The following is a brief overview, not meant to be all-inclusive, of the U.S. environmental and safety/health regulation issues touched on in Chapter 4 of this report.
The Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) are the four main environmental laws that affect industry in the United States. Other laws to be aware of include the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
CAA regulates all sources in the United States that contribute directly or indirectly to the emission of air pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes standards for pollutants believed to adversely affect public health or welfare. States are divided into air quality control regions designated as attainment or nonattainment areas for each criteria pollutant according to whether the air quality in the region is better or worse than the national standard for that
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Globalization of Materials R&D: Time for a National Strategy G Environmental and Safety and Health Regulations The following is a brief overview, not meant to be all-inclusive, of the U.S. environmental and safety/health regulation issues touched on in Chapter 4 of this report. ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS The Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) are the four main environmental laws that affect industry in the United States. Other laws to be aware of include the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Clean Air Act CAA regulates all sources in the United States that contribute directly or indirectly to the emission of air pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes standards for pollutants believed to adversely affect public health or welfare. States are divided into air quality control regions designated as attainment or nonattainment areas for each criteria pollutant according to whether the air quality in the region is better or worse than the national standard for that
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Globalization of Materials R&D: Time for a National Strategy pollutant. States are required to have implementation plans and permit programs for controlling certain air emissions, including those from industrial processes such as spray painting, abrasive blasting, and vapor degreasing. Clean Water Act CWA regulates all sources of pollution and discharges of pollutants to navigable waters. Any addition of pollution to navigable waters is prohibited, except as provided in the conditions of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued by the EPA or an authorized state agency. The CWA also regulates storm water discharges, dredged or fill material, and oil spills. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act RCRA defines which substances are hazardous wastes and regulates their generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal. A hazardous waste is defined as a substance which, because of its quantity, concentration, or other characteristics, may increase mortality or serious illness or pose a hazard to health or the environment. All generators of hazardous waste are responsible for the hazardous wastes they generate from acquisition through disposal. RCRA requires extensive record keeping and reporting. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act CERCLA authorizes the President of the United States to clean U.S. facilities at which hazardous substances have been released. The Superfund is used to finance enforcement and cleanup efforts, pending reimbursement by responsible parties. The cost recovery provisions of Superfund create huge potential civil liabilities for business, since they allow the EPA (and others) to sue businesses to recover cleanup costs, which can amount to millions of dollars at a single site. The costs and damages can be recovered from a wide range of persons and businesses associated with the sites, including anyone associated with the contaminated site or the hazardous waste that contaminated the site. The important thing is to learn and review that all the facts before purchasing land or awarding an environmental services contract. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act EPCRA imposes detailed chemical release and inventory reporting requirements on businesses that handle toxic, hazardous, and extremely hazardous chemi-
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Globalization of Materials R&D: Time for a National Strategy cals like hydrofluoric acid (HF). EPCRA establishes reporting or notification requirements for owners or operators of facilities at which certain substances are produced, processed, used, or stored in concentrations above a threshold limit. For example, the concentration threshold for HF is 50 percent. If this limit is exceeded, potential releases must be modeled and the information given to the local governments for the purpose of emergency planning for releases into the environment. The general public must also be notified, in person, if high concentrations of toxic or hazardous substances are being used in their neighborhoods. Toxic Substances Control Act TSCA regulates the use of toxic chemicals and releases of chemical substances entering the environment, and it authorizes the EPA to screen all new or imported chemicals entering the marketplace, as well as to evaluate the health and environmental effects of existing chemicals. R&D activities also fall within TSCA’s jurisdiction. Manufacturers, and sometimes processors and distributors, have record-keeping requirements under this law. Polychlorinated biphenyls, lead, asbestos, and many other substances are regulated under this act. Regulated substances are not allowed to be used in new applications. They can continue to be used in current applications, albeit at high cost. National Environmental Policy Act NEPA, an environmental law affecting all weapon system programs, regulates federal agencies—for example, DOD and its departments (Air Force, Army, Navy, etc.)—and addresses global problems of pollution prevention, warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, and sustainable growth. A key element of NEPA is that it regulates federal agencies, not the private/public sector. However, industry is becoming more involved with NEPA as a result of the requirements NEPA places on government program managers purchasing industrial products. NEPA requires that all federally funded programs must conduct an environmental impact analysis prior to all major decisions (Milestones I, II, and III) to consider their impact on safety, human health, and the environment. A federally funded program must obtain a Categorical Exclusion (CATEX), perform an Environmental Assessment (EA), or prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A CATEX may be obtained for actions that do not normally have a significant effect individually or cumulatively on the human environment. A CATEX may also be obtained for actions that have been previously found to have no effect based on procedures adopted by DOD for implementing NEPA regulations and that therefore require neither an EA nor an EIS. An EA is a concise public docu-
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Globalization of Materials R&D: Time for a National Strategy ment that provides brief but sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an EIS or a Finding of No Significant Impact; it is one element in achieving compliance with NEPA when no EIS is necessary or it facilitates the preparation of an EIS when one is necessary. When required, an EIS is a major undertaking, often performed by a contractor selected by the program manager specifically for this task. SAFETY AND HEALTH LAWS The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires U.S. employers (1) to furnish employees a place of employment free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm and (2) to comply with the occupational safety and health standards promulgated by legislation. In addition, employees are required to comply in their actions and conduct with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to relevant legislation. OSHA promulgates standards, rules, and regulations specific to activities and regulates the use of hazardous materials and other materials. CURRENT ISSUES A number of current environmental and safety and health issues could have an impact on the materials industry: International restrictions on the use of particular materials Restrictions on lead in electronics Restrictions on brominated fire retardants Greenhouse gas restrictions on hydrofluorocarbons. OSHA expanded standards and revisions Hexavalent chromium expanded standard Crystalline silica expanded standard Beryllium expanded standard Glycol ether expanded standard Water quality Revised spill prevention, control and countermeasures plan rule Impaired waters listing and total maximum daily load (TMDL) development Metal products and machinery effluent limits Effluent limits, construction and development runoff Revisions to local wastewater treatment limits
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Globalization of Materials R&D: Time for a National Strategy Maximum achievable control technology (MACT) rules for air toxics MACT rule for military surface coatings MACT rule for boiler and process heaters MACT rule for engine test cells, new source MACT rules for urban air toxics Emission reductions for ozone and particulate matter Additional volatile organic compound reductions to meet 8-hour ozone standard Emission reductions to meet fine particulate standard Rules for air toxics residual risk National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) residual risk rule for aerospace NESHAP residual risk rule for chrome plating NESHAP residual risk rule for halogenated solvent Whole facility residual risk off-ramp Miscellaneous air pollution issues Phaseout of hydrochlorofluorocarbons Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) restriction on N-propyl bromide