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EPA Updates the Community Right to Know Survey to Align with GHS Hazard Communication Standard

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised the reporting requirements of the Community Right to Know Survey (CRTK) to align with the terminology and chemical hazard categories of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Hazard Communication Standard (Hazcom). The final rule was released in the June 13, 2016 Federal Register: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016- 06-13/pdf/2016-13582.pdf. Companies required to complete the annual CRTK Survey (also known as Tier II)will see some changes to the reporting forms as a result of the new rule.

What will change?

1. GHS has replaced “Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)” with the term “Safety Data Sheet (SDS)”.

Instructions and reporting forms for the CRTK Survey will use both terms and their acronyms.

2. Changes to the “Hazard Category” section in Part 2 of the CRTK Survey.

Since its implementation in 1987, the CRTK Survey form has had five (5) hazard category

options. These categories included fire, sudden release of pressure, reactive, acute health

hazard, and chronic health hazard.

The new rule replaces the 5 hazard categories with two (2) hazard categories. The newly defined

hazard categories include:

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 5.08.24 PM

The June 13, 2016 final rule had inadvertently omitted the hazard ‘‘serious eye damage or eye irritation’’under the definition of ‘‘health hazard’’. Therefore, EPA released a correction in the July 21, 2016 Federal Register: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016- 07-21/pdf/2016- 17277.pdf adding “serious eye damage or eye irritation” to the definition of “health hazard”.


DHS is making Changes to the Top Screen and Site Security Plan

According to a Federal Register notice filed July 20, 2016

(https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/07/20/2016-16776/chemical- facility-anti- terrorism-standards#h-9) , the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has temporarily suspended the requirement to submit Top-Screens and Security Vulnerability Assessments in order to allow for an improved tiering methodology and roll out a new Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT 2.0). .

 The current tiering structure consists of 1, 2, 3, and 4. Tier 1 facilities are those that have been

determined to have significant risk; Tier 4 facilities have been determined to have lower risk.

The Federal Register notice does not reveal the new tier structure.

 The current CSAT tool requires filing of a separate Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) and

Site Security Plan (SSP) – the new CSAT 2.0 will combine the SVA and SSP.

If your facility has already filed Top Screen and SSP because your facility has a Chemical of Interest (COI) at or above the threshold quantity, there will be some steps to take when the CSAT 2.0 system is deployed (expected to be September – October 2016):

1. DHS will begin notifying facilities that have already submitted their programs to submit a new

Top Screen using the CSAT 2.0 tool.

2. DHS will determine the new Tier level for that facility

3. A facility may choose to file a new Top Screen prior to receiving written notification from DHS.

This could be advantageous for facilities that believe that their tier level will be lowered under the new tiering method.

If your facility has filed partial Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVA) and/or Site Security Plans (SSP), DHS will delete these and the data and will no longer be retrievable. If your facility has submitted a SSP through the current CSAT tool, the SSP application will be available and pre-populated in CSAT 2.0.

If you receive a letter from DHS and don’t believe that your facility is required to file a Top Screen, you must notify DHS by:

1. Accessing CSAT 2.0 and submitting a Top-Screen with no COI selected  or

2. Send a letter in reply to the notification letter

CSAT 2.0 is expected to reduce filing time by:

1. 90% for the completion of the Security Vulnerability

2. 70% for the completion of the Site Security Plan

Emilcott has CV-I Authorized professionals who can help with determining the Top Screen applicability for your facility.


Mid-Year Regulatory Submission Reminder

Just as we all take a deep breath after getting the CRTK submissions on March 1 — now it is time to get started pulling together the information for the next round of submissions.  We’ve pulled together our Spring and Summer submission list.  Similar to our 1Q2016 Regulatory Submission Reminder, we detail information about the regulations that require submissions from mid-April through September 2016 along with specific dates to help you ensure that everything is submitted on time! 


Spring Cleaning: What About Your HVAC System?

Indoor air quality complaints from employees can be quite common in office environments.  Symptoms such as red or itching eyes, cough, colds, allergies, headaches and unusual odors are some of the issues that can be reported by building occupants.  In the course of investigating contributing causes, a review of the buildings use history, inspection of the immediate complaint area and measurement of various airborne contaminants may not reveal a likely source.  This is when a trip to the air handling unit (AHU) on the roof becomes necessary.


Protection Against Legionella

As of November 13, 2015, all owners and operators of cooling towers in New York must abide by New York State Department of Health (DOH) regulations concerning operation and maintenance of cooling towers, evaporative condensers or fluid coolers.  The regulation was implemented to aid in the control of Legionella and are intended to minimize potential exposures to the public who live and work near cooling towers and equipment.  This regulation requires registration and periodic reporting, testing, inspection, and certification.


Regulatory Submissions Reminder

Most domestic manufacturers and importers are required to provide submissions to the Federal EPA or their State environmental departments.  For some, it is a broad range of different government agencies. With so many regulatory submissions, it can be hard to keep them all straight, so we have compiled a list of which regulations and submissions are due for the first quarter of 2016. This list even includes specific dates to keep you right on track and help you ensure that everything is submitted on time!


January 1st Kick-off List for CRTK and TRI Reporting

Another calendar year!  Where does the time go?  After the holiday bustle has ended, my next task is to start gathering up receipts and records for income tax filing.  Just like taxes, our businesses face regulatory submission deadlines, reporting data from the past year, including Submission of the EPA Community Right to Know (CRTK) Survey and the Hazardous Waste Biennial Report (or Annual for some states), which are due March 1st. Also on the horizon, is the EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and the New Jersey Release and Pollution Prevention Report (RPPR) both due July 1st.

Just like holiday gift shopping, the compilation and reporting process is less stressful and yields better results, if I begin early and develop a strategy with deadlines in mind.