It is never too early to start thinking about collecting your chemical use and emissions data for calendar year 2011. Nor is it too early to begin evaluating your reporting thresholds for Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313 Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (Form R) and Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Toxics Use (TUR Form S) Reporting. Reports are due July 1, 2012.
Hydrogen sulfide is added to TRI requirements for 2012
In the October 17 edition of the Federal Register, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they dropped their stay on hydrogen sulfide gas because they had enough scientific evidence to change its status to reportable. Companies will have to report if they manufacture, process, or use hydrogen sulfide in excess of reporting thresholds. This decision will likely impact utilities, petroleum refineries, and metal and coal mining companies. The change will take effect in the 2012 Form R reporting cycle with reports due July 1, 2013.
Please note: In a recent conversation with Dwight Peavey, TRI Coordinator for EPA New England, Dwight stressed that having back-up for threshold determinations and emission calculations will be very important in the upcoming reporting year. EPA is using other databases (e.g., Tier 2 and Risk Management Programs) to connect the dots and find companies that should be reporting.
Newly Added TURA Chemicals
The TURA Administrative Council voted this year to separate hexavalent chromium compounds from the general chromium compounds category, and make hexavalent chromium compounds a Higher Hazard Substance (HHS). They also voted to designate formaldehyde as a HHS. There is a formal public comment period on these proposed regulation changes that began November 11 and ends December 1, 2011. Go to: http://www.mass.gov/eea/waste-mgnt-recycling/toxics/toxic-use-reduction/hearing-amendments-to-the-toxic-substances-list.html to find information on where you can obtain a copy of the proposed regulation changes and to submit comments, if you wish to do so.
If the proposed regulations are finalized before the end of calendar year 2011, then 2012 would be the first year that hexavalent chromium compounds and formaldehyde would have a 1000 pound (lb) reporting threshold. Other chromium compounds (most often trivalent) would still have a 25,000 lb threshold for manufactured and processed, or 10,000 lb for otherwise used. The 2012 reports would need to be filed with the MassDEP by July 1, 2013.
2012 is a TUR planning year. Don’t forget to post your Employee Notification that reminds employees at your company that you will be going through the TUR planning process and solicit their input on ways to reduce toxics use and byproduct.
Plan Summaries/Progress Reports and Plan Certification need to be completed and submitted by July 1, 2012. You will need to have a traditional TUR Plan, a TUR Environmental Management System, or a Resource Conservation Plan in place by July 1st. Reminder: plans must be certified by a MassDEP Certified Toxics Use Reduction Planner.
If you need any help with developing a methodology that will past EPA and MassDEP muster, contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 ext. 119 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Lucy Servidio at 508.970.0033 ext. 114 or email@example.com.