For the past 15 years US EPA's label for safer chemical products has been known as the Design for the Environment, or the “DfE,” label. Over the past year, EPA spent time collecting ideas and discussing new label options with stakeholders, such as product manufacturers and environmental and health advocates The result is the new Safer Choice label.
The Safer Choice Standard is intended to cover a wide range of products, including but not limited to: glass cleaners, general purpose cleaners, washroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, laundry detergents, graffiti removers, boat and car care, drain cleaners, personal care, and floor care and other industrial products. While this document includes the review criteria for both the whole product and each product ingredient, the Safer Choice recognition applies only to the finished product. For more information on this program, contact Marci Kinter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The California Energy Commission has proposed energy efficiency standards for computers, computer monitors and sign displays. Energy Commission staff proposes to regulate computer monitors and commercial signage displays, such as those seen in airports for airplane schedules. Staff has excluded other digital picture frames and electronic billboards. The Commission will be holding a public workshop on April 15th.
During the 2015 GlobalChem Conference in Baltimore, MD, Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, director of US EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, discussed the final risk assessment released on methylene chloride. The Agency, in its final risk assessment, identified that workers using methylene chloride in paint stripping operations faced health risks. She mentioned that US EPA was exploring a restriction or ban of methylene chloride using TSCA’s Section 6 authority.
A long anticipated memo was published February 9, 2015 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which outlines enforcement guidance regarding the Hazard Communication Standard’s June 1, 2015 deadline for all labels and SDSs to meet the new Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) criteria.
The memo describes OSHA’s approach to compliance enforcement with respect to chemical manufacturers and importers who have attempted but were unable to receive the necessary classification information from their up-stream suppliers or other alternative sources, and as a result, cannot comply with the June 1, 2015 deadline. The memo also shows that OSHA has the ability to allow manufactures and importers of mixtures a reasonable amount of time to come into compliance beyond the deadline. The caveat is that this discretion applies on a case-by-case basis and only when the manufacture or importer is able to clearly demonstrate and document "due diligence" and "good faith efforts" toward compliance.
SGIA will keep the industry updated on developments and is working toward additional information to assist members in understanding the requirements and for meeting the enforcement discretion guidelines.
For more specifics and what OSHA will require, you can review the full OSHA memo at: https://www.osha.gov/dep/enforcement/hazcom_enforcement-memo.html
Clearing the Office of Management and Budget on Jan. 30th, a final rule to help states implement the 2008 national ambient air quality standards for zone, set at 75 parts per billion, is expected to be published shortly. It is expected that this rule will address requirements for states in charge of implementing this new ozone standard, including permitting in nonattainment areas as well as demonstration requirements for attainment. This rule will be finalized seven years after the ozone standards were revised in March 2008.
Business groups have been urging the US EPA to allow states and businesses more time to implement this current standard before revising and setting a more stringent ozone standard. The agency has already proposed to set a more stringent ozone standard to somewhere between 65 and 70 parts per billion.