Tech Corner: More states institute COVID-19 Standards

  Credit: Simon Davis/DFID 14 states have instituted COVID-19 safety standards for the work place so far. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in the US, the concern for worker safety and health has all but subsided and the need to institute COVID-19 safety standards has become very apparent. In the absence of federal leadership in establishing these standards, some governors and state health departments have stepped up to expand worker protections. Virginia was the first state to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard to protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic along with Oregon and Michigan shortly following. Other states have issued guidelines, some of which are tied to enforcement efforts. Additional some cites also have issued ordinances geared toward protecting their local workers. Below is partial list of states along the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions that have adopted COVID-19 safety standards (with links to more information) Massachusetts - Safety standards f

Sustainable Solutions: Sustainable waste management

 There are different approaches to treating waste, but the following points are common principles followed by many inside and outside the US. Which of the following categories does your organization fall in? Prevent waste The best thing to do is to not generate waste. If that is not possible, try to substitute non-hazardous or less hazardous chemicals into your processes. Think about only ordering chemicals that you need to use now vs. buying bulk chemicals/larger quantity to receive a discount in cost. In the end, this costs you more because you have to dispose of the excess that you do not end up using. In addition, this is not a sustainable practice. Instead of sending something to the waste pile, find out if others in the organization are able to use it, this prevents waste and cuts disposal costs. Prepare to re-use You may ask yourself, how am I going to reuse this? Electronic waste can be reused, instead of disposing of the escrap as hazardous waste, it can be taken apart and ind

Regulatory Update: EPA increases civil penalties

 The US EPA has increased its maximum civil penalties with publishing the Final Rule on December 23, 2020. Below is a table showing the increases (Note: Penalties are assessed on a per day, per infraction basis). Program Previous Current Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ( RCRA ) $75,867 $76,764 Clean Air Act ( CAA ) $101,439 $102,638 Clean Water Act ( CWA ) $55,800 $56,460 Comprehensive Env. Response... Act ( CERCLA ) $58,328 $59,017 Emergency Planning/ Right-to-Know Act ( EPCRA ) $58,328 $59,017 Fed Insecticide, Fungicide/Rodenticide Act ( FIFRA ) $20,288 $20,528 Safe Drinking Water Act ( SDWA ) $58,328 $59,017 Toxic Substances Control Act ( TSCA ) $40,576 $41,056 The above table does

Re-opening during COVID-19

Credit: Simon Davis/DFID COVID-19 hasn't just caused a temporary interruption to our everyday lives, it has upended life as we know it and pushed us into a new reality where face coverings and social distancing is becoming the new normal. As we slowly and cautiously move forward with safely reopening, we ask that you closely follow your state or county Reopening guide along with the guidelines provided by OSHA and the CDC. Please see below for information and resources: CDC Business guidance CDC Resuming business toolkit NIH returning to work training tool For additional information and resources on how to cautiously and safely reopen, call your local Enviroexperts at 301-309-0475.

Sustainable Solutions: COVID-19 cleaning & decontamination

WHAT WE KNOW: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease caused by a respiratory virus and it has not caused illness in humans before. Symptoms include: fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. This virus is easily communicable and spreads in a similar manner to the cold or flu – respiratory droplets, contaminated surfaces, and close contact. This virus is affecting all of us and EMSI is committed to help keep your facility and personnel safe. Our Enviroexperts are trained and prepared to safely clean and decontaminate your potentially infected area, facility or location in accordance with CDC and OSHA requirements and recommendations and EPA regulation. HOW WE CAN HELP: Our Enviroexpert Infectious Response Service includes: Conduct assessment and planning Donning of Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) Use of EPA approved disinfecting agents Cleaning and decontamination according to OSHA biosafety standards, EPA regulation, and CDC recommendation Safe handlin

Regulatory Update: EPA issues temporary enforcement policy in response to COVID-19 Pandemic

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a temporary enforcement policy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the policy the EPA was inundated with questions about how to handle current situations where COVID-19 imposed restrictions prevented enforcement tasks from being completed. The Agency recognizes that work shortages, travel restrictions, and social distancing caused by the pandemic will have an impact on ability to enforce compliance with federal environmental regulations. In response to these projections the EPA has issued a temporary policy that outlines how they intend to "exercise enforcement discretion" with respect to certain compliance situations. On April 2, 2020 The US EPA sent a letter to members of congress clarifying the temporary enforcement policy. This letter aimed to reassure federal lawmakers and the regulated community that EPA's enforcement activities will remain active and to address concerns caused by the release of

Tech Corner: New Biohaz Packaging Guidelines

Dear Valued Customer: The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has all of our attention. Environmental Management Services, Inc. (EMSI) has been monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 and wanted to let you know that we are doing everything possible to keep you and our employees safe. This is our number one priority. During this time, we are making sure that our employees are using every precaution in maintaining healthy habits; including the use of personal protection equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers between each service and a clean/sanitized vehicle. In addition to these safe practices we have included special handling procedures to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, and the public. As of now, the waste generated from treating a patient with Coronavirus does not require any regulatory special handling. Only as a precaution, we ask that you follow the below procedures when handling the waste generated from the treatment of these patients. Any deviations from this process c