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Compliance & Standards Briefing: Leaks, Labeling and Laundry

Officials in Maine plan to announce on Friday that Chevron will pay a large settlement for more than 140,000 gallons of oil that has been seeping from storage tanks from the 1940s to the 1980s into the Penobscot River near Bangor, according to the Bangor Daily News. The oil company already was required to remediate an intertidal mudflat and pay for containment equipment as well as onsite water filtering pumps costing millions of dollars. Some of the settlement money will be used to build an 8.5-acre park at Hampden’s Turtle Head Marina.

According to an Associated Press report, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on Wednesday voted to lower the amount of lead in children’s toys and products sold in the country to 100 parts per million (ppm). Critics noted that the current allowable level (300 ppm) is measured in trace amounts and that the commission did not review if manufacturers, particularly smaller ones, can make the products as specified. The new standards will take effect on Aug. 14.

Delta Electronics said earlier this week that its Dongguan factory in China has become the world’s first power and components electronic enterprise to officially pass the conformity evaluation for ISO 50001, the energy management system standard of the International Organization for Standardization. The facility will try to reduce its power consumption by 50 per cent in 2014 as compared to 2009. The factory’s general manager noted that with production capacity at an even level from January to May of this year, the facility already lowered consumption by 10.51 million kWh over last year.

Orcal Inc. will pay a $54,080 settlement to the EPA for selling incorrectly labeled slug and snail bait products from 2008 to 2009 under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The federal agency used a stop-sale order to help bring the Harrisburg, Ore.-based facility into compliance.

G&K Services Co., and its subsidiary Alltex Uniform Rental Service, Inc., have agreed to pay a $65,000 penalty related to Clean Air Act violations in Manchester, N.H, according to the EPA. The industrial laundry washes and dries towels used to wipe oils and solvents from machinery and equipment, which releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants. Alltex had allegedly upgraded its equipment without proper permitting or controls. The company will install equipment to remove VOCs and undertake a supplemental environmental project valued at $220,000 to replace old wood stoves in the southern part of the state.

The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County have recognized 616 companies for meeting their limits for wastewater discharge for at least one year, avoiding any notices of violation, maintaining their environmental equipment, and fulfilling all permit requirements. Among those recognized were Exxon Mobil Oil, Truett Labs, In-N-Out Burgers, Mac’s Radiator Services, Mission Foods, Pepsi Bottling Group, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin.

The Society of Environmentally Responsible Facilities, a green building certification program, is trying to make the green building process more efficient and accessible than that of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program, according to an article written for Crain’s Detroit Business. Since launching the program in October, SERF has certified 32 buildings and has another 14 in the pipeline. Some of the cost and time savings come from having the design architect complete the application, SERF said.

A hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 15 in the lawsuit by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood against the administrator of BP’s $20 billion oil spill fund, seeking access to claims filed by residents. The Associated Press says Hood believes that fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg should disclose how he arrived at claim figures to determine if the distribution has been fair.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the discovery of a liquid waste leak last week has led to an investigation of the V.C. Summer plant operated by South Carolina Electric & Gas in Fairfield County, S.C. According to The Associated Press, officials say they have found no signs the material left the plant or threatened the public.

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