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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: June 7, 2019 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, June 7, 2019

Weekly E-Newsbrief

June 7, 2019

The E-Newsbrief of the National Clearinghouse is a free weekly newsletter focusing on new developments in the world of worker health and safety. Each issue provides summaries of the latest worker health and safety news from newspapers, magazines, journals, government reports, and the Web, along with links to the original documents. Also featured each week are updates from government agencies that handle hazmat and worker safety issues such as DOE, EPA, OSHA and others.

Subscribing to the National Clearinghouse Newsbrief is the best way to stay on top of the worker health and safety news.

Top StoriesBack to Top

Trump Signs $19.1 Billion Disaster Aid Package

President Trump signed a long-delayed disaster aid bill into law on June 6, authorizing billions of dollars of assistance to communities in the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico recovering from devastating storms, floods and wildfires. By approving the $19.1-billion package, the president ended months of gridlock between his administration and congressional Democrats, who first introduced a version of the legislation in January.

CBS News [Author: Camilo Montoya-Galvez]

Jet Fuel Explodes at Oil and Chemical Facility in Carson, Injuring Four

Four people were injured when an explosion ignited a fire at an oil and chemical storage terminal in Carson early June 3. The explosion occurred as jet fuel was being loaded into a tanker truck, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. It took about 100 firefighters less than an hour to knock down the resulting blaze, authorities said. Video from the scene showed fire engines spraying the facility with white foam.

The Los Angeles Times [Author: Hannah Fry]

State Working to Update Oil Refinery Safety Rules

For the first time since 1992, Washington State is revising safety rules that aim to prevent fires, explosions and releases of toxic chemicals at the state’s five oil refineries. Representatives from labor and environmental groups say stronger safety rules will better protect workers and the communities and environment near refineries. Community members filled a room at the Burlington Senior Center on May 2 to learn about the rules update. The meeting was hosted by United Steelworkers Local 12-591, BlueGreen Alliance, a labor/environmental group, and environmental groups Evergreen Islands and RE Sources for Sustainable Communities.

Skagit Valley Herald [Author: Jacqueline Allison]

Nation’s Most Ambitious Project to Clean Up Nuclear Weapons Waste Has Stalled at Hanford

The Energy Department’s most environmentally important and technically ambitious project to clean up Cold War nuclear weapons waste has stalled, putting at jeopardy an already long-delayed effort to protect the Columbia River in central Washington. In a letter last week, state officials said the environmental project is at risk of violating key federal court orders that established deadlines after past ones were repeatedly missed. Two multibillion-dollar industrial facilities intended to turn highly radioactive sludge into solid glass at the Hanford nuclear site have been essentially mothballed. Construction was halted in 2012 because of design flaws and Energy Department managers have foundered in finding alternatives, state officials said last week in a letter that threatens new litigation.

The Los Angeles Times [Author: Ralph Vartabedian]

New Map Shows Expanse Of U.S. Nuclear Waste Sites

The United States is home to 21 “stranded” nuclear-waste storage sites, according to a congressional researcher who was quick to add that “stranded does not imply that the waste has been abandoned or lacks regulatory oversight.” It means those 21 sites are no longer attached to reactors that are producing electricity or revenue, environmental policy analyst Lance N. Larson writes in a May report to members of Congress. The stranded sites are costly for the federal government, which has spent $7.4 billion to nuclear utilities and other reactor owners, according to CRS, to offset its responsibility to store the waste.

Forbes [Author: Jeff McMahon]

Google Maps Will Now Show You Where Natural Disasters Strike

Google is bringing some major new features to its Maps app on iOS, Android, and the web. The new features focus on natural disasters and how they affect navigation when they strike. Three types of natural disasters are covered in the new SOS updates to Google Maps: hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. In addition to the new natural disaster visualizations in maps, users will also be able to take advantage of crisis navigation warnings and reroutings, meaning Google Maps will provide navigation routes that best keep you away from disaster-hit areas.

Fast Company [Author: Michael Grothaus]

Feds Offer to Speed Cleanup of South Carolina’s Deadly Nuclear Waste. But Plan Isn’t That Simple

The U.S. Department of Energy is proposing to ship what has long been considered some of the world’s most deadly nuclear waste from South Carolina to burial grounds in the western United States under a plan to reclassify some of the atomic refuse as less dangerous. According to plans, the energy department would classify some of the Savannah River Site’s high-level waste as low-level waste, a type of atomic refuse that is considered less toxic. That, in turn, would allow the material to be shipped to low-level nuclear waste disposal sites in the deserts of Utah and Texas.

The Charlotte Observer [Author: Sammy Fretwell]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

EPA Grants Award Process Webinars

EPA's Office of Grants and Debarment is hosting a webinar for the EPA grants community. The webinar will cover grants topics, including: how to find and apply for grant opportunities; EPA's requirement; and preparing a proper budget detail. In addition, EPA will be hosting a Q&A session during the second half of the webinar. The webinar will be held on June 18, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET.

Webinar Registration

New Strategies for Using Patient-Centered Technology to Improve Pain Management and Opioid Treatment Webinar

The Opioid Action Plan outlines a groundbreaking approach for fighting the opioid crisis through Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support. This plan defines ways to apply computerized clinical decision support tools to address pain management and opioid use disorder treatment. In this webinar, the lead developers of the Opioid Action Plan will walk through the high-value clinical decision support interventions and tools that can be used to fight the opioid crisis and show those tools in action through five future vision scenarios. The webinar will also encourage participants to brainstorm ways to enhance their own efforts around pain management and opioid use and will outline additional steps and recommended actions to help you make that vision a reality. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Registration

Silicone Wristbands: Novel Approach to Assess Personal Chemical Exposure Webinar

Join the Collaborative on Health and the Environment on June 19, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. ET to hear Dr. Kim Anderson discuss the use of silicone wristbands to assess personal chemical exposures. She will outline the results of the study, which found that the wristbands may be used for many chemicals. In comparisons with other technologies such as active samplers and biological samples like urine, evidence suggests that the wristband is as good indicator of chemical exposures. Dr. Anderson will highlight the chemicals tested and the accuracy of this exposure assessment tool.

Webinar Registration

OSHA International Program Meetings on Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Department of Transportation (DOT) will host two meetings on June 20, 2019. The first, OSHA will conduct a public meeting to discuss proposals in preparation for the 37th session of the UNSCEGHS. The second PHMSA will conduct a public meeting to discuss proposals in preparation for the 55th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. The meetings will be held at DOT’s Headquarters in SE, Washington, DC. The PMSA public meeting: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm ET, and OSHA public meeting: 1:00 to 4:00 pm ET.

Meeting Registration

Introduction to the Planning for Natural Disaster Debris Guidance

Natural disasters challenge communities every year and are expected to increase in frequency and intensity. To assist communities (including cities, counties, states, tribes) in planning for debris management before a natural disaster occurs, EPA's Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery updated its Planning for Natural Disaster Debris Guidance. Pre-incident planning can significantly aid decision-making during a response and enhance a community's resiliency. This webinar will provide an overview of the guidance and highlight lessons learned and best practices. After the presentation, EPA looks forward to answering stakeholder questions. The webinar will be held on June 20, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Registration

Request For Written Comments on an Updated Health Literacy Definition for Healthy People 2030

The Department of Health and Human Services invites comments on a proposed new health literacy definition for Healthy People 2030. Read the full request for comments and find instructions on how to comment in the Federal Register. Please submit your comments by July 20, 2019. Healthy People sets health promotion goals for the nation. The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 has proposed a new definition of health literacy for Healthy People 2030: “Health literacy occurs when a society provides accurate health information and services that people can easily find, understand, and use to inform their decisions and actions.”

Request for Comments

The Building Bridges to Enhance the Well-Being of American Indian and Alaska Native Workers Workshop

The Building Bridges to Enhance the Well-Being of American Indian and Alaska Native Workers Workshop will be held on July 30 – 31 in Aurora, Colorado. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in partnership with the Center for Health, Work & Environment are excited to bring together American Indian and Alaska Native communities, organizations, and other stakeholders to identify safety and health priorities for American Indian and Alaska Native workers.

Workshop Registration

National Cleanup Workshop: Advancing Goal-Oriented Nuclear Waste Cleanup, Today and Tomorrow

Join senior Department of Energy executives and site officials, industry leaders, national and local elected officials, and other stakeholders September 10-12, 2019 in Alexandria, Virginia, for the fifth annual National Cleanup Workshop to discuss the Department of Energy's progress on the cleanup of the environmental legacy of the nation's Manhattan Project and Cold War nuclear weapons program.

Workshop Registration

APHA Annual Meeting: Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.

Everyone has a role to play in creating a healthier nation. In light of today’s most pressing health issues, science and advocacy are the keys to developing health equity to improve the lives of people locally, nationally and worldwide. The American Public Health Association (APHA)’s Annual Meeting and Expo will be held November 2-6, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Annual Meeting gives more than 12,000 public health professionals an opportunity to put science and action to work to achieve a healthier nation.

Annual Meeting Registration

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

AIHce Speakers Focus on Industrial Hygienists' Role in the Opioid Crisis

Industrial hygienists and environmental health and safety professionals have the ability to make worthwhile contributions to combat the opioid crisis, even as daily attention at the national, state, and local levels remains high, members of American Industrial Hygiene Association Opioids Responder Working Group stressed at an AIHce EXP 2019 session focused on emergency preparedness and training for workers at risk of exposure to opioids. IHs and EHS professionals’ analytical skills and interactions across diverse work groups position them to communicate important information to both workers and the public, said Peter B. Harnett, MS, MPH, CIH, CSP, current chair of the working group.


2019 National Preparedness Poll

The 2019 National Preparedness Poll survey results show that, once again, natural disasters are by far the threat of greatest concern to Americans. Results described in this 25-page report also indicate that while there is concern about disasters and disease outbreaks, most are not taking actions on an individual or household level to prepare. Despite 54 percent of Americans believing that a major disaster is likely to impact them in the next five years, over half of Americans (51 percent) do not have any emergency preparation plans in place.

Healthcare Ready

Healthcare Ready Press Release

Lessons Learned from a Disaster

The retelling of stories of crisis management is a powerful tool for learning. When planning for the worst-case scenario, hearing from those who have lived through disaster can help to inform the decisions you make for your own preparedness. One of the goals in producing the newest International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Leading Edge Research Report, "Leadership and Professional Local Government Managers: Before, During, and After a Crisis," was to help city and county managers make informed choices about crisis mitigation and recovery based on the positive outcomes and challenging lessons learned by those who managed crises from hurricanes to mass shootings.


What to Know about New Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals

Healthcare entities are facing several changes when it comes to managing pharmaceuticals considered to be hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). These entities include hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, nursing and long-term care (LTC) facilities, as well as clinics and reverse distributors. The final rule for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals was released in the Federal Register on Feb. 22, 2019, and outlines a new set of sector-specific standards in lieu of the existing hazardous waste generator regulations. The final rule goes into effect Aug. 21, 2019, and it does not apply to pharmaceutical manufacturers (unless they act as reverse distributors) or production facilities.

Environmental Leader

Health Security Workforce Investment Design

This document is a design and plan for targeted public health workforce development activities as part of work delivered by the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security. This document outlines activities proposed by experts in health security workforce development and may change as the investment evolves. This document is provided as resource to assist with the development of Activity Proposals as part of the ASEAN-Pacific Infectious Disease Detection and Response (APIDDaR) Program.

Australian Government Indo-Pacific Centre For Health Security

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

Guide to Finding Federal Assistance and Resources for Environmental Justice Efforts

The Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG) includes several federal agencies and White House offices that increase local community capacity to promote and implement innovative and comprehensive solutions to environmental justice issues. A goal of the EJ IWG is to provide greater public access to federal information and resources, and this guide is part of that effort. This guide shares tips on using and to search for federal assistance and help find the most relevant information.


Preventing Suicides

Construction is a high hazard industry that comprises a wide range of activities involving construction, alteration, and/or repair. Construction workers engage in many activities that may expose them to serious hazards, such as falling from rooftops, unguarded machinery, being struck by heavy construction equipment, electrocutions, silica dust, and asbestos. The information, tools, and resources provided in these Construction Industry web pages are designed to assist those in the industry - whether worker or employer - to identify, reduce, and eliminate construction-related hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers resources for preventing suicides, worker mental health, opioid response and more.


Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

K.C. Donnelly Awards Go to NIEHS Superfund Trainees

Since its beginning in 2011, 47 NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) trainees have received K.C. Donnelly Externship Award Supplements to enrich their research with work at another institution. Jill Riddell and Nabil Shaikh, both doctoral candidates, shared the 2019 award. The awards honor the legacy of longtime SRP grantee and environmental health researcher Kirby (K.C.) Donnelly, Ph.D., who passed away in 2009.

NIEHS Environmental Factor

Job OpeningsBack to Top

The Southern California Coalition For Occupational Safety And Health (SoCalCOSH) Is Hiring An Organizer/Trainer

The Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (SoCalCOSH) is hiring an organizer/trainer to advance worker health and safety in the Southern California region. This work will include a focus on worker health and safety in the context of addressing the rise of insecure employment, attacks on immigrant, low-wage, LGBTQ, and workers of color, and the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment & retaliation. SoCalCOSH is looking for someone who is innately creative, excited about intersectional worker organizing, and enjoys collaboration and relationship-building. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to with SoCalCOSH Organizer/Trainer in the subject line of the email. The position will remain open until filled. We will consider applications on a rolling basis but those received by June 21, 2019 will receive priority consideration.

Job Description

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Labor Occupational Safety & Health (LOSH) Has Two Positions Open

USCLA-LOSH is seeking a Health and Safety Educator/Technician and a HazMat Trainer/Coordinator. The Educator/Technician is responsible for outreach, education and technical assistance with community-based, worker and environmental justice organizations, employers and other constituencies with a focus on underserved worker populations in the Western Region. The Trainer/Coordinator oversees LOSH’s worker training initiatives related to hazardous materials handling, hazardous waste cleanup, and emergency response.

Job Descriptions

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