Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) has just released its 2009 Assessment of Heavy Metals in Packaging Report. TPCH in its press release said that 14% of retail packaging failed a screening test for toxic heavy metals and are likely in violation of state laws. The results were based on screening 400 packaging samples using x-ray fluorescent analysis.
Reflecting Environmental Liabilities in Financial Statements:
A recent Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Interpretation No. 47 could dramatically alter the way in which some publicly-held companies account for future environmental obligations they must meet when they retire (sell, abandon, dispose of or recycle) long-lived assets (land, buildings, facilities, etc). This accounting change should be followed by calendar year companies no later than December 31, 2005, and by fiscal year companies no later than the end of fiscal years ending after December 15, 2005. Please click here for details.
Technical Support Document (TSD) for Title V Permitting
EPA has posted the Final version of the Technical Support Document (TSD) for Title V permitting of printing and packaging facilities. FPA’s Environmental Committee extensively participated in the development of this document and to a large extent is instrumental in getting it to the final stage. FPA thanks them for their efforts.
While State permitting authorities are not obligated to adhere to this document, EPA’s position is that the approaches included in the document will lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness in issuing Title V permits. Additionally, it will improve the implementation of Title V for printing and packaging facilities and for a wide spectrum of other volatile organic compounds emitters. Please click here to access the document.
Non-Binding Environmental Guidance Documents
EPA has made available on its web site a repository of non-binding general policy, guidance, and interpretive documents that describe how the Agency intends to exercise its discretionary authority and explains what a statute or regulation means. Please click here for details.
SARA 313 Penalties for Late Reporting
Facilities subject to SARA Section 313 must calculate the amounts of listed toxic chemicals manufactured, processed or otherwise used. If the amounts are above the threshold level set by EPA, subject facilities must submit an annual report by July 1, to be included in the public Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). EPA reminded regulated facilities of the potential penalties for failure to report under SARA 313 in an Enforcement Alert. Please click here for more information.
RCRA 40 CFR 261.6 Recycling Hazardous Waste
Many generators are under the impression that to recycle their hazardous waste on-site would require a RCRA permit. They would like to use a distillation unit or other type of recycling process to reclaim their wastes for further use, but they consider the permit application process to be time and cost prohibitive.
What is a "Facility" According to SARA 313?
A facility includes "all buildings, equipment, structures, and other stationary items which are located on a single site or contiguous or adjacent sites and which are owned or operated by the same person, or by any person which controls, is controlled by, or under common control with, such person.
The Differences Between Containers and Tanks
For the purposes of the hazardous waste regulations, it is essential to know the difference between a container and a tank because tanks have more stringent requirements than containers. According to 40 CFR 260.10, a container is any portable device in which a material is stored, transported, treated, disposed of, or otherwise handled. A tank is a stationary device, designed to contain an accumulation of hazardous waste which is constructed primarily of non-earthen materials (e.g., wood, concrete, steel, plastic), which provide structural support. All hazardous waste generators and transporters, as well as treatment, storage, and disposal facilities should know the difference between a tank and a container because each unit must comply with the appropriate regulations for that specific storage device. Container regulations are at 40 CFR 264/265 Subpart I and tank regulations are at 40 CFR 264/265 Subpart J.
Is Chromic Acid a SARA Title III Section 313 Toxic Chemical?
National Stack Testing Guidance
EPA’s Office of Compliance has issued National Stack Testing Guidance. The agency has said in the cover letter that this guidance will be treated as interim guidance to provide with an opportunity to evaluate its usage and monitor any potential problems that may arise as individual states apply the provisions. Please let FPA know how this guidance is being implemented by your states and what has been its impact—negative or positive, on your operations.
EPA Web Visitors Declare Enforcement and Compliance Database A Resounding Success After First Year of Operation
EPA's Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database gives every citizen the ability to easily access extensive information on EPA's environmental inspections, findings of violations and enforcement actions at more than 800,000 facilities nationwide. Please click here for details.
Emergency Release Notification Requirements under SARA Title III, Section 304
An incident must be reported if it involves the release of a reportable quantity (RQ) of an EHS or a CERCLA hazardous substance on-site, and the substance has entered the environment or has the potential of threatening people off-site. Please click here for more information.
SARA Title III Facility Emergency Coordinator Notification
According to Section 303 of SARA Title III, if your facility is subject to the emergency planning requirements of SARA Title III in accordance with Section 302, then you must provide your local emergency planning committee (or LEPC) with the name and contact information for your facility's emergency coordinator. For more information, please click here.
TSCA Import Certification
According to US Customs Department regulations, if you import chemicals into the US, you must certify on the invoice at the port of entry that either the shipment is subject to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and complies with all applicable rules and orders thereunder, or the shipment is not subject to TSCA. Please click here for information.
Form R Exemption for Personal Items
Personal items containing toxic chemicals used by employees should not be included in SARA Title III Form R threshold determinations. Please click here for more information.
Form R Article Exemption
According to 40 CFR 372.38(b), if a toxic chemical is present in an article, you need not consider the quantity of the toxic chemical present in the article when determining whether an applicable threshold has been met. Please click here for information.
Penalties for SARA Title III Section 313 Non-Compliance
If your facility uses a chemical that is listed at 40 CFR 372.65, then you may be required to submit a Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) Report by July 1 of the following calendar year. Persons that fail to submit TRI reports are liable for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $25,000 per day for each violation. Please click here for details.
SARA Title III Form R Recordkeeping
Each person subject to the reporting requirements of SARA Title III section 313 must retain copies of the report for a period of 3 years along with all materials used to determine that the establishment is a covered facility. Please click here for information.
Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO)
EPA has set up a pilot website which provides detailed facility reports on Federal/State compliance inspections, environmental violations, formal enforcement actions and demographic profile of surrounding areas. The Agency intends to post Environmental Records on more than 800,000 facilities. If your company is included in the database, you may want to review and comment on data accuracy as well as ECHO's content and design.
Don't forget about the General Provisions (40 CFR 63, Subpart A), they also apply if you are subject to any MACT. Here are some useful websites on General Provisions:
EPA Announces New Source Review (NSR) Reforms:
EPA has submitted long awaited report on NSR and recommendations for reform to President Bush to encourage pollution prevention projects, energy efficiency improvements, and investments in new technologies and modernization of facilities. The EPA review, according to EPA Administrator Christie Whitman, has established that some aspects of the NSR program have deterred companies from implementing projects that would increase energy efficiency and decrease air pollution. Please click here to access the full report.
Estimating Air Emissions
Eastern Research Group has prepared guidelines describing preferred and alternative methods for estimating air emissions from the printing, packaging, and graphic arts industry. This consensus document has been furnished to EPA but has not been reviewed/approved by the Agency at this point. Please click here to access the document.
Final Amendments to "General Provisions" and CAA's 112 (j) Rule:
EPA has published final amendments to the "General Provisions" of National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutant Emissions and also final amendments to Clean Air Act Section 112 (j) Rule. Please link below to access Fact Sheet and full texts of amendments. The amendments to 112(j) Rule have important significance because EPA will fail to issue MACT standards in the 10-year bin by 112(J) deadline of May 15, 2002. MACT hammer provisions would have taken effect without the extension promulgated under the amendments. We suggest a very careful review of both documents linked below.
TRI Training Workshops for the new reporting requirements for Lead and Lead Compounds:
EPA is conducting full-day TRI Training workshops, which will include detailed information on the new reporting requirements for lead and lead compounds. In the final rule published in the federal register on January 17, 2001, EPA has lowered the reporting threshold for lead and listed lead compounds to 100 pounds. Any facility that manufactures, processes or otherwise uses 100 lbs or more of lead or any listed lead compounds per year must report environmental releases of these substances to EPA annually. The first year for release reporting under this new rule is calendar year 2001 for which the reports are due no later than July 1, 2002.