Some economists say a little inflation is a good thing.
Well, when it comes to regulatory compliance, or in
this case non-compliance, it can be a bad thing.
In accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015, the Department of Labor is required to adjust penalties for inflation each year. As a result, OSHA announced that the new penalty amounts, adjusted for inflation, as of Jan. 2, 2018.
New penalties for willful and repeat violations are $129,336 per violation. Serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirements are $12,934 per violation. Failure to correct violations are $12,934 for each day the conditions continue. These same penalties will be coming soon to a state program near you. More information can be found on the OSHA web page.
The next Hazardous Waste Biennial Report deadline is March 1, 2018 and covers activities during calendar year 2017. The Michigan DEQ will not be sending biennial packets to waste generators. Instead, Large Quantity Generators and TSDFs will be required to report using the federal forms and instructions.
While the MDEQ will accept paper copies, it is encouraging facilities to submit their Biennial Report data electronically through the Biennial Report component of the USEPA RCRAInfo Industry Application (RIA).
The RCRAInfo login page can be used to set up a RCRAInfo account and login. The web site provides guidance and information to be followed to prepare and submit the report. Additional information for submitting Biennial Reports to the MDEQ either electronically or on paper can be found at the MDEQ web site for Biennial Reporting.
If your facility uses or maintains a highly hazardous chemical in quantities above the threshold limit (often 10,000 pounds or more), then the Process Safety Management regulations apply to you.
Never heard of Process Safety Management? Process Safety Management, or PSM as the program is referred to, is an OSHA Performance Standard, which means that the regulations are not prescriptive. Instead, OSHA allows a facility to set up its program in a way that makes sense for the facility, as long as the program performs satisfactorily, the facility meets the regulatory requirements, and it keeps the highly hazardous materials within their containers.
The PSM regulations are outlined in 29 CFR 1910.119. MIOSHA has adopted these regulations in GI Part 91 and OH Part 591. We aren’t going to lie. There is a lot to digest and understand. But, OSHA provides a lot of useful information on its Process Safety Management webpage. It even published a Process Safety Management for Small Businesses brochure in 2017. You can find the brochure here.
PSM applies to toxic and flammable materials maintained in quantities above the thresholds listed in the standard. The OSHA list of highly hazardous chemicals can be found here. The MIOSHA list and regulations can be found here.
For companies with operations in Ohio, Ohio EPA adopted Ohio-specific universal waste rules allowing the following hazardous wastes to be classified and managed as universal waste in Ohio including:
These Ohio-specific hazardous wastes now can be regulated as universal wastes and join certain batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment and lamps that are already part of the universal waste program in Ohio.
The rules became effective on December 21, 2017 and can be viewed on the Ohio EPA web site.
The designation of a hazardous waste as a universal waste streamlines the regulations that apply to the waste reducing the regulatory burden and costs, and promotes proper handling, recycling or disposal of the waste by generators.