Recent Blog Posts

Global Reporting Initiative and UN Global Compact to Renew Sustainability Reporting Push

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Source:  Summary of article by Jocelyn Timperley, Business Green, May 24, 2016 The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the UN Global Compact corporate sustainability initiative have renewed a collaboration to support private sector efforts to meet the UN’s high profile Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 3-year agreement under the Memorandum of Understanding announced at the recent GRI Global Conference in…

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From Principles to Practice with Mark Katchen

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Our very own Mark Katchen worked with Rob Agnew and Anant Bhan to create a framework for international industrial hygiene ethics, released last week on The Synergist. An 8-step decision-making framework is provided to the ethical considerations surrounding a methylene chloride example that begins the article. As with many dilemmas in industrial hygiene, this example revolves around the precautionary principle, a…

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Ninth Circuit Affirms EPA Order Denying Request for Uniform Buffer Zones to Mitigate Exposure of Children to Spray Drift

By | Blog, Uncategorized

Pesticide Law and Policy, 11 July 2016 On July 5, 2016, a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a brief opinion denying a petition for review of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order in which EPA declined to ‘immediately adopt interim prohibitions on the use of toxic drift-prone pesticides … near…

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The Benefits of Penalties and More on OSHA Penalty Increase

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DOL, 30 June 2016 Last year, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to strengthen their deterrent effect.  Many of the penalties that Congress has entrusted the Department of Labor to assess had not been adjusted for years. For example, penalties under the Occupational Safety…

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Key Provisions of the Amended Toxic Substance Control Act

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Source: epa.gov, June 23, 2016 The following provides a brief overview of the key provisions in the amended TSCA, including: existing chemicals; new chemicals; confidential business information; source of sustained funding; federal-state partnership; and mercury export and disposal. Existing Chemicals Chemical Assessments Prioritization.  EPA must establish a risk-based process to determine which chemicals it will prioritize for assessment, identifying them…

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US, India Pushing to Ratify Climate Deal This Year

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The Hill, 7 June 2016 President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that both countries will look to formally enter the Paris climate deal this year, a major step toward the pact taking effect in 2016.  The United States had previously announced its intention to formally enter the climate deal, which sets greenhouse gas reduction targets…

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Better Water System Maintenance Needed to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks

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CDC, 7 June 2016 More effective water management might have prevented most of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks CDC investigated from 2000 through 2014, according to today’s CDC Vital Signs report.  Problems identified in these building-associated outbreaks included inadequate disinfectant levels, human error, and equipment breakdowns that led to growth of Legionella bacteria in water systems. CDC is releasing a new…

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NIOSH Develops Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Information Database

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Source:  cdc.gov The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a PPE-Info Database  that serves as a compendium of Federal regulations and consensus standards.  The purpose of the database is to provide standards developers, manufacturers, purchasers, and end users of PPE with a comprehensive tool which allows general or advanced criteria searches of relevant federal standards, associated…

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EPA Releases Final Rules to Reduce Methane, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Toxic Air Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector

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Source: epa.gov On 3 June 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued three final rules that together will curb emissions of methane, smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic air pollutants such as benzene from new, reconstructed and modified oil and gas sources, while providing greater certainty about Clean Air Act permitting requirements for the industry. The EPA is…

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Fed-OSHA Starts Summer Heat Safety Campaign

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OSHA has kicked off its summer campaign to inform employers and employees about the dangers of working in the heat. The campaign will continue its annual outreach to highlight how heat-related worker fatalities are entirely preventable.  In 2014 alone, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job. On May 26,…

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