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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: September 11, 2020 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, September 11, 2020

Weekly E-Newsbrief

September 11, 2020

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

The WTP Fall Meeting Website Is Now Live

The WTP Fall Meeting website and registration is now open. The virtual WTP Workshop will be held on Sept. 23 at 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET to Sept. 24 at 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET via ZoomGov. An agenda for the 3-day meeting plus optional activities on Sept. 21 is now available. WTP encourages all awardee programs to invite subawardees and partners to participate since travel is not required for this meeting. Please register no later than Tuesday, Sept. 15. In addition all upcoming WTP webinars are now listed on the main Meetings and Workshops page.


WTP Webinars

Explosions, Smoke from FAR Chemical Plant Rock Palm Bay

The cause of several large explosions heard at FAR Chemical, Inc. in Palm Bay on Sept. 8 is under investigation, but appears to have originated from an industrial storage area on site, fire and company officials said. The storage area contained 30 to 40 50-gallon barrels containing an isopropyl alcohol-based solution, said Palm Bay spokeswoman Keely Leggett.

Florida Today [Author: Tyler Vazquez, Rick Neale, and J.D. Gallop]

EPA Begins Ambitious Effort to Accelerate Mining Cleanups in the West

On Sept. 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the creation of an Office of Mountains, Deserts and Plains. The aim is to improve the agency’s response to hard-rock mine pollution in the west, a mammoth problem EPA has stumbled over in many well-documented instances. The largest Superfund complex in the country, Butte and Anaconda has already taken more than three decades to clean up.

Montana Standard [Author: David McCumber]

How W.Va. Miners with Black Lung Disease Are Navigating the Pandemic

Jerry Coleman, a third-generation coal miner, worked for 37 years, mostly underground, near Cabin Creek, West Virginia. But at 68 years old, he has complicated black lung disease, meaning, his lungs are permanently and irreversibly scarred by coal dust. And in the middle of a pandemic, it is only more complicated, Coleman said. He is also the president for the Kanawha County Black Lung Association.

WV Public Broadcasting [Author: Caitlin Tan]

The Challenge of Maintaining and Reopening Buildings During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses and government agencies to close or restructure to allow their employees to work remotely. However, the now-empty facilities still require some maintenance and engineering staff to remain on-site to ensure the basic operations of the buildings are running smoothly and safely. Keeping these employees safe during the pandemic so they can continue their essential duties is a priority.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [Author: Andrew Robinson]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

New Request for Applications to Support Equitable Development & Environmental Justice in Brownfields Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the availability of funds and solicits applications from eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, to provide direct technical assistance to communities nationwide on the integration of environmental justice and equitable development when developing solutions to brownfields cleanup and revitalization challenges. The application submission deadline is Sept. 21.


New Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the availability of funds and solicits applications from eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, to deliver Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) programs that recruit, train, and place local, unemployed and under-employed residents with the skills needed to secure full-time employment in the environmental field. The closing date is Sept. 22.

EPA EWDJT Information

The Biological Event Horizon: No Return or Total Resilience

Innovative science and technology solutions exist or are in development that could change the game for biodefense. The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense is hosting a meeting on Sept. 24. At this meeting, the Commission intends to discuss these emerging biological threats and the innovative science and technology solutions to address them.

Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense

Southeast PEHSU and Break the Cycle of Health Disparities Training Program

The Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) at Emory University and Break the Cycle of Health Disparities, Inc. invites university students from a variety of disciplines to participate in our 16th Annual Break the Cycle of Children’s Environmental Health Disparities training program. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.

More Information

Request for Information on Federal Coordination To Promote Economic Mobility for All Americans

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is publishing this Request for Information (RFI) to seek public input until Oct. 2 on the development of a federal interagency Council on Economic Mobility (Council). HHS and the Council will analyze information collected in this RFI to gather feedback from stakeholders to better inform the Council's priorities and how the Council can promote economic mobility, recovery, and resilience.

Federal Register

Save the Date: Fall 2020 NIH Virtual Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is offering a virtual seminar that will cover the NIH grant process. If you’re new to working with the NIH grants process as an investigator or administrator, then mark your calendar for Oct. 27-30 for a unique opportunity to learn, share and meet virtually with NIH and HHS experts.

NIH Extramural Nexus

JOEH Seeks Submissions for Special Issue on Health Equity in the Workplace

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) plans to publish a special issue on health equity in the workplace in May 2021. For this special issue, the journal seeks research on a range of topics, including how racial inequities affect workplace exposures and the effects of gender inequity on worker exposures and outcomes. The deadline to submit is Oct. 30.

More Information

EPA Calls for Nominations for 2021 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. These prestigious awards recognize innovation by American businesses and researchers that redesign chemical products and processes to reduce or eliminate the use and manufacture of hazardous substances. Nominations are due Dec. 4.


On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Poverty and Racism Leave People More Vulnerable to Wildfire Smoke

Extreme fire seasons seem to be the new normal in the American West. The spate of lightning-sparked blazes that recently blanketed California in unhealthy smoke is just the most recent reminder. But not everyone is affected equally. Just as we’ve seen with the coronavirus pandemic, place and race play a role.

KQED [Author: Lee Romney]

Airport Workforce Programs Supporting Employee Well-Being

Airport employees face a variety of stressors in their daily work lives, and there are numerous and varied approaches that airports are currently taking to focus on employee well-being. The Transportation Research Board Airport Cooperative Research Program's Synthesis: Airport Workforce Programs Supporting Employee Well-Being details the most commonly used well-being program offerings at airports.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Equity and Policy Preparedness During Public Health Emergencies

The National Governors Association (NGA), in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Bar Association, launched a webinar series on Equity and Policy Preparedness during Public Health Emergencies. Participants in all four webinars will consider lessons learned from past public health emergencies to inform their implementation of best practices for the future.


Federal Officials Urge Family, Community Disaster Planning

In the wake of September being National Preparedness Month (NPM), federal officials are encouraging family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. This year’s theme, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today,” emphasizes the importance of making a plan, building a preparedness kit, preparing for disasters, and teaching youth about preparedness.

Homeland Preparedness News [Author: Douglas Clark]

Cal/OSHA Issues Citations to Multiple Employers for COVID-19 Violations

California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) has cited 11 employers for not protecting employees from COVID-19 exposure during inspections of industries where workers have an elevated risk of exposure. The industries include food processing, meatpacking, health care, agriculture and retail. The employers listed below were cited for various violations including some classified as serious.


Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

EPA Announces Opportunities for Public Engagement and Outreach on Risk Management Under TSCA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a broad public engagement and outreach effort to discuss how the agency will approach the rulemaking process to address unreasonable risks found in the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) chemical risk evaluations. After issuing the first two final risk evaluations, methylene chloride and 1-bromopropane, EPA is moving into the risk management phase and is hosting a robust process to gain important feedback from stakeholders on the options for managing those risks.


EPA Announces Major Reorganization of Chemical Safety Division

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) is significantly reorganizing at the end of the month to respond to the department’s changing work, agency leaders said on Sept. 8. The changes reshuffle the structure of OCSPP’s three main divisions: The Office of Pesticide Programs, the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, and the Office of Science Coordination and Policy.

Bloomberg News [Author: Stephen Lee]

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

Oregon OSHA Launches Free Online Training for Fall Protection in Construction

Employers and workers who engage in construction activities in Oregon now have a free and flexible way to improve their understanding of fall protection, thanks to an online video training course produced by Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The course, “Fall Protection for Construction,” is designed to help employers and workers meet the requirements of Oregon OSHA’s fall protection standards.

Oregon OSHA

Job OpeningsBack to Top

MCN Seeks Program Manager for Migrant and Immigrant Health

Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) is hiring a full time Program Manager for Migrant and Immigrant Health. This position, located in Salisbury, Maryland, is responsible for managing a COVID-19 and infectious disease project targeting immigrants, migrants, and refugees and the clinicians who serve them.  It involves extensive networking with clinicians, public health professionals, researchers, and organizations and community-based groups.

Job Posting

NEHA Seeks Evaluation Coordinator

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is currently seeking an Evaluation Coordinator. The Evaluation Coordinator seeks to increase the use of rigorous monitoring and evaluation methods throughout the NEHA and to increase the quality and impact of NEHA’s decision-making through strengthened evaluation capacity.

Job Posting

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