• Changes to the RCRA Generator Requirements
    May 31, 2017
    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 exampl …
  • PCBs in Buildings: Primary Sources, Secondary Sinks and Tertiary Sinks
    May 9, 2017
    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 …
  • Safety Training has Come a Long Way
    February 7, 2017
    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 employ …
  • Built to Last – Sustainable Designing for the (Very) Long Term
    December 13, 2016
    Another year is drawing to a close and everyone’s thinking about the future a little more.  At OTO we spend a lot of time thinking about the future because so much of what we do boils down to risk man …
  • Coal Tar – Yesterday’s Nuisance, Today’s Problem
    October 24, 2016
    Coal Tar – Yesterday’s Nuisance, Today’s Problem OTO’s work includes a lot of remediation projects.in Massachusetts and Connecticut. One of the things we run into on occasion is coal tar, a viscous, b …
  • PCB Laboratory Analysis Note
    August 4, 2016
    Thanks to a friend’s sharp eye, I recently learned something new about the analysis PCB caulk samples.  Because of its potential significance I thought it deserved a special blog note. First a little …
  • The Cost Side of Removing PCBs from Schools
    July 11, 2016
    Three years ago I wrote a draft post about the cost of PCB removal in schools, but then never finished it.  What reminded me about it was a recent article[1] by Robert Herrick et al in which he develo …
  • Telling Good Science from BS (Bad Science)
    May 15, 2016
    A lot of BS passes itself off as good science these days.  While for the most part we applaud the good science that leads to improved environmental protection and better public health, we don’t hesita …
  • Schools, PCBs and TSCA; the Law of Unintended Consequences – Part 2
    January 20, 2016
    In Part 1 of this post, I wrote about the misguided push in my home state of Connecticut to test more schools for PCBs. There’s a misconception that PCBs, even with the low potential doses likely to o …
  • Say goodbye to the Glomar Explorer
    December 29, 2015
    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 riva …