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An Ounce of Prevention

A lot of what OTO does involves helping clients manage risks. Sometimes we do this in a reactive mode– digging up leaking gasoline tanks, capping abandoned landfills, and otherwise resolving problems that already exist. The proactive side is less obvious and dramatic (ok, and maybe a little less fun), and consists mostly of identifying potential […]

Changes to the RCRA Generator Requirements

With all the hubbub in Washington DC lately, it’s been largely overlooked that some of the regulatory changes that started under the previous administration are only now coming to fruition. For example, the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule went into effect on the federal level on May 30, 2017 by amending parts of the regulations […]

PCBs in Buildings: Primary Sources, Secondary Sinks and Tertiary Sinks

PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, are a group of related chemicals that were used for a variety of applications up until the 1970s.  In the 1960s the development of improved gas chromatography methods allowed environmental scientists to become aware of the environmental persistence and global distribution of PCBs in the environment.  Since that time there have been […]

Safety Training has Come a Long Way

This picture is of a coal mine in West Virginia; the publication it was in was dated 1946, where it was presented as an example of ‘the bad old days.’ I found it in an old copy of the quarterly employee magazine of Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates, a holding company which used to have […]

Say goodbye to the Glomar Explorer

The Glomar Explorer was a remarkable ship, but the story surrounding her is still more amazing. She was built during the Cold War for a secret high-tech CIA mission, the sheer complexity of which rivaled a space mission. After her mission was exposed, she was converted into a deep-sea oil drilling ship. In 2015 it was announced that she would be sold for scrap.

Chernobyl.

I keep a medal in my desk at home. I didn’t earn it; it is only an eBay purchase, but it has a lot of philosophical value for me. It is constructed of brass with enameled areas and a cloth ribbon on the hanger. The central detail shows symbols for alpha, beta, and gamma radiation […]