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Regulatory News

By Doreen M. Monteleone, Ph.D., director of sustainability & EHS initiatives

RadTech International North America

OSHA Proposes Delay in Compliance for Electronically Submitted Injury, Illness Reports

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a delay in the electronic reporting compliance date of the rule “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” from July 1, 2017, to December 1, 2017. The final rule was published May 12, 2016. The administration has determined that a further delay of the compliance date is appropriate to allow for additional review into questions of law and policy. The delay also will allow OSHA to provide employers the same four-month window for submitting data that the original rule would have provided.

Comments Sought to Strengthen VPP

OSHA is seeking input on the future direction of its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). This summer, stakeholders are participating in discussions on potential avenues for action. OSHA wants to reshape VPP so that it continues to represent safety and health excellence, leverages partner resources, further recognizes the successes of long-term participants and supports smart program growth. A docket has been opened through September 15, 2017, to receive comments. Visit www.regulations.gov/docket?D=OSHA-2017-000 to learn more.

New Publication Guides Small Business on Process Safety Management

OSHA has released a guidance document for small businesses to help them comply with the agency’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. PSM is critically important to facilities that store highly hazardous chemicals. Implementing the required safety programs helps prevent fires, explosions, large chemical spills, toxic gas releases, runaway chemical reactions and other major incidents. Access the document at www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3908.pdf.

US Manufacturing Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Analysis

The US Manufacturing Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory traces energy from supply (fuel, electricity and steam) to major end-use applications in American manufacturing. Listing “chemicals” as the largest energy consumer, the report examines energy use, energy losses and energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Learn more at www.energy.gov/eere/amo/downloads/us-manufacturing-energy-use-and-greenhouse-gas-emissions-analysis.

Become More Energy Independent

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program helps companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring and benchmarking freight transportation efficiency. The goal is to save fuel and money while helping the nation move toward energy independence. Learn about greener, more efficient trucking through EPA SmartWay at www.epa.gov/smartway/participate-smartway. RadTech is a SmartWay Affiliate Partner.

RadTech Members: Stay Up to Date on EHSS

RadTech members receive monthly updates on timely environmental, health, safety and sustainability issues impacting their businesses. The EHSS Updates e-newsletter includes topics on a national level, as well as the California activities, which often set precedents for the rest of the country. RadTech members not receiving EHSS Updates should contact Doreen Monteleone at doreen@radtech.org. Not a RadTech member? Contact RadTech at uveb@radtech.org.


News From the West Coast

By Rita Loof, director of regional environmental affairs

RadTech International North America

RadTech Obtains Exemptions for UV/EB/LED

RadTech has petitioned the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for permit exemptions for UV/EB/LED operations. RadTech believes companies that have gone above and beyond district requirements should be recognized rather than subjected to overly prescriptive regulations which, in this case, do not impose any further emission reduction requirements.

While SCAQMD board members seemed receptive to RadTech’s proposal, it was met with resistance from staff who insisted end users could potentially use noncompliant materials, which the agency would not be able to track without permits. The board recently adopted amendments to Rule 219 (permit exemptions). More than a dozen RadTech member companies submitted written comments in support of the RadTech proposal. Rita Loof, director of environmental affairs, made public comments on behalf of the Association and testified at various committee hearings as well as the final adoption hearing. The request for the industry not to be segmented into three categories (100% solids, waterborne and solvent) was not granted. While the waterborne and solvent-borne materials may be exempt under the section in the rule for any and all materials less than 50 grams per liter, only 100% solids materials are exempt under the portion that does not specify VOC content but only had a 6-gallon-per-day limitation.

RadTech was successful in obtaining the following:

  • Increase exemption threshold from 25 g/l to 50 g/l.
  • Exempt processes up to 1 ton/year, but a form is required.
  • Restoration of exemption for materials >50 g/l if usage is less than 6 gallons/day (100% solids only).
  • Fee will not be required.
  • Form is to be submitted one time, not annually, and there will be no registration fee.

The Printing Industry Association Southern California (PIASC) did not express strong opposition to the staff proposal. Instead, they thanked the staff and asked for an advisory to the industry. RadTech has requested a presentation by staff on the status of the rule advisory requested by PIA.

Adhesives Regulation

RadTech has submitted written comments on proposed changes (see Table 1) to the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) Rule 1168 (Adhesives). The rule applies to any “person who sells, stores, supplies, offers for sale or manufactures for sale” any adhesives, adhesive bonding primers, adhesive primers, caulks, sealants or sealant primers. The rule defines an adhesive as “any substance that is used to bond one surface to another surface by attachment.” The proposal includes extensive new labeling and record-keeping requirements for products manufactured after January 1, 2019.

RadTech expressed concern regarding the overly prescriptive record-keeping requirements and requested an exemption for UV/EB/LED materials. Also troubling is the agency’s proposal to allow the RadTech-endorsed test method (ASTM D7767-11) for permitting and labeling but not for enforcement. The agency plans to use its own Method 313 for enforcement – a Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectroscopy approach, which has not been endorsed by either RadTech or ASTM for energy-curable materials. District staff plans to bring the rule for board adoption at the October board meeting.

Districts Oppose California Greenhouse Gas Legislation

Several air districts in California have filed opposition to the proposal to reauthorize the state’s “cap and trade” program, which deals with greenhouse gases. The program, administered by the California Air Resources Board, is currently authorized through 2020. The agencies oppose new mandates being proposed under Assembly Bills AB 398 and AB 617. SCAQMD reports having seen language between various bodies that would give the California Air Resources Control Board (CARB), in consultation with interested parties, authority to specify “high priority” areas throughout the state for the deployment of advance monitoring systems for communities with the highest emissions burdens for toxics and criteria air pollutants. In addition, CARB also would be required to prepare a statewide strategy to reduce criteria and toxic pollution. According SCAQMD’s Executive Officer, this would amount to a “mini AQMP” (Air Quality Management Plan), which the district prepares every three years and was recently adopted by its board.

Sources under the cap and trade program also would be subjected to Best Available Retrofit Control Retrofit Technology (BARCT), and updates would be required every three years. Districts are asking for “significant and sustained” funding for any mandates imposed on air districts in connection with reauthorization. Discussions are underway as to whether districts can regulate carbon dioxide (CO2). Some SCAQMD board members expressed concern that the proposal significantly increases CARB’s role for criteria pollutants and toxics from stationary sources, currently under the jurisdiction of air districts.