• October 2010 - EHS Support Corporation is Proud to Announce the Addition of William Egan, CPA
    Mr. Egan comes to EHS Support as the Chief Financial Officer. In this role he will lead projects working on mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures; Superfund projects; remediation portfolios; and preparing financial assurance, SEC and remediation cost estimates, budget tracking, and cash flow analyses.He has experience in leading fundraising (including venture capital/debt), acquisitions, and developing and implementing financial infrastructure for emerging enterprises. Mr. Egan is adept at negotiating contracts and producing dramatic increases in cash flow and has experience in successfully providing creative assistance in closing sales and finding alternative funding sources.He is a results oriented leader with proven experience in both the environmental and financial fields and was named 2009 CFO of the Year by the Pittsburgh Business Times.

    began@ehs-support.com

  • September 2010 - EPA is Proposing One Year Compliance Date Extension on Spill Prevention Rule for Certain Facilities

    In 2009, EPA amended the SPCC rule to strengthen certain provisions, requiring regulated facilities to amend and implement these changes as part of their overall SPCC plans by November 10, 2010.  The proposed extension of the compliance date would extend the date by which the owners and operators of certain facilities must prepare or amend and implement an SPCC plan by one year to November 10, 2011.

    Facilities not eligible for proposed extension that must comply by November 10, 2010:

    • Drilling, production or workover facilities that are offshore or that have an offshore component, or
    • onshore facilities required to have and submit facility response plans (FRPs), due to the threats these facilities could pose of significant oil spills to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.

    Facilities that may be eligible for the proposed one year extension:

    • oil production
    • farms
    • electric utility plants
    • petroleum refining and related industries
    • chemical manufacturing
    • food manufacturing
    • manufacturing facilities using and storing animal fats and vegetable oils
    • metal and other manufacturing
    • real estate rental and leasing
    • retail trade
    • contract construction
    • wholesale trade
    • other commercial, transportation, arts entertainment & recreation
    • other services (except public administration)
    • petroleum bulk stations and terminals
    • education
    • hospitals & other health care
    • accommodation and food services
    • fuel oil dealers
    • gasoline stations
    • information finance and insurance
    • mining
    • warehousing and storage
    • religious organizations
    • military installations
    • government facilities


    How should I prepare?

    If your company is not eligible for the extension, you must maintain your existing SPCC Plan and amend and implement the new plan according to SPCC regulations 67 FR 47042, no later than November 10, 2010.

    If your company is eligible for the extension then you should follow the EPA decision to extend the compliance date to November 10, 2011.  EHS Support will monitor progress on this decision and keep you updated on important conclusions.

    To discuss how to maintain your current SPCC Plan or amend your Plan, please contact Jessica Tierney at 412-779-1094 or Jessica.tierney@ehs-support.com; or Amy Bauer at 251-533-6949 or Amy.bauer@ehs-support.com.

  • July 2010 - Four New GHG Sources Required to Report Emissions After Final Rule Signed

    EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, signed the final rule for Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions on June 28, 2010, finalizing the April 2009 proposal for the GHG reporting program.

    How Will My Company Be Affected?

    The identified GHG sources will be required to begin collecting emissions data on January 1, 2011 and submit the first annual reports to the EPA on March 31, 2012.

    Companies should determine if they are subject to the rule and, if so, begin to prepare for these reporting requirements now.  First, identify if your operations are subject to the source categories below, and then determine if they have emitted more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year.

    Sources Categories

    Changes will require reporting from four new sources with the following thresholds for reporting GHGs:

    1. Magnesium Production

    • Facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons of CO2e or more in combined emissions from their sources annually.

    2. Underground Coal Mines

    • No emissions threshold for reporting.
    • Must report if subject to quarterly or more frequent sampling of mine ventilation systems by MSHA.

    3. Industrial Wastewater Treatment

    Facilities that perform:

    • pulp and paper manufacturing
    • food processing (fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry processing only)
    • ethanol production
    • petroleum refining
    • use anaerobic processes to treat industrial wastewater and wastewater treatment sludge

    AND have aggregate emissions from all source categories covered by the rule in the amount of 25,000 metric tons of CO2e or more are required to report their industrial wastewater treatment emissions along with any other emissions from covered source categories.

    4. Industrial Waste Landfills

    • Landfills that accepted waste on or after January 1, 1980, accepts organic waste, is located at a facility whose total landfill design capacity is greater than or equal to 300,000 metric tons, and is located at a facility whose aggregate emissions from all source categories covered by the rule is greater than or equal to 25,000 metric tons of CO2e.

    For a complete list of sources that are required to report emissions, please visit the EPA’s resource table http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/subpart.html.

    Sources not included as distinct subparts in 40 CFR 98:*

    • Ethanol Production
    • Food Processing
    • Suppliers of Coal

    *May still be required to report under other subparts if meet reporting threshold of 25,000 tons CO2e.

    HOW CAN EHS SUPPORT HELP?

    EHS Support reviews GHG emissions for companies to determine if their facilities are subject to reporting under the GHG Mandatory Reporting Rule.  The product of our high-level review includes:

    • Identification of applicable source categories
    • Documentation of the rule’s background based on which source categories apply
    • Calculation of emissions using methods provided in the GHG Mandatory Reporting Rule, if applicable
    • A final conclusion regarding applicability of the rule, and
    • A detailed description of the process we used to reach our conclusion.

    If reporting is required, you can use can use the information as the basis for a GHG compliance plan at your facility. If reporting is not required, you will be given the documentation from the comprehensive review to maintain on file.

    If you would like more information about how we can conduct a high-level review of potential GHG emissions and the applicability of the GHG Mandatory Reporting Rule to your company, particularly with recent amendment to the Final Rule, please contact Jessica Tierney at 412-779-1094 andjessica.tierney@ehs-support.com or Amy Bauer at 251-533-5949 and amy.bauer@ehs-support.com

  • May - Are EHS Issues Keeping You Up At Night?

  • April 2010 - Tier 1 Qualified Facility SPCC Plan Template Now Electronic

    Tier 1 qualified facilities* may now access and complete the SPCC Plan Template in 40 CFR Part 112, Appendix G electronically to assist in developing a self certified SPCC Plan.

    www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/tier1temp.htm

    Facts:

    • The template provides every SPCC Rule requirement necessary for a Tier I qualified facility that must be addressed and implemented.
    • This template may be used to comply with the SPCC Rule or used as a model and modified as necessary to meet facility-specific needs.
    • The owner or operator may complete the template either electronically or by hand on a printed copy.

    How Will I Be Affected?

    • Forms and requirements are now more convenient to access
    • You now have more options on how to submit

    For questions regarding the SPCC regulatory requirements, please contact Jessica Tierney at 412-779-1094 or jessica.tierney@ehs-support.com.

    *To meet the Tier I applicability criteria, the facility must have:

    • a total aboveground oil storage capacity of 10,000 U.S. gallons or less;
    • no aboveground oil storage containers with a capacity greater than 5,000 U.S. gallons; and
    • in the 3 years prior to the date the SPCC Plan is certified, had no single discharge of oil to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines exceeding 1,000 U.S. gallons, or no two discharges of oil to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines each exceeding 42 U.S. gallons within any 12-month period.
  • April 2010 - EPA Administrator Delays GHG Requirements

    THE FACTS

    In a letter issued on February 22, 2010, EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson outlined several of the decisions she has made for 2010-2011.

    The letter outlined the following:

    • The U.S. Supreme Court held three years ago in Massachusetts v. EPA that GHGs are air pollution and are subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act (CAA); therefore, EPA must follow the Supreme Court’s holding.
    • No facility will be required to address GHG in CAA permitting of new construction or modifications before 2011.
    • For the first half of 2011, only facilities that already must apply for CAA permits as a result of their non-GHG emissions will need to address their GHG emissions in their permit applications.
    • GHG emissions from other large sources will phase in starting the latter half of 2011.  Between 2011 and 2013, the threshold for permitting is expected to be substantially higher than the 25,000 tons originally proposed.
    • EPA does not intend to subject smaller facilities to CAA permitting for GHG emissions any sooner than 2016.

    WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE?

    • Review your upcoming capital projects and business expansions for 2011 and beyond.
    • Evaluate what impact requirements will have on those projects.
    • Develop a strategy to adjust your schedule and cost for the projects in question.
    • Contact EHS Support with any questions or assistance in planning.

    EHS Support will follow any further updates from the EPA regarding GHG regulations, particularly as it relates to CAA permitting of stationary sources.  For more information, contact Amy Bauer at 251-533-6949 and amy.bauer@ehs-support.com or Jessica Tierney at 412-779-1094 and jessica.tierney@ehs-support.com

    For more details, listen to our podcast.

    Administrator Jackson’s response letter is available at http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/19132862F2B332DE852576D2007D866

  • March 2010 - SEC Issues Interpretive Guidance on Climate Change Related Disclosures

    THE FACTS

    Companies may need to disclose pertinent climate change issues under existing securities laws and regulations.  Effective February 8, 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued interpretive guidance for public companies regarding existing SEC disclosure requirements as they apply to business and legal developments related to climate change. The SEC issued the guidance based on recent legal and regulatory developments, both domestic and foreign, addressing climate change matters (e.g., Mandatory GHG Reporting Rule).

    This guidance will not amend current SEC rules or impose additional reporting obligations, but rather provide companies with greater clarity and consistency as to what is required to be disclosed by those companies with respect to climate change.  The interpretive release focuses on four climate change topics that may warrant disclosure:

    • Impacts of existing and pending laws and regulations relating to climate change
    • Impacts of foreign and international treaties and accords relating to climate change
    • Indirect impacts of legal, technological, political and scientific developments regarding climate change
    • Physical impacts of climate change

    WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING IN RESPONSE?

    • Review your existing climate change disclosure and re-evaluate whether these disclosures fulfill your reporting obligations.
    • Follow results of the spring 2010 public roundtable that will address climate change issues, the results of which will be used to help the SEC determine whether further guidance or rulemaking regarding climate change is needed.
    • Watch for EHS Support Alerts with updates on further guidance or rulemaking regarding climate change.

    We will continue to follow this topic closely to keep you updated on important changes.  For more information, contact Amy Bauer at 251-533-6949 and amy.bauer@ehs-support.comor Andrew Patz at 412-215-7703 and andy.patz@ehs-support.com

    The interpretive guidance can be obtained from http://www.sec.gov/rules/interp/2010/33-9106.pdf

    For more details on the guidance, listen to our podcast.

  • January 2010 - Superfund Financial Assurance Obligations Imminent

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a significant step in an effort to shift the responsibility for the cleanup of environmental releases from the federal taxpayer to industry.

    THE FACTS

    EPA has identified industry sectors where it will begin the regulatory development process to require financial assurance requirements under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as the Superfund law.

    Following a notice issued in July 2009, EPA plans to propose new financial responsibility rules by spring of 2011 for classes of facilities within the hard-rock mining industry.

    Although a regulatory timeline for rulemaking has not yet been defined, EPA issued a notice published in the Federal Register on January 6, 2010, to begin the regulatory process for developing appropriate financial assurance requirements for these additional newly identified industry sectors:

    • the chemical manufacturing industry (NAICS 325)
    • the petroleum and coal products manufacturing industry (NAICS 324), which primarily includes refineries and not coal mines
    • the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry (NAICS 2211).

    Furthermore, EPA will conduct studies on the following industries to decide whether to develop proposed regulations:

    • waste management and remediation services (NAICS 562)
    • wood product manufacturing (NAICS 321)
    • fabricated metal product manufacturing (NAICS 332)
    • electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing (NAICS 334 and 335)
    • facilities engaged in the recycling of materials containing CERCLA hazardous substances.

    HOW WILL THIS AFFECT MY COMPANY?

    Financial assurance requirements provide a mechanism for the government to ensure that owners and operators of facilities are able to pay for cleanup of environmental liabilities and help reduce the number of sites that need to be addressed by federal taxpayers through the Superfund program.  For example, owners and operators of facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste are required to provide proof that they will have sufficient funds to pay for cleanup, closure, and post-closure care of their facilities.

    Owners must also demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to pay for cleanup of any accidental releases of hazardous constituents during the active life of their facilities, and compensate third parties for any resulting bodily injury or property damage.

    WHAT CAN MY COMPANY DO TO PREPARE?

    This action is not a proposed rule or a final regulation; however, EHS Support recommends, that you, as a targeted industry take the following steps:

    • Determine the financial and business impacts this would have on your operations if the rule is promulgated.
    • Closely follow progress made by the EPA towards potential future financial assurance obligations.
    • Submit comment on the January 6 notice on or before February 5, 2010.
    • Follow EHS Support Alerts for updates on this topic.

    If this has the potential to affect your business, EHS Support can assist you in evaluating the bottom line impact to your company and in authoring comments to the notice or any future rulemaking.

    We will continue to follow this topic closely, keep you updated on important changes using EHS Support alerts and newsletter, and will thoroughly evaluate any proposed and final rule when issued.  For more information, contact Amy Bauer at 251-533-6949 and amy.bauer@ehs-support.comor Andrew Patz at 412-215-7703 and andy.patz@ehs-support.com

    More information is available at the EPA’s website:  http://www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/financialresponsibility/index.html

  • January 2010 - Sustainable Product Standards and Certifications for the Built Environment and Industrial Sector; What are They, How do They Benefit MY Company, and How do I Get Certified?

    Background

    With the social and regulatory push toward reducing the global carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint due to climate change concerns and the existing contribution of the built environment (existing structures) and industrial sector (approximately 72% of energy consumption comes from these two sectors), the demand for cost effective and sustainable improvements are necessary and quickly growing.  The improvements need to encompass both the products that make up existing buildings as well as the manufacturing processes and products that will be included in future buildings.  Sustainable-certified products are now a requirement of many governmental, academic, and health institutions that have established sustainable product procurement procedures and a requirement to buy products that are safe for human health and the environment.  The trend is quickly spreading to private industry in the form of tax incentives and strong public support. Let’s explore what you need to do and the benefits of certification.

    The Benefits of Being a Certified Company

    Manufacturing a product, improving an existing building, or constructing a future building in a “sustainable” manner (economically, socially, and environmentally), and obtaining certification have many benefits to both small and large companies.

    Companies certify that their products and buildings are sustainable for a multitude of reasons:

    • to enhance corporate standing;
    • to claim an industry leadership position; and
    • to boost customer perception with the added benefit of increasing profitability.

    In addition, the movement towards a green manufacturing process has the potential to control and reduce future environmental investigation and remediation corrective action activities that result from the release of hazardous materials, wastes, or substances (e.g., asbestos, lead based paint) to the environment that can cost companies millions of dollars in cleanup liability from an environmental legacy perspective.

    How Do I Get Certified?

    The push for buildings that are constructed using the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership for Energy and the Environment (LEED) rating are becoming more sought after and economically profitable to own.  The use of sustainable certified products contribute to the overall LEED certification rating of a building.  Use of sustainable product standards and certification to these standards provide a means of certifying that a manufacturer’s product is a “green” product.  This is accomplished by evaluating the life cycle of the product from the raw material procurement stage, through the manufacturing process, to the “end of life” of the product.  As a result, there are a vast array of green product directories, labels, certifications, and other evaluation systems that have been used to verify green product claims.  Navigating through the wide array of green product standards and assessment tools is an important consideration for those in the supply chain for green building certification.

    Generally, the best standards are those which were developed using a consensus-based process, input from all possible stakeholders, a required third party verification, and a life cycle assessment. One such standard that addresses all of these criteria and has been used to certify products manufactured by several manufacturing entities is the Sustainable Materials Rating Technology (SMaRT) standard.  Use of the LEED certification rating and SMaRT standard are important steps toward certification.

    How Can EHS Support Help Me Evaluate and Obtain Certification?

    EHS Support has teamed with Environmental Logic, Inc, a Pittsburgh-based environmental consulting firm that specializes in LEED certifications.  Our team can review and work hand-in-hand with you to choose the appropriate product certification standard and evaluation process and guide you through the process in a timely, cost-effective manner.  If you would like to discuss the benefits of obtaining certification, please contact Kenny Ogilvie at kennyo@ehs-support.com or Margaret Zak at margaretzak@comcast.net.