CAPACCIO’s EH&S Regulatory and Industrial News Blog

In an effort to “help industry and the environment prosper,” CAPACCIO has developed this blog to provide the latest news on environmental, health and safety related regulatory updates, management systems and sustainability topics.

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For further information on our blog posts or if you need more information about our services, please contact Lucy Servidio  at 508.970.0033 extension 114 or lservidio@capaccio.com.

CONFLICT MINERALS REPORTING – SECOND ROUND OF Q&A’s RELEASED Reply

On May 31, companies who report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and manufacture products containing conflict minerals will need to submit their disclosures for 2013 to the SEC. With the deadline looming and this being the first reporting year, the SEC issued a second set of conflict minerals Q&A’s last week.

The link to the Q&A’s is located here.

http://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/guidance/conflictminerals-faq.htm

There are 21 Q&A’s in the new document. The newly issued Q&A’s provide:

• further clarification on applicability of the reporting
• the extent to which organizations must investigate and disclose information
• clarification of terms and definitions
• further information on the necessary content of the reporting, audit
qualifications, and requirements and
• clarification of “due diligence”

In August 2012, the SEC issued a final rule on Section 1502 of the 2010 U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act stating that publically-traded companies in the United States must evaluate and disclose their usage of conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, gold, and tungsten) throughout their manufacturing supply chain, track quantities purchased, and report on the origin of these products.

Companies who are not publically-traded are also affected as they need to address these requirements in order to maintain market-share with their customers who are publically traded. They must also be prepared to respond to customer requests regarding conflict minerals usage.

Some companies have been delaying action, anticipating successful attempts by a group of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to repeal all or a portion of the law. Although some progress is being made, nonetheless, most companies still face customer supply chain inquiries and also need to be prepared to respond to meet initial regulatory deadlines.

Many companies are either using or considering using the International Electrotechnical Commission Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IEQC) QC 080000:2012 “Hazardous Substance Process Management System” (HSPM) standard to facilitate incorporating conflict minerals management into existing environmental and quality management systems.

For those companies affected by the Conflict Minerals regulations, the deadline to file a form SD with the SEC is just weeks away. If you require help with your reporting or need further assistance with developing and implementing systems to management conflict minerals and other product related reporting requirements, please contact Julie Muszalski at 508.970.0033 ext.124 or jmuszalski@capaccio.com.

Higher Hazardous Substances Important Update Reply

Until 2011, all chromium compounds, both hexavalent and non-hexavalent, were reported under the same category under the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA). However, because hexavalent chromium compounds pose much greater health risks to humans and are both chronically and acutely toxic, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) designated them as Higher Hazardous Substances (HHS) and their threshold was decreased to 1,000 pounds per year for otherwise used, processed, or manufactured as a by-product. Non-hexavalent compounds continue to be counted towards the 10,000 pounds otherwise used, and 25,000 pounds processed or manufactured thresholds.

Companies that exceeded the 1,000-pound threshold for hexavalent chromium compounds for reporting year 2012 were required to file a Form S to the MassDEP for the first time by July 1, 2013. If they also exceed the 1,000-pound threshold in reporting year 2013, they are required to file a Form S and develop a TUR plan for hexavalent chromium compounds by July 1, 2014.

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) developed a fact sheet that explains the differences between hexavalent and non-hexavalent chromium compounds, hazards associated with hexavalent chromium compounds, examples of compounds that contain hexavalent chromium, uses of hexavalent chromium compounds, and alternatives that should be considered. Hexavalent chromium is often listed as “CrVI” on safety data sheets (SDS). Non-hexavalent chromium used in industry is predominantly, although not exclusively, trivalent chromium, which is often listed on an SDS as “CrIII.”

You can find the fact sheet on the TURI’s web-site. http://www.turi.org/TURI_Publications/TURI_Chemical_Fact_Sheets/Hexavalent_Chromium_Fact_Sheet

Click here for further explanation regarding higher and lower hazard substances. http://www.turi.org/Our_Work/Chemicals_Policy/Chemical_Lists/Higher_and_Lower_Hazard_Substances

The MassDEP developed a fact sheet that provided guidance on how to calculate threshold determinations for various uses of hexavalent chromium compounds. You can find the fact sheet on the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ website. http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/toxics/laws/crviguid.pdf

Formaldehyde

The MassDEP also designated formaldehyde as a HHS in 2012 because of its links to cancer and potential adverse reproductive outcomes. Companies that exceeded the 1,000-pound threshold for formaldehyde for reporting year 2012 were required to file a Form S to the MassDEP for the first time by July 1, 2013. If they also exceed the 1,000-pound threshold in reporting year 2013, they are required to file a Form S and develop a TUR plan for formaldehyde by July 1, 2014.

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) developed a fact sheet that includes hazards associated with formaldehyde, common uses of formaldehyde, and alternatives that should be considered. http://www.turi.org/TURI_Publications/TURI_Chemical_Fact_Sheets/Formaldehyde_Fact_Sheet/Formaldehyde_Fact_Sheet

The MassDEP developed a fact sheet that provided guidance on how to calculate threshold determinations for various uses of formaldehyde. You can find the fact sheet on the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ website. http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/toxics/laws/frmlguid.pdf

Methylene Chloride

The MassDEP designated methylene chloride as a HHS in 2013. This means that companies need to start tracking usage, processing and manufacturing of methylene chloride in 2014. If the 1,000-pound threshold is exceeded in 2014, companies will have to file a Form S to the MassDEP by July 1, 2015.

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) developed a fact sheet that includes, hazards associated with formaldehyde, common uses of formaldehyde, and alternatives that should be considered. http://www.turi.org/TURI_Publications/TURI_Chemical_Fact_Sheets/Methylene_Chloride_Fact_Sheet

If you have any questions regarding the above noted Higher Hazardous Substances designations and the required reporting and planning, please contact Travis Wheeler at 508.970.0033 ext. 115 or twheeler@capaccio.com.

Tier II Manager System Not Ready for RY 2013 Reply

Due to minor system issues, MEMA announced it will not be using the web-based Tier II Manager System for RY 2013. MEMA apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Filers should use the EPA’s Tier II Submit software to submit RY 2013 Tier II reports to the SERC.

This software may be downloaded from the EPAs website here: http://www2.epa.gov/epcra-tier-i-and-tier-ii-reporting/tier2-submit-software

If you have any questions, please contact Travis Wheeler at 508.970.0033 ext. 115 or twheeler@capaccio.com.

Commercial Food Waste Disposal Ban Finalized Reply

On January 31, 2014, the Patrick Administration announced the final statewide commercial food waste disposal ban regulations. The ban will divert food waste away from solid waste disposal streams and into waste to energy-generating and composting facilities, as of October 1, 2014.

The press release announcing the regulations is available here: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2014/food-waste-disposal.html

Any organization that generates more than one ton of organic material per week will be banned from disposing, transferring for disposal, or contracting for disposal any commercial organic waste (i.e., food or vegetative waste) by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Options for organizations affected by this ban include donating or re-purposing the useable food. Any remaining food waste will be shipped to an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility for energy recovery, composting, or animal-feed operations.

This additional ban under the solid waste regulations will primarily affect: hospitals, colleges, universities, large corporations, hotels, supermarkets, convention centers, nursing homes, restaurants, and food service and processing companies.

Additional resources and information can be found on the RecyclingWorks website: http://www.recyclingworksma.com

If you have questions about applicability or compliance, contact Julie Muszalski, Sustainability Professional, at jmuszalski@capaccio.com or 508-970-0033 x124.