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Public Comments sought on OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout standard

December 11th, 2017

OSHA solicits public comments concerning its proposal to extend OMB approval of the information collection requirements specified in the Standard on the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout).

The purpose of these requirements is to control the release of hazardous energy while workers service, maintain, or repair machines or equipment when activation, start up, or release of energy from an energy source is possible; proper control of hazardous energy prevents death or serious injury among these workers.

OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

  • Whether the proposed information collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency’s functions, including whether the information is useful;
  • The accuracy of OSHA’s estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and
  • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply—for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.


PADEP Re-issues PAG-02: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities

December 11th, 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) will reissue the current general permit associated with stormwater discharges related to construction activity, the PAG-02, for an additional two years starting December 8, 2017. The current permit expired on December 7, 2017, so there will be no lapse in the availability of the PAG-02 permit coverage for new projects.

PADEP coordinated this reissuance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A comment period on reissuing the current permit ended on December 4, 2017. A PA Bulletin listing for the reissued permit will appear in the December 16, 2017 edition of the PA Bulletin.

“The PAG-02 is one of the most used permits in construction, and any lapse in the availability of this general permit could have hampered economic growth in the commonwealth,” said PADEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “[PA]DEP will be considering possible changes to the general permit in the future, but it is important that we keep the permit available and accessible to those that need it in the short term.”

The general permit package can be accessed through the Department’s eLibrary website here.

The reissued PAG-02 will be available for two years. PADEP expects to propose revisions to the PAG-02 sometime during the two-year permit term. Such revisions will include notice and a public participation process.


Withdraw: Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting Adoption of 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes

December 11th, 2017

In the Federal Register of August 17, 2017, EPA published both a direct final rule and a proposed rule to update the list of NAICS codes subject to reporting under the TRI to reflect the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 2017 NAICS code revision. As noted in the direct final rule, if EPA received relevant adverse comment on the proposed update, the Agency would publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the direct final action will not take effect. The Agency did receive a relevant adverse comment on the proposed update, and is therefore withdrawing the direct final rule and will instead proceed with a final rule based on the proposed rule after considering all public comments.


Notice of Administrative Change and Announcement of Availability of a New General Permit (GP-016A) for Manufacturing and Materials Handling Equipment

December 11th, 2017

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is announcing the availability of a new General Permit GP-016A for manufacturing and materials handling equipment each with a potential to emit less than the reporting threshold for each air contaminant for minor facilities. This GP is replacing the current general permits GP-002 (Confined Abrasive Blasting Equipment), GP-003 (Woodworking Equipment), and GP-016 (Small Emitter General Air Permit – SEGAP).

This general permit is available beginning on November 20, 2017, and is being included in the list of sources at N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.8(c) for which general permits are available.

GP-016A allows for the construction, installation, reconstruction, modification, and operation of a single or multiple pieces of uncontrolled or controlled manufacturing and materials handling equipment each with a potential to emit less than the reporting threshold for each air contaminant as specified in the GP.


New NJDEP RACT Adoption

November 28th, 2017

The Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requires states in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR), including New Jersey, to adopt reasonably available control technology (RACT) for existing sources of volatile organic compounds (VOC) for which EPA has issued a control technique guideline (CTG). EPA defines RACT as the lowest emission level using controls that are technologically and economically feasible. In each CTG, EPA provides recommendations to the states for determining RACT for the CTG’s emission source categories. New Jersey can comply with the VOC RACT requirement by adopting the CTG recommendations.

To accomplish this, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is adopting new rules and amendments at N.J.A.C. 7:27-16, to address CTGs for four source categories:

The CAA also requires OTR states to adopt RACT for all major sources of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), including those covered by EPA’s Alternative Control Techniques (ACT) documents. NJDEP must adopt NOx RACT requirements for natural gas compressors since they are major sources of NOx and are covered by an ACT document. Accordingly, NJDEP is adopting amendments to N.J.A.C. 7:27-19 to establish NOx RACT standards for non-electrical generating turbines and engines that burn only natural gas as a fuel and that power compressors used to transport gaseous fuels (natural gas compressors). The adopted rules apply to natural gas compressor engines capable of producing an output of 200 brake horsepower (bhp), but less than 500 bhp, and natural gas compressor turbines. Existing rules at N.J.A.C. 7:27-19 have NOx RACT emission standards for natural gas compressor engines capable of producing an output of 500 bhp and greater. Related amendments to the Air Administrative Procedures and Penalties at N.J.A.C. 7:27A establish penalties for violations of the VOC and NOx RACT standards.

NJDEP will submit the adopted new rules and amendments to EPA as a revision to New Jersey’s SIP. The new and amended rules will reduce emissions of VOCs and NOx to help New Jersey to meet the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone, and reduce the indirect formation of PM2.5, so that the State can continue to meet the NAAQS for PM2.5.