MassDEP Proposes to Add a New Chemical Category to the TURA List Reply

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Program requires that companies review use of certain chemicals and chemical categories listed on the TURA Toxic or Hazardous Substances List (TURA List) on an annual basis and determine if reporting of that chemical is required.  More information regarding the TURA Program is available here:https://www.mass.gov/guides/massdep-toxics-use-reduction-program

From time to time the TURA Administrative Council may vote to add or delete certain chemicals or chemical categories to/from the TURA List.  Currently, the TURA program is proposing to add a new chemical category to the TURA List. The category is referred to as C1-C4 Halogenated Hydrocarbons/Halocarbons Not Otherwise Listed (C1-C4 NOL).

C1-C4 NOL is defined as chemicals with 4 or fewer carbons, at least one halogen (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine), and only hydrogen as the other constituent, that are not already individually listed on the TURA chemical list. This will include fully halogenated chemicals that contain no hydrogen. The proposed listing will tentatively be voted on by the TURA Administrative Council (February 2018).  The Policy Analysis and proposed list of chemicals to be included in the C1-C4 NOL category can be accessed here – https://www.mass.gov/event/october-16-2017-meeting-of-the-administrative-council-on-toxics-use-reduction-2017-10, and the meeting dates of the TURA Administrative Council are posted here under the “Upcoming Events” section:  https://www.mass.gov/orgs/administrative-council-on-toxics-use-reduction.

The proposed category includes a number of refrigerants commonly used in industry. The TURA list currently includes a number of individually listed refrigerants, such as R-22 (Chlorodifluoromethane) and R-123 (1,1-Dichloro-2,2,2-trifluoroethane), that are already reportable and would not be included in the proposed category.

Commonly used refrigerants that would be reportable in the proposed category include 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (R-134a),  R-143a (1,1,1 – Triflouroethane), R-125 (Pentafluoroethane), and R-152a (1,1- Difluoroethane).

If a facility uses one or more chemicals in the C1-C4 NOL category in a refrigeration system, the amount used initially to charge or to recharge the system would be counted towards the 10,000 pound use determination threshold. Any annual additions to a refrigeration system would also count toward a 10,000 pound use determination threshold.  It is unlikely that chemical use will be consistently above the reporting threshold from year to year. Most facilities with a good operations and maintenance program for their refrigeration system will not exceed the annual reporting threshold.

With the addition of the C1-C4 NOL category, businesses subject to TURA that otherwise use 10,000 lbs/year of chemicals in this category, would be required to report that use to MassDEP TURA Program. The reporting threshold for companies that may incorporate any of the new chemicals into products or actually manufacture these chemicals would be 25,000 pounds per year.

Please note: the proposed addition of this chemical category is not final at this time.  The TURA Administrative Council will need to vote to approve this new chemical category before it is added to the TURA List.  If it is added to the TURA List this Spring, chemicals in this category will be reportable for 2019 (i.e., with reports due July 1 in 2020).

If you have any questions regarding this chemical category or the TURA Program, please contact Linda Swift at 978-621-6433 or lswift@capaccio.com.

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