The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently proposing to amend the Accidental Release Prevention Requirements of Risk Management Programs (RMP) under the Clean Air Act, Section 112(r)(7). The proposed changes are the result of a government effort to reduce chemical accidents, which became a federal priority after an explosion in West, Texas in 2013. Some of the revisions proposed by EPA that may impact printing facilities include:
- Clarifying language, such as substituting the term “imminent and substantial endangerment” with the phrase “impacts that resulted in deaths, injuries, or significant property damage on-site, or known offsite deaths, injuries, evacuations, sheltering in place, property damage, or environmental damage.”
- Inclusion of a root cause analysis in investigations, which would require facilities to determine what caused an accident and would be included in RMP accident history reports.
- Requirement that facility owners and operators complete incident investigations within 12 months of either a catastrophic release or a near miss and would allow extensions of time for complex incidents, if approved by the agency in writing.
- More stringent audit requirements for program 2 and 3 facilities.
- Requirement that audit reports and documentation be submitted to the implementing agency and be available to the public
- Requirement that the owner or operator of a program 2 or 3 facility must coordinate with local response authorities to ensure that appropriate resources and capabilities are in place to respond to an accidental release of a regulated substance. If local emergency response capabilities are not adequate, EPA proposes that the facility be required to develop its own emergency response program.
- Development of a “score card” or grade system for RMP facilities. This grade would be available to the public.
SGIA has submitted comments to the EPA and will continue tracking updates on this proposal. Sign up to receive the most up-to-date regulatory and legislative information about specialty imaging.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) held a public stakeholder review of its revised Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines. The meeting, held March 10, provided OSHA representatives an opportunity to hear directly from interested parties and discuss comments received by OSHA on this update. Marci Kinter, SGIA Vice President – Government & Business Information, participated in the meeting. Discussion topics included: management leadership principles; worker participation; hazard identification; hazard prevention and control as well as education and training. OSHA anticipates publishing its final guidance in the Summer of 2016. This guidance document replaces the Agency’s 1989 guidance of the same topic.
North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality has issued a proposed rule to simplify the rule outlining activities exempted from permit requirements. The proposed language would exempt from permitting facilities with actual emissions of less than five tons per year of each of the following: volatile organic compounds, hazardous air pollutants, particulate matter (PM10), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, or toxic air pollutants. To determine applicability, a facility would be asked to determine actual emissions of each pollutant emitted. If actual emissions are less than 5 tons for each of the aforementioned, then the facility is exempt from permitting. However, a facility’s actual emissions of all these pollutants combined exceed 10 tons per year, and then a permit is required. The state is also proposing a registration permit for facilities whose combined emissions are greater than 5 tons but less than 25 tons.
In a comment submitted to the Department, SGIA indicated overall support for the changes as outlined by the Department to Rule 15A NCAC02Q.0102, Activities Exempted from Permit Requirements; however, we requested that the Department clarify that the permit exemptions will also apply to those facilities using screen and/or digital imaging technologies as their chosen print processes. The current definition for graphic arts, as contained in 15A NCAC 02Q.0803 does not reference either of these technologies.
SGIA continues to support the Department’s move to simplify the state air permitting system for these small and very small facilities; however, we need to ensure that the requirements will apply to both screen and digital facilities.
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At a recent meeting of the Safety Roundtable, hosted by the Small Business Administration, SGIA heard updates on regulatory issues impacting the specialty printing industry. Marc Freedman of the Coalition for Workplace Safety spoke on OSHA’s ongoing regulatory initiatives, including OSHA’s Request for Information on chemical permissible exposure limits (PELs), and OSHA’s proposed rule to require certain employers to submit their injury and illness reports electronically. Other issues raised included a principal change adopted by OSHA in the 2012 Hazard Communication Standard that state that requires the relabeling of a product within six months if significant new information results in a change in classification. For details on any of these issues, please contact SGIA’s Government Affairs Department at email@example.com.
OSHA has issued a proposed rule to clarify an “Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness” for the entire 5 year period which an employer is required to keep the records.
In part this proposal is based on the outcome of the U.S. Court of Appeals case (Volks decision) where OSHA attempted to clarify that the duty to record an injury or illness continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness (the 5 year period). While this proposal does not request additional compliance requirements or records to be made, it goes beyond the established statue of not issuing citations beyond six months of when a violation occurred and has the real potential for additional citations and fines to be issued for an administrative task and no benefit to safety.
SGIA has submitted comments to OSHA opposing this proposed rule and requested it be withdrawn. If you would like a copy of the comments submitted, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. SGIA’s government staff will be monitoring the activity surrounding this proposal and will report any new developments.