President Trump’s Executive Order designed to change the ACA rules.

This was not added for political reasons but general information as it relates to general health and welfare.   We have attempt to keep this site fact based and non-biased on many issues and apolitical.  We work with a benefit coordinator in our area and this was the information we got from them.

“On Oct. 12, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order affecting the ACA, following Congress’ failure to pass legislation repealing the law. Specifically, the executive order would make changes to certain ACA rules by expanding access to association health plans, health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and short-term, limited-duration insurance.

The executive order does not, itself, make any specific changes to existing regulations. Instead, it directs federal agencies to issue new regulations or guidance to implement the order’s policies. As a result, it is difficult to know how any existing ACA regulations will be specifically impacted before any further guidance is issued.

In any case, the immediate impact of the executive order will likely be small, since it will take time to implement policies, regulations and other guidance to carry out these changes. Therefore, employers should continue to prepare for upcoming requirements and deadlines to ensure full compliance.

It is our goal to guide you through this ongoing change. If you have any questions regarding this topic, please contact Creative Benefits, Inc. at 610.325.0200.”

Kind Regards,

Your Creative Benefits Team

Creative Benefits, Inc.
3809 West Chester Pike, Suite 190
Newtown Square, PA 19073
610-325-0200
http://www.creativebenefitsinc.com

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Your Drinking Water and Your Health – You are Not an Observer !

Even though 60% of the human body is water, water is a resource that is often taken for granted.  The primary concerns with water relate to having adequate quantity of the proper quality.  In terms of hydration, drinking water is probably one of the best ways to keep your body healthy.  Water is used in your body to help maintain your temperature and ensures the proper operation of your circulatory, digestive, and neurological systems.   Water is one of the pathways that potential contaminants and disease causing agents can enter the body, so the quality is also important.   Therefore, we need drinking water of adequate quantity of the proper quality.

When the body is not properly hydrated, our body’s response is to make us feel thirsty, but if you miss this clue watch out for dry mouth, swollen tongue, weakness, dizziness, confusion, palpitations, and fainting.   If over hydrated, you can become water intoxicated or hyperhydration.  If hyperhydration occurs, the kidneys can not process all the water and the system becomes overwhelmed.   There are phone apps and other tools to help you to remember to drink enough water, but our general recommendation is if you feel thirsty it is time to get a drink and given a choice pick water.

Water comes in many forms, which can include premium bottled water, tap water, spring water, carbonated water, soda, coffee, tap water, nutrient infused water, juices, and purified water.   Of all these, it is my professional opinion that we just need to drink water.   The two most common sources of drinking water for a community is either public water or a private water source.  A public water source is always regulated by both the federal and state governments and many may call this city water or tapwater, but well or spring water may be from a public or private source.   If you get your water directly from a well or spring, this is a private source and this is not commonly regulated.

If you get your water from city water, the most common health concerns are related to the presence of chlorine-by-products or corrosive by-product in the United States, the public water supply systems are disinfected using various forms of chlorine and phosphate is added to attempt to control corrosion.  The chlorine is used to disinfect the water, but it can react with naturally occurring organics to form trihalomethanes, i.e., a potential carcinogen; while phosphate will react with the metals in the water to form a scale or coating on the inside of the piping, see “Flint, Michigan”.    If you are on well water, the most common problems are the presence of bacteria and elevated levels of salts in the water, like nitrate, chloride, and sulfate, or corrosive water.   In some cases, the water may contain elevated levels of radionuclides and trace metals, like arsenic, iron, lead, and manganese.      The quality of the drinking water depends on type of water, location, level of treatment, the condition of your plumbing, and your home or house.   In some areas, the community is concerned about pipelines and natural gas development, but a hidden problem may be the existing quality of their drinking water.

For citizens, our general recommendations related to drinking water are:

1. City Water Customers– Review any annual “Consumer Confident Reports” produced by your water supplier and act accordingly.
2. Private Water Sources -Get your water tested, at least annually, and have the results review by an expert (our Mail order program) or maybe conduct a in-home screening test yourself and calculate your Water Quality Rank.
3. Look out for potential problems with your drinking water, based on what you can see, taste, smell, or otherwise detect with your senses or problems that may be caused by the water.
4. Download our free “Know Your H20 Phone App” at our website – all Free.

A few short phrases we should try to remember.

We ALL Live Downstream !
Groundwater and Surface water are Connected!
We are Part of the Water Cycle – Not just an Observer!

Websites of Interest

Consumer Confidence Reports
https://www.epa.gov/ccr/ccr-information-consumers

Neighborhood Hazardous Reports and Water Testing
http://www.knowyourh20.us

 

Ohio Waste Treatment Facilities Charged with Clean Water Act Violations

“The centralized waste treatment plant owned and operated by Patriot Water Treatment LLC and the city of Warren’s publicly-owned wastewater treatment plant in Trumbull County (Ohio) were sued by the FreshWater Accountability Project (www.FWAP.org) for significant and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act. Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services (www.fairshake-els.org) brought the lawsuit on behalf of FreshWater Accountability Project through the Citizen Suit provision of the Clean Water Act that allows “any citizen” to “commence a civil action on his own behalf…against any person…who is alleged to be in violation of (A) an effluent standard or limitation under ⦋the Act⦌ or (B) an order issued by the Administrator or a State with respect to such a standard or limitation.”

It appears that the pretreatment standards may have not been meet and there is a question if the proper wastewater treatment assessments or wastewater characterization were conducted as part of an Industrial Pretreatment Permit.   I am not sure if the issue of “were not carried out to protect public health and safety or the bio-accumulative impact ”  is a real issue, because it would depend on the nature of the contaminant and potential to exposure.  With respect to radiological parameters radon half life is about 3 days and most radium and uranium would likely be bound to sludge and solids, so monitoring of the waste sludge would be a big concern.   No matter what – proper waste characterization and treatability studies should always be conducted.

Read more at http://fwap.org/ohio-waste-treatment-facilities-charged-with-clean-water-act-violations/

Lawyers –  lawsuit can be accessed at http://fwap.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Time-Stamped-FWAP-v.-Patriot-Water-Treatment-et-al.-Complaint.pdf

Training

“Fracking” Environmental Consequences

Protecting People Against Terrorist Attacks: Chemical, Biological, and Radiological (CBR) Threat Protection
Ethical Decision Making Webcast

Training Professionals – Career Training 

Water Testing From Throughout The USA !

DIY – Do it Yourself- Citizens are screening the quality of their drinking water.     With thousands of customers around the world, where starting a new project where everyone can share their results & then view other results submitted from around the world. Compare your water quality with other people from all over.   Compare your drinking water quality to others throughout the USA.  Does you water score a 100  (A+) or does it get an F.

Check out the Informational Map

Get a DIY Water Testing Kits

he Keystone Clean Water Team (KCWT) -Carbon County Groundwater Guardian Program (CCGG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer, environmental education organization which provides homeowners with information on private wells, water quality and quantity, and septic systems. We are dedicated to protecting private well owners from illnesses caused by our drinking water. We advance good groundwater stewardship by raising awareness on a variety of groundwater issues that affects everyone with a private water supply. We can help you get your water tested at the lab of your choice or use our Mail Order Program, plus explain the test results –Get our Educational Booket.

Complete Water Quality Screening Test – DIY at Home

Complete Water Testing Kit – Because it is important to @KnowYourH20 

Whether you have well water or municipal water, you won’t know what you’re drinking unless you test it.  Crystal clear water can contain a number of contaminants from chemicals to metals and even bacteria.  Many of the contaminants that are cause for concern can easily go undetected. They are colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

TestAssured’s Complete Water Analysis Test Kit includes 10 tests that are easy to administer and give you results within 10 minutes with the exception of the bacteria test which takes 48 hours. This single kit includes all of the following water tests:

  • Lead Test
  • Bacteria Test
  • Pesticide Test
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Nitrates & Nitrites
  • Chlorine Level
  • pH Levels Check
  • Alkalinity
  • Hardness

These tests allow you to quickly and accurately analyze your drinking water and are compatible with well water, city/municipal water, tap water, residential drinking water, ground water, spring water sources, and bottled water. The results are fast and easy to read by following along with the color-coded charts and instruction manual. Testing can easily be done in your home, classroom, school, office, or anyplace else where you would need to test water quality.

The Complete Water Analysis Test Kit  is TestAssured’s most popular water testing kit and includes ALL 10 of TestAssured’s at home water tests in one convenient, affordable package.

If you looking for more information on water quality and drinking water, please visit the Water Research Center.

Well Water Testing is Critical – You Must Know Your H20

Well Water Safety

If your water comes from a private well, you know that the safety of your drinking water is up to you.  At the federal level and in most states there are no regulations that govern private wells, but the CDC and EPA does recommend that you test your well water at least once a year. You may want to check the quality of your water more often if there are known problems with wells in your area or if you have experienced any flooding or land disturbances near your well.  Indications of a change in water quality include cloudiness, odor, and unusual taste.

You can quickly and easily test your well water for a variety of contaminants with TestAssured’s Well Water Testing Kit.  This kit is a great screening test to help you determine the quality of your water.

This single kit includes all of the following water tests:

  • Chlorine
  • Copper
  • Nitrates & Nitrites
  • Iron
  • Alkalinity
  • pH
  • Hardness
  • Bacteria

Specially designed for people on well water, the Well Water Testing Kit includes 8 tests for a complete water analysis.  You’ll be able to identify the presence of chemicals, metals, and even bacteria like E. coli.

These easy to use tests will give you results within 10 minutes, with the exception of the bacteria test which takes 48 hours for full results.   There’s no need for expensive equipment or to mail samples to a lab.  Each test is calibrated to the EPA standards.  Once you have your results, compare them to the EPA recommendations and guidelines for water quality limits.

Please review and share some of our PSAs on Well Water.
Get our Educational Booklet on Drinking Water Quality for Private Well Owners.
Corrosion Index, LSI, Hardness and Alkalinity – Do you have a problem??

Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority Launches Regional Stormwater Management Project – Senator John Yudichak

Announcement: Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority Launches Regional Stormwater Management Project

“On the banks of the Susquehanna River, the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority (“WVSA”) recently launched an innovative regional stormwater management project that could be a springboard for other cooperative efforts between the region’s municipalities. Senator John T. Yudichak, Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) Secretary Patrick McDonnell, and representatives from more than 30 municipalities from Luzerne County announced the joint venture on the River Commons in Wilkes-Barre.

Under the plan, the WVSA will coordinate and implement a regional and comprehensive stormwater management program that will reduce pollution of the Susquehanna River and help Pennsylvania meet its obligations under the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. Under existing federal law, municipalities in Northeastern Pennsylvania must curb pollution of the Susquehanna River by as much as 10% in the next five years or each community could be penalized for failure to comply with federal law. The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regulations are intended to keep harmful contaminants out of the river and minimize each community’s environmental impact upon the river and downstream communities. As the EPA targeted reductions are met, the Susquehanna River will become cleaner thereby making it safer for wildlife as well as for fisherman, kayakers, and other sportsmen to enjoy.

The WVSA will assume the lead–on behalf of member municipalities–to finance capital projects, submit all stormwater management plans and permit applications, and implement pollution control measures throughout its service area that will reduce stormwater pollution to meet the EPA’s benchmarks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, will be assisting with stormwater mapping as part of the program.

“The WVSA is well-prepared to meet this challenge and we are eager to advance this project after months of planning,” said Jim Tomaine, Executive Director of the WVSA. “Over the next five years, we will reduce pollutants contaminating the Susquehanna River, which will improve water-quality.” By working together, the WVSA estimates that the region will save $57 million over five years and $274 million over the next two decades, in present-value dollars. Individual households will pay a nominal fee—anywhere between $3 and $4.50 monthly—to the WVSA to finance the regional effort. The WVSA estimates that households will pay between 70% and 90% less than if their municipality pursued EPA compliance on its own. “We all have a responsibility to clean up the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay because no single municipality could meet this obligation alone,” said Senator Yudichak. “The regional stormwater project—designed to improve water quality and wildlife habitats throughout the watershed—represents the most comprehensive environmental project in northeast Pennsylvania in the last forty years.”

Learn More about Senator Yudichak (14th Senate District)
More about this Project

100% Renewable is the a Realistic Goal or a No Pipe Dream

100% Renewable is the a Realistic Goal or a No Pipe Dream

This is not a standard article but a look just specifically at the issue of energy. To set some basic ground rules we have to agree on some facts:

We are not in an energy crisis, we are in a crisis related to energy waste and poor and ineffective distribution and storage.
1. We waste over 58 % of the energy we use in the USA.
2. This energy waste is double what we actually need.
3. This annual energy waste, production, lack of use, distribution inefficiencies, and waste heat, in just one year in the USA could power the UK for 7 years.
4. We are leaving money on the table that could go economy and help our countries and others.

Inefficient Production
1. Wind and solar have low inefficiencies for energy production compared to other source. So they really only make sense NOW in specific corridors or regions. 
2. The primary problem is these regions are not were the core demand in the USA is located and we lack an energy distribution network. 
3. Inefficient distribution, production, and waste requires building multiple times demand capacity to meet peak demand. Because of the lack of solid storage systems, such as battery technology, inefficient distribution and production we need to overbuild to meet peak capacity if we rely sole on renewable. A thought process:

How to Get There !-   1 Quadrillion Btus per year = 2,739,730,000,000 BTUs/day
Solar (100 % Efficiency) – 433 Btu/hr per square foot
Available 24 hours per day
Need 6100 acres of Solar Panels

Waite – Solar-Assume Solar Efficiency Assume 10% (high) – Only Available about 8 hours per day
Need 182,000+ acres of Solar Panels, plus storage and duplicate capacity.

Wind- 25 % Conversion
Need about 270,000 10 MW Turbines, plus storage and duplicate capacity.

These analysis does not factor in transmission losses.  If there was only a 10% loss and no other inefficiencies, we would multiple the calculated values by 1.1, but we have a use inefficiency of 58%.  This means are multiplication factor is at least 1.9 to 2 +.   So – 360,000 acres of solar panels and 540,000 10 MW turbines.

The goal for renewable should not be based on a Carbon or CO2 hammer and we must stop this myth of Man controlled climate.  Climate on this Earth has not been constant, it is in dynamic equilibrium with Sun, Earth Process, and to a lesser extent life on Earth.

It is very likely man is having an influence on the climate, but this is not likely CO2 production but deforestation, building in the wrong places, heat island effects, and not adapting to our environment.  As an alternative approach, we are suggesting the following:

  1. Fact based discussions about energy, economy, politics, and culture.  We are humans so science (facts) and cultural discussions are linked, but we should not be using Fear as a rally cry.
  2. Concentration on energy waste reduction  – individuals, homes, small business, and government.
  3. Distribution – We should focus on “hardening” the grid and creating capacity and duplicity were needed.  We must start linking “renewable and other energy sources” and take advantage of the energy diversity in the USA.
  4. Storage – we must develop efficient storage technologies.
  5. The solution is not a CO2 hammer, electric cars, or a 100% renewable life cycle, but an all the above approach.  
  6. Remember our beaches are moving, we live on a planet with the plates move and we have the Great Earth Engine.  (Geothermal is a great asset for the USA).
  7. Energy and energy technology – we must not be hoarders, but exports of energy and energy technology and I do not mean low cost solar panels, but micro-grid energy systems that use multiple fuel stocks that can power rural villages and towns and not a Carbon Tax.
  8. If we cut our waste, we cut CO2 emissions. This makes the CO2 emissions benchmark useless and to be honest the arguments based on climate change and CO2 are weak.
  9. Stop the 100 % renewable myth (all the above approach).

I have never recommended a book to read – this is the first, but I strongly recommend “Scare Pollution“, 2016.

I also like “Human Caused Global Warming“, but I really wish the author hired and used an editor.

Radon occurrence in groundwater from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania

Evaluation of radon occurrence in groundwater from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania, 1986–2015, with application to potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air
Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5018

“Results from 1,041 groundwater samples collected during 1986‒2015 from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania, associated with 25 or more groundwater samples with concentrations of radon-222, were evaluated in an effort to identify variations in radon-222 activities or concentrations and to classify potential radon-222 exposure from groundwater and indoor air. Radon-222 is hereafter referred to as “radon.” Radon concentrations in groundwater greater than or equal to the proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) for public-water supply systems of 300 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) were present in about 87 percent of the water samples, whereas concentrations greater than or equal to the proposed alternative MCL (AMCL) for public water-supply systems of 4,000 pCi/L were present in 14 percent. The highest radon concentrations were measured in groundwater from the schists, gneisses, and quartzites of the Piedmont Physiographic Province.

In this study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, groundwater samples were aggregated among 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania to identify units with high median radon concentrations in groundwater. Graphical plots and statistical tests were used to determine variations in radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air. Median radon concentrations in groundwater samples and median radon concentrations in indoor air samples within the 16 geologic units were classified according to proposed and recommended regulatory limits to explore potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air. All of the geologic units, except for the Allegheny (Pa) and Glenshaw (Pcg) Formations in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province, had median radon concentrations greater than the proposed EPA MCL of 300 pCi/L, and the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc), which is in the Piedmont Physiographic Province, had a median radon concentration greater than the EPA proposed AMCL of 4,000 pCi/L. Median concentrations of radon in groundwater and indoor air were determined to differ significantly among the geologic units (Kruskal-Wallis test, significance probability, p<0.001), and Tukey’s test indicated that radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air in the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc) were significantly higher than those in the other units. Also, the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc) was determined to be the area with highest potential of radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air and one of two units with the highest percentage of population assumed to be using domestic self-supplied water (81 percent), which puts the population at greater potential of exposure to radon from groundwater.

Potential radon exposure determined from classification of geologic units by median radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air according to proposed and recommended regulatory limits is useful for drawing general conclusions about the presence, variation, and potential radon exposure in specific geologic units, but the associated data and maps have limitations. The aggregated indoor air radon data have spatial accuracy limitations owing to imprecision of geo-coded test locations. In addition, the associated data describing geologic units and the public water supplier’s service areas have spatial and interpretation accuracy limitations. As a result, data and maps associated with this report are not recommended for use in predicting individual concentrations at specific sites nor for use as a decision-making tool for property owners to decide whether to test for radon concentrations at specific locations. Instead, the data and maps are meant to promote awareness regarding potential radon exposure in Pennsylvania and to point out data gaps that exist throughout the State.”

Link to Study 

Water Testing Radon

Air Testing Radon

Radon Air Monitoring

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) and Your Water

“A study by the U.S. Geological Survey published in 2002 brought attention to PPCPs in water. In a sampling of 139 susceptible streams in 30 states, detectable yet minute quantities of PPCPs were found in 80 percent of the streams. The most common pharmaceuticals detected were steroids and nonprescription drugs. Antibiotics, prescription medication, detergents, fire retardants, pesticides and natural and synthetic hormones were also found.

The potential human health risks associated with minute levels of PPCPs in water in general and drinking water in particular is still being determined. Until more is known, there is much the public health and environmental protection community can do to educate the public about taking proactive steps concerning the use and disposal of PPCPs.

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a diverse group of chemicals including:

  • all human and veterinary drugs
  • dietary supplements
  • topical agents such as cosmetics and sunscreens
  • laundry and cleaning products
  • fragrances and all the “inert” ingredients that are part of these products

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products are introduced to the environment as pollutants in a variety of ways, including:

  • intentional disposal of unneeded PPCPs (flushing)
  • bathing or swimming
  • discharge from municipal sewage systems or private septic systems
  • leaching from landfills
  • excretion by humans and domestic animals
  • runoff from confined animal feeding operations
  • discharge of raw sewage from storm overflow events, cruise ships, and some rural homes directly into surface water
  • accidental discharges to a groundwater recharge area
  • loss from aquaculture
  • spray-drift from antibiotics used on food crops.”

Other Resources
pharmaceuticals-PPCPs
ppt_ppcp_Presentation

Water Treatment – Point Of Use for PFOS and PFOA = NSF P473

Technical References

Handbook of Membrane Separations: Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Food, and Biotechnological Applications, Second Edition

Personal Care Products and Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater and the Environment