Problem 1 - Flares expire after 42 months and must be replaced to meet the USCG’s carriage requirements. Simply throwing expired flares in the trash would be an environmental and health hazard as they contain highly toxic chemicals such as perchlorate. Unfortunately, there is no single agency or organization handling the disposal of unwanted/expired flares in the U.S. There is also unclear requirements at the state level about how flares should be disposed of properly. Millions of expired flares are sitting with very few options for appropriate disposal.
Problem 2 - Very few municipalities offer disposal through local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs for county residents. Although expired hand-held flares are sometimes kept as back-ups to current, non-expired marine flares, manufacturers caution that flares may not function properly past their expiration date.
Problem 3 - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies pyrotechnic flares that will no longer be used for their intended purpose as hazardous waste, as they are toxic, reactive, and ignitable as defined by state and federal hazardous waste regulations. Common ingredients in various types of pyrotechnic flares include: • Strontium nitrate and strontium peroxide (listed on the EPA’s Toxic Substance Control Act Inventory List) • Potassium perchlorate and potassium nitrate (known irritants), • Magnesium, and black powder (a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate) Pyrotechnic flares contain toxic metals and pollutants such as perchlorate which is recognized as a water and health pollutant that can impact our waterways and can impair thyroid’s function. One flare can poison the drinking water for 250,000 people.
Problem 4 - Surveys indicated actual boater disposal behavior indicate 38.5% throw flares in the trash 33.6% keep old flares on board as extras for emergency 18.9% shoot off flares during 4th of July or just toss them in the water 5% give them to the fire department 4% take them to HHW collection center. However, Most hazardous waste haulers will not accept waste flares for transport and most hazardous waste treatment/storage/disposal facilities (TSDs) in the United States are not permitted to accept waste flares.
Problem 5 - The USCG spends millions of dollars each year responding to False Flare Alerts.
Our Flare Disposal Units will travel to Marina’s, Boat Shows and Regatta’s providing Safety at Sea Certification and Flare education. We also collect expired flares, incinerate them on site mitigating the impact of fire and chemical exposure to waterways and humans.
The Mobile Incinerator Units:
1) As flares are categorized as a Class I explosive device, the regulations for storing and transporting expired flares are cost prohibitive for most marina's. We partner with local marina's and businesses and to develop awareness and collection events.
2) Partnering with manufactures we can provide non-toxic solutions to replace the flares that have negative impact on people and the environment.
Marina's will have a Flare Disposal Mitigation plan and plaques directing its patrons on proper flare disposal. Fines for improper disposal of hazardous waste will be reduced.
Boaters will understand the dangers if improper flare disposal and the impact on people and the sea.
Less hazardous flare solutions which meet USCG regulations will be provided.
The Fire Hazards from improper storage, accidental discharge and leaching of harmful chemicals into waterways will lessen.
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