Asbestos a Concern After Vehicles Damage Ruby Hill Park During Blizzard

E&E News by Jacqueline Qyunh

Denver, CO – Denver Parks and Recreation crews are working to clean-up asbestos after Ruby Hill Park visitors tore up turf that may have exposed some of the cancer-causing material. The park was targeted by vandals after last weekend’s blizzard. An epic snowstorm, may have left behind a historic amount of damage to Ruby Hill, a well-known local spot for sledding. Parks and Recreation crews are mapping out the park for repairs, but some decided they didn’t want to obey the rules and drove around the barriers. Click here for the full text.

Proposed Texas Asbestos Rules Available for Stakeholder Comment

TX Department of State Health Services

Austin, TX – The Texas Department of State Health Services is accepting formal comments from stakeholders on the proposed asbestos rules March 26, 2021 through April 26, 2021. Comments may be submitted by mail, or email. Visit the Draft and Proposed Rules – Asbestos Program website for more information. Questions can be emailed to the EHG Rules CoordinatorClick here for the full text.

New Plan Identifies Asbestos Control for Libby Railroad Corridor

Daily Interlak

Libby, MT – The public has until April 9 to review and comment on an institutional control and assurance plan for the BNSF-owned railway corridor at the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site. The railroad corridor became contaminated when the railway company transported vermiculite containing toxic asbestos from the now defunct W.R. Grace & Co. mine near Libby. The corridor is one of several areas identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as being in need of decontamination, and is referred to as Operable Unit 6 of the cleanup site. For the full article, click here.

EPA Evaluation Finds Asbestos Still a Risk

Asbestos.com  by Tim Povtak

National – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released Part 1 of its Final Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, reaffirming preliminary findings from March that were roundly criticized for underestimating the dangers of exposure to this toxic mineral. Six ongoing use categories of asbestos were evaluated by the EPA, which found 16 conditions of use that presented unreasonable risk to human health through either occupational exposures or consumer uses. The Part 2 preliminary evaluation, which will become public in mid-2021, will include five other types of asbestos, along with legacy asbestos and associated disposals of chrysotile asbestos. Click here for the full text.

ADAO Condemns EPA for Its Incomplete and Weak Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Citing It Ignores Public Health Experts and Its Own Science Advisors

Business Wire

National – The Asbestos Disease Awareness co-founder Linda Reinstein issued a statement “EPA’s final risk evaluation ignores the numerous recommendations of its own scientific advisors and other independent experts by claiming that these deficiencies will be addressed in a future Part 2 evaluation. Based on this sleight-of-hand maneuver, the Agency has issued a piecemeal and dangerously incomplete evaluation that overlooks numerous sources of asbestos exposure and risk, and understates the enormous toll of disease and death for which asbestos is responsible.” Click here for the full text.

EPA Publishes First Installment of Controversial Risk Evaluation for Asbestos

Safety and Health Magazine

National – Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency are renewing their call for a complete ban on asbestos after the agency’s release of Part 1 of a final risk evaluation that concludes that the substance – a known human carcinogen – presents an unreasonable health risk to workers under certain conditions. Used in chlor-alkali production, consumer products, coatings and compounds, plastics, roofing products, and other applications, asbestos is among the first 10 chemicals under evaluation for potential health and environmental risks under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Released Dec. 30 and announced via a notice published in the Jan. 4 Federal Register, Part 1 of the final evaluation centers on chrysotile asbestos and states the substance poses unreasonable risk to workers involved in numerous operations. Click here for the full text.

ADAO, EIA and Partners Initiate New Legal Actions Against EPA’s Flawed Final Risk Evaluation for Asbestos

ADAO

National – Five public health groups and six leading asbestos scientists asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the asbestos risk evaluation issued last month by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). These partners also sent EPA a 60-day letter notifying the agency of their intent to file suit under TSCA in a federal district court to assure that the agency meets its obligation to evaluate the risks of “legacy” asbestos found in millions of buildings across the United States.  Click here for the full text.

EPA to Launch a Broader Review of Asbestos Risk This Summer

Bloomberg

National – The EPA this summer will launch a court-ordered review of risks arising from old uses of asbestos that still may lead people to inhale the cancer-causing mineral, an agency official said Wednesday. This second, or supplemental, asbestos risk evaluation differs from the one that the Environmental Protection Agency published last month. It will examine all six recognized forms of asbestos instead of just the chrysotile fibers. And it will look at discontinued uses of the mineral, such as asbestos insulation and flooring, that pose exposure risks to janitors, building maintenance personnel, and others. Brent Kynoch, managing director of the Environmental Information Association stated “The only effective risk management option is a ban.” Email info@eia-usa.org for the full article text.

EPA Releases Final Risk Evaluations for Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos

EPA Washington, DC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final risk evaluation for asbestos, part 1: chrysotile asbestos. Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA is required to evaluate the risks associated with exposure to existing chemicals in commerce using the best available science, and then take action to address any unreasonable risk identified. This announcement completes the first part of the final risk evaluation for asbestos. Part 1 of the risk evaluation for asbestos is specific to chrysotile asbestos.

EIA Managing Director Brent Kynoch comments “In releasing it’s final risk evaluation for asbestos: Part 1 Chrysotile, the EPA has finally acknowledged what we have all known for decades – Asbestos presents an unreasonable risk to any and all persons that are exposed. EPA still has work to do to address the risk posed by asbestos that currently exists in buildings, homes and facilities throughout the country, but this first determination is significant. We applaud EPA’s efforts, but we will continue to push for a thorough evaluation of “legacy” asbestos, including the other 5 forms of asbestos in addition to Chrysotile, which is the only subject of this Part 1 Risk Evaluation.”

Click here for the full EPA press release and documents. 

Manufacturer Can Be Held Strictly Liable for Products Made and Sold by Others, NJ Supreme Court Say

NJ Law Journal by Mitchell W. Taraschi and Alexander J. Gacos

New Jersey – The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled this year that “manufacturers and distributors can be found strictly liable for failure to warn of the dangers of their products, including their asbestos-containing components and a third party’s replacement components.” Although the case focused on asbestos-related products, the impact on products liability for manufacturers and distributors may ultimately be much more far-reaching. Click here for the full text.

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