Oil Storage and EPA Penalties – Don’t be next! Reply

On July 8, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a “tweet” with the headline, “Companies in Vermont and Massachusetts face sanctions for failing to prevent oil spills.” It looks like the EPA has moved to social media for its regulatory updates (and warnings)! The sanctions were related to violations under Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations Part 112 (40 CFR 112) “Oil Pollution Prevention” which requires companies that store more than 1,320 gallons of oil in aboveground containers to prepare and maintain a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan. The purpose of preparing and maintaining an SPCC plan is to prevent and contain spills in order to minimize environmental damage when spills do occur. In addition, companies, through their SPCC plans, must ensure that they can adequately respond to a spill by having adequate employee training and spill response equipment.

The two New England based companies mentioned were issued significant penalties (i.e., in excess of $100K) for failing to take the required precautions to prevent and contain oil spills from their facility activities. Similar penalties are frequently issued by the EPA for a regulatory program with requirements that are relatively easy to meet. Why? Most of the time the companies that get fined don’t know about the regulation and therefore they don’t have an SPCC plan in place. In addition to paying a penalty, companies are required to come into compliance by preparing an SPCC Plan under a consent order. Don’t be the next source of EPA revenue! If you don’t have an SPCC plan, conduct an inventory of oil storage at your facility to determine if you exceed the 1,320 gallon threshold and be sure to include all animal, vegetable, mineral and synthetic oils.

If you want more information, please contact Wayne Bates at 508.970.0033 x121 or wbates@capaccio.com or check out the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm)

“RoHS Recast” New Directive Reply

On July 1st 2011, an updated version of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  EU member states have 18 months to enact the new directive into local law.  DIRECTIVE 2011/65/EU termed the “RoHS Recast” has a number of changes that could affect manufacturing in the United States.  The most impactful change is that the updated version of RoHS now includes electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that was previously outside the scope of the directive.  The RoHS Directive will now include Medical Devices and Monitoring and Control Instruments. 

Manufacturers of these types of EEE will have 3 years to come into compliance with the changes to the directive.   The RoHS recast will also require manufacturers to draw up a declaration of conformity and affix the CE mark to their products in order to demonstrate compliance.  There has also been a number of changes regarding exemptions.  There is now a process for applying for an exemption to the directive.  All exemptions will expire and the manufacturer will need to reapply for the exemptions 18 months prior to expiration. 

The recast did not add additional substances to the banned list, although the recast requires a review of the substances within three years.  The current banned substances are; Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated Biphenyls, and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers.  It is important for companies to start thinking about how these changes are going affect the importation of EEE into the EU.  Companies will also need to be able to demonstrate that they are in compliance with the directive at the member state level. If you have any questions about the RoHS Recast please contact Travis Wheeler at 508.970.0033 ext. 115 or twheeler@capaccio.com.

 

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.

MassDEP to Finalize UST Operator Training Requirements Regulations 310 CMR 80.00 Reply

Federal regulations for owners and operators of Underground Storage Tanks (UST’s) require that facilities must have certified operators for their UST systems by August 8th, 2012.  To satisfy the federal regulation, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has developed an emergency regulation, 310 CMR 80.00 Operator Training, which outlines the requirements of owner and operators of UST’s and the MassDEP requirements. 

Facilities will be allowed to train operators internally to meet the training requirements and will also be required to have a Class A, B, and C Operator on staff at the facility.  In addition to the internal training, Class A and B Operators will be required to pass an exam administered by the MassDEP and pay the associated registration fees.  It is important to note that one person may serve as the Class A, B and C Operator for a facility, but certification must be obtained by the August 2012 deadline.  

For more information regarding this emergency regulation, the public comment period, or the requirements for each class of operator please see the links below or contact Josh Fawson at 508.970.0033 x120 or jfawson@capaccio.com..

Proposed Regulation 310 CMR 80.00

http://www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/laws/ustotreg.doc