Executive Order (EO) 13650 “Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security” New Fact Sheet Issued Reply

A new fact sheet has been issued in June 2015 by the Executive Order (EO) Working Group for EO 13650 “Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.” A copy of the new Fact Sheet can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/EO13650FS-ImprovingChemicalFacilitySafety.pdf .

The June 2015 Fact Sheet provides updates on actions taken since EO 13650 was issued on August 1, 2013, as a response to catastrophic chemical facility incidents in the United States. The focus of the EO is to improve chemical facility safety in coordination with owners and operators. The Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group (Working Group) – co-chaired by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Labor (DOL) – leads the effort to implement the Executive Order and improve coordination and regulation of chemical facilities across the various agencies and Federal, state, local, and first responder communities.

Through the analysis of the current operating environment, existing regulatory programs and stakeholder feedback, a consolidated Federal Action Plan was created to address five elements:

  • Strengthening community planning and preparedness 
    Update: Continue enhancing programs and assistance to State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), including development of on-line training modules and new EPA fact sheet How to Better Prepare Your Community for a Chemical Emergency: A Guide for State, Tribal, and Local Agencies 
  • Enhancing Federal operational coordination 
    Update: Established regional working groups (RWGs) in all 10 federal regions to improve coordination among DHS, EPA, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
  • Improving data management 
    Update: The Facility Registry Service (FRS) integrates facility data from across nearly 90 different Federal and State systems, and has been updated to include DHS Top-Screen submission for Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), as well as OSHA data (e.g. Process Safety Management (PSM)) 
  • Modernizing policies and regulations 
    Update: EPA issued a request for information (RFI) seeking public comment on updates to the Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulation 
    Update: OSHA issued an RFI seeking public input on possible improvements to the PSM standard 
    Update: The CFATS Program has been re-authorized for four more years 
  • Incorporating stakeholder feedback and developing best practices 
    Update: Launched an online best practices repository to collect industry best practices as they are identified A webinar is available, which provides an introduction to the EO 13650, highlights federal agencies involved in the EO and the primary regulations pertaining to the EO, and discusses local government involvement, and community involvement.

    Comments from the community participants are also included. You can access the webinar through the EPA’s website: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-security#Webinars

    What does this mean for you?
    – Make sure that the chemical data you submit under different regulatory programs is consistent, because EPA, OSHA, and DHS are improving their coordination and review of submitted data
    – Get involved with your LEPC if you store extremely hazardous substances (EHS) onsite, and ensure that your emergency action plans and contingency plans are up to date
    – If your facility is subject to EPA’s RMP program, review the requirements and check regularly for program updates: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp
    – If your facility is subject to OSHA’s PSM program, review the requirements and check regularly for updates: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3132.html

    For questions about the Executive Order, please email the Executive Order Working Group (Eo.chemical@hq.dhs.gov).

    To answer any questions or for more information, please contact Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, at CAPACCIO ay 508-970-0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com.

    Sources:
    EPA: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-security#eopu
    DHS: http://www.dhs.gov/topic/chemical-security
    Department of Labor/OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/index.html

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.

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.

Deadline nearing for Hazardous Material Process or Processing (527 CMR 33) permit applications Reply

The new year is fast approaching, and so is the deadline to submit permit applications for 527 CMR 33 – Hazardous Material Process or Processing. On or before January 1, 2014, companies that fall under Categories 2 and 3 are required to submit their permit applications.

As a refresher, Category 2 companies have a process which involves or produces a hazardous material which occurs in a vessel that is greater than 2.5 gallons but less than or equal to 60 gallons. Companies that fall under this category must have the following in place in addition to submitting the permit application by the deadline:

• Hazard Communication Program
• Chemical Hygiene Program
• Flammable Storage Permit/License
• Emergency Response Planning

Category 3 companies have a process which involves or produces a hazardous material which occurs in a vessel greater than 60 gallons but less than or equal to 300 gallons, or a process that is conducted in an area that is classified as an H-occupancy per the Massachusetts Building Code. Companies that fall under this category must fulfill all the same requirements as Category 2, but must also have in place a:

• Process Hazard Evaluation for each Category 3 process
• Procedure for Post Incident Analysis

CAPACCIO has successfully helped companies come into compliance with this regulation and has worked with local fire departments to obtain the necessary permits. It is important that you are prepared to educate the fire department about your processes and that you involve them early in the process. If your permit is denied, the fire department may require an evaluation by a third party.

With the deadline drawing near, CAPACCIO can ensure that all the necessary leg work is done and the last minute details are taken care of before submitting your permit application to the fire department. We can help with determining your applicability and process category, updating your plans and policies, implementing applicable program requirements, compiling and preparing specific documentation to demonstrate compliance to the regulation, preparing your permit, and working with your local fire department to submit your permit.

Please contact Christopher Walton, PE, BCEE, Senior Associate, at 508.970.0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com if you require assistance on some or all of these tasks to ensure you meet the January 1 deadline.