EPA to Focus on Drinking Water Risks
EPA is stepping up its focus on addressing risks from drinking water lead contamination after issuing strict rules to cut lead emissions and reduce exposure to the substance during building renovations, an EPA official says. “As other agencies and EPA offices focus primarily on other sources of lead exposure (e.g. lead-based paint, lead in dust and soil, etc.) lead in drinking water as an exposure path is becoming a bigger percentage of a smaller number of routes of lead exposure for the agency to tackle,” according to an EPA Office of Water (OW) presentation on an April 28 National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) teleconference.
On the teleconference, Cynthia Dougherty (head of the Office of Ground Water & Drinking Water) said that the agency already has rules in place to address lead exposure in several media — for example, a national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) and a lead paint renovation rule — so it is now looking to other exposures. As risks of exposure to ambient lead levels or from lead in paint and dust decline because of those rules, “drinking water can become a [significant] exposure pathway,” Dougherty said. The water office already requires monitoring of lead levels in water for communities “where we think there might be high levels of lead,” Dougherty said, but added that the agency lacks information on lead levels in drinking water that is supplied to schools.
Dougherty said that testing tap water is more important now as schools across the country look to tap water as an alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages or expensive bottled water. As a result, EPA is developing a draft “Charge on Safer Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities Initiative” that will seek advisers’ input on how to assess the risks of lead in school drinking water.
EPA is floating the draft charge to NEJAC to get input from its environmental justice advisers on how it can best promote strategies to encourage the testing and monitoring of drinking water in schools and child care facilities, and that its outreach on the issue “appropriately” addresses equity considerations. The draft outlines several key questions, including how EPA should enhance its proposed strategy for voluntary testing and monitoring of drinking water, as well as what steps the agency should take to engage communities — in particular low-income and minority communities — around the initiative.
OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Takes Effect
OSHA’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program(SVEP) directive became effective on June 18th. In April, the agency had announced that it was implementing the program to focus on employers who continually disregard their legal obligations to protect their workers.
The SVEP focuses enforcement efforts on employers who willfully and repeatedly endanger workers by exposing them to serious hazards. The directive establishes procedures and enforcement actions for the severe violator program, including increased inspections, such as mandatory follow-up inspections of a workplace found in violation and inspections of other worksites of the same company where similar hazards or deficiencies may be present.
The directive explains that the SVEP is intended to focus enforcement efforts on employers who have demonstrated recalcitrance or indifference to their OSH Act obligations by committing willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances: a fatality or catastrophe situation; in industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards; exposing workers to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals; and all egregious enforcement actions.
WELCOME NEW MEMBER
Morris Bean & Company 777 E. Hyde Road
Yellow Springs, OH 45387-9726 Phone: 937-767-7301 Fax: 937-767-7306 Employees: 85
Foundry Established:1946 Contact: Larry Kleinschnitz, Assistant Sec-Treas
Colonial Metals Adds Technical Services Director
Sylvia Canino has joined Colonial Metals Co. as Director of Technical Services. Colonial Metals, located in Columbia, Pennsylvania, is a world- class leader in the manufacture and sale of high-quality brass and bronze ingots. Sylvia’s extensive experience and industry knowledge will be valuable in her role resolving metallurgical matters affecting the plant and Colonial Metals’ customers.
Sylvia has a BS degree in Chemistry from Georgia Tech, an MS degree in Materials Science from Northeastern University, and an MBA degree from Marquette University. Sylvia has experience with copper-based brass and bronze alloys, aluminum-based alloys, ceramic and metal matrix composites, depleted uranium, and steel. She is a member of ASTM, NFFS, and serves on several AFS Copper Division committees.
Inductotherm Corp. Promotes Two
Inductotherm Corp. recently announced that Satyen N. Prabhu has been promoted to Pres- ident & CEO. Mr. Prabhu also serves as a Group Vice President of Inductotherm Group. In the same notice, the company also announced that Virginia R. Smith has been promoted to Chairman of the Board. Ms. Smith also serves as a Group Vice President of Inductotherm Group.
14 • THE CRUCIBLE July/August 2010
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