EHS Roundtable covering 527 CMR 33 scheduled for Friday, March 30 1

The Devens EcoEfficiency Center is holding an EHS Roundtable on Friday, March 30 to provide an overview of the new Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS) Hazardous Materials Processing regulation (527 CMR 33) and discuss its development. Presenters will be Tim Rodrique, Director of the Division of Fire Safety within the State Fire Marshal’s Office and a focal driver of the regulation within the MA Board of Fire Prevention Regulations (BFPR), and practitioners with experience reviewing and facilitating process hazard analyses (PHAs) and Process Safety Reviews (PSRs) for clients in industrial plants and high technology academic research institutions.

The presenters will explain the differences from the process safety management (PSM) standard from OSHA and USEPA risk management plan (RMP) requirements. Presenters will also discuss some of the most important requirements and responsibilities contained within the Hazardous Material Process regulation and describe the current schedule for its implementation in the Commonwealth. After the presentation there will be time to respond to questions.  

On February 3, 2012 the new 527 CMR 33 came into effect.  DFS developed this regulation to help prevent the occurrence of incidents like the explosion in Leominster in 2005, the fire and explosion in Danvers in 2006, and the fire and explosion in Middleton in 2011 – all involving processes using hazardous materials.

Capaccio Environmental Engineering’s Linda Swift and Geoff Gilbert have been closely tracking the development of this new regulation and will be in attendance.   If you are unable to attend, but have questions or concerns about this regulation and how it might impact your operations, please post  your question in the comment section of this blog, or e-mail Linda or Geoff directly at lswift@capaccio.com or ggilbert@capaccio.com.

The meeting will be at:
33 Andrews Parkway, Devens, Conference Room 1
Registration fee is $15. Coffee and bagels will be available
RSVP donaneely@ecostardevens.com or 978-772-8831 x3304

Template for Construction Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans Available Online Reply

The  EPA has posted a new template for construction operators to use in developing stormwater pollution prevention plans, which are site-specific documents required as part of EPA’s new 2012 Construction General Permit. The template is designed to help construction operators develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan that is compliant with the minimum requirements of the new permit. The template allows operators to customize the document to the needs of the site, and includes tables and other fields that are easy to fill out.

For questions about the template, or the permit in general, please send inquiries to CGP@epa.gov. For additional information on stormwater pollution prevention plans for construction activities and to view a copy of the template visit:

http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/swppp.cfm.

For additional information on EPA’s 2012 CGP visit:

http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/cgp.cfm.

This notice is courtesy of Water Headlines, a weekly on-line publication that announces publications, policies, and activities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water.

Visit EPA’s Water Is Worth It Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/EPAWaterIsWorthIt, and follow our Water Is Worth It tweets at http://twitter.com/epawater.

 

Carbon Disclosure Project vs. Taxes – Can you see the similarities? Reply

Spring is in the air, but that also means we are in the midst of tax season and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) carbon reporting season.  At a first glance, you wouldn’t think so, but both filing processes are remarkably similar.  

Filing taxes increases transparency to shareholders, clients, and the public on company financials. Measuring and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions data by participating in the CDP does the same thing on an environmental front.  Both processes can help businesses identify risks, plan for the future, increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary costs.

Other similarities? The CDP offers a detailed Guidance document with step-by-step instructions and explains the reporting system structure in excruciating detail; a striking similarity to tax preparation guidance documents!   The CDP provides a dizzying list of descriptions, codes, and policies. Sound familiar?

As the final step to preparation, the CDP provides a Response Check, or “high level checking service” that reviews responses prior to submission. External consultants review the responses for completeness and offer expert feedback for a standard $1,000 fee. In the tax world, you have your local CPA.

 Keep the deadlines in mind, and do your spring cleaning of paperwork!

Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Promulgates New Hazardous Material Processing Regulations Reply

On February 3, 2012 the new Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS) Hazardous Materials Processing regulation (527 CMR 33) came into effect.  DFS developed this regulation to help prevent the occurrence of incidents like the explosion in Leominster in 2005, the fire and explosion in Danvers in 2006, and the fire and explosion in Middleton in 2011 – all involving processes using hazardous materials.

The new regulation categorizes new or existing processes involving hazardous materials (haz mat) into one of five categories (five being the category with the most requirements) according to the following criteria:

  • The size of the process vessel containing the haz mat(s)
  • The NFPA 704 Rating for the chemicals involved or produced
  • Whether the haz mat process is in an area of the facility that is classified as an H Occupancy under the Massachusetts State Building Code, and
  • Whether the haz mat process is subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Process Safety Management Standard (PSM) or the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Risk Management Program (RMP) requirements.

There are exceptions for certain processes and haz mats which are listed in section 33.01(3) of the regulation.

The compliance schedule is as follows:

  • Facilities with Category 5 processes must comply by January 1, 2013
  • Facilities with Category 4 processes must comply by June 1, 2013
  • Facilities with Category 2 and 3 processes must comply by January 1, 2014
  • Facilities with Category 1 processes should already be in compliance (For these facilities compliance involves requirements that the facility is likely already subject to due to other OSHA standards and state fire codes.)

 The specific requirements for each category are called out below:

Process Category Size of Vessel
(containing a haz mat with
NFPA 704 rating 3 or 4)
Requirements
Category 1 < 2.5 gallons
  • Haz Com Program
  • Chemical Hygiene Program
  • Flammable Storage Permit/License
  • Emergency Response Planning
Category 2 >2.5 gallons but <60 gallons
  • Haz Com Program
  • Chemical Hygiene Program
  • Flammable Storage Permit/License
  • Emergency Response Planning
  • Haz Mat Processing Permit
Category 3 >60 gallons but <300 gallonsOr a process area classified as a H Occupancy under the Massachusetts State Building Code
  • Haz Com Program
  • Chemical Hygiene Program
  • Flammable Storage Permit/License
  • Emergency Response Planning
  • Haz Mat Processing Permit
  • Category 3 Process Hazard Analysis
Category 4 >300 gallons and is not a vessel with a capacity that is not in excess of threshold quantities for OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standard or EPA’s Risk Management Program
  • Haz Com Program
  • Chemical Hygiene Program
  • Flammable Storage Permit/License
  • Emergency Response Planning
  • Haz Mat Processing Permit
  • Category 3 Process Hazard Analysis
  • Category 4 Limited Process Safety Program
Category 5 A vessel with a capacity that is in excess of threshold quantities for OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standard (PSM) or EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP)
  • PSM or RMP Program
  • Haz Mat Processing Permit
  • Emergency Response Planning

 

Categories 2  through 5 require the submittal of an application for a  Permit to Process Hazardous Materials  to your local fire department (LFD).  The LFD will perform an inspection to see that the requirements are fulfilled and issue the Haz Mat Processing Permit.  The LFD may also request a third party review of process operations and associated hazard analyses for clarification that requirements are being met. Verify that your programs are in place and up to date to facilitate readiness for the permit inspection by the LFD.

The LFD also needs to be notified prior to engaging in any new or modified hazardous materials process activity which results in a change to the highest process category authorized by the current permit.  This involves the submission of a new permit application to the LFD.

As with any new regulation both the regulators and the regulated community need to learn about the regulation and how it needs to be administered.  The DFS is planning on conducting training sessions both for the fire service (LFDs) and the regulated community.  Keep an eye out for announcements about this training on the DFS website http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/ and the DFS Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Massachusetts-Department-of-Fire-Services/178022955562314).

Application forms and inspection checklists are currently being developed by the DFS.

While you wait, CAPACCIO suggests that you look at your process operations, and the hazardous materials involved or produced by them, to be ready when the training and permit forms are available.   In preparation, answer the following questions for each process:

  • Does the process use a haz mat in a vessel?
  • Is the activity or process exempt from the requirements of 527 CMR 33?
  • What is the size of the process vessel ?
  • What is the NFPA 704 rating of the haz mat involved/produced?
  • Is the process in an H Occupancy area?
  • Is the process already subject to PSM or RMP requirements?

Remember that the majority of the requirements for Category 1 to 3 processes are ones that facilities are already subject to, and to which facilities should already be in compliance.  These regulations include:

  • Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  • Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories (Chemical Hygiene) (29 CFR 1910.1450 )
  • Flammable and combustible Liquids (29 CFR 1910.106)
  • Flammable Storage Permitting and Licensing (527 CMR 14)
  • Emergency Response Planning
    • Emergency Planning (Evacuation) (29 CFR 1910.38)
    • Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) (29 CFR 1910.120)
    • Hazardous Waste Contingency Planning (310 CMR 30.341(b))

It is also noted that Category 5 facilities should already be in compliance with PSM and/or RMP requirements (29 CFR 1910. 119 or 49 CFR 68 respectively).

Please contact Linda Swift at (508)970-0033 extension 119 or via email at lswift@capaccio.com with any questions you may have about this new regulation or assistance you may need in assessing how the regulation applies to your processes or in bringing the programs mentioned above up to date.