Friday, May 9, 2014

Industry Update: EPA News, Pesticide Update, New Publication on AIS

Happy Friday everyone! We leave you this week with the latest in industry news and happenings.  If you have news you would like featured in our Industry Update, please email to bmhartis@ncsu,edu.  Stay tuned next week for more of the latest in aquatic plant management, science, and innovation!

National Sea Grant Publication on Aquatic Invasive Species
The National Sea Grant Law Center and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is pleased to announce the release of our publication, Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species by Recreational Boats: Model Legislative Provisions & Guidance to Promote Reciprocity among State Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs. This guide is a product of the Building Consensus in the West, an initiative of the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species. The goal of the WRP initiative is to develop a multi-state vision for watercraft inspection and decontamination (WID) programs.  Click here to learn more.

National Research Council Releases Report Praising EPA’s IRIS Program Enhancements
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) actions to improve its Integrated Risk Information System(IRIS) program, which provides information on the health effects of environmental contaminants, were applauded in a report by the National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC).  EPA’s IRIS program provides health assessments of chemicals to which the public may be exposed from releases to air, water, and land and, additionally, through the use and disposal of chemicals. IRIS assessments inform EPA rulemakings, and the release of final IRIS assessments is consistent with EPA’s ongoing efforts to improve the health of Americans and protect the environment.  The NRC announced that the program has moved forward steadily in planning for and implementing changes in each element of the IRIS assessment process. The report commends EPA for its substantive new approaches, continued commitment to improving the process, and successes to date. While recognizing the IRIS program is still implementing changes, the NRC notes in its report that, “overall, the committee expects that EPA will complete its planned revisions in a timely way and that the revisions will transform the IRIS program.”  For more information on IRIS, click here. For the full NRC report, click here

New Director of Office of Pesticide Programs
Jack Housenger was selected as the new Director of the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). Mr, Housenger brings a wealth of knowledge to the position having been with OPP for 35 of the last 37 years and having worked in five of the nine Divisions within the Program. Since 2011, Mr. Housenger has served as the Director of the Health Effects Division (HED) within OPP. HED is responsible for managing the review of health effects and exposure data for pesticides as well as the development of human health risk assessments. Prior to coming to HED, he served as the Director of the Biological and Economic Analysis Division. He has also held other management positions within OPP including Associate Director for HED; Associate Director of the Antimicrobials Division (AD); Acting Director and Associate Director of the Special Review and Reregistration Division (SRRD); and Chief of the Special Review Branch in SRRD.  For more on the OPP, click here.

Three Companies to Repay EPA for Costs of Cleaning Up Contaminated Site in Clifton, New Jersey

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced legal agreements with Clifton 2003, L.L.C, Hampshire Generational Fund, L.L.C and WEA Enterprises Co., Inc. to repay $2.1 million spent by the EPA to clean up contamination at Abrachem Chemical, a former bulk chemical packaging facility in Clifton, New Jersey. When the EPA began its investigation and cleanup of the site in 2008, it reeked of caustic chemicals and solvents that were leaking from rusted and mislabeled drums. Sampling of the contents of over 1,600 drums revealed the presence of hazardous materials, including corrosive and flammable chemicals, benzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and volatile organic chemicals. After being contacted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 2008, the EPA conducted an initial investigation and found that Abrachem was improperly storing drums and bulk containers of known and unknown chemicals in seventeen, 43-foot long shipping containers and elsewhere on the property. Drums at the site were leaking and there was a strong chemical odor emanating from the facility. However, the EPA was unable to clean up the site because Clifton 2003, one of the site owners, refused to grant EPA full access to its property. In January 2009, the EPA got a warrant from a federal judge that allowed access to the property to start a cleanup.  For more information, click here.

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