IPPE Seminar Explored How to Handle Environmental Regulations

US - The 'Environmental Bootcamp' education programme at the 2015 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) included advice on pollution prevention and the importance of understanding the regulations that apply to your business.
calendar icon 5 February 2015
clock icon 4 minute read

Speaking at the 'Environmental Bootcamp' education programme, John Pierson, principal resource engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, said: “If you are in the food business and it snows or rains on your facility, it is highly likely you need a stormwater pollution prevention plan that will help you comply with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits program. Regulators at the state and national level are increasingly trying to identify every entity whose operations might be affected by stormwater or could cause pollution in navigable waters.”

Mr Pierson described strategies for pollution prevention and discussed the components of a prevention plan, including forming a team responsible for this task, conducting site assessment and planning, selecting control measures and performing ongoing inspection and monitoring to ensure the facility regularly reaches benchmarks.

"Know what you need to know, and put your house in order."
Sam Hardin

In his presentation on 'National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for feed mills', James Faison, regulatory compliance manager for Mar-Jac Poultry, remarked that NESHAP regulations cover many industries, including prepared feeds.

He noted the rules apply if a feed mill uses premixes or additives that contain 0.1 per cent or greater by weight of chromium or greater than one per cent by weight of manganese and animal feed constitutes at least half of the facility’s annual production. The regulations refer to manganese and chromium levels in the feed ingredients, not finished feed.

Mr Faison reminded facility operators to keep weekly, monthly and quarterly inspections records, copies of initial notification, notification of compliance status and supporting documents and annual compliance certification.

Sam Hardin, an engineer with Clearwater Consultants, guided attendees through the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) reporting process, describing Tier I, Tier II and TRI Reporting.

He explained that EPCRA requires facilities to report the amount, location and type of hazardous chemicals on-site. The chemicals classified as hazardous under these regulations are not always what the public might consider hazardous, such as uranium or dynamite.

Mr Hardin said: “Feed mills need to report materials such as salt, bone meal, poultry fat, sodium carbonate, soda ash and diesel fuel, while a processing plant report would include substances like ammonia, cleaning chemicals and many others.”

Warren Howe, P.E., vice president with Woodruff & Howe Environmental Engineering, discussed relevant information related to environmental audits and inspections.

He said: “Agricultural operations are subject to numerous environmental regulations, and audits and inspections go with the territory. However, two key pieces of advice for environmental managers may help them prepare: know what you need to know, and put your house in order.

“The environmental area is a huge arena. There are so many different regulations and requirements. Within certain regulations there are multiple permits and multiple record-keeping requirements, sampling requirements and inspections. There is a lot out there.

“Having a grasp of that is the key to being able to move forward and be prepared for an audit. You cannot do it well unless you know exactly what your requirements are for your specific facility.” he said.

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