Is This A Hazardous Waste?

hazardous wasteWhat seems like a pretty easy question to answer can end up being quite convoluted to get the final answer. If you have ever been fortunate enough to be through an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspection for your hazardous waste management, one of many items they will request are profiles for all or select waste streams. The responsibility to properly identify each waste stream as hazardous or non-hazardous falls on the generator.

There are several steps in the profiling process which begins with determining whether the waste is a solid waste. A solid waste is no longer usable in its current state without any type of reclamation or specifically excluded from the solid waste definition. If it is a solid waste, the next step would be to determine if it possesses hazardous waste characteristics, including ignitability, corrossivity, reactivity and/or toxicity. Laboratory testing may need to be performed on the waste stream to determine whether it possess one or more of these characteristics. If the waste stream has significant variability, testing should be done more frequently to account for varying composition.

Even if the waste does not exhibit the stated characteristics above, it still may be a listed hazardous waste. The generator will need to review the non-specific source (40 CFR 261.31) and source specific (40 CFR 261.32) waste lists. For discarded chemicals, the generator will need to review the listed wastes in 40 CFR 261.33.

Generator knowledge will be essential in identifying all products and chemicals that enter into or are in contact with the waste stream. A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the virgin product(s) will be helpful in identifying the characteristics which may still be present in the waste stream. The generator must understand the limitations of relying solely on the SDS for several reasons, including the RCRA toxicity thresholds are many times lower than what is required to be listed on the SDS and that other products used in the process generating the waste may change the characteristics.

All documentation used for making this waste determination must be kept in your environmental files for each waste stream, both hazardous and nonhazardous. So next time the EPA or your State regulatory agency asks for waste profiles you will be able to answer without doubt whether or not the waste stream is a hazardous waste.  If you have any question please feel free to talk with one of Bay Environmental Strategies, Inc., experienced professionals at 800 576-2476 ( or for more information look us up at

Perform Your Due Diligence To Protect Your Investment Or Company

ESA PICPerform your due diligence to protect your investment or company from acquiring properties with environmental liabilities. A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment will significantly reduce potential environmental liabilities when employing the ASTM E 1527-13, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process and an experienced environmental professional.

Many historic industrial and corner gas stations have been redeveloped and present very little visual evidence of their past use. Groundwater and soil contamination may be present just below the freshly cut green grass and new coat of paint. It is a lot more cost effective to understand the environmental liabilities associated with a contaminated property prior to purchase than finding this out after closing.

Feel free to talk with one of Bay Environmental Strategies, Inc., experienced professionals if you have any questions at 800 576-2476 ( or for more information look us up at

ACGIH Publishes Reduced Guideline for Manganese Exposure

acgihManganese exposure occurs when manganese is heated and reacts with oxygen and creates manganese oxide fume. Exposure to this fume can lead to central nervous system damage. This is of special concern for metal fabricators as manganese is present in various welding rods and filler metals. Prolonged or excessive inhalation or ingestion of manganese has the potential to lead to a condition called manganism. Manganism can lead to weakness, lethargy, paralysis, tremors, and speech and psychological issues.


Last year the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) published a new threshold limit value (TLV) for manganese of 0.02 mg/m3. This was updated from the previous ACGIH TLV of 0.2 mg/m3. Although the ACGIH limit has been updated, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has not changed the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 5 mg/m3. The OSHA limit is federally enforceable unless a state plan has a stricter limit.


In order to comply with the updated guidelines, companies may need to conduct air sampling to verify employee exposure. Based on the air sampling results, companies can determine if additional personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilation, work practices, or a combination of these are required to reduce employee exposure.


Please contact Bay Environmental Strategies, Inc. at 800 576-2476 for additional assistance and information.

So Now You Can Relax because You Have Your Air Permit in Hand…Wrong!

epaSo you have gone through the long, sometimes exhaustive, process of obtaining your state or federal air pollution control permit. It is time to relax right? Wrong! There are many conditions to an air permit and you must comply with all of them. Now is not the time to take your foot off the gas.

Even if you have incorporated the assistance of an environmental consultant, it is your responsibility to make sure that your facility is in compliance with all permit conditions. Conditions with which your facility might need to comply include, but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring operating parameters on pollution control equipment including pressure drops, operating/inlet/outlet temperatures, and filter conditions
  • Calculating daily, monthly, and/or annual air emissions from permitted contaminant sources.
  • Performing stack testing requirements; one-time and/or on-going events.
  • Complying with emission limitations; both process-specific and facility-wide.
  • Preparing and submitting periodic compliance demonstration reports.
  • Preparing and submitting periodic air contaminant emission estimates.
  • Complying with any and all EPA MACT/GACT standards whether or not they written into your permit.

Many individuals assume that because their air permit is finally in hand they can relax. Again, that is the wrong time to do so. There are many conditions within the permit with which you must comply as long as the processes/facility is in operation. If you would like any assistance complying with these requirements, please contact Bay Environmental Strategies, Inc. (BAY) at 800-576-2476.

Safety Is No Accident

imagesEveryone has heard the term “Safety Is No Accident”. And if your company has ever had an “Accident” or injury, the question is, where was “Safety”? Some companies have a safety program while other companies rely on their good luck. However, when an accident happens, it costs everyone a lot of money and time and challenges the company’s safety program.


By definition, an “Accident” is an unplanned event and “Safety” is the process of protecting against accidents. Thus, if you plan for safety, the goal is to prevent the unplanned accidents. Accidents can still happen, however, only through a good safety program can your company hope to prevent unplanned accidents from happening.


This is where Bay Environmental Strategies, Inc. comes in. We are an environmental, health & safety consulting firm that dedicates its knowledge and experience in developing and managing safety programs for all types of businesses. Our safety professionals will conduct a hazard assessment in your company and then tailor a safety program to meet your specific regulatory compliance needs. Whether it’s the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Health and Safety Administration (MHSA) or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) regulations, we can assist your company in the development, implementation and management of your overall safety program. We can help you manage your current safety program or assist your company in the development of a new safety program.


Every company needs a safety program. Whether you’re an office environment, manufacturing, service or transportation company, you need to have a safety program to identify the hazards within the organization and then have policies and procedures in place to control and manage these hazards. Most regulatory agencies require company’s to have policies, procedures and programs in place to protect the safety of their employee’s and workers. If you do not have a safety program, you are merely gambling with accidents and injuries. And it’s only a matter of time before your employee’s, insurance company, regulatory agencies, or your customers demand that you implement a safety program.


Why wait for the worst to happen. Give Bay Environmental Strategies, Inc. a call and see how we can help your company implement or manage a safety program in a very cost effective manner. Some of our services include:


  • Hazard Assessments
  • Job Site Safety Inspections
  • Written Health & Safety Manuals
  • Written Policies, Procedures and Programs
  • Facility Audits and Inspections
  • Training Programs
  • Safety Meetings
  • DOT, OSHA or WDNR Representation
  • Accident & Injury Investigation
  • Safety Committee Representation


To receive a “Free” hazard evaluation and proposal, please contact Gene Olesen or Rachel Vincent at Bay Environmental Strategies, Inc. at 920-347-2234 or email at or


What Is Vapor Intrusion?

vapor intrusionVapor intrusion is when chemical vapors from contaminated soil or groundwater enter a building.  The majority of the time these chemicals come from commercial or industrial activities such as dry cleaners or petroleum spills or releases.  These chemicals contain volatile organic compounds (VOC).  When soil and groundwater is contaminated, the VOCs evaporate.  In cases of vapor intrusion, the VOC’s evaporate into a structure above instead of safely into the outside air.  These vapors can enter a building through cracks in the foundation slab or through utility lines or floor-wall cracks of a basement.  Special equipment is required to test for VOC’s as they are usually colorless and odorless.


If a contaminated site is undergoing cleanup near your home or business, the party responsible for the clean-up may request permission to investigate for vapor intrusion on your property.  If potentially harmful vapors are identified in the building, a vapor mitigation system can be installed.  This sub-slab depressurization system captures the vapors below the foundation and vents them outside the building.  These systems are also used to prevent radon from entering a residence.  Additional testing may be required after the system is installed to ensure it is operating properly.  These systems will be utilized as long as the threat of vapor intrusion exists.  In some cases where the contaminant source is eliminated, the mitigation system is no longer needed.


If you have questions or would like assistance investigating potential vapor intrusion issues on your property please contact Bay Environmental Strategies, Inc. at 1 800-576-2476.

Industrial Sand Mining in Wisconsin

untitledSand is a very important component of our industrialized society. There are many industries which in some way or another rely on sand to manufacturer their product. In turn these products are used extensively in our daily life which includes such things as cars, homes and computers. In order to obtain sand it must be extracted from the earth. The mining of sand is extensively regulated in order to protect our water and air. In Wisconsin all new industrial sand mines require permits to be in place prior to construction; the following is a short list of permits required:

  • Air Construction & Operation
  • Storm Water/Wastewater
  • High Capacity Well
  • Reclamation

The air permit will apply federally enforceable conditions and limitations on the mine for both fugitive and stacked emissions. The permit will be structured as to not allow these emissions to exceed national ambient air quality standards. This will be done through fugitive dust management and control technology for stacked sources.

The storm water/wastewater permit will cover both the construction and operational phases of the  mine with the aim to prevent sedimentation and other contaminants from entering waterways. The minimum goal of most mines will be able to control storm water runoff from a 10 year storm event. In addition to storm water, any process water from sand washing activities will need to be treated to meet discharge limits set-forth in the permit.

If there are washing activities, the mine will need to obtain a high capacity well permit. The potential drawdown from the well will be modeled to determine if there will be significant impacts to other high capacity water supply systems. If there are impacts, operational limits may be placed upon the use of the well. Water use costs money such conservation is always the answer.

All mine’s are required to develop and implement reclamation plans which provides a plan on how to restore the land after mining activities have ceased.  The plan will also describe how the mine will operate and provide anticipated costs for the reclamation. Based on those costs, the mine operator will have to post bond or letters of credit to the regulatory authority to ensure that if financial hardship ever occurs, there will be funds available to complete the reclamation process.

Other potential areas of regulation which are dependent on chemicals and products stored onsite include:

  • Department of Homeland Security – Compliance Chemical Anti-terrorism Standards
  • EPCRA 311 & 312
  • Oil Pollution Act – Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasures Plan
  • Registration of Petroleum Containing Tanks


ASTM E1527-13: A New Standard In Due Diligence

untitledLast year in 2013, on December 30, the United States EPA recognized that the revised “ASTM Standard E1527-13 – Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process” met the requirements of the “All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI)” Rule when conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA).

A Phase I ESA completed in accordance with ASTM E1527 is widely recognized as the gold standard to conduct environmental due diligence when buying, or providing financing for, industrial and commercial properties.

So Why The Change?

ASTM E1527-13 was developed in accordance with ASTM’s protocol for review of its own standard practices and guides. ASTM standards, including E1527, have a maximum “shelf life” of 8 years. The last revision was in 2005, with the issuance of the prior standard E1527-05.

So What Changed?

E1527-13 was not a complete re-write of the prior version of the standard. For the most part, the new standard includes some additional guidance and clarifications which include:

  • Review of regulatory agency records as a vapor migration assessment
  • Updated definition for the Recognized Environmental Condition (REC) to be better aligned with the AAI requirements;
  • The Historical Recognized Environmental Condition (HREC) definition is updated to limit how the HRECs are applied to prior releases that were addressed to unrestricted residential use;
  • Adding a Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition (CREC) definition is used in risk-type closures, where the contaminants were permitted to stay under specific conditions;
  • There is a new definition for the terms, ‘environment’ and ‘release’ that aligns with CERCLA definitions;
  • Created an appendix stated: “Business Environmental Risk” which provides resources and references for common issues.

How Does This Affect A Previously Completed Phase I ESA?

The development of the new ASTM standard does not mean that a Phase I ESA completed under the previous standard is no longer viable.  The liability protections are the same as they were when the Phase I ESA was completed. EPA’s newly amended All Appropriate Inquiry rule does not eliminate any reference to the prior ASTM standard (E1527-05). According to the EPA, they will publish an additional proposed rulemaking to remove the reference to the ASTM E1527–05 standard in the AAI rule sometime in the near future.

While technically the previous standard is still adequate to meet AAI, the EPA “strongly encourages” and “recommends that environmental professionals and prospective purchasers” use ASTM E1527–13 when conducting AAI compliant Phase I ESA’s to identify releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances at commercial and industrial properties.

So how does this affect your buying or lending?

Requiring the use of ASTM E1527-13 guarantees that your Phase I ESA was conducted in accordance with the latest standard and insures compliance with EPA’s AAI. The additional guidance and clarifications provided in the new standard will provide you a more complete environmental due diligence.

Additionally, ASTM E 1527-13 has been formally adopted and is required by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) when completing a Phase I ESA utilizing their loan programs.


EPA NOC for Boilers Subject to Tune-ups Due July 19th (With a Twist)!

powerhouse-epa-boiler-mactFor those Area Source facilities which are subject to the new EPA Boiler MACT (40 CFR Part 63, Subpart JJJJJ), an important deadline is fast approaching. The Notification of Compliance (NOC), due July 19, 2014, is required for all existing Area Source facilities which were required to complete either the One-time Energy Assessment or an initial Tune-up Work Practice. Both the Energy Assessment and Tune-up were due March 21, 2014.

Unlike previous compliance notification reports; however, the EPA has stated that they will not accept paper certifications. Instead, the report needs to be submitted using the EPA’s Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface. CEDRI will be new to most users, but can be accessed through the same web-based server as that used to complete EPA Toxic Release Inventory Reports and Greenhouse Gas Summary Report. Be sure to check with local/state authorities to make sure that a separate location notification is not also required in paper format.

If you need any assistance setting up an account with CEDRI and/or filing the NOC, please contact Bay Environmental Strategies, Inc. at 888-576-2476.

OSHA Starts Focusing on Staffing Companies and Temporary Worker Safety

1This past June, OSHA cited a vegetable processor in Texas and their staffing company over $135,000 because they exposed temporary workers to highly dangerous noise exposures, toxic chemicals, and a few other safety hazards. OSHA also fined California Cereal Products over $40,000 because the company exposed both temporary and full-time employees to fall, electrical, and noise hazards. There is an increasing trend in that OSHA is focusing on temporary worker safety. These are only two of the five recent companies that were cited by OSHA. Four of the five were staffing companies that had several safety violations that ended up with a temporary worker fatality at Amazon.

OSHA is noticing that temporary workers are increasing in the workplace, and workplace injuries are increasing as a result because they are not adequately trained on the job at hand. The temporary workers are often thrown into positions where they have little to know experience when compared to full-time employees. Staffing agencies and employers who hire temporary workers are now the target of OSHA’s temporary worker safety initiative. According to a BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics report), sixteen percent of workplace fatalities in 2012 involved temporary workers and contractors.

Staffing agencies and employers need to take a look at their safety and health training programs for temporary and contract workers so they can reduce workplace injuries. Bay Environmental Strategies is a safety consulting firm that can assess your company’s safety training program and tailor training to temporary workers so they are knowledgeable about safety hazards before they start their first day of work.