|From:||Emery Graham <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:13:54 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||[CPEO-BIF] Brownfield Assessment Demonstration Grant Health and Safety Plans|
Most of the Brownfield Grant recipients are aware of the Cooperative Agreement certification requirements calling for a health and safety plan that meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910. After taking the HAZWOPER training and reviewing 29 CFR 1910, it became clear to me that complying with this requirement would call for a consultant to assist in preparing these plans along with a lot of cooperation from other units in City government. My EPA Program Manager let me know that there was no need for my City to develop its own Health and Safety Program, that we could use the one provided by our approved environmental assessment contractor. After two years he finally acknowleged the certification requirements and offered to send me some background data. Additionally I was assured that as long as we certified that we had a plan on site, there would be no need to forward it to my Program Manager. There seemed to be some confusion about the difference between a site specific health and safety plan and an organizational health and safety program as well. Further inquiry through my U.S. Senator's office lead me to the Health and Safety Program Manager with the U.S.E.P.A. Environmental Response Team. A brief conversation with him revealed that EPA had been charged to promulgate and implement health and safety standards for use by the entities that met the five conditions identified in the beginning of 29 CFR 1910. He made it plain that Brownfield Assessment Demonstration Grant recipients, as well as volunteers involved in clean up activities, were covered by the regulation regardless of the level of government or type of voluntary agency involved in the covered activities. A short portion of the regulation follows: [29 CFR Sec. 1910.120 Hazardous waste operations and emergency response. (a) Scope, application, and definitions--(1) Scope. This section covers the following operations, unless the employer can demonstrate that the following operation does not involve employee exposure or the reasonable possibility for employee exposure to safety or health hazards: (i) Clean-up operations required by a governmental body, whether Federal, state, local or other involving hazardous substances that are conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites (including, but not limited to, the EPA's National Priority Site List (NPL), state priority site lists, sites recommended for the EPA NPL, and initial investigations of governmental identified sites which are conducted before the presence or absence of hazardous substances has been ascertained:....] Further discussion revealed a standing difference of bureaucratic opinion about EPA's ability to enforce these regulatory requirements. There seems to have been a question of the statutes language and not having the explicit use of the word "enforcement" as part of EPA's power. There also was a debate about including volunteers under the coverage of the 29 CFR 1910. For most Brownfield programs that meet their citizen participation requirements, the inclusion of volunteers is an integral part of meeting the environmental justice concerns and the community eduction and involvement commitments of the cooperative agreement. As it turns out EPA's Office of Emergency and Remedial Response offers a consulting service that will provide on site evaluation and critique of a City's Health and Safety Program re 29 CFR 1910 and will provide assistance in the development of the program document. In some instances EPA will pay for some of the costs of the program development. For those of you who have followed my efforts to resolve some very basic issues about the appropriateness of fencing hazardous waste sites situated in heavily populated areas; the National Response Team staffer made it plain that the idea was entirely appropriate and supported by one of the basic principles of effective civil defense and public protection; "remove the public from the endangering substance, situation or condition." The level of disorder, confusion, and ambiguity prevailing in the EPA bureaucracy is dangerous to the life, health, and safety of the American population. Something as fundamental as the requirement to have a regulation compliant health and safety plan should never be hidden in the certification section of a grant application. This requirement should be one of the determining criteria for awarding a grant. How many people have been needlessly put in danger because of this confusion? Who's liable for any harm that might have occured? What's this say about the production of environmental injustice? What's the proper corrective action? What happens to the insurance coverage of a community that fails to comply with the health and safety program requirements of their cooperative agreement. These questions need to be examined quickly and carefully. I'd really like to hear from some Brownfield grantees. For further information you can contact the Senior Environmental Scientist, U.S.E.P.A. Environmental Response Team at 732-321-6741. This EPA staffer responded to an inquiry made by U.S. Senator Roth's office. Brownfield grantees might find it very useful to establish good communications with their Congressional delegation especially when the answers they get to basic public safety questions don't make "common sense." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To read CPEO's archived Brownfields messages visit http://www.cpeo.org/lists/brownfields If this email has been forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ___________________________________________________________ T O P I C A The Email You Want. http://www.topica.com/t/16 Newsletters, Tips and Discussions on Your Favorite Topics
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