Celebrate Earth Day by Boosting Sustainability Posted on April 22, 2014 by Roseanne Bottone

On April 22, one billion people in 190 countries will celebrate Earth Day by participating in activities promoting “Green Cities.” Organizers say: “With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future.”

Even small actions like changing a light bulb can have a huge positive impact. Energy Star-rated LED lamps use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs; if all bulbs were switched to LED lighting in the next 20 years, the US would save $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity use for lighting by 50%, and cut carbon emissions by 1,800 metric tons.

What steps can your company take to become a more environmentally friendly business entity and help your city go green? Here are a few ideas.

Reign In Your Energy and Water Use

Simple, low-tech solutions can have a cumulative effect. Post signs at exits to remind employees to turn off the lights as they exit. Make a policy to set thermostats to efficient heating and cooling temperatures or use automatic monitoring systems. Install dual or low-water flush toilets.

If you want to develop a more comprehensive energy program, EPA’s Energy Star Program offers strategies and tools to help you. Presently, 35% of Fortune 500® companies participate in this initiative, as well as half of the largest US healthcare organizations, major league sports teams, colleges and universities, and entire cities.

Conduct “Green” Meetings, Conventions, and Other Gatherings

Start small by generating less solid waste. Use real dishes, flatware, and cups instead of paper and plastic. Keep printing to a minimum by e-mailing meeting agendas ahead of time and providing supporting documents for your presentations online.

If you want to develop a more extensive standard operating procedure for environmentally friendly events, the EPA has guidance to help.

Other sources of expertise are available on EPA’s website, including the following:

  • Green Meetings Council
  • Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
  • International Association of Conventions and Visitors Bureaus
  • US GSA Federal Travel Regulation – Guide to Sustainable Conferences

Reduce Your Packaging Footprint

Rethink how you package your product for retail sale and how you ship product, hazmat, and waste off site. The EPA suggests eliminating toxic constituents, using less material, using more post-consumer recycled content, making packaging reusable, or making it easier for end users to recycle it. When you ship hazardous waste or hazardous materials off site, can you use UN-authorized recycled/reconditioned packaging? Check the 49 CFR regulations and talk to your vendor about this option.

The EPA maintains a Sustainable Business Clearinghouse. This site provides information about government and non-government sources of information and help, compliance assistance, and guidance for those seeking sustainable business solutions. Users can search by geography, specific sustainability issues, and industry sector to find the information needed.

Communicate and Educate

You already review OSHA safety procedures at meetings, so why not include environmental tips as part of your meeting introductions too? Have a communication strategy to convey your goals and achievements to your employees and the community. The EPA has a kit to help you achieve this.

Motivate your employees by entering the Energy Star National Building Competition and compete against other buildings across the country. Being a good environmental steward doesn’t have to be drudgery!

While today’s Earth Day celebrations remind us of the need to protect our great planet, the remaining 364 days in the year provide endless opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the quality of our air, land, and water. By combining your commitment to regulatory compliance with innovative thinking about sustainability issues, your company can have an impact that benefits the world, local community, and its own well-being.

Happy Earth Day! Lion Technology presents training on US and international hazmat shipping; EPA hazardous waste management; air, water, and chemical regulations; and workplace health and safety rules. Lion Technology’s 2014 Course Catalog includes a complete list of Lion’s nationwide public workshops, 24/7 online courses, and live webinars.

OSHA Issues New Rules for Electric Power Industry Posted on April 17, 2014 by Scott C. Dunsmore

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) most recent safety standards for constructing electricity transmission and distribution installations are now more than 40 years old. To bring these now outdated standards, written in 1972, up-to-date, OSHA this month promulgated new and revised rules for employees who operate and maintain electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution lines and equipment.

The April 11 Final Rule makes various changes to the construction standards (29 CFR 1926) and the general industry standards (29 CFR 1910). Changes include new or revised provisions on host employers and contractors, training, job briefings, fall protection, insulation and working position of employees working on or near live parts, minimum approach distances, protection from electric arcs, de-energizing transmission and distribution lines and equipment, protective grounding, operating mechanical equipment near overhead power lines, and working in manholes and vaults.

Some highlights of the final rule include:

  • OSHA issued a new section to the construction standard at 29 CFR 1926.97, Electrical Protective Equipment, which applies to all construction work. OSHA derived the new rule from the consensus standards that were adopted by reference at 29 CFR 1926.951. The rule provides flexibility by including provisions from the consensus standards that are performance-based and necessary for employee safety, but the final rule does not contain many of the detailed specifications from those standards.
  • In the revised general industry and construction standards, the Agency adopted a requirement that employers determine the degree of training by the risk to the employee. In addition, there is a new requirement for employers to train qualified employees to recognize electrical hazards and to control or avoid them. Employers are now required to determine that employees have demonstrated proficiency in the specific work practices.
  • OSHA added a new training requirement for employees who trim trees from power lines. The new rule now limits the voltage on isolating transformers used with cord- and lug-connected equipment to 50 volts.
  • The rules now require that independent crews coordinate energizing/de-energizing lines and equipment and that they coordinate their activities under a single employee in charge.
  • OSHA added 29 CFR 1910.269, Appendix E, containing information on protecting employees from electric arcs.
  • 29 CFR 1926, Subpart V, Electric Power Transmission and Distribution, is revised to assure that the standards that apply to the construction of electric power transmission and distribution installations are more consistent with the requirements for these installations under the general industry standard at 29 CFR 1910.

Lastly, OSHA revised its general industry standard on foot protection at 29 CFR 1910.136. Employers must now ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when the use of protective footwear will protect the employee from electrical hazards that remain after the employer takes other necessary protective measures. These changes apply to employers performing work on electric power generation, transmission, and distribution installations, as well as employers in other industries.

The final rule becomes effective on July 10, 2014. However, certain provisions of the new rules have a delayed compliance date. A thorough review of the final rule is necessary in order to determine your compliance deadlines for each of the revised and new standards.

Each year, workplace injuries cost US businesses billions of dollars in lost productivity, logistics delays, compensation, and OSHA fines and penalties. Knowledgeable, well-trained employees know how to protect themselves and their colleagues from incidents in the workplace, and can help keep your facility running safely and efficiently. Ensure your team is prepared to meet their compliance responsibilities – including electrical safety – with the 10-Hour OSHA General Industry Online Course. Online courses are available 24/7, and 7-day support makes it easy to fit this online course into your team’s work schedule

DOT Hazmat Registrations Due by June 30th Posted on April 15, 2014 by Marc Kleinman

Department of Transportation hazmat registrations for the 2014-2015 year are due by June 30th. Does your company plan on shipping ANY loads that require a placard? In other words, if an empty truck or rail car is loaded at your property and now requires a placard, then you must be registered with DOT as a hazmat shipper. If your trucks are placarded, then you must register as a hazmat carrier.

This annual fee was established to create a fund for training grants and support to small community emergency response groups. DOT is now authorized to collect $28 million annually to cover the fiscal period from July 1 to June 30. The registration is completed using the F5800.2 form either in hardcopy or online.

What Shipments Require Registration?

There are a number of shipments that trigger the registration requirement. With few exceptions, you must register your business if you ship or carry the following:

  • A highway route-controlled quantity of radioactive (Class 7) material;
  • More than 25 kg (55 pounds) of a high explosives (Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3);
  • More than 1 L (1.06 quarts) per package of extremely toxic by inhalation materials (Hazard Zone A);
  • Any shipment of hazmat in bulk packagings having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons) for liquids/gases or 13.24 cubic meters (468 cubic feet) for solids;
  • Any shipment in non-bulk packagings with a total gross weight of 2,268 kg (5,000 pounds) or more; and
  • Any other shipment of hazmat that requires placards.

2014-15 Registration Fees

These are the current projected fees for 2014-2015:

Registration Year

Small Business

Not-for-profit Organization

Other Than Small Business or Not-for-profit

2014-2015 and later




As defined in 49 CFR 107.612:

Small business: A person that qualifies as a small business, under criteria specified in 13 CFR part 121 applicable to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code that describes that person’s primary commercial activity.

Not-for-profit organization: An organization exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. 501(a).

The groups that are exempted from the registration requirement are found in 49 CFR 107.606 and include government agencies, farmers, and certain foreign entities.

There is also a $25 processing fee per registration, but a company can pay for three years and eliminate two of the three $25 fee payments.

Paying Past Years’ Registration Fees

Lastly, if you realize you should have paid the fee in past years, DOT will accept those “overdue” payments:

Registration Year

Small Business

Not-for-profit Organization

Other Than Small Business or Not-for-profit





2012-2013, 2011-2012, 2010-2011




2009-2010, 2008-2009, 2007-2008, 2006-2007




2005-2006, 2004-2005, 2003-2004




2002-2003, 2001-2002, 2000-2001




1999-2000 and earlier




(1) Fee appropriate for small or other than small business.

The registration program for hazmat shippers and carriers began in 1992 and is one of the ways the DOT keeps track of hazardous materials shipments within the United States. The number a company receives from DOT when it registers identifies it as either a hazmat shipper or carrier. It is quite likely that an enforcement officer will ask for this registration number when reviewing a hazardous material company for compliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

Ensure your hazmat operations comply fully with US DOT, IATA, and IMDG hazmat shipping requirements at the Complete Multimodal Hazmat Shipper Certification Workshop. The complete program covers the latest rules for shipping hazmat by ground, air, and ocean. Update your training with Lion’s systematic, step-by-step process to shipping hazmat in full compliance with all applicable regulations. Fines for hazmat shipping mistakes are now as high as $75,000 per day, per violation.

Know Your EPCRA Reporting Responsibilities Posted on April 08, 2014 by Anthony R. Cardno

This week, LionNews continues to examine the ongoing cycle of Federal and State reporting requirements under major US EPA regulatory programs. In previous editions, we addressed Tier I and II chemical inventory reports and annual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting under the Clean Air Act.

Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), EPA requires businesses that manufacture, import, process, or use toxic chemicals to report on their activities each year. By July 1, 2014, companies must submit the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) report for each toxic chemical known by the facility to be manufactured, imported, processed, or otherwise used in excess of an applicable threshold quantity during the calendar year.

How Do You “Know”?

The EPA considers you to “know” a chemical listed in 40 CFR 372.65 is present if:

  • You know or have been told the chemical identity or Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) number, or
  • You have been told by the supplier that the product contains a toxic chemical.

Businesses that manufacture and sell mixtures or trade name products containing toxic chemicals are required by 40 CFR 372.45 to notify their customers of potential risk. The notification must include a statement that the product contains a toxic chemical or chemicals, the name and CAS # of each chemical, and how much of each toxic chemical is in the product.

What Are the Thresholds?

The thresholds for TRI reporting vary based on how businesses use the toxic chemicals. If you manufacture, import, or process a toxic chemical, reporting is required if 25,000 pounds or more were manufactured, imported, or processed during the calendar year.

For chemicals that are otherwise used (used in any manner that does not meet the definitions of “manufacture” or “process”), reporting is required if 10,000 pounds or more were used during the calendar year.

For example, if a listed toxic chemical is a common ingredient in paint, the person who actually produces the substance or imports the substance into the US would be required to consider the 25,000-pound manufacturing threshold. The person who makes the paint would have to use the 25,000-pound “processing” threshold. The person who uses the paint must consider if there is enough paint to exceed the 10,000-pound “otherwise used” threshold.

For “chemicals of special concern,” a smaller group of chemicals listed at 40 CFR 372.28, the reporting thresholds are significantly lower. The concern with these chemicals is that they are persistent, bio-accumulative, and toxic (PBT), meaning they do not break down very easily and have a tendency to build up in an organism over time (or move up the food chain) with ultimately toxic/poisonous effects.

Who Must Report?

Designated facilities must complete the Form R for any toxic chemicals for which they have exceeded the appropriate thresholds.

Designated facilities are:

  • In SIC codes 10, 12, 20-39, 4911, 4931, 4939, 4953, 5169, 5171 and 7389;
  • All Federal agencies (per Executive Order 13148, issued April 22, 2000); and
  • Businesses with 10 or more full time employees (or the equivalent hours worked). [40 CFR 372.22]

How Do I Report?

Reporting for the Toxic Release Inventory must be done using the Form R (EPA Form 9350-1). Except for trade secrets, electronic submission of the TRI is mandated, by use of the EPA’s TRI-MEweb application. More information about the TRI-MEweb electronic reporting application can be found here.

The goal of the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory is to provide information to the public about the toxic chemicals present in their environment and the products they buy. The TRI covers more than 650 chemicals and has collected information from more than 53,000 US facilities since its development in 1986, following the Bhopal, India industrial disaster.

Build Your EHS Management Credentials

Are you the go-to person for all things EHS at your facility? Understanding the air, water, and chemical regulations that apply to your facility will help you communicate clearly and confidently with your organization and better defend your business against costly fines, penalties, and future liability. Lion’s Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is presented nationwide and covers the critical elements of the major EPA programs that affect industrial facilities every day.

New “Waters of the United States” Definition Posted on April 03, 2014 by Anthony R. Cardno

UPDATE (04/21/14): The EPA’s proposed “Waters of the United States” rule appeared in the Federal Register on April 21, 2014. View the proposed rule here.

In response to multiple court decisions over the past decade, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have issued a proposed new definition of “Waters of the United States” to be used consistently across all programs under the Clean Water Act.

The proposed update to the “waters of the United States” definition has the potential to affect facilities’ compliance with all Clean Water Act programs, including Oil Discharge Notifications (40 CFR 110); Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans (40 CFR 112); NPDES Permitting and Stormwater Discharge Permitting (40 CFR 122); the “per-industry standards” (40 CFR 405 through 471); and the Dredge and Fill Permitting Program (33 CFR 323).

EPA’s proposal divides surface waters into three broad categories: jurisdictional waters, excluded waters, and other waters.

Jurisdictional Waters

Jurisdictional waters will be included “by rule,” meaning no additional analysis would be needed to determine whether they fall under the definition of “waters of the United States.” These include:

  • Traditional navigable waters (per the 1899 Rivers and Harbors Act);
  • Interstate waters, including interstate wetlands;
  • Tributaries to traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, and the territorial sea; and
  • Surface waters adjacent to the above waters, including adjacent wetlands.

There is no change from the current definition of “waters of the United States” in reference to these bodies of water.

Excluded Waters

The proposed rule clarifies which waters are excluded from the definition of “waters of the United States.” Waters excluded from this definition will not be subject to CWA regulation and include:

  • Waste treatment systems (including treatment ponds or lagoons) meeting CWA requirements;
  • Prior converted cropland (as defined by Department of Agriculture regulations);
  • Ditches that are excavated wholly in uplands, used to drain only uplands, and have less than perennial flow;
  • Ditches that do not contribute flow to a jurisdictional water;
  • Various artificial water bodies created by excavating/diking dry land or upland;
  • Gullies, rills, and non-wetland swales; and
  • Groundwater.

Other Waters

The biggest change to the existing definition is the proposed removal of the component that describes:

“all other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds, the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate or foreign commerce including any such waters: which are or could be used by interstate or foreign travelers for recreational or other purposes; from which fish or shellfish are or could be taken and sold in interstate or foreign commerce; or which are used or could be used for industrial purposes by industries in interstate commerce.”
[40 CFR 122.2]

Under the proposed rule, these “other waters” would only be subject to CWA regulations on a case-specific basis provided they have a “significant nexus” with jurisdictional water.

The proposed rule also includes a regulatory definition of “significant nexus”: that the “other water,” either alone or in combination with other similarly situated waters in the region, “significantly affects the chemical, physical, or biological integrity” of a jurisdictional water. The proposed rule also states that for an effect to be considered significant, it must be more than speculative or insubstantial.

Public comments may be submitted up to 90 days from the date the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. You can access the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. You may also e-mail comments to ow-docket@epa.gov. Include “EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0880″ in the subject line of the message. Until the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, a pre-publication copy can be viewed here.

Build Your EHS Knowledge and Skills

The two day Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is designed to help EHS managers better understand the complex requirements under EPA’s major permitting, reporting, and recordkeeping programs-including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, CERCLA, EPCRA, TSCA, FIFRA, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and more. Presented nationwide, the workshop shows you how these programs affect your facility, and how to assess your site’s EHS responsibilities and communicate with management and your team.

Mother Goose Cited for Multiple OSHA Violations Posted on April 01, 2014 by Joel Gregier

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) safety regulations are no laughing matter. Not only are these rules critical to protect workplace employees, but companies that fail to meet OSHA’s standards can face hefty fines and negative press.

At Lion, we take compliance seriously and we know your job is tough. In the spirit of April Fools’ Day, we’ve added some levity to the OSHA rules to give you a bit of relief. We took a look at some old-time favorite nursery rhymes to see what might happen if Mother Goose was subject to OSHA’s general industry standards.

Humpty Dumpty’s Great Fall

A Mr. Humpty Dumpty sustained serious injuries while doing construction work atop an elevated wall. At these heights, his employer, Mother Goose, was required to provide an adequate working surface.
This could have been achieved through properly installed scaffolding, with railings and a solid platform. For a smaller job, a well-placed ladder may have sufficed if it was pitched at the proper angle. However, none of these were provided to Mr. Dumpty.

Mother Goose was also cited for not providing any type of personal protective equipment, such as a fall harness, to keep Mr. Dumpty from his great fall.

Even with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, Mr. Dumpty could not be put back together. This fatality dramatically increased the already high fines levied on Mother Goose.

See OSHA’s Ladders and Scaffolding or Personal Protective Equipment regulations.
[29 CFR 1910.25-1910.29; 29 CFR 1910, Subpart I]

Jack Was Not Too Nimble

Finding his job of manufacturing candlesticks boring, Jack decided to jump over a pile of lit candlesticks. Upon reaching the other side, he had severely burned himself on the flames and had also slipped and turned his ankle. Because of his injuries, Jack was unable to continue his work and was sent home for a few days to recover.

Mother Goose was upset that the injury resulted from horseplay and did not want it to increase the company’s number of injuries. As such, she simply “forgot” to add the injury to the OSHA 300 log. She was later fined for not properly recording the injury.

See OSHA Recordkeeping regulations. [29 CFR Part 1904]

Food Poisoning from Old Pease-Porridge

In a gesture of goodwill to her employees, Mother Goose decided to feed her staff some complimentary pease-porridge (either hot or cold). However, the porridge had been in the pot for too long, being nine days old.

A majority of the employees became ill due to the soured porridge. Their illnesses were recordable injuries since Mother Goose had provided the food. Because she was unaware this mass sickness was a recordable injury, Mother Goose was again fined for failing to properly update her company’s OSHA 300 log.

See OSHA Recording Criteria and Work-Relatedness regulations.
[29 CFR 1904.4 and 1904]

Jack and Jill Fell Down Their Hill

On a routine trip to fetch a pail of water for their facility, Jack and Jill fell down a steep hill. As a result, both employees had to be hospitalized, with Jack sustaining serious injuries to his crown.

Mother Goose was cited for having unsafe walking surfaces. The hill leading to the well should have been equipped with a set of stairs with proper railings on both sides.

In addition, the water retrieval system, or “bucket,” created loads that were too heavy, leading to Jack and Jill’s subsequent fall. Some type of engineering controls should have been installed to aid with the movement of the water. For the future, OSHA suggested that Mother Goose install a piping system to bring water to the facility to avoid these types of accidents.

See OSHA Walking-Working Surfaces regulations and Lifting Equation publication.
[29 CFR Part1910 Subpart D; NIOSH Publication No. 94--110]

Do Not Be a Mother Goose

The list of citations in the stories above is not an exhaustive list of penalties and is meant to be taken in jest. However, your facility needs to remain diligent in protecting employees and training them in how to act safely in their work environment.

Did you recognize any of the rhymes? Feel free to share some of your own creative Mother Goose “violations” on our Lion blog.

For OSHA employee safety training on everything from hazard communication and materials handling to fall protection and more, Lion offers online training at Lion.com/OSHA-Training.

Reusing Waste and Avoiding Sham Recycling Posted on March 25, 2014 by Joel Gregier

To encourage recycling and keep more hazardous waste out of landfills and the ecosystem, the US EPA established the “reuse relief” in its hazardous waste regulations. The relief, found at 40 CFR 261.2(e), excludes certain materials from the definition of solid waste when they are reused in a beneficial way. In general, the exclusion applies when an otherwise hazardous waste is reused in one of three ways:

  • To make a product,
  • As an effective substitute for a product, or
  • Returning it to the original process from which it was generated without land disposal or first reclaiming it.

In addition to its environmental benefits, recycling hazardous waste can also help generators by lowering their compliance and process costs. Because of the regulatory and economic benefits provided by the exclusion, the EPA lays out specific criteria generators must meet to demonstrate their recycling efforts are legitimate.

“Sham Recycling”

When the EPA created the reuse relief, the Agency realized that there could be companies that would wrongfully try to take advantage of it and described this possibility in the original Federal Register that promulgated the rule.

“Other commenters voiced concern that these exclusions open opportunities for sham recyclers to claim that they are using secondary materials, and so not engaging in waste management.” [50 FR 638-639, January 4, 1985]

As a way to address the issue, the EPA described different reuse scenarios that it regards as “sham recycling.” Wastes reused in a way that is considered “sham” are not eligible for the reuse relief and are subject to full RCRA regulations.

Reused Materials Are Ineffective

When reused materials are ineffective or only marginally effective for their claimed use, the generator cannot claim legitimate recycling. The example EPA gives is using certain heavy metal sludges in concrete. Since the sludges do not contribute any significant element to the concrete’s properties, the EPA sees it as a method for disposing of the waste sludges, not recycling them.

Material Used in Excess

If a waste is reused as an ingredient in a product, the waste must be used only in the amount needed for the process. If a chemical recipe asks for one gallon of ingredient, but the generator uses five gallons to get rid of excess materials, that would be sham recycling.

Replacement Materials for Reuse

If a generator uses a material as a replacement for another chemical, the EPA is much more likely to consider it legitimate if the reused material is just as effective as the virgin chemical. Rather than giving an example of reuse that is not effective, the EPA felt it was easier to demonstrate this concept by giving an example of something that is effective reuse. The EPA uses the example of spent pickle liquor in that it is known to be as effective as virgin materials when used as a phosphorous precipitant in wastewater treatment. Thus, the Agency would consider that type of reuse to be legitimate.

Proper Product Handling

When reusing wastes as products, they should be handled and stored in the same way that a raw product would be handled and stored. The EPA specifically stated that reused materials that are stored or handled in a manner that does not guard against significant economic loss would likely be considered sham recycling. For instance, reused materials that are stored in leaking storage areas are obviously not being stored like a usable chemical.

The Importance of Recordkeeping

As a best management practice, generators should document all of their recycling activities, especially if it is being used to get relief from the regulations. According to the EPA, companies should be treating their reused materials the same way as their raw materials, which means keeping records and documenting materials and products. If generators are unable to document how, where, and in what volumes the materials are being reused, the EPA will presume sham recycling. [40 CFR 261.2(f)]

Keep It Legitimate

Although it may be tempting, do not attempt to abuse the reuse relief. Recycling must be legitimate, or you can find yourself getting some hefty fines. And as always, document everything.

The EPA does have an updated document detailing “The History of Legitimate Recycling” (EPA 530-R-10-008). If you’d like to see a copy of this, click here.

The EPA makes a number of other recycling guidance documents available on its website as well:

Discover how capitalizing on US EPA RCRA reliefs for reusing and recycling your hazardous waste can lighten your facility’s regulatory burden, minimize waste, and lower transport and disposal costs. On April 15, the live, instructor-led Hazardous Waste Recycling Reliefs Webinar will cover the reliefs to hazardous waste regulations found at 49 CFR Part 261. Find out how your waste may be excluded from RCRA requirements such as the 90- or 180-day rules, LDR requirements, EPA manifesting, and more.

Shipping Limited Quantity Domestic vs. International Posted on March 18, 2014 by Kathleen Caton

When shipped by ground, air, or ocean, a number of common household items are regulated as hazmat by the US Department of Transportation. Because they are common and largely low-risk materials, many household cleaners, medicines, and cosmetics are afforded certain reliefs when packaged as a limited quantity. When packaged in certain ways, these items are also sometimes referred to as consumer commodities.

While these two terms, "limited quantity" and "consumer commodity," are sometimes used interchangeably, they each refer to a specific type of hazmat package with unique requirements. Understanding the difference between "limited quantity" and "consumer commodity" is critical to ensure your packages are correctly marked, labeled, and documented. The regulations that apply will vary based on the type of material, the packaging used, and the mode of transportation (ground or air).

Limited Quantity or Consumer Commodity?

The DOT defines a limited quantity as the maximum amount of a hazardous material for which there is a specific labeling or packaging exception. [49 CFR 171.8] If a material is listed in the HMR Table at 49 CFR 172.101, with an entry in column 8A-Exceptions, then the DOT authorizes that material for exception from regulations, almost always as a limited quantity. [49 CFR 172.101(i)]

Limited quantity shipments may qualify for further exceptions from the HMR if the package(s) meet the definition of a consumer commodity. The DOT defines a consumer commodity as a material that is "packaged and distributed in a form intended or suitable for sale through retail sales agencies (…) for consumption by individuals for purposes of personal care or household use." [49 CFR 171.8]
In the past, shippers had the option to reclassify these packages as ORM-D and ship them under the name CONSUMER COMMODITY. ORM stands for Other Regulated Materials. Today, the reclassification and renaming of consumer commodity packages is no longer necessary, though it is still acceptable for domestic ground shipments until 2020.

In order to simplify the requirements for shipping small amounts of hazmat, on January 19, 2011, the DOT expanded the exceptions for limited quantity to include the exceptions previously only available for consumer commodities (most significantly, an exception from the hazmat shipping paper requirement). In other words, the Consumer Commodity distinction is no longer needed for ground shipments because ALL limited quantity ground shipments are now exempted from the hazmat shipping paper requirement under the HMR. [76 FR 3308]

Reliefs for Domestic Ground Shipments (49 CFR)

Under DOT rules, limited quantity shipments (including consumer commodities) are afforded reliefs from the following hazmat shipping requirements:

  • UN specification performance-oriented packaging,
  • Hazmat markings (Proper Shipping Name and ID number),
  • Hazard labels,
  • Hazard placards, and
  • Shipping papers and emergency response information.

These reliefs apply as long as the limited quantity package meets the following conditions:

  • The material is not a hazardous waste, hazardous substance, or marine pollutant.
  • The material is packed in a combination packaging with a strong outer package.
  • The material is marked with the limited quantity marking. [49 CFR 173.315]

    • The ORM-D marking may be used through December 31, 2020 for domestic ground shipments of materials reclassified as consumer commodities.


  • If the package contains liquids, orientation arrows must be marked on two opposing sides of the package.
  • The package can be no heavier than 30 kg (66 lbs.) gross weight.
  • For inner packagings, the size limit varies based on hazard class, division, and packing group of the material. These limits range from 100 mL to 5.0 L for liquids and 0.5 kg to 5.0 kg for solids, depending on the severity of the hazard. [49 CFR 173.150-173.156 and 173.306]

Additional Requirements for International Air Shipments (IATA)

When a limited quantity of hazmat is shipped by air under the International Air Transport Association (IATA)Dangerous Goods Regulations or under 49 CFR domestically, many of the reliefs for domestic shipments do not apply. Air shipments of limited quantities are subject to the following requirements:

  • The package requires UN specification packaging.

    • The shipment must be authorized at the PG II, or Y, level.
    • Packages must meet the aviation pressure tests. [49 CFR 173.27]
  • Packages must be marked with the "Y" version of the limited quantity marking to indicate eligibility for air transport.

  • The package must be accompanied by standard hazmat shipping papers, or a Shipper's Declaration of Dangerous Goods, that describes the hazmat with a standard basic description (ID number, Proper Shipping Name, hazard class, and packing group). [49 CFR 173.150-173.156 and 173.306; IATA DGR 2.7]

Limited quantity air shipments may still qualify for additional relief as consumer commodities under the air shipping rules, provided very specific criteria regarding the type and quantity of hazmat are met. If this is the case, shippers may reclassify and rename their limited quantity air shipments as "ID8000, CONSUMER COMMODITY, 9, II." [49 CFR 173.167, IATA DGR PI Y963]

Note: Shippers may no longer use the ORM-D classification for domestic or international air shipments. The ORM-D AIR classification has been officially phased out. The ORM-D classification may be applied to hazmat ground shipments only until 2020.

By understanding the hazmat shipping requirements for even the smallest packages, shippers can take advantage of the reliefs afforded to limited quantities and consumer commodities. Because the regulations vary depending on the material and the mode of transport, it is critical to check the regulations before signing off on a package to make sure the shipment will arrive safely and on time.

Ensure all of your hazmat shipments are prepared to ship by all modes with complete multimodal training. At Lion Technology's Multimodal Hazmat Shipper Certification Workshop, you'll learn the DOT, IATA, and IMDG hazmat shipping regulations. Comprehensive and effective training is essential to avoiding costly fines, penalties, and shipping delays.

Stormwater Permitting “No Exposure” Exclusion Posted on March 11, 2014 by Anthony R. Cardno

Since the 1970s, the US Environmental Protection Agency has regulated point sources of contamination to surface water through the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Since 1994, the NPDES permitting program has also included a robust set of requirements for controlling and reporting discharges of stormwater from city water systems, construction sites, and industrial facilities. Complying with the stormwater discharge program can be difficult and expensive. Qualifying for the “No Exposure” exclusion can save you money, time, and frustration.

Who Is Subject to Stormwater Permitting?

Facilities subject to NPDES permitting for “stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity” (40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)) may be able to get relief from the permitting requirements if they can show that the site has no exposure of industrial materials to stormwater. “No exposure” means that “all industrial materials or activities are protected by a storm-resistant shelter to prevent exposure to rain, snow, snowmelt, and/or runoff.” [64 FR 68722]

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Qualifying for the Exclusion

To be eligible for the “No Exposure” exclusion, the operator must:

  • Provide storm-resistant shelter for all industrial materials and activities;
  • Complete and sign a “No Exposure Certification“;
  • Submit the signed certification to the EPA every five years;
  • Allow the EPA to inspect the facility to determine compliance with the “No Exposure” conditions; and
  • Allow the EPA to make public the “No Exposure” inspection reports. [40 CFR 122.26(g)]

The Certification Process

Facilities can apply for the No Exposure Certification, or NOE, through the EPA’s Electronic Notice of Intent, or eNOI, system. Certification of the NOE must be made by a “responsible corporate officer” or duly authorized representative. In the eNOI system, this person is called the “Certifying Official.” Each Certifying Official must have an account in the eNOI system. The EPA has issued instructions on how to create that account and how to certify or modify the NOE.

In June of 2000, the EPA issued a guidance document that discussed the “No Exposure” exclusion and how to go about certifying that the facility qualifies. This document predates the eNOI system as well as the adoption of the “No Exposure” exclusion into most State programs, but it still includes valuable information regarding definitions and frequently asked questions.

NPDES State Variations

The Federal “No Exposure” exclusion [40 CFR 122.26(g)] applies only in areas where the US EPA is the permitting authority. Many states have been granted NPDES permitting authority and therefore have their own forms and procedures for certifying a condition of No Exposure. The US EPA’s website does not have a comprehensive list of links to State No Exposure forms. Check your State regulations or State EPA website for further details.

While the requirements to apply for the “No Exposure” exclusion vary from state to state, the benefits of qualifying are largely the same nationwide. By qualifying and applying for this exclusion, facilities can lighten their regulatory burden with less paperwork, increased flexibility, and greater protection of surrounding waters.

Learn more about NPDES permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act and your responsibilities for compliance with other major EPA air, water, and chemical regulations. The interactive, two-day Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop is presented nationwide and covers core elements of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, SDWA, TSCA, FIFRA, CERCLA/Superfund, and more. Discover what you must monitor, report, and keep on file to ensure compliance and keep your facility running smoothly.

Training Your Forklift Drivers Posted on March 04, 2014 by James Griffin

OSHA estimates that “powered industrial trucks,” commonly known as forklifts or lift trucks, account for about 85 fatal workplace accidents every year. About 1 out of every 10 forklifts in operation each year is involved in some form of accident, whether it is tipping, crushing, or striking a pedestrian. Due to the hazards associated with operating forklifts, a focus on workplace safety is critical to prevent accidents, injury, and property damage at facilities where forklifts are used.


Forklift Training Standard

OSHA’s forklift training standard, found at 29 CFR 1910.178(l), states that training must cover operation, movement, loading, and maintenance, as well as workplace-specific information. OSHA’s forklift safety standards were established in 1971 and based on the then-existing American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety standards (ANSI B56.1-1969). In 1998, after years of consulting with employers and worker organizations, OSHA expanded the training requirement to include more specific directions on what must be covered [63 FR 66270, December 1, 1998].

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Forklift employee training must consist of formal instruction (i.e., lecture, written, or computer-based material), practical training (i.e., demonstrations and supervised operation of a forklift), and evaluation (i.e., testing). When an employer trains an employee to operate forklifts and other powered industrial trucks (PIT), they must certify (i.e., sign) a written record that shows the employee has been trained. The certification must include the name of the operator, the date of the training, the date of the evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) performing the training and/or evaluation. Employers must certify that forklift operators are trained before assigning them to operate a PIT.

There is no specified period for providing refresher training to qualified PIT operators. However, the employer must evaluate each trained operator at least once every three years. [29 CFR 1910.178(l)4)(iii)] If the employer determines that the employee is not operating the PIT safely, then refresher training is required.

PIT operators must also receive refresher training whenever they:

  • Have been observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner,
  • Have been involved in an accident or near-miss incident,
  • Are assigned to drive a new or different type of PIT, or
  • Could affect safe operation of the truck because of changed conditions in the workplace.

Forklift Training, Forklift Safety


Safely Operating a Forklift

While much of OSHA’s forklift standard has to do with the design, construction, and maintenance of forklifts and selecting the appropriate design for different workplaces, the bulk of operator training focuses on safely operating the vehicles.

There are many different designs of forklift. Before operating a particular forklift, an employee must become familiar with the controls, instrumentation, cargo capacity, and other operating limits of that make and model of forklift and with any after-market modifications to a particular vehicle. While some elements of forklift training are generic (the lifting triangle, the differences between powered industrial trucks and automobiles), an employee’s training MUST address the specific type(s) and special features of the PITs he or she will operate.

Forklifts are used in many different industries and workplaces. Before operating a forklift in a particular workplace, employees must become familiar with the areas in which they will operate and the loads the forklift will carry. Pedestrian cross-traffic, narrow aisles, ramps, or other sloped surfaces can all affect safe forklift operation. If there are any areas with insufficient ventilation, a gasoline-powered forklift could create a buildup of carbon monoxide or other exhaust fumes and create a hazard.


Avoiding Dangerous Driving

Many dangerous activities are explicitly prohibited by the forklift standard, and many common-sense guidelines are explicitly required, including the following:

  • Stunt driving and horseplay are prohibited.
  • The truck may not carry loads that weigh more than its maximum capacity.
  • Trucks in need of repair must be taken out of service and may not be operated until repaired.
  • Drivers must slow down when turning, in wet conditions, or on slopes.
  • Drivers must look in the direction of and keep a clear view of travel.

OSHA commonly lists forklift accidents as one of the top ten workplace health and safety concerns in the US each year. By providing effective forklift safety training, employers can protect forklift operators and other employees from injury on the job. Employees with proper training are prepared to safely operate and maintain these lifts and avoid accidents.

To help forklift drivers meet OSHA’s formal instruction requirement at 29 CFR 1910.178(I), Lion Technology provides the Forklift Safety Online Course. Available 24/7, this online course teaches the principles for operating forklifts; using safety equipment; loading, balancing, and lifting loads; inspecting and maintaining lifts; parking; and refueling/recharging safely.