The product line includes a series of remote monitoring systems utilizing the latest in microprocessor-based
electronics and telecommunications technology. A host of optional equipment and accessories are
offered to meet a broad range of alarm monitoring, reporting, and control requirements. The systems
report by exception, using the standard dial-up telephone and cellular networks. — RACO
Manufacturing & Engineering Co., 800/722-6999 Circle 122 on CardVideo Monitoring
WIPAT Remote Patrol and Monitoring System provides constant monitoring of remote utilities and
public infrastructure. It operates on wireless public safety channels with options for satellite connection and solar power. The long-range, drop-in-place system provides video clips, still images,
event logging, access control, multiple digital sensor inputs, and output contacts for control of
devices. — Satel-West, 800/915-1109 Circle 123 on Card
The Ovation® Security Center helps water and wastewater facilities more easily manage cyber-security
measures. Its centrally located console streamlines management of the following security applications: security event management; patch deployment and audit, malware prevention; event log storage and reporting; and vulnerability assessment and management. — Emerson Process Management, 412/963-4851
Circle 121 on Card
Emergency Gas Shutoff
The Terminator emergency shutoff system sequentially closes 150 lb cylinder valves containing toxic gas in
less than three seconds when activated from remote sensors and switches. The operator would then be
required to correct the condition, check the facility, and then manually reset the valve before restarting
the gas system. — Halogen Valve Systems Inc., 877/476-4222, www.halogenvalve.com
Circle 120 on Card
EMERGENCY VALVE ACTUATOR
• Replaces Gas Scrubber
• Fire Code Approved for Toxic Gases
• Fail-Safe Battery Operated System
• Gas Detector or Manual Activation
Circle 124 on Card ;
Techniques for Efficient Hazardous Chemicals Handling and Disposal
process. They are less likely to be fully consumed so outdated chemicals must be identified and disposed of to ensure research integrity.
Use and satellite storage: Storage is more complicated and risky after container seals have been broken and post-use chem- icals are combined in secondary containers. Researchers must be knowledgeable about the characteristics of the chemicals used and the output compounds of chemical reactions in order to avoid mixing incompatible chemical waste. Here again, pro- duction environments are easier to manage on a day-to-day basis since the process should be fully analyzed and the outputs known.
Lab researchers also occasionally put chemicals aside when they complete a project or have multiple containers of the same chemical in inventory and fail to use the oldest container first.
Post-use chemical storage can also present challenges. Every place that waste chemicals are stored is considered to be a Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA) and is subject to inspection by regulators. All chemicals in SAAs must be labeled, closed between pour-offs and have secondary containers. It is clearly best to minimize the number of storage areas in both production and lab settings.
SAA waste container labels must have the class of chemicals listed in accordance with hazardous communication (HAZ- COM) regulations. The most effective waste storage container system lists every specific chemical in the lab’s inventory (as well as output chemicals) on the containers so personnel can double-check to be sure that the specific chemical that they are adding is going into the correct container. This provides another level of verification and eliminates unexpected reactions between seemingly compatible materials.
In the event that chemicals are placed in non-labeled secondary containers they must be treated as unknown substances that may require costly testing, special handling and disposal.
The next step in the waste chemical management process is to move the materials from the SAAs to the Main Storage Area (MSA). This should be a regularly scheduled activity for both production and lab environments in order to facilitate smooth operations. Efficient pickup routes reduce costly unplanned movements and ensure that the person handling the scheduled
move has the proper replacement container and safety equip- ment.
Main storage and chemical removal: The MSA, sometimes referred to as 90-day storage, is highly regulated by the EPA with rules on storing, handling, packaging and documenting materials for shipping according to Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Beyond organizing waste into chemically compatible groupings in the MSA, materials are consolidated into drums or other sealed containers. Small quan- tities, cylinders and other hazardous materials, such as rags and clothing, must be segregated and lab-packed into appropriate containers.
Many MSAs are also used to segregate waste in order to facili- tate removal and disposal using DOT groupings, disposal com- pany preferences or some other criterion that will simplify the process and reduce costs. Regularly scheduled pickups of MSA materials that meet the 90-day limit help manage expense and ensure compliance with regulations.
Effective Management EPA regulations require that staff assigned to chemical handling and waste management who enter the 90-day MSA receive annual RCRA training. This requirement argues for a dedicated team that is responsible for transporting hazardous materials from SAAs to the MSA and for managing and preparing the materials for removal. In addition to creating a team that is solely focused on chemical hygiene and handling, this removes the waste chemical management responsibility from production or lab workers. Taking this approach also provides the opportu- nity for trained staff to evaluate the chemical handling practices and the condition of the SAAs in the departments as they make their rounds.
A dedicated staff can assume several responsibilities, including: • Regularly inspect warehouse, production and lab areas to ensure that chemicals are properly stored prior to use and han- dled in accordance with regulatory and company policies; • Ensure that proper procedures (labeling, secondary contain- ment, etc.) are being followed at each production and lab loca- tion and that waste chemicals are stored only at approved sites; • Conduct periodic safety training for research and production personnel; • Establish collection schedules to efficiently move materials from SAAs to the MSA;
• Ensure that SAA containers are properly closed, placed with secondary containers and incompatible materials are properly segregated; • Catalog, store and consolidate MSA materials in bulk contain- ers and package smaller quantities, elbow bottles, etc. for trans- portation; • Identify unknowns before shipping; • Work with the hazardous materials removal company to develop MSDSs and DOT Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law manifests; • Follow up on the disposal or recovery of the chemicals for company and regulatory reporting.
Many companies find it difficult and expensive to staff these positions because either there is not enough need to fund full- time positions or because it would be difficult to build the depth of expertise required to handle the function and have adequate- ly trained backup.
For these companies, outsourcing is a viable option. An out- sourcer can provide onsite expertise and deep backup. It is responsible for keeping track of the regulations, preparing the MSDSs and manifests and reporting results to management. Disposal companies can also provide the onsite services making SAA and MSA management, as well as transportation/disposal functions, a single process that is fully managed by the contrac- tor. This enables a company to properly oversee the function without adding staff and to keep current staff focused on the company’s core business whether it is in production or research.
Hazardous materials management is a necessary function that requires an investment in staff and resources in order to ensure safe, compliant handling. The objective is to find the most effi- cient, cost effective, safe and comprehensive process that con- trols the storage, use and disposal at every step. Each company is different but every company has the legal and social respon- sibility to do the best job possible. William Hallam is Clean Harbors Vice President, Technical Services. He holds a Bachelors degree in biology/geology from the University of Delaware. He began his career as a field chemist and has held a number of operational positions over the last 30 years. For additional information, call William at 281.727.7154, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cleanharbors.com.