Friday, February 13, 2015

Disposal Of Asbestos Containing Material

Once asbestos has been removed from a location, federal regulations dictate that such waste be disposed of in an approved manner, either in special 6 mil plastic bags that have "zip-lock" type fasteners and are sealed with duct tape, or in sealed, 55 gallon drums designed for this purpose.
The rules and regulations regarding asbestos waste disposal vary according to several factors, including the percentage of actual asbestos and what other chemical and/or toxic substances may be present. Local and state regulations also have some bearing on the issue.
Different Types of Asbestos Waste
Friable asbestos material is any substance that contains more than 1% asbestos and can be crumbled or pulverized by hand when dry. If it cannot be crushed by hand, it is considered non friable.
Packings, gaskets, floor covering and asphalt roofing containing more than 1% asbestos is classified as Category I non-friable asbestos-containing material. Anything outside of these products that cannot be crushed and pulverized by hand is considered Category II (non-friable).
Any asbestos product that is friable is considered Regulated Asbestos-Containing Material. This includes products listed above that has or may become friable due to age and exposure or mechanical action such grinding, sanding, cutting, etc. 
Asbestos-containing waste materials consist of materials that contain asbestos or have become contaminated with asbestos in the course of demolition or renovation projects. This includes any disposable equipment and protective clothing.
Preparing ACM Waste For Transport
Any potentially friable asbestos-containing materials must be kept wet in order to keep fibers from becoming airborne. It is in this state that they will be packaged for transport to a disposal facility.
All asbestos-containing material (ACM) waste must be placed in approved, marked containers. Smaller amounts are contained in special sealable plastic bags; in addition to being "zipped," these bags must also be sealed with duct tape. Large amounts must be sealed inside plastic 55-gallon drums made for this purpose.
Any vehicle used to transport ACM waste must have identifying markings during loading and unloading, and all containers of ACM waste must be labeled with the name of the waste generator as well as the location from which it is coming.
A Waste Shipment Record (WSR) must be given to the operator of the disposal facility, who must then insure that the amount of waste indicated on the WSR matches the amount actually delivered. Any discrepancies are reported to the state agency (usually the department of environmental quality, or DEQ) to which the initial report of the removal project was made. In addition, a copy of the WSR must be returned to the waste generator within 35 days; if not received within 45 days, the waste generator will need to file a report with the state DEQ.
Information regarding authorized disposal sites and regulations regarding asbestos disposal can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency Ombudsman at 1-800-368-5888.
It should be noted that private homeowners are not generally subject to the regulations outlined above; however, these regulation are in place for the good of public safety. If you are a homeowner and need asbestos removed from your home, it is always best to have it done by a qualified professional. Otherwise, the best course of action is to follow the regulations and procedures above.

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The Horrors of Fishing With Dynamite

SAN FRANCISCO — Jessica Vyvyan-Robinson was diving off Borneo when she was struck without warning by shock waves.
“I could feel it in my chest — like a dull, booming sound,” she recalled in an interview. After surfacing, her group learned that fishermen had detonated explosives.
The incident, which occurred a year ago, was Ms. Vyvyan-Robinson’s first encounter with blast fishing, a highly destructive technique used in impoverished pockets of the world.
The blasts, often from dynamite, leave craters in coral reefs and kill far more fish than can be harvested, and in many places, the tourism industry serves as a powerful voice against blast fishing, which could scare divers and other visitors away. Some nations have successfully clamped down on the practice, which is generally illegal, but it continues in areas where explosives are available and people are desperate.
The effects of blast fishing can be horrifying. Ms. Vyvyan-Robinson, who wrote about her experiences for, describes finding waters littered with dead or struggling fish. Only a portion of the fish that are killed is retrieved because many sink to the bottom. Their air bladders,which help fish remain buoyant, and other internal organs can rupture.
Blast fishing is not new. It was introduced to many parts of the world by European armies, said Michel Bariche, an expert on Mediterranean marine issues at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
“During the First World War, soldiers used grenades to catch fish for a quick and fresh meal,” he said in an email. In Lebanon, for example, blast fishing spread after French soldiers demonstrated the technique.
The nation continues to struggle to contain the practice although it is illegal, Dr. Bariche said. Culprits often seek out areas where fish congregate, and then throw a homemade bomb among them, he said.
The explosions are generally easy to spot — and thus, in theory, easy to police — but Dr. Bariche said that over the past decade or two, some fishermen had taken to dropping explosives deeper and at night, when detection is less likely.
Some Lebanese anglers use lights at night to attract small fish before detonating the charge. As the small fish sink, he explained, they attract bigger fish, which can then be caught with the hook-and-line method. One problem with this practice is that shrimp, crab and lobster larvae are also drawn to the light and killed.
Tanzania has seen a resurgence in blast fishing over the last decade as mining and construction activity in the country have made it easier to obtain dynamite.
“It looks like an old World War II movie where they throw depth charges in the water,” said Marcel Kroese, who works on the SmartFish Program, an effort financed by the European Union to improve Africa’s fisheries.
Fishermen often resort to dynamite around coral reefs, where nets might snag, Mr. Kroese said. The Tanzanian coast also has relatively few fish, so anglers are desperate to harvest anything they can.
A pilot acoustic study over six weeks last year in Tanzania for the World Wildlife Fund, an environmental group, estimated that 19 blasts per day occurred in one small stretch of water not far from Dar es Salaam, the largest city. More blast-detection microphones will be deployed soon, according to Jason Rubens, a W.W.F. Tanzania representative.
The Tanzanian government and tourism officials would like to combat the problem, Mr. Kroese said, but have lacked the resources. The destruction of small fish and coral reefs receives far less attention than another environmental problem: the poaching of elephants and other wildlife. But this spring the Tanzanian government plans to begin a $1 million initiative to reduce dynamite fishing, according to The Tanzania Daily News.
Kenya, concerned about terrorist attacks, has cracked down on the availability of explosives, and has essentially eliminated dynamite fishing, Mr. Kroese said.
Experts say that blast fishing remains common in parts of Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and the Philippines, while other countries in the region have made progress in stamping it out.
In Cambodia, blast fishing has “pretty much been stopped around the major islands” and now can be found only in outlying areas, said Paul Ferber, who runs an environmental group called Marine Conservation Cambodia.
He describes the aftermath of blast fishing as “fish flapping around in severe shock.” Pressure from the growing tourism industry had led to a government crackdown.
Cambodia encouraged fishing communities to manage their own waters, and those communities patrol and spread information about why the practice is harmful and why fishermen should prevent others from doing it.
The idea was: “If you let these guys do it, it’s you guys that are going to suffer,” Mr. Ferber said.

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