Is your Risk Management Plan ready for an EPA inspection? Reply

The EPA has announced that it will be conducting inspections of all facilities regulated under the Risk Management Program (40 CFR 68) over the next ten years. The inspections will be tiered, with facilities that have reported accidents and those that use high risk chemicals (such as chlorine and ammonia) among the first to be inspected.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Emergency Response Commission, recently held two workshops on the Risk Management Program regulated under 40 CFR 68. This regulation requires owners and operators of facilities that manufacture, use, store, or otherwise handle more than a threshold quantity of a listed regulated substance in a process, to implement a Risk Management Program and submit a Risk Management Plan (RMP) to the EPA.

Of particular note, it was announced at the workshops that the EPA would be conducting inspections of all facilities subject to 40 CFR 68 over the next ten years. The criteria for selecting the order in which facilities will be inspected will be based on the following factors:

• Previous accident history of the facility
• Accident history for other facilities in the same industry
• Quantity of RMP-regulated substance onsite
• Proximity to public and environmental receptors
• Presence of specified regulated substances (e.g., chlorine, ammonia)
• Hazards identified in the RMP or
• A neutral, random oversight scheme.

The purpose of the inspections is to ensure that facilities are continuing to implement their Risk Management Program as required and that their RMP is correctly updated to account for changes in facility management and the covered process. As a result of the inspection, a facility may be required to revise its RMP and correct deficiencies in its underlying Risk Management Program.

Are you prepared?

The Risk Management Program requires facilities to conduct audits of their programs once every three years and to submit an update of their RMP to the EPA once every five years. The results of the audit are to be documented in a findings report which must list any items requiring updates or corrections. The facility is required to provide documentation that each of the items identified in the audit report were appropriately addressed or corrected. Facilities are required to maintain copies of the two most recent audit reports for EPA review during an inspection. Risk Management Program elements that are often cited as missing, poorly documented, or deficient in inspections include:

• Operating Procedures
• Employee Training
• Incident Investigation
• Process Hazards Analysis
• Management of Change
• Pre-Startup Review

To prepare for an EPA inspection, facilities should make sure that they have completed their three audits as required and that all items identified in the audit reports have been appropriately addressed. Facilities should also make sure that any applicable program elements, such as those listed above, are reviewed and updated as required.

If you have any questions regarding the Risk Management Plan regulation, or would like additional information on how to prepare for an inspection, contact Lynn Sheridan at 508.970.0033 x122 or lsheridan@capaccio.com.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Greenhouse Gas Reporting Deadline Approaching Reply

The Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule (40 CFR Part 98) requires reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) data and other relevant information from large emission sources across a range of industry sectors, and from suppliers of materials whose products emit GHGs if released or combusted. In general, if your facility emits 25,000 metric tons or more per year of GHGs, you may be required to submit annual reports to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

If you have determined your facility is required to report calendar year 2010 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the EPA, then you should make note of the following dates: 

  • August 1, 2011: Certificate of representation must submitted to the EPA for the facility’s designated representative (i.e., 60 days before the deadline for report submission)
  • August 1, 2011: Reporters must be registered to use EPA’s electronic greenhouse gas reporting tool (e-GGRT)
  • September 30, 2011: GHG reports must be entered on e-GRRT and submitted to EPA

If you have any questions about whether your facility is required to report or need assistance with compiling or reporting your data, please contact Lynn Sheridan at 508.970.0033 x122 or lsheridan@capaccio.com.

 

EPA Extends GHG Reporting Deadline Reply

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the deadline for 2010 greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting to September 30, 2011. The original deadline was March 31, 2011.

Entities who are required to submit data by the new deadline must register online to become a user of the EPA’s electronic greenhouse gas reporting tool (e-GGRT). Registration must be done no later than August 1, 2011. It is also noted that a certificate of representation must submitted to the EPA for the facility’s designated representative by the same date (i.e., 60 days before the deadline for report submission).

The Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule (40 CFR Part 98) requires reporting of GHG data and other relevant information from large emission sources across a range of industry sectors, and from suppliers of materials whose products emit GHGs if released or combusted.  In general, facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year of GHGs may be required to submit annual reports to EPA.

If you have any questions about whether your facility is required to report or need assistance with compiling or reporting your data, please contact Lynn Sheridan at 508.970.0033 ext. 122 or lsheridan@capaccio.com.

Regulated by Your Customers Reply

The words environment, health and safety can bring thoughts of “compliance” to one’s mind.  The regulatory agencies MassDEP, EPA and OSHA are a reminder to us that compliance requirements are being enforced and must be met to avoid penalties or fines. This was true until companies that you sell your products to (i.e., your customers) began getting serious about something they call “supply chain management.”  Supply chain management is when your customers try to manage their risks by becoming regulators themselves.

The biggest company in the world, Wal-Mart, is one of the companies that have been pushing the envelope by “greening” their supply chain.  The company has developed a rigid 15-point sustainability index that must be met by more than 61,000 suppliers and all the factories that they use.  Failure to meet these environmental and social requirements and maintain or lower the price of your products, could result in termination of your Wal-Mart contract.

CAPACCIO recently became involved in helping a Wal-Mart customer, a leading snack food industry manufacturer, prepare for a Wal-Mart audit. Utilizing Walmart’s 15-point sustainability framework, CAPACCIO helped the client prepare for the audit by assessing the company’s current sustainability state against Wal-Mart’s index.

As part of the 15-point framework, Wal-Mart grades companies on four broad categories: energy and climate; material efficiency; nature and resources; and people and community. CAPACCIO found that the company’s current state was already quite “green.” As a family-owned business, the company opted not to promote their environmental and social successes. Wal-Mart, however, was very happy to hear their stories and learn that the snack food company was exploring a number of opportunities to further improve their operations.

CAPACCIO provided the client with an analysis of how they would be scored based on Wal-Mart’s 15-point sustainability framework at the current time. CAPACCIO also provided a number of specific action items that could be considered to help improve the score. Some recommendations were to prepare water and carbon footprint reports and disclose the results to the Carbon Disclosure Project and the newly formed Water Disclosure Project.  CAPACCIO also recommended that the client reach out to its supply chain to learn more about energy and water use in order to complete the disclosures.  We also advised the client to consider creating documentation to present the completed sustainability initiatives and post this information on the company web site or include it in a sustainability report.

CAPACCIO helped this client make an internal business case for these sustainability initiatives.  By going through this process, the business has prospered, and all of the client’s retail customers, not just Wal-Mart, have reaped the benefits.