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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

OSHA New Heat Illness Web Page

Though the weather hasn't been too hot this year, so far, and the first official day of summer was Jun 21, OSHA's new Heat Illness Campaign Web page was designed to assist employers and their employees.  The Heat Illness Web page provides educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training.  Multiple copies of publications can be ordered from OSHA's Web site.  OSHA is also partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on weather service alerts to incorporate worker safety precautions when heat alerts are issued across the United States. NOAA is also including pertinent worker safety information on its Heat Watch Web page.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

OSHA Updates Indoor Air Quality Guide

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a new "Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings" guide.  The 25 page guide is a useful and basic guide that covers Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants, Common Pollutant Categories, Prevention or Control IAQ Problems, and Applicable Standards and Regulations.  The appendices are very useful especially Appendix A: Common Indoor Air Contaminants, which covers carbon monoxide, damp indoor environments, and volatile organic compounds, to name a few, and Appendix C: HVAC System Maintenance Checklist.  The guide is a simple document, very easy to understand, and will be very helpful to a facility director in resolving indoor air quality issues.
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

OSHA Announces Three-month Enforcement Phase-in for Residential Construction Fall Protection

Residential Fall Protection

OSHA announced June 9 a three-month enforcement phase-in period to allow residential construction employers to come into compliance with the agency's new directive to provide residential construction workers with fall protection.  During the phase-in period June 16-September 15, if an employer is in full compliance with the old directive (STD 03-00-001), OSHA will not issue citations, but will instead issue a hazard alert letter informing the employer of the feasible methods that can be used to comply with OSHA's fall protection standard or implement a written fall protection plan.  If the employer's practices do not meet the requirements set in the old directive, OSHA will issue appropriate citations.  If an employer fails to implement the fall protection measures outlined in a hazard alert letter, and OSHA finds violations involving the same hazards during a subsequent inspection of one of the employer's workplaces, the Area Office will issue appropriate citations.

OSHA's Residential Fall Protection Web page has many guidance products, including a fall protection slide show*, to help employers comply with the new directive. See the news release for more information.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ventilation Blues from Indoor Air 2011

This video is from the Indoor Air 2011 Conference in Austin Texas where Rosie Flores plays a song written for the conference by Rosie Flores and Bud Offermann called the "VENTILATION BLUES."  An excellent song and very entertaining.  Hope you enjoy it.
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Friday, June 17, 2011

OSHA's Tornado Preparedness & Response

Tornado Preparedness and Response - Copyright WARNING: Not all images on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some images may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — — to search for copyrighted materials. 

First the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) create a website (click here for the CDC site) to help with preparedness for hurricanes and storms, now the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a website for Tornado Preparedness and Response.  The tornado preparedness and response site focuses on being prepared by developing an emergency plan and creating checklists (the checklist link brings you to the Red Cross website).  While on the response side it discusses employer responsibilities and potential hazards such as:
  • Hazardous driving conditions due to slippery and/or blocked roadways
  • Slips and falls due to slippery walkways
  • Falling and flying objects such as tree limbs and utility poles
  • Sharp objects including nails and broken glass
  • Electrical hazards from downed power lines or downed objects in contact with power lines
  • Falls from heights
  • Burns from fires caused by energized line contact or equipment failure
  • Exhaustion from working extended shifts
  • Heat and Dehydration.
A pretty good website to help you in dealing with the numerous tornados we are encountering this year.   
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Future Environment Designs Sponsors Public Outreach Lead Video

New Orleans, LA, 12-03-05 -- Jackie Gladish, O...Image via Wikipedia
Future Environment Designs is proud to sponsor this Public Outreach Video on Lead and Lead Based Paint. The video was designed to help the public have a better understanding of the dangers regarding Lead and Lead Based Paint issue. We hope you enjoy it and it assists you better understand lead and lead based paint.
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Thursday, June 09, 2011

NYCDEP Creates a New Closeout Process for A-TRU (Asbestos) Permitted Projects

New York City Department of Environmental Prot...Image via WikipediaNew York City Department of Environmental Protection just sent out information regarding a new closeout process that has been developed in ARTS for A-TRU (Asbestos) Permitted Projects to allow the registered design professional to handle the A-TR1.  
1.  The registered design professional needs to create an account by going to and registering.
2.  Once the registered design professional registers at the web site, they will give the email they used to register to the ACP7 applicant.
3. When closing out permitted locations the ACP7, the applicant will select the abatement locations and enter the email address the registered design professional used to register at the web site.
4. The applicant hits submit and the A-TR1 goes to the registered design professional who will complete and submit the A-TRI form to DEP for approval.
Instructions for both the applicant and registered design professional can be found at our website at
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EPA Announces the Second Phase of Historic Hudson River Cleanup Underway

Lakes Entrance Dredger April HamerImage via Wikipedia (Glens Falls, N.Y. – June 6, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that the dredging of sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has resumed in the Upper Hudson River, marking the start of the second and final phase of the Hudson River cleanup.  The historic dredging project targets approximately 2.4 million cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment from a forty-mile section of the Upper Hudson River between Fort Edward and Troy, NY.  PCBs are potentially cancer-causing in people and build up in the fat of fish and mammals, increasing in concentration as they move up the food chain.  The primary risk to humans is the accumulation of PCBs in the body from eating contaminated fish.  General Electric (GE) is conducting the cleanup work with EPA oversight, under an agreement with the Agency.  This final phase of the cleanup project is expected to take five to seven years to complete.

During the 2011 dredging season, mechanical dredges will collect buckets of PCB-contaminated sediment from a 1.5-mile stretch of river just south of the town of Fort Edward.  Four to six dredges will work 24 hours a day, six days a week through the summer and fall to remove approximately 350,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment from 100 acres of river bottom.  Dredging will begin in the western channel of Roger’s Island and move south in the main stem of the river.  Between 1947 and 1977, an estimated 1.3 million pounds of PCBs were discharged into the river from two GE capacitor manufacturing plants located in Fort Edward and Hudson FallsInformation about the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site can be found at

People seeking general information about the project are encouraged to contact Larisa Romanowski at (518) 747-4389;   Residents who have questions or concerns related to dredging operations should call GE’s 24-hour dredging information phone line at (518) 792-4087, or, toll-free (888) 596-3655.
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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Disposal Company Charged With Illegal Dumping Of Asbestos

Mazza & Sons Inc., located in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, was named in a seven-count indictment of conspiring to dump 60 million pounds of asbestos-contaminated debris at a farm containing wetlands in upstate New York.  Arrested under the indictment were Dominick Mazza, the owner of Mazza & Sons, Julius DeSimone of Rome, New York, Donald Torriero of Wellington, Florida, and Cross Nicastro II of Frankfort, New York.
The indictment describes a scheme to illegally dump thousands of tons of asbestos-contaminated, pulverized construction and demolition debris that was processed at Eagle Recycling’s and Mazza & Sons Inc.’s, New Jersey-based solid waste management facilities.  That asbestos-contaminated debris was then transported to and dumped at Cross Nicastro II’s farm in Frankfort – much of which contained federally-regulated wetlands.  Dumping and excavating operations were managed on-site by Julius DeSimone.
According to court documents, Donald Torriero and other conspirators concealed the illegal dumping by fabricating a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) permit and forging the name of a DEC official on the fraudulent permit.   Once the conspirators learned that they were under investigation, they began a systematic pattern of document concealment, alteration and destruction by destroying and secreting documents responsive to grand jury subpoenas and falsifying and submitting environmental sampling to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Back in April, reported, Eagle Recycling of North Bergen pleaded guilty in federal court to dumping 16.2 million pounds of pulverized construction and demolition debris - including asbestos - at the site and then attempted to destroy documents to conceal it.  As part of the plea agreement, Eagle Recycling agreed to pay a criminal fine of $500,000, to implement an environmental compliance plan at its North Bergen facility, and to pay restitution that potentially includes cleanup costs.    
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Monday, June 06, 2011

CDC Providing Resourses for Hurricane Preparedness

May 22-28, 2011 was National Hurricane Preparedness Week.  The Centers for Disease Control is raising awareness about the importance of taking steps to protect your health and safety during hurricane season.  Visit their website at, it will provide you ideas and resources to prepare yourself for hurricane season.  For example, the site list the following as emergency supplies you should stock in preparing for a hurricane:
  • Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person).
  • A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food.
  • A first aid kit and manual.
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets.
  • Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach.
  • Prescription medicines and special medical needs.
  • Hurricane Supplies
  • Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies.
  • Disposable cleaning cloths, such as "baby wipes" for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.
  • Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
  • An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
You can find more information on emergency plans and supply kits at
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Friday, June 03, 2011

Flooding Devastating Upstate New York, Vermont, & Quebec, Too

Flooded Area of Plattsburgh 
In the beginning of May, we traveled to Plattsburgh, New York to perform our annual asbestos refresher training in the area.  The week before we arrived we started hearing a little about the flooding of Lake Champlain.  This flooding was causing some problems and damage in the area.  Alot has been written about the flooding of the Mississippi River and its impact to various cities and areas along its banks.  Because the media's attention is focused on those areas, the media has not paid much attention to the Lake Champlain flooding.
The average water level for Lake Champlain is 95.5 feet and the flood tage for the lake is considered 100 feet.  The previous high-water mark for the lake was set in 1993 at 101.89 feet.  Preliminary high-watermark estimates for 2011 is 103.2 feet.  The lake is being filled with snow-melt and incessant rain from the Adirondacks in New York State and the Green Mountains of Vermont.  In addition, the Richelieu River in Canada, which Lake Champlain flows into, was at record levels, too, prompting severe flooding there.  It's estimated that it could take until July to drop below flood stage levels. 
In Vermont floodwaters threaten to cut-off about 7,500 people who live in the Grand Island Counties while in New York over 100 people were driven out of their homes and 48 people were being sheltered by the American Red Cross in the Crete Memorial Civic Center, after the flooding at Lakeside Apartments, in Plattsburgh.
The flooding in this region could cause some major issues.  The slow rate the water is receding will give fungi (mold and mildew) and bacteria a chance to grow and fester.  The following video on YouTube, Avoiding IAQ Problems after a Flood will help you handle many of the issues that flooding brings to the table.     
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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Venitian Gala Benefits the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center - A Night To Remember

Venetian Gala Table Decoration
Saturday, May 7, 2011, we attended the Venetian Gala, benefitting the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center (TRSAC), located in Oyster Bay, New York, held at the Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, NY.  This annual Gala is held to benefit the environmental education programs at the Sanctuary and honor the winners of the Sanctuary's highest award for environmental leadership, the 2011 Legacy of Conservation Award.  This year the Sanctuary honored Helen Crosson (an old school mate), Alice DelBosco (serving with her on the TRSAC Board), Carol DuBois, and Julie Rinaldini for their legacy of conservation.  We attended the event and it was some event.  We had a great time, the pass around food was delicious, the band had us dancing our feet off, the bar was well stocked, and the decorations, as you can see from the table setting, were fantastic.  Ms. Bernadette Castro doing the live auction was excellent and generated alot of excitement.  It was a grand event that helps the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center bring its environmental education programs to schools and the community, every year. 
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Chrysotile Asbestos Banned? More Like Certain Conditions of Use Will Be Eventually Banned!

Many of you, as did I, read about the " Ban of Chrysotile Asbestos " and rejoiced over something long overdue.  However, after rea...