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HSE MATTERS

How secure are your PSM processes?

Highly hazardous chemicals such as toxics, reactives, flammable liquids and gases are used in many industries such as food processing, chemical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, plastics, paints, etc….  If not properly designed, maintained, and managed safely during manufacture, transport, storage, and use, these chemicals can cause disastrous incidents with significant property damage and potentially fatal-consequences. OSHA and EPA both regulate industries with chemicals over certain threshold quantities through their Process Safety Management (PSM) and the Risk Management Plan (RMP) standards,…

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Evaluating Workplace Health Exposures

Under the OSH Act, employers are required to identify and evaluate health hazard(s) in their workplaces, which includes exposures to air contaminants, chemicals, biological and physical hazards. More than 6 million workplaces in the U.S. are covered by OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PEL) established for over 500 chemicals listed in tables Z-1, Z-2, and Z-3.  Most of OSHA’s exposure limits are 8-hour time-weighted averages (TWA), however, there are short-term exposure limits (STEL) based on 15 minute exposures, ceiling or peak limits that…

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13 Elements of a Fire Door Inspection

Routine visual inspections and operational testing of fire doors is critical to a building’s maintenance and the life safety of its occupants. Fire doors inspected in accordance with the requirements set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code, and NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives, require that all fire door assemblies be inspected not less than annually, after installation and maintenance work. Visual inspections and operational…

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Conducting Effective Hazard Assessments

Often during inspections, audits, or accident investigations, we encounter nonexistent, inadequate, or inaccurate hazard assessments. One of the “root causes” of workplace injuries, illnesses, and incidents is the failure to identify or recognize hazards that are present, or that could have been anticipated.  A critical element of any effective safety and health program is a proactive, ongoing process to identify and assess hazards. OSHA requires that hazard assessments be performed in many standards including, but…

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6 Benefits of Partnering to Improve HSE Performance 

Businesses most valuable assets are their workforce.  As such, managing health, safety, and environmental (HSE) aspects and impacts play a critical role in managing a business.  However, for many businesses, managing an HSE system is often overwhelming trying to navigate complex and everchanging regulations, and often do not have the resources to manage internally. For many smaller to mid-sized companies, the responsibilities of managing HSE aspects and impacts often fall on human resources, supervisors, or…

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Major Benefits of Third Party Inspections & Audits 

Performing routine inspections and periodic audits are essential for a company to implement a process that assesses risk and liabilities while developing accurate policies, procedures, and training to continuously improve HSE performance.  Inspections (hazard identification) and audits (program evaluation) are critical to the successful implementation of an effective and continuously improving HSE management system.    Inspections of workplace hazards must be integrated into a company’s HSE program to ensure that hazards are appropriately identified, evaluated (severity,…

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EPA News

- Region 02

NUEVA YORK - La Agencia de Protección Ambiental de Estados Unidos (EPA, por sus siglas en inglés) ha anunciado hoy que ha emprendido una acción de cumplimiento, al amparo de la Ley de Agua Limpia, contra Calrincón Corp. y Karimar Construction Inc. por rellenar humedales sin permiso en el municipio de Rincón, Puerto Rico.

"Construir en humedales sin permiso provoca inundaciones, destruye hábitats importantes de vida silvestre e impacta la calidad de vida de las comunidades", señaló la administradora regional de la EPA, Lisa F. García. "La EPA hará cumplir la Ley de Agua Limpia y otras leyes ambientales, acorde necesario, para proteger la salud pública y el medio ambiente."

Karimar Construction Inc. vertió material de relleno en humedales de la propiedad de Calrincón Corp sin el permiso requerido de la Ley de Aguas Limpias (CWA). Karimar Construction colocó aproximadamente 8 pies de material de relleno por encima del nivel existente en aproximadamente 0,89 acres de humedales utilizando equipo mecánico.

La EPA ha ordenado a Karimar Construction Inc. que retire el material de relleno colocado en los humedales en un plazo de ocho meses y permita que los humedales se regeneren de forma natural con vegetación autóctona en un plazo de cinco años a partir del 14 de marzo de 2023.

La restauración y protección de los humedales es importante para mantener el hábitat crítico de la fauna autóctona, ayudar a cumplir con la salud de las cuencas hidrográficas y contribuir al bienestar económico. Mediante esta acción, la EPA ayuda a alcanzar estos objetivos en beneficio de los ecosistemas costeros sensibles y de las comunidades de Rincón.

Esta zona de Rincón es vital para fines recreativos y está cerca de la Reserva Marina de Tres Palmas, una reserva establecida en 2004 gracias a los esfuerzos impulsados por la comunidad que protege importantes playas para deportes acuáticos y recreación en la costa, junto con especies de coral en peligro de extinción.  

La Ley de Agua Limpia federal se estableció en 1972 para restaurar y mantener la integridad química, física y biológica de los ríos, lagos y arroyos de la nación, así como algunos de los hábitats de humedales más frágiles y vitales. La Sección 404 de la antes mencionada ley,  exige un permiso del Secretario del Ejército, actuando a través del Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de Estados Unidos, antes de que pueda disponerse de material de dragado o relleno en aguas de Estados Unidos, incluidos los humedales sujetos a jurisdicción federal.

Siga a la EPA Región 2 en Twitter y visite nuestra página de Facebook. Para más información sobre la Región 2 de la EPA, visite nuestro sitio web

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- Water (OW)

WASHINGTON — In celebration of World Water Day, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan issued the following statement:

“This World Water Day, I encourage everyone to take a moment to consider how truly fundamental clean water is to the health of our communities and our environment. Clean water is vital for all life on earth. It supports healthy people, thriving communities and productive agriculture.

Today, in celebration of World Water Day, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox is joining a U.S. delegation to the United Nations Water Conference — the first such conference in 50 years. Assistant Administrator Fox will highlight EPA’s role in accelerating progress toward United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 — ensuring access to water and sanitation for all.

All across this country, millions of Americans lack access to clean water, and this is simply unacceptable. But, thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are making the single-largest investment in water infrastructure in the history of our country. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides EPA with more than $50 billion to revitalize our country’s drinking, wastewater, and stormwater systems.

At EPA we work every single day to ensure that all people — regardless of the color of their skin, the community they live in or the money in their pocket — have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and the opportunity to lead a healthy life.

Through projects like closing rural America’s wastewater access gap, accelerating lead service line replacements, securing a sustainable water future for Tribes, and advancing climate adaptation, we are ensuring that communities across this country — particularly those that have been overburdened and underserved — have the critical resources they need to address their most pervasive and longstanding water challenges.”

Learn more about our technical assistance for communities.

- Region 02

NEW YORK - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has taken an enforcement action against Calrincón Corp. and Karimar Construction Inc. for discharging fill material into wetlands without a permit in the Municipality of Rincon, Puerto Rico. 

“Building on wetlands without permits causes flooding, destroys important wildlife habitats and decreases the quality of life for communities," said Lisa F. Garcia, EPA Regional Administrator. "EPA will enforce the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws to protect public health and the environment.”

Karimar Construction Inc. discharged fill material into wetlands on Calrincón Corp’s property without the required Clean Water Act (CWA) permit. Using mechanized equipment, Karimar Construction placed approximately 8 feet of fill material above the existing grade in approximately 0.89 acres of wetlands.  

EPA has ordered Karimar Construction Inc. to remove the fill material placed on wetlands within eight months and allow the wetlands to naturally regenerate with native vegetation within five years from March 14, 2023. 

Wetland restoration and protection are important to maintain critical wildlife habitat, help meet state and tribal watershed goals and contribute to economic well-being. Through this action, EPA helps in achieving these goals for the benefit of sensitive coastal ecosystems and communities in Rincon.  

This area of Rincón is vital for recreational purposes and is near Tres Palmas Marine Reserve, a marine reserve established in 2004 through community-driven efforts that protect the Tres Palmas surfing break, along with endangered coral species.   

The CWA was established in 1972 to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s rivers, lakes and streams, as well as some of the more fragile and vital wetland habitats. CWA’s Section 404 requires a permit from the Secretary of the Army, acting through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, before dredged or fill material may be discharged into waters of the United States, including wetlands that are subject to federal jurisdiction. 

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.  

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Chemical Safety Board News

On National Enforcement and Compliance Initiative
New CSB Board Member
Report Release Schedule