MassDEP Issues New Underground Storage Tank Rules: 310 CMR 80.00 Reply

On January 2, 2015, new underground storage tank (UST) regulations went into effect and the previous Department of Fire Services regulations at 527 CMR 9.00 were rescinded.

While many of the requirements have remained the same, several new provisions have been added. These include:

• New design, construction and installation requirements
• New general operating requirements
• New third-party inspection requirements
• New financial responsibility requirements and
• New authority for MassDEP to institute delivery prohibition orders.

Of particular interest to owners and operators of UST systems serving emergency generators is a new requirement for these systems to have leak detection. There are also new requirements that may require upgrades of systems that utilize submersible pumps and ball-float valves. In addition, any new or replacement spill buckets must now be five gallons.

It is important to note that although the new regulations are issued and enforced by MassDEP, the local fire department will still maintain jurisdiction over permits for flammable storage.

More information, including a summary of the changes and a copy of the new regulations, can be obtained at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/toxics/ust/newregs.html

CAPACCIO can help owners and operators interpret the new requirements and assist in determining if action is necessary to address the new requirements. Please contact Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, at (508) 970-0033 x139 or cwalton@capaccio.com if you would like to learn how we can help.

Department of Fire Services Issues Revision to 502 CMR 5 Reply

502 CMR 5 governs the permitting and use of containers greater than 10,000 gallons in capacity used for the storage of fluids other than water. On January 16, 2015, the new regulations went into effect, resulting in significant changes to the program.

Beginning with the next permit cycle, the use permit will be issued for five years. However, along with the next inspection report, owners must declare what nationally recognized standard applies to their tank. Future use permits will be issued contingent upon operators maintaining their tanks per the declared standard. Records must be kept in accordance with new recordkeeping requirements.
In addition, the new regulations clarify and expand application requirements, describe actions that must be taken to bring an unpermitted tank into the program, and specify how to apply for a change in use for a permitted tank.

CAPACCIO has extensive experience assisting clients with program compliance, through application preparation to inspections. Please contact Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, at (508) 970-0033 x139 or cwalton@capaccio.com for more information.

New Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Code – No more 527 CMR 1-55 Reply

The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations in Massachusetts has voted to promulgate a new fire safety code, which will take effect on January 1st, 2015. The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations is responsible for promulgating a comprehensive fire safety code for the state and was created in part as a reaction the 1942 Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire in Boston that killed 492 people.

The new code, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code 527 CMR 1.00, is meant to align with a recognized fire code: the NFPA-1 (2012 edition). This fire code revision is also intended to allow for better unison with the Massachusetts building code regulations, 780 CMR. While many parts of the old 527 CMR 1 to 50 will be carried over into the new 527 CMR 1.00, the organization will be different: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/dfs/osfm/boards/specific-meetings/2014-9-18-fea-body-bytitleofsection-finaldraft-cmr-nfpa1-website-print.pdf

One highlight of the new Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code is that, with the adoption of NFPA 1, it will provide more prescriptive requirements for hazardous materials. Chapter 60 will be dedicated to hazardous materials and will contain codified language referring to the specific hazard classes (pyrophoric, oxidizer, water reactive, etc.) and associated requirements, some of which did not exist in the old fire code. For those of you who have already familiarized yourself with the recently enacted 527 CMR 33—not to worry, this regulation will be carried into Section 60 of 527 CMR 1.00.

In the words of State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan, “The adoption of a model code sets the stage for a code that is adaptable to new technologies and emerging trends, while also being easily maintained going forward. It taps into the depth and expertise of the NFPA’s voluntary code development process.”

Those Massachusetts organizations that do not already adhere to NFPA 1 standards should soon begin to ensure that they have adopted the 2012 edition as modified by the state: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/dfs/osfm/boards/specific-meetings/publichearingdraftofmassamendmentstorevisedfiresafetycode-2-.pdf

To learn more about the new Massachusetts fire safety code, visit the MA Department of Fire Services website: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/dfs2/osfm/fire-prev/comprehensive-model-fire-code.html

If you have any questions, please contact Alex Wong Berman at 508.970.0033 ext. 126 or aberman@capaccio.com.

Deadline nearing for Hazardous Material Process or Processing (527 CMR 33) permit applications Reply

The new year is fast approaching, and so is the deadline to submit permit applications for 527 CMR 33 – Hazardous Material Process or Processing. On or before January 1, 2014, companies that fall under Categories 2 and 3 are required to submit their permit applications.

As a refresher, Category 2 companies have a process which involves or produces a hazardous material which occurs in a vessel that is greater than 2.5 gallons but less than or equal to 60 gallons. Companies that fall under this category must have the following in place in addition to submitting the permit application by the deadline:

• Hazard Communication Program
• Chemical Hygiene Program
• Flammable Storage Permit/License
• Emergency Response Planning

Category 3 companies have a process which involves or produces a hazardous material which occurs in a vessel greater than 60 gallons but less than or equal to 300 gallons, or a process that is conducted in an area that is classified as an H-occupancy per the Massachusetts Building Code. Companies that fall under this category must fulfill all the same requirements as Category 2, but must also have in place a:

• Process Hazard Evaluation for each Category 3 process
• Procedure for Post Incident Analysis

CAPACCIO has successfully helped companies come into compliance with this regulation and has worked with local fire departments to obtain the necessary permits. It is important that you are prepared to educate the fire department about your processes and that you involve them early in the process. If your permit is denied, the fire department may require an evaluation by a third party.

With the deadline drawing near, CAPACCIO can ensure that all the necessary leg work is done and the last minute details are taken care of before submitting your permit application to the fire department. We can help with determining your applicability and process category, updating your plans and policies, implementing applicable program requirements, compiling and preparing specific documentation to demonstrate compliance to the regulation, preparing your permit, and working with your local fire department to submit your permit.

Please contact Christopher Walton, PE, BCEE, Senior Associate, at 508.970.0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com if you require assistance on some or all of these tasks to ensure you meet the January 1 deadline.