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Checking the list… Annual Regulatory Reporting Checklist

2016 has been full of surprises but it is never good to be surprised when it comes to annual regulatory reporting! There are many things that we can do to minimize surprises and last minute scrambling.  The time to start the process is in the beginning of January 2017.

First – identify the regulatory submissions required for your organization and the deadlines for filing. These include submissions of the EPA Community Right to Know (CRTK) Survey and the Hazardous Waste Biennial Report (or Annual for some states) which are due March 1st. Also on the horizon are the EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and the New Jersey Release and Pollution Prevention Report (RPPR) both due July 1st.

The compilation and reporting process is less stressful and yields better results if it is started early and a strategy is developed with deadlines in mind.  Waiting until the last minute not only increases the potential for making mistakes, it is sometimes hard to get the submission through due to high volume of users on the same electronic filing system.

Here is my personal January 1st kick-off list that should make the time-consuming process of CRTK and TRI reporting easier to handle….

Download the checklist e-book here!

1)      Start requesting and gathering all the information needed for these submittals.

  1. 2016 purchasing records of the chemicals you are reporting
  2. 2016 production logs where these chemicals are used
  3. 2016 waste information
  4. 2016 recycling information for any reported chemicals that were recycled
  5. 2016 air emission inventory

2)      Develop and write down a comprehensive set of due dates so that you have time to review information as it comes in. If the requested data is late, have a plan to follow up or find another source because the deadline is not going to change!

3)      Review the rules early to avoid unpleasant surprises.

4)      Allow time for anomalies and additional fact-finding. Reported amounts from different sources may not match. If you find that is the case, it is your job to figure out why and that always adds more time to the already challenging process.

Emilcott’s clients depend on our environmental knowledge and organizational capabilities to gather the required information on time and give them fair warning if there is trouble ahead.  My best advice for successful reporting-don’t wait until the last minute.  Much like filing your income taxes on April 15th, waiting until February to gather the information for the CRTK or starting in June for the TRI will be stressful and could result in costly errors. So, what am I doing today?  Like Santa, I’m checking my own list twice!

Have you been meeting the CRTK and TRI deadline? If yes, can you offer additional advice or do you have particular steps that you take to get the submission process rolling?


Does Your Facility Need to File an Annual Community Right to Know Survey?

Community Right to Know (CRTK) Surveys must be completed and submitted by March 1 of each year by all industries with a listed NAICS code. A listing of applicable NAICS codes can be found at the following url: http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/opppc/rtknaics.pdf.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is initiating an enforcement effort against all entities that have not filed their 2015 CRTK Survey and did not receive an exemption from filing. If your company has not filed a CRTK Survey for 2015 and has not received an exemption, the NJDEP is encouraging entities to file. Filing before being forced to do so by the NJDEP may reduce the risk of a monetary fine.

If you are unsure whether you should file a survey or file for an exemption, here are the basics:

Requirements for Filing a CRTK Survey

1. Your facility is in a regulated NAICS Code

2. Your facility stored reportable quantities of regulated substances as listed in:

http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/opppc/crtk/ehsalpha.pdf and

http://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/opppc/crtk/ehscasno.pdf

For an Exemption:

You must submit a CRTK Reporting Exemption Form which you can find at: http://www.nj.gov/dep/opppc/crtk/crtkrptexemptfm.html , if your facility meets one of the following criteria:

1. Your facility is in a regulated NAICS Code however NO environmental hazardous substances (as

listed in:) were present in 2015

2. Listed substances were present but below the applicable reporting thresholds;

3. Your facility is in a regulated NAICS Code and you meet the definition of an unstaffed site

(“Unstaffed site” means a remotely operated site, not contiguous to any other staffed sites and at which no full-time or part-time employees are assigned at any time except for maintenance or emergency repair – N.J.A.C. 7:1G1.2 (h)); or

4. If you determine that your facilities are in a regulated NAICS Code and ALL FACILITIES YOU OWN IN NJ conduct administrative office functions only.

Emilcott professionals are here to help if you determine that your facility needs to file a 2015 CRTK Survey or file for an exemption. Emilcott can also act as a liaison between your organization and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.


OSHA Fine Increase

OSHA fines have remained the same since 1990 and are increasing now due to congressional legislation that required all federal agencies to raise penalties based on inflation.

OSHA Fines will increase 78% from previous levels.

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State OSHA plans are also required to adopt the new maximum penalty levels.

The new penalties will take effect after August 1, 2016.

Any citations issued by OSHA from now on will be subject to the new penalties if the related violations occurred after November 2, 2015. Meaning if the inspection occurred after 11/2/15 and the citations were not issued until after 8/1/16, the new fines apply.

Annual increases for inflation will now be required and posted by January 15 of that year.

OSHA will continue to work with small businesses to provide reductions based on employer size and other factors.


OSHA New Injury/Illness Reporting Requirements

On May 12, 2016 the New OSHA Recordkeeping Rule was finalized and it will become effective January 1, 2017.

Electronic Data Submission

Some employers will be required to submit annual recordable injuries/illnesses reports electronically and this data will be available to the public. This is intended to:

 Encourage employers to reduce accidents

 Provide improved data to researchers to innovate safety solutions

 Allow the public, prospective employees, customers, competitors, and investors to assess the company’s safety record

Employers with 250 or more employees, who are required by OSHA to maintain work related injury/illness data, will be required to submit information from the OSHA 300 Log, 300A Summary, and 301 Form (First Report of Injury). A phased in approach allows that only the 300A Summary data needs to be submitted in 2017 for the 2016 data. In subsequent years, data from all three documents will be required.

Employers with 20-249 employees in designated high injury rate industries will be required to submit information from a 300A Summary. A list of the designated high injury rate industries is attached.

Submission deadline for 2016 OSHA 300A Summaries from both types of employers is 7/1/2017.

Submission deadline for 2017 data, from both types of employers, is 7/1/2018. Subsequent year’s submission deadlines will be March 2 of the following year.

OSHA will remove all personally identifiable information prior to posting the data on its website.

Employers that are exempted from the recordkeeping requirements, have less than 20 employees or are conditionally exempted based on NAICS code, are not required to report electronically.

Non-Retaliation, Informing Employees and Drug Testing Policies

The final rule also includes provisions to encourage worker reporting of injuries/illnesses and prohibits employers from retaliating against these employees.

 Employers must inform employees of their right to report workplace injuries/illnesses by posting or other means

 The procedure for reporting must not discourage employees from reporting

 Employers may not retaliate or penalize employees who report injuries/illnesses

The rule may require changes to post incident drug testing policies. The employer must be able to establish that the purpose of the test was not retaliation as would be the case if such testing were required by a law (ie. DOT). However, if not required by law, employers will need to show appropriate motive for testing.

OSHA New Injury/Illness Reporting Requirements


EPA Updates the Community Right to Know Survey to Align with GHS Hazard Communication Standard

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised the reporting requirements of the Community Right to Know Survey (CRTK) to align with the terminology and chemical hazard categories of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Hazard Communication Standard (Hazcom). The final rule was released in the June 13, 2016 Federal Register: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016- 06-13/pdf/2016-13582.pdf. Companies required to complete the annual CRTK Survey (also known as Tier II)will see some changes to the reporting forms as a result of the new rule.

What will change?

1. GHS has replaced “Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)” with the term “Safety Data Sheet (SDS)”.

Instructions and reporting forms for the CRTK Survey will use both terms and their acronyms.

2. Changes to the “Hazard Category” section in Part 2 of the CRTK Survey.

Since its implementation in 1987, the CRTK Survey form has had five (5) hazard category

options. These categories included fire, sudden release of pressure, reactive, acute health

hazard, and chronic health hazard.

The new rule replaces the 5 hazard categories with two (2) hazard categories. The newly defined

hazard categories include:

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The June 13, 2016 final rule had inadvertently omitted the hazard ‘‘serious eye damage or eye irritation’’under the definition of ‘‘health hazard’’. Therefore, EPA released a correction in the July 21, 2016 Federal Register: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016- 07-21/pdf/2016- 17277.pdf adding “serious eye damage or eye irritation” to the definition of “health hazard”.


DHS is making Changes to the Top Screen and Site Security Plan

According to a Federal Register notice filed July 20, 2016

(https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/07/20/2016-16776/chemical- facility-anti- terrorism-standards#h-9) , the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has temporarily suspended the requirement to submit Top-Screens and Security Vulnerability Assessments in order to allow for an improved tiering methodology and roll out a new Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT 2.0). .

 The current tiering structure consists of 1, 2, 3, and 4. Tier 1 facilities are those that have been

determined to have significant risk; Tier 4 facilities have been determined to have lower risk.

The Federal Register notice does not reveal the new tier structure.

 The current CSAT tool requires filing of a separate Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) and

Site Security Plan (SSP) – the new CSAT 2.0 will combine the SVA and SSP.

If your facility has already filed Top Screen and SSP because your facility has a Chemical of Interest (COI) at or above the threshold quantity, there will be some steps to take when the CSAT 2.0 system is deployed (expected to be September – October 2016):

1. DHS will begin notifying facilities that have already submitted their programs to submit a new

Top Screen using the CSAT 2.0 tool.

2. DHS will determine the new Tier level for that facility

3. A facility may choose to file a new Top Screen prior to receiving written notification from DHS.

This could be advantageous for facilities that believe that their tier level will be lowered under the new tiering method.

If your facility has filed partial Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVA) and/or Site Security Plans (SSP), DHS will delete these and the data and will no longer be retrievable. If your facility has submitted a SSP through the current CSAT tool, the SSP application will be available and pre-populated in CSAT 2.0.

If you receive a letter from DHS and don’t believe that your facility is required to file a Top Screen, you must notify DHS by:

1. Accessing CSAT 2.0 and submitting a Top-Screen with no COI selected  or

2. Send a letter in reply to the notification letter

CSAT 2.0 is expected to reduce filing time by:

1. 90% for the completion of the Security Vulnerability

2. 70% for the completion of the Site Security Plan

Emilcott has CV-I Authorized professionals who can help with determining the Top Screen applicability for your facility.


Spring Cleaning: What About Your HVAC System?

Indoor air quality complaints from employees can be quite common in office environments.  Symptoms such as red or itching eyes, cough, colds, allergies, headaches and unusual odors are some of the issues that can be reported by building occupants.  In the course of investigating contributing causes, a review of the buildings use history, inspection of the immediate complaint area and measurement of various airborne contaminants may not reveal a likely source.  This is when a trip to the air handling unit (AHU) on the roof becomes necessary.


Protection Against Legionella

As of November 13, 2015, all owners and operators of cooling towers in New York must abide by New York State Department of Health (DOH) regulations concerning operation and maintenance of cooling towers, evaporative condensers or fluid coolers.  The regulation was implemented to aid in the control of Legionella and are intended to minimize potential exposures to the public who live and work near cooling towers and equipment.  This regulation requires registration and periodic reporting, testing, inspection, and certification.


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