EPA Reports on Incorporating Environmental Justice into all Regulatory Efforts

 

New news from the EPA on Environmental Justice:

“Today marks an important moment in environmental justice history. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its first-ever Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis (EJ Technical Guidance).  This guidance represents a significant step towards ensuring the impacts of EPA regulations on vulnerable populations are understood and considered in the decision-making process.

The EJ Technical Guidance improves our ability to perform some of the most important work we do. Better integrating environmental justice in EPA’s core regulatory function is essential to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or income level, have access to clean water, clean air, and healthy communities. Technical guidance, reinforced by the meaningful involvement of the public and key stakeholders, helps to ensure that all communities are protected from pollution as the result of EPA rules.”

Did you know that ECATTS offers our own general overview training course specific to Environmental Justice? This course serves as an introduction to Environmental Justice (EJ) and takes a look at the origins of the Environmental Justice movement, Federal actions to address EJ and policies that have already been put into action.

Check out our complete Environmental Training catalog now at http://ecatts.com/websitePDFs/CourseCatalog.pdf.

2016 Course Catalog Cover

 

You can view the full article from EPA’s blog, at https://blog.epa.gov/blog/2016/06/ej-technical-guidance/.

EPA’s News Release proposing new rules to improve hazardous waste management

Check out EPA’s News Release that came out today proposing improvements on hazardous waste management:

“EPA Proposes Rules to Improve Hazardous Waste Management and Better Protect our Waterways / New Rules Also Reduce Regulatory Burden on Businesses

Release Date: 08/31/2015
Contact Information: CONTACT: Julia P. Valentine (News media only), valentine.julia@epa.gov, (202) 564-2663, (202) 564-4355
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing two new hazardous waste rules to strengthen environmental protection while reducing regulatory burden on businesses. One of the proposed rules will protect waterways, including drinking and surface water, by preventing the flushing of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals and simplify the requirements for healthcare workers. The other rule will provide greater flexibility to industry while requiring new safeguards to protect the public from mismanagement of hazardous waste.

“These rules provide businesses with certainty and the flexibility they need to successfully operate in today’s marketplace,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “The proposals will improve the safety and health of our communities by providing clear, flexible, and protective hazardous waste management standards.”

The proposed hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rule will make our drinking and surface water safer and healthier by reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals entering our waterways. EPA’s proposal is projected to prevent the flushing of more than 6,400 tons of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals annually by banning healthcare facilities from flushing hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the sink and toilet.

The proposed rule will reduce the burden on healthcare workers and pharmacists working in healthcare facilities by creating a specific set of regulations for these facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and retail stores with pharmacies and reverse distributors that generate hazardous waste.

EPA’s proposed generator rule will enhance the safety of facilities, employees, and the general public by improving labeling of hazardous waste and emergency planning and preparedness. The proposal will also reduce burden by providing greater flexibility in how facilities and employees manage their hazardous waste and make the regulations easier to understand.”

For the full article, visit EPA’s site at:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/4e6484bba71fe54985257eb20060fffb!opendocument

EPA Releases New Tool for Stormwater Climate Change

EPA Releases New Tool for Stormwater Climate Change

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan “Virtual Climate Resilience Toolkit”, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of the Climate Adjustment Tool for EPA’s Stormwater Management Model. This downloadable, online simulation model allows engineers and planners to evaluate the performance of water infrastructures while considering future climate changes.

“The new tool will enable users to add climate projections based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s climate change scenarios to existing simulations to determine the quality of water traveling through traditional infrastructure – a system of gutters, storm drains, pipes, channels, collection tanks and storage devices. The tool also has the ability to model the performance of green infrastructure practices, including permeable pavement, rain gardens, and green roofs. Engineers and planners are able to accurately represent any combination of traditional and green infrastructure practices within an area to determine their effectiveness in managing stormwater and combined sewer overflows in their community.

Stormwater runoff is a major environmental problem resulting in flooding, erosion, and contaminated waters.  Every year billions of gallons of raw sewage, trash, household chemicals, fertilizers, and urban runoff flow into our streams, rivers and lakes. Polluted stormwater runoff can adversely affect plants, animals, and people.”

If you or your company are in need of Stormwater Environmental Training, visit us ecatts.com for more information on our training courses. We offer training models ranging from general awareness to comprehensive overview and erosion and sediment control.

Quotes cited from the EPA’s News Release on the Stormwater Management Model and Climate Adjustment Tool. For more information on the tool, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/storm-water-management-model-swmm

Environmental Justice in the News

Interesting blog post on EJ from Administrator Lisa Jackson:

By Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

When I first became Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, I made a list of my priorities for the Agency. Working for environmental justice was at the top of that list. Ensuring equal environmental protections for all Americans is the unfinished business of the environmental movement.

It’s a simple idea – that all Americans are entitled to clean air to breathe, safe water to drink and a healthy community to raise their families – but often, it is America’s low-income and minority communities that bear the brunt of our country’s pollution.

As a result, these communities are also hit harder by the many illnesses pollution is linked to – conditions like asthma, heart disease, cancer and strokes. Studies show that minority groups face a greater risk of having asthma, and once they have it, they are at a greater risk of needing emergency treatment. African-American children are hospitalized for asthma at twice the rate of white children, and asthma-related deaths among African-American children take place at a rate of four times that of non-Hispanic white children. Hispanic children — especially of Puerto Rican descent — also face higher rates of asthma.

Dirty air, polluted water and contaminated lands not only put families at higher risks of serious and potentially costly diseases – they also discourage new developments and new jobs. Poison in the ground often means poison in the economy. Limiting the economic possibilities of low-income and minority communities only makes it harder to break the cycle of poverty.

Shortly after I was sworn in, I asked EPA employees to make environmental justice part of every decision we make. I called on the whole Agency to think creatively and work hard to make certain that our efforts reach all communities. Plan EJ 2014 – the environmental justice strategy we unveiled more than two years ago– is the tool we created for answering that call. It is aimed at ensuring that environmental justice is integrated into all of EPA’s day-to-day responsibilities – everything from permitting, compliance and enforcement, to community-based programs and the work we do with other federal agencies.

As I prepare to leave EPA, one of my last acts as administrator is issuing the Plan EJ 2014 Progress Report. The report provides ample evidence of how far we have come in making environmental justice an integral and permanent part of EPA’s day-to-day business. It also details how we have mobilized the entire federal government to incorporate environmental justice into the work each agency conducts.

For the first time in our 42 year history, we have laid the groundwork for EPA to fully implement its environmental justice mission of ensuring environmental protection for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity or income level. I am proud of the work we have started and the progress we have made, and I am confident that it will continue long after I depart.

For the full article, visit http://blog.epa.gov/ej/2013/02/reducing-pollution-for-all-american-families/