday. I have not seen what Leadnet is saying about this yet. . . And ,I have not seen the detail of the settlement.
This may be the first of the settlements – and as I see it, it triggers the following issues that need to be considered (not a complete list):
There is a lot more to discuss, I know – but it is early and I have only had one pot of coffee so far.
Here is a copy of one to the articles (there are several):
CALIFORNIA —Ten California cities and counties have announced a $60 million settlement with one of three paint companies on the hook for cleaning up lead paint hazards in older houses.
NL Industries Inc. agreed to pay $60 million for lead paint cleanup in a settlement with 10 California cities and counties on Wednesday, May 16. Two other paint manufacturers, Sherwin Williams Co. and ConAgra Grocery Products Co. (which took over Fuller Paints Co.), are still facing court-determined damages of up to $670 million in a pending case.
It’s too early to tell whether the other manufacturers will settle following NL’s lead, but demand for lead inspections and abatement projects in California should increase as a result. More CDPH-certified lead professionals (inspector/assessors, supervisor/project monitors, and abatement workers) will be needed to perform this work. Since the work will be performed specifically to reduce lead hazards, EPA RRP certification will not meet current regulatory requirements.
As part of the settlement, NL Industries agreed to drop its support for a proposed November ballot initiative that would transfer financial liability for lead paint cleanup from paint manufacturers to taxpayers. The other two manufacturers are still gathering signatures for this ballot initiative.
We are watching carefully to see how this settlement impacts industry, regulatory agencies, and legislation in the Golden State.
Would you vote “No” on an initiative titled “The Healthy Homes and Schools Act”?
Probably not – unless you object to taxpayers footing the bill for toxic cleanup that might otherwise be funded by private industry.
When 10 California cities and counties prevailed in a lawsuit against three major manufacturers of lead-based paint, the paint manufacturers responded by backing efforts to put this initiative on the November California ballot. The initiative would reverse court orders declaring lead paint a “public nuisance,” and replace judgements against the paint companies with taxpayer-funded bonds for lead cleanup efforts.
In response to the initiative campaign, several California Assembly members have introduced a package of bills designed to make paint manufactures pay for at least some clean-up efforts, through fees or consumer lawsuits. The legislative package also includes provisions intended to increase the number of certified lead inspectors in the state.
Legislators and paint manufacturers may wrangle over how to fund the work, but it does seem likely that more efforts to clean-up lead hazards in California are on the horizon.
UPDATE May 18, 2018: One of the three paint manufacturers, NL Industries Inc., has dropped their support of the “Healthy Homes and Schools” ballot initiative as part of a settlement with the 10 California cities and counties involved in the lawsuit. The other two manufacturers are continuing to back the initiative, as of this date.
Summary of CA Assembly bills: http://cleanuptoxicpaint.org/common-sense-legislation/
“10 Policies to Prevent and Respond to Childhood Lead Exposure,” a report published in August, 2017 by the Health Impact Project (a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts), examines the effectiveness of a variety of existing policies addressing the impacts of lead exposure on children, and calculates a cost-benefit analysis for each of these policies. The study addresses the cost of likely health and educational interventions needed for children affected by lead poisoning, and calculates the savings achieved by reducing childhood lead exposure through the various means studied.
Among the study’s findings are the following:
Contractors who follow lead-safe practices are contributing to these future savings, as well as helping to protect the health of numerous children.
The complete study can be read and downloaded from Pew Charitable Trusts here.
Join the HMS, Inc. team! Do exciting environmental services work for a family-owned business with a strong commitment to employee development.
We are seeking field technicians for asbestos and lead consulting work based in our Fresno, California office.
The ideal candidate will possess:
Training provided. This is a full-time position with medical, dental, holidays/vacation and 401K options.
Please send resume and cover letter indicating salary requirements to email@example.com.
Michael Sharp, HMS, Inc.’s CEO, was among the environmental scientists, policy advocates and industry representatives who spoke to the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention’s Regulatory Reform Agenda meetings in Washington, DC on May 1, 2017.
The meetings were held in response to Trump Administration directives to reduce regulation. Sharp took the opportunity to argue for streamlined regulations that reduce industry costs and confusion while still protecting workers and the public from the harmful effects of toxic substances in building materials.
In his remarks to the committee’s meeting on Lead Exposure regulations, Sharp pointed out:
“the level of lead in paint that determines if it’s lead-based was not based on health; it was based on the accuracy of an X-ray spectrum analyzer . . . This leads to the misconception that paints and coatings which do not contain enough lead to be “lead-based,” are safe. . . paint with no lead in it at all could contain cadmium, barium, mercury, asbestos, and numerous other heavy metals and hazardous ingredients. . . We could save millions on inspections if we looked for any deteriorated paint, not just lead-based paint. We could make enforcement of paint regulations simpler, saving on enforcement while increasing compliance. We could level the playing field for contractors on projects that impact paint, allowing more work to be conducted by contractors doing the job well and, most importantly, protect those we are trying to protect more effectively while reducing cost.”
In remarks to the meeting on the Toxic Substances Control Act, Sharp argued for consistency between AHERA regulations addressing the handling of asbestos in schools and NESHAP regulations addressing asbestos in other locations. He asked, if you want to protect children, or custodial and maintenance workers, “why only protect those in schools? . . . All contractors and construction team members, not just abatement contractors, should be required to go through asbestos training. This would save significant costs involved with the mishandling of asbestos-containing materials and its clean-up. . . combining NESHAP and AHERA would not put significant additional cost on building owners but could significantly reduce the need for enforcement and increase compliance.”
Full transcript of May 1, 2017 Toxic Substances Control Act regulatory reform meeting: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190-22478
Full transcript of May 1, 2017 Lead Exposure Regulatory Reform meeting: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190-22477
Washington Post article re: public comment on EPA regulatory reform: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/05/16/epa-asked-the-public-which-regulations-to-gut-and-got-an-earful-about-leaving-them-alone/?utm_term=.e1dcd1dc759d
New Federal and Cal OSHA silica standards for the construction industry are scheduled to be enforced as of September 23, 2017. These standards apply to any job tasks where airborne concentrations of silica may exceed the Action Level of 25 micrograms/cubic meter. If you do any construction work involving concrete, these standards are likely to apply. They require construction employers to have a written exposure control plan for silica, and to ensure that appropriate work practices, training, and record-keeping are taking place.
HMS, Inc.’s training partner and consulting competitor, Forensic Analytical Consulting Services, presented an excellent webinar on the new silica standards this spring. We encourage you to view the webinar here, and to contact either HMS, Inc. or FACS with any questions you may have.
HMS, Inc. is seeking a conscientious, collaborative manager for our Bakersfield Branch operations.
Duties of the Branch Manager will include:
The ideal candidate will possess:
To apply, send resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org.