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to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its usual 90-day review, so it is likely that the final rule will not be published until early 2012.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.

MassDEP Greenhouse Gas Reporting: Verification Reply

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has posted information on its website related to verification of submitted greenhouse gas (GHG) reports.  Facilities that are required to submit GHG reports to the MassDEP GHG Registry, a subset of the Climate Registry’s Information System (CRIS), must verify their submitted reports once every three years.

The first GHG reports were filed in June of 2010 for reporting of calendar year (CY) 2009 emissions, and were only required of facilities that had carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from combustion of fossil fuels equal to or greater than 5,000 tons.  The second reports filed this last April, required reporting of all GHG emissions from facilities with carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions equal to or greater than 5,000 tons.

To implement the verification process, the MassDEP has set up a staggered verification schedule based on the first year a facility reported and the level of GHG emissions reported.  The flowchart below summarizes the schedule by which verification reports must be submitted to the MassDEP:

Click the image above for a full view of the flowchart.

Facilities are required to hire a third party verifier that is approved by the MassDEP.  A listing of approved verifiers can be found on the MassDEP website at the following link:

http://www.mass.gov/dep/air/climate/verifiers.htm

The MassDEP has created a checklist for facilities to use which describes the steps to be completed for conducting and filing the verification report.  Below is a link to the checklist.

http://www.mass.gov/dep/air/climate/reporting.htm

To assist facilities on how to complete their verifications, the MassDEP will be conducting a verification training webinar on Tuesday, September 13, 2011.  You can sign up to attend the webinar at:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/891659067

If you have any questions about whether your facility is required to report GHG emissions, need assistance with compiling or reporting your data, or have questions on the verification process, please contact Lynn Sheridan at 508.970.0033 ext. 122 or lsheridan@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.