The Clean Air Act (CAA) includes extensive regulatory requirements on “mobile sources,” which cover efficiency and emissions standards for a broad range of vehicles with internal combustion engines (automobiles, buses, aircraft), “nonroad engines and vehicles” (including lawnmowers, bulldozers and marine vessels), as well as motor fuel standards intended to promote cleaner burning fuels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses CAA authority to set emission limits from engines, for CAA-regulated air pollutants, including carbon dioxide (CO2) regulated for its greenhouse gas (GHG) aspects.Read More
Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog
California is a persistent exception to states’ limited abilities to create long-lasting effects on national environmental health and safety (EH&S) programs. One example, well-known here in California but relatively invisible to EH&S professionals outside the state, is Proposition 65.
Employees in the health care and social service sectors suffer workplace violence at much higher rates than in most other sectors, largely because of the higher risk from their patients and clients. In response to these risks, worker protection agencies and professional organizations have developed guidelines for workplace violence prevention in these sectors. Increasingly, worker protection laws and regulations are being revised to require these activities. Most recently, in December 2015 California has proposed to expand state requirements for security plans to include explicit workplace violence prevention programs.
Existing Requirements For Security Plans
Every winter, employee and public health officials around the world prepare for influenza (“flu”) seasons, which vary from mild to the occasional pandemic. Here in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issue annual forecasts of the strain(s) expected to be dominant, the severity of resulting health impacts, and of the availability and efficacy of vaccinations.Read More
For more than 25 years, I’ve taught one of the core required courses in the Hazardous Materials Management Certificate program offered by University of California Santa Cruz Extension (UCSC-Ex). The program is intended to provide professionals with a solid foundation in the principles, regulations, and technologies required to manage hazardous materials and hazardous waste. In my course–the Regulatory Framework for Toxic and Hazardous Materials–I provide overviews of:Read More
Cal/OSHA has adopted final rules, effective October 1, 2015, that update the state’s regulations relating to storage battery systems and to changing and charging storage batteries. The purpose of this action is to update standards for storage batteries to address modern types of batteries in addition to clarifying regulations applicable to traditional lead–acid batteries.
“No one should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood, because a nation built on the dignity of work must provide safe working conditions for its people.”
– Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez
Valley fever is an illness that usually affects the lungs and is caused by the microscopic fungus known as Coccidiodes immitis, which lives in the top two to twelve inches of soil. While the fungal spores may be present in soils throughout California, they are endemic in the Central Valley counties of Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Luis Obispo, and Tulare.
Did you know that “what you drive, how you drive, and what fuel you use can impact both the environment and your pocketbook?” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put together a Green Vehicle Guide website that provides useful information and answers to all your questions about how you can go green on the road and save money too.
The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and state water quality laws (including California’s Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act) govern activities that may affect “waters of the United States.” Routine discharges from industrial and public sources make up most potentially polluting discharges, and are subject to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and California Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs), but additional requirements also apply to potential “storm water” runoff from rainwater and snow, which can entrain oils and other pollutants and wash them down storm drains into water bodies. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the first broad-based national program in 1990, and has revised and expanded requirements over the past quarter century (often in response to court decisions finding its efforts inadequate). States have followed suit. For example, in 2014 California updated its industrial storm water requirements, replacing a general permit adopted in 1997 with a new one that becomes effective on July 1, 2015. The new permit revises and expands requirements, including narrowing exemptions for “light industry” facilities to become conditional exemptions subject to certification requirements, and addition of detailed requirements for “preproduction plastic” materials. The remainder of this note summarizes the new California requirements, which generally are comparable to EPA’s national general permit (last updated in 2008)–so readers outside California should remember that your facilities face analogous responsibilities.