To “Air” is Human Reply

In our continuing series about auditing and how it can be similar to an annual physical, we will discuss an often overlooked area; a deep dive into air permitting. Just as an annual physical may gloss over some of the more specific parts of the body, air permits can also sometimes be overlooked but doing so can lead to a potential problem in the long run.

Every year, the Doctor asks a list of questions, such as, “Has anything changed in your immediate family’s health (diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, ADHD)? Who lives at your home? Do you have any pets? Do you have any concerns at the moment?  In a similar fashion, prior to an air audit, the auditor will send you a list of questions. Do you have an air plan approval?  Do you have air emissions tracking sheets?  Do you have a control device? All of these questions help the Doctor/Auditor get an overview of your health/facility and any specific areas that may be of concern.

Your responses become the roadmap for the auditor. If you stated you do not have an air plan approval, the auditor may request a listing of how much solvents are used onsite to determine if the facility needs to further evaluate/justify whether a plan approval is needed or if there is an exemption that excludes a facility from obtaining an air plan approval.  The auditor will check if you are maintaining documentation that states how you are complying with the regulation or why your facility meets the listed criteria exemption.

As with your annual checkup, the more symptoms/details you can provide to the Doctor increases their ability to provide you with advice on what you need to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Are there warning signs that you may not have noticed with your air permits?

  • Your volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from a small process is approaching permitting level
  • The state updated their Regulated Toxic Air Pollutant (RTAP) list and you missed the notice
  • EPA has finalized a regulation that applies to you
  • An emergency generator was installed at your facility and was not self-certified
  • Emission statements were not submitted

These are some of the most common findings found during an air audit. What happens if you don’t see the warning signs or you ignore them for too long?  The small warning signs can compound each other to create one larger issue. Just like your health, it is good to go through the annual checkup to help catch the small warnings before it becomes a larger issue and is too late to be fixed.

Just like there are apps to track your health on your phone, computer, or other electronic device, CAPACCIO’s EHS DashboardTM can help you track your facility’s data making an audit by the state or federal inspectors that much easier. Learn more about the dashboard at www.ehsdashboard.com.

For more information on air permits or other air compliance related questions, please contact Lynn Sheridan, EIT, at 508-970-0033 ext. 122 or by cell at 774-249-2565 or email lsheridan@capaccio.com.

August 7, 2017 – UST Deadline Reply

The August 7, 2017 deadline for closure of single-walled steel underground storage tanks (USTs) is rapidly approaching per the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) UST Systems regulation 310 CMR 80.15. This regulation applies to all in-service and temporarily out-of-service USTs, with the exception of consumptive use tanks and tanks that were relined prior to August 8, 2007 in accordance with API 1631, 1983 Edition providing that the owner has a permit and approval from the Fire Department and a current, legally valid warranty for the relining.

At this juncture, if you are the owner of an UST that is not exempt from this regulation, the UST should have been or should be scheduled to be properly closed in accordance with MassDEP requirements. If not, you still have time to avoid MassDEP enforcement activity.  The MassDEP is granting extensions of the August 2017 deadline until July 1, 2018 to those who:

  • Take the UST out of service by August 7, 2017
  • File a Single-Walled Steel Tank Out-of-Service Notification to MassDEP within 30 days of the out-of-service date
  • Submit to MassDEP no later than August 7, 2017 a fully executed and signed contract for removing or closing the UST(s) on or before July 1, 2018

Remember that as part of the UST closure regulations, an assessment for contamination is required to be conducted upon in-place closure or, for removed USTs, within 24 hours after the UST is removed and prior to excavation backfill. The results of this assessment need to be reported in an UST Closure Report. Although the assessment is not required to be completed by a Licensed Site Professional (LSP), the UST removal contractor must be knowledgeable in the MassDEP release reporting criteria under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). In all cases, if a reportable release condition is identified, an LSP must be involved in conducting remedial actions.

CAPACCIO’s EHS-Dashboard™ software solution can help you track regulatory deadlines associated with UST compliance as well as record monthly inspection data so that you can be ready to demonstrate compliance in real time. Please visit http://www.ehsdashboard.com to schedule a demo of our dashboard or contact Chris or Dawn whose contact information is listed below.

CAPACCIO is available to assist you in determining whether this regulation applies to you, assist you in meeting the August 7, 2017 deadline, and/or providing LSP services and assistance in the UST closure assessment process. Please contact Chris Walton, PE, PCEE at 508-970-0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com or Dawn Horter, PG, LSP at 508-970-0033 ext. 118 or dhorter@capaccio.com for additional information.

 

EPA Haz Waste Generator Rule Updates Reply

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s (RCRA) hazardous waste generator regulatory program was originally promulgated in 1980. Since that time, the EPA has become aware of the need for more clarity, consistency, and flexibility within the program. EPA’s final rule, which was promulgated on May 30, 2017, revises the hazardous waste generator regulations making them easier to understand, and providing greater flexibility in how hazardous waste is managed.

Some key provisions where EPA is finalizing flexibility are:

  1. Allowing a hazardous waste generator to avoid increased burden of a higher generator status when generating episodic waste provided the episodic waste is properly managed, and
  2. Allowing a very small quantity generator (VSQG) (previously called conditionally exempt small quantity generators) to send its hazardous waste to a large quantity generator under control of the same person.

This program update is also implementing some Improvements to environmental protection and, therefore, several of the revisions to the hazardous waste generator regulations are more stringent than those in the previous version. One such revision requires Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) to periodically re-notify the EPA regarding their generator status every four years (SQGs needed to only notify once under the previous system).

You may Click Here for additional information on the RCRA Program Updates.  Please note that though the Federal regulations are currently in effect, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has indicated they will not be adopting these updates until 2018.

We can help! Capaccio has RCRA experts that can assist you with the reporting and planning challenges associated with Federal and state hazardous waste programs.  If you have any questions about these programs and updates, please contact Alexis Dallaportas at 508-970-0033 ext. 142 or adallaportas@capaccio.com.

 

 

Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit Annual Report Due January 30 Reply

The first annual report required by the new 2015 stormwater multi-sector general permit is due on January 30, 2017. The new annual report is different than the previous version as it now must be submitted electronically via EPA’s Central Data Exchange. The new annual report format now requires operators to upload a summary of the routine inspection findings, quarterly visual assessments, any benchmark monitoring exceedances, and any corrective actions that were taken over the course of the previous calendar year. While no documentation needs to be uploaded it will be important to have all the relevant documents available to facilitate a quick and complete submittal.

 If you need assistance with your report or have any questions, please contact Dave Averill, EIT, at 508-970-0033 ext. 146 or daverill@capaccio.com or Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, at 508-970-0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com.