Career Haz Mat Specialist


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Career Haz Mat Specialist

  1. 1. Environmental Career: Hazardous Materials Specialist
  2. 2. The Potential for Hazardous Waste Management <ul><li>In 1980, the EPA states that there are 400 major abandoned hazardous waste sites in the U.S., the Office of Technology Assessment says that 20,000 may be discovered in the next 50 years </li></ul><ul><li>The U.S. produces over 354 million tons of haz. waste per year </li></ul><ul><li>As of 1985, less than 1 percent of abandoned haz. Waste sites have been cleaned up, and costs are soaring. </li></ul><ul><li>Air pollution devices such as scrubbers produce waste, which is treated in wastewater facilities that produce haz. sludge. </li></ul><ul><li>Shift to incineration of municipal wastes produce large amounts of ash containing haz. heavy metals. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Potential for Hazardous Waste Management (continued) <ul><li>Federal Response and Legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Passage of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1976 signaled the federal government’s entry into the regulation of haz. waste disposal </li></ul><ul><li>RCRA was amended in 1984 for haz. and solid waste provisions that included an increase in the number of businesses under regulation, schedule to ban land disposal of 400 haz. Chemicals, a process for classifying and determining haz. materials, formation of regulation of USTs. </li></ul><ul><li>Superfund, CERCLA, and SARA are all federal legislations focusing on regulating hazardous waste disposal </li></ul><ul><li>State and Local authorities are increasingly focusing on hazardous waste cleanup and disposal. </li></ul><ul><li>The practice of land disposal is often discouraged, leading to new and innovative ways to dispose of haz. waste. (i.e. deep well injection and dilution) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Job Opportunities <ul><li>Federal Government </li></ul><ul><li>EPA’s ten regions have divisions charged with administration and enforcement of Superfund and RCRA </li></ul><ul><li>Philip Millam, chief of region 10’s Superfund Branch says his office “has doubled in two years and is now growing at about 10% per year” </li></ul><ul><li>Research positions regarding treatment technology, toxicity of waste streams, waste minimization technology </li></ul><ul><li>Gov’t employers of haz. waste professions include: </li></ul><ul><li>OSHA, Dept. of Defense, Energy, and Interior, and Army Corps of Engineers </li></ul>
  5. 5. Job Opportunities (cont.) <ul><li>Consulting Firms </li></ul><ul><li>Often works in conjunction with federal, state, and local governments </li></ul><ul><li>Duties include initial feasibility studies, testing, lab analysis, designing solutions, actual cleanup, and coordinating public participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for consulting services continues to grow as Superfund funding increases. </li></ul><ul><li>Large and small companies turn to consulting firms for compliance help stemming from RCRA regulations </li></ul><ul><li>The nature of firms differ in size and specialties </li></ul><ul><li>Some firms take on a company’s entire waste problem while others may be called in to analyze one of several hazardous waste streams </li></ul><ul><li>In a developing field such as haz. waste management experience and skills are often obtained on the job and non-technical skills such as project management, communications, and efficiency are valued. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Job Opportunities (cont.) <ul><li>State Government </li></ul><ul><li>States are continuing to do the federal government’s bidding by serving as implementers and enforcers of federal environmental statutes </li></ul><ul><li>States often pass additional haz. waste legislations, Illinois is currently phasing in a ban on land disposal of liquid haz. wastes </li></ul><ul><li>State formulate their own superfund programs to clean up sites not listed on the National Priority List </li></ul><ul><li>They take the lead in developing emergency response plans in the event of toxic releases. </li></ul><ul><li>Minnesota provides on-site and telephone waste reduction consultation, a waste reductions resource bank, and research grants for waste reduction projects </li></ul><ul><li>Local Government </li></ul><ul><li>Hazardous waste remains a local issue because its located in our towns and counties. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes programs by local departments and agencies to take inventory of abandoned facilities to discover contaminants, investigation of fly-by-night dumping, and violators acquiring old buildings and stuffing them with hazardous wastes. </li></ul><ul><li>Job titles include: evironmental control samplers, director of toxic pollution control, and environmental coordinators </li></ul><ul><li>County gov’ts such as Washtenaw County in Michigan are establishing emergency response teams, collecting household haz. waste, and starting groundwater mapping projects. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Job Opportunities (cont.) <ul><li>Private Sector </li></ul><ul><li>Divided into two categories: </li></ul><ul><li>- Companies that generate hazardous waste in their production operations </li></ul><ul><li>- Companies that transport, treat, and dispose of the waste other companies produce </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial hygiene, where professionals are concerned with worker safety and toxins in the workplace, often interact with environmental coordinators </li></ul><ul><li>The industry to transport, treat and dispose of haz. waste has sprung up and has grown from $8 billion in 1990 to $13 in 1995, and has continued to grow </li></ul><ul><li>Non Profit Sector </li></ul><ul><li>Started with Lois Gibbs, a resident of Loves Canal, New York, who led her community in a fight when toxins from an abandoned dump started leaking into basements and effecting children. </li></ul><ul><li>She went on to form the Citizen’s Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes, Inc., with 5 offices nationwide </li></ul><ul><li>National organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Environmental Action, Inc., and the National Wildlife Federation work extensively on haz. waste issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased strengthening of grass roots organizations. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Education and Skills Needed <ul><li>People with technical backgrounds such as chemistry, engineering, and hydrology are in great demand </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on field experience is greatly valued, especially in the private sector </li></ul><ul><li>A grasp of relevant legislation and the working of federal, state, and local regulatory processes are important </li></ul><ul><li>Computer projects, technical writing, and any work in a government office or regulatory agency is also valued </li></ul><ul><li>Minimum B.S. or B.A in environmental science, chemistry, engineering or a specific specialty is needed </li></ul><ul><li>Graduate and technical degrees focused on hydrology, toxicology, public health, economics, public policy, or statistics are also important </li></ul><ul><li>First job might sometimes be menial, i.e. data entry, technical field work, report writing, but after being in the field for some time, one can become certified as a hazardous materials manager. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Salary <ul><li>Salaries are often higher in the consulting industry then with government work </li></ul><ul><li>Those with a B.A. or B.S. in the consulting field can start at $35,000 to $50,000 a year. </li></ul><ul><li>With an M.S. or M.A, one can start at $45,000 to $60,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for specialists in several environmental fields, including haz. waste management often fluctuates, as does salary </li></ul><ul><li>Over the past decade, the environmental waste management field has seen tremendous gross, especially in the private sector, where businesses and firms start out small and can often expand to multi-million dollar operations </li></ul><ul><li>Workers in the federal government will often make less then those in the private sector, but the experience is often heavily valued, causing many to start in government jobs then switch then join or create their own firms. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Additional Duties of the “Hazmat” <ul><li>Monitor worker operations </li></ul><ul><li>Inspect storage areas or transport facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Seeing to it that the appropriate paperwork has been filed upon shipment or delivery of hazardous materials </li></ul><ul><li>In hospitals, laboratories, and health-care facilities, the job title is also known as “biohazards specialist”, where knowledge of biological hazardous is required instead of chemical knowledge </li></ul>
  11. 11. Sources <ul><li>Basta, Nicholas The Environmental Career Guide . New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1991 </li></ul><ul><li>Basta, Nicholas Environmental Jobs for Scientists and Engineers . New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>The CEIP Fund The Complete Guide to Environmental Careers . Washington: Island Press 1989 </li></ul>