MassDEP Extends Deadline for Submittal of Certain Third-Party Inspection Reports Reply

Taken from recent MassDEP email sent by Nancy L. Seidman

Due to the extraordinary accumulation of snow over the past 6 weeks, MassDEP recognizes that performing Third Party Inspections and Stage I/II annual compliance testing may have been and could still be difficult to complete. Given this unique circumstance, MassDEP will accept as compliant TPI reports and Stage I/II certifications that were scheduled to be completed between January 15 and March 15, if they are submitted no later than March 31, 2015. This extra time will not affect a facility’s future compliance date(s).

MassDEP expects that facilities will return to normal operation as quickly as feasible so that receipt of product and all required regulatory obligations such as A/B operator inspection, system testing and TPI reports will be accomplished.

If you have additional questions please call the Stage I/UST assistance line at 617-556-1035.

If you need any additional assistance, please call Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, Senior Associate and Technical Area Leader for Tank Services at CAPACCIO at 508-970-0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com.

Maintaining a Safe Environment of Care – conformance to Joint Commission Standards and avoiding accreditation citations Reply

Joint Commission accreditation is intended to ensure that hospitals provide the highest level of performance and service to their patients. The Joint Commission’s accreditation process seeks to help organizations identify and resolve problems and to inspire them to improve the safety and quality of care and services provided. The process focuses on systems critical to the safety and the quality of care, treatment, and services.

Joint Commission publishes a list of the top deficiency citations about every 6 months. The top ten citations for the first half of 2014 were recently highlighted in the December 2014 issue of the New England Healthcare Engineers’ Society (NEHES) newsletter. One of the top ten citations is specifically related to management of hazardous materials and waste. The Joint Commission Standards include Environment of Care Standard EC.02.02.01, the management of hazardous materials and waste. This standard includes several elements of performance to ensure that hospitals are maintaining a safe environment for their patients, health care professionals, and support staff. Hospitals must be able to demonstrate that they do the following:

– Maintain a written, current inventory of hazardous materials and waste that it uses, stores, or
generates
– Have written procedures, including the use of precautions and personal protective equipment, to
follow in response to hazardous material and waste spills or exposures
– Implement its procedures in response to hazardous material and waste spills or exposures
– Minimize risks associated with selecting, handling, storing, transporting, using, and disposing
of hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials (radiation, x-rays), hazardous energy sources
(lasers, MRIs), and hazardous gases and vapors
– Minimize risk associated with disposing of hazardous medications
– Monitor levels of hazardous gases and vapors to determine that they are in safe range
– Have the permits, licenses, manifests, and MSDSs required for managing hazardous materials and
waste
– Label hazardous materials and waste, identifying the contents and hazard warnings

Demonstrating conformance to this standard includes compliance with several regulations, covering a diverse range of hazardous materials and hazardous waste sources, or “streams.” In addition, there is overlap among the many applicable regulations: OSHA, EPA, DOT, NRC, DOE, state regulations, and local bylaws.

In order to reduce risk, hospitals should consider getting a third party inspection, or audit, to assist on both compliance with applicable hazardous materials and hazardous waste regulations, and conformance to the Joint Commission Environment of Care standard. If you would like to find out more, please contact CAPACCIO’s William Potochniak, PE, at wpotochniak@capaccio.com or Jill Vernes, CHMM, TURP, at jvernes@capaccio.com.

Have You Reviewed Your Risk Management Plan/Process Safety Management Program Lately? Reply

In accordance with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations at 40 CFR 68.79, facilities required to maintain Risk Management Plans (RMP) must audit their programs at least once every three years. Similarly, in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations at 29 CFR 1910.119(o), facilities required to maintain Process Safety Management (PSM) programs must also conduct program audits every three years.

Some important points:
• Audits must be completed by a team, with at least one team member who is knowledgeable
about the process
• All findings must be documented
• All actions to address audit findings must be documented
• The audit must contain a certification that the audit evaluated the program

Some common audit findings include:
• Inadequate development of one or more program elements
• Inadequate documentation of program activities (particularly mechanical integrity programs)
• Hazard assessments are not adequate or not available, or no documentation of follow-up
activities exists
• Operating procedures not certified annually
• Management of change program not implemented
• Contractor safety program not implemented

EPA and OSHA are routinely conducting audits – be ready. CAPACCIO has experience developing and auditing RMP and PSM programs for a variety of different industries. If you would like to find out more, please contact Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, at (508) 970-0033 ext. 139 or at cwalton@capaccio.com.

MassDEP Issues New Underground Storage Tank Rules: 310 CMR 80.00 Reply

On January 2, 2015, new underground storage tank (UST) regulations went into effect and the previous Department of Fire Services regulations at 527 CMR 9.00 were rescinded.

While many of the requirements have remained the same, several new provisions have been added. These include:

• New design, construction and installation requirements
• New general operating requirements
• New third-party inspection requirements
• New financial responsibility requirements and
• New authority for MassDEP to institute delivery prohibition orders.

Of particular interest to owners and operators of UST systems serving emergency generators is a new requirement for these systems to have leak detection. There are also new requirements that may require upgrades of systems that utilize submersible pumps and ball-float valves. In addition, any new or replacement spill buckets must now be five gallons.

It is important to note that although the new regulations are issued and enforced by MassDEP, the local fire department will still maintain jurisdiction over permits for flammable storage.

More information, including a summary of the changes and a copy of the new regulations, can be obtained at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/toxics/ust/newregs.html

CAPACCIO can help owners and operators interpret the new requirements and assist in determining if action is necessary to address the new requirements. Please contact Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, at (508) 970-0033 x139 or cwalton@capaccio.com if you would like to learn how we can help.