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.

Tier 2 Reporting Update Reply

Tier 2 reports for reporting year 2011 are due by March 1, 2012.  Facilities covered by Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act Section 312 Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reporting (i.e., Tier 2 reporting) must submit a Tier 2 form to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), and the local fire department annually.

Facility site plans are not required in Massachusetts, but are encouraged by the state and local agencies.  Site plans are required to be submitted with the Tier 2 form in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Transportation information including carrier name, the carrier’s emergency contact phone number, as well as routes and frequency of shipment were required on Tier 2 report in Massachusetts starting for reporting year 2010.  The SERC (the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) recently released guidance for 2011 Tier 2 reporting.  The guidance clarifies that transportation information is only required for Extremely Hazardous Substances.  http://www.mass.gov/eopss/home-sec-emerg-resp/emergency-info/haz-mat/serc/guidance-to-massachusetts-tier-ii-reporting-entities.pdf

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff in the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) program will be reviewing Tier 2 reports.  If a facility has reported oil on the Tier 2 report in an amount that exceeds the threshold required for SPCC, the EPA will be inspecting your facility to ensure that there is an SPCC Plan in place, if it’s required.

Facilities should prepare the 2011 Tier 2 report using the Tier2Submit2011 software.  The zip file should be emailed to the SERC. The SERC urges facilities to properly name their t2s or zip file.  For example, the tier 2 file for Capaccio Environmental Engineering would be labeled CapaccioEnvironmentalEngineering2011Tier2.t2s.  If the facility has multiple locations within the state, name each file name with the facility’s city.  For example, CapaccioEnvironmental-Marlborough2011Tier2.t2s

Contact your LEPC and local fire department to determine whether to submit the 2011 Tier 2 report via email or CD, or paper. As always, early reporting is encouraged.  The majority of submissions are received during the last two weeks of February.  In past years, the SERC has had issues with processing last minute submissions due to the large volume of submissions at the last minute.  CAPACCIO recommends that facilities submit before the last week of February to ensure submissions are processed on time.

Please contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 ext. 119 or  lswift@capaccio.com with any questions you may have regarding Tier 2 reporting.

EPA Analysis Shows Decrease in 2010 Toxic Chemical Releases in Massachusetts Reply

EPA Release Date: 01/05/2012

(Boston, Mass. – Jan. 5, 2012) – EPA’s most recent Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data is now available for the reporting year of 2010. TRI reporting provides Americans with vital information about their communities by publishing information on toxic chemical disposals and releases into the air, land and water, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities in neighborhoods across the country. 

In Massachusetts, the reporting data show that overall releases of pollutants to the environment have decreased since the previous reporting year (2009). TRI information is a key part of EPA’s efforts to provide greater access to environmental information and get information to the public as quickly as possible. TRI was recently recognized by the Aspen Institute as one of the 10 major ways that EPA has strengthened America.

During 2010, the latest year for which data are available, approximately 20.6 million pounds of chemicals were released in the six New England states, a reduction of about 287,337 pounds. In Massachusetts, 441 facilities reported in 2010 approximately 4.3 million pounds (a decrease of 1,122,489 pounds). Approximately 61 percent of releases in Massachusetts were emitted to the air during 2010. Across the U.S. in 2010, 3.93 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment, a 16 percent increase from 2009. 

To read the full release visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/6d651d23f5a91b768525735900400c28/a680338c945f17288525797c007c8258!OpenDocument

Additional links:

TRI in Massachusetts Fact Sheet (epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm)
National information on TRI (epa.gov/tri/)

For more information, contact Lucy Servidio at 508-970-0033 ext. 114 or lservidio@capaccio.com.

EPA Analysis Shows Increase in 2010 Toxic Chemical Releases in Vermont Reply

Release Date: 01/05/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Jan. 5, 2012) – EPA’s most recent Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data is now available for the reporting year of 2010. TRI reporting provides Americans with vital information about their communities by publishing information on toxic chemical disposals and releases into the air, land and water, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities in neighborhoods across the country. 

In Vermont, the reporting data show that overall releases of pollutants to the environment have increased since the previous reporting year (2009). TRI information is a key part of EPA’s efforts to provide greater access to environmental information and get information to the public as quickly as possible. TRI was recently recognized by the Aspen Institute as one of the 10 major ways that EPA has strengthened America.

During 2010, the latest year for which data are available, approximately 20.6 million pounds of chemicals were released in the six New England states, a reduction of about 287,337 pounds. In Vermont, 40 facilities reported in 2010 approximately 277,835 pounds (an increase of 15,176 pounds). Approximately 44 percent of releases in Vermont were discharge to water during 2010. EPA also this year has conducted an extra analysis of TRI data for the Lake Champlain Basin. Across the U.S. in 2010, 3.93 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment, a 16 percent increase from 2009. 

To read the full release visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/6d651d23f5a91b768525735900400c28/adc7564c7333bcbe8525797c007cf24b!OpenDocument\

Additional links:
TRI in Vermont Fact Sheet (http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm)
TRI analysis for Lake Champlain Basin (http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri09/nationalanalysis/tri-lae-lake-champlain.html)
National information on TRI (http://www.epa.gov/tri/)

For more information, contact Lucy Servidio at 508-970-0033 ext. 114 or lservidio@capaccio.com.