The EPA Considers Potential Revisions to its Risk Management Program Reply

On July 24th, 2014,the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Request for Information (RFI), soliciting public input on potential revisions to its Risk Management Program (RMP) with the goal of modernizing its regulations as mandated by the federal government under Executive Order 13650: Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security. The ultimate purpose of the proposed rules is to prevent major chemical accidents such as the West, Texas explosion that occurred at the West Fertilizer facility on April 17, 2013. OSHA already issued a similar RFI on December 9, 2013 for its Process Safety Management (PSM) standard and while the EPA was not explicitly required to publish an RFI, its RMP regulation is so closely tied to PSM that the agency decided to act in parallel with OSHA.

Both the RMP and PSM regulations affect facilities with processes that utilize chemicals in quantities above established thresholds (both the EPA and OSHA developed threshold quantity lists). Facilities that fall under PSM or RMP must put in place a series of management systems and maintain certain required documentation, which are intended to improve chemical process safety and prevent catastrophes.

The EPA’s RFI requests much of the same information as OSHA’s, such as data on the economic impacts and safety benefits of amending the regulation. Both agencies are also considering adding new substances to their lists of regulated substances and adopting additional management system requirements. Proposed rules that may be of particular interest include:

•Requiring third party auditors for Compliance Audits
Like OSHA, the EPA is also considering requiring third-party auditors to conduct compliance audits, which are required at least every three years.The current requirement is only that at least one person “knowledgeable in the process” be part of the compliance audit team.

•Revising the scope of Mechanical Integrity to include safety-critical equipment
Mechanical integrity requires inspections and maintenance procedures of piping systems, valves, storage tanks, pressure vessels, relief and vent systems and devices, emergency shutdown systems controls (including monitoring devices, sensors, alarms, and interlocks) and pumps, but the EPA believes including safety-critical equipment will help improve chemical processing safety.

•Add stationary source location requirements to Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
While facility siting must be addressed in a PHA, the EPA is considering expanding the specific requirements. For example, they are considering adding the establishment of buffer or setback zones to RMP requirements—these zones would be distances from the potential danger where it would be safe to house certain occupancies, such as control rooms, cafeterias, or contractor trailers. The idea behind this is to separate the public and other facilities from consequences of process incidents.

•Changing the criteria for Worst Case Release Scenarios to include quantities of aggregate vessels stored in close proximity
The RMP regulation currently requires facilities to determine the maximum quantity of a regulated substance release from a vessel, but does not require sites to take into account numerous small vessels of hazardous substances.

For a complete list of proposed RMP rules see the EPA’s RFI:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/07/31/2014-18037/accidental-release-prevention-requirements-risk-management-programs-under-the-clean-air-act-section

The public will have until October 29th, 2014 to submit written comments online, http://www.regulations.gov (the portal for federal rulemaking), or by mail.
To view information on Executive Order 13650:

http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/eo_improving_chem_fac.htm

OSHA’s RFI for the PSM regulations can be found here:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/12/09/2013-29197/process-safety-management-and-prevention-of-major-chemical-accidents

For more information, please contact Alex Wong Berman at 508.970.0033 ext. 126 or aberman@capaccio.com.

Federal NPDES Stormwater Annual Site Inspections Due by September 29 Reply

Have you conducted your Stormwater Annual Site Inspection? Companies with coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity must conduct an Annual Comprehensive Site Inspection by September 29, 2014. The period for the inspection is September 29, 2013 – September 29, 2014. The annual comprehensive site inspection includes an inspection of the areas where industrial activity may be exposed to stormwater, and a review of corrective actions taken during the reporting period. The Annual Reporting Form (Appendix I of the MSGP) must be mailed to the EPA within 45 days after completion of the inspection.

The 2008 MSGP expired at midnight on September 29, 2013. Facilities that obtained coverage under the 2008 MSGP prior to its expiration are automatically granted an administrative continuance of permit coverage. The administrative continuance will remain in effect until a new permit is issued. Those facilities already covered under the 2008 MSGP must continue to comply with all of the requirements in the 2008 permit, including requirements for monitoring and reporting.

EPA expects to reissue the MSGP in September 2014. A draft MSGP was published in the federal register on September 27, 2013. All facilities that want coverage under the MSGP, including those with administrative continuance under the 2008 MSGP, will then need to submit NOIs for permit coverage. Please visit EPA’s website to download the proposed permit and fact sheets. http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/msgp.cfm

If you have any questions or need assistance please contact Colleen Walsh at 508.970.0033 ext. 129 or cwalsh@capaccio.com or Travis Wheeler at 508.970.0033 ext. 115 or twheeler@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.

Commercial Food Waste Disposal Ban Finalized Reply

On January 31, 2014, the Patrick Administration announced the final statewide commercial food waste disposal ban regulations. The ban will divert food waste away from solid waste disposal streams and into waste to energy-generating and composting facilities, as of October 1, 2014.

The press release announcing the regulations is available here: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2014/food-waste-disposal.html

Any organization that generates more than one ton of organic material per week will be banned from disposing, transferring for disposal, or contracting for disposal any commercial organic waste (i.e., food or vegetative waste) by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Options for organizations affected by this ban include donating or re-purposing the useable food. Any remaining food waste will be shipped to an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility for energy recovery, composting, or animal-feed operations.

This additional ban under the solid waste regulations will primarily affect: hospitals, colleges, universities, large corporations, hotels, supermarkets, convention centers, nursing homes, restaurants, and food service and processing companies.

Additional resources and information can be found on the RecyclingWorks website: http://www.recyclingworksma.com

If you have questions about applicability or compliance, contact Julie Muszalski, Sustainability Professional, at jmuszalski@capaccio.com or 508-970-0033 x124.