Changes to EPCRA Sections 311 and 312 hazardous chemical reporting forms (Tier I and Tier II) will become effective January 1, 2018 1

Summary of Changes:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to revise existing hazard categories currently used for hazardous chemical inventory reporting under EPCRA Section 311 (Tier I) and Section 312 (Tier II) to conform to the hazard classes now used in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). EPA has decided to replace the existing five hazard categories:

  • Fire
  • Sudden Release of Pressure
  • Reactive
  • Immediate (Acute)
  • Delayed (Chronic)

with the specific hazard classes listed in the revised OSHA Hazard Communication Standard:

Physical Hazard Health Hazard
Flammable (gases, aerosols, liquids, or solids) Carcinogenicity
Gas under pressure Acute toxicity (any route of exposure)
Explosive Reproductive toxicity
Self-heating Skin Corrosion or Irritation
Pyrophoric (liquid or solid) Respiratory or Skin Sensitization
Pyrophoric Gas Serious eye damage or eye irritation
Corrosive to metal Specific target organ toxicity (single or repeated exposure)
Oxidizer (liquid, solid or gas) Aspiration Hazard
Organic peroxide Germ cell mutagenicity
Self-reactive Simple Asphyxiant
In contact with water emits flammable gas Hazard Not Otherwise Classified (HNOC)
Combustible Dust
Hazard Not Otherwise Classified (HNOC)

EPA will be modifying the Tier2 Submit software developed for reporting under section 312 to include the new physical and health hazards. For states that have their own reporting software for section 312, EPA is providing flexibility to allow states to modify their software by January 1, 2018. Facilities are required to comply with reporting the new physical and health hazards on their Tier II inventory form for reporting year 2017, by March 1, 2018.

Dates:

Effective Date: This final rule was effective June 13, 2016.

Compliance Date: The compliance date is January 1, 2018.

Note: These changes will not affect reporting for the current year 2016 and existing forms and software will be used for completing Tier II reports which must be completed by March 1, 2017.

For more information, please contact Bob King, CIH, CSP, at 508-970-0033 ext. 113 or bking@capaccio.com.

Executive Order (EO) 13650 “Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security” New Fact Sheet Issued Reply

A new fact sheet has been issued in June 2015 by the Executive Order (EO) Working Group for EO 13650 “Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.” A copy of the new Fact Sheet can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/EO13650FS-ImprovingChemicalFacilitySafety.pdf .

The June 2015 Fact Sheet provides updates on actions taken since EO 13650 was issued on August 1, 2013, as a response to catastrophic chemical facility incidents in the United States. The focus of the EO is to improve chemical facility safety in coordination with owners and operators. The Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group (Working Group) – co-chaired by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Labor (DOL) – leads the effort to implement the Executive Order and improve coordination and regulation of chemical facilities across the various agencies and Federal, state, local, and first responder communities.

Through the analysis of the current operating environment, existing regulatory programs and stakeholder feedback, a consolidated Federal Action Plan was created to address five elements:

  • Strengthening community planning and preparedness 
    Update: Continue enhancing programs and assistance to State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), including development of on-line training modules and new EPA fact sheet How to Better Prepare Your Community for a Chemical Emergency: A Guide for State, Tribal, and Local Agencies 
  • Enhancing Federal operational coordination 
    Update: Established regional working groups (RWGs) in all 10 federal regions to improve coordination among DHS, EPA, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
  • Improving data management 
    Update: The Facility Registry Service (FRS) integrates facility data from across nearly 90 different Federal and State systems, and has been updated to include DHS Top-Screen submission for Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), as well as OSHA data (e.g. Process Safety Management (PSM)) 
  • Modernizing policies and regulations 
    Update: EPA issued a request for information (RFI) seeking public comment on updates to the Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulation 
    Update: OSHA issued an RFI seeking public input on possible improvements to the PSM standard 
    Update: The CFATS Program has been re-authorized for four more years 
  • Incorporating stakeholder feedback and developing best practices 
    Update: Launched an online best practices repository to collect industry best practices as they are identified A webinar is available, which provides an introduction to the EO 13650, highlights federal agencies involved in the EO and the primary regulations pertaining to the EO, and discusses local government involvement, and community involvement.

    Comments from the community participants are also included. You can access the webinar through the EPA’s website: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-security#Webinars

    What does this mean for you?
    – Make sure that the chemical data you submit under different regulatory programs is consistent, because EPA, OSHA, and DHS are improving their coordination and review of submitted data
    – Get involved with your LEPC if you store extremely hazardous substances (EHS) onsite, and ensure that your emergency action plans and contingency plans are up to date
    – If your facility is subject to EPA’s RMP program, review the requirements and check regularly for program updates: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp
    – If your facility is subject to OSHA’s PSM program, review the requirements and check regularly for updates: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3132.html

    For questions about the Executive Order, please email the Executive Order Working Group (Eo.chemical@hq.dhs.gov).

    To answer any questions or for more information, please contact Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, at CAPACCIO ay 508-970-0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com.

    Sources:
    EPA: http://www2.epa.gov/rmp/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-security#eopu
    DHS: http://www.dhs.gov/topic/chemical-security
    Department of Labor/OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/index.html

Maintaining a Safe Environment of Care – conformance to Joint Commission Standards and avoiding accreditation citations Reply

Joint Commission accreditation is intended to ensure that hospitals provide the highest level of performance and service to their patients. The Joint Commission’s accreditation process seeks to help organizations identify and resolve problems and to inspire them to improve the safety and quality of care and services provided. The process focuses on systems critical to the safety and the quality of care, treatment, and services.

Joint Commission publishes a list of the top deficiency citations about every 6 months. The top ten citations for the first half of 2014 were recently highlighted in the December 2014 issue of the New England Healthcare Engineers’ Society (NEHES) newsletter. One of the top ten citations is specifically related to management of hazardous materials and waste. The Joint Commission Standards include Environment of Care Standard EC.02.02.01, the management of hazardous materials and waste. This standard includes several elements of performance to ensure that hospitals are maintaining a safe environment for their patients, health care professionals, and support staff. Hospitals must be able to demonstrate that they do the following:

– Maintain a written, current inventory of hazardous materials and waste that it uses, stores, or
generates
– Have written procedures, including the use of precautions and personal protective equipment, to
follow in response to hazardous material and waste spills or exposures
– Implement its procedures in response to hazardous material and waste spills or exposures
– Minimize risks associated with selecting, handling, storing, transporting, using, and disposing
of hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials (radiation, x-rays), hazardous energy sources
(lasers, MRIs), and hazardous gases and vapors
– Minimize risk associated with disposing of hazardous medications
– Monitor levels of hazardous gases and vapors to determine that they are in safe range
– Have the permits, licenses, manifests, and MSDSs required for managing hazardous materials and
waste
– Label hazardous materials and waste, identifying the contents and hazard warnings

Demonstrating conformance to this standard includes compliance with several regulations, covering a diverse range of hazardous materials and hazardous waste sources, or “streams.” In addition, there is overlap among the many applicable regulations: OSHA, EPA, DOT, NRC, DOE, state regulations, and local bylaws.

In order to reduce risk, hospitals should consider getting a third party inspection, or audit, to assist on both compliance with applicable hazardous materials and hazardous waste regulations, and conformance to the Joint Commission Environment of Care standard. If you would like to find out more, please contact CAPACCIO’s William Potochniak, PE, at wpotochniak@capaccio.com or Jill Vernes, CHMM, TURP, at jvernes@capaccio.com.

Have You Reviewed Your Risk Management Plan/Process Safety Management Program Lately? Reply

In accordance with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations at 40 CFR 68.79, facilities required to maintain Risk Management Plans (RMP) must audit their programs at least once every three years. Similarly, in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations at 29 CFR 1910.119(o), facilities required to maintain Process Safety Management (PSM) programs must also conduct program audits every three years.

Some important points:
• Audits must be completed by a team, with at least one team member who is knowledgeable
about the process
• All findings must be documented
• All actions to address audit findings must be documented
• The audit must contain a certification that the audit evaluated the program

Some common audit findings include:
• Inadequate development of one or more program elements
• Inadequate documentation of program activities (particularly mechanical integrity programs)
• Hazard assessments are not adequate or not available, or no documentation of follow-up
activities exists
• Operating procedures not certified annually
• Management of change program not implemented
• Contractor safety program not implemented

EPA and OSHA are routinely conducting audits – be ready. CAPACCIO has experience developing and auditing RMP and PSM programs for a variety of different industries. If you would like to find out more, please contact Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, at (508) 970-0033 ext. 139 or at cwalton@capaccio.com.