BAA— Board of Assistance
BAC— Bioremediation Action Committee;
Biotechnology Advisory Committee
BACM— Best Available Control Measures
BACT— Best Available Control Technology
BADT— Best Available Demonstrated Technology
BAF— Bioaccumulation Factor
BAP— Benefits Analysis Program
BART— Best Available Retrofit Technology
BASIS— Battelle’s Automated Search
BAT— Best Available Technology
BATEA— Best Available Treatment Economically
BCT— Best Control Technology
BCPCT— Best Conventional Pollutant Control
BDAT— Best Demonstrated Achievable Technology
BDCT— Best Demonstrated Control Technology
BDT— Best Demonstrated Technology
BEJ— Best Engineering Judgement. Best
BF— Bonafide Notice of Intent to Manufacture
or Import (IMD/OTS)
BID— Background Information Document.
Buoyancy Induced Dispersion
BIOPLUME— Model to Predict the Maximum
Extent of Existing Plumes
BMP— Best Management Practice(s)
BMR— Baseline Monitoring Report
BO— Budget Obligations
BOA— Basic Ordering Agreement (Contracts)
BOD— Biochemical Oxygen Demand. Biological
BOF— Basic Oxygen Furnace
BOP— Basic Oxygen Process
BOPF— Basic Oxygen Process Furnace
BOYSNC— Beginning of Year Significant
BP— Boiling Point
BPJ— Best Professional Judgment
BPT— Best Practicable Technology. Pest
BPWTT— Best Practical Wastewater Treatment
BRI— Building-Related Illness
BRS— Bibliographic Retrieval Service
BSI— British Standards Institute
BSO— Benzene Soluble Organics
BTZ— Below the Treatment Zone
BUN— Blood Urea Nitrogen
Back Pressure— A pressure
that can cause water to backflow into the
water supply when a user’s waste water
system is at a higher pressure than the public
A reverse flow condition created by a difference
in water pressures that causes water to flow
back into the distribution pipes of a drinking
water supply from any source other than the
Background Level— 1. The
concentration of a substance in an environmental
media (air, water, or soil) that occurs naturally
or is not the result of human activities.
2. In exposure assessment the concentration
of a substance in a defined control area,
during a fixed period of time before, during,
or after a data-gathering operation..
the flow of water back through the filter
media to remove entrapped solids.
Backyard Composting— Diversion
of organic food waste and yard trimmings from
the municipal waste stream by composting hem
in one’s yard through controlled decomposition
of organic matter by bacteria and fungi into
a humus-like product. It is considered source
reduction, not recycling, because the composted
materials never enter the municipal waste
Barrel Sampler— Open-ended
steel tube used to collect soil samples.
BACT - Best Available Control
Technology— An emission limitation based
on the maximum degree of emission reduction
(considering energy, environmental, and economic
impacts) achievable through application of
production processes and available methods,
systems, and techniques. BACT does not permit
emissions in excess of those allowed under
any applicable Clean Air Act provisions. Use
of the BACT concept is allowable on a case
by case basis for major new or modified emissions
sources in attainment areas and applies to
each regulated pollutant.
bacterium) Microscopic living organisms that
can aid in pollution control by metabolizing
organic matter in sewage, oil spills or other
pollutants. However, bacteria in soil, water
or air can also cause human, animal and plant
Baffle— A flat board or
plate, deflector, guide, or similar device
constructed or placed in flowing water or
slurry systems to cause more uniform flow
velocities to absorb energy and to divert,
guide, or agitate liquids.
Baffle Chamber— In incinerator
design, a chamber designed to promote the
settling of fly ash and coarse particulate
matter by changing the direction and/or reducing
the velocity of the gases produced by the
combustion of the refuse or sludge.
Baghouse Filter— Large
fabric bag, usually made of glass fibers,
used to eliminate intermediate and large (greater
than 20 PM in diameter) particles. This device
operates like the bag of an electric vacuum
cleaner, passing the air and smaller particles
while entrapping the larger ones.
Bailer— A pipe with a
valve at the lower end, used to remove slurry
from the bottom or side of a well as it is
being drilled, or to collect groundwater samples
from wells or open boreholes. 2. A tube of
Baling— Compacting solid
waste into blocks to reduce volume and simplify
Ballistic Separator— A
machine that sorts organic from inorganic
matter for composting.
Band Application— The
spreading of chemicals over, or next to, each
row of plants in a field.
Banking— A system for
recording qualified air emission reductions
for later use in bubble, offset, or netting
Bar Screen— In wastewater
treatment, a device used to remove large solids.
Barrier Coating(s)— A
layer of a material that obstructs or prevents
passage of something through a surface that
is to be protected; e.g., grout, caulk, or
various sealing compounds; sometimes used
with polyurethane membranes to prevent corrosion
or oxidation of metal surfaces, chemical impacts
on various materials, or, for example, to
prevent radon infiltration through walls,
cracks, or joints in a house.
Basal Application— In
pesticides, the application of a chemical
on plant stems or tree trunks just above the
Basalt— Consistent year-round
energy use of a facility; also refers to the
minimum amount of electricity supplied continually
to a facility.
Bean Sheet— Common term
for a pesticide data package record.
Bed Load— Sediment particles
resting on or near the channel bottom that
are pushed or rolled along by the flow of
BEN— EPA’s computer model
for analyzing a violator’s economic gain from not complying
with the law.
Bench-scale Tests— Laboratory
testing of potential cleanup technologies.
An economic method for assessing the benefits
and costs of achieving alternative health-based
standards at given levels of health protection.
Benthic/Benthos— An organism
that feeds on the sediment at the bottom of
a water body such as an ocean, lake, or river.
Bentonite— A colloidal
clay, expansible when moist, commonly used
to provide a tight seal around a well casing.
Beryllium— An metal hazardous
to human health when inhaled as an airborne
pollutant. It is discharged by machine shops,
ceramic and propellant plants, and foundries.
Best Available Control Measures
(BACM)— A term used to refer to the
most effective measures (according to EPA
guidance) for controlling small or dispersed
particulates and other emissions from sources
such as roadway dust, soot and ash from woodstoves
and open burning of rush, timber, grasslands,
Best Available Control Technology (BACT)— For
any specific source, the currently available technology producing
the greatest reduction of air pollutant emissions,taking into
account energy, environmental, economic, and other costs.
Best Available Control Technology (BACT)— The
most stringent technology available for controlling emissions;
major sources are required to use BACT, unless it can be demonstrated
that it is not feasible for energy, environmental, or economic
Best Demonstrated Available
Technology (BDAT)— As identified by
EPA, the most effective commercially available
means of treating specific types of hazardous
waste. The BDATs may change with advances
in treatment technologies.
Best Management Practice (BMP)—
Methods that have been determined to be the
most effective, practical means of preventing
or reducing pollution from non-point sources.
Bimetal— Beverage containers
with steel bodies and aluminum tops; handled
differently from pure aluminum in recycling.
that increase in concentration in living organisms
as they take in contaminated air, water, or
food because the substances are very slowly
metabolized or excreted.
Bioassay— A test to determine
te relative strength of a substance by comparing
its effect on a test organism with that of
a standard preparation.
of ability to be absorbed and ready to interact
in organism metabolism.
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)—
A measure of the amount of oxygen consumed
in the biological processes that break down
organic matter in water. The greater the BOD,
the greater the degree of pollution.
accumulation of a chemical in tissues of a
fish or other organism to levels greater than
in the surrounding medium.
of decomposing under natural conditions.
Biodiversity— Refers to
the variety and variability among living organisms
and the ecological complexes in which they
occur. Diversity can be defined as the number
of different items and their relative frequencies.
For biological diversity, these items are
organized at many levels, ranging from complete
ecosystems to the biochemical structures that
are the molecular basis of heredity. Thus,
the term encompasses different ecosystems,
species, and genes.
Living organisms or derivates (e.g. viruses,
bacteria, fungi, and mammal and bird antigens)
that can cause harmful health effects when
inhaled, swallowed, or otherwise taken into
Biological Control— In
pest control, the use of animals and organisms
that eat or otherwise kill or out-compete
The ability to support and maintain balanced,
integrated, functionality in the natural habitat
of a given region. Concept is applied primarily
in drinking water management.
Refers to the process whereby certain substances
such as pesticides or heavy metals move up
the food chain, work their way into rivers
or lakes, and are eaten by aquatic organisms
such as fish, which in turn are eaten by large
birds, animals or humans. The substances become
concentrated in tissues or internal organs
as they move up the chain.
A measurement taken in a biological medium.
For exposure assessment, it is related to
the measurement is taken to related it to
the established internal dose of a compound.
Biological Medium— One
of the major component of an organism; e.g.
blood, fatty tissue, lymph nodes or breath,
in which chemicals can be stored or transformed.
Decomposition of complex organic materials
by microorganisms. Occurs in self-purification
of water bodies and in activated sludge wastewater
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)—
An indirect measure of the concentration of biologically
degradable material present in organic wastes. It usually reflects
the amount of oxygen consumed in five days by biological processes
breaking down organic waste.
Organisms accidentally or intentionally dropped
into habitats in which they do not evolve
naturally; e.g. gypsy moths, Dutch elm disease,
certain types of algae, and bacteria.
A treatment technology that uses bacteria
to consume organic waste.
Biologically Effective Dose—
The amount of a deposited or absorbed compound
reaching the cells or target sites where adverse
effect occur, or where the chemical interacts
with a membrane.
cultures and other preparations made from
living organisms and their products, intended
for use in diagnosing, immunizing, or treating
humans or animals, or in related research.
Biomass— All of the living
material in a given area; often refers to
Biome— Entire community
of living organisms in a single major ecological
Biomonitoring— 1. The
use of living organisms to test the suitability
of effluents for discharge into receiving
waters and to test the quality of such waters
downstream from the discharge. 2. Analysis
of blood, urine, tissues, etc. to measure
chemical exposure in humans.
Bioremediation— Use of
living organisms to clean up oil spills or
remove other pollutants from soil, water,
or wastewater; use of organisms such as non-harmful
insects to remove agricultural pests or counteract
diseases of trees, plants, and garden soil.
device comprising a biological recognition
element (e.g. enzyme, receptor, DNA, antibody,
or microorganism) in intimate contact with
an electrochemical, optical, thermal, or acoustic
signal transducer that together permit analyses
of chemical properties or quantities. Shows
potential development in some areas, including
Biosphere— The portion
of Earth and its atmosphere that can support
Biostabilizer— A machine
that converts solid waste into compost by
grinding and aeration.
Biota— The animal and
plant life of a given region.
that use living organisms or parts of organisms
to produce a variety of products (from medicines
to industrial enzymes) to improve plants or
animals or to develop microorganisms to remove
toxics from bodies of water, or act as pesticides.
Biotic Community— A naturally
occurring assemblage of plants and animals
that live in the same environment and are
mutually sustaining and interdependent.
of a substance into other compounds by organisms;
Blackwater— Water that
contains animal, human, or food waste.
Blood Products— Any product
derived from human blood, including but not
limited to blood plasma, platelets, red or
white corpuscles, and derived licensed products
such as interferon.
Bloom— A proliferation
of algae and/or higher aquatic plants in a
body of water; often related to pollution,
especially when pollutants accelerate growth.
BOD5— The amount of dissolved
oxygen consumed in five days by biological
processes breaking down organic matter.
Body Burden— The amount
of a chemical stored in the body at a given
time, especially a potential toxin in the
body as the result of exposure.
Bog— A type of wetland
that accumulates appreciable peat deposits.
Bogs depend primarily on precipitation for
their water source, and are usually acidic
and rich in plant residue with a conspicuous
mat of living green moss.
Boiler— A vessel designed to transfer
heat produced by combustion or electric resistance to water.
Boilers may provide hot water or steam.
Boom— 1. A floating device
used to contain oil on a body of water. 2.
A piece of equipment used to apply pesticides
from a tractor or truck.
Borehole— Hole made with
Botanical Pesticide— A
pesticide whose active ingredient is a plant-produced
chemical such as nicotine or strychnine. Also
called a plant-derived pesticide.
Bottle Bill— Proposed
or enacted legislation which requires a returnable
deposit on beer or soda containers and provides
for retail store or other redemption. Such
legislation is designed to discourage use
of throw-away containers.
Bottom Ash— The non-airborne
combustion residue from burning pulverized
coal in a boiler; the material which falls
to the bottom of the boiler and is removed
mechanically; a concentration of non-combustible
materials, which may include toxics.
Bottom Land Hardwoods—
Forested freshwater wetlands adjacent to rivers
in the southeastern United States, especially
valuable for wildlife breeding, nesting and
Bounding Estimate— An
estimate of exposure, dose, or risk that is
higher than that incurred by the person in
the population with the currently highest
exposure, dose, or risk. Bounding estimates
are useful in developing statements that exposures,
doses, or risks are not greater than an estimated
Brackish— Mixed fresh
and salt water.
Addition of chlorine to water until the chlorine
demand has been satisfied.
Breakthrough— A crack or break
in a filter bed that allows the passage of floc or particulate
matter through a filter; will cause an increase in filter effluent
Breathing Zone— Area of
air in which an organism inhales.
Brine Mud— Waste material,
often associated with well-drilling or mining,
composed of mineral salts or other inorganic
British Thermal Unit—
Unit of heat energy equal to the amount of
heat required to raise the temperature of
one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit
at sea level.
The spreading of pesticides over an entire
idled, or under used industrial and commercial
facilities/sites where expansion or redevelopment
is complicated by real or perceived environmental
contamination. They can be in urban, suburban,
or rural areas. EPA’s Brownfields initiative
helps communities mitigate potential health
risks and restore the economic viability of
such areas or properties.
Bubble— A system under
which existing emissions sources can propose
alternate means to comply with a set of emissions
limitations; under the bubble concept, sources
can control more than required at one emission
point where control costs are relatively low
in return for a comparable relaxation of controls
at a second emission point where costs are
Buffer— A solution or
liquid whose chemical makeup is such that
it minimizes changes in pH when acids or bases
are added to it.
Buffer Strips— Strips
of grass or other erosion-resisting vegetation
between or below cultivated strips or fields.
Building Cooling Load—
The hourly amount of heat that must be removed
from a building to maintain indoor comfort
(measured in British thermal units (BTUs).
Building Envelope— The
exterior surface of a building’s construction—the
walls, windows, floors, roof, and floor. Also
called building shell.
Building Related Illness—
Diagnosable illness whose cause and symptoms
can be directly attributed to a specific pollutant
source within a building (e.g. Legionnaire’s
disease, hypersensitivity, pneumonitis.)
Bulk Sample— A small portion
(usually thumbnail size) of a suspect asbestos-containing
building material collected by an asbestos
inspector for laboratory analysis to determine
Bulky Waste— Large items
of waste materials, such as appliances, furniture,
large auto parts, trees, stumps.
Burial Ground (Graveyard)—
A disposal site for radioactive waste materials
that uses earth or water as a shield.
Buy-Back Center— Facility
where individuals or groups bring reyclables
in return for payment.
other than the principal product, generated
as a consequence of an industrial process
or as a breakdown product in a living system.