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.

Now enrolling: CAPACCIO Wastewater Treatment Operator TCH Courses Reply

CAPACCIO’s next round of wastewater treatment operator TCH classes are being offered Thursday September 8 and 15, 2016. We will be offering four MassDEP approved courses, each worth 2.5 TCHs. Don’t wait until 2017 to get your credits for license renewal. Enroll now!

http://www.capaccio.com/services/training/wwt_index.html

CAPACCIO is a leader in industrial wastewater treatment design. Our trainers are experts in the design, operation, and maintenance of industrial wastewater treatment systems. For over a decade, we have prepared candidates for the Wastewater Treatment Operator Exam in Massachusetts and have offered a wide variety of Training Contact Hour (TCH) courses for licensed operators. Our courses are open to public enrollment and can be customized to meet industry or company specific needs. Let us help you prepare for the next exam or keep up with your current license requirements!

For more information, please contact Nancy Robbins at 508.970.0033 ext. 132 or nrobbins@capaccio.com.

 

Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc. Places #1 in Zweig Group’s Best Places to Work Reply

PrintCapaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc. (CAPACCIO) is proud to announce that it has been named #1 in Zweig Group’s Best Places to Work ranking of environmental engineering & consulting firms.  ZweigGroup provides specialized management information and expertise for architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firms.

Companies located throughout the United States and Canada were ranked by an independent research firm based on a review of company practices and the results of anonymous employee surveys. Areas evaluated included workplace practices, benefits, compensation, retention rates, employee engagement, firm performance, and more. Having placed in the top ten in the past two years, CAPACCIO is thrilled to have risen to the top spot this year.

“CAPACCIO’s vision includes being a great place to work, with a talented, energetic, and passionately engaged staff committed to the success of our clients and each other,” said President and CEO Lisa Wilk. “Toward this end, we strive to foster an atmosphere for professional growth, innovation; teamwork, open-communication, feeling valued, and delivering top quality results. We are very excited to be recognized for our efforts toward this goal.”

CAPACCIO is a women-owned, 30-person environmental, health and safety consulting and engineering firm based in Marlborough, MA whose mission is “Helping Industry and the Environment Prosper.” CAPACCIO, and this year’s other top firms, will be recognized at ZweigGroup’s Awards Conference on September 22-23, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  To learn more about CAPACCIO, please visit us at www.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.