Alarming news on global coal consumption, a mysterious update on OSHA’s I2P2 program, EPA’s soot regulations and more on EHS This Week

What? More whistleblower news? You guessed it. Kind of a trend recently on EHS This Week, the only weekly podcast to round up the top stories in EHS news around the world. 

This week we’ve got a ton of great (and not so great) news. We discuss the emerging OSHA whistleblower committee, strange news on OSHA’s upcoming (or is it?) injury and illness prevention program, and new EPA regulations on soot. 

Take a listen and don’t forget to send your comments and suggestions to paul@ehsthisweek.com.

[audio: old/mp3/EHS This Week Jun 15.mp3]… Read more...

More whistleblower news, signs of EPA and Texas climate progress, deaths in fertilizer blasts and more on EHS This Week

This week Kristy and I discuss another whistleblower case, EPA’s work with Texas on a clean air plan, blasts at a Mississippi fertilizer plant, Mexico’s climate legislation and more.

Got an idea for an EHS story? Care to come on our program? Just write us at paul@ehsthisweek.com and we’ll make it happen.

Enjoy the show!

[audio: old/mp3/EHS This Week June 8.mp3]… Read more...

Big Branch mine settlement, OSHA whistleblower protection and more on EHS This Week

Head on over to Podbean or use the player below to check out the most recent podcast of EHS This Week.

This week, Kristy Sadler and I discuss top stories from the world of environment, health and safety news, including a big OSHA whistleblower suit, the Big Branch mine disaster settlement, Durban climate talks, and more.

Check back on a weekly basis for a quick rundown of the week’s top EHS Stories.

[audio: old/mp3/a43a2fb8-16bd-461a-883f-c093217e8489.mp3]… Read more...

Milk ain’t oil: EPA sides with common sense

Yes, the line’s been used a hundred times in the past few days, but warrants repeating: U.S. dairy farmers needn’t cry over spilled milk any longer.

Beneath the sound and fury of political arguments over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) right (nay, duty) to regulate greenhouse gases, the agency quietly sided last week with milk producers and finally exempted milk from oil spill control regulations.

The EPA has long required shippers of oil tanks and containers to develop spill control and prevention plans. Problem was, this included dairy farmers, since milk is defined as oil under the Clean Water Act because it contains animal fat (an oil). The regulations were originally designed for Big Oil, not farmers, but it has taken a few years for the agency to exempt dairy from the Act’s requirements. With the final ruling, milk, milk product containers, and milk production equipment are exempt from Clean … Read more...

U.S. Senate poised to tackle EPA’s emissions authority

The next few days are critical for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The organization declared late last year it would expand its mandate and regulate greenhouse gas emissions from plants and refineries, a move that has not been popular with Republicans and a handful of Democrats.

The Senate will vote in the coming days – potentially as early as Wednesday – on three amendments to a small business bill that could potentially limit the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gasses, an ability that is provided by both the Clean Air Act and a 2007 Supreme Court decision on the agency’s scope. By regulating the emissions of U.S. plants and refineries, the EPA would be able to regulate emissions from sources that represent more than 40 per cent of nationwide greenhouse gas emissions.

However, it must overcome the many legislative roadblocks that, to varying degrees, would prevent it from regulating emissions from … Read more...

Start preparing for new OSHA fall protection requirements now

A Roof

In an effort to curb the startling statistic that 40 workers are killed in the U.S. every year as a result of falls from residential roofs, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has set a deadline for implementation of new fall safety requirements for June 16, 2011.

The directive will require any residential builder, coast to coast, engaged in construction projects more than six feet from the ground (or lower levels, on low-slope roofs, steep roofs, etc.) to comply with 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13). The requirement basically calls for conventional fall protection, such as guardrail systems, safety net systems, professional fall arrest systems, or other fall protection measured spelled out in 1926.501(b).

The new rules replace the 1995 Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, guidelines that allowed many residential builders to ignore fall safety requirements.

Three of OSHA’s Top 10 most frequently cited standards in 2010 pertained to … Read more...