EPA Revises “All Appropriate Inquiries” Rule for Forested and Rural Lands

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a Direct Final Rule to to confirm that the recently updated ASTM Standard E2247-16: Phase I Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property satisfies the due diligence requirements for the “bona fide prospective purchaser” and “innocent landowner” defenses under CERCLA (as well as the “contiguous property owner” protection). These defenses protect the purchaser or landowner from liability associated with potential contamination of the property.
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DC Court Shreds EPA Solid Waste Recycling Rule

The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has vacated provisions of EPA’s 2015 Definition of Solid Waste Rule which addressed recycling of hazardous secondary materials (i.e., spent materials, byproducts and sludges). The court’s majority took issue with (1) one of four tests to demonstrate that recycling by or under the control of the generator was legitimate, and not a “sham” effort to disguise disposal, and (2) the “Verified Recycler Exclusion”, which excluded recyclable secondary materials from the definition of solid waste and therefore from regulation as hazardous waste, provided that the recycling facility has a hazardous waste facility permit or a variance from permit requirements granted by EPA or the State.
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What’s New for 2016 TRI Reporting (and a gentle reminder)

The July 1 due date for Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting (i.e., Form R or Form A reports) is again coming up. A few notable changes to reporting requirements affect 2016 submissions:

  • A new chemical has been added to the TRI reporting list for 2016. In November 2015, EPA added 1-bromopropane, used primarily in various industries as a solvent/degreaser. If the reporting thresholds for manufacture, processing or other use of this chemical were exceeded at your facility in 2016, it must be reported.
  • The TRI-ME web application for report preparation and submission has been updated! We have done a run-through of the revised program and found that, just as EPA claims, the “modernized” version of TRI-ME web does make the process more streamlined and simplified. It just looks better, too.

Remember, you must use the TRI-ME web application (accessed through EPA’s Central Data Exchange at cdx.epa.gov) to submit and certify annual TRI reports. If you’re unfamiliar with the application or need help with any aspect of TRI reporting, please contact T. Cozzie Consulting for assistance.

Generator Improvement Rule: Relief for Hazardous Waste Generators?

Well, certainly some relief for the very little ones – what we used to call “conditionally exempt small quantity generators” – henceforth (or beginning on the effective date of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule, published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016) to be known as Very Small Quantity Generators or VSQLs.

The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule, which EPA describes as the culmination of a review that began over 10 years ago, is meant to “improve program effectiveness, reduce compliance costs, and foster an improved relationship with states and the regulated communities.”

The final rule contains a number of provisions which EPA identifies as “more stringent”, including marking and labeling of wastes to identify hazards, Small Quantity Generator recertification, notification of facility closure and requirement that a Large Quantity Generator close as a landfill if it cannot meet closure standards, extending biennial reporting for the whole year rather than just months when the facility was an LQG, biennial reporting for recyclers even when they do not store waste prior to recycling, and a requirement that LQGs provide a “quick reference guide” for distribution with their Contingency Plans. “More stringent” standards must be adopted by states that manage their own hazardous waste programs.

The rule also contains “less stringent” provisions, of a kind that may elicit appreciative nods from industries. These address (1) consolidation of VSQG waste at a LQG facility under the same ownership; (2) allowing VSQGs and SQGs to retain their classification in the event that “episodic generation” would bump them up to a higher generator category; and (3) waiver from the requirement that ignitable and reactive wastes be stored at least 50 feet from a facility’s property line under certain circumstances.

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Alert! TSCA Chemical Data Reporting Deadline Nears

>> UPDATE: EPA has announced that the deadline for Chemical Data Reporting submissions has been extended to October 31.

The period for submission of 2016 reports required under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting rule ends on September 30th. The reporting requirement applies to any person that manufactured or imported, in any year from 2012 to 2015, listed chemicals in more than threshold amounts (generally 25,000 pounds, though a lower threshold of 2,500 lbs has been set for toxic chemicals that are subject to certain TSCA actions), unless exempted as a small manufacturer. Some 80,000 chemicals are on the TSCA list.

A sample reporting form (“Form U”) and instructions to help guide you through the reporting process can be found at the EPA Chemical Data Reporting website. The reports must be submitted online, using the EPA’s Central Data Exchange system (cdx.epa.gov). You will need to add the program area CSPP: Submissions for Chemical Safety and Pesticide Programs to your profile on CDX to activate this reporting option, if you haven’t already done so.

If you have questions about the Chemical Data Reporting requirements or submission process, please contact T. Cozzie Consulting for immediate assistance.

TRI Reporting for 2014 – What’s New?

(labeled chemical waste drum)

The July 1 deadline for Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting again looms! What’s new for your Form R (or Form A) reports?

You can find information on the TRI reporting changes on the EPA website. Notably, you should be aware of the following revisions and updates:

New TRI chemicals: The chemical o-nitrotoluene has been added to the list of chemicals subject to TRI reporting requirements and should be reported for 2014.

New TRI-MEweb features: TRI-MEweb is EPA’s required on-line reporting application. You can now use TRI-MEweb to update facility location and contact information without having to submit a TRI reporting form, or to indicate that you will not be submitting a form for one or more previously reported chemicals or even will not be reporting at all for the current year.

For 2014, the following data entry requirements and options apply:

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OSHA GHS Update – The June 1 Deadline

OSHA-compliant label

label example from OSHA Brief 3636

Are you in compliance with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, as revised to incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)?

June 1, 2015, is an important deadline to meet the revised requirements. By this date, if your operation manufacture, import or distribute chemicals, you must:

  • identify hazards associated with the chemicals you manufacture, import or distribute, using the new “hazard classification” system that replaces the previous hazard determination;
  • properly label all hazardous chemicals shipped with specified label elements including signal word, pictograms, hazard statements and precautionary statements (see example above);
  • prepare and distribute with chemical shipments Safety Data Sheets that comply with the new 16-section format (replacing the former “Material Safety Data Sheet” or MSDS).

OSHA has signaled some leniency with regard to enforcement, particularly with respect to downstream manufacturers and distributors that may have difficulty obtaining hazard data on mixture ingredients from upstream suppliers.

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New OSHA Injury Reporting Requirements Are In Effect

First Aid Kit image

As of January 1, 2015, requirements for workplace injury reporting to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have changed. Employers are now required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident.

Employers can report these severe incidents to OSHA in one of three ways. You can:

  • call the nearest OSHA area office during normal business hours,
  • call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at (800) 321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or
  • report online at www.osha.gov/report_online/. (Note that at the time of this post, the on-line reporting site was not yet up and running.)

Employers under Federal OSHA’s jurisdiction were required to begin reporting by January 1. If your establishment is located in the jurisdiction of a state-run OSHA program, you may want to contact your state agency for the implementation date.

How to Comply with Toxics Release Inventory Reporting Requirements


Are you ready for the July 1 deadline for Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting of your releases, disposals and off-site transfers of listed toxic chemicals? Look HERE for guidance on TRI Form R (and Form A) reporting.

We have put together an informational presentation – as shown in the above screen capture of the title page – to help you and responsible personnel in your organization understand the reporting requirements set forth in the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), which include the annual TRI reports. This presentation is described in greater detail and accessible HERE. Both free PDF download and fully editable Powerpoint presentation (PPT) formats are available.

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As Time Goes By… the Hazardous Waste Biennial Report Comes Due!

image: waste containers

Um, yeah, this may not be the best example of drum storage…

Once again, the March 1 deadline looms for large quantity generators of hazardous waste as well as facilities that treated, stored or disposed of hazardous waste on-site to submit their hazardous waste biennial reports to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

If in any month in 2013 your facility

  • generated more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds, or about four to five 55-gallon barrels) of RCRA hazardous waste,
  • generated or accumulated more than 1 kg of acute hazardous waste, or
  • generated or accumulated more than 100 kg of spill cleanup material contaminated with acute hazardous waste,

then you are a RCRA Large Quantity Generator (LQG) and must complete and file the 2013 Hazardous Waste Report. Hazardous wastes imported to your facility from a foreign country should be included in your generator count.

And if in 2013 your facility treated, stored or disposed of hazardous wastes on-site as a permitted hazardous waste facility, you must complete and file the 2013 report.

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