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Stephanie Salmon, Artemis Strategies; Jeff Hannapel & Christian Richter, The Policy Group, Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON ALERT

2012 Government Spending Bill Signed T


he U.S. House approved a $1 trillion omnibus bill on Dec. 16, with the

U.S. Senate following suit on Dec. 17. In addition to fund- ing, the bill contained key riders affecting metalcasters. With the spending bill, the

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to adopt the Integrated Risk Informa- tion System (IRIS) reform recommendations made by the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year. IRIS assess- ments evaluate the toxico- logical risk posed by chemicals and substances in commerce and the environment. Tey serve as the basis of EPA and other agencies’ regulations. Metalcasting industry advocate the

American Foundry Society (AFS) has worked with the American Chemistry Council to educate key congressional staff about needed improvements to the IRIS process. IRIS chemical substances currently under review include hexavalent


District Court Vacates Stay of Boiler MACT, CISWI

The U.S. District Circuit Court for the District of Columbia vacated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s stays of the Boiler MACT and Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator (CISWI) rules after a lawsuit was filed by the Sierra Club, making both rules effec- tive immediately.

The rules for Boiler MACT, which regulates emissions from boilers, and CISWI, which regulates toxins released from incinerators, were made final in March 2011. EPA signed a stay on both rules in May 2011 until either judicial review or reconsideration by the agency was complete. According to the courts, EPA did not follow the proper procedure before they enacted the stays, making them unwarranted.

Metalcasters are not expected to be

impacted by the ruling. The final Boiler MACT rule exempts recuperative process heaters from regulation. Facilities that operate process heaters must notify EPA, if they must comply with other rules. EPA also issued a proposal to reconsider the Boiler MACT rule with changes to emis- sion limits and other requirements in early December. EPA’s stay of the CISWI rule provided no regulatory relief for metalcasting facilities, and the lifting of the stay does not impact thermal sand reclamation units because the agency has already said the rule does not apply to these units. EPA said in its December proposal it will reconsider the rule. The lifting of the stay makes both rules effective immediately, giving a com- pliance date of May 2013 for Boiler MACT and February 2016 for CISWI. However, it is not clear whether both rules will be enacted as-is or if EPA reconsideration or

judicial review will change them.

EPA Releases Toxics Release Inventory

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2010 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), an annual national analysis providing information to Americans on toxic chemical dispos- als. The TRI also includes information on other releases and waste manage- ment/pollution prevention activities in neighborhoods across the country. Data from the 2010 TRI shows that toxic chemicals released into the envi- ronment are up 16% from 2009. A total of 3.93 billion lbs. of chemicals were released, mostly due to changes made in the metal mining sector, also causing a 9% increase in surface water release. Air release decreased by 6%, following a seven-year upward trend.

February 2012 MODERN CASTING | 21

of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Science Com- mittee have held hearings on the scientific methodologies used in the IRIS process. Te spending bill also:

The spending bill included EPA IRIS reform recommendations.

chromium.Te groups urged EPA to consider new data from a significant research program, begun in 2009, before proceeding with the final IRIS assessment on this chemical. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), rank- ing member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, pushed for IRIS reform in the Senate and with EPA officials. In the House, key members

• Prohibits the U.S. Occu- pational Safety and Health Administration from using funds for a rule that would add a column for muscu- loskeletal disorders to the Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements form (Log 300).

• Provided stipulations

preventing the National Labor Relations Board from using ap- propriating funds to issue any new administrative directive that would provide employees “any means of voting through any electronic means that enables off-site, remote, or oth- erwise absentee voting in an election to determine a representative for the purposes of collective bargaining.

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