|From:||Emery Graham <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Tue, 4 May 1999 10:55:43 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||Brownfields/Hazardous Waste Sites and Fences|
Brownfields, Pollution, and Protective Fencing One of the biggest problems I've faced in dealing with brownfields is their identification. I haven't heard of any requirement to fence and mark brownfields or hazardous wastesites. At what point is there gross neglect on the part of the responsible bureaucracy. Gross neglect is one of the components needing to be proved when trying to establish an act of negligence. This problem is compounded when the hazardous wastesite is located in an area that is densely populated with households. There seems to be some continuing definitional problems re whether brownfields are also hazardous wastesites. Maybe this is a localized perception in that political correctness may not support calling brownfields hazardous wastesites. However, think about it; if you do an assessment on a brownfield and find hazardous wastes that need to be removed, did the act of testing the brownfield change it into a hazardous wastesite? Or was the brownfield a hazardous wastesite all the time? In any event, municipalities that have received Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Grant awards are now actively engaged in the first phase of emergency response, remediation, and cleanup activities. The only technicality is one of terminology which the OSHA Specialists in the various EPA offices will inform you of. OSHA regulations apply only on "uncontrolled hazardous wastesites." The designation of a contaminated site as an uncontrolled hazardous wastesite must be made by a Federal, state, local, or other public body inorder for 29 CFR 1910.120 requirements to apply to municipal workers(and volunteers) engaged in emergency response, remediation, cleanup, or maintenance work on hazardous wastesites. While these issues may seem cumbersome and vague, they directly affect the liability of a municipality in regard to the health and safety of its employees who who work on hazardous wastesites. In states that have an OSHA approved plan, I suspect each municipality has a "HASP" (Health and Safety Plan) in effect. In states that don't have OSHA approved plans, accepting a Brownfields grant will require some organizational and legislative changes in order to address the liability and workplace issues. I'd like to hear from folks on this topic. I'd like to make sure that I've got it right and to find out who else is interested and where they're from. I'd also like to know if they have municipal sponsored citizen participation activities that involve brownfields tours. Do the citizens actually stand on the brownfield? Does the municipality own any brownfields? Do the municipal employees service the location in any way? All of these questions weren't raised in the Brownfields application or assurance literature. If they were, I completely missed them. Can someone out there speak to this question.
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