Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Massachusetts Regulations On Hazardous Material Storage

The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has approved changes to Massachusetts regulations on hazardous materials storage and processing in the state, which includes monitoring of high risk facilities to ensure they are complying with key federal process safety and risk management programs.

The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services has satisfied a key recommendation made by the CSB in its 2008 final report on the 2006 explosion at an ink and paint products manufacturing facility in Danvers, MA. The CSB concluded that an unattended mixing tank overheated in an unventilated building causing the release of flammable vapors which subsequently ignited. The facility stored alcohols, heptanes, other solvents, pigments, resin and nitrocellulose; all of which were destroyed in the explosion. In addition, 24 houses and 6 businesses were destroyed.

An investigation found that the company had increased its quantities of flammable liquids over the years. The additional quantities went undetected by local authorities who had not inspected the facility for over 4 years prior to the time of the incident.

Massachusetts now requires companies storing and handling flammable materials to amend their license and re-register with state or local authorities when increasing their quantities of flammable materials; they must also verify compliance with local and state fire codes and hazardous chemical regulations. The Massachusetts regulations classify hazardous materials into five categories based on threshold quantities. Categories 1–4 must be in compliance with OSHA's Hazard Communication standard. Category 5, under which the ink and paint product manufacturing facility would have fallen, requires companies to certify compliance with the OSHA Process Safety Management standard and with the EPA Risk Management Program regulation.

Caltha LLP provides specialized expertise to clients nationwide in the evaluation environmental rules, developing EH&S compliance procedures, and preparing cost-effective EH&S management programs.
For further information contact Caltha LLP at
info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

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