Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Puerto Rico’s Government to Make Major Upgrades to San Juan Water Infrastructure in Settlement with the Federal Government

(New York, N.Y.) Under two settlements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice, three Puerto Rico government agencies have agreed to upgrade portions of storm water systems they own within the Municipality of San Juan

Friday, 18 December 2015

What is Proximity Contamination?

contamination biohazard leakReally, what is proximity contamination? Actually, we're not asking; we already know the answer, and it's simpler than you think. Any structure painted before 1978 was very likely painted with lead based paint.

The United States' Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned lead paint in 1977 in residential properties and public buildings (16 Code of Federal Regulations 1303) due to the serious health risks such as behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and in extreme cases, death. (HUD.gov 12/11/2015)

Proximity contamination becomes a problem when remodeling or renovation. Usual methods such as sanding, scraping or blasting resulted in air and soil contamination, with potential of lead showing up in the water. This can also contaminate the air and surrounding community near the project.

Fresh on the heels of the recent pool and spa safety act comes a new Federal rule aimed at reducing lead poisoning. The law targets all contractors working on homes (including common interest developments) built before 1978. Although originally passed in 2008, the major provisions of the rule were delayed until this year. As of July, the entire rule is in full effect.

The specific regulations require a new certification, substantial safety precautions, and impose huge fines for non-compliance. The new laws will increase both the cost of association repairs and the potential for liability to associations. The following is a partial excerpt from the EPA website. Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.

ECOBOND® is allowed for use in all 50 states for Lead Paint Interim Control and as a HUD Lead Hazard Reduction Method. Many have found that ECOBOND® technology reduces overall project costs for interior and exterior lead paint projects, wherever found. Whether your projects involve buildings, bridges, water towers or tanks, ECOBOND® personnel are passionate about protecting the environment, and people, especially children, from lead hazards.

ECOBOND® LBP, LLC develops and distributes products that provide the protection of human health and safety from the hazards of lead in the home, workplace, and the environment. With over 14 years of proven success, the ECOBOND® family of products has been used throughout the US and internationally in successfully treating lead hazards.

Should you have an upcoming project that would benefit from our expertise, we encourage you to contact us today. In today's litigious society, an ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure.

Understanding and Reducing Lead Paint Dangers: Sealing and Painting Over Lead Paint Using ECOBOND®

The last week in October 2015 marked the National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) to heighten homeowner's and parent's awareness of the dangers that lead paint pose to public health. In November 2015, in an effort to further help eradicate lead paint in the USA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule in 14 states. The EPA has currently partnered with the city of Memphis and Shelby County governments to implement a pilot program to treat homes that may contain lead paint.

The EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule requires all contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that might come into contact with surfaces painted with lead-based paints have EPA certification. As well as current EPA certification, the contractors must also have received EPA-approved training and follow strict lead-safe work practices.

Any home built prior to 1978 may contain lead-based paint. It's estimated that millions of older homes in the United States still have lead-based paint on walls, doors, and window frames, according to the EPA. When the lead painted surfaces start to deteriorate and the paint begins to peel, flake, chip, crack or show signs of moisture it becomes a hazard to human health.

Lead paint exposure has been shown to cause:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Decreased muscle growth
  • Inadequate bone development
  • Memory impairment
  • Hearing damage
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint inflammation, pain and weakness
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Renal failure
  • Neurological effects
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Cardiovascular problems

Lead painted surfaces carry a significant risk to children or pets because young toddlers and pets often chew on windowsills, porches, banisters, stairs and other painted surfaces and inadvertently ingest the harmful lead. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that lead exposure contributes to about 600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities each year.

Lead poisoning is 100 percent preventable with modern renovation. Currently, there are two accepted ways to eliminate the dangers of lead paint -- abatement and interim controls. Abatement permanently removes the lead paint and interim control reduces the dangers of the lead paint by covering and containing it.

Removing lead paint frequently creates dust that is harmful if inhaled. Sealing and painting over lead paint with ECOBOND® seals and treats the lead while dramatically reducing the lead based dust risk. A unique primer, sealant and treatment formula for lead-based painted surfaces, ECOBOND® is a state-of-the-art hybrid acrylic latex paint formula that covers, binds, and seals off the lead paint and prevents the escape of any lead dust. ECOBOND® can be painted over the lead paint to effectively cover and contain it. You can also paint ECOBOND® on the lead paint and then opt to remove the affected area because the coating of ECOBOND® renders the lead paint non-hazardous and suppresses the lead dust during removal.

ECOBOND® is used on both interior and exterior painted surfaces. In recent years, professional demolition crews are turning to ECOBOND® as a cost-effective lead removal option. ECOBOND® complies with the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act (RCRA) EPA requirements. ECOBOND® is more cost-effective and easier to use than traditional paint strippers and encapsulants…plus it TREATS the lead rather than merely covering it up.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Compliance with environmental laws helps protect air, water and land in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington communities

(Seattle – December 15, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10 completed over 50 environmental compliance and enforcement actions in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington from July 1, 2015 through September 30, 2015. Violations of environmental laws put public health and the environment at risk. EPA enforces federal environmental rules to protect communities and to keep our air, water and land clean and healthy

Saturday, 12 December 2015

EPA Issues Order to Implement Surface Fire Prevention Measures at West Lake Landfill and Finalizes Enforceable Schedule for Final Evaluation of Remedial Alternatives

Environmental News FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Lenexa, Kan., Dec. 10, 2015) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) to Bridgeton Landfill, LLC; Rock Road Industries, Inc.; and Cotter Corporation to develop and implement surface fire prevention measures at the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo. The order follows an Oct. 24 grass fire at the landfill

Thursday, 10 December 2015

EPA Provides $691,000 to Protect Wetlands throughout New York State

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $690,940 to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Research Foundation of SUNY, to better protect wetlands throughout New York. “Wetlands play a critical role in alleviating harmful effects of climate change, protecting against flooding and storm surges," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Army settles with EPA for hazardous waste violations at Fort Wainwright, Alaska

(Seattle – December 8, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with the U.S. Army for alleged violations of its hazardous waste permit at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. As part of the settlement, the Army has agreed to pay $59,220 in penalties for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The Army facility is covered under a RCRA permit, which requires the Army to notify EPA of any new or newly discovered solid waste management units

Monday, 7 December 2015

EPA and the Environmental Law Institute Cosponsor Public Seminar: CERCLA @35: Looking Back, Looking Forward

WASHINGTON - EPA is cosponsoring a public seminar with the Environmental Law Institute (ELI): “CERCLA @35: Looking Back, Looking Forward.” Panelists will discuss Superfund’s origins, highlight some of the program’s successes and shortcomings in its early years, and address the Superfund legacy in a larger context, examining where contaminated site regulation and cleanup may go from here, and extrapolating lessons other jurisdictions can learn from the United States’ Superfund experience

Friday, 4 December 2015

Lead Based Paint- a Forgotten Danger

Lead paint removalTalk of lead paint and its poisoning effects are often brushed aside. It has become folklore. Any corrective response becomes an involuntary reaction to a seriousness diluted with little known facts and unrealized consequences.

There is still cause for concern.

Survey results show that 37.1 million homes contain lead paint on its premises. Of those homes, 23.2 million contain serious hazards posed from lead-based paint applications.

As the 20th Century progressed, awareness and concern grew from the potential dangers of lead paint. Local authorities took it upon themselves to limit or completely prohibit the use of lead-based paint by mid-century. It was not until the 1970's that an understanding of the dangerous effects of lead paint exposure would begin. Only then would a 1978 Federal ban of the product be implemented.

Former Department of Health official, Dr. Jane Lin-Fu, would shed light on the seriousness of human exposure to structures filled with lead paint. Her research and study of the effects of lead poisoning, predominantly in children, would awaken the United States to the overwhelming severity of this problem. Dr. Lin-Fu would not only show lead paint as a continued and existing problem, one with great potential hazard, but also that lead poisoning was preventable with a "well-planned program."

Nearly forty years after the ban on lead-based paint use, the problem remains. Fortunately, ECOBOND® serves as part of a well-planned program. When sealing & painting over lead paint becomes a necessity, our product will treat paint containing lead when applications remain on walls. If removing paint from those walls is necessary, lead dust is effectively rendered as non-hazardous and safe for removal.

Don't get lost in the distance between history and facts. Contact us for more information about ECOBOND® and how it can take the worry out of the unknown.

Lead Paint Removal Products That Provide Long-Term Solutions

Discerning among various lead paint removal products is more complicated that many people realize.

According to HUD: "Abatement is removal of either the building component or the paint itself or the near-permanent enclosure of lead-based paint hazards. ... Abatement treatments provide a higher margin of safety than interim controls since the effectiveness of the work is less dependent on resident action, maintenance of housing stock, the conscientiousness of property manager, and the attention of maintenance workers during repair. ...

...In contrast to interim controls, lead-based paint abatement refers to a group of measures that can be expected to eliminate or reduce exposures to lead hazards for at least 20 years under normal circumstances."

What's Considered a "Long Term Solution" To Lead Paint Hazards?

Lead-Based Paint Treatment

The reason HUD uses 20 years as a general rule is because the life expectancy of most (replaceable) building materials is about 20 years. While removal is a permanent solution, the act of removing the components - such as walls or wood - will create considerable new hazards. While it's possible to handle smaller lead paint hazards on a DIY basis, most health and housing experts recommend hiring contractors who have experience or specialize in lead paint removal projects.

In some cases, enclosing certain structures makes sense, but like removal, enclosing simply won't work in all cases.

Lead Paint Removal Options and the Case for Healthy Homes

The 2014 Healthy Homes Conference, sponsored by HGTV and the DIY network and in cooperation with HUD, Rebuilding Together, and the National Environmental Health Association, featured a broad overview of lead paint removal methods.

One misconception that often takes homeowners by surprise: encapsulants are not enough.

Visit the organization's website to review the info or to download the presentation by ECOBOND'S James Barthel to learn more and to see a comparison of various solutions.

If you are preparing to tackle a lead paint remediation project, contact us with your questions. We're here to help!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

IN-SITU SOIL TREATMENT AND REMEDIATION | CONTAMINATED SOIL REMEDIATION

Soil Remediation for the Environment

Soil contamination or soil pollution is often caused by industrial mining or agricultural activity that leaves chemicals in the ground. Sometimes contaminated soil sites are the locations of

  • chemical leached from waste sites and landfills,
  • where dissolved or suspended chemicals are carried by waste water,
  • leaking underground storage tanks,
  • improper disposal of agricultural or industrial chemicals,
  • lead from bullets contaminating gun ranges.

The biggest pollutants are

  • mineral tailings and waste-flows from mining,
  • lead in soil from various sources,
  • fertilizers and insecticides that are applied incorrectly,
  • oil and fuel dumping.

Prosecution of polluters:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies monitor and try to regulate levels of contamination in soil in accordance with the so-called "Superfund," or the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liabilities Act. Under the law the EPA can require those responsible for contamination to clean up polluted soil or pay for the cost of cleanup. Each day of non-compliance after the order can cost the polluter $37,500 for each day of non-compliance.

Environmental Soil Remediation:

Soil Washing--uses surfactants and water. The soil is placed in a wash solution that either dissolve contaminants, or suspend the particles of contaminant in the wash, separated by size, then carrying them away. Bioremediation makes use of microorganisms of fungi to break down organic contaminants (or even petroleum products) so they can be separated from the soil and removed or destroyed.

Thermal Desorbtion--is used for non-organic waste contamination. Contaminated solids are heated to the boiling point of the oil or other contaminants. The liquidized contaminants are pumped away and either to a thermal oxidizer or condensed in a vapor recovery process to be reclaimed (if the contaminant can be re-used).

Thermal soil remediation uses steam and hot air injection, electric current, or other powerful heat-producing methods to bring contaminants to the vapor point along with steam from trapped moisture. The vaporized (or volatilized) contaminants can be stripped away and removed.

Lead Paint Removal Products That Provide Long-Term Solutions

Discerning among various lead paint removal products is more complicated that many people realize.  

According to HUD: "Abatement is removal of either the building component or the paint itself or the near-permanent enclosure of lead-based paint hazards. ... Abatement treatments provide a higher margin of safety than interim controls since the effectiveness of the work is less dependent on resident action, maintenance of housing stock, the conscientiousness of property manager, and the attention of maintenance workers during repair. ...

...In contrast to interim controls, lead-based paint abatement refers to a group of measures that can be expected to eliminate or reduce exposures to lead hazards for at least 20 years under normal circumstances." 

What's Considered a "Long Term Solution" To Lead Paint Hazards?

Lead-Based Paint Treatment

The reason HUD uses 20 years as a general rule is because the life expectancy of most (replaceable) building materials is about 20 years. While removal is a permanent solution, the act of removing the components - such as walls or wood - will create considerable new hazards. While it's possible to handle smaller lead paint hazards on a DIY basis, most health and housing experts recommend hiring contractors who have experience or specialize in lead paint removal projects.  

In some cases, enclosing certain structures makes sense, but like removal, enclosing simply won't work in all cases.