U.S. EPA settlement prompts firm to develop hazardous waste training program for metal finishing industry

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Lynx Enterprises, a metal finishing firm in Tracy, Calif., for its failure to comply with federal hazardous waste management regulations. The company agreed to pay a total of $28,750 in civil penalty and spend an additional $108,000 to develop hazardous waste training materials.

In October 2010, an EPA inspection discovered that the facility was in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. In addition to paying the penalty, Lynx has agreed to develop a hazardous waste management training program designed to assist at least 20 metal finishing companies to understand hazardous waste management compliance requirements.

“We are pleased that Lynx Enterprises has adopted an innovative approach to resolve this case,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The training program will help the metal finishing industry to properly manage hazardous waste to prevent harm to human health and safeguard the environment.”

Lynx, via a qualified independent contractor, will also develop a training video that will summarize federal, state, and local hazardous waste regulatory requirements. The video will be available to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and to 83 local agencies, known as Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA), for their use and distribution and an internet link to a version of the video will be accessible to the general public within a year. Read more

In the future, the best chemistry practices will be green

green chemChemistry is having “an innovation crisis”, according to John Warner, co-author of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. “We need to ask if the way we’re training future scientists is fitting the need of society.”

The push for green chemistry began over two decades ago, and Warner has been part of the movement the whole time. On Wednesday, he presented one of two keynote speeches at a Guardian conference on green chemistry.

One of the recurring themes of the conference was the need for all stakeholders to radically shift their perspective on green chemistry.

As the long overdue revision of the Toxic Substances Control Act highlights, the US approach to making chemistry greener has mainly beenconducted through regulations and restrictions. Read more

Celebrating 25 Years of P2!

The Pollution Prevention Act (P2 Act) was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in   1990. It came as a follow-up to a focus on waste reduction. Many professionals worked on reducing the amount of waste from a process by removing the water from it, or separating it into components that could be properly disposed. People realized that much more progress could be made by evaluating the process, the materials being used, the equipment, and training of personnel. With implementation of the P2 Act, it became the goal to make changes so that the waste was not created at all – or at least so that less waste was created. Pollution prevention is different than recycling or zero waste, because it’s not about diversion but is about prevention. The P2 act established the “waste management hierarchy” of preventing waste before it is generated, rather than focusing on how to reduce the quantity of waste.

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Many state and local programs currently provide some kind of technical assistance to businesses to help them implement P2 at their facilities. The U.S. EPA and state agencies are all incorporating P2 and the waste management hierarchy into their programs. P2 is the cornerstone of sustainability – it is still the best approach to make the biggest difference in the effort to conserve the Earth’s resources for future generations.

There are many ways to connect with professionals well-versed in P2. P2Rx, a collection of eight regional P2 Information Centers, has a nation-wide directory of P2 programs. EPA has many resources. The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable is made up of P2 professionals and offers resources. The federal government is taking leadership on pollution prevention at their facilities. New technologies are being developed to help prevent pollution and most P2 professionals have added behavior change initiatives to their programs to help ensure wider implementation of P2 projects. The P2 InfoHouse contains many documents from programs across the country – featuring case studies, informational booklets, and research projects. The recently published “P2 Results” report summarizes environmental outcomes from P2 projects throughout the country for the years 2010-2012. P2Rx created a press kit for P2 technical assistance programs to promote the P2 Results report and start a conversation about the value of P2.

Contact a P2Rx regional P2 Information Center today to learn more about P2 and get connected with information and assistance.

Webinar: Green Chemistry is Safe Chemistry

How to Create a Safer and More Sustainable Lab Through Green Chemistry

September 10, 2015

globe with an arrow circling it

Incorporating the principles of green chemistry into your lab can do more than lessen your ecological footprint.  Join David Finster and Jeffrey Whitford as they share how to adopt sustainable strategies that inherently produce a safer lab and chemical facility in both commercial and academic settings.

What You Will Learn

  • How adopting the strategies of green chemistry inherently produces a safer lab and chemical facility.
  • How green chemistry strategies can be viewed as the first step in complying with OSHA regulations.
  • How green chemistry aligns with inherently safer design principles for chemical engineers.
  • Why green chemistry education is a key contributor to changing the implementation of Green Chemistry

Webinar Details

  • Date: Thursday, September 10, 2015 @ 2-3pm ET
  • Fee: Free to Attend
  • Download Slides: Available on the Day of Broadcast

Webinar: Choices and Trends in Solid Dosage Form Selection

Choices and Trends in Solid Dosage Form Selection

Salt, Cocrystal, Prodrug or Amorphous?

August 27, 2015
Session 8 of the Drug Design and Delivery Symposium

Drug Design logo with the number 8

The solid-state form of an active pharmaceutical ingredient impacts almost every aspect of a pharmaceutical program so consideration and selection of an appropriate form is key. Join Scott Trzaska and Ron Smith as they outline the pros and cons of the different forms and what to consider when selecting.

What You Will Learn

  • Types of solid-state forms used in the industry
  • Considerations for selecting a solid-state form
  • What to do if one solid-state form does not satisfy all of the requirements of the program

Webinar Details

  • Date: Thursday, August 27, 2015 @ 2-3pm ET
  • Fee: Free to Attend
  • Download Slides: Available on the Day of Broadcast

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Got Drugs? – National Prescription Drug Take-Back DayGot Drugs?

September 26, 2015; 10AM to 2PM

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Please check back on September 1, 2015 to locate collection sites near you.

Law Enforcement Agencies Only

For law enforcement agencies that wish to host a collection site please call the POC in your area.

Drug Disposal Information

News Releases

EPA Commits to Voluntary Compliance Auditing Program, Streamlines Enforcement Incentives Process

Voluntary ComplianceSelf-Auditing Remains Important Enforcement Risk Mitigation Tool for Industry

Environmental regulatory compliance auditing is a critical and central component of an effective environmental management system (EMS). To encourage companies to establish and maintain formal environmental management systems (including auditing), the EPA has long maintained a formal policy directing enforcement staff to waive the punitive portion of any penalties that would otherwise be assessed for violations if they are (1) discovered independently by a company through its EMS or a compliance audit, (2) voluntarily disclosed to EPA and (3) promptly corrected. While there are additional qualifying criteria, the so-called Audit Policy (“Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery, Disclosure, Correction and Prevention of Violations,” 65 FR 19618 (Apr. 11, 2000)) has been used successfully by companies for many years in connection with compliance self-auditing programs. In a move welcomed by industry, the EPA last amended the Audit Policy in 2008 to provide special penalty mitigation incentives for new owners designed to encourage robust and comprehensive environmental compliance auditing in connection with merger and acquisition activities, allowing newly acquired companies to start with a “clean slate.”

Future of Audit Policy Was in Doubt

Notwithstanding the popularity of the Audit Policy among companies with strong environmental compliance programs, the EPA has been considering changing or dropping the program. In practice, the administrative process involved in processing company disclosures and issuing formal notices of audit policy compliance require significant EPA enforcement staff time, focused on enforcement issues important to disclosing companies but not necessarily an enforcement priority for the EPA. In 2012, EPA signaled that, particularly in a time of more limited budget resources and declining staff levels, it was looking for ways to reduce Agency investment in the Audit Policy program. Industry saw many submissions seemingly languish, and many feared the program was being or would be abandoned. Read more

PAYT Webinar

Webinar: Zero Waste Connection

EPA Region IX will be hosting a webinar tomorrow, May 21st, summarizing the results from a recent PAYT Project.”Pay-As-You-Throw: Growth & Opportunity for Sustainable Materials Management” will include topics such as growth in PAYT; performance and cost-effectiveness compared to other incentives; optimal rate design; addressing issues related to small haulers, rural communities, multifamily buildings and commercial sectors; and more! Attendees will be able to see
materials and resources developed as part of the project, and participate in a Q&A session.Join the SMART & PAYT Group on the Zero Waste Connection to connect with Network members working on these initiatives.

To access the Zero Waste Connection you need to be a member.   New users can sign-up for free at


EPA requires Southern California metal finishers to stop illegal hazardous waste releases, wastewater discharges

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today the resolution of a series of enforcement actions at five Southern California metal finishing companies which will collectively pay more than $223,700 in civil penalties for hazardous waste and Clean Water Act violations. The violations were uncovered during inspections conducted at facilities in the cities of Compton, Paramount, Ontario, and Sun Valley. Three facilities are located along the I-710 freeway corridor where the effects of pollution are disproportionately higher on local residents than in other areas of Los Angeles County.

“This multi-year effort in Southern California is part of EPA’s commitment to bring environmental justice to residents and workers in communities unfairly burdened by the risks from hazardous waste,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Metal plating facilities, often located close to neighborhoods, must ensure they comply with federal laws to prevent harm to the community and the environment.” Read more

EPA Administrator McCarthy announces LEED Platinum Certification of San Francisco City Hall

City Hall becomes the oldest building in the U.S. to receive LEED Platinum Certification for existing buildings

San Francisco – Today, U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy joined City of San Francisco officials to announce the U.S. Green Building Council’s award of LEED Platinum Certification – the highest possible rating – to San Francisco’s historic City Hall. Completed in 1915, City Hall is the oldest building in the United States to receive LEED Platinum Certification for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance in (LEED – EBOM). This LEED classification highlights the potential for significant water and energy savings in existing buildings.

Platinum Certification of San Francisco’s 100-year-old City Hall is the culmination of a multi-year water and energy retrofit partnership between the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), the U.S. EPA, and the City Administrator’s Office. An EPA grant of $700,000 supported the replacement of over 90 toilets and urinals in City Hall with high-efficiency models. This federal funding continues to support water efficiency retrofits at other Civic Center buildings, including 101 Grove Street. Operational and energy efficiency upgrades were funded by the local ratepayers.

“San Francisco has long been a leader and innovator at the forefront of solutions to combat climate change and reduce energy and water consumption,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “As the entire nation watches California endure its 4th year of drought, we all must do our part to use renewable energy, be energy efficient, and conserve our precious water resources.” Read more