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EPA has updated the Tier2 Submit 2017 Software webpage with the latest software. The most significant change in the Tier2 Submit 2017 software aligns the physical hazards and health hazards with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) following adoption of the United Nations Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The change is intended to promote consistency between the safety data sheet (SDS) and Tier 2 hazards reporting. This rule was amended in 2016, but the Tier2 Submit 2017 software revisions were just published last month. This summary provides more detail of the rule.
Facilities are required to use the revised physical and health hazards for their hazardous chemicals present during 2017 calendar year in reports due March 1, 2018. This reporting requirement applies to facilities with any OSHA hazardous chemicals onsite at 10,000 pounds or more. Some chemicals, such as extremely hazardous substances, have lower thresholds (500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is less). There are a few exemptions from Tier 2 reporting, which are described on EPA’s website at this link.
It’s a good time to review Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA) Section 311 notifications as well. Often these are forgotten about as companies presume an updated Tier2 is sufficient to incorporate changes. In Kentucky, the annual “How to Comply” packet from the Kentucky Emergency Management Commission is a good resource. It is typically not available until after the new year. Visit the Kentucky Emergency Management SARA Title III webpage for that document. For basic EPCRA information checkout my favorite EPA factsheet on EPCRA from the EPA website.
Don’t forget about recent changes to the Section 302 plans. Allow extra time for revisions this year if you haven’t already updated from the Tab Q-7 format to the new EHS Facility Emergency Response Plan format (KERC Form 301-PT). Due dates vary by county, but may be earlier than in prior years. Local Emergency Planning Committees are required to submit an Annual Certification Letter (KERC Form 302-ACL) to Kentucky Emergency Management by April 1.
I routinely assist clients with EPCRA compliance. Contact me for more information at 502-587-6482 x 211 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Facility Permitting
A large alcoholic beverage company was planning to construct a distillery along a lake in Kentucky and use the fresh limestone water for bourbon production. The proposed site was a former farm with historic activities dating back to the 1880s. A water intake structure was required in the lake and along the adjacent shoreline which was owned by others. Several ephemeral and intermittent streams would be impacted by the construction. The client needed a US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 Permit, a Kentucky Division of Water 401 Water Quality Certification, a water withdrawal permit, a permit for construction in and along a stream, and a construction stormwater permit. Additionally, an air permit was required prior to construction for the aging warehouses, distillery equipment, and other emission units. Evaluation for cultural and historic resources and endangered species evaluations were required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA).
As the construction proceeded and operations began, a number of operating permits and environmental and hazardous materials compliance plans were required. The project required coordination with the nearby city for drinking water use and industrial wastewater pretreatment and discharge. Recordkeeping and reporting were needed prior to facility personnel being mobilized to the site. Set up and management of environmental systems during the transition to full operations was needed.
During the planning and initial construction phases, SMG managed the environmental permitting and environmental compliance for the site. The process involved application preparation and coordination with multiple regulatory agencies including the USACE, Kentucky Division of Water, Kentucky Division of Air Quality, US Fish and Wildlife Services, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky Heritage Council, and local agencies. Permits included stream mitigation, cultural and historic resources investigation, coordination with state and federal Fish and Wildlife agencies, and State 401 water quality certification, and the Section 404 permit, which required wetland and stream delineation. SMG coordinated with the client’s project team to minimize stream impacts and to adhere to the schedule by expediting the permit processing. State stream construction, water withdrawal, and air permits were also obtained. SMG provided onsite observation to assess contractor compliance with the stormwater permit and managed environmental permit reporting.
During the later construction phase, SMG managed the environmental permitting and compliance for the new distillery. The initial environmental and hazardous material compliance plans (GPP, HMPC, and SWPPP) were prepared and applications for operating permits, such as industrial wastewater pretreatment and discharge and industrial stormwater discharge, were readied and submitted. SMG provided training to the initial employees regarding hazardous material management and groundwater/stormwater protection. SMG worked with the new Risk Manager for the site to transition responsibility for environmental and hazardous material compliance.
SMG’s management of the environmental planning and permitting for the facility, successfully supported the construction schedule and managed environmental compliance for the initial site operations. SMG continued to work with the owner to obtain remaining operational permits and to transition environmental compliance responsibilities to the new facility staff to support startup and initial operations. The facility was completed on schedule and provides a significant economic benefit to the surrounding community.