Administrator Jackson Tours Areas Potentially Impacted by BP Spill

WASHINGTON – EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson is touring areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana that could be impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico today and tomorrow.

Today, Administrator Jackson joined U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for an overflight of the oil spill, and a meeting with state and local officials.  Later today, the Administrator will tour a stretch of the Mississippi coastline that could be impacted by the spill and hold a community meeting in Waveland, Miss. to discuss the spill and the government’s response. The Administrator will also visit EPA employees at a mobile air monitoring station that EPA has established in the area.

Tomorrow, the Administrator will hold an 8:30 a.m. meeting with community leaders in New Orleans. The Administrator will also tour Plaquemines Parish in New Orleans and meet with representatives of the fishing, oyster and shrimping industries. Additional details on those visits will be released as they become available.

April 30, 2010

4:00 p.m. CST              Administrator Jackson Holds Community Meeting

Leo Seals Community Center

527 Hwy 90

Waveland, Miss.

May 1, 2010

8:30 a.m. CST               Administrator Jackson Holds Community Meeting

Greater Little Zion Baptist Church

5130 Chartres St.

New Orleans, La.


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EPA Establishes Web site on BP Oil Spill

EPA launches site to inform the public about health, environmental impacts of spill

WASHINGTON – As part of the ongoing federal response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, EPA today established a website to inform the public about the spill’s impact on the environment and the health of nearby residents. The website – – will contain data from EPA’s ongoing air monitoring along with other information about the agency’s activities in the region. Also today, Administrator Jackson joined Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to tour the region. The Administrator will spend the next 36 hours visiting with community groups and meeting EPA staff responding to the spill.

Additional information on the broader response from the U.S. Coast Guard and other responding agencies is available at:

“We are taking every possible step to protect the health of the residents and mitigate the environmental impacts of this spill,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “For several days, EPA has been on the ground evaluating air and water concerns and coordinating with other responding agencies.  We are also here to address community members — the people who know these waters and wetlands best.  They will be essential to the work ahead.”

EPA has established air monitoring stations along Plaquemines Parish on the Louisiana coast. EPA established those facilities to determine how oil set on fire in the gulf and oil that is reaching land is impacting air quality. EPA is monitoring levels of a number of chemicals potentially emitted by oil, including volatile organic compounds such as xylene, benzene and toluene.

EPA has also deployed two Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzers – mobile laboratories that collect and analyze air quality samples in real time – to monitor air quality in the region.

EPA tested smoke from the controlled burn two days ago and found the Louisiana coast had not been affected because an off-shore breeze was blowing away from land and out to sea during that time. The agency will continue to collect and share data with the public, and will coordinate and share information with local health officials.

In addition to monitoring air quality, EPA is also assessing the coastal waters affected by the spreading oil. EPA deployed our twin-engine aircraft to assist in the collection of air sampling data and photograph the spill and surrounding area.

All of the data EPA collects will be posted to , along with frequently asked questions, fact sheets about potential health impacts of the spill, and links to more information on the spill and the government’s response.

EPA to Cut Mercury, Other Toxic Emissions from Boilers, Solid Waste Incinerators

Cost-effective proposals would reduce harmful air pollution in communities across the United States

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing proposals that would cut U.S. mercury emissions by more than half and would significantly cut other pollutants from boilers, process heaters and solid waste incinerators. These pollutants include several air toxics which are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health problems and environmental damage. The proposed rules are estimated to yield more than 5 dollars in public health benefits for every dollar spent.

“Strong cuts to mercury and other harmful emissions will have real benefits for our health and our environment, spur clean technology innovations and save American communities billions of dollars in avoided health costs,” said EPA  Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This is a cost-effective, commonsense way to protect our health and the health of our children, and get America moving into the clean economy of the future.”

Combined, these proposals would cut annual mercury emissions from about 200,000 industrial boilers process heaters and solid waste incinerators, slashing overall mercury emissions by more than 50 percent. Industrial boilers and process heaters are the second largest source of mercury emissions in the United States.

Mercury can damage children’s developing brains and nervous systems even before they are born. When emitted to the air, mercury eventually settles in water, where it can change into methylmercury, which builds up in ocean and freshwater fish and can be highly toxic to people who eat the fish. This sometimes leads to fish consumption advisories to protect public health.

When fully implemented, today’s proposal would yield combined health benefits estimated at $18 to $44 billion annually. These benefits include preventing between 2,000 and 5,200 premature deaths, and about 36,000 asthma attacks a year. Estimated annual costs of installing and operating pollution controls required under these rules would be $3.6 billion.

These actions cover emissions from two types of combustion units. The first type of unit, boilers and process heaters, burns fuel such as natural gas, coal, and oil to produce heat or electricity. These units can also burn non-hazardous secondary materials such as processed tires and used oil. Boilers are located at large industrial facilities and smaller facilities, including commercial buildings, hotels, and universities. The second type of unit, commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators, burns solid waste.

Large boilers and all incinerators would be required to meet emissions limits for mercury and other pollutants. Facilities with boilers would also be required to conduct energy audits to find cost effective ways to reduce fuel use and emissions. Smaller facilities, such as schools, with some of the smallest boilers, would not be included in these requirements, but they would be required to perform tune-ups every two years.

EPA is also proposing to identify which non-hazardous secondary materials would be considered solid waste and which would be considered fuel. This distinction would determine whether a material can be burned in a boiler or whether it must be burned in a solid waste incinerator. The agency is also soliciting comment on several other broader approaches that would identify additional non-hazardous secondary materials as solid waste when burned in combustion units.

EPA will take comment on these proposed rules for 45 days after they are published in the Federal Register. EPA will hold a public hearing on these rules soon after they are published in the Federal Register. For more information on the proposals and details on the pubic hearings:

EPA Requires Contractors to Become Lead-Safe Certified

Agency expects more than 125,000 contractors to be trained by April 22 deadline

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it expects more than 125,000 renovation and remodeling contractors to be trained in lead-safe work practices by April 22, the effective date for a rule requiring such training. The agency is on target to implement the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, which will protect millions of children from lead poisoning, on
April 22, 2010. Continue reading

Clean Water Continues to Be a Focus Point at EPA

The folks at the EPA are serious about enacting new legislation and enforcement relating to water pollution.  They are asking for input from water professionals around the country.  This is a chance for those who want things done right to have an impact on future regulation.  Clean water is an important issue, but it can be achieved without adding to the level of bureaucracy already in place.  See the link in the article below to join the discussion.

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EPA Announces Environmental Justice Video Contest: Faces of the Grassroots

The following was announced March 1st in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Daily Digest Bulletin:

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sponsoring an environmental justice video contest that challenges professional or aspiring filmmakers to create videos that capture the faces of the environmental justice movement. The Faces of the Grassroots contest is an opportunity to publicly exhibit creativity with environmental justice stories, and connect with others working to raise awareness of the movement.”

What does this mean?  It means the EPA is giving monetary prizes to people for developing short informational videos or public service announcements focusing on any environmental justice activity, issue, or topic.  Granted, the amounts are small and range from $500 to $2,500.  In fact, this might be seen as a cost saving exercise since developing professional advertising is much more expensive.  Looking at it from a different perspective, why is the EPA advertising at all?  While the prize money amount is miniscule compared to the national debt, imagine all of the bureaucracy behind this effort and what it costs.

Read the full text of the announcement here.  To see another example of what the EPA is spending money on, check out EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s Facebook page.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson Responds to Senators Regarding Greenhouse Gases

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has issued a response to a request by eight U.S. Senators about the Agency’s plans for 2010.  The letter addresses the time frame for addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the impact of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval of EPA’s endangerment finding on the light-duty vehicle standard and the historic agreement among states, automakers, the federal government, and other stakeholders.  She goes on to say that a vote to vitiate (make legally defective or invalid) the greenhouse-gas endangerment finding would be viewed as a vote to reject the scientific work of the thirteen U.S. government departments that contribute to the U.S. Global Change Research Program.  She also says that this would be viewed by many as a vote to move the United States to a position behind that of China on the issue of climate change, and more in line with the position of Saudi Arabia.

This is evidently Administrator Jackson’s own view as she states the following, “After the EPA staff conducted a comprehensive survey of the soundest available science and carefully reviewed hundreds of thousands of public comments, I determined last December that greenhouse-gas emissions do endanger Americans’ health and welfare.”  She assures the Senators that she will ensure that no stationary source will be required to get a Clean Air Act permit to cover its greenhouse gas emissions in calendar year 2010.  Permit requirements will be phased in beginning in calendar year 2011.  The largest stationary sources will be required to apply for permits in 2011 with the smallest sources not being subject to permitting until 2016 at the soonest.  Whether a phasing in of permitting over the next six years will make this any more palatable to affected businesses remains to be seen.  The full text of Ms. Jackson’s letter can be found on the EPA website along with her recent statement at a legislative hearing on EPA’s 2011 Budget Proposal

Proposed National Rulemaking to Strengthen the Stormwater Program

EPA is announcing plans to initiate national rulemaking to establish a program to reduce stormwater discharges from new development and redevelopment and make other regulatory improvements to strengthen its stormwater program.  This affects owners, operators, developers, and contractors of new development and redevelopment as well as the owners and operators of MS4s.

EPA has issued a Federal Register Notice (PDF) (6 pp, 76K) seeking stakeholder input to help EPA shape a program to reduce stormwater impacts. Input will be provided through both written comments and during a series of public listening sessions. As described in the FR Notice, EPA seeks input on the following preliminary regulatory considerations:

  • Expand the area subject to federal stormwater regulations
  • Establish specific requirements to control stormwater discharges from new development and redevelopment
  • Develop a single set of consistent stormwater requirements for all MS4s
  • Require MS4s to address stormwater discharges in areas of existing development through retrofitting the sewer system or drainage area with improved stormwater control measures
  • Explore specific stormwater provisions to protect sensitive areas

Written comments must be submitted on or before February 26, 2010 to the address specified in the Federal Register notice.

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure

SPCC Plans questions? DES Consultants offers Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure consulting and plan development assistance. SPCC plans are required by federal regulation 40 CFR 112 which is implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA periodically performs on-site inspections to assure compliance with the SPCC Plan regulations.

The Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule includes requirements for oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response to prevent oil discharges to navigable waters and adjoining shorelines. The rule requires specific facilities to prepare, amend, and implement SPCC Plans.

Use the form to the right to request more information about SPCC regulations and to find out how DES Consultants can help develop a SPCC plan to keep your company in compliance and avoid fines.

Read more about SPCC or Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure at DES Consultants

DES Consultants, Inc. Announces Upcoming Erosion Control and Training Certification Classes

Jeret Elwell, CPESC, CPSWQ, LEED AP. Lead Instructor for DES Consultants, Inc.

Jeret Elwell, CPESC, CPSWQ, LEED AP. Lead Instructor for DES Consultants, Inc.

DES Consultants, Inc. (DES, Inc.), a leading provider of environmental training and consulting services to builders, developers, and contractors throughout the United States, today announced their upcoming course schedule for Erosion Control Training & Certification in the Metro Atlanta area.

Erosion Control Training & Certification is required for all individuals involved in land disturbing activities. Training and Certification courses offered by DES, Inc. include: Subcontractor Awareness, Level 1A, Level 1B, Level 2, and all levels of re-certification.

Jeret Elwell, CPESC, CPSWQ, LEED AP, and Lead Instructor for DES, Inc elaborates on the training requirements, “The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) is tasked with managing the curriculum and certification in the state for the thousands that are Erosion Control certified.” Elwell further states, “Each erosion control certification is valid for a 3 year period. However, within the last year of the individual’s certification period a 4 hour recertification course must be completed to keep the certification active. If the certification expires, then the individual will have to start over and take the test again from the very beginning, so don’t let your card expire–make sure to take a recertification.”

Who should attend: Anyone who is currently or will be involved in land disturbing activities, homebuilders, developers, grading companies, silt fence providers, etc. If you are involved in any land disturbing activities in Georgia you must be certified by the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) at the required level based on involvement. Additionally, DES offers courses to anyone that needs the Erosion Control Re-Certification training. For more information on which level of certification affects you please contact DES, Inc or visit

*DES, Inc also offers on-site training to groups of 10 or more.

To register for an upcoming course or to find out more information please call DES, Inc. at (770) 631-1555 or log on to