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.

Lucille Servidio to be a Keynote Speaker at the Cancer Council of Australia’s ‘Cancer in the Workplace’ forum Reply

Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc.’s Senior Vice President, Lucy Servidio, CHMM, TURP, will be among the keynote speakers at the Cancer Council of Australia’s ‘Cancer in the Workplace’ forum in Carlton, Victoria, Australia. The national forum is set to take place on May 3, 2012.  The forum will provide practical solutions for prevention and is open to occupational health and safety professionals, industry representatives, unions, researchers, public health professionals, and anyone with an interest in occupational cancers.

Ms. Servidio will present information on how and why Massachusetts adopted the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) more than 20 years ago.  She will highlight the law’s importance of reducing the amount of toxics in industry and its role in keeping workers and communities safe.  Ms. Servidio will outline how TURA has evolved and changed over the years and provide information on how TURA has helped to reduce carcinogens in the workplace.  Attendees will receive information on how to create and implement a TUR Plan, and Ms. Servidio will present case studies showing how some Massachusetts companies developed TUR Plans and made their processes more effective while reducing their use of toxic materials.

More information on the program content and the international, national, and local speakers can be found at: http://www.cancer.org.au/File/Aboutcancer/CancerintheWorkplace2012/speakers-cancer-in-the-workplace-forum-flyer-final.pdf

Lucy will be posting blogs pertaining to the conference as well as interesting stories about her travels in Australia. Stay tuned to Capaccio’s regulatory news site for her upcoming blogs.

EPCRA 313 and TURA Reporting/Planning Reply

It is never too early to start thinking about collecting your chemical use and emissions data for calendar year 2011. Nor is it too early to begin evaluating your reporting thresholds for Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313 Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (Form R) and Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Toxics Use (TUR Form S) Reporting.  Reports are due July 1, 2012.  

Hydrogen sulfide is added to TRI requirements for 2012

In the October 17 edition of the Federal Register, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they dropped their stay on hydrogen sulfide gas because they had enough scientific evidence to change its status to reportable. Companies will have to report if they manufacture, process, or use hydrogen sulfide in excess of reporting thresholds. This decision will likely impact utilities, petroleum refineries, and metal and coal mining companies. The change will take effect in the 2012 Form R reporting cycle with reports due July 1, 2013.

Please note: In a recent conversation with Dwight Peavey, TRI Coordinator for EPA New England, Dwight stressed that having back-up for threshold determinations and emission calculations will be very important in the upcoming reporting year. EPA is using other databases (e.g., Tier 2 and Risk Management Programs) to connect the dots and find companies that should be reporting.

 Newly Added TURA Chemicals

The TURA Administrative Council voted this year to separate hexavalent chromium compounds  from the general chromium compounds category, and make hexavalent chromium compounds a Higher Hazard Substance (HHS).   They also voted to designate formaldehyde as a HHS.  There is a formal public comment period on these proposed regulation changes that began November 11 and ends December 1, 2011.  Go to:  http://www.mass.gov/eea/waste-mgnt-recycling/toxics/toxic-use-reduction/hearing-amendments-to-the-toxic-substances-list.html  to find information on where you can obtain a copy of the proposed regulation changes and to submit comments, if you wish to do so. 

If the proposed regulations are finalized before the end of calendar year 2011, then 2012 would be the first year that hexavalent chromium compounds and formaldehyde would have a 1000 pound (lb) reporting threshold.  Other chromium compounds (most often trivalent) would still have a 25,000 lb threshold for manufactured and processed, or 10,000 lb for otherwise used.  The 2012 reports would need to be filed with the MassDEP by July 1, 2013. 

TUR Planning

2012 is a TUR planning year. Don’t forget to post your Employee Notification that reminds employees at your company that you will be going through the TUR planning process and solicit their input on ways to reduce toxics use and byproduct. 

Plan Summaries/Progress Reports and Plan Certification need to be completed and submitted by July 1, 2012.  You will need to have a traditional TUR Plan, a TUR Environmental Management System, or a Resource Conservation Plan in place by July 1st.   Reminder: plans must be certified by a MassDEP Certified Toxics Use Reduction Planner.

 If you need any help with developing a methodology that will past EPA and MassDEP muster, contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 ext. 119 or lswift@capaccio.com or Lucy Servidio at 508.970.0033 ext. 114 or lservidio@capaccio.com.