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ERA's Environmental Compliance Management Blog

Our EH&S blog is your go-to source for industry news, advice, and compliance information. With each post, our team of experts (advanced degree holders in chemistry, environmental science, management, and more) maps out today’s most pressing EH&S issues. We also try to keep things interesting!

We’re committed to helping companies like yours maintain safe, efficient, environmentally-conscious operations. Use the buttons below to find EH&S blog posts that match your specific interests. And if you don’t see the type of content you need, please let us know!

OSHA Fine Increase Turns up the Pain for Non-Compliance

Posted by Lorcan Archer

Since August 2, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been applying increased penalty fees to delinquent businesses within its purview.

This change has been actively driven by legislation enacted by Congress in November 2015, which required federal agencies to review and modify the penalties handed out, and bring them in line with inflation. The new penalties represent a substantial increase in the case of OSHA compliance infractions, with fine amounts jumping approximately 78% in most cases.

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Also posted in: OSHA

5 Ways Canada's GHS Adoption Could Trip Up Your SDS Management

Posted by Lorcan Archer

In our last blog article in this series, we looked at how the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is being embraced by Canada. We offered a broad outline of the situation, and the reasons why the system is now being implemented.


For this piece, we’ll take an informed look into more of the particulars, unearthing 5 key details in US/Canadian policy differences that could become potential pitfalls for companies looking to continue to smoothly export products to Canada.

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Also posted in: SDS

Electric Car Makers Will Battle for Green Supply Chain, Best Reporting

Posted by Lorcan Archer

This week saw the announcement of the estimated range, as provided by the EPA, of GM’s upcoming Chevrolet Bolt electric car. Media observers responded positively to the estimated range of 238 miles per fully charged unit; a precise and even longer-than-promised range.

Previously, the company had only stated that there would be a range of 200 miles to a fully charged car. Since Monday, prospective owners now know they will have another 40 miles of juice to work with. Range is a key factor for the North American motor industry; drivers want to know they can commute with their vehicle without having to charge it multiple times per week.

The lithium-ion batteries that power these vehicles are at the core of this crucial range issue; batteries that bring their own environmental reporting and sustainability challenges.

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Also posted in: Sustainability, Electric Cars

EPA Pushes Through TSCA Reform and Minimizes Mercury Compound Exports

Posted by Lorcan Archer

Last week, the EPA announced a series of measures that underlined the agency’s intention to push forward with reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), with implications for businesses and industries across the United States.

Following the adoption of a landmark chemical safety bill which amended the TSCA in June, the agency’s announcement outlined new measures to ban the exporting of mercury compounds, which include mercury chloride, mercury oxide, mercury nitrate, mercury sulfate and mercury sulfide, commonly known as cinnabar.

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Also posted in: TSCA, Mercury

SDS Authoring - Canada's Move Towards GHS Adoption

Posted by Lorcan Archer

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is exactly what it sounds like – an internationally recognized labeling system for dangerous chemicals. The images that comprise it are present on products we all buy and use every day. 

The GHS was created by the United Nations as an internationally applicable set of labels and indicators for classifying hazardous materials and the risks associated with their use.

Initially begun in 1992, the GHS has been fully developed and implemented by an increasing number of countries, most notably in the United States, where it was introduced as the mandatory standard in 2015. Importantly, adaption of GHS in the US has led to the replacement of the venerable Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) with the newer Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

Now, it’s Canada’s turn. The deadline for phase one adoption is set for June, 2017.

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Also posted in: SDS

Dispelling TRI reporting Myths: Over-Reporting as a Safety Net

Posted by Nora Lopez

Nora Lopez is the recently-retired TRI Coordinator for Region 2. She has decades of years of experience overseeing TRI reporting, auditing, and trouble-shooting with the Environmental Protection Agency. ERA Environmental Management Solutions has partnered with Nora for TRI Month to deliver expert insights and tips for TRI reporters and EHS Professionals like yourself. Nora’s opinions are based on her own experiences and she is not an official spokesperson for the EPA. Have a question for Nora? Email info@era-ehs.com.

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Also posted in: TRI

Environmental Compliance Management: Are Your EHS Teams on Speaking Terms?

Posted by Alex Chamberlain

Keeping an accurate record of your different environmental outputs - i.e. air emissions, water discharges, and waste generation - throughout the year is the foundation of Toxic Releases Inventory reporting (TRI). If your record keeping isn’t accurate, your annual report won’t have legs to stand on. But there’s another pressing issue in EHS management that can also jeopardize your TRI reports and put you at risk for fines, even if your record keeping is pristine.

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Also posted in: TRI

Fix TRI Report Red Flags with Auditor Tips: TRI Reporting Best Practice

Posted by Alex Chamberlain

Toxic Inventory Release (TRI) reporting is the most difficult time of the year for EHS professionals: it’s an annual compendium of your air, water, and waste emissions that forces you to look back at all your records, activities, and materials used throughout the entire year.

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Also posted in: TRI

Air Compliance Alert: Greenhouse Gases Reporting, Ontario Cap & Trade

Posted by Alex Chamberlain

The Government of Ontario has announced that it is moving forward with a Greenhouse Gas Cap and Trade program that will directly impact the operation of manufacturers across the province. Ontario will also be linking its cap and trade program with the GHG cap and trade markets in the province of Quebec and the state of California.

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Also posted in: greenhouse gases

TRI Best Practice: Waste Data Management and Credits for Air Emissions

Posted by Alex Chamberlain

Why start TRI Month talking about waste reporting? Because waste is the most overlooked of all the emissions media. Most EH&S professionals are more worried about their air emissions reporting, then water releases (in that order) – and consequently, waste tracking and credits are where we see the most mistakes being made.

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Also posted in: TRI