Lab Science News - Science, chemistry and environmental news from laboratory experts

Archive for July, 2010

EPA Set to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Monday, July 26th, 2010

by Brian Lewis, Ph. D

EPA Set to Regulate GHG Emissions

The regulation of greenhouse gases (GHG) has had a contentious history and continues to be a topic of much debate. The debated topics range from what agency should be in charge of GHG regulations to whether GHG needs to be regulated at all.

On June 10, the U.S. Senate voted 53-47 against a resolution of disapproval that would have stripped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the authority to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act.1-3 The resolution’s defeat paved the way for the EPA to regulate GHG emissions from both new automobiles and stationary sources. The EPA has now enacted rules that would require large-scale GHG producers to acquire permits.

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New Regulations Proposed for Coal Ash

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Proposed Regulations for Coal Ash

Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the EPA has proposed a rule that would regulate coal combustion residuals (CCR) for the first time.

CCRs, commonly known as coal ash, are residues captured from the combustion of coal at power plants and are typically disposed of at large surface impoundments in liquid (wet or slurried) form and at landfills in solid (dry) form. CCRs are currently considered exempt wastes under an RCRA amendment.

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Deionized vs. Distilled Water

Monday, July 12th, 2010

By Gregory Salata, Ph.D., Kelso, WA

Deionized vs. Distilled Water

Many sampling programs include collection and analysis of an equipment blank to ensure there is no contribution of contaminants from the sampling equipment and associated process. To establish that sample collection procedures are contaminant free, an equipment blank is often collected. Equipment blanks are collected by passing water through the sample collection apparatus or utensil and collecting the water into the appropriate containers. To ensure that the water itself is contaminant free, the laboratory will supply the field crew with deionized (DI) water.

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EPA Releases Draft Dioxin Report

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

EPA Releases Draft Dioxin Reports

In May 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a response to key comments and recommendations made by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on the EPA’s 2003 draft dioxin reassessment. This response addresses the human health and exposure risk assessment of dioxins.

The EPA’s draft report includes significant new analyses that relate to issues raised by the NAS, including potential cancer and non-cancer human health effects that may result from exposures to dioxins. The NAS identified three areas that require substantial improvement:

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