WE PERFORM PRIVATE CONSULTING IN A NUMBER OF REGULATORY AND SAFETY AREAS: OSHA AND
EPA REGULATIONS, AS WELL AS SELECT USDA, FDA AND ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
OSHA PSM & EPA RMP, EPCRA (Tier II)
COMPLIANCE SERVICES FOR AMMONIA REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS: OUR SPECIALTY
It is our mission to help you to keep your workplace safe and your environment clean,
to train your employees, to generate and file the appropriate documents, and thereby
to stay in compliance with Federal and State regulations.
We are continuing to work on Tier II reports for clients, in compliance with SARA
Title III / EPCRA [Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act]. Filings
with various agencies and municipalities are due by March 1 of each year. Our focus
is currently on the food industry. Many in this industry make the mistake thinking
that only the ammonia refrigerant must be reported annually. This is a major error.
In the food industry, as in other industries, all solvents, all cleaning agents,
all acids, all refrigerants, all water treatment chemicals, must be evaluated for
compliance with the SARA Title III regulations. For example, “Divosan MH” is a disinfectant
for professional use, often in the food industry. However, it contains a high concentration
of nitric acid, CAS 7697-37-2. If handled properly this is not a problem. However,
no matter how it is handled, nitric acid is considered an “EHS”, an Extremely Hazardous
Substance, and, if it is stored on site above a certain quantity, it must be reported.
Nearly all chemicals constituents used in, or for, any of a number of applications
must be addressed to determine if they must be reported. If there is anyone there
who needs help, or knows of someone who does, please contact me ASAP. As of the
end of February there are only 4 weeks left before the filing deadline.
Some of the regulations we can effectively address for you are:
PSM.Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.119).
Remember that even if you have quantities below threshold values, you are still
required to follow the General Duty Clause.
RMP.Risk Management Planning (Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act; EPA 40 CFR Part
68). The deadline for submittal to the EPA was June 21, 1999 and should have been
re-submitted June 2004. Be reminded that the fine for non-compliance is $27,500
per day! Contact us immediately if you have greater than 10,000 lbs of any of a
number of chemicals (e.g., anhydrous ammonia) that could trigger compliance with
this regulation or PSM. Even if you are in the food business, the anhydrous ammonia
in your refrigeration system requires you to be in compliance. This can be for as
little as 500 pounds for certain regulations (SARA Title III, see next). And remember,
periodic audits are mandatory!!!
SARA Title III. This regulation (Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know
Act, or EPCRA) requires a number of different filings with government agencies. This
is the post-9/11 era. You can't make believe security issues will go away. The
Federal and State governments REQUIRE that you register all chemicals at your facility
with only a few exceptions. Unless you are a chemist (and sometimes if you are!),
you will undoubtedly miss some chemicals at your facility and place your firm in
financial jeopardy. Also, the presence of many chemicals in your products must be
reported. Other issues also exist. For example, even if you don't produce or consume
a single pound of chemicals at your facility, "otherwise use" above a certain level
will trigger the need for compliance with Section 313 (Toxic Release Inventory, or
TRI). The submittal of a Form R will then be required.
SWPPP.Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans. If you move chemicals or food at
your facility (even deliveries and shipping), kick up dust (have a gravel road?),
or contemplate some earth moving as part of a construction project at your facility,
you must have a plan to prevent pollutants of any kind from getting into the storm
drains, rivers and lakes.
RCRA. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. If you don't produce waste of any
kind you may not need to be concerned with RCRA. However, if you produce any waste,
period, it is a good idea to know how RCRA affects you and how to stay in compliance.
Audits. We have significant experience in helping customers that are being investigated
by OSHA, EPA and FDA auditors. We specialize in auditing the auditors. We will
help you develop strategies for compliance. Let us audit your system before the
PCBs. Polychlorinated biphenyls... especially if you have a PCB-containing transformer
on site. We can help with project management, emergency plans and decommissioning.
TRAINING TRAINING TRAINING
The first step taken for compliance is to put together a plan that is specific to
your facility. However, compliance with every known regulation is meaningless unless
your employees are sufficiently well trained to comply with the plan that you have
developed. Paper sitting on a shelf, or documents in a computer, are meaningless
unless the appropriate employees know the content and are ready and able and willing
to carry out the details of the plan. This includes oral and written exams to assure
knowledge and ability and desire to carry through.