Are You Ready for January 1st, 2014? The next deadline for permits for 527 CMR 33 is approaching at the end of the year.

Update in effect as of January 1, 2015: The requirements for hazardous material processing (previously known as 527 CMR 33) are now listed under 527 CMR 1.00:60.  The full regulation has been carried over in the new revision.

As we discussed in the last edition of the SPEC Report, Massachusetts has enacted a new regulation (527 CMR 33) that requires a permit to process hazardous materials.  While those in Category 4 should have completed their permit applications for the June 1stdeadline, the next deadline for Categories 3 and 2 is approaching at the end of year.

In some ways, preparing for the permit application for Categories 3 and 2 will present more of a challenge, even though the documentation required is much less than for Categories 4 and 5.  These manufacturers use much smaller quantities and have likely not been previously required to develop or maintain the level and type of documentation the permit requires.
In the same way that Category 4 requirements are a subset of full Category 5 requirements (which are simply a state level enforcement of federal OSHA and EPA laws governing the processing hazardous materials), Categories 3 and 2 have fewer requirements but are still based on the same original OSHA and EPA laws.

Categories 3 and 2 have the next, upcoming compliance deadline of January 1, 2014
  • Category 3 applies to “a process which involves or produces a hazardous material which occurs in a vessel that is greater than 60 gallons but is less or equal to 300 gallons or a process area that is classified as being a H occupancy as defined by 780 CMR: Massachusetts State Building Code.”
  • Category 2 applies to “a process which involves or produces a hazardous material which occurs in a vessel that is greater than 2.5 gallons but less than or equal to 60 gallons.”[i]

[i] 527 CMR 33.03
Category 3 Requirements in Simple Terms
1. Category 3 Hazard Evaluation: “A written evaluation performed or procedure conducted to identify hazards, including adjacent vessels that contain hazardous materials, and determine the required preventive, protective, and safety control measures in conformance with recognized and generally accepted good engineering and safe work practices associated with a particular process or condition and the facility wherein such process or condition is taking place.”[i]

2. Process safety controls as identified in hazard evaluation

3. Hazard evaluation is modified prior to each process change

4. Post Incident Analysis

     a. Must be initiated within 48 hours, in the event of an incident involving a process in which there is a fire department, EMS response, or a reportable release of a hazardous material.  The Head of the Fire Department shall be given a duplicate copy of the analysis upon completion.

     b. Must be completed within 45 days, unless the Head of the Fire Department provides an extension for just reason.

     c. Must include the following information:
  • summary of the cause of the incident and contributing factors
  • Recommendations to prevent a future recurrence
  • A summary of the dates of implementation of the post-incident analysis recommendations and corrective actions
  • A reassessment and confirmation of the category under which the facility is operating or application for a new permit as part of the report.[ii]
5. Maintain Category 3 Hazard Evaluation documents for review by Head of the Fire Department for a minimum of 2 years following issuance of permit.[iii]

6. Provide documentation that the facility complies with requirements for a Category 2 process(as stated below).

[i] 527 CMR 33.02
[ii] 527 CMR 33.07
[iii] 527 CMR 33.05
Category 2 Requirements in Simple Terms
1. Documentation that adequately demonstrates that the facility maintains and implements a policy in compliance with
     a. OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200), which requires “that information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers.”[i] This includes:
  • Evaluation of the hazards of the chemicals produced or imported, and preparation of labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to downstream customers
  • Labels and safety data sheets for exposed workers, and training to handle the chemicals appropriately[ii]
     b. OSHA Exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories Standard (29 CFR 1910.1450),referred to as the Laboratory standard, specifies the mandatory requirements of a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) to protect laboratory workers from harm due to hazardous chemicals.[iii]This includes:
  • Policies, procedures and responsibilities that protect workers from the health hazards associated with the hazardous chemicals used in that particular workplace.
     c. MA Board of Fire Prevention Regulations: Flammable and Combustible Liquids, Flammable Solids or Flammable Gases (527 CMR 14.00)

2. Emergency Response Plan will include the following in writing:

     a. Identification of all Emergency Coordinators who will be on premises or on call and available to respond to an emergency within one hour of an emergency situation.

     b. Updated list with contact information of all designated Emergency Coordinators

     c. Facility floor plan, showing locations of:
  • hazardous material stored
  • typical volume
  • location of additional emergency equipment
     d. Emergency Coordinator will communicate with the local fire department any concerns and establish a protocol with the fire department on the shutdown of any process that would pose a risk to the public in the event of loss of any controls.

     e. The facility will notify the Head of the Fire Department of any material changes to the Emergency Response Plan, including the name of the Coordinator, within 14 calendar days of the change.[iv]