Environmental Services, Environmental Consulting in Washington State
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Environmental Services Directory For Washington State

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Glossary Of Environmental Terms
Listed below are selected terms, abbreviations & acronyms frequently used within the environmental industry or in this Environmental Services Directory.


ACHMM Academy of Certified Hazardous Materials Management
Acidizing shooting a potent mixture of highly corrosive chemicals into an underground rock formation during drilling operations to dissolve the rock and release trapped hydrocarbons (natural gas & oil)
ACM asbestos containing material
ADF advance disposal fee (see Life cycle assessments)
AHERA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (US)
AQ air quality
AST aboveground storage tank
AWEP Association of Women in Environmental Professions
BACM best available control method
BACT best available control technology
BAS best available science
BDAT best demonstrated available technology
Bioenergy renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources
Biofuel renewable solid, liquid or gas fuel derived from biological matter
Biomass plant and animal material, especially agricultural waste products, used as a source of fuel
BMP best management practice
Brownfield programs restoration of contaminated commercial or industrial properties, often idle or abandoned, to productive use
CAA Clean Air Act (US)
CAAA Clean Air Act Amendments (US)
Carbon footprint measure of the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted through the combustion of fossil fuels
CAWA Clean Air Washington Act
CDL construction, demolition & land clearing
CEI certified environmental inspector
Cellulosic fuel a biofuel made from grass, municipal waste or the woody, non-edible parts of plants
CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (US); also known as "Superfund"
CERCLIS Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Information System (US)
CES certified environmental specialist
CFC chlorofluorcarbon
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CHMM certified hazardous materials manager
CIH certified industrial hygienist
Climate change significant & lasting statistical change in distribution of weather patterns over wide ranging periods of time
CLP Contract Laboratory Program (US)
CMPM construction management/project management
CSO combined sewer overflow
CWA Clean Water Act (US)[= Federal Water Pollution Control Act]
DBE disadvantaged business enterprise
Decon decontamination
DEIS draft environmental impact statement
Dioxin highly toxic chemical byproduct of combustion & certain chemical & industrial processess involving chlorine
DNS determination of non-significance
DOE Department of Energy (US); see WDOE for Department of Ecology
EIR environmental impact report
EIS environmental impact statement
EMS environmental management system
EPA Environmental Protection Agency (US)
EPCRA Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (US)
ESA Endangered Species Act (US); environmental site assessment
Ethanol a corn-based biofuel
ETM environmental tracking methods
ETV environmental technology verification
FEIS final environmental impact statement
FIFRA Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act
FNMA Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
Fossil Fuels formed deep within the earth over millions of years from dead plant & animal material, these non-renewable fuels include coal, oil & natural gas. When burned, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. They are major contributors to climate change.
Fracking See hydraulic fracturing
FWPCA Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act)
Generator the producer of hazardous waste; legally has ultimate & on-going responsibility; also see LQG, RG & SQG
GIS geographic information system; global indexing system
Global warming rise in average temperature of earth's atmosphere & oceans since late 19th century & its projected continuation. Scientists are more than 90% certain that it is primarily caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities including burning of fossil fuels & deforestation. Also see climate change above.
GMA Growth Management Act (WA)
GPS global positioning system
Green Chemistry design, development & implementation of chemical products & processes to reduce or eliminate the use & generation of substances hazardous to human health & the environment
Greenhouse effect warming of the earth's surface attributed to carbon dioxide or other gases in the atmosphere
Greenhouse gases (GHG) a gas that contributes to the warming of the earth's atmosphere by reflecting radiation from the earth's surface, such as carbon dioxide, ozone or water vapor
Hazardous waste solids, liquids or gases considered dangerous or destructive to the environment & therefore subject to special handling, shipping, storage & disposal according to applicable laws
HazMat hazardous material
HAZWOPER Hazardous Waste Operations & Emergency Response
HCP habitat conservation plan
HCS hazardous communications standard
Heavy metals Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Mercury, Selenium & Silver; considered hazardous at low concentration & tend to accumulate in the food chain
HMM hazardous materials management
HMTA Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (US)
HMTUSA Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act (US)
HPA hydraulic project approval
HWRA Hazardous Waste Reduction Act (WA)
Hydraulic fracturing a long-used drilling technique that sends a high pressure mixture of water, chemicals & sand into a well bore to explode the rock formation in order to free hydrocarbons (natural gas & oil); this procedure is controversial because it uses vast amounts of water & may release chemicals into ground water; it also may precipitate earthquakes
IAP indoor air pollution
IAQ indoor air quality
IH industrial hygiene/hygienist
IPD Integrated project delivery, a team approach to development under which project owners, designers, & contractors work collaboratively in an effort to save time & money while increasing sustainability
ISO 14000 voluntary international standards for environmental disciplines developed through the International Organization for Standardization
Land farming disposal process using microbes to naturally degrade hazardous waste in or on soil
LDR land disposal restrictions
LEED Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (a US Green Building Council program)
LFG landfill gas
LID local improvement district; low impact development
Life cycle assessments inclusion of projected disposal costs in the selling price of an item or commodity
LLRW low level radioactive waste
LQG large quantity generator (WA); generates or accumulates more than 2,220 pounds of dangerous waste per month or per batch
LUST leaking underground storage tank
Market failure inability of markets to allocate resources efficiently
MBE minority business enterprise
MRF material recovery facility
MSDS material safety data sheet
MSW municipal solid waste
MTBE methyl tertiary butyl ether, a gasoline additive designed to reduce air pollution, which has contaminated water supplies in at least 28 states
MTCA Model Toxic Control Act (WA)
MWP mixed waste paper
MWPF mixed waste processing facility
MWRF mixed waste recovery facility
NARM naturally occurring & accelerator produced radioactive material
NEBC Northwest Environmental Business Council (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon & Washington)
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act
NESHAPS national emissions standards for hazardous pollutants
NFMA National Forest Management Act
NIOSH National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health
NIST National Institute of Standards & Technology
NOI notice of intent
NORM naturally occurring radioactive material
NPAA Noise Pollution & Abatement Act (US)
NPDES National Pollution Discharge Elimination System
NRC National Research Council, National Response Center, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or non-reusable container
NRDA natural resource damage assessment
NTIS National Technical Information Service
NVLAP National Voluntary Laboratory Accredition Program
NWAEP Northwest Association of Environmental Professionals
OCC old corrugated cardboard
Ocean acidification ongoing increasing acidity in earth's oceans caused by absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This will be devastating to marine calcifying organisms such as coral & poses a severe threat to the food chains connected to the oceans. Also see climate change above.
OMG old magazines
ONP old newspaper
OPA Oil Pollution Act (US)
ORA Office of Regulatory Assistance (WA)
OSHA Occupational Safety & Health Administration (US)
P2 pollution prevention
PCB polychlorinated biphenyls; manufactured chemicals which persist & accumulate in food chains
PCS petroleum contaminated soil
PE professional engineer
PEL permissable exposure limit
Phytoremediation Use of trees, grasses & plants to remove hazardous materials from water, soil & air
PLIA Pollution Liability Insurance Agency (WA)
PLP potentially liable party(s)
PM particulate matter
PNW Pacific Northwest
PPE personal protective equipment
Primary treatment wastewater treatment using settling, skimming & chlorination (vs. secondary treatment)
PRP potentially responsible party(s)
QA/QC quality assurance/quality control
R&D research & development
RCRA Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (US)
RCW Revised Code of Washington
RG regulated generator (WA); generates or accumulates between 220 pounds or 2,220 pounds of dangerous waste per month or batch; also registered geologist
RI/FS remedial investigation/feasibility study
RP responsible party(s)
Salish Sea Collective name for waters of Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, & Strait of Georgia
SARA Superfund Amendments & Reauthorization Act (US)
SBE small business enterprise
Secondary treatment wastewater treatment employing biological treatment in addition to primary wastewater treatment
SEPA State Environmental Policy Act
SERC State Emergency Response Commission
SIC Standard Industrial Classification (US)
SINES Society of Inland Northwest Environmental Scientists
Sludge semi-solid matter resulting from wastewater treatment
SPCC Spill prevention control & countermeasures
SQG small quantity generator (WA); generates or accumulates less than 220 pounds of dangerous waste or less than than 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste per month or batch
Superfund see CERCLA
Sustainable development process of change in which resource use, business & government policies, & technological development are compatible with both current & future needs & wants
SWDA Safe Drinking Water Act (US)
TAPs Technical Assistance Programs (US)
TSCA Toxic Substances Control Act (US)
TSDF treatment, storage & disposal facility
TSDR treatment, storage, disposal & recycling
UMO used motor oil
UST underground storage tank
VCP voluntary cleanup program
Vitrification changing or making into glass or a similar substance, especially through heat fusion
VOC volatile organic compound
WA Washington State
WAC Washington Administrative Code
WBE womens business enterprise
WDOE Washington State Department of Ecology, also known as Ecology
WEIA Washington Environmental Industry Association; formed in 1990 and merged into NEBC in 1996
Wetlands tidal flats, shallow subtidal areas, swamps, marshes, wet meadows & bogs; Shoreline Management Act (WA) includes all land within 200 feet of ordinary highwater mark, floodways & floodplains; federal definition differs & is subject to change
WIN Waste Information Network; Washington Information Network
WISHA Washington Industry Safety & Health Act
WMBE womens & minority business enterprise




Environmental Services Directory for Washington State
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