Winter Storm Spreads Contaminated Soil onto Neighbours’ Properties

Stockpiled contaminated soil at a brownfield site was dispersed onto neighbouring properties in the Town of Sept-Îles, Quebec after a blizzard blew off the tarps that covered the contaminated soil.

Following the storm, neighbours began to complain about the persistent smell of gasoline when they stepped outside.  Concerns have been expressed by town folk that the contaminated soil will continue to impact more properties over time.

The source of the petroleum-impacted soil is the former Moisie military base.  The contaminated soil was excavated in the summer of 2016 and stored on site.  The storage piles were covered with tarps.

It is uncertain as to why the soil was not treated or removed prior to winter.  The Canadian Department of National Defence had awarded SNC-Lavalin, headquartered in Montreal, to $3 million contract to remediate the site.

Besides assurances to neighbours by the DND that tarps will be more securely tied down on the remaining stockpiles there is no plan on dealing with the contaminated soil that has blown onto neighbouring properties and the Moisie River.

The Town of Sept-Îles became home to RCAF Station Moisie in the late 1950s, when the Royal Canadian Air Force established a Pinetree Line early warning radar station nearby. The facility was later renamed CFS Moisie and closed in the 1980’s.

 

27th Annual International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air

March 20th to the 23rd 2017 will mark the twenty seventh annual gathering of environmental professionals to the Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air.  This year the event will take place at the Marriott Mission Valley in San Diego, California.

For the past twenty-six years, this annual conference has helped to bring the environmental science community closer together by providing a forum to facilitate the exchange of information of technological advances, new scientific achievements, and the effectiveness of standing environmental regulation programs.  The Annual AEHS Foundation Meeting and International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air offers attendees an opportunity to exchange findings, ideas, and recommendations in a professional setting. The strong and diverse technical program is customized each year to meet the changing needs of the environmental field.

Platform and poster sessions feature research, case studies, and the presentation of new programs. Exhibitions augment the conference program and bring applied technology to attendees.  Focused workshops provide attendees with practical information for immediate application.  Daily socials provide networking opportunities and discussion.

More information about the conference can be found at http://www.aehsfoundation.org/west-coast-conference.aspx.

Opportunity to Teach Hazmat Course in Alaska

The U.S. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (DHS&EM) is seeking competitive proposals for an instructor for Hazardous Materials Technician Course that will be offered on May 15 – 20, 2017.  The current deadline for receipt of proposals to the subject IRFP is no later than 2:00 p.m. Alaska time on January 27, 2017.  Information on submitting proposals can be found in the IRFP.

Questions regarding this IRFP need to submitted in writing to the procurement office via email at[email protected], faxed to 907-428-7229, or through VSS.

 

Responsible Management of Pharmaceutical Industry Waste

The pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is growing quickly and, as a result, so too are the by-products and waste it generates.  With tighter regulations and an increased focus on corporate social responsibility, companies in the sector are understandably concerned about managing their environmental impact.

An important aspect of an industry-leading environmental program is proper waste management.  Not only is waste management crucial to minimizing environmental impact, but it also significantly reduces liabilities and risk associated with off-spec or even dangerous products ending up in secondary markets.

Responsible waste management starts at the source

“Proper waste management in the pharmaceutical sector involves more than just the recycling or destruction and disposal of materials,” said Todd Smith, Vice President of Environmental Solutions for Central Canada at Terrapure.  “It is critically important to be able to monitor and track waste every step of the way, beginning  at the customer’s site, through transportation and ultimately the final disposal at a regulated waste management facility.’’

Today, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology allows every detail to be monitored – from bottles and cartons to drums and skids.  All material is inventoried before reaches the waste management facility and undergoes a final set of tests in the lab before the destruction process can begin.  In addition, leading waste management companies are introducing barcoding technology to be able to further monitor and report on the type and amount of a customer’s waste, as well as where and at what stage of processing or disposal it is at any given time.

A carefully executed and documented destruction process

The typical destruction process involves the following steps:

Shredding and grinding

First, solids such as pills, bottles, boxes and other packaging material must be separated from the liquids.  Solids are then shredded and grinded to a particulate specification that meets the customer’s exact needs.  For example, for those customers who require it, some waste management companies can guarantee that shredding and grinding will ensure unrecognizable text on bottles or other packaging.

Co-mingling solids

To provide additional security, all shredded and ground by-products are gathered and co-mingled with other non-hazardous materials to ensure they are not able to be retrieved.  From there, materials are sent to an incinerator for final disposal, for a threefold destruction process.

Fuel blending

Some waste management companies specialize in the blending of pharmaceutical materials with residual heat value, such as off-spec or expired consumer products and liquid industrial wastes, and transforming them into alternate fuel for use by industry.

Incineration

For those materials that are not able to be recovered for their heat value, incineration is the final stage of disposal, allowing for the complete destruction and disposal of non-hazardous pharmaceutical liquids and solids.

Audit Preparation

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to provide extensive reporting and auditing material to regulatory bodies, including Health Canada’s Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Proper waste management also calls for accurate and timely paperwork.  Certificates of destruction and all supplementary paperwork for shipment, including waste management termination and other administrative documents, need to be delivered to the manufacturer as quickly as possible.

“Today, waste management and environmental solutions companies are no longer just providing a service; they are their customers’ partners and this is especially true for pharmaceutical manufacturers who are subject to stringent audits,” adds Terrapure’s Smith.  “Knowing how important audit materials are for pharmaceutical customers, our team prides itself on delivering these documents within just three days and helping them navigate the audit process by being available 24/7.”

Pharmaceutical manufacturers can benefit from working with an experienced partner in their pursuit of an effective solution that minimizes the environmental impact of their waste streams and provides the utmost in security and disposal for regulated materials.

An expert environmental solutions provider will strategically evaluate and characterize their various waste streams to help both the environment and their business’s bottom line, ensure a safe and efficient destruction process, and support them in their regulated audit processes.

About the Author

Terrapure Environmental, a leading Canadian environmental solutions provider, offers a thorough waste destruction and disposal process that provides pharmaceutical manufacturers peace of mind knowing their waste streams will not be a risk to their reputation or bottom line.

Canadian TDG Training – From “Adequate” to “Competent”

Transport Canada has released for comment a White Paper, Training in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods: A White Paper, outlining the changes it is proposing to the training requirements for individuals responsible for transporting dangerous goods in and out of Canada.

“Competency” to be Proven

Concerns have been expressed, often post-incident, as to the sufficiency and quality of training of company dangerous goods representatives. The White Paper represents a fundamental training threshold shift from mandating ‘adequately trained’ representatives to demonstrable ‘competent persons’ Included within these certification changes will be:

  • competency-based training and assessments (CBTA), including performance expectations based on an individual’s job functions;
  • standards and guidelines to supplement the CBTA framework; and
  • standardized dangerous goods testing administered by the public sector.

These changes will mean that company dangerous goods representatives will need to meet demonstrated testing standards in order to quality or remain tasked with dangerous goods administration. Companies may look upon these testing changes as better due diligence protections than past self-reporting of training “adequacy”.

Transport Canada is also proposing the mandating of employee skills necessary to perform dangerous goods-related job-related functions, as well as performance criteria for assessing the outcome.

More Coordination with Provinces / Territories

The training changes are part of a larger effort by Transport Canada to better coordinate with provincial and territorial governments, which also have some jurisdiction over dangerous goods transportation requirements. It’s less clear if a long-term move towards harmonization, as has occurred with WHMIS, might be in store for dangerous goods movements.

About the Author

Jonathan Cocker heads Baker & McKenzie’s Environmental Practice Group in Toronto, as part of the Global Environment and Climate Change practice, ranked as a Band 1 practice by Chambers and the largest environmental law practice globally.  Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environment, health and safety matters, including product content, dangerous goods transportation, regulated wastes, food and drug safety, extended producer responsibilities and contaminated lands matters.  He appears before both environmental health and safety (EHS) tribunals and civil courts across Canada. Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on EHS matters, is a participant in a number of EHS national and international industry groups and is an author of the upcoming Encyclopedia of Environmental Law.

CSA Group opens new HazMat lab in Edmonton

CSA Group says the new facility will also offer testing for windows and doors

CSA Group has opened a new testing and certification laboratory in Edmonton, Alta.

The new facility specializes in testing and certification for hazardous locations, such as equipment used in oil, gas, mining, marine and fertilizer production. The expansion doubles the testing capacity of the previous lab to provide enhanced service for the increasing needs of explosive atmosphere testing and certification, not only in Alberta, but across North America.

“CSA Group is a world leader in explosive atmosphere testing, and our services for hazardous location testing and certification are growing to meet the needs of our oil and gas clients in Alberta and throughout Canada,” says Nashir Jiwani, VP of CSA Group in Canada. “We are also committed to developing leading standards and building world-class facilities to meet the needs of our clients around the world.”
. There will now be 37 different tests offered for windows and doors, including environmental factors, durability and energy efficiency.

“CSA Group’s state-of-the art windows and doors lab specializes in testing new windows and doors to North American fenestration requirements,” says Jiwani. “Manufacturers will be required to have their products tested to these standards under the updated National Building Code.”

U.S. chemical safety bill passes committee vote

If the bill passes a full Senate vote, it would mark the first substantial update to the Toxic Substances Control Act since the law was adopted in 1976.

Safety standards for thousands of unregulated chemicals could be on the way, following a bipartisan bill’s approval at the committee level Tuesday.

If the bill passes a full Senate vote, it would mark the first substantial update to the Toxic Substances Control Act since the law was adopted in 1976.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act requires all new and existing chemicals be reviewed for safety, establishes new funding for EPA through user fees, and gives EPA new authority to require testing.

Since 1994 alone, more than 10,000 chemicals have come onto the market

EPA eyes Superfund removal of New Jersey landfill site

Contaminants originally found in the 10-acre site’s surface soil included sediments like fly ash and fine particles of ash from a solid fuel caused by waste gases from manufacturing

After a decade on the U.S. Superfund list, the EPA says it’s time to remove the Crown Vantage Landfill Site in Alexandria Township, N.J., once an industrial landfill that served a nearby paper mill.

Contaminants originally found in the 10-acre site’s surface soil included  sediments like fly ash and fine particles of ash from a solid fuel caused by waste gases from manufacturing.

In April 2007, EPA developed a Work Plan to address specific activities, including stabilizing the entire face of the landfill to prevent erosion; securing the site against unauthorized access; and identifying, retrieving, and removing any containers and their contents above ground to prevent direct contact with these materials. These activities were completed by September 2007.

Ont. concrete company gets fine plus creative sentencing

Rainbow Concrete has agreed to offer stream and bank remediation around the Junction Creek area, as well as implement a training program for its staff

Ontario-based Rainbow Concrete Industries Ltd. has been fined $40,000 for discharging wastewater from ready-mix cement trucks into a wetland near a creek, but in the spirit of creative sentencing the Sudbury company will also perform on-site rehabilitation worth nearly $110,000.

Rainbow Concrete has agreed to offer stream and bank remediation around the Junction Creek area, as well as implement a training program for its staff.

In response to a public complaint, two environmental officers attended the property and observed company trucks entering the property for the purpose of discharging concrete wastewater. Environmental officers returned to the site and noted that more concrete wastewater had been discharged.

Rainbow Concrete has also agreed to make a $10,000 donation to the Vale Centre’s Living with Lakes program at Laurentien University for water quality research.

Ohio Haz waste incinerator fined $34K for 2013 malfunction

The levels of lead on a backyard slide were more than twice the EPA’s soil standard

An Ohio hazardous waste incinerator company will pay the EPA $34,000 for 761 pounds of ash that spewed arsenic and lead into the area in 2013 following a malfunction.

The levels of lead on a backyard slide were more than twice the EPA’s soil standard.

is required to make changes to prevent future problems at the facility.

The settlement comes as the U.S. EPA is conducting its own investigation into the incinerator.

The incinerator burns about 60,000 tons of waste too toxic for landfills. Heritage drew wide attention in the 1990s when residents and environmental groups protested its construction.