Hazmat Registrations Are Due by June 30th Posted on April 16, 2013 by Kathleen Caton

Department of Transportation hazmat registrations for the 2013-2014 year are due by June 30! Any business that will offer even one placarded hazmat shipment this year must register with the DOT.

Registrations must be updated annually, and the registration period runs from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. Your registration tells the DOT who you are and what kinds of hazmat shipments you will offer or carry during the year. Hazmat registrations must be filed on DOT Form F5800.2 and can be completed through the mail or online.

There are a number of requirements for who must register with the DOT. 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.

Government agencies, farmers, and certain foreign entities are partially exempt from the registration process. Remember, if you ship or transport even one shipment on the registration list above, then your business must register with the DOT.

 


In addition to providing information about your material and operations, you must also pay a fee to the U.S. DOT as part of your registration. In addition to a $25 processing fee per registration, the annual fee is currently:

  • $250 for small businesses or not-for-profit organizations, and
  • $2,575 for all others.

References: 49 CFR Part 107 Subpart G – “Registration” 49 USC 5108

Understand all your 49 CFR shipping responsibilities and satisfy the DOT’s training standard for “hazmat employees” with Lion Technology’s Hazardous Materials Transportation Certification Workshop or the equivalent Online Course! Benefit from dynamic instruction and engaging class discussion at the public workshop, or train online for a convenient, flexible experience that fits your day-to-day schedule.

Take Advantage of NPDES Permitting Reliefs Posted on April 09, 2013 by Anthony R. Cardno

Industrial facilities at which “stormwater associated with industrial activity” is discharged are generally required by the U.S. EPA to obtain an NPDES permit, follow strict regulations, and keep exacting records.

To avoid the permit requirement, EHS professionals can take advantage of an available relief known as the “No Exposure” certification. This conditional exemption can exclude any industrial facility otherwise subject to the NPDES permitting rules—with the exception of construction operations disturbing more than five acres—from the permit requirement.

To qualify for this exclusion, facilities must first provide storm-resistant shelter for industrial materials and activities. This component can often be more confusing than it sounds. However, the definition of “no exposure” established by EPA is “all industrial materials or activities are protected by a storm resistant shelter to prevent exposure to rain, snow, snowmelt and/or runoff.” [64 FR 68785, December 8, 1999] At a bare minimum, your sheltering needs to be sufficient to prevent any precipitation from contacting your industrial materials/activities.

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Within that same rulemaking a storm-resistant shelter is defined as “completely roofed and walled buildings or structures, as well as structures with only a top cover but no side coverings, provided material under the structure is not otherwise subject to any run-on and subsequent run-off of stormwater.” This definition is still somewhat open-ended but gives us a better idea of what EPA has in mind when talking about a storm-resistant shelter.

There are two ways to provide storm-resistant sheltering:

  • Move materials and activities indoors into existing buildings; or
  • Construct new structures to protect materials.

Some things are considered by EPA to be “inherently storm-resistant” and therefore are not in need of additional storm-resistant sheltering:

  • Drums, barrels, tanks, and similar containers that are tightly sealed and not leaking or deteriorated. “Sealed” is generally acknowledged to mean banded or otherwise secured and without operational taps or valves;
  • Adequately maintained vehicles used for handling materials, as long as they are not leaking contaminants and are not otherwise a source of industrial pollutants; and
  • Final products, such as a new car or steel i-beams
    • Although some final products that would be mobilized in stormwater do require addtional storm-resistant sheltering, for instance, rock salt.

Remember, the No Exposure certification is conditional: if you fail to meet the conditions at any point, you are then subject to NPDES stormwater permitting requirements. The No Exposure certification is a lightening of your compliance requirements, not a complete exemption from them.

Providing storm-resistant sheltering for industrial materials and activities is only the first component to qualifying for the exclusion. For more details about the No Exposure certification and a complete list of components for qualification, see this Fact Sheet issued by EPA.

Identify and prepare to meet your environmental compliance responsibilities under the EPA’s major programs at the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop! The workshop covers core elements, basic requirements, and how to locate applicable provisions in the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, TSCA, FIFRA, Superfund, and more!

Understanding and Calculating DART Posted on April 02, 2013 by Roger Marks

Last month, OSHA issued letters to employers whose Days Away, Restricted and Transferred (DART) rates are above average for their industry sector. DART is a measurement of workplace injuries and illnesses that result in time away from work, restricted job roles, or permanent transfers to new positions. To calculate a company’s DART rate, OSHA uses data from the employer’s OSHA 300 logs, which are used to track recordable workplace injuries and illnesses during the year as required by 29 CFR 1904.

OSHA issued DART letters to about 9,400 employers this year. Due to the relatively high frequency of injuries and illnesses at their facilities, DART letter recipients are often targeted for inspection by OSHA. According to the letters that were sent, OSHA “may target up to 2,500 general industry workplaces identified in the survey for inspection in the next year” under its site-specific targeting (SST) program.

If you received one of these DART letters, you may want to prepare for a thorough health and safety inspection in the near future. This may include an in-depth review of your records to see that all plans, logs, procedures, and other documentation required by OSHA standards is in place and up to the standards’ expectations. In addition, you should make sure your employee training is up-to-date.

For a review of the four major stages of an OSHA inspection, see this week’s LionNews article, “What to Expect from an OSHA Inspection.”

To Calculate a DART Rate:

  • Add the totals from Columns H and I of the OSHA 300 log ( total reportable injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, job transfer, or restricted job duties).
  • Multiply this number by 200,000 (base hours worked for 100 full-time–equivalent employees).
  • Divide the result by the total number of hours worked by all employees (including management, temporary, and leased workers).

This year, OSHA adjusted the criteria used to determine which employers receive DART letters. In the past, an employer’s DART rate was compared to the national average of all employers included in the survey. For 2013, OSHA used DART data to compare facilities within a specific industry sector. OSHA believes this will result in a more meaningful comparison.

Insufficient training is one of the most commonly cited causes of preventable workplace injuries. Lion Technology offers both hazard-specific training and a comprehensive 10 Hour General Industry Online course to help your employees identify, avoid, control, and prevent workplace hazards.

An example of OSHA’s 2013 DART letter is available here.

What to Expect from an OSHA Inspection Posted on April 02, 2013 by Joel Gregier

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is tasked with protecting employees in the workplace from the many hazards they face. As such, OSHA has the authority to inspect employers’ facilities to ensure that they are correctly following all applicable safety standards [29 CFR 1903]. Should an OSHA inspector find a facility in non-compliance, he or she may assign corrective actions and hand out penalties. All workplaces should be prepared for an eventual inspection, as OSHA has the authority to inspect any employer or workplace with employees [29 CFR 1903.3].

OSHA inspections are generally carried out in four basic steps: presenting credentials, opening conference, the walk-around, and closing conference.

Step 1: Presenting Credentials

Keeping in mind that it is unlawful to obstruct an OSHA inspector, it’s important for employers to check for proper identification from a compliance officer prior to allowing him or her access to records, employees, or the facility. This is something that should normally be done at the very beginning of the opening conference. Requesting credentials is NOT considered to be an objection to the inspection; it is simply ensuring that the inspector is legitimate.

Step 2: Opening Conference

During the opening conference, the compliance officer will explain the purpose and scope of the inspection, as well as the safety standards that will be applied. Inspections often occur for three major reasons: A reportable accident occurs, an employee submits a complaint, or an inspection is pre-scheduled at facilities with known safety hazards. Both employers and employees have the right under the OSH Act to have a representative of their choosing accompany the compliance officer during an inspection. The opening conference is the appropriate time to introduce these representatives.

 

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Step 3: Walk-around

Once the opening conference has been conducted and the compliance officer has examined any records that he wishes to look at prior to examining the rest of the facility, the walk-around inspection can begin. The main purpose of the walk-around inspection is for the compliance officer to identify potential safety and/or health hazards that are present in the workplace. The employer representative may suggest a course to take through the facility, but ultimately the compliance officer determines the route and the duration of the inspection.

During the walk-around inspection, the compliance officer will observe conditions, point out any hazards that are observed, and discuss possible correction methods for the hazards. The compliance officer may make video recordings and take photographs and various instrument readings during the inspection. Employer and employee representatives are permitted to record similar data if they choose, and it is generally recommended that they do so whenever possible.

Step 4: Closing Conference

During the closing conference, the compliance officer will brief the employer and employee representative on conditions observed during the walk-around. At this time, the compliance officer will inform the employer and employee representatives of their rights to appeal any citation that may be issued, as well as resources available to them from OSHA.
As a note, citations will not be issued during or at the end of the conference. The results of the inspection will be given to the OSHA Area Director following the visit, and citations or other notices-of-violation (if necessary) will be issued within six months.

Ensure your organization is prepared for an OSHA health and safety inspection! Insufficient training is one of the most commonly cited causes of workplace injuries that often trigger inspections and cost businesses billions each year. Lion Technology’s 10-Hour OSHA General Industry Online Course will prepare your personnel to identify, avoid, control, and prevent workplace hazards and injuries. Enrollment includes easy-to-download 29 CFR 1910 rules, Certificate of Achievement, and 6 months of complete on-the-job support.

RCRA—Waste Treatment/Minimization Posted on March 26, 2013 by Won Bae

There are many ways to use RCRA reliefs to cut costs at your facility. You can reuse spent materials, turn your waste into someone else’s product; recycle scrap metals, circuit boards, ethanol, cathode ray tubes, used oil, batteries, and other universal wastes; reclaim value from sludges and by-products; neutralize corrosive wastes; install a closed-loop reclamation system; or decharacterize or solidify wastes in process-units. Of these options, one of the most widely used is elementary neutralization of corrosive waste.

The Advantages of Elementary Neutralization

One common, and bulky, type of hazardous waste generated in many industries is liquid solutions that exhibit the hazardous characteristic of corrosivity. These corrosives may be by-products of chemical reactions, spent catalysts, sludges from wastewater treatment systems, or simply industrial cleansers.

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Under certain conditions, you can treat this type of hazardous waste yourself, without a permit. This process is called “elementary neutralization.” [40 CFR 260.10] Taking care of your own hazardous waste has many advantages:

  • Reduce your generator status. Wastewaters are measured in gallons, but generator status is measured in pounds. Every gallon of corrosive wastewater you can exclude from regulation as hazardous waste equals about 8 pounds you can subtract from your monthly totals. Since wastewaters are typically generated in large amounts, on-site treatment can leverage great waste minimization gains.
  • Reduce your freight costs. If you’re currently shipping large volumes of corrosive wastewater to an off-site treatment facility, you’re paying freight costs to transport the waste AND treatment costs to neutralize it. By treating the waste on site, you can save on shipping costs.
  • Neutralization is cheap. After any on-site storage, as well as recordkeeping and other administrative expenses (which you’re already doing for the waste), the only additional expense for an elementary neutralization operation is a small amount of common industrial caustic.

What Kinds of Wastes Qualify?

Elementary neutralization can be applied to hazardous wastes that 1) exhibit the hazardous waste characteristic of corrosivity defined at 40 CFR 261.22, 2) do not exhibit any other characteristics, and 3) are not listed as hazardous waste at 40 CFR 261, Subpart D. While this description is very specific, this type of waste is generated by many kinds of facilities, typically in large amounts.

How Does the Treatment Work?

  • Accumulate the waste in a tank, tank system, or container.
    • Transport vehicles and vessels are also authorized, but their use can create complications.
    • As long as you “immediately manage” the waste in an elementary neutralization unit, you don’t have to count it towards your generator status. [40 CFR 261.5(c)(2)]
    • Depending on your setup, you may even be able to skip this step (treatment in “process unit”). [40 CFR 261.4(c)]
  • Add base/acid to the waste to raise/lower the pH above 2 or below 12.5 to reach a neutral pH.
  • Dispose of the decharacterized water.

What Else Do I Have to Do?

  • Check the laws, regulations, and policies of the hazardous waste management authorities in your state. Not every jurisdiction authorizes this activity, and some that do will impose additional restrictions or requirements.
  • If you intend on discharging the neutralized wastewater to a municipal sewer, you must get permission from the waterworks.
  • If you intend on discharging the neutralized wastewater to surface or underground waters, you must have an NPDES permit from the U.S. EPA.
  • Keep records of the amount and type of waste you generated and treated to rebut any presumptions of speculative accumulation or sham recycling.
  • File a One-Time Notice in your facility’s Land Disposal Restrictions records. [40 CFR 268.7(a)(7)]

Operating an elementary neutralization unit (ENU) isn’t easy, and it isn’t the right solution for everyone. But if your facility generates large quantities of corrosive wastewaters, then setting up an ENU can minimize your waste generation, cutting your shipping costs and treatment fees, and possibly reduce your generator status.

Learn how to gain efficiencies and streamline your waste management operations at Lion Technology’s Advanced Hazardous Waste Management Workshop

EPA Meeting on e-Manifest Posted on March 19, 2013 by Scott C. Dunsmore

Greetings from the Windy City. The second public meeting on the e-manifest system has just concluded at the EPA’s Region 5 headquarters in downtown Chicago. The meetings were well attended, with a lot of good discussion.

The president signed the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act on October 5, 2012, which provides the EPA with a short three-year window in which to establish an electronic manifest system for hazardous waste shipments. On February 20, 2013, the EPA announced three public meetings to obtain public input from stakeholders on a national electronic manifest system [78 FR 11877].

In Chicago, there were over fifty participants from every impacted sector—generators, transporters, TSDFs, states, brokers, and other support organizations. The Chicago meeting built on information gathered at the first meeting  in Arlington, VA. Here are some basic facts that were learned from the meeting:

  • The e-manifest system must be up and running by October 5, 2015.
  • There will be a single, nationally-run system (states will be able to update their rules to enforce the e-manifest program rules, however, they cannot create their own e-manifest system).
  • The system will be funded by user fees.
  • While the use of the system will be voluntary, the EPA indicated that even paper manifests will be added to the national e-manifest database.
  • The EPA is planning to issue a Direct Final Rule in the near future that will authorize the implementation of a national e-manifest system and the collection of user fees. (This is merely a formality that officially opens the process mandated by the statute.)

The topic of fees was a significant matter for many in the audience. Unfortunately, the EPA would not indicate what their current thought process is on a fee structure. The TSDF industry expressed concern that the fees must be such that they can support the system, however, they cannot be too high so as to create a disincentive for using the e-manifest system over the traditional paper system. Since the EPA did indicate that even paper manifests will be entered into the system, there was discussion as to whether fees will be charged for use of the paper manifests as well. The EPA was not opposed to such an approach but the Agency did not tip its hand as to what it plans on doing. The actual fees will not be addressed in the Direct Final Rule, but a subsequent rulemaking on the regulations supporting the e-manifest system. Generators in the room indicated that the fee structure may be the biggest hurdle to overcome in making the program successful.

In addition to the possible fee structure, the following are my assessments of the most significant issues discussed:

  1. Administration: The EPA described a system in which each generator, transporter, TSDF, and broker who uses the national e-manifest system will need to register and then set up each user. Comments centered on two issues. First, some generators with multiple sites hoped that the system will allow for a “super user” such as a corporate office that could manage and view the various sites. The second discussion was how brokers were going to be able to prepare manifests for their clients. Were they going to be able to register as a super user, or would they need to be set up as a user under each registered generator? In addition, there was concern that brokers would only be able to view e-manifests from a generator that they prepared.
  2. Accessibility: With the development of a national database, there was significant discussion in deciding when the records would be “official.” The overwhelming consensus was that the e-manifest should not be accessible to others until it is “signed” by the generator. Some felt that states should not have access until the manifests are signed by the TSDF, although it does not appear that their wishes will be granted. Included in the discussion of accessibility was the retention in the national system. Some generators and brokers wondered if the manifests would be deleted after the current three-year retention requirement in 40 CFR 262, Subpart D.
  3. Shipping papers: The U.S. DOT still requires the use of a shipping paper (its efforts for electronic shipping papers are not as far along as the EPA’s), therefore a physical shipping paper will still need to accompany the shipment. There was significant discussion as to what the format should be. Options ranged from a print out of the current manifest to any format as long as the DOT-required elements were included. While the majority of the audience was in favor of an “any document” approach, there was general consensus that the rule will need to require some indication on the form that there is an official and complete e-manifest accessible in the national system. It wasn’t clear what that indication might be, but it is possible that it might simply be the requirement to include the e-manifest tracking number on the shipping paper. In the end, the audience felt that DOT must be intimately involved in the EPA’s rulemaking efforts.
  4. Signature: This was the greatest hot-button issue of the meeting. The EPA stated that despite its acknowledgement of the rigors of this approach, the policy-makers have mandated that the signature requirements will have to be compliant with the EPA’s Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Regulation (CROMERR). This essentially will limit the options to a password/PIN system or the use of high-quality digitized signature pads. The consensus was that the CROMERR system was built around a single reporting system and not a dynamic, chain-of-custody system like the manifest system. There was a growing movement to revise the manifest rules to eliminate the EPA requirements for a hand-written signature. It is not certain that the EPA will act on this. It is my assertion that the signature requirement will be the biggest and perhaps most costly hurdle to overcome. A system that is too onerous will surely scare many generators away either because the flexibility in assigning persons with the ability to sign the manifest is not there or because the implementation costs will be too expensive.

What are the next steps for the regulated community?

  1. Keep watch for what follows the Direct Final Rule. The EPA will follow this with a proposal on the new e-manifest regulations and the fee structure. Organizations will need to carefully consider the language. Will the system allow for an ease of paperwork burden, yet be cost-effective in light of the fee structure?
  2. Begin dialogs with your TSDFs and brokers. Since many of these persons already prepare manifests for their generators, will they be compelling their clients into the e-manifest system? How will this impact your costs with each waste stream?
  3. Consult with your corporate legal counsel. If e-manifests are retained on the national database, how will this impact your current record retention policies and practices, not just under RCRA and CERCLA? If you are a publicly traded company, this may also impact your Sarbanes-Oxley obligations.

It sounds like the e-manifest system will have many benefits, but it will require careful review, consideration, and even comment as the Agency rolls out the regulations.

OSHA Lifts Prohibition on HCS & DOT Labels on Same Package Posted on March 19, 2013 by Roger Marks

A HazCom rule change has been announced that will affect labeling of all hazardous materials packages.  The new rule makes an important adjustment to new requirements OSHA adopted last year, known as the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classifying and labeling chemicals.

The rule in question pertains to DOT and HCS labels on the same package. The regulation (29 CFR 1910.1200, C.2.3.3) currently reads:

“Where a pictogram required by the Department of Transportation under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations appears on a shipped container, the pictogram specified in C.4 for the same hazard shall not appear.”

OSHA now plans to revise this rule to allow both a DOT and HCS pictogram for the same hazard to appear on a package, and will not enforce the current prohibition in the meantime. Because the U.S. DOT does not view Hazard Communication pictograms as conflicting with DOT labeling requirements; and because for some international shipments both pictograms may be needed, OSHA has decided to lift the prohibition at 1910.1200 C.2.3.3.

The planned change was announced in an OSHA Brief released last week. You can view the full brief here.

All employees must be trained on OSHA’s new GHS hazard communication standards by December 1, 2013!  For the latest on the new HazCom requirements, and how the GHS rules will affect your facility’s hazard communication program, don’t miss Lion’s Preparing for OSHA’s New GHS Rule Webinar, presented throughout 2013!

DOT Basic Descriptions: Shipping Papers vs. Marks and Labels Posted on March 19, 2013 by Ross Kellogg

A common question raised in Lion’s hazmat workshops lately is how the DOT’s recent change to the order of elements for basic descriptions will affect marking and labeling procedures for packages. Read on for answers to this common question and a refresher on the package marking and labeling requirements.

As of January 1st, 2013, the order of elements describing a hazardous material on a shipping paper must be: Identification number, Proper Shipping Name, hazard class or division, and packing group (if applicable). These new requirements are listed at 49 CFR 172.202. For more information about this change, see our October Newsletter article. It is important to note that this rule change affects shipping papers only, and not any description or markings displayed on the outside of a package.

The general and specific requirements for the content and placement of markings on bulk and non-bulk packagings can be found at 49 CFR 172, Subpart D, but none of these provisions specify a particular order of elements for the marked information. Although there is no specific order set for markings on a package, certain requirements for marks and labels still apply.

Marking Non-bulk Packages

In general, non-bulk packages of hazardous material must be marked with three pieces of information:

  • Proper Shipping Name,
  • Identification number, and
  • Either the consignee’s or consignor’s name and address, i.e., the “to” or “from” address.

Additional markings may be required in special circumstances. You may need to also include information like technical names of chemicals shipped under generic shipping names, orientation arrows for liquids in combination packages, or the letters RQ for hazardous substances, just to name a few of the most common additions. Marking the packing group on the package is not required. [49 CFR 173.301]

Marking Bulk Packages

For bulk packagings, the minimum marking requirement is the identification number of the material marked on two or four sides [49 CFR 172.302, and 172.328–172.331]. In many cases, the package must also be marked with the Proper Shipping Name. Additional information may be required for certain materials or shipments [49 CFR 172.326]. Marking the packing group on the package is, again, not required.

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Display of Markings

There are a number of general requirements for package markings. All markings must be:

  • Durably placed on the surface of the package,
  • Printed in English,
  • Displayed on a contrasting background,
  • Un-obscured by labels or attachments, and
  • Located away from other markings (such as advertising) that could substantially reduce their effectiveness.

Minimum Size Requirements

For bulk packages, the identification number, Proper Shipping Name, and other required markings must be at least:

  • 6 mm (0.24 in.) wide and 100 mm (3.9 in.) high for rail cars,
  • 4 mm (0.16 in.) wide and 25 mm (1 in.) high for IBCs and portable tanks, and
  • 6 mm (0.24 in.) wide and 50 mm (2.0 in.) high for cargo tanks and other bulk packagings.

The DOT recently amended the HMR to harmonize with international standards by mandating minimum size requirements for markings on non-bulk packages [78 FR 987; January 7, 2013]:

  • Packages with a maximum capacity of 5 L (1.3 gal.), or 5 kg (11 lbs.) or less “…must be marked in a size appropriate for the size for the package.”
  • Packages with a maximum capacity of 30 L (8 gal.) or less, or 40 kg (66 lbs.) maximum gross weight, or cylinders with a water capacity of 60 L (16 gal.) or less must be marked with characters at least 6 mm (0.24 in.) high.
  • Larger packages must be marked in characters at least 12 mm (0.47 in.) high.

For domestic transportation, these minimum size requirements will not be mandatory until January 1, 2017.

Get up to speed with all the recent changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations with Lion’s Hazardous Materials Transportation Certification Online Course for training that’s effective, reliable, and available 24/7.

Immediate Effects of New Air Quality Standards Posted on March 12, 2013 by Scott C. Dunsmore

Question: I saw that the EPA published a final rule revising the ambient air quality standard for particulate matter and that the new standard is effective on March 18, 2013. Will this immediately affect New Source Review applications?

Answer: Some aspects of this final rule will have an immediate impact on New Source Review (NSR) permitting, and other aspects will impact air quality control regions in the future.

The EPA published a final rule on January 15, 2013 that revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) at 40 CFR Part 50 for fine particulates. Fine particulates are those with a diameter of less than or equal to 2.5 µm. The rule lowered the annual health standard from 15 µg/m3 to 10 µg/m3.

Re-designating Regions

In order to determine the full impact on the NSR program, states must evaluate whether their air quality control regions (AQCR) will meet the new annual limit. States must submit their recommended attainment/non-attainment determinations to the EPA by December 2013. The EPA will evaluate these recommendations and publish its final determinations in December 2014. The resulting designations are scheduled to take effect in early 2015 and will appear as a final rule in the Federal Register.

 

 

Newly Designated Non-Attainment Areas

A change in designation from attainment to non-attainment in a given AQCR may result in many stationary sources meeting the definition of a “major” source of fine particulates. The New Source Review program has different definitions for “major stationary sources,” depending on the air quality status in the region of the stationary source. For some stationary sources, a change of designation may shift the default potential-to-emit threshold from > 250 tons/year in the “attainment” definition to the standard threshold in the “non-attainment” rules (> 100 tons/year). So, it will be important for existing stationary sources that emit particulates to look for the final determinations, especially if the AQCR has been re-designated as a non-attainment area.

Because many existing minor sources may now be re-designated as major sources, these newly regulated major sources will face a higher likelihood of needing NSR pre-construction permits for future “major modifications,” as defined at 40 CFR 51.165.

PSD Permit Applications

For new or existing major stationary sources of particulates in AQCRs that are currently designated as being in attainment with the NAAQS, there will be a more immediate impact on future modifications. Under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program, which governs attainment areas, major sources must demonstrate that the construction project will not cause or contribute to a violation of the NAAQS or any maximum allowable pollution increase (i.e., the region’s allowable increment).

This demonstration is typically based on the air quality standard in place when the pre-construction permit is issued. However, the EPA is grandfathering permit applications that were submitted by December 14, 2012 or for those sources for which a public notice for a draft permit was published before the effective date of this rule (March 18, 2013). The grandfathered sources will be allowed to make the demonstration based on the previous 2006 standard. All non-grandfathered new PSD applications will need to make the demonstration based on the new annual health standard.

For more information on the revised particulate matter standard, see the EPA’s website. For more information on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and New Source Review permitting under the Clean Air Act, join Lion for the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshops. These workshops cover core requirements under all the EPA’s major programs, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, FIFRA, TSCA, and more!

The Challenge of Fall Protection Posted on March 05, 2013 by Joel Gregier

For the past twenty years, fatalities related to falls have consistently ranked in the top four causes of workplace deaths. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to protect their employees from recognized hazards that may result in death or serious physical harm and to comply with OSHA standards. So which standards might the employer need to consider in addressing workplace fall protection?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers in General Industry to first address safeguards to the physical structures and devices within the workplace, and then use personal protective equipment for employees when they are unable to completely control the hazards through engineering or administrative methods.

Fall protection standards for physical structures are located under the “Walking and Working Surfaces” standards [29 CFR 1910, Subpart D]. These standards cover floor and wall openings/holes, elevated platforms, fixed stairs, and fixed ladders. For each work surface, OSHA has established minimum construction requirements for safeguards such as railings, handrails, and toe boards. The goals of these standards are to minimize:

  • Employee falls, and
  • Objects falling on employees from surfaces above their heads

 

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General Fall Protection Rules

As a general rule, openings and platforms 4 feet or more above floor-level, or fixed stairs with 4 or more risers, must be constructed with railings and/or hand rails. The Walking and Working Surfaces standards provide specific instructions regarding the construction of these structures.

Toe boards must be installed on platforms and around openings whenever:

  • Persons can pass beneath the platform, or
  • The platform is above moving machinery, or
  • There is equipment below the platform with which falling materials could create a hazard.

Also, open-sided floors and platforms require railings and toe boards, even if the elevation is under 4 feet, if they are above or adjacent to hazardous locations (e.g., dangerous equipment).

Unconventional Elevated Work Surfaces

Because there are many unconventional elevated working surfaces (i.e., conveyors, tops of machinery, and other structures not normally considered “walking and working” surfaces), OSHA clarifies what it means by “platforms” at STD 1-1.13. According to this directive, OSHA considers something a platform, and therefore subject to the platform guarding standards, if employees will work on it on a “predictable and regular basis.” “Predictable and regular” covers functions such as, but not limited to, inspections, service, repair, and maintenance that are performed at least once every two weeks or for a total of 4 man-hours during any sequential 4-week period. For instance, if 2 employees work for 2 hours each (4 man-hours total) within a 4-week period, that elevated surface would be considered a “platform.”

Personal Protection Equipment

As a general rule, personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided, used, and maintained in reliable conditions whenever hazards in the workplace can cause injury or impairment from physical contact [29 CFR 1910.132(a)]. If, after securing the workplace by installing mandatory safeguards, employees are still at risk from falling hazards, then employers must select, provide, and train their employees in the proper use and care of their personal protective equipment.

The General Industry Standards do not have standards for specific fall protection PPE. However, there are specifications for certain fall prevention and fall arrest systems within the Construction Standards [29 CFR 1926). While these standards may not directly apply to non-construction related practices, they may serve as a basis for demonstrating the general requirements at 29 CFR 1910.132. In addition, there may be consensus standards that pertain to a workplace scenario that may provide assistance to the employer in assuring that fall protection PPE has been evaluated and implemented properly under the General Industry Standards.

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Learn the OSHA mandates that apply to your facility with Lion’s comprehensive 10 Hour General Industry Online Course. The course has been updated to include OSHA’s new GHS rules, and students gain the critical knowledge and tools needed to ensure site compliance, protect employees, and maintain productivity.

What other OSHA safety and protection regulations do you interact with day-to-day? Share on below.

References: OSHA Instruction STD 1-1.13, April 16, 1984. 29 CFR 1910.23(c), 1910.132

Managing Hazardous Waste as Used Oil Posted on February 26, 2013 by Lion Staff

In general, the EPA does not consider used oils to be hazardous waste. In establishing proper management standards for these wastes, the EPA presumed that recycling, from re-refining to burning as fuel, would occur. The used oil rules at 40 CFR 279 are less burdensome than the hazardous waste regulations (40 CFR 260-270). In some circumstances, the EPA even allows certain mixtures of used oil and hazardous waste to be managed under the less stringent used oil rules. Recycling used oil under Part 279 has great advantages and it is worth considering which used oil/hazardous waste mixtures can take advantage of these regulations.

 

What Is Used Oil

The U.S. EPA defines used oil as “oil that has been refined from crude oil, or any synthetic oil, that has been used and as a result of such use is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities” [40 CFR 279.1]. Though not explicitly stated in this definition, the EPA’s used oil regulations apply to lubricating, hydraulic, cutting, cooling, and other similar oils—but not to fuel oils.

 

Types of Mixtures

Used oil and hazardous waste mixtures fall into two categories: used oils that are mixed with listed hazardous waste (i.e., wastes described at 40 CFR 261.31—261.33), or used oils mixed with characteristic-only hazardous wastes. The EPA prohibits the management of mixtures of used oil and listed waste from management under 40 CFR 279. These mixtures must be managed under the hazardous waste management requirements [40 CFR 279.10(b)(1)(i)]. So, it is mixtures of used oil and certain characteristic hazardous wastes that may take advantage of the used oil standards.

 

When Used Oil and Hazardous Waste Can Be Managed as Used Oil

  • The hazardous waste is ignitable-only (D001), but is not ignitable when mixed with used oil, even if the resulting mixture exhibits some other hazardous waste characteristic(s)
  • The hazardous waste was characteristic-only, and the mixture displays no characteristics.

 

Used Oil Mixed With Ignitable Hazardous Waste

An ignitable hazardous waste (D001) is a hazardous waste that exhibits no characteristics other than ignitibility, and/or is listed only for ignitibility.

A mixture of used oil and ignitable hazardous waste may be managed as used oil, as long as the mixture is not ignitable, even if the mixture exhibits other hazardous waste characteristic(s) (i.e., toxicity for heavy metals) [40 CFR 279.10(b)(2)(iii)].

 

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Used Oil Mixed With “Characteristic” Hazardous Waste

A mixture of a characteristic hazardous waste and used oil can be managed as used oil as long as the mixture does not exhibit any characteristic [40 CFR 279.10(b)(2)(ii)].

Characteristic-only hazardous wastes include those wastes listed on the F-, K-, P-, or U-lists solely because they exhibit a hazardous characteristic (i.e. ignitibility (I), corrosivity (C), reactivity (R), or toxicity (E)).

There are approximately 30 listed wastes found in 40 CFR 261.31—261.33 that the EPA has listed solely on the basis of the waste exhibiting one or more of the characteristics at 40 CFR 261, Subpart C. In their descriptions at 40 CFR 261, Subpart D, these listed wastes are followed by one or more of the following hazard codes: I, C, R, or E.

 

Special Circumstances for Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators

As established at 40 CFR 261.5, Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) are largely exempt from RCRA hazardous waste regulations. Any hazardous waste, including acutely hazardous, or toxic wastes generated by a CESQG may be mixed with and managed as used oil, even if the resulting mixture exhibits hazardous waste characteristics. [40 CFR 261.5(j)].

 

Check Your State Regulations

Used oil recycling is one area of waste management regulations where State laws, regulations, and policies can vary widely from Federal standards. Before mixing used oil and hazardous waste, check with your state’s EPA to make sure the Agency approves your procedures. States may prohibit one or more of these mixes or impose additional requirements for recycling any/all used oils.

Mixing hazardous waste and used oil has many advantages for generators. As long as the rules at 40 CFR Part 279 are followed, mixtures of certain types of hazardous waste and used oil are exempt from many of the most stringent RCRA regulations, saving generators time and money.

Learn to take advantage of other available reliefs from the RCRA hazardous waste rules at Lion’s Hazardous Waste Recycling Reliefs Webinar, presented live on April 23 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM ET!

How has mixing used oils been a relief to you and your facility? Share below.

How to Classify Hazmat That Changes Its Characteristics Posted on February 19, 2013 by Lion Staff

Question: I have to ship some solid phosphoric acid powder. The Hazardous Material Table says it’s a Class 8—Corrosive hazardous material. I thought that Class 8 was only for corrosive liquids. What’s up with that?

Answer: A material is a Class 8 hazmat if it fails the tests given in 49 CFR 173.137. The procedures for those tests are calibrated for liquids and are not suitable for solids.

In general, you classify a hazmat based on its properties at the time you offer it for transportation. But there’s one exception to this principle—when a solid material may become a liquid during transportation, either by melting or absorbing moisture from the atmosphere, and that liquid would be a Class 8 corrosive, then the solid must be classified and otherwise managed as a Class 8 corrosive hazmat.

“A liquid, or a solid which may become liquid during transportation, that has a severe corrosion rate on steel or aluminum based on the criteria in 173.137(c)(2) is also a corrosive material.” [49 CFR 173.136(a)]

 

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An Example of Classifying Changing Characteristics
Take phosphoric acid for example. At room temperature, phosphoric acid is a crystalline solid, but its melting point is around 100° F. During the normal course of intermodal transportation, ambient temperatures can range from -40° to over 200° F.

This means it’s very possible for a consignment of solid phosphoric acid powder to liquefy during transport. When in a liquid phase phosphoric acid can corrode metal packagings and/or vehicles. Therefore, you must treat the solid powder as if it were a corrosive hazmat, even though it doesn’t quite meet the definition given.

In other words, if you ship a solid material that may become a Class 8 corrosive liquid during transport, it should be classified and named accordingly. So, although your material may not exhibit the characteristics of a Class 8 corrosive hazardous material when you ship it, it is correct to classify and name it as a Class 8 hazmat and package it accordingly.

How to Pack Meltable Solids
When packing solid hazardous materials that may become liquid during transport (i.e., meltable solids), there are special rules you must follow to accommodate this potential change in phase. [49 CFR 173.24 (a)(b)(3)] Specifically, the packaging must be able to contain the liquid in addition to providing enough absorbent material in the event of any damage or leakage with regard to inner packaging.

Learn all the DOT’s rules for classifying, packaging, marking, labeling, and documenting your hazmat shipments in full compliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations at Lion’s Hazardous Materials Transportation Certification Workshop. For the full schedule, visit Lion.com.

What other unique hazmat classifying or packaging rules have you come across? Share below.

Greenhouse Gas Reports Due March 31st! Posted on February 12, 2013 by Lion Staff

The 2013 submission deadline for 40 CFR 98, more commonly called “the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule,” is fast approaching. Unlike 2011 and 2012, in which the reporting deadlines were pushed back to September due to technology issues, this year the EPA requires reports be submitted by the March 31st date codified in the regulations.

In 2009, the U.S. EPA issued the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule in order to collect accurate information to inform future policy decisions. The rulemaking was a response to Congress’ Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, which authorized the EPA to require GHG emitters to inventory and report emissions. Details on who must report, what must be reported, and what technology should be used to monitor and collect GHG emissions data can be found at 40 CFR Part 98.

 

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Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements
The first official reporting year for Greenhouse Gas emissions was 2011. A number of major industry sectors are subject to mandatory reporting, namely electric utilities, major manufacturers, the petrochemical industry, mines, and certain other facilities that produce at least 25,000 tonnes* per year of CO2 or CO2 equivalent emissions. A “CO2 equivalent” or “Co2e” value is calculated by determining the potential of an emitted greenhouse gas to contribute to global warming, as compared to carbon dioxide.

 

Facilities must report when GHG emissions exceed 25,000 tonnes of CO2e per year. The six major greenhouse gases are:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  • And other fluorinated greenhouse gases defined at 40 CFR Section 98.6

 

The EPA’s complete list of facilities who must report includes those that meet the above criteria, as well as some others:

  • Any facility which is in a source category listed in 40 CFR 98.2(a)(1), regardless of the actual amount of GHGs emitted,
  • Any facility which is in a source category listed in 40 CFR 98.2(a)(2), if it emitted 25,000 tonnes of CO2e gases or more in 2012,
  • Any facility which does not meet the previous two criteria but has stationary combustion sources with a 30mmBTU/hr rating or greater, and which emitted 25,000 tonnes or more of CO2e gases in 2012 (per 40 CFR 98.2(a)(3)), or
  • Greenhouse gas suppliers (40 CFR 98, Subparts LL through QQ).

 

Submitting Reports Using the e-GGRT
Reports must be submitted electronically using the e-GGRT (Electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool). Paper submissions are not accepted. Facilities must register on the e-GRRT site and then submit the one-time Electronic Signature Agreement (ESA). Once the ESA is approved, registrants return to the e-GRRT site to complete registration and then be able to report. For first time submitters, the process of setting up an account for the e-GRRT system may take a few weeks, so do not wait until the March 1 deadline to register.

 

Reporting Reliefs
While research & development activities are not included in calculating emissions totals (40 CFR 98.2(a)(5)), in general once a facility meets the applicability under Part 98, it must continue to submit annual reports, even if it no longer meets the reporting thresholds. A facility can petition to cease annual reporting if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • Emit less than 25,000 tonnes CO2e for five consecutive years,
  • Emit less than 15,000 tonnes CO2e for three consecutive years, or
  • Cease the GHG-emitting process / operations.

The facility must submit a written petition to the EPA by March 31 of the following year and must retain supporting records for at least three years. [40 CFR 98.2(i)]

 

What other difficulties do you face when filling out Greenhouse Gas Reports?

 

Get all the information you need to comply with EPA’s major programs at Lion’s Complete Environmental Regulations Public Workshops. Learn the latest rules, including, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, as well as Greenhouse Gas Reporting, Superfund, and EPCRA.

 

*1 tonnes, or metric ton, is equivalent to 2,204.6lbs.

Transitioning to OSHA’s New GHS Rules Posted on February 05, 2013 by Lion Staff

Q:I am in charge of overseeing my company’s transition to OSHA’s new GHS Hazard Communication Standard. How much of the standard will be changing?

A:The overhaul to OSHA’s Hazard Communication System (HCS) has caused anxiety nationwide in many industries since the rulemaking was announced—but while many aspects of hazard communication will change, the major thrust of “HazCom” scope and application will remain the same.

OSHA’s adoption of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) brings major changes for any employer whose personnel handle hazardous chemicals at work; there are new chemical classification criteria to follow, revised markings and labels to recognize, and new 16-section Safety Data Sheets to fill out.

 

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Intent of the OSHA HazCom Standard
The intent of OSHA’s HazCom standard has not changed. OSHA requires employers to alert personnel to hazards in the workplace through container marking and labeling, documentation, and effective training. These requirements have always been a part of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, found at 29 CFR 1910.1200.

Just as before the GHS rulemaking, chemical manufacturers/importers must classify “hazardous chemicals,” accurately label containers of chemicals they ship out, and clearly document those hazards on paper. The employers’ obligation to create a written program of training and workplace communication still stands.

HazCom Exclusions
Most of the exclusions under the old HazCom rule also still apply. For instance, certain types of chemicals need not be labeled, such as food and drugs subject to FDA labeling and pesticides subject to FIFRA labeling. Still exempt from HazCom are RCRA-regulated hazardous wastes, personal medication taken by employees, and biological hazards.

Though the “HazCom 2012″ GHS initiative will require more disclosure with respect to chemicals manufactured, handled, and shipped, trade secrets are still protected under an exemption [29 CFR 1910.1200(i)].

GHS HazCom Training Options
To help the regulated community navigate the new GHS requirements, Lion offers three training options. With training for all levels you can ensure that all employees are in compliance by the December 1, 2013 deadline. Click the following links to learn more about Lion’s GHS Courses: Preparing for OSHA’s New GHS Rule Webinar, Managing Hazard Communication Online Course, and Hazard Communication Online Course.

How will the new GHS rules affect you and your facility? Share below.

Understanding Your Generator Status Posted on January 29, 2013 by Lion Staff

Any person who produces hazardous waste or causes hazardous waste to become subject to regulation is a generator of hazardous waste. Waste can be produced by industrial processes or through recycling and waste treatment. Wastes can become subject to regulation without actually being produced through the closure of a process or facility or the cleanup of an abandoned site or accidental release.

A “person” can be an individual, but more generally, the term applies to a facility or site. The amount of hazardous waste generated at a site during a calendar month determines its generator status.

While the term “generator status” doesn’t actually appear in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) or its implementing regulations, it is used by the EPA and others to refer to the amount of hazardous waste generated at a facility and the particular regulations that apply to that facility and its waste.

There are three categories of generator status: large quantity generator, small quantity generator, and conditionally exempt small quantity generator.

Status
Amount Per Month
Applicable
Large Quantity Generator (LQG)
1,000 kg or more
(>1 kg acute hazardous waste)
40 CFR 262.34(a)
Small Quantity Generator (SQG)
>100 kg or < = 1,000 kg
40 CFR 262.34(d)
Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG)
100 kg or less
(1 kg or less acute hazardous waste)
40 CFR 261.5

 

Knowing Your Generator Status
Knowing your generator status is the most important thing you can do under RCRA, because the more waste you generate, the more rules you have to follow.

Status
Written Training Plan/Records
Written Contingency Plan
Biennial Report
Large Quantity Generator (LQG)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Small Quantity Generator (SQG)
No
No
No
Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG)
No
No
No

 

Due to the Federalized nature of RCRA, not every State-level implementing authority recognizes the SQG or CESQG provisions, and may not extend every relief to every facility. As always, check your state-level agency rules/policies before making major policy changes.

Changing Generator Status
Generator status is based on the amount of waste generated over the course of a month. If a facility generates 1,000 kg or more of hazardous waste in a month, then ALL of the waste generated that month must be managed as LQG waste. Any waste generated in previous months can be managed under the rules that applied in those months.

The original regulations don’t account for the possibility of status change, but many State and regional authorities have their own uncodified policies and procedures for handling temporary or permanent change in generator status.

Keeping Good Records
On March 1 of every even-numbered year, every facility that treats, stores, or disposes of hazardous waste and every large quantity generator must file a Biennial Report (EPA FORM 8700-13A) on their hazardous waste management activities for the previous year.

This means that if a facility generates a large quantity of hazardous waste (1,000 kg or more) during even a single month of 2013, then it must file a report in 2014 for all of the waste generated the previous year—not just for the waste generated in that month. The report must describe all the hazardous waste that was generated at the facility, how much was generated, and what happened to it. A best practice is to keep good records of your waste generation every month, even if you’re normally a small quantity generator.

Ensure you are always in compliance with accumulation rules with effective RCRA training. At Lion’s Hazardous/Toxic Waste Management Workshops, you’ll learn how to classify hazardous waste, determine your on-site storage options, count hazardous wastes, and more.

What do you find to be your biggest problem in determining generator status? Share comments below.