EPA to evaluate national wastewater standards for electronics manufacturers Reply

CAPACCIO is tracking a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiative that may ultimately affect any semiconductor or electronic component manufacturer that generates process wastewater. Every two years, the EPA publishes its plan to revise national wastewater discharge standards (also known as Effluent Limitation Guidelines or “categorical standards”). The 2016 plan, published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2016 (www.epa.gov/eg) discloses that EPA will evaluate the Electronic and Electronic Components Category, which includes manufacturers of a wide variety of products including semiconductors, crystals, wafers, photovoltaics, and others as defined by EPA (see current EPA regulation at 40 CFR 469). EPA has not changed this regulation since 1983 and EPA acknowledges there have been many developments in the category since 1983. EPA will review current wastewater discharges, wastewater treatment, pollution prevention and management technologies and may establish new baseline metrics (discharge standards, water use limits, best management practices) that would apply to all members of the category.

If you have questions about how this may impact you, please call Art Cunningham, Director of Engineering at CAPACCIO, (508) 970-0033 ext. 141 or acunningham@capaccio.com.

 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Refrigerant Management Changes On The Way Reply

Section 608 of the Clean Air Act requires EPA to develop programs that protect the stratospheric ozone layer and prohibits the knowing release of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and substitute refrigerants during the course of maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of appliances or industrial process refrigeration. On November 9, 2015, EPA published a proposed rule to amend these refrigerant management program regulations.

Here is a brief summary of the changes EPA has proposed.

  • Extend the regulations to cover substitute refrigerants to non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerants, including but not limited to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
  • Strengthen the requirements to repair leaking appliances containing 50 or more pounds of refrigerant by lowering applicable leak rates for
    • industrial process and commercial refrigeration appliances from 35 percent to 20 percent, and
    • comfort cooling appliances from 15 percent 10 percent
  • Require regular leak inspections or continuous monitoring of refrigeration and air conditioning systems including:
    • annual inspections for systems normally containing 50 pounds or more of refrigerant
    • quarterly inspections for commercial refrigeration and industrial systems normally containing 500 pounds or more of refrigerant
  •  Extend the current sales restriction on ODS refrigerants to substitute refrigerants with the exception of small cans (two pounds or less) of motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) refrigerant
  • Prohibit operation of systems normally containing 50 pounds or more of refrigerant that have leaked 75% or more of their full charge for two consecutive years.
  • Extend current recordkeeping requirements for appliances with less than 5 pounds and more than 50 pounds of refrigerant to appliances containing between 5 and 50 pounds of ODS and non-ODS substitute refrigerants. The change will require all technicians to keep records of the amount of ODS and substitute refrigerant recovered when disposing of all appliances.
  • Update the Technician Certification Program to require certification for servicing appliances containing non-exempt substitutes and also require certifying organizations to publish lists or online databases of technicians that have been certified.

EPA is proposing that most of the final rule become effective on January 1, 2017 but recognizes that for certain requirements, stakeholders will need additional time to comply. Therefore, EPA is proposing compliance dates from one year to 18 months after publication of the final rule for appliance maintenance and leak repair requirements.

If you own, operate, or use refrigeration contractors to service your industrial refrigeration or comfort cooling equipment, be aware that these changes may impact you, your facility, your equipment, and your regulatory reporting obligations.

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

TRI FACILITIES – IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON CDX SHUT DOWN Reply

The important update pasted below was sent by the EPA to inform TRI filers that the Central Data Exchange (CDX) system will be shutting down for upgrades and maintenance starting at 6 a.m. on July 2. As you will not be able to submit your TRI information once the system goes offline, TRI facilities are being urged to submit their information early as it is a violation to submit or certify your forms late. Penalties can be significant. There are only 2 weeks to go before this shut-down occurs, so if you are in need of any TRI reporting assistance, please contact Colleen Walsh, CHMM, at CAPACCIO at 508-970-0033 ext. 129 or cwalsh@capaccio.com.

A certifying official must have an approved Electronic Signature Agreement (ESA) form in place before certifying and submitting TRI forms. If a new certifying official will certify TRI reporting forms for your facility, EPA recommends that the certifying official register with CDX and complete an ESA at least a couple of weeks before the July 1 deadline.

Email sent by the US EPA:

  • EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) (where you submit your TRI information) will be shut down for upgrades and maintenance starting 6:00am July 2. So please submit and certify your TRI information as soon as possible. DO not wait until the last week to fill out and submit your forms or call the help line.  It is a violation to submit your forms late, and it is a violation to certify your forms late. Penalties can be significant.  Call the Central Data Exchange (CDX) helpline (888-890-1995) to confirm your electronic data transfer went through and the forms have been properly certified.

Here is the website for general TRI-ME web information:

http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/tri-meweb-resources

Specific guidance on TRI-ME web reporting process is here:

http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/tri-meweb-reporting-process

Additional guidance on TRI reporting can be found here:

http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/reporting-tri-facilities

  • The process to electronically certify your forms is not straight forward. Please remember the electronic submission of your form must be finished by certification by your certifying official. If it has not been certified –  the data you just submitted electronically does not enter the system.  It may be a good idea to check your submission in eFDP

https://tri-epa.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/212345657-Viewing-an-electronic-Facility-Data-Profile-in-TRI-MEweb

  • or call the CDX hotline to confirm the certification has gone through and everything has been correctly received.
  • Notification of no longer reporting – You can learn how to report that your facility is not reporting to TRI by viewing this tutorial. The TRI-MEweb application can now be used to report on your facility status with having to submit a Form R. All you need to have is a CDX user account and your access key to access your facility’s account.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-04/entering_optional_facility_level_information-april22.swf

A facility can provide this information in TRI-MEweb or by emailing the TRI Data Processing Center (tridpc@epacdx.net). In TRI-MEweb the user would click the “My Facilities” tab and then click the “Provide Additional Info” button in the last column for the facility that wants to indicate it is not reporting for a particular reason (e.g., <10 FTE, activity fell below reporting threshold, etc.). For emailing the Data Processing Center, we recommend the person provide the name of the facility, ID for the facility (TRIFID), and a brief rationale.  We recommend facilities use the TRI-MEweb option, though either option works.

EPA contact for more information: Chris Rascher Environmental Engineer U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 1, OES 05-1 Boston, MA  02109 (617) 918-1834.

 

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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