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.

OSHA Update: Aligning GHS with the Hazard Communication Standard Reply

In September of 2006, OSHA announced that it would be aligning its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  To date, 67 countries around the world have implemented some form of GHS, and many chemical manufacturers, suppliers, and end users of chemical products are anxiously awaiting its implementation in The United States.  In a recent web chat, OSHA announced it has updated its timeframe to publish a final rule on GHS alignment with HCS in September 2011. However, it also stated that the proposed rule is still undergoing an internal agency review and has yet to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its usual 90-day review, so it is likely that the final rule will not be published until early 2012.

When the rule is finally published, it may include an implementation schedule that would allow up to three years or more to achieve compliance. OSHA has stated it is not changing the major components of the HCS but instead is modifying it to align with the major elements of GHS which include guidelines for hazard classifications, hazard warning statements, container labels, and safety data sheets (SDS).  The immediate impact will be to chemical manufacturers and suppliers who will have to rewrite, publish, and distribute new chemical safety data sheets and also provide new labels for chemical containers.

 The anticipated impacts to employers in the US will include:

  • Modification of written hazard communication programs
  • Modification of employee training programs to cover the new chemical classifications, labeling, and hazard warnings (pictograms)
  • Obtaining new SDSs to replace existing MSDSs
  • Re-labeling of in-house chemical containers with the new labels

When the final rule is published, CAPACCIO will provide a summary of its major requirements and the implementation timeline for compliance in an e-blast. A series of webinars to discuss the new rule and its impact on our clients will also quickly follow.

For more information, please contact Bob King at 508.970.0033 x113 or bking@capaccio.com.

MassDEP Releases Interim Guidance on Management of Evaporator Systems Reply

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently published interim guidance for operators of evaporator units that employ a tank or tank system that is used to reduce the volume of (i.e. ,treat ) hazardous industrial wastewater by heating it until it evaporates.

“Evaporator systems,” as used in the interim guidance, are systems that include a wastewater treatment unit (WWTU), an evaporator unit, and all piping ancillary to operation of that system. These systems treat the influent hazardous wastewater to render it non-hazardous, and then evaporate the non-hazardous wastewater in an evaporator unit.

The interim guidance does not apply to:

  • Systems that evaporate only non-hazardous wastewater (generated off-site or on-site)
  • Units that separate non-hazardous wastewater from oil at the site of generation (310 CMR 20.252(4)
  • Units that evaporate non-hazardous wastewater transferred from an elementary neutralization unit at the site of generation (310 CMR 30.1103)
  • Closed –loop vacuum evaporators  that have no air emissions (these are exempt from 310 CMR 30.000)
  • Evaporator systems treating hazardous wastes received from off-site. These require a MassDEP HW facility license (310 CMR 30.801)
  • Sludge dryers associated with WWT systems approved by MassDEP (314 CMR 12.00)
  • Containers or treatment units (other than evaporator systems) subject to MGL 21C and 310 CMR 30.000

Evaporator systems may be exempt from licensing requirements for hazardous waste treatment provided they meet the definition of “treatment which is an integral part of the manufacturing process”. The interim guidelines provide clarification of what is required to maintain the exemption and are intended to give industry an opportunity to evaluate their systems and make necessary adjustments prior to promulgation of the new regulations (anticipated in 2012).

To qualify for the exemption, evaporator systems must:

  • Include a WWTU that is directly connected via permanent piping to the evaporator unit
  • Receive and treat wastewater in the WWTU containing only hazardous constituents in dissolved form (i.e., no multi-phase liquid hazardous waste)
  • Receive and treat wastewaters directly from their dedicated WWTU only
  • Treat the hazardous industrial wastewater in the WWTU so that it is rendered non-hazardous BEFORE it is evaporated
  • Prevent air emissions of hazardous constituents from both the untreated hazardous wastewater and the treated non-hazardous wastewater to the maximum extent practical

In certain cases, operators of evaporator systems that do not meet these requirements may need to obtain a waiver from MassDEP. Here’s the link to the Interim Guidance on Management of Evaporator Systems fact sheet: http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/laws/evapguid.pdf

If you have any questions, please contact Lucy Servidio at 508.970.0033 ext. 114 or lservidio@capaccio.com.