U.S. EPA Proposes Changes to Hazardous Waste Generator Rule
At the end of August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) signed a proposed rule designed to improve the requirements for generators of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by addressing gaps in the regulation, providing additional flexibility, clarifying the rules and making them more user-friendly. However, the changes may result in additional burdens for businesses and introduce more confusion. For example, the proposal states that Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) and Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) would have to keep records not only for wastes determined to be hazardous, but also for wastes determined to be nonhazardous. The LQGs and SQGs would have to keep records supporting determinations of waste determinations. The proposal also classifies generators of one kg of acutely hazardous waste in a month as LQGs, even if the total amount of hazardous wastes generated is less than 100 kg/month. As such, businesses would not just have to manage their acutely hazardous wastes pursuant to the LQG rules, as under the existing regulations, but also would have to manage their non-acutely hazardous wastes as LQG wastes as well. The proposed rule has not yet been published, but a pre-publication copy is available at http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/pre_publication_eo12866_hw_generator_2050-ag70_nprm_2015_08_30.pdf.
OSHA Issues Hazard Communication Directive
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) published a long-awaited directive on the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012), CPL 02-02-079. The directive is intended to provide inspection and enforcement guidance to compliance officers regarding the final Hazard Communication Standard published in March 2012. However, the directive also serves as a valuable tool to employers implementing the requirements on the revised Hazard Communication Standard. The 124-page directive provides guidance in the areas of Hazard Classification, Labels, Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and Employee Training. The extensive directive covers each aspect of the standards requirements and provides compliance officers with a road map for citations where employers are found to be in violation of the requirements. A copy of the directive can be found at https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02-02-079.pdf.
558 U.S. Counties Impacted by New Ozone Standard
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) released a new proposed rule – National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone – that would tighten current federal air pollution rules and increase the number of counties impacted by the proposed rule. The National Association of Counties issued a policy brief in which it estimates the number of regulated counties nationally could increase anywhere from 358 to 558. The agency was under a court-ordered deadline to finalize the rule by Oct. 1, 2015.
Approximately 227 counties (primarily urban and in the East) currently are regulated under ozone air quality standards. Tightening the ozone standard is supported by a number of environmental and health groups. The proposed rule would tighten the current ozone standard from 75 ppb to a range of 65 to 70 ppb. Under the proposal, the monitoring season would be extended into the winter months, which may bring more areas into non-attainment. These non-attainment areas would have to submit a State Implementation Plan to U.S. EPA, detailing measures to reduce emissions.
Under a 70 ppb standard, the agency estimates 358 counties would be in violation. Under a 65 ppb standard, an additional 558 counties would be in violation. According to U.S. EPA, a 70 ppb standard would cost $3.9 billion per year and impact primarily Eastern states; if the standard were set at 65 ppb, costs are estimated at $15.2 billion annually. The cost to California is not included in these calculations, since a number of California counties would be given until 2032-2037 to meet the standards. The costs are estimated based on existing and future pollution control technologies. Learn more at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/criteria.html.
Updated Guide to OSHA Training Requirements
OSHA has posted a fully updated version of its guide to all agency training requirements to help employers, safety and health professionals, training directors and others comply with the law and keep workers safe. Training Requirements in OSHA Standards organizes the training requirements into five categories: General Industry, Maritime, Construction, Agriculture and Federal Employee Programs. The requirements for manufacturers are included within General Industry at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha2254.pdf.
Doreen M. Monteleone, Ph.D.
Director of Sustainability & EHS Initiatives
RadTech International North America
News from the West Coast
Marine Coatings Rule Scrapped
In an unprecedented 8-2 decision in favor of businesses and against staff recommendations, the South Coast Air Quality Management District voted to scrap a proposed new rule for Marine Coatings (Rule 1106) in its entirety. RadTech had expressed opposition to the proposal, pointing out that the rule was not about emission reductions. The staff report specifically stated: “The proposed administrative amendment is not expected to yield any additional VOC reductions.” The average Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) limit in the proposed rule is 464 grams per liter; our materials have less than 50 grams per liter. We made the case that our manufacturers are voluntarily providing the district with an extra 400 grams per liter of VOC reductions and yet were still subjected to the overly prescriptive reporting requirements in 1106.
The administrative reporting requirements in Section (G) of the proposed rule were expansive and, if adopted, would have required:
- a compliance statement requirement for each individual coating, coating component and ready-to-spray mixture;
- additional labeling;
- annual quantity emissions reports, including the annual sales or distribution volume; and
- submission of a list of all U.S. distributors, including but not limited to, private label coatings and toll manufactured coatings.
There is a real cost to this additional reporting. RadTech maintained that these added requirements act as a barrier to doing business in Southern California and were disadvantageous to our industry.
Doug Delong of DDU Enterprises gave impassioned testimony in support of the industry and shared the concerns from a business perspective. Delongs comments resonated with SCAQMD Chairman Dr. William Burke, who responded by stating he would be voting “No.” He further stated that he could relate to the regulatory challenges of the industry and, as a boat owner, had experienced those first-hand.
RadTech thanks Delong and the many RadTech members who submitted written comments throughout the months of rulemaking.
Director of Regional Environmental Affairs
RadTech International North America