Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 08:14:36 -0400
Reply-To: List Moderator <esf**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <esf**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: 5 Re: [DCHAS-L] EPA Definition of Labs

5 responses I received about my posting yesterday. I hope that it's  
ok that I forward people's names and comments along to the list to  
help others think through the issues. If I prefer I not do this,  
please let me know if the e-mail you send to me.

- Ralph

From: "William  Parks" 
Date: May 31, 2006 5:11:15 PM EDT
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] EPA Definition of Labs

The single biggest difference between academic labs and labs in  
general industry, as I understand it, are that academic labs do not  
have employees - they have students, and of course, faculty and staff  
which are employees. EPA and OSHA have no real differences in waste  
management, waste streams, etc., that being said, in practice waste  
photo processing solution, while not as flammable as Karl Fischer  
solvent, is still flammable, but not usually stored in waste or bulk  
quantities of Karl Fischer solvent.

Beyond that, the only real waste management practice to remember is  
the 90 day storage limit. EPA also regulates TSDF's.

Bill Parks

**Providing sound Occupational Safety and Health, Industrial Hygiene,  
and Environmental services and solutions**

From: ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**
Date: May 31, 2006 5:19:00 PM EDT
To: rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] EPA Definition of Labs

I don't know what they mean by "relatively small quantities of  
chemicals."  The art studios I see such as ceramics, printmaking,  
metalwork, foundry, etc., etc., buy stuff in pretty hefty  
quantities.   Ceramics areas are likely to have RCRA regulated  
chemicals like barium carbonate in 100# sacks, and buy silica-  
containing dry clay, tack, and other minerals by the pallet.  The  
printmakers buy solvents in 5 and even 55 gallon drums.  I can't  
imagine an art foundry being treated as a laboratory.

Big art painting studios will also have flammable storage cabinets  
full to the brim.

I guess, despite my schedule, I'd better submit some comments, too.   
Especially, if there is any assumption that the university art  
faculty is chemically sophisticated.  This is why I always recommend  
that universities put their art departments under hazcom if they  
can.  These faculty need regular training, simple rules, etc.

Monona Rossol

From: "Linda Waller" 
Date: May 31, 2006 5:32:04 PM EDT
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] EPA Definition of Labs


Being from a small campus with CESQG status, these regulations are of  
definite interest to me.

On your point #1, I would agree with you that with the few labs I  
have seen outside of academics that fit the lab standard definition,  
the EPA rules would seem to apply there also.

As far as #2, I have the exact same issue with our photography waste.  
Actually, we collect it in the arts and sciences as there are  
scientists doing their own photography for their research processes.   
As all of the work for photography is done for teaching and/or  
research purposes, it seems to me to fit the lab definition EPA is  
looking at, even though the waste collected is still the same fixer/ 
developer solution.  Thus, I find this to be a bit of a dilemma as we  
would be fulfilling both the definition and the exception...  Of  
course, as a CESQG, I still have room to work with the photography  
waste, but this will not simplify the applications at the university  
level if I have to track both systems (lab and general industry).  If  
the EPA is truly trying to help the academic arena comply and meet  
standards, it seems to me that this specific exception will not be  
adding to the clarifications needed.


Linda Waller
NNU Safety Office
(208) 467-8833

From: David Bunzow 
Date: May 31, 2006 5:39:09 PM EDT
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] EPA Definition of Labs

Having worked in labs both in industry and academia, the reluctance  
to include non-academic labs could be either a familiarity/trust  
issue or that other labs may also be associated with non-lab  
situations within the same facility and subject to existing RCRA  
regulations (as will be the case for  academic photo "labs" that are  
being excluded in this proposal).

I would prefer to see adoption and application of a definition for  
"laboratory" without the qualifier "academic". Perhaps the number and  
type of labs that would need to be included prevents this from being  
realistic, but the OSHA 29CFR1910.1450 definition is a good starting  
point. Of course, there's no mileage to be gained when OSHA and EPA  
use the same definitions and criteria...

I intend to comment (with a touch more eloquence and focus) before  
the end of the comment period as well.

David A. Bunzow   CET; CHMM; CHO; REM
Associate Director; Facilities and Operations
Advanced Technology Prototyping Manager
UAF Office of Electronic Miniaturization
Wells Fargo Bank Facility; Suite 300
P.O. Box 758090
Fairbanks, AK  99775-8090
Phone:  907-455-2006 (office)
	907-590-0120 (cell)
E-Mail:	fndb**At_Symbol_Here**

From: "Russ Phifer" 
Date: June 1, 2006 7:30:26 AM EDT
Subject: RE: EPA Definition of Labs

As someone who has managed laboratory wastes from several hundred  
industrial, academic & governmental labs for the past 30 years, I  
believe I can address this issue with some degree of personal  
experience.  First of all, there is no significant difference in what  
is generated between these different types of laboratories or even  
how they are managed on-site; the difference is in, as EPA puts it,  
"generation patterns".  Schools tend to accumulate their "routine"  
waste on a periodic basis roughly coinciding with semester breaks.  
Industrial & governmental labs generate on a more steady basis.

While it is clear that ANY effort to address the problems directly  
associated with lab waste (too numerous to mention)is a positive  
step, at least one of the proposed regulations (days a lab can exceed  
maximum volume)was really designed just for academic labs.

Industrial R&D labs typically can move waste more quickly, largely  
because they don't have every lab on their site all wanting or  
needing their wastes moved at once.  On the other hand, industrial &  
governmental labs could clearly benefit from having the waste  
determination made at the central accumulation area, and there is no  
logical reason why this should be limited to academic facilities.  As  
for other aspects of the proposed standard, I applaud the requirement  
for training, but don't understand why the training recordkeeping  
requirement apparently applies only to large quantity generators  
(262.207(1).  Does this mean SQGs don't have to train their workers  
or students, or just that they don't have to document any training?   
The fact is, larger generators tend to have more money, more  
hazardous waste personnel, larger safety departments, and better  
management systems in place to start with.  Isn't there a far greater  
chance of something going wrong (incompatible waste, improper  
labeling, improper classification) in a smaller facility with fewer  
(or no) trained personnel?

I believe it should be manditory that any facility taking advantage  
of the flexibility provided under this regulation have properly  
trained personnel and be able to document their training.  Further,  
some specific minimum training requirements should be developed and  
included either as an appendix to the standard or as part of a  
Laboratory Management Plan submitted to EPA or at least maintained by  
the generator.  An additional concern is that under the proposed  
standard, training and instruction can be provided by "Instruction by  
the professor/manager before or during an experiment" (262.207(e) 
(1).  Shouldn't there be a requirement that this individual be  
properly trained??  There is nothing in the standard that indicates  
the trainer has to be a "RCRA-Trained Individual" or that the formal  
classroom training, electronic/written training, on-the-job training,  
or written or oral exam alternatives has to be managed by a RCRA- 
Trained Individual.

Those are my main concerns and the ones I will address individually  
as well as through the ACS Task Force on Laboratory Environment,  
Health & Safety and it's joint comments.

Russ Phifer

WC Environmental, LLC
PO Box 1718, 1085C Andrew Drive
West Chester, PA  19380
610-696-9220 ext. 12 /610-344-7519 fax

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.