Rock Products

JUL 2019

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48 • ROCKproducts • July 2019 ENVIRONMENT The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1 and ends November 30. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is calling on the public to prepare now for natural disasters to aid recovery efforts. "EPA's response to natural disasters is one of the many ways that we protect human health and the environment," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "We want to inform the public of how they can prepare for hurricane season and help protect their communities, the environment, and first responders by mitigating hazardous waste and securing potential harmful debris before storms strike." Debris and household hazardous waste management is always challenging during natural disasters and has a great impact on public safety. Based on the 2017 and 2018 responses to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Florence, EPA responders were in the field during the aftermath of the hurricanes and managed a tremendous amount of waste as part of the recovery efforts, including: • About 470,100 containers (drums, oil containers, propane tanks) recovered. • Approximately 2,900 vessels recovered or closed. As a reminder, facility operators have certain require- ments that call for preventing, minimizing and reporting chemical releases. Facility operators have an obli- gation to operate facilities safely, minimize releases that do occur, and report chemical releases in a timely manner. Unlike some natural disasters, the onset of a hurricane is pre- dictable and allows for early preparations to lessen its effect on a facility. Before hurricane force winds and associated storm surge flooding damage industrial processes, operators can take preventive action by safely shutting down processes, place hazardous chemicals in safe storage locations, or otherwise operate safely under appropriate emergency pro- cedures. If a chemical release does occur, operators should notify appropriate authorities immediately so that a proper response can be carried out. Regulatory Agenda Features New Initiatives The Trump administration released its updated agenda of pending regulations and upcoming regulatory rollbacks. The agenda does not include all expected actions, but it does pro- vide projected dates on agency priorities for the coming year. The deadlines listed are dependent on numerous factors and rules and actions can be delayed. "The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) will continue to work with members to provide input to the administration on important safety and envi- ronmental issues that affect the aggregates industry," said Michele Stanley, NSSGA vice president of government and regulatory affairs. The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) agenda includes three items of particular interest to NSSGA members. • MSHA announced it will release a Request for Informa- tion (RFI) on respirable crystalline silica in July 2019. The agency will be seeking information and data concerning protective measures, including an appropriately reduced permissible exposure limit, protective technologies, and/ or technical and educational assistance. •  MSHA intends to issue a proposed rule for a "potential safety program" for mobile equipment at surface opera- tions and the surface areas of underground operations. The agenda does not elaborate on what MSHA intends as a "safety program." The proposed rule is set to be released in March 2020. •  As part of the agency's regulatory reform initiative, MSHA intends to issue either a Direct Final Rule or a Proposed Rule in October 2019 on use of electronic detonators for blasting. Major Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules are also expected to see progress this year and next. • A proposed rule-making for the particulate matter air qual- ity standard in March 2020. • The final withdrawal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS) in August 2019, and the final WOTUS replace- ment rule in December 2019. • NSSGA provided comments on EPA's strengthening trans- parency in regulatory science rule in 2018, and the agency expects a final rule in December 2019. •  EPA's compensatory mitigation for losses of aquatic resources is also on the agenda. The review and approval of mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs is slated for a notice of proposed rule-making for December 2019 and a final rule in September 2020. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) agenda also indicates some impending action. • Final rules on interagency cooperation, listing species and designating critical habitat, for which NSSGA provided comments in 2018, were expected in May 2019. • The FWS agenda also indicates a notice of proposed rule-making for revisions to designation of critical habitat in December 2019. EPA Says Prepare for Hurricane Season

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