Using Tier II Reporting to Minimize Risks of Off-Site Consequences Reply

Tier II reporting season is coming up. With the March 1 deadline comes the opportunity to not only take a fresh look at the chemicals stored at your facility, but to also see if any of these chemicals, despite being below the reportable thresholds, could trigger an offsite consequence, which has become one of EPA’s enforcement initiatives under the General Duty Clause of Risk Management Planning. Please read below for important updates to Tier II reporting as well as further information on Risk Management Programs and some ways CAPACCIO can assist by minimizing the risks associated with off-site chemical consequences.

Reporting Year 2016 Tier II Reports Due by March 1 & MEMA’s Online Reporting System Information 

Massachusetts facilities covered by the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requirements must submit Tier II reports to their Emergency Planning Committee (EPC), Local Fire Department, and the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) by March 1, 2017. The reference table below may assist you in determining your facility’s applicability to this reporting requirement:

Tier II reporting thresholds:

Extremely hazardous substances (EHS)* 500 pounds (227 kg) or threshold planning quantity, whichever is less.
All other hazardous substances: 10,000 pounds (4,540 kg) for any material that has an SDS
*You may obtain a list of EHS substances on the EPA website here.

MEMA, in coordination with the Massachusetts State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), intends to use the web-based Tier II Manager System for the 2016 Tier II reporting period. It is anticipated that the Tier II Manager System will be available for 2016 reporting by January 9, 2017. MEMA will provide notice to all Tier II Manager System users when the System is available. You may Click here for a link to the online filing system.

The Tier II Manager System is used for filing Tier II reports with the Massachusetts SERC only. Please note that facilities are required to submit separate reports to their respective EPC and Fire Departments.

All Tier II filers must register on the new system, with a limit of one user account per facility. Registration is a one-time process, so if you have already registered to use the Tier II Manager System you do not need to do so again. Previous Tier II data for your facility is preloaded into the system to allow for easier 2016 data reporting.

The SERC is requiring that all RY 2016 Tier II reporting entities submit electronic reports; hard copies will not be accepted.

General Duty Clause and Risk Management Program Clean Air Act EPA Enforcement Initiative

In order to prevent accidents that can cause off-site consequences, Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act established the Risk Management Plan (RMP) program that requires facilities with certain chemicals above regulatory thresholds (see the list in 40 CFR 68) to develop and implement an RMP program that identifies and mitigates the hazards associated with chemical use.

Although the RMP program is only applicable when quantities exceed a certain threshold, the regulation also includes a GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE (GDC) that requires facilities which use ANY AMOUNT of the chemicals on the RMP list (or any amount of an extremely hazardous substance) to understand and mitigate any hazards that could result in off-site consequences.

Therefore, companies need to look at chemicals at their facilities that are on the list in 40 CFR 68 (or are extremely hazardous substances) EVEN IF THEY ARE STORED/USED BELOW REGULATORY THRESHOLDS, and make a determination if there could be a risk of off-site consequences in the event of an accident.

This regulation, and the GDC, are now an enforcement priority for EPA, in part because of a fatality that occurred last year involving a release of gaseous ammonia. The EPA will be using Tier II data as part of their initiative to target facilities that meet the conditions of the GDC.

CAPACCIO’s GDC experts go beyond the basic Tier II reporting, and help you to reduce the risks associated with chemicals stored at your facility that could travel off-site. Our dynamic approaches and levels of GDC support include:

Basic High Level Screening: CAPACCIO will review your company’s Tier II list and/or chemical inventory and select a few chemicals stored in large quantities or extremely hazardous substances to run through the ALOHA model, and determine if there are likely to be off-site consequences.

In-Depth Screening: CAPACCIO will review more chemicals, and will perform ALOHA modeling and subsequent analysis using site specific inputs. We will provide a list of chemicals for which GDC requirements are applicable, and a recommendation to determine what additional work may be required to comply with GDC requirements.

Gap Analysis: CAPACCIO will review your existing standard operating procedures, mechanical integrity programs, and management of change procedures to determine what steps need to be taken to conform to GDC requirements. You will receive a matrix with any gaps that are identified. CAPACCIO can then assist in closing out gaps identified, and assist with the development of an RMP “Lite” Program if desired (see below).

Development of an RMP “Lite” Program: CAPACCIO can help you implement the recommendations that result from the Gap Analysis that may include development of process flow diagrams, procedures and training (if needed), as well as engineering tasks such as preparation of process safety information and off-site consequences analysis.

We can help! Our Tier II and GDC experts can assist you with the reporting and planning challenges as noted above that are associated with these programs. If you have any questions about either the Tier II or GDC programs, please contact Christine Silverman at 508-970-0033 ext. 127 or csilverman@capaccio.com or Alexis Dallaportas at 608-970-0033 ext. 142 or adallasportas@capaccio.com.

General Duty Clause and Risk Management Program Clean Air Act EPA Enforcement Initiative – Are you in compliance? Reply

Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act establishes the Risk Management Plan (RMP) program, which requires facilities with certain chemicals above regulatory thresholds (see list at 40 CFR 68) to develop and implement an RMP program. An RMP program is designed to identify and mitigate the hazards associated with chemical use in order to prevent accidents that can cause off-site consequences.

Although the RMP program is only applicable when quantities exceed a certain threshold, the regulation also includes a GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE, that requires facilities which use ANY AMOUNT of the chemicals on the RMP list (or any amount of an extremely hazardous substance) to understand and mitigate any hazards that could result in off-site consequences.

What this means is that companies should be looking at chemicals at their facilities that are on the list in 40 CFR 68 (or are extremely hazardous substances) EVEN IF THEY ARE STORED/USED BELOW REGULATORY THRESHOLDS and making a determination if there is a risk of off-site consequences in the event of an accident. This can be done fairly quickly using EPA’s ALOHA modeling software.

Although this regulation and the GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE have been on the books since 1990, it is now an enforcement priority for EPA, in part because of the fatality that occurred this spring involving a release of gaseous ammonia.

CAPACCIO can help in several ways and at varying levels with your GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE Requirements:

Basic High Level Screening: CAPACCIO will review your company’s Tier II list and/or chemical inventory and select a few chemicals stored in large quantities or extremely hazardous substances. We will run these chemicals through the ALOHA model and determine if there are likely to be off-site consequences. The client will receive a list of chemicals that may have off-site consequences and a recommendation for any additional work related to determining impacts and reviewing additional chemicals, if warranted.

In-Depth Screening: Similar to above, but CAPACCIO will review more chemicals. ALOHA modeling and subsequent analysis using site specific inputs will be conducted. Working with the company’s chemical inventory and site information, CAPACCIO will provide a list of chemicals for which GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE requirements are applicable and a recommendation such as a gap analysis to determine what additional work may be required to comply with GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE requirements.

Gap Analysis: CAPACCIO will review the company’s existing standard operating procedures, mechanical integrity programs, management of change procedures. to determine what steps need to be taken to conform to  GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE requirements. The client receives a matrix with any gaps which are identified. CAPACCIO can close out gaps identified and assist with the development of an RMP “Lite” Program if desired (see below).

Development of an RMP “Lite” Program: CAPACCIO can help a company implement the recommendations that result from the Gap Analysis. This would include development of process flow diagrams, procedures and training (if needed), as well as engineering tasks such as preparation of process safety information and off-site consequences analysis. The client receives a written plan of the program.

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

Proposed Revisions to the Risk Management Program Regulations Reply

On March 14, 2016, EPA published its proposed amendments to the Risk Management Program regulations in response to Executive Order 13650. The proposed revisions include several changes to the accident prevention program requirements including more extensive Process Hazard Analysis requirements, third party audits and root cause analysis during accident investigations, enhancements of the emergency preparedness requirements, increased public availability of chemical information and related streamlining of risk management plans.

Several proposed revisions are only applicable in the event that an accident, or near miss, occurs at the facility that meets the definitions in the regulation for reportable accidents. However, the proposed changes to the emergency preparedness requirements will affect all Program 2 and Program 3 facilities.

Under the proposed revisions, all Program 2 and Program 3 facilities will be required to conduct annual emergency response coordination in which the owner or operator must work with local emergency planning and response organizations to ensure resources and capabilities are in place to respond to an accidental release. All Program 2 and Program 3 facilities will also be required to conduct an annual notification exercise in which the mechanisms for notifying first responders will be executed and verified. Additional emergency response preparedness provisions are proposed for facilities that are “self-responders”. Along with the required coordination and notification described above, these facilities must also conduct annual tabletop exercises and a field exercise once every five years. The exercises must be coordinated with local emergency response officials.

These revisions are in response to repeated findings during accident investigations that indicated coordination of emergency response actions was inadequate and contributed to the severity of the accident. EPA believes that the proposed revisions will enhance and improve coordination between regulated sources and first responders such that the effects of accidents will be reduced.

For more information about the proposed rule, refer to https://www.epa.gov/rmp/proposed-changes-risk-management-program-rmp-rule .

If you have questions about the Risk Management Program or Risk Management Plans, please contact Chris Walton at 508-970-0033 ext. 139  or  cwalton@capaccio.com  or Christine Silverman at 508-970-0033 ext. 127 or csilverman@capaccio.com

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Risk Management Program (RMP) Inspection Checklists Reply

Below, please find links to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA’s) RMP Program Level 2 and RMP Program Level 3 Inspection Checklists.

 

http://www.capaccio.com/assets/handouts/events/ModifiedRMP Program Level 2 Process Checklist.pdf

http://www.capaccio.com/assets/handouts/events/ModfiiedRMP Program Level 3 Process Checklist.pdf

Facilities that are covered by the RMP regulations are required to implement an RMP and submit a description of the program to EPA. Additionally, RMP audits covering the items in these checklists are required every three years.

For more information or assistance with your RMP program, please contact Christine Silverman at csilverman@capaccio.com or by calling 508-970-0033 ext. 127.