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KPA Spotlight: September 2017

Toby Graham /
  • Categories: EHS

EHS Spotlight

KPA is dedicated to providing clients with the latest information on regulatory changes and news surrounding Environmental Health and Safety. Take a look at some recent events that could impact your organization.

Regulatory Updates and Interpretations

Environmental Compliance in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey – August 31, 2017 (Lexology-K&L Gates)

As the flood waters recede and rebuilding begins in Southeast Texas, those responsible for environmental issues face many compliance questions. This update describes recent actions by the State of Texas to relieve some of these concerns and actions counsel may want to take to protect against later claims.

Suspension of Rules-Governor Abbot suspended numerous rules regarding pollution control equipment and operations at industrial and other facilities to the extent they hamper or impede responses to Harvey.

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Recent Violations & Citations

Federal agency granted warrant for Millcreek construction site – September 8, 2017 (Erie Times-News)

Pennsylvania-An official was told to leave the work site after she noticed possible safety violations, according to the warrant application.

A local construction company is facing a federal warrant after officials said a safety inspector was kicked off its work site.

A federal magistrate judge on Thursday granted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s request for a warrant to inspect the construction being performed by Diamond Design Construction at 5942 Peach St., after an OSHA official said she noticed safety violations there and was told to leave the site on Aug. 30.

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Recent Stories

Around the House: Is silica the next asbestos? – September 9, 2017 (Daily Commercial)

The first asbestos lawsuit filed against a company was in 1929. Over the last four decades billions of dollars have been awarded in judgments and more than 100 companies have filed for bankruptcy.  The EPA estimates that more than 27 million American workers were exposed to asbestos from between 1940-80, with as many as 200,000 dying from direct exposure. Asbestos has been a nightmare for workers, companies and the legal system.

Silica (silicon dioxide) is found in nature as quartz and is one of the main ingredients in sand and the earth’s crust. 95% of the silica consumed in the construction industry is by way of Portland cement and these products are everywhere. When building products such as concrete slabs, blocks, bricks, tile, stucco and cement lap siding are cut, drilled or ground silica dust is emitted into the air. This dust can be very damaging, if not deadly, for those who inhale too much of it.  Doesn’t this sound familiar?

Click here to read more: Is silica the next asbestos?

Is That Mask Really Protecting You From The Smoke? – August 31, 2017 (OPB-Ashland, OR)

Oregon-The persistent haze of smoke from the wildfires burning around the Northwest has led many people to wear face masks to protect their lungs. But health officials say many of those masks aren’t doing what the wearers think they are…

You can get respirators that will filter out particles that small – they’re rated as NIOSH-95 or NIOSH -100 — but they’re tricky to fit properly and if you’ve got facial hair, they won’t make a good seal at all.

Click here to read more: Is That Mask Really Protecting Your from Smoke?

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