Upcoming Small Quantity Generator (SQG) Reporting Deadline

In 2016, EPA adopted the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule that includes a requirement for all small quantity generators (SQGs) to re-notify the EPA or state agency of hazardous waste activities. In short, SQGs generate more than 100 kilograms but less than 1,000 kilograms of non-acute hazardous waste per month. SQGs must re-notify EPA or their state agency by September 1, 2021 and every four (4) years thereafter.

To determine applicability and submit the re-notification you should:

  • Determine if your facility location(s) is under EPA jurisdiction or if your state has adopted and been authorized for the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule
  • Verify your hazardous waste generator status and reporting requirement using the applicable regulations
    • Some authorized states have definitions of hazardous waste generator categories that are more stringent than EPA’s definitions and/or may require reporting more frequently and/or in addition to the SQG re-notification
  • Determine if a complete notification was submitted for your facility during the four (4) years prior to the due date
    • If you submitted a complete notification of regulated activity or EPA Site ID Form (or state equivalent) anytime within the four years before the September 1, 2021 deadline the re-notification obligation is considered to be met
    • The requirement for generators to re-notify whenever there is a change to the site contact, ownership, or type of RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste activity conducted remains in place and is independent of the four (4)-year re-notification requirement
  • Identify the required method to be used when filing the SQG re-notification
    • EPA generally requires Notification of RCRA Subtitle C Activities (Site Identification Form), also known as EPA Form 8700-12, and many states have adopted the use of this form
    • Consult form instructions for correct mailing address if sending hard copy form
    • Some states allow (or require) use of an electronic system, such as MyRCRAID
    • Signatory/certification requirements (e.g., Responsible Corporate Official) should be determined and form/submittal must be signed/certified accordingly

VBA professionals can assist you with identifying and fulfilling environmental compliance obligations. Please contact a VBA Compliance Assurance professional if you need assistance with hazardous waste generator reporting and/or EHS compliance.

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OSHA Coronavirus National Emphasis Program

OSHA has launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) related to COVID-19. NEPs are temporary programs that focus OSHA’s resources on particular hazards and high-hazard industries. According to OSHA, the COVID-19 NEP is meant to focus OSHA’s enforcement  efforts on:

  • Companies that put the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus; and
  • Companies that in part have higher numbers of deaths and/or hospitalizations due to occupational exposures to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 NEP inspections will enhance previous coronavirus enforcement efforts but will also include follow-up inspections of previously inspected worksites to ensure abatement actions have been implemented as required.

The COVID-19 NEP is set to remain in effect until March 12, 2022, though OSHA can amend or cancel the NEP during this effective period.

In conjunction with the issuance of the NEP, OSHA updated its Interim Enforcement Response Plan to prioritize on-site inspection over remote inspection and will focus on employers deemed to be not making good faith efforts to protect workers. This amended action will go into effect on March 18, 2021.

Please contact VBA Compliance Assurance if you need assistance with establishing programs for worker protection.

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Environmental, Health and Safety Reporting

At the beginning of a new year, it is important to review facility operations and identify environmental, health and safety (EHS) reporting requirements to ensure reporting deadlines are met. Reporting requirements may have been modified since prior year’s reports, so it is also important to review reporting instructions and regulatory changes before filing.

The following is a brief summary of common, recurring EHS reporting requirements:

  1. EPCRA Tier II Reporting – This report provides State, local officials and the public with specific information about chemicals stored at a facility and potential hazards associated with those chemicals. This report is due annually by March 1 for any facility that exceeds the reporting thresholds. Follow state procedures for filing these reports.
  2. OSHA Injury and Illness Reporting – OSHA requires establishments that meet minimum number of employee thresholds in specified industries to file injury and illness information electronically annually by March 2.
  3. EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting – This report is required for large greenhouse gas emission sources. The report is due annually by March 31.
  4. EPCRA Toxic Release Inventory Report – This report is required by certain industrial facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use reportable chemicals above the reporting thresholds. The report is due annually by July 1.
  5. DOT Hazmat Registration – Offerors and transporters of certain quantities and types of hazardous materials, including hazardous wastes, are required to file an annual registration statement with the U.S. Department of Transportation and to pay a fee. This report is due annually by July 1.
  6. Small Quantity Hazardous Waste Generator (SQG) Site Notification Update – This report is required by SQGs located in a State where EPA is the enforcement authority or where the State enforcement authority has adopted the EPA hazardous waste rule. The report is due every four years, with the first reporting deadline being September 1, 2021.
  7. Air Emissions Inventories – These reports are triggered by State air regulations and are triggered by air permit requirements and/or the air emissions that occurred at the facility during the reporting period. State regulations and/or air permit requirements specify reporting due dates.

Even if a facility does not trigger the reporting requirement, many of the associated regulations require that documentation is maintained demonstrating a report was not required to be submitted.

This is just a small list of potentially applicable EHS reporting requirements. If you need assistance identifying regulatory reporting requirements or would like to develop an EHS Compliance Calendar specific to your facility EHS regulatory applicability, contact a VBA expert for help.

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EHS Agency COVID-19 Guidance

Environmental, health and safety regulatory agencies are issuing guidance related to protecting employees and dealing with regulatory challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some agencies are offering regulatory relief, compliance extensions and/or decreased enforcement actions due to this unprecedented situation. Many are updating contact information and methods for fulfilling regulatory obligations through electronic filings. In an effort to assist the regulated community, VBA Compliance Assurance has developed this list of consolidated links to EHS agency COVID-19 responses.

Federal Environmental

Federal Safety

Federal Transportation

State Environmental

State Safety

We sincerely hope this list is a helpful resource for industries navigating this difficult time. If you know of any other links or guidance documents that you think would be helpful to include, please email the information to [email protected].

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Changes to Emission Estimations for Liquid Storage Tanks

AP-42 is the primary compilation of EPA’s emissions factor information and contains emissions factors and process information for more than 200 air pollution source categories. It is used by facilities as a source of emission factors when determining air emissions where site-specific emission factors through methods such as source testing are not available. Accurate determination of air emissions is required to identify facility source classifications and air permit requirements and when performing actual emissions calculations and emissions reporting.

In November 2019, the EPA published a revision to AP-42 Chapter 7, Section 7.1 – Organic Liquid Storage Tanks, which presents models for estimating volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and, depending on material stored, speciated toxic or hazardous compound emissions. The emission estimation equations have been developed and updated by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

This emissions estimation reference replaces EPA’s TANKS Emissions Estimation Software (most recent version 4.09D, August 2012), which was developed on software that is now outdated. EPA has discontinued support for TANKS and recommends use of the AP-42 Chapter 7, Section 7.1 emissions equations.

Changes in the November 2019 revision of AP-42 Ch. 7.1 include:

  • The use of average vapor temperature rather than average liquid surface temperature when calculating stock vapor density,
  • New equations for partially insulated tanks,
  • Working loss equations based on net working height rather than maximum liquid height,
  • Working loss throughput calculated as a function of cumulative increases in liquid level,
  • Updated Antoine’s constants for selected petrochemicals (Table 7.1-3),
  • Updated values for paint solar absorptance (Table 7.1-6), and
  • Updated meteorological data for selected US locations (Table 7.1-7).

State environmental agencies have begun requiring use of the November 2019 revision to AP-42 Ch. 7.1 for calculating emissions from organic liquid storage tanks. For example:

  • TCEQ required air permit applications relying on AP-42 factors to use the updated emission factors beginning on December 16, 2019; and
  • As of February 20, 2020, LDEQ will no longer accept air permit applications that rely on TANKS and air permit applications must use the November 2019 version of AP-42, Ch. 7.1.

VBA Compliance Assurance can assist you with updating your air emissions calculations and air permit determinations using the new AP-42 Ch. 7.1 emissions estimation techniques. If you need assistance with air permitting and/or air emissions reporting, contact a VBA professional.

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Aerosol Cans Added to Universal Waste Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added hazardous waste aerosol cans to the universal waste program. The universal waste regulations allow an alternative management option for hazardous wastes designated as universal wastes, provided the requirements for management as a universal waste are met. This reduces the regulatory burden for management of these wastes, and the wastes do not have to be counted toward a facility’s hazardous waste generator status when managed in compliance with universal waste regulations.

The final rule becomes effective February 7, 2020 within the states for which EPA is the RCRA authority. If a state agency is the RCRA authority rather than EPA, the state agency must adopt these new regulations for them to be applicable within that state.

Under the rule, an aerosol can means a non-refillable receptacle containing a gas compressed, liquefied, or dissolved under pressure, the sole purpose of which is to expel a liquid, paste, or powder and fitted with a self-closing release device allowing the contents to be ejected by the gas. The rule does not apply to the following types of aerosol cans:

  • Not yet considered a waste (an aerosol can becomes a waste on either the date it is discarded for used cans or the date a person decides to discard it for unused cans);
  • Not classified as a hazardous waste; and
  • Meets the standard for empty containers under 40 CFR 261.7.

Generally, handlers of universal waste aerosol cans must manage the waste in a way that prevents releases of any universal waste or component of a universal waste to the environment, as follows:

  • Universal waste aerosol cans must be accumulated in a container that is:
    • structurally sound;
    • compatible with the contents of the aerosol cans;
    • lacks evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions; is protected from sources of heat; and
    • Is labeled or marked clearly with any of the following phrases: ‘‘Universal Waste—Aerosol Can(s),’’ ‘‘Waste Aerosol Can(s),’’ or ‘‘Used Aerosol Can(s)’’;
  • Universal waste aerosol cans that show evidence of leakage must be packaged in a separate closed container or overpacked with absorbents, or immediately punctured and drained; and
  • As long as each aerosol can is not breached and remains intact, a handler may:
    • Sort aerosol cans by type;
    • Mix intact cans in one container; and
    • Remove actuators to reduce the risk of accidental release.

A handler that punctures and drains aerosol cans under the universal waste program must recycle the empty punctured aerosol cans and meet the following requirements:

  1. Conduct puncturing and draining activities using a device specifically designed to safely puncture aerosol cans and effectively contain the residual contents and any emissions;
  2. Establish and follow a written procedure detailing how to safely puncture and drain the universal waste aerosol cans:
    • Must include proper assembly, operation and maintenance of the unit, segregation of incompatible wastes, and proper waste management practices to prevent fires or releases;
    • Must maintain a copy of the manufacturer’s specification and instruction on site; and
    • Must ensure employees operating the device are trained in the proper procedures;
  3. Ensure that puncturing of the can is done in a manner designed to prevent fires and to prevent the release of any component of universal waste to the environment:
    • Includes locating the equipment on a solid, flat surface in a well-ventilated area;
  4. Immediately transfer the contents from the waste aerosol can or puncturing device, if applicable, to a container or tank that meets the applicable requirements for hazardous waste containers;
  5. Conduct a hazardous waste determination on the contents of the emptied aerosol can and manage that material in accordance with the applicable hazardous waste regulations for the facility’s hazardous waste generator status;
    • If the contents are determined to be nonhazardous, the handler may manage the waste in any way that is in compliance with applicable Federal, state, or local solid waste regulations; and
  6. Establish and follow a written procedure in the event of a spill or leak and a spill clean-up kit must be provided:
    • All spills or leaks of the contents of the aerosol cans must be cleaned up promptly.

If you need assistance with determining EHS applicability, determining hazardous waste management requirements, or complying with the requirements of universal waste regulations, contact a VBA professional.

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First California Cleaning Product Right to Know Act Deadline Approaching

The first compliance deadline under the California Health and Safety Code Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 (the Act) is January 1, 2020, and manufacturers of applicable products must be in compliance to continue selling their products in California.

The Act is intended to provide consumers and workers with ingredient information about designated products. It requires manufacturers of specified cleaning products, including those manufactured for use by household, institutional or commercial consumers, to disclose ingredient information on the product label and the manufacturer’s website.

The following types of chemically formulated consumer products are considered designated products under the Act, if not exempted:

  • Air care products – eliminates odors or freshens the air
  • Automotive products – maintains the appearance of a motor vehicle (washing, waxing, polishing, cleaning or surface treatment)
  • General cleaning product – soap, detergent or other product the purpose of which is to clean, disinfect, or otherwise care for fabric, dishes, or other wares; surfaces including, but not limited to, floors, furniture, countertops, showers, and baths; or other hard surfaces, such as stovetops, microwaves, and other appliances
  • Polish or floor maintenance product – product meant to polish, protect, buff, condition or temporarily seal or maintain furniture, floors, metal, leather or other surfaces

Upcoming deadlines include:

  1. January 1, 2020 – beginning on this date and continuing after, manufacturers must post for public access online disclosures of intentionally added ingredients, fragrance ingredients, or nonfunctional constituents (as defined in the ACT)
  2. January 1, 2021 – beginning on this date and continuing after, manufacturers must disclose specific information on the label related to ingredients and constituents within the product, company toll-free number and website address, and additional statement if all ingredient information isn’t included on the label
  3. January 1, 2023 – beginning on this date and continuing after, Proposition 65 ingredients must be included on the ingredient list

For any designated product manufactured before one of the above compliance dates, the product labeling and online posting information does not apply as long as each product is marked with the day, month and year of manufacture of the product or a date code combined with a toll-free phone number for obtaining date of manufacture.

Information that must be posted on the manufacturer website for each designated product by January 1, 2020 generally includes:

  • A list of intentionally added ingredients, including specific information for fragrance ingredients or allergens;
  • A list of all nonfunctional constituents in the designated product at a concentration at or above 0.01 percent (100 parts per million);
  • The Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) chemical identification number for all listed chemicals;
  • The functional purpose served by each intentionally added ingredient;
  • Electronic links to government information websites for chemicals contained in an array of lists known in the Act as “designated list”; and
  • Links to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each product.

The information that must be disclosed is based on chemical traits and hazards within 22 chemical lists and any subsequent revisions, referred to and published in the Act as the “designated list”. The online information must be updated no later than six months and product label information updated no later than 18 months after the adoption of a revision to any of the lists that are designated.

VBA Compliance Assurance can assist you with your EHS compliance needs. Contact VBA if you need assistance determining if the requirements of the Act apply to your company and, if so, which products are subject to required disclosures.

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OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard and Upcoming Changes

OSHA’s Spring 2019 regulatory agenda indicated that the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for updating the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200, to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) Version 7 is expected in December 2019. The 2012 update of the HCS was based on GHS Version 3, so facilities can expect numerous changes to the HCS to align with GHS Versions 4 – 7 and to codify enforcement policies that have been issued by OSHA since the issuance of HCS 2012.

Examples of changes to the GHS since HCS 2012 that may (or may not) be incorporated into the amended HCS include:

  • New physical hazard categories;
  • Clarification of criteria to assist in the hazard classification processes;
  • New test methods for oxidizing solids;
  • Provisions meant to clarify the criteria for some hazard classes for determining if a chemical is within that hazard class;
  • Revised and simplified classification and labeling summary tables;
  • New codification system for hazard pictograms;
  • New hazard class for desensitized explosives, unstable gases and non-flammable aerosols;
  • New hazard category for pyrophoric gases;
  • Changes to categories for flammable gases;
  • Additional information to be included in Section 9 and Section 14 of safety data sheets (SDSs); and
  • Updates to some health hazard class definitions for clarity.

The HCS has been #2 on OSHA’s Top Ten list for most violated standards for the last five years, and that is not likely to change with the pending updates to the HCS. This may lead companies to try to get a jump start on complying with the new requirements in advance of the rulemaking, but this should be avoided. OSHA has not indicated which elements of the updated GHS it will adopt, and making changes on what might occur could cause noncompliance with the current HCS. Manufacturers and importers cannot begin making changes to SDSs and container labels until the new rule is finalized, since rule modifications regarding hazard classifications and labeling are still unknown. If the 2012 update to the HCS is any indication, the final rule will be issued with a timeline of compliance that will give a significant amount of time for companies to achieve compliance with the amended HCS.

So, what can you do now to prepare for the HCS changes? The key is to ensure compliance with the current HCS prior to issuance of the amended HCS. Manufacturers and importers can review hazard classifications, SDSs, and container labels to make sure they are compliant with current requirements. Employers that are end users of chemicals can perform the below steps to verify compliance with HCS 2012:

  1. Review your chemical inventory to ensure all facility chemicals are included and are listed in a manner that allows easy cross-reference to the correct SDS;
  2. Review SDSs to make sure you have an SDS for all chemicals located at your facility;
  3. Review SDSs to make sure they are the most current version issued by the manufacturer;
  4. Obtain SDSs for any chemical without an SDS or for chemicals with outdated SDSs;
  5. Check systems and procedures to make sure all employees have ready access to SDSs, including in the event of a power failure if SDS access is electronic;
  6. Check systems and procedures to make sure they are effective in managing hazard communication requirements for contract workers and temporary employees;
  7. Review workplace container labels to make sure that all required information is depicted on labels and that labels meet requirements for durability, legibility and visibility;
  8. Review your Hazard Communication Plan (HCP) to make sure that all OSHA-required elements are addressed in the HCP;
  9. Review your HCP to make sure that it accurately reflects facility operations and chemicals, and that it is being implemented as required; and
  10. Review training programs to make sure all required training elements are included, that the training is adequate and appropriate to the hazards that exist at the facility, and that all employees have received the required training.

Employee safety is one of the top priorities of the HCS, and your compliance with the HCS helps ensure employees are aware of the hazards to which they may be exposed and how to protect themselves from those hazards. If you need assistance ensuring the safety of your employees or completing any of the above steps, contact VBA Compliance Assurance. Our safety professionals can review your hazard communication program, chemical management and OSHA compliance and help you implement any necessary measures to support continued safety compliance.

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OSHA’s New Fit Testing Protocols

OSHA issued a final rule on September 25, 2019 that adds two new fit testing protocols that can be used by employers when performing employee respirator fit tests. The new protocols are classified as quantitative fit tests, and include:

  1. Modified ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) protocol for full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators
  2. Modified ambient aerosol CNC protocol for filtering facepiece respirators

OSHA states that both protocols are variations of the original OSHA-approved ambient aerosol CNC protocol, but have fewer test exercises, shorter exercise duration, and a more streamlined sampling sequence. The new protocols are meant to provide additional flexibility to employers that have employees subject to a respiratory protection program. Employers are not obligated to use them and may continue to use any of the four existing fit testing protocols.

All fit testing protocols can be found in the mandatory 29 CFR 1910.134 Appendix A of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard.

Contact VBA Compliance Assurance if you need assistance with respiratory protection programs, employee safety, or OSHA compliance.

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Final Methylene Chloride Rule Compliance Guide

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule on May 15, 2019 that prohibits the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution of methylene chloride in all paint and coating removers for consumer use. The rule also requires manufacturers (including importers), processors, and distributors, except for retailers, of methylene chloride for any use to provide downstream notification of the prohibitions throughout the supply chain; and requires limited recordkeeping.

These requirements for downstream notification and recordkeeping went into effect on August 26, 2019. The requirements that prohibit the manufacturing (including importing), processing, or distributing methylene chloride for use in consumer paints and coating removal become effective on November 22, 2019.

To help methylene chloride processors and distributors comply with the requirements, EPA has issued a compliance guide that includes:

  • A summary of the requirements of the final rule meant to address unreasonable risks from use of methylene chloride,
  • Definition of key terms,
  • Identification of regulated entities,
  • Description of required and/or prohibited activities, and
  • Summary of downstream notification and recordkeeping requirements.

Notification requirements include exact means of notification and text that must be provided to downstream entities. Recordkeeping requirements include records related to the downstream notifications provided, amounts of methylene chloride shipped and to whom the methylene chloride was shipped.

VBA Compliance can assist your facility in identifying the applicable requirements of the methylene chloride rule and developing or updating environmental management systems to address these new requirements. If you need assistance with EHS compliance assessments, determining EHS applicability or implementing EHS compliance programs, contact VBA today.

 

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