New Year's Weekend EH&S News Wrap Up

Posted on 1/4/2022 by Roger Marks

New Year’s Eve landed on Friday this year, which gave us a full weekend to recover. Now that we’ve officially waded into the first week of the New Year, let’s catch up on some regulatory activity that EH&S professionals may have missed while they were celebrating the end of 2021.

Waking Up to New Regulations

As of January 1, the 63rd Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) is in effect (Read more).

For lithium battery shippers, the new DGR limits the reliefs available for shipping “Section II” lithium batteries by themselves (i.e., not in- or with-equipment). Lithium battery shippers have until March 31, 2022 to comply.

Hazardous materials vessel shippers may follow the latest edition of the IMDG Code (2020 Ed., Incorporating Amendment 40—20).  However, because of publishing delays, mandatory compliance with the new IMDG Code has been delayed until June 1, 2022

Also in effect January 1: Oregon adopted new and revised RCRA hazardous waste management regulations in 2020 that took effect when the calendar turned, including updates from the Generator Improvements Rule, aerosols as universal waste, new management standards for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals (HWP), and more.

Not far behind Oregon is Texas, where major updates to the state's hazardous and industrial waste regulations are slated to take effect in early February.

Read more:
Oregon Adopts RCRA Generator Improvements, More
RCRA Updates Coming to Texas in 2022

EPA Gives Itself More Inspection Flexibility

Effective December 30, US EPA rescinded a set of regulations created during the previous administration which formalized long-standing agency practices into rules that inspectors must follow during every inspection (codified in 40 CFR Part 31).

Now, EPA says that the civil inspection regulations “reduce(d) the flexibility that is inherent in implementing agency policies in a case-by-case manner.” In addition, EPA calls the rule “unnecessary,” because the procedures it codified already existed, and still exist.

In the rule, EPA notes that inspectors will continue to follow established practices and procedures for transparency while conducting on-site civil inspections.

EPCRA TRI Reporting Required From 29 Specific Facilities

On December 28, US EPA posted a Notice that requires 29 specific facilities to submit Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting, also called “Form R,” or "SARA 313" reporting, related to ethylene oxide releases and waste management activities. The 29 facilities covered by the notice are contract sterilization facilities, which sterilize equipment such as medical devices.

For 16 of the facilities, EPA will also require TRI reporting for ethylene glycol. The TRI reporting requirement for these facilities will apply to the 2022 Reporting Year; forms are due to EPA by July 1, 2023.  

Part of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), TRI reporting is required from specific facilities (identified by SIC or NAICS Code) and Federal facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise handle one or more listed toxic chemicals above specified threshold. 

Read more: 
5 Tips for EPCRA TRI Reports 

Tags: EPCRA reporting, Form R reporting, hazardous waste management, hazmat air shipping

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