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.

Federal EPCRA 313 Form R and Massachusetts TURA Form S Reports Due July 1 Reply

It’s that time of year again when companies are calculating thresholds for chemicals used in calendar year (CY) 2012 to determine if there are any chemicals manufactured, processed or otherwise used on-site that need to be reported under the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Emergency Planning and Community Right To Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313 and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA).

This is just a friendly reminder that there are a few changes for TURA reporting this year. MassDEP designated hexavalent chromium compounds and formaldehyde as Higher Hazard Substances (HHS )and lowered the threshold for reporting these chemicals to 1,000 pounds for calendar year 2012 (due July 1, 2013). It’s important that you take the time to review the guidance MassDEP developed for these chemicals. You may be surprised with some of the processes that you have to consider when determining thresholds for these new HHSs (e.g., fuel combustion, welding, formaldehyde based resins).

Also please note that zinc metal (without any fume or dust qualifiers) is back on the MassDEP TURA Chemical List. Zinc was erroneously taken off the list back in the late 1990’s. MassDEP has said they will not take enforcement against those companies who start reporting for zinc metal in this reporting year. Discussions are in progress at MassDEP as to the fate of zinc metal on the TURA Chemical List.
For more information on MassDEP guidance for hexavalent chromium compounds and formaldehyde please go to:

http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/toxics/laws/frmlguid.pdf
http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/toxics/laws/crviguid.pdf

If you need assistance with your reports or more information, please contact Lucy Servidio at 508.970.0033 ext. 114 or lservidio@capaccio.com or Travis Wheeler at 508.970.0033 ext. 115 or twheeler@capaccio.com.

Formaldehyde and Hexavalent Chromium Compounds Designated as Higher Hazard Substances Reply

As of January 1, 2012, formaldehyde and hexavalent chromium compounds have become designated as Higher Hazard Substances and are subject to Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) reporting requirements. The deadline for the first reporting period for both chemicals is July 1, 2013 for facilities that have 10 or more employees and that manufacture, process or otherwise use 1,000 pounds or more of either reportable chemical. The first TUR Plan is due July 1, 2014.

Please remember to consider formaldehyde that may be manufactured as a byproduct when processing materials such as resins. Also, it is important that you separate out trivalent chromium compounds from hexavalent chromium compounds when calculating threshold quantities.

If you would like assistance in putting together an effective methodology for threshold and emission calculations, please contact Travis Wheeler at twheeler@capaccio.com or 508.970.0033 ext. 115.

TRI-ME Web Updates

There have been a few minor changes to the Tri-ME Web reporting software. There is now a tool that assists with calculating production ratio. There have been changes to the data quality alerts. You will now receive data quality alerts when large increases or decreases in emissions are noted without an associated change in production or source reduction technique. You will be prompted by the software to fix the error. There are also some interface changes such as pull down menus which will make reporting a little easier.

TRI/TURA Workshops

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of Technical Assistance are partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold four training sessions on calendar year 2012 TURA/Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements. These workshops are designed for experienced reporters and are free, but require registration via email.

Workshop Dates and Locations

Thursday, April 25, 2013
North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce
860 South Street, Fitchburg

Thursday, May 2, 2013
Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Co. Learning & Training Conference Center
350 Memorial Drive (Route 33), Chicopee

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
ATMC Conference Center
151 Martine Drive, Fall River

Tuesday, May 21, 2012
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters Building
6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport

For more information or to register, please email Nicholas Leonardi of the EPA at leonardi.nicholas@epa.gov. Toxics Use Reduction Planners who attend one of these training sessions will qualify for six (6) continuing education credits.

When in doubt, wear a cape! Reply

On  May 3, 2012, I had the honor to present “20 Years of  Making the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) work for business’ in Massachusetts” at the Cancer Council Autralia’s (CCA) Cancer in the Workplace – A forum on practical solutions for prevention. I was amazed at the feedback I received and of the hope my presentation gave to the attendees. I was even more amazed at the great research and presentations that I was asked to be part of. The presentations opened my eyes to Australia’s biggest occupational health issues of mesothelioma (working with/mining asbestos) and melanoma (sun exposure).

New Friends-Cancer Coucil Australia

I was able to attend a strategic planning meeting with the CCA. When I was about to leave they asked me to give my two cents of advice on how to get a TURA-like law rolling. I reminded CCA that TURA was first ignited by Ken Geiser (then at Tufts) and Mike Ellenbecker (then at U Mass Lowell) who were from acadamia…not the legislature. Maybe the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology could be the starting point. Also, that starting off with Victoria, one state, rather than going country-wide would have a greater chance of success. Lastly, I said don’t forget TURA’s secret sauce…mandatory reporting/planning…voluntary implementation based on a viable business case.

Lucy Servidio The Cape Crusader

When saying good byes and giving hugs Terry Slevin, CCA said to me that they weren’t sure what they were going to get when we they asked me to come down to speak, but one minute into my speech they knew we had asked the right person…I remarked, “Did the cape frighten you?” He replied, “Not at all.” His only fear was that Dr. Tim Driscoll, Professor at University of Sidney, would start wearing one.

For those of you who have never wore a cape when making a presention, I would highly recommend it…it did make me feel like I could do or say anything!