TUR Planning – Notification due January 1st! Reply

If your facility is required to do a Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Plan under 310 CMR 50.00, you will need to send out notification to your employees that this is a TUR planning year and solicit ideas for reducing the use and byproduct of the reportable chemicals your facility triggers for.  This notification must be made by January 1, 2012!

There are three options for TUR Plan format: A conventional TUR Plan, a Resource Conservation Plan, or an Environmental Management System (EMS).

The notification for a conventional TUR Plan must:

  • Include requirements of the plan
  • Identify the toxics and production units for which a plan will be submitted
  • Provide the criteria for plan
  • Solicit comments or suggestions from all employees on toxics use reduction options

The notification for a Resource Conservation Plan must:

  • Include requirements of the plan
  • Identify the natural asset being considered as the focus of the plan
  • Solicit comments or suggestions from all employees on resource conservation options for that asset

There is no notification requirement for EMSs, but there are requirements for:

  • A written environmental policy that expresses how the facility manages and makes a commitment to:

(a) Compliance with environmental legal requirements

(b) Pollution prevention through source reduction and toxics use reduction

(c) Continual improvement of the EMS and environmental performance

  • Procedures for communicating environmental and EMS information throughout the facility, including EMS awareness programs for all employees

Remember, you will need to complete and have evidence – a memo, an email, a posting – of the notification sent to employees by the January 1 deadline.

For more information, please contact Linda Swift at 508-970-0033 ext. 119 or lswift@capaccio.com.

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.

EPA Proposes Changes to EPCRA Section 312 Tier I and Tier II Forms Reply

On August 8, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule that suggests changes to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 312 (Tier I and Tier II) reports (40 CFR 370).  The proposed regulations include additions and revisions to the Tier I and Tier II forms so the forms can be more useful to state and local agencies and better inform the public on the chemical hazards in their communities. Although the proposed regulations refer to Tier I and Tier II forms, most state and local authorities only require a Tier II form from facilities that trip reporting thresholds.

EPA proposes to add the following to Tier I and Tier II forms:

  • Add entries for the facility’s identification number under EPCRA 313 (Toxic Chemical Release Inventory – Form R reporting) and Clean Air Act Risk Management Programs, if applicable.
  • Add an entry for the number of occupants at the facility.
  • Add entries for the facility’s parent company name, address, and phone as well as the company’s Dun and Bradstreet number.
  • Add entries for name and contact information of the facility representative required under EPCRA Section 303.
  • Add entries for name, title, and phone number of the person knowledgeable or responsible for completing the information on the Tier II form.
  • Add an entry to indicate whether the facility is also subject to Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) notification requirements under EPCRA Section 302.

EPA is also proposing to revise the following existing entries currently on the Tier II form:

  • Revise the current range codes for maximum and daily average amounts of hazardous chemicals to narrower codes than the existing codes to be more useful to Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) for effective emergency response planning.
  • Revise the reporting of chemicals (i.e., pure chemicals versus mixtures) to make it more user friendly for state and local authorities by providing separate entries for pure chemicals and mixtures.
  • Revise the form to allow for description of the types of storage and storage conditions rather than using codes.

EPA is soliciting comments on the proposed rule until October 7, 2011.

Please contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 ext. 119 or lswift@capaccio.com with any questions you may have regarding these proposed changes to EPCRA 312 reporting.