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Environmental: 'What's hot & what's not'.

With the breakout of war in the Persian Gulf, expectade-emphasison some of the environmental issues, particularly if congressional action is required. Established statutory deadlines should not be affected.

Now that Congress has revised the major legislation on air pollution (Clean Air Act of 1990) its attention will turn to the reauthorization of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

When RCRA is reauthorized, expect to see mandatory provisions for both pollution prevention and waste minimization. The prevailing wisdom is that regulators should move from "end of pipe" solutions upstream to the materials, equipment and processes which are the sources of pollution. An overall goal of a 50%+ reduction on the amount of solid waste generated by industry will probably be legislated.

On November 15, 1990, President Bush signed the Clean Air Act of 1990. The overall goal of this act is to reduce air pollution, by 90% by the year 2000. Within two years EPA is required to identify 40% of the major sources of air toxics. in a draft report, EPA identified both gray iron and steel foundries as potential major source categories for acrolein, arsenic, benzene, chromium, cobalt, formaldehyde, lead, manganese, nickel, phenol, selenium, toluene, xylene and polycyclic organic matter.

Reporting requirements for all types of emissions will increase as EPA broadens the scope of the information which must be reported annually on SARA, Section 313, Form R, Toxic Chemical Release Report. By 1992, peak release reporting will be added to Form R. Optional reporting on waste minimization will become mandatory. Both EPA and environmental groups will continue to use Form R reports to determine compliance with other environmental statues.

To pay for the administrative obligations which these laws place on state and local governments, there will be new fees. Expect to pay for every form or permit application which is required to be filed at the local or state level. These fees are being based on the page volume of each form or application, the quantity of a chemical reported, whether it is hazardous or a waste.

To reduce the federal deficit, Congress increased the penalties which OSHA could impose. Under the revised schedule, the maximum penalty went from $10,000 to $70,000 per violation. Willful violations will carry a $5000 minimum penalty. Maximum penalties for serious, non-serious, failure to abate and failure to post violations have increased from $1 000 to $7000 per violation. These new penalties go into effect March 1 for violations which occurred after November 5, 1990.

Ergonomics and manual lifting will continue to have emphasis during OSHA inspections. While there are no specific regulations, OSHA, after reviewing injury and illness records and workers compensation claims, has been citing companies for violations of the General Duty Clause. As part of a settlement agreement companies have agreed to the implementation of a plan to reduce or eliminate injuries caused by poor ergonomic designs or lifting practices.

Going beyond just record review, OSHA is scheduling more comprehensive safety and health inspections. While the number of inspections will decrease, each inspection will be much more detailed and longer. As a result, the number of violations will increase dramatically not only of OSHA regulations but also EPA.

By the end of the year, the first of a new army of environmental inspectors will be on businesses' doorsteps. EPA and OSHA have agreed to cross-train inspectors to be on the lookout for violations of either agency's regulations. If during an OSHA inspection, for example, an apparent EPA violation is noticed, that agency will be contacted to also perform an inspection.

Other issues for 1991 and beyond which will make you wonder why you stay in business: Chemical Process Safety, Product Stewardship, EPA's version of a MSDS, Stormwater Discharge Permits, Lead in Drinking Water, Lead in Castings, and Environmental Bounty Hunters.

To deal with all of the issues discussed, AFS has planned the following events: international Sand Reclamation Conference to help minimize wastes, March 15-16; CMI seminar Safety in the Foundry III, which includes ergonomics, Right-to-Know, Form R, basic safety and industrial hygiene, March 19-21; Fourth Annual Environmental Conference and Exposition, August 26-28; and CMI course on EPA and OSHA forms and paperwork, November 13-14.

Volunteers are being solicited to participate on a task group on the implementation of the Clean Air Act.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Focus on the Environment: Legislative Update
Author:Mosher, Gary E.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Feb 1, 1991
Previous Article:What to expect from the new Clean Air Act.
Next Article:Environmental assessments & audits.

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