August 2015

Welcome

August 2015

Welcome to the EHS Journal. This international online magazine was designed for and by environmental, health, and safety professionals for the purpose of sharing knowledge and facilitating discussion within our profession. Since our launch in January 2010, we have published articles and images from more than 200 contributors in 30 countries.

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Featured Articles

USEPA Releases Vapor Intrusion Technical Guidance USEPA Releases Vapor Intrusion Technical Guidance

  On June 11, 2015, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) released its long awaited vapor intrusion guidance documents: The Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) Technical Guide for Assessing and Mitigating the Vapor Intrusion Pathway from Subsurface Vapor Sources to Indoor Air (VI Technical Guide), and Technical Guide for Addressing Petroleum Vapor
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BP Agrees to Settle Deepwater Horizon Claims for $18.7 Billion BP Agrees to Settle Deepwater Horizon Claims for $18.7 Billion

BP announced July 2, 2015 that its United States Upstream subsidiary has executed agreements with the U.S. federal government and five U.S. Gulf Coast states to resolve claims made by federal, state, and more than 400 local government entities. In the agreement, BP has committed to paying up to US$ 18.7 billion spread over 18 years. Settlement terms are as follows:

EPA Clean Water Act Infographic – Great for Training EPA Clean Water Act Infographic – Great for Training

The USEPA has published a simple infographic providing interesting facts and figures associated with clean water. The infographic could be used for annual environmental training, Earth Day events, etc. to stimulate a discussion about the importance of clean water. http://www2.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule/why-clean-water-rules   Photograph: Trippy by James Farmer, Soka, Saitama, Japan.   Return to the EHS Journal
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Fourth Wave: EHS&S in the Era of Productivity Fourth Wave: EHS&S in the Era of Productivity

The environmental, health, safety, and sustainability (EHS&S) profession is in the doldrums. Just when we thought we’d survived the recession and sustainability could be embraced, we’re back in the world of cuts and delays. It feels like a return to the 1980s or early 1990s, when a CEO would tell a corporate environmental officer: “I
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Conflict Minerals: Tips for Environmental Leaders Conflict Minerals: Tips for Environmental Leaders

  This is the last in a series of EHS Journal articles designed to provide meaningful background and guidance on Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals (DFCM).  Other articles in the series include: Preface: 5 Myths About Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Part 1: U.S. Conflict Minerals: Background and Proposed Rule Part 2: Conflict Minerals Final Rules: What Changed? Part
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Process Safety: Three Critical Topics to Engage Employees Process Safety: Three Critical Topics to Engage Employees

Take a stroll through any refinery, gas plant, or maybe an offshore oil platform. Ask operators how they define process safety. The answers might be a mix of “Don’t blow the place up,” and “Keep the product in the pipe.” Those answers indicate an awareness of process safety. However, they aren’t particularly helpful in keeping
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Environmental Management

2015 Update: The World’s Largest Environmental Consulting Firms 2015 Update: The World’s Largest Environmental Consulting Firms

The world’s 25 largest environmental consulting (EC) companies accounted for 46% of the total EC market according to the latest data released by Environment Analyst. The data, which reflected financial performance for 2013, showed that the EC market reached an estimated value of US$ 28.7 billion. Overall market revenues in 2013 fell flat after three
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Popular Posts

India E-Waste Market and Vendors India E-Waste Market and Vendors

Electronic waste (E-Waste) is generated from old, discarded or obsolete electronic products. E-Waste can be toxic in nature because it contains hazardous metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. In India as well as other developing countries, the majority of electronic products are not recycled, which poses a serious environmental and health risk. E-Waste in
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Sustainability

Sustainability by the Numbers, Trends and Analysis Sustainability by the Numbers, Trends and Analysis

  There was a time when corporations treated sustainability as nothing more than the topic du jour of environmental activists, or an issue they recognized only because the law required it. But today’s corporate sustainability practices have undergone a remarkable shift. Now, sustainability is being integrated into the bottom-line of businesses. Leading global companies have
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Climate Change

G7 Leaders Agree to Phase Out Fossil Fuels G7 Leaders Agree to Phase Out Fossil Fuels

ABC News reported today that the G7 group of industrial nations had pledged to phase out fossil fuel use by the end of the 21st century. According to the ABC report, the leaders stressed that “deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions” were required. The Wall Street Journal reported that The leaders of the seven
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Auditing

Dealing with Difficult, Distracting, and Disruptive Auditees Dealing with Difficult, Distracting, and Disruptive Auditees

We’ve all read self-help books that describe how to deal with difficult people and handle difficult situations in the workplace. In this article, I’d like to examine some of the more difficult people I’ve encountered during environmental, health, and safety (EHS) audits and discuss options for handling these folks.   Type One: The Avoider Mantra:
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Health and Safety

OSHA Publishes Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers OSHA Publishes Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers

From the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers was published by U.S. OSHA on June 1, 2015. The publication provides guidance to employers on best practices regarding restroom access for transgender workers. The guide was developed at the request of the National Center for Transgender Equality,
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Take A Break

Welding Gas Truck Explosion Welding Gas Truck Explosion

Take a break and watch this short video of a truck carrying welding gases, oxygen and acetylene, that crashes on the highway.         http://www.youtube.com/embed/FG1LGKieTxY?rel=0   Photograph: Gas Bottles by Esra Su, Frankfurt, Germany.   Return to the EHS Journal Home Page

Analysis, News and Notes

Protecting Workers from Underground Hazards Protecting Workers from Underground Hazards

Americans strike underground utilities about once per minute on average according to a report last year by the Common Ground Alliance, a group of utilities, fire marshals, and others interested parties focuses on protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them. Perhaps you heard one of these stories: In February
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Quick Reads

India: Public Health and Environmental Contamination India: Public Health and Environmental Contamination

A lot of progress has been made in India in the past decade in terms of improving the environment and associated impacts on human health, but a lot of work still needs to be done. In rural India, for example, obvious environmental problems with clear adverse health impacts are often allowed to exist without intervention. As the following photographs
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Favorites

Safety Professionals: Focused on the Wrong Things? Safety Professionals: Focused on the Wrong Things?

  Since the advent of the Safety function, safety professionals have been borrowing tools from other disciplines and building practices based on data gleaned from the earliest research in industrial psychology. For some, these most basic practices and methods are cherished and to suggest that any change to these is tantamount to heresy. For others,
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