waste water

Are You Properly Managing Your Universal Waste?

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) has specific requirements for the collection and management of universal waste. These requirements can be found in 310 CMR 30.1000, the Standards for Universal Waste Management.

What is Universal waste? Universal waste includes:

  • Hazardous batteries (e.g., nickel cadmium, button batteries); note that alkaline batteries are not considered universal waste, but can still be collected for disposal through the waste ​​hauler or a battery recycling vendor
  • Mercury-containing devices such as thermostats, thermometers, and gauges
  • Mercury-containing lamps such as fluorescent lamps and bulbs
  • Hazardous pesticides

When collecting universal waste, it’s important to dedicate a universal waste accumulation area that is clearly segregated and signed.  If the universal waste accumulation area and main accumulation area for hazardous waste are located within the same room, be sure to clearly define and sign the areas as separate accumulation areas.

All universal waste containers must be labeled with the contents and the words universal […]

June Deadline for MWRA Wastewater Sampling!

For Category 2 MWRA permit holders, semi-annual wastewater sampling for the January through June sampling period must be conducted by June 30th.  Reports, including pH and flow logs, are due by July 31st.

Even though the sampling results are sent directly to the MWRA by the analytical testing laboratory using the MWRA’s electronic reporting system, permit holders are responsible for reviewing the results and notifying the MWRA of any issues of non-compliance.

If the sampling results show that any regulated chemicals are detected above the discharge limits specified in the facility’s permit or the Sewer Use Regulations (360 CMR 10), the MWRA must be notified within 24 hours of becoming aware of the violation. 360 CMR 10.024 specifies the specific daily maximum discharge limitations for regulated pollutants including formaldehyde, cyanide, phenol, specific metals, and listed toxic organics for both the Metropolitan Sewerage Service Area and the Clinton Sewerage Service Area.

If a violation is identified, the […]

MassDEP Hazardous Waste Management Guidance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently amended its April 8, 2020 Hazardous Waste Management Guidance During the State of Emergency for the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Effective August 26, 2020, MassDEP is implementing the following amended guidance resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic for the items noted below related to hazardous waste management. Learn what you need to do in order to comply with the new regulation:

  • Compliance with hazardous waste container and tank inspection requirements for Small Quantity Generator (SQG) and Large Quantity Generator (LQG) facilities (described at 310 CMR 30.686 and 30.696, respectively) if the facility is closed during the State of Emergency- A facility that is normally subject to container and tank inspection requirements but is closed during the State of Emergency, should make every reasonable effort to do applicable daily/weekly inspections. If employers have concerns about having their employees onsite to do the inspections, then they should contact the DEP at […]

OSHA Safe + Sound Week: Never Underestimate the Importance of Fall Protection

To honor OSHA’s 2020 Safe+Sound Week we are sharing another story from our recently released Incidents, Accidents, and Near Misses in Lab Research, Vol. 5.  

Violations related to fall protection have been #1 on OSHA’s top 10 most cited violations list for 9 consecutive years.

An excerpt from Incidents, Accidents, and Near Misses in Lab Research, Vol. 5

Never Underestimate the Importance of Fall Protection

It was the day before Thanksgiving. I was looking forward to having a few days off to hang out with my family, relax, and eat delicious food. I was doing some last-minute measurements for a new pH pit at work. The pit is essentially a tank that holds wastewater while the pH is adjusted to a neutral level, before it can be drained back into the municipal water system. I was measuring the old pit, so that we would know what kind of capacity we would need for the new one. It was a simple task that would take only a […]