Some Quick & Extremely Functional Laundry Closet Shelves

Some Quick & Extremely Functional Laundry Closet Shelves

We mentioned on our podcast a few weeks ago that we had to quickly implement some storage systems in our new house just so we had a spot to unpack everything. Like there was a point on Day 3 or 4 of unpacking where we were faced with the reality that nothing else could get put away until we added some shelves to the narrow hall closet next to the bathroom and this laundry closet.

As soon as these shelves & our new counter were up, we were amazed by how much we could store. This closet is a complete workhorse (and dare I say a showhorse? I mean look at those bottle brush trees). And since many of you asked for the DIY details, we’re going to cover why & how we built these shelves. Anyone can tackle this. It’s extremely doable and your home improvement store might even be able to cut things for you so you can just go home and screw them right into your studs.

Continue reading Some Quick & Extremely Functional Laundry Closet Shelves at Young House Love.

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OSHA Issues Guidance for Uniform Enforcement of Silica Standards

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a compliance directive designed to ensure uniformity in inspection and enforcement procedures when addressing respirable crystalline silica exposures in general industry, maritime, and construction.

The new directive provides OSHA compliance safety and health officers with guidance on how to enforce the silica standards’ requirements, including:

  • Methods of compliance;
  • Table 1 tasks and specified exposure control methods;
  • Exposure assessments;
  • Housekeeping;
  • Respiratory protection;
  • Regulated areas;
  • Recordkeeping;
  • Employee information and training;
  • Medical surveillance; and
  • Communication of hazards.

The directive also provides clarity on major topics, such as alternative exposure control methods when a construction employer does not fully and properly implement Table 1, variability in sampling, multi-employer situations, and temporary workers.

OSHA began enforcing most provisions of the construction standard in September 2017, with enforcement of the requirements for sample analysis starting in June 2018. Enforcement of most of the general industry and maritime standards began in June 2018, with enforcement of some medical surveillance requirements commencing on June 23, 2020.

On June 23, 2021, OSHA will begin enforcing requirements for engineering controls for hydraulic fracturing operations in the oil and gas industry.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman for more information.

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EPA Seeks to Block WOTUS Rule in Colorado

On June 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers filed a notice of appeal in Colorado v. EPA, D. Colo., seeking to reverse a June 19 court decision that blocked the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Final Rule which redefines “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The legal challenge will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Notably, Colorado is the only state in the country where the current Administration’s WOTUS definition is not officially in effect. A California court on June 19 rejected state requests for injunctions against the April 2020 final WOTUS rule, which went into effect on June 22, 2020.

On April 21, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published the Navigable Waters Protection Final Rule which redefines “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The WOTUS rule defines the scope of waters that are protected by federal anti-pollution laws under the Clean Water Act. Under the Navigable Waters Protection Final Rule, EPA and the Army Corps narrowed the definition so that it includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters, provides clear exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated, and defines terms in the regulatory text that have never been defined before.

The new WOTUS definition is far narrower than the previous version, as it excludes federal oversight of isolated wetlands and ephemeral streams that only flow after a heavy rainfall. However, the revised definition does include protection of intermittent streams that flow only during certain times of year. According to EPA, this revised definition increases the predictability and consistency of Clean Water Act programs.

There are still several legal challenges playing out in district courts across the country, including some brought by groups maintaining that the final rule illegally concludes that streams fed only by rain or snowfall aren’t “waters of the United States,” and thus are no longer protected under the Clean Water Act.


In May 2015, EPA released the final WOTUS rule with the Army Corps, over the objections expressed by many, including ACA. The 2015 WOTUS rule definition gave the federal government jurisdiction over some of the smallest waterways in the country, including authority over smaller bodies of water that EPA doesn’t already regulate.

In February 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13778, which directed EPA and the Army Corps to review and rescind or revise the 2015 WOTUS rule. As a result, EPA and the Army Corps initiated a comprehensive, two-step process intended to repeal (step one) and revise (step two) the definition of WOTUS. The agencies officially completed this process after issuing the Navigable Waters Protection Final Rule.

ACA has consistently supported recodification of the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 WOTUS rule, and revising the definition to more clearly define that “waters of the United States” are waters within the ordinary meaning of the term.

More information can be found on EPA’s website.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.

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Safic-Alcan Extends Distribution Agreement with RapidPurge in Europe

Safic-Alcan has extended its distribution partnership with RapidPurge in Europe. The extended agreement covers Spain, Portugal, UK, Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Turkey.

“We are happy with this extended partnership which is the result of our longstanding and successful partnership with RapidPurge. We are confident that this new opportunity will allow us to grow our business further in all the new allocated territories while enhancing our image as a global distributor of purging compounds,” said Philippe Combette, CEO of Safic-Alcan.

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Nouryon Completes Organic Peroxides Expansion in Brazil

Nouryon has completed a project to more than double capacity for organic peroxides at its plant in Itupeva, Brazil. The expansion will add capacity for products including methyl ethyl ketone peroxides (MEKP) as well as dibenzyl peroxide (BPO) pastes and waxes, the company said.

“This investment in Itupeva has transformed our site into a state-of-the-art production facility and gives our composites customers greater supply reliability across our entire organic peroxides product portfolio,” said Alain Rynwalt, vice president of Polymer Catalysts at Nouryon. The company reported that one key upgrade at the site is installation of an advanced Safety Instrumented System (SIS).

Nouryon stated that this is the latest in a series of investments the company has made to strengthen its Polymer Catalysts business, which includes organic peroxides and metal alkyls. Last year, the company acquired Zhejiang Friend Chemical Co., the largest producer of triethyl aluminum (TEAL) in China. In April of this year, Nouryon announced an agreement to acquire the merchant TEAL business of Sasol.

“Nouryon is a world leader in essential ingredients for the polymer industry,” said Johan Landfors, president of Technology Solutions at Nouryon. “We supply our growing customer base from production facilities in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and our most recent investment in Itupeva strengthens even more our supply position in this fast-growing region.”

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Eastman Chemical Expands Partnership with IMCD Group

Eastman has extended its partnership with IMCD Group to distribute Eastman’s portfolio of thermoplastic polyester materials. IMCD will distribute these over a wide range of markets and applications, including medical, consumer durables, cosmetics, personal care, packaging and more. Currently, IMCD distributes Eastman specialty plastics in Spain and Portugal. Under the expanded distribution agreement, IMCD will also start serving an expanded EMEA market, including Algeria, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

“IMCD is already a strategic partner in the distribution for various Eastman specialty materials, with demonstrated synergies and processes alignment,” says Eastman sales director Oliver Osborne. “We believe this expanded partnership will ensure a smooth transition for our specialty plastics customers whose distribution arrangements with incumbent distribution partners finish at the end of July. We encourage anyone who has questions to contact their Eastman representatives, who remain at our customers’ disposal.”

IMCD added that the expansion of its long-term partnership with Eastman Chemical B.V. reflects IMCD’s commitment and ambition to offer world-class innovation and technical expertise, complementary product lines, and strategic alignment, in particular with regards to sustainability and sustainable solutions.

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Fitz Chem LLC and Nagase America Create Nagase Specialty Materials NA LLC

Nagase America LLC has announced the integration of its NY Division and Fitz Chem LLC into one company, effective Sept. 1, 2020, under the name Nagase Specialty Materials NA LLC (“NSM”).  According to Fitz Chem, this integration will further strengthen its position in North America through demonstrated leadership in the provision of specialty materials and solutions, continued excellence in distribution, and a strengthened business development focus.

Nagase Specialty Materials NA LLC will be headquartered in Itasca, Ill. and will reportedly be led by CEO, Takuya Tonomura and the existing Officers, Mark Miller (president & COO) and Laura Mack (CFO). The company stated that the integration of the sales, business development, customer service and operations teams will occur over the next three months and until then, each entity will continue to handle inquiries and orders individually.

“I’m excited to lead our NSM organization in North America which provides a unique value proposition to its Customers, Suppliers and Business Partners as a hybrid – continued representation of the finest chemical and material Suppliers combined with access to our complementary manufactured Nagase technologies in our markets, all within the context of NA geographic expansion, said Miller.”

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Grace Doubles LUDOX® Colloidal Silica Capacity

 W. R. Grace & Co. has announced the opening of its new 8,200 square-meter colloidal silica plant at its European flagship manufacturing and R&D center in Worms, Germany. The facility reportedly doubles the worldwide production capacity of LUDOX, Grace’s leading colloidal silica product, and significantly enhances Grace’s responsiveness to customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, (EMEA) and Asia Pacific. This will enable Grace to continue to meet growing global demand in a thriving specialty silica segment, where there is active innovation that enables future growth for key industries, the company reported.

Located in Germany’s manufacturing heartland south of Frankfurt where the company has been operating since 1972, the new facility expands Grace’s manufacturing center in Worms adding approximately 25 new high-tech manufacturing jobs bringing employment at the site to approximately 950, according to W. R. Grace. “Our advanced new plant enables us to better support our customers and partners and allows us to remain aligned with customer demand. This expansion, combined with our existing manufacturing facilities, talented and experienced employees, and best-in-class technologies, are evidence of exciting growth at Grace and our dedication to our LUDOX® colloidal silica customers worldwide,” said Sandra Wisniewski, president, Grace Materials Technologies, said,

The company added that the new plant allows it to further enhance its broad portfolio of products and will strengthen Worms as a cornerstone of our services in our Refining Technologies, Specialty Catalysts, and Materials Technologies operating segments.

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