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

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.


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

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 ( 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


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