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.

EPA Reduces the Regulatory Burden for Industrial Facilities Using Solvent Wipes Reply

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently modified the hazardous waste management regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated wipes from hazardous waste regulations provided that the businesses clean or dispose of them properly. Based on EPA’s final risk analysis, the rule, peer reviewed in 2008 and published for public comment in 2009, concluded wipes contaminated with certain hazardous solvents do not pose significant risk to human health and the environment when managed properly. This common-sense exclusion will save industry up to $27.8 million per year.

Wipes are used in conjunction with solvents for cleaning and other purposes by tens of thousands of facilities in a variety of industrial sectors including printers, electronics, furniture, chemicals, automobile repair shops and manufacturers of automobiles.

The final rule excludes wipes that are contaminated with solvents listed as hazardous wastes under RCRA that are cleaned or disposed of properly. To be excluded, solvent-contaminated wipes must be managed in closed, labeled containers and cannot contain free liquids when sent for cleaning or disposal. Also, facilities that generate solvent-contaminated wipes must comply with certain recordkeeping requirements and may not accumulate wipes for longer than 180 days.

Please note, there is already a MassDEP policy on wipes located at this link:
http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/recycle/regulations/waste-and-recycling-policies-and-guidance.html

For more information about the EPA’s rulemaking visit:
http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastetypes/wasteid/solvents/wipes.htm

For more information or assistance, please contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 ext. 119 or lswift@capaccio.com.

When to Notify the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Prevention of a Spill or Release Reply

Did you know that you may be required to notify more than one section of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) when you have a spill that requires implementation of your hazardous waste contingency plan?

Spills or releases of hazardous waste – whether inside the facility or outside to the environment – are reportable to the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Prevention at the appropriate MassDEP Regional Office when there is an imminent or actual emergency involving hazardous waste that requires the facility to activate its hazardous waste contingency plan.  This requirement is in addition to notification (if required) to the MassDEP Emergency Response Section per the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 30.400).

The MassDEP hazardous waste regulations require that Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) have a written hazardous waste contingency plan (310 CMR 30.341(1)(b)) that outlines what to do in the event of an emergency involving hazardous waste.  Even if a facility has to activate the hazardous waste contingency plan for something as simple as calling the Emergency Coordinator for a spill of hazardous waste inside the facility, the facility must notify the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Prevention.  The same applies if you have a bulging or leaking drum of hazardous waste that is overpacked by your emergency response team and then shipped off-site for proper disposal.

These reporting requirements are outlined in 310 CMR 30.341(b) and 310 CMR 30.521(e)(7) and apply to LQGs when there is an imminent or actual emergency involving hazardous waste which triggers the need to implement the hazardous waste contingency plan. This applies even if it does not result in a reportable release pursuant to 310 CMR 40.000 (The Massachusetts Contingency Plan requirements).

We recommend developing a methodology of who to report to and when, and including it in your hazardous waste contingency plan so that it is readily available to personnel responsible for reporting.

What to report, when, and to whom, can be confusing.  Please contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 extension 119 or lswift@capaccio.com with any questions you may have regarding reporting spills.