News

In April 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that welding fume is considered to be a known carcinogen that can lead to lung cancer in humans. This decision may affect all facilities who employ welders or other personnel conducting hot work, as these personnel may be exposed to welding fumes. Employers of welders should ensure engineering and administrative controls are implemented to reduce employee exposure to welding fumes in the workplace. Continue reading “Welding Fumes Have Been Classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen”

On September 9, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an Air Plan Approval that will grant approval of proposed changes to Georgia’s Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) permitting rules, proposed in Georgia’s July 2, 2018 SIP revision. The proposed changes have already been implemented by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), and this Air Plan Approval is the EPA saying that it is okay for the GA EPD to continue implementation and begin enforcement. Continue reading “EPA Nonattainment New Source Review Updates – Georgia”

Several National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for combustible dust were updated in 2019, including standards applicable to food, agricultural, wood product, plastic, pharmaceutical, and many other industries.  The 2020 Editions of NFPA 61, 654, and 664 were all issued in the past few months.  (Much like a new car model, the new NFPA editions are typically released in the year before the date of the edition.)   Below are some of the major changes to these standards.  If you have specific questions about how these changes may affect your facility, CTI’s combustible dust experts are available to talk. Continue reading “Updates to the Combustible Dust Standards”

The prevention of stormwater contamination is a major concern that does not discriminate between, and is applicable to, all types of industry. Stormwater can be defined as storm water runoff (e.g. rain flow), snow melt runoff, and drainage. All industrial facilities have some form of stormwater discharge which has the potential to be impacted by pollutants from different types of industrial activities, such as pallets stored outside, forklift traffic between buildings, outdoor parts storage, etc. Due to this potential, all industrial facilities in the United States are required to comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Industrial Stormwater Regulations. Noncompliance with any of the Industrial Stormwater Regulations, such as the discharge of stormwater mixed with pollutants from processes or other industrial activity, is a violation of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States.

Facilities are required to ensure that any stormwater discharging from their property is free from contaminants by conducting analytical sampling. Continue reading “Management and Prevention of Stormwater Benchmark Exceedances”

Over the past decade, there has been a push by lumber manufacturers to install continuous dry kilns, or CDKs, to supplement or replace batch kilns. There are numerous benefits with CDKs, including higher quality lumber, more efficient combustion of fuel, pre-heating of green, undried lumber with heat that would be lost with a batch kiln, and elimination of charge turnover resulting in a significant increase in production efficiency.   With all these benefits, comes a substantial problem: a dramatic increase in the generation of kiln condensate.

The regulations that apply to kiln condensate are complex and typically require stringent permits or alternative management techniques. CTI’s white paper provides an overview of the regulations that are applicable to kiln condensate, and it details the legal options lumber manufacturers have in managing it.

Click here for access to the white paper

Title: Combustible Dust Hazards and NFPA Compliance for Storage Equipment
Date: Thursday, October 17, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM EDT
Duration: 1.5 hours
Register: https://event.netbriefings.com/event/pabe/Live/oct1719/register.html

CTI has teamed up with the Fike Corporation and CST to co-host an educational webinar on the ever-growing topic of dust hazards, NFPA Compliance, design approaches and retrofit issues.  The webinar will cover:

  • Dust Hazard Analyses
  • Combustible Dust Deflagration Mitigation Practices
  • Dust Hazards for Storage System Design Criteria

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) continues to roll out features that require the use of the Georgia EPD Online System (GEOS), their online reporting portal. As more features and updates are added to this website, the EPD is taking a more active approach to reviewing the forms and reports that are being submitted. Lately, the biggest item under review seems to be Stormwater Annual Reports from 2017 and 2018. Special attention is being made to review the annual reports for completion of required tests (e.g. Smoke & Dye, stormwater benchmarks, etc.) and other actions. Continue reading “Georgia EPD to Increase Focus on Facility Online Submittals”

On July 26, 2019, the U.S. Federal Register published the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed amendments to the provisions in the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). The primary purpose of the proposed amendments is to withdraw the “Once In, Always In” (OIAI) policy regarding the classification of facilities as major sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) subject to Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards. A major source is defined as any facility which emits at least 10 tons per year of any HAP or at least 25 tons per year of any combination of HAPs. A facility that is not classified as a major source is considered an area source. The OIAI policy, issued in 1995, required major source facilities that are subject to a MACT standard to permanently comply with that standard even if a facility reduces its HAP emissions below major source thresholds. The withdrawal of the OIAI policy was also previously discussed in EPA’s guidance memorandum issued on January 25, 2018. Continue reading “EPA Proposes NESHAP Amendments to Withdraw “Once In, Always In” Policy for MACT Standards”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all employees who are exposed to noise levels with a time-weighted average of 85-decibels or more to be included in a hearing conservation program. These employees must receive audiograms on an annual basis to determine if they experience a certain level of hearing loss known as a “Standard Threshold Shift”. In addition, the facility must also evaluate feasible administrative or engineering controls to reduce employee noise exposure for all employees who are exposed to noise levels at or above OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 90-decibels. If no additional controls are employed, then those employees exposed to noise levels above the OSHA PEL must wear hearing protectors. It is important to remember that, according to OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls, the use of PPE is the last step to reducing an employee’s exposure to high levels of noise, after engineering and administrative controls. Continue reading “Are Your Noise Monitoring Results Still Valid?”

CTI’s Director of Engineering, Brian Edwards, joined Dr. Chris Cloney, the Managing Director and Lead Researcher at DustEx Research, to discuss the history of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program (NEP) on combustible dust.  In this free, 45 minutes podcast, you can hear Brian and Chris discuss:

  • The origin of the combustible dust NEP
  • The programs and regulations that were in place before the NEP
  • The OSHA rulemaking process
  • The challenges of establishing a national standard
  • How OSHA is currently regulating combustible dust standards

DSS045: History of the OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program with Brian Edwards

If you have any questions related to the NEP or combustible dust safety, you can contact Brian at bedwards@conversiontechnology.com.