Public Comment Period: Proposed TURA Fee Adjustment Reply

This eBlast was copied from an email received by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute.

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has proposed amendments to the Toxic Use Fee regulation (301 CMR 40.00). EEA is proposing a fee increase to restore funding required for the program to meet its statutory obligations.

Copies of the proposed regulations and dates, times and locations for public hearings on the regulations, can be found at http://www.mass.gov/eea/waste-mgnt-recycling/toxics/toxic-use-reduction/tura-program-regulations.html. Written testimony will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 11, 2014.

Reminder: EEA is also accepting comments until Friday, November 21, 2014 on its proposal to designate five chemicals/categories of chemicals as Higher Hazard Substances: dimethylformamide, toluene diisocyanates, hydrogen fluoride, cyanide compounds and 1-bromopropane (n-propyl bromide).

Questions can be directed to the Executive Director of the TURA Administrative Council, Rich Bizzozero, rich.bizzozero@state.ma.us.

You may also contact Jill Vernes at Capaccio at 508.970-0033 ext. 136 or jvernes@capaccio.com for any additional questions you may have.

TURA Fee Increase Update Reply

As a follow-up to the TURA update in our last e-blast, CAPACCIO attended the TURA Administrative Council meeting on September 19, 2014. The Council voted 4 to 2 to move forward with increasing TURA Fees. In particular, they would like to see Option B be approved. The three options for increasing fees are at the link below:

http://www.capaccio.com/handouts/eblast/TURA_Fee_Adjustment_Proposal_8-19-14.pdf

Industry and public interest groups were both there to present comments. This will still have to go to public hearings in the fall and the Administrative Council said they would send notices of public hearings to all TUR filers and TUR planners. The Council also agreed to have public hearings in 4 regions of the state so that all stake holders can easily attend. If the fee increase of 50% is passed, it could add an additional $10,000 to big companies using a lot of chemicals. We’ll keep you posted.

For more information, please contact Lucy Servidio, CHMM, TURP, at 508.970.0033 ext. 114 or lservidio@capaccio.com.

Important Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Updates Reply

There are two recent policy developments in the TUR program.

First, at recent meetings of the Administrative Council, the Council voted to designate five chemicals/categories of chemicals as Higher Hazard Substances (HHS). The chemicals include: dimethylformamide (CAS 68-12-2), toluene diisocyanates (listed as: 2,4-TDI [584-84-9]; 2,6-TDI [91-08-7]; and TDI mixed isomers [26471-62-5]), hydrogen fluoride (CAS 7664-39-3), cyanide compounds (TURA #1016) and 1-bromopropane (n-propyl bromide (CAS 106-94-5). These designations are based on recommendations from the Science Advisory Board, TURI policy analyses, and discussions at TURA Advisory Committee and Council meetings. When a chemical/category is designated as a HHS, its reporting threshold is reduced from 10,000/25,000 pounds to 1,000 pounds for manufactured/processed or other-wise used in a calendar year.

Second, the Administrative Council is deliberating the need to address reduced revenues to the TURA program. These revenues have declined because the annual fee adjustments, required by the Act, have not been implemented since the inception of the program. At its next meeting, the Council will discuss three options for increasing fees (see link below):
http://www.capaccio.com/handouts/eblast/TURA_Fee_Adjustment_Proposal_8-19-14.pdf

All the options would provide revenues sufficient to meet the minimum mandatory statutory requirements. The TURA program is recommending option B, because it provides for mitigation of higher fees, particularly on smaller business. The Council is meeting on Friday, September 19th to discuss and vote on whether there will be a TURA fee increase. There will be a 21- day public comment period this fall.

The above information was supplied by Rich Bizzozero, Executive Director TUR Administrative Council, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. If you would like to be notified of the 21-day public comment period, please contact rich.bizzozero@state.ma.us.

CAPACCIO’s Senior Vice President Lucy Servidio, CHMM, TURP, serves on the TURA Advisory Committee. If you have any questions, please contact her at 508-970-0033 ext. 114 or lservidio@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.