There are several state and federal agencies, the EPA, OSHA, and the UFC (Uniform Fire Code) which have been designed to protect people and the environment from spills and leaks of hazardous materials. For instance, the EPA's Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended by the Clean Water Act, was developed to prevent the discharge of oils and oil related products from reaching navigable waters and adjoining shore lines. Because of the numerous federal and state regulations, it is easy to become tangled in a confusing maze of rules.
A savvy way to learn how to comply with these regulations is to deal with them in small doses. Start out by determining what regulations will apply.
Evaluate Your Work Environment.
* What type of hazardous chemicals, fuels, oil or hazardous wastes are you dealing with?
* What is the average quantity on hand?
* What is the maximum amount that will ever be on the work site?
You have to plan to handle the maximum. The regulations require that you plan a containment system that has sufficient capacity to contain 10% of the volume of the containers or of the largest container, whichever is greater. Containers that do not hold free liquid do not need to be considered.
Determine What Regulations Affect the Hazardous Materials at the Work Site
For instance, don't get tangled in oil regulations when you are dealing with corrosive chemicals. Transfer stations need different methods of controlling leaks and spills. Determine the requirements for safely storing, containing, using, transferring, or handling these hazardous materials.
Get Expert Help for Necessary Supplies
Determine the amount and type of containment berms, spill pallets, and other spill containment equipment that will be needed.
Obtain All Needed Spill Containment Supplies
Implement An Employee Training Program In Their Use
Develop A Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC Plan)
* This act took effect in 1974 and was strengthened in 2002. There are numerous federal regulations of the EPA, the DOT, the UFC, which affect storage methods, spill prevention, and spill cleanup. They all require employee training in Best Management Practices (BMP) in :
* Spill Prevention Measures
* Required Equipment for Spill Prevention and Control
* Spill Cleanup Methods
* Emergency Procedures
* The Use Of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
* Proper Methods of Disposal of Hazardous Materials
* Good Housekeeping Practices
* Required Maintenance On Spill Prevention Equipment and Supplies
* Proper Record Keeping
The volume of regulatory material can be overwhelming. Complete an evaluation first and then start logically to sift out the requirements that apply to your work environment.
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