EHS Roundtable covering 527 CMR 33 scheduled for Friday, March 30 1

The Devens EcoEfficiency Center is holding an EHS Roundtable on Friday, March 30 to provide an overview of the new Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS) Hazardous Materials Processing regulation (527 CMR 33) and discuss its development. Presenters will be Tim Rodrique, Director of the Division of Fire Safety within the State Fire Marshal’s Office and a focal driver of the regulation within the MA Board of Fire Prevention Regulations (BFPR), and practitioners with experience reviewing and facilitating process hazard analyses (PHAs) and Process Safety Reviews (PSRs) for clients in industrial plants and high technology academic research institutions.

The presenters will explain the differences from the process safety management (PSM) standard from OSHA and USEPA risk management plan (RMP) requirements. Presenters will also discuss some of the most important requirements and responsibilities contained within the Hazardous Material Process regulation and describe the current schedule for its implementation in the Commonwealth. After the presentation there will be time to respond to questions.  

On February 3, 2012 the new 527 CMR 33 came into effect.  DFS developed this regulation to help prevent the occurrence of incidents like the explosion in Leominster in 2005, the fire and explosion in Danvers in 2006, and the fire and explosion in Middleton in 2011 – all involving processes using hazardous materials.

Capaccio Environmental Engineering’s Linda Swift and Geoff Gilbert have been closely tracking the development of this new regulation and will be in attendance.   If you are unable to attend, but have questions or concerns about this regulation and how it might impact your operations, please post  your question in the comment section of this blog, or e-mail Linda or Geoff directly at lswift@capaccio.com or ggilbert@capaccio.com.

The meeting will be at:
33 Andrews Parkway, Devens, Conference Room 1
Registration fee is $15. Coffee and bagels will be available
RSVP donaneely@ecostardevens.com or 978-772-8831 x3304

Is Green Infrastructure an Effective Solution? 1

As discussed in our previous blog entries, water scarcity and failing infrastructure are important sustainability concerns. If you look around, you may notice areas where our infrastructure needs replacement or repair, but so few communities can afford the overwhelming costs. The EPA believes that green infrastructure offers a resilient and affordable solution.

Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage water and create healthier urban environments.  Offering highly scalable options, green infrastructure includes anything along the lines of harvesting rainwater, permeable pavement, green roofs, and land conservation. Following suit with the definition of sustainability, these applications aim to mimic or incorporate nature harmoniously.

A prime local example is the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway that sits above Boston’s infamous Big Dig I-93 tunnel. Prior to the Big Dig, this area was a dark, barren, hazard-ridden wasted space. But now, there consists a mile-long path connecting several parks and neighborhoods resulting in a green infrastructure including public open space, storm water management, composting, and reduced costs of water and electricity.

This project came together during the new construction of the Big Dig. Would such a green infrastructure project be as effective amidst failing infrastructure? Is green infrastructure a step in the right direction for sustainability? Is it a fair trade to pour “green” into infrastructure projects in order to reap the return in environmentally-friendly “green”?

Template for Construction Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans Available Online Reply

The  EPA has posted a new template for construction operators to use in developing stormwater pollution prevention plans, which are site-specific documents required as part of EPA’s new 2012 Construction General Permit. The template is designed to help construction operators develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan that is compliant with the minimum requirements of the new permit. The template allows operators to customize the document to the needs of the site, and includes tables and other fields that are easy to fill out.

For questions about the template, or the permit in general, please send inquiries to CGP@epa.gov. For additional information on stormwater pollution prevention plans for construction activities and to view a copy of the template visit:

http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/swppp.cfm.

For additional information on EPA’s 2012 CGP visit:

http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/cgp.cfm.

This notice is courtesy of Water Headlines, a weekly on-line publication that announces publications, policies, and activities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water.

Visit EPA’s Water Is Worth It Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/EPAWaterIsWorthIt, and follow our Water Is Worth It tweets at http://twitter.com/epawater.

 

Carbon Disclosure Project vs. Taxes – Can you see the similarities? Reply

Spring is in the air, but that also means we are in the midst of tax season and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) carbon reporting season.  At a first glance, you wouldn’t think so, but both filing processes are remarkably similar.  

Filing taxes increases transparency to shareholders, clients, and the public on company financials. Measuring and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions data by participating in the CDP does the same thing on an environmental front.  Both processes can help businesses identify risks, plan for the future, increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary costs.

Other similarities? The CDP offers a detailed Guidance document with step-by-step instructions and explains the reporting system structure in excruciating detail; a striking similarity to tax preparation guidance documents!   The CDP provides a dizzying list of descriptions, codes, and policies. Sound familiar?

As the final step to preparation, the CDP provides a Response Check, or “high level checking service” that reviews responses prior to submission. External consultants review the responses for completeness and offer expert feedback for a standard $1,000 fee. In the tax world, you have your local CPA.

 Keep the deadlines in mind, and do your spring cleaning of paperwork!