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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State Adoption of EPA’s Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (HWGIR)

On November 28, 2016, EPA issued the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (HWGIR), which includes updates and revisions to hazardous waste and associated regulations promulgated at 40 CFR 257 – 279. The majority of the modifications that impact hazardous waste generators, including waste classification, generator category determination, and waste management, are located at 40 CFR 260 – 262.  States that are authorized by EPA to implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) are required to adopt those Federal provisions that are more stringent than the states’ current RCRA generator regulations in order to retain their authorized status.

The below list summarizes the states with RCRA-authorization in which the EPA HWGIR is in effect as of July 24, 2019, and examples of regulatory citations and associated requirements that are more stringent than EPA’s regulations.

Contact VBA Compliance Assurance if you need assistance with hazardous waste compliance.

Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), 4/6/2018         

  • ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-14-3-.08 – Waste destined for disposal in a commercial hazardous waste disposal facility located in the State of Alabama must have prior approval for disposal.
  • ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-14-3-.01(4)(d) – Very small quantity generators (VSQG) that have voluntarily obtained an EPA ID number are required to submit ADEM Form 8700-12 annually or deactivate the number by formally notifying the Department.
  • ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-14-3-.01(6)(b)2.(iv) and (7)(a)1.(v) – All small quantity generators (SQGs) and large quantity generators (LQGs) must record inspections in an inspection log or summary that includes minimum required elements and are kept for three years from date of inspection.
  • ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-14-3-.01(6)(b)10. – Requires specific, documented hazardous waste training for SQGs.
  • ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-14-3-.01(7)(a)1.(iv) – Containers having a capacity greater than 30 gallons must not be stacked over two containers high.
  • ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-14-3-.01(7)(a)10. – Requires specific site security measures to prevent unknowing and unauthorized entry of persons or livestock into the central accumulation area.
  • ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-14-3-.01(8)(d) – Requires SQGs, LQGs, and VSQGs that optionally obtain an EPA ID number to file annual ADEM Form 8700-12 report and fees (including all appropriate attachment pages and fees) reflecting current waste activities to the Department annually.

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), 3/1/2019           

  • R18-8-262.F(C) – Requires reporting to the NRC and ADEQ when a spill has discharged into a storm sewer or dry well, or such an event has resulted in any other discharge that may reach groundwater.
  • R18-8-262.G – Hazardous waste inspections must be documented in a written log that is maintained for three years from the date of the inspection.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), 6/30/2018      

  • 6 CCR 1007-3-262.9 – Requires payment of annual fees to CDPHE.
  • 6 CCR 1007-3-262.13(f)(1)(iii) and (iv) – Specifies that characteristic hazardous waste generated by a VSQG and mixed with the VSQG-generated used oil is a hazardous waste if the resulting mixture exhibits any hazardous waste characteristic, and that mixtures of used oil and listed hazardous waste generated by a VSQG must be managed as hazardous waste. The VSQG must count both the resultant mixture amount plus all other hazardous waste generated in the calendar month to determine whether the total quantity exceeds the VSQG calendar month quantity limits.
  • 6 CCR 1007-3-262.14(d) – Requires VSQGs to comply with the same requirements as SQGs for maintaining and operating the facility to minimize the possibility of a fire, explosion, or any unplanned sudden or non-sudden release of hazardous waste or hazardous waste constituents.
  • 6 CCR 1007-3-262.15(a)(4) – Allows the temporary venting of a container holding hazardous waste only on a case-by-case basis with prior written approval from the Department.
  • 6 CCR 1007-3-262.15(a)(6) – Requires satellite accumulation areas to comply with the requirements of central accumulation areas within 24 hours of exceeding the allowed satellite accumulation area thresholds.
  • 6 CCR 1007-3-262.15(a)(9) – Requires all satellite accumulation areas operated by SQGs or LQGs to be inspected at least weekly.
  • 6 CCR 1007-3-262.15(a)(10) – Requires hazardous waste training of employees in order to utilize the satellite accumulation area exemption.
  • 6 CCR 1007-3-262.16(b)(2)(iv) and 262.17(a)(1)(v) – Includes specific inspection requirements and elements to be inspected for all hazardous waste storage areas.
  • 6 CCR 1007-3-262.16(b)(9) – Requires documented training for employees of SQGs.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), 6/18/2018

  • FAC 62-730.030(2) – Requires VSQGs to document delivery of hazardous waste through written receipts and other records maintained for at least three years.
  • FAC 62-730.030(3) – VSQGs must maintain documentation of any hazardous waste claimed to be exempt from regulation because it was generated by or disposed of by a VSQG, including written records detailing the quantities of HW generated by the VSQG, and the method and location of disposal of such hazardous waste.
  • FAC 62-701.300(4) – Hazardous waste may not be sent to Florida solid waste landfills or incinerators for disposal.
  • FAC 62-730.160(3) – Requires SQGs and LQGs to maintain specific documentation of central accumulation area inspections for at least three years from the date of the inspection.
  • FAC 62-730.160(4) – Requires SQGs and LQGs to maintain adequate aisle space between containers of hazardous waste to allow for inspection of the condition and labels of the individual containers.

Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), 9/28/2017

  • Rule 391-3-11-.08 (3) – Requires weekly inspections of hazardous waste central accumulation areas to be documented and maintained onsite for three years from date of inspection.

Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), 9/30/2018

  • HAR 11-262.16(b)(2)(iv) and .17(a)(1)(v) – Requires SQGs and LQGs to document specific elements of weekly inspections of central accumulation areas and retain inspection records for at least three years from the date of inspection.

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ), 3/28/2018

  • IDAPA and 006 – Emergency notifications must also be made to IDEQ and/or Idaho Office of Emergency Management.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), 11/19/2018

  • 35 IAC 720 – 722 – Essentially the same as the federal rules.

Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet (KEEC), 12/7/2017

  • 401 KAR 39:060 Section 3(4) – Lists substances that are considered state-only hazardous wastes.
  • 401 KAR 39:060 Section 6(1) – Requires releases or threatened releases of a hazardous substance to be reported to KEEC.
  • 401 KAR 39:080 Section 1(3) – Requires generators to resubmit the hazardous waste registration to KEEC at least 45 days prior to expiration shown on certificate of registration.
  • 401 KAR 39:080 Section 1(6) – Generators must request to be removed from the Hazardous Waste Handler List within 90 days of last generation of hazardous waste.
  • 401 KAR 39:080 Section 1(7) – Hazardous waste generators may only treat on-site in tanks, containers, containment buildings, and on drip pads, if requirements are met, including notification to KEEC of the intent to treat hazardous waste and receipt of written approval from KEEC.
  • 401 KAR 39:080 Section 1(8) – Requires SQGs and LQGs to submit annual Hazardous Waste Reports.
  • 401 KAR 39:080 Section 1(10)(b) – Requires VSQGs to notify and register with the KEEC before treating hazardous waste.

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), 6/25/2018

  • MAC Rule 11-3-1.4 – Requires SQGs and LQGs to submit an annual report to MDEQ.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), 5/30/2017

  • NJAC 7:26G-3.2 and 3.3 – Generators are required to pay fees to NJDEP within thirty days of the bill date.
  • NJAC 7:26G-6.1(b)4 – Generators are only allowed to use a hazardous waste transporter that is licensed and registered with NJDEP and that displays current registration number.

New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), 1/21/2018

  • NMAC – Requires payment of annual generator fees to NMED.
  • NMAC – Requires emergency situations associated with hazardous waste be reported to the New Mexico 24-hour emergency response number.

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), 3/1/2018

  • 15A NCAC 13A.0107(a) and 15A NCAC 13A.0107(i) – Requires SQGs and LQGs to maintain aisle space of at least two feet in a central accumulation area to allow the unobstructed movement of personnel, fire prevention equipment, spill control equipment, and decontamination equipment.
  • 15A NCAC 13A.0107(d) – Requires SQGs and LQGs to keep records of central accumulation area inspections for three years from the date of the inspection.
  • NCGS 130A-294.1(f) – Requires payment of annual generator fees to NCDEQ.

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), 9/15/2018

  • OAC 252:205-5-1 – Requires LQGs to file a disposal plan for disposal of hazardous waste in Oklahoma.
  • OAC 252:205-5-3 and 5 – Requires LQGs to file quarterly hazardous waste reports, including copies of manifests.
  • OAC 252:205-13-1 – Must report releases of hazardous waste to ODEQ.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PDEP), 5/30/2017

  • 25 Pa Code 261a.3(b) – Requires that, when it is not promptly possible to determine if a material will be a hazardous waste, the material must be managed as a hazardous waste until the determination is made that indicates it is not a hazardous waste.
  • 25 Pa Code 261a.5(b) – A VSQG may not dispose of hazardous waste in a municipal or residual waste landfill in this Commonwealth.
  • 25 Pa Code 262a.12(1) – Generators must submit subsequent generator notifications to the PDEP if any of the listed conditions occur.
  • 25 Pa Code 262a.12(2) – Generators may only use a transporter with a valid license issued by the PDEP.
  • 25 Pa Code 262a.43 – Discharges/spills of hazardous waste must be reported to PDEP.
  • 25 Pa Code 262a.100 – Requires LQGs to prepare and implement a source reduction strategy.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), 5/24/2019

  • SCCR 61-79.262.A.12 – All generators of hazardous waste must notify SCDHEC of waste generation activities and update the notification within 30 days of a change.
  • SCCR 61-79.262.A.13 and 61-107.279.B.10 – Mixtures of hazardous waste and used oil must be treated as hazardous waste if the hazardous waste is listed or if the resultant mixture exhibits a characteristic of a hazardous waste.
  • SCCR 61-79.262.D.41 – Requires LQGs to submit quarterly hazardous waste reports to SCDHEC.
  • SCCR 61-79.262.D.44 – Requires SQGs to submit an annual declaration of generator status and compliance.

Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ), 8/31/2017

  • UAC R315-262-16(b)(9) and 17(a)(6), UACR315-262-265(d)(2) and (i) – Releases or threatened releases of hazardous wastes, fires, or explosions must be reported to UDEQ.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ), 4/8/2018

  • 9 VAC 20-60-262.B.4 – Requires LQGs to notify VDEQ and document in the operating record that the LQG intends to accumulate hazardous waste prior to or immediately upon the establishment of each 90-day accumulation area. This notification can be made through the filing of the Notification of Hazardous Waste Activity EPA Form 8700-12, which must specify the exact location of the 90-day accumulation area at the site.
  • 9 VAC 20-60-262.B.5 – Management of hazardous wastes must comply with the Regulations Governing the Transportation of Hazardous Materials (9 VAC 20-110), including packaging and labeling for transport.
  • 9 VAC 20-60-262.B.6 – Generators may not use hazardous waste transporters that have not received an EPA identification number and may not send hazardous waste to a facility that has not received a permit and an EPA identification number.
  • 9 VAC 20-60-262.B.8 – LQGs must pay an annual hazardous waste fee.
  • 9 VAC 20-60-262.B.12 – Hazardous waste generated by a VSQG may only be managed by a solid waste disposal unit unless such waste management is in full compliance with all requirements of the Solid Waste Management Regulations (9 VAC 20-81).

Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE), 4/28/2018

  • WAC 173-303-040 – Defines accumulation of dangerous waste as a form of storage.
  • WAC 173-303-040 – Defines weekly inspection to mean at least once during the period from Sunday to Saturday.
  • WAC 173-303-060 – Generators must notify and register with WDOE through use of the Dangerous Waste Site Identification Form.
  • WAC 173-303-060(2) – Prohibits existing EPA/state ID numbers from being transferred to a new company location.
  • WAC 173-303-060(5) – Requires dangerous waste generators to submit an annual report.
  • WAC 173-303-070(1)(b) – Requires any solid waste discovered on-site to undergo an accurate determination if the waste is a dangerous waste.
  • WAC 173-303-070(3)(a) – The dangerous waste designation for each solid waste must begin promptly at the point of waste generation or discovery.
  • WAC 173-303-100(4) and 169 – Lists the dangerous waste quantity exclusion limits that apply to exemptions.
  • WAC 173-303-104 – Lists state-specific dangerous waste numbers.
  • WAC 173-303-145 – Includes specific notification requirements for spills or discharges of dangerous waste, and mitigation and control requirements that must be implemented.
  • WAC 173-303-150 – Prohibits division and/or dilution of dangerous waste to meet exclusion limits or a lower generator status.
  • WAC 173-303-169 – Specifies dangerous waste generator categories as SQG, medium quantity generator (MQG) and LQG.
  • WAC 173-303-172 and 200(7) – Includes state-specific container labeling requirements that specify criteria for labeling such as height, legibility and hazard description.
  • WAC 173-303-172(5)(c) and 200(3)(d) – Requires MQG and LQG containers to be stored with 30 inches of aisle space separation between rows and no more than two rows wide for unobstructed inspection of each container.
  • WAC 173-303-172(5)(d) and 200(3)(d) – Requires MQGs and LQGs to document weekly inspections of central accumulation areas, including specific elements, with documentation kept for at least five years from the date of inspection.
  • WAC 173-303-172(5)(e) and 200(3)(e) – Requires MQG and LQG central accumulation areas to have secondary containment.
  • WAC 173-303-172(13) and 200(10) – Requires additional general facility inspection requirements for container storage areas to prevent malfunctions and deterioration, operator errors, and discharges which may cause or lead to the release of dangerous waste constituents to the environment, or a threat to human health.
  • WAC 173-303-170(2)(a)(i)(D) – Requires SQGs to file an annual dangerous waste report only if the SQG has a RCRA site ID.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), 6/1/2018

  • Va CSR 33-20-4 – All generators, including VSQGs, are required to file notification of hazardous waste activity with WVDEP.
  • Va CSR 33-24 – All generators, including VSQGs, must pay an annual hazardous waste management fee.

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ), 5/2019

  • 0003.1 Wyo Code R 261(b) – Specifies when recycling activity is considered to be a “sham recycling activity” and how that hazardous waste must be managed.
  • 0003.1 Wyo Code R 262(a)(v) – Releases or threatened releases must be reported to WDEQ.
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OSHA Issues Revised Standards

Under the Standards Improvement Project (SIP) Phase IV, OSHA has revised requirements in promulgated safety and health standards to remove or revise outdated, duplicative, unnecessary and inconsistent requirements. OSHA has stated that the amendments are meant to reduce regulatory burden while maintaining or enhancing worker safety and health and improving privacy protections.

The changes impact numerous standards and become effective on July 15, 2019. Changes generally include:

  • An update to the consensus standard incorporated by reference for signs and devices used to protect workers near automobile traffic;
  • A revision to the requirements for roll-over protective structures to comply with current consensus standards;
  • Updates for storage of digital x-rays;
  • Updates to the approved method for calling emergency services to allow for use of current technology;
  • A reduction to the number of necessary employee x-rays;
  • Updates to requirements for pulmonary function testing; and
  • Removing from the standards the requirements that employers include an employee’s social security number (SSN) on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, and other records.

More specifically, the following changes are included in the Recordkeeping, General Industry, Maritime and Construction Standards:


  • Inserts a cross-reference to 29 CFR 1904.5 within the regulations at 29 CFR 1904.10(b)(6) to emphasize the pre-existing requirement regarding when a hearing loss case must be determined to be work-related
  • Removes the requirement to include an employee’s SSN from 19 standards that required its inclusion
  • Modifies recordkeeping forms required by several standards to include a combined race and ethnicity format

General Industry; Toxic and Hazardous Substances

  • Removes the requirement in the inorganic arsenic, coke oven emissions and acrylonitrile standards that employers provide periodic chest X-rays to screen for lung cancer
    • Baseline chest X-rays are still required
    • Periodic chest X-rays are still required in standards where the chest X-ray is used for purposes other than screening for lung cancer (e.g., screening for asbestosis)
  • Allows the use of digital radiography and other reasonably-sized standard films for X-rays in the inorganic arsenic, coke oven emissions, acrylonitrile, asbestos and cadmium standards
  • Updates the lung-function testing requirements of the cotton-dust standard to align with current practices and technology
  • Updates terminology and references to incorporated guidelines

Construction Standard; Medical Services and First Aid

  • Updates the 911 service-posting requirements to be consistent with the current status of land-line and wireless-telephone technologies, including posting location-identification information to effectively communicate the location of the worksite if in an area without automatic-location capability, and requiring employers to ensure communication system used to contact ambulance service is effective

Construction Standard; Gases, Vapors, Fumes, Dusts and Mists

  • Updates terminology used to describe permissible exposure limits and to modify language to remove confusion and align with regulatory and consensus standards

Construction Standard; Process Safety Management

  • Replaces the entire regulatory text of 29 CFR 1926.64 with a cross-reference to the identical General Industry Process Safety Management Standard at 29 CFR 1910.119.

Construction Standard; Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment, Safety Belts, Lifelines and Lanyards

  • Revises the minimum breaking-strength requirement for lifelines from 5,400 pounds to 5,000 pounds

Construction Standard; Signs, Signals and Barricades

  • Updates incorporations by reference to current versions of accepted national standards

Construction Standard; Materials Handling, Storage, Use and Disposal; General Requirements for Storage

  • Revisions to exclude residential construction from the requirement to post maximum safe load limits of floors used for storage, but safe load limits must still be met

Construction Standard; Underground Construction, Caissons, Cofferdams and Compressed Air; Underground Construction

  • Updates the regulatory language to cross-reference the correct MSHA standard

Construction Standard; Rollover Protective Structures; Overhead Protection

  • Removes provisions that specified test procedures and performance requirements and replaces with the references to the consensus standards from which they were derived

Construction Standard; Toxic and Hazardous Substances; Coke Oven Emissions

  • Deletes these requirements from the Construction Standard


Additional modifications that were included in the proposed rulemaking are not being promulgated at this time, such as modifications to the General Industry General Environmental Controls, Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) and Construction Standard PPE Fit requirements.

The modifications, including response to comments, can be found here:




VBA professionals are adept at identifying health and safety compliance obligations and assisting facilities in achieving compliance. If you need assistance meeting health and safety obligations, contact VBA today.

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TSCA Inventory of Active Substances

The February 2019 update to the Toxic Substances and Control Act (TSCA) Inventory has been published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Key points to consider when reviewing this update to the TSCA Inventory include the following:

  • This version of the TSCA Inventory includes the updated commercial activity status designating chemical substances as “active”;
  • If a chemical substance on the TSCA Inventory is not designated as “active”, it is considered “inactive”;
  • Companies must adhere to additional reporting requirements prior to manufacturing (including importing) or processing an inactive chemical substance; and
  • Chemical substances not listed as active or inactive on the non-confidential or confidential TSCA Inventory are subject to the existing premanufacture notification (PMN) requirements for new chemical substances.

Companies must notify EPA before reintroducing into commerce a substance currently identified as inactive on the TSCA Inventory, unless the activity is specifically exempted from the notification requirement. This is accomplished by submitting a Notice of Activity Form B to EPA through the CDX system not more than 90 days prior to the anticipated date of manufacturing or processing the inactive substance.

You don’t have to be a chemical manufacturer to have obligations under TSCA, and the requirements can seem overwhelming. If you need assistance complying with any aspect of the TSCA regulations, VBA can help. VBA can:

  • Review and update chemical inventories to determine and document TSCA Inventory and regulated status of chemical substances being manufactured, imported, processed or used;
  • Assist in development of programs and/or compliance measures for chemical substances and activities subject to TSCA regulation;
  • Assist with TSCA reporting, including Form B reporting requirements under the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Rule;
  • Perform a comprehensive or focused EHS audit to assess applicability and compliance with TSCA regulations;
  • Assist in development of environmental management systems to ensure continued compliance with TSCA requirements; and
  • Review and update management of change programs to ensure TSCA is adequately considered for any change with a TSCA implication.

VBA can work with you to determine the best path forward for assessing and ensuring TSCA compliance. Please contact a VBA professional for help with your EHS compliance needs.

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Annual Tier II Reports Due March 1

Section 312 of EPA’s Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requires regulated facilities to submit an annual inventory of hazardous chemicals used or stored on-site during the reporting period. This report, known interchangeably as the Tier II, Tier 2, and/or Tier Two report, is used to provide information to emergency responders regarding the types of hazardous materials used or stored at a facility above regulated quantities.

For the purposes of Tier II reporting, the definition of hazardous chemical is very broad and basically includes any material for which a safety data sheet (SDS) is required to be prepared under the OSHA hazard communication standard.

Generally, facilities that use or store a hazardous chemical in quantities equal to or greater than reportable quantities at any one time during the reporting year are required to file the Tier II report by March 1 of the following year. Reportable quantities include:

  • 10,000 pounds at any one time for hazardous chemicals; or
  • 500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is less, for extremely hazardous substances (EHSs).

Key components of reporting include:

  • Identifying all materials on-site that meet the definition of a hazardous chemical;
  • Determining if any hazardous chemical is classified as an EHS;
  • Determining if the reportable quantity for each hazardous chemical and/or EHS was exceeded at any time during the reporting period;
  • Determining if any applicable exemptions from reporting exist;
  • Identifying state-specific reporting procedures;
  • Completing Tier II reports for all reportable chemicals;
  • Submitting reports to all required agencies with any associated fees; and
  • Retaining required records.

Reports are required to be submitted to:

  1. The state emergency response commission (SERC);
  2. The local emergency planning committee (LEPC); and
  3. The local fire department.

Although an EPA requirement, reporting obligations are fulfilled through specific state reporting procedures and requirements. While some states utilize EPA’s online Tier2 Submit software, many states have their own electronic or hard copy reporting systems that must be utilized. States may also have more stringent reporting threshold quantities, such as California’s HazMat Business Plan requirements.

If you have questions regarding applicability or need assistance with filing Tier II reports, VBA professionals can help you navigate the myriad of requirements related to Tier II reporting to ensure all required reports are submitted timely and accurately. Contact VBA for assistance with Tier II and EPCRA reporting.

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New Pharmaceutical Management Rule for Healthcare Facilities

EPA issued the final rule titled, “Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine” on December 11, 2018. Waste pharmaceuticals that were previously required to be managed as Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste under hazardous waste generator rules will now have tailored, streamlined standards for management of these wastes under Subpart P of 40 CFR Part 266.

Highlights of the rule applicability and timeline for implementation include:

  • Only applies to healthcare facilities and reverse distributors that generate and manage hazardous waste pharmaceuticals;
  • Healthcare facilities include those for both humans and animals;
  • Does not apply to manufacturers, production facilities or other generators of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals;
  • Updated applicability for managing FDA-approved over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches and gum, stating these will no longer meet the definition of a P075 hazardous waste for nicotine;
  • Goes into effect 6 months after publication in federal register, in June 2019, for states under EPA RCRA authority;
  • States that are authorized to implement the RCRA program must adopt the more stringent portions of the rule, which become effective in that state upon adoption; and
  • The rule ban on flushing of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the drain becomes effective in all states regardless of RCRA authority 6 moths after publication in the federal register.

EPA lists the following benefits of the rule for healthcare facilities that manage hazardous waste pharmaceuticals:

  1. A healthcare facility will not become a large quantity generator (LQG), with all the associated requirements, when it generates more than 1 kg of acute hazardous waste pharmaceuticals in a month;
  2. A healthcare facility will not have to comply with the satellite accumulation area regulations, which are a poor fit for healthcare facilities;
  3. A healthcare facility will not need to specify hazardous waste codes on manifests;
  4. A healthcare facility will be able to accumulate hazardous waste pharmaceuticals on site without a RCRA permit for 365 days, an increase of 275 days over the current generator regulations; and
  5. A healthcare facility will have basic training requirements.

The rule only applies to pharmaceutical wastes; non-pharmaceutical wastes at healthcare facilities and reverse distributors will still be subject to all applicable requirements under the RCRA hazardous waste rules.

VBA professionals have years of experience assisting the healthcare industry with environmental compliance. If you would like a review of operations to see how this rule impacts you or if you need environmental compliance assistance or an environmental applicability review, please contact VBA.

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HAZMAT Rule Amendments – Response to Petitions

VBA monitors regulations to ensure we stay abreast of changes that may impact our clients’ EHS compliance, including changes to EHS applicability.

The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a Final Rule on November 7, 2018 to update, clarify, streamline, and provide new relief from certain hazardous material rules (HMR). Important dates associated with this regulatory action include:

  • Date rule becomes effective: December 7, 2018.
  • Voluntary compliance date: November 7, 2018
  • Delayed compliance date: November 7, 2019 unless specified otherwise in the rule

By adopting these deregulatory amendments, PHMSA has stated that it is allowing more efficient and effective ways of transporting hazardous materials in commerce while maintaining an equivalent level of safety.

In summary, rule amendments include:

  • Incorporating by reference other industry publications;
  • Addressing inconsistencies with domestic and international labels and placards;
  • Revising tables to make consistent with other portions of the regulation;
  • Including use of International System of Units (SI);
  • Excepting limited quantities of ‘‘UN1942, Ammonium nitrate’’ from requiring permission from the Captain of the Port (COTP) before being loaded or unloaded from a vessel at a waterfront facility;
  • Allowing for combination non-bulk packagings that are tested and marked for a liquid hazardous material to be filled with a solid hazardous material;
  • Including additional hazardous material descriptions for corrosive liquids for transport in roadway striping vehicles;
  • Extending the service life of interim compliant toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) tank cars to the full service life of all other tank cars;
  • Allowing the use of plastic, metal, or composite pallets to transport materials classed and marked as limited quantities;
  • No longer mandating that excepted quantities comply with the emergency response telephone requirement;
  • Harmonizing the recordkeeping requirements for portable tanks;
  • Allowing for printing tolerances for labels and placards;
  • Allowing electronic signatures for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manifest forms;
  • No longer requiring the service pressure to be marked on Department of Transportation (DOT) 8 and 8L cylinders;
  • Acknowledging that the marked date of manufacture on a composite intermediate bulk container (IBC) may differ from the marked date of manufacture on the inner receptacle of that IBC; and
  • Revising the basis weight tolerance for fiberboard boxes from plus or minus 5% to plus or minus 10% from the nominal basis weight reported in the initial design qualification test report.

Contact a VBA professional if you need a DOT audit or HAZMAT applicability determination.

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OSHA’s Fixed Ladder Fall Protection Deadline is Approaching

OSHA’s updated Walking-Working Surfaces Standard for General Industry, published November 19, 2016 (29 CFR 1910 Subpart D), includes fall protection provisions for fixed ladders that take effect November 19, 2018. Fixed ladders must be equipped with fall protection, and November 19, 2018 is a key date in determining what type of fall protection is required.

The fall protection provisions at 29 CFR 1910.28(b)(9) apply to a ladder if:

  • The ladder is fixed; AND
  • It extends more than 24 feet above the lower level; AND
  • It is existing (erected before November 19, 2018); OR
  • It is new (erected on or after November 19, 2018).

Existing ladders that extend more than 24 feet above the lower level must be equipped with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system or ladder safety system.

New ladders, including new replacement ladders or ladder sections on existing ladders, must be equipped with personal fall arrest system or ladder safety systems. These systems are defined by OSHA as follows:

  • Ladder safety systems means a system designed to eliminate or reduce the possibility of falling from a fixed ladder. A ladder safety system usually consists of a carrier, safety sleeve, lanyard, connectors, and body harness. Cages and wells are not ladder safety systems.
  • Personal fall arrest system means a system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a walking-working surface. It consists of a body harness, anchorage, and connector. The means of connection may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or a suitable combination of these.

Another important date to keep in mind is November 18, 2036. On and after November 18, 2036, all fixed ladders that extend more than 24 feet above the lower level must be equipped with a personal fall arrest system or a ladder safety system. This means that existing ladders that are equipped with a cage or well must be replaced or must be modified by November 18, 2036 to replace the cage or well with the required fall protection system.

And don’t forget that each employee that is exposed to a fall hazard and uses personal fall protection systems must be trained by a qualified person regarding fall hazards and implemented fall protection measures as required by 29 CFR 1910.30.

If you have any questions regarding your facility’s compliance with federal or state OSHA regulations or need assistance with an applicability assessment, EHS compliance audit or training program, contact a VBA professional.

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OSHA Targeted Inspection Program Begins

OSHA has issued a notice that implements the Site-Specific Targeting (SST) inspection program. The updated SST program will use data from calendar year (CY) 2016 electronic injury and illness reports to identify establishments in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors for inspection. For CY 2016, OSHA required employers to electronically submit Form 300A data by December 15, 2017.

The inspection list will include:

  • high-rate establishments (elevated Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate),
  • low-rate establishments (random sample of establishments with low DART rates), and
  • non-responders (random sample of establishments that did not perform required electronic reporting of Form 300A data).

OSHA has indicated that inspections will be comprehensive in scope. State plan states are required to adopt the SST program or implement an inspection program that is at least as stringent as the Federal OSHA program.

VBA can assist you in preparing for a health and safety inspection. From regulatory applicability determinations and safety compliance audits to development and implementation of safety programs, VBA professionals have the knowledge and experience to help you ensure safety programs are protective of employees and meet regulatory requirements. Contact VBA today.

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