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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Legal Requirements


B. EMS Procedure for Identifying Legal and Other Requirements

Purpose

The legal and other requirements that apply to the EMS are a combination of federal and state statutes, federal executive orders, and internal EPA policies.  The purpose of this procedure is to identify all environmental laws, regulations, and “other requirements” that apply to the Region 6 lab & field operations. This helps ensure that the Region 6 lab & field operations maintains an ongoing internal awareness of, and provides access to, all legal and other requirements that apply to its activities, products, and services. In addition, this procedure ensures that the EMS development process as a whole is informed by awareness of all applicable mandates.  Finally, the documentation of applicable legal, regulatory, and other requirements enables internal and external reviewers to quickly ascertain the scope of legal and other requirements the facility is operating under.

Scope

The focus of this procedure is on the Region 6 lab & field operations activities, products, and services that impact or may impact the environment and the legal or other requirements that apply to such activities, products and services.  Legal and other requirements that apply to the Region 6 lab & field operations EMS can include federal statutes, state statutes (Texas), statutes in Houston, TX, local laws, Presidential Executive Orders, Region 6 lab & field operations, and internal Agency policies. This procedure applies to all activities, products, and services that are internal to and under the control of the Region 6 lab & field operations. The U.S.EPA Region 6 lab & field operations Environmental Management System (EMS) is designed to manage the environmental impacts that result from the operations at the facility and, to a limited extent, off-site field activities.  All of the operations conducted at the facility located at 10625 Fallstone Road, Houston, Texas 77099 are considered within the scope of the EMS.  The activities of all of the occupants of the facility are subject to the policies and procedures described in this manual.  The Region 6 lab & field operations EMS are designed to conform to the international standard ISO 14001 (1996), Environmental Management Systems - Specification With Guidance For Use. This procedure applies to all EPA and contractor personnel working at the Region 6 lab & field operations Region 6 facility.

Definitions

Laws and Regulations:  Federal, state, and local laws and regulations that apply to or otherwise impact facility operations.

Other Requirements: In addition to meeting all applicable legal and regulatory requirements many facilities are subject to “other requirements” contained in Agency policy directives and guidance, Presidential Executive Region 6 lab & field operations, or other similar mandates.  Facilities may also be committed to certain actions as a result of their participation in voluntary programs related to the environment

SHEMD:  The Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Division within the HQ Office of Administrative Services.  SHEMD provides regulatory compliance support to EPA facilities nationwide including the Region 6 lab & field operations

SFPB: The Sustainable Facilities Practices Branch within the Office of Administrative Services. SFPB provides support on non-regulatory environmental mandates and voluntary improvement programs to EPA facilities nationwide, including the Region 6 lab & field operations.  This support focuses primarily but not exclusively on mandates established through various Presidential Executive Region 6 lab & field operations.

Approach

Legal and other requirements are determined for all aspects that then provide an indication of significance. Environmental programs are in place to ensure that compliance is maintained for federal and state statutes and that progress toward significant compliance with federal executive orders, and internal EPA policies is achieved.

The registry of legal and other requirements is maintained and reviewed annually by the Safety Health and Environmental Management (SHEM) Manager.  While the line management of the Region 6 lab & field operations has ultimate responsibility for environmental compliance, the SHEM Manager has responsibility for conducting environmental compliance activities.  The SHEM Manager relies on information gained through the network of national EPA SHEM Managers and other sources to ensure that the appropriate compliance requirements are identified.  In addition, EPA Headquarters’ Safety Health and Environmental Management Division perform a tri-annual compliance audit with assistance from an independent contractor.  The SHEM Manager based on the findings of the tri-annual audits (Based on the SHEM Manager audits you would have the list of legal and other requirements applicable to the Region 6 lab & field operations.  Also this headquarters audit is a good procedure to review the applicable regulations on an annual basis and keeping the EMS team aware of any changes in the applicable regulations.)  Coordinates corrective actions.  If necessary, the Region 6 lab & field operations Board, the Facility Manager and/or the SHEM Manager initiate and complete required corrective actions.  The SHEM Manager is responsible for all records pertaining to environmental compliance.

The following steps illustrate how the EMS Team identifies the legal and other requirements that apply to the Region 6 lab & field operations activities, products, or services.

For regulatory requirements, the EMS Team relies on the internal regulatory compliance expertise based in SHEMD. The EMS Team provides SHEMD with the final list of the Region 6 lab & field operations activities, products and services; environmental aspects; and associated environmental impacts (see A-Significant Environmental Aspects). SHEMD reviews these lists and develops a preliminary list of legal and regulatory requirements that apply to the Region 6 lab & field operations activities, products or services. The list identifies the legal and regulatory requirement and the associated activity, product or service to which it applies.

For other requirements, the EMS Team relies on the internal expertise of SFPB.  The EMS Team provides SFPB with the final list of the Region 6 lab & field operations activities, products and services; environmental aspects; and associated environmental impacts (see A-Significant Environmental Aspects). SFPB reviews these lists and develops a preliminary list of legal and regulatory requirements that apply to the Region 6 lab & field operations activities, products or services.

SHEMD and SFPB maintain awareness of applicable legal and other requirements by: consulting with compliance professionals that provide regulatory compliance support to EPA facilities; periodic attendance at environmental conferences or training; periodic contact with state and local regulatory officials; periodic contact with EPA regulatory, compliance, or technical staff involved in developing new mandates such as Executive Region 6 lab & field operations; and periodic contact with EPA purchasing officials who may identify new or modified contractual arrangements to be brought to the attention of the EMS Team.

The EPA Office of General Counsel (OGC) reviews the consolidated list of applicable legal and other requirements.  Following approval by OGC the list is finalized and retained as an EMS document.

SHEMD and SFPB are responsible for keeping the EMS Team aware of any changes in applicable legal and other requirements.  Following review by OGC, the list is revised and updated.

Records

All relevant records for the Region 6 lab & field operations EMS can be located on the Region 6 shared directories, see records section in:  A. EMS Procedure for Identifying Significant Environmental Aspects”

S:\Environmental Management Systems\

Record Location
Blank worksheet template for identifying legal and other requirements Shared drive
Final listing of legal and other requirements Shared drive
Listing of Executive Region 6 lab & field operations Shared drive

 

    Environmental Regulations for Each Identified

  1. EMS Regulatory drivers were researched and developed for all Aspects.  Below is an example of the drivers for Air Emissions:
  2. Federal Code, Clean Air Act (CAA) 42 U.S.C. 7412, section 112(r), “Prevention of Accidental Releases.”  Owner or operator of a facility at which a regulated substance is present in more than the threshold quantity must prepare, register, and implement a Risk Management Plan.
  3. EPA regulation, 40 CFR Part 68, Subpart F, “Regulated Substances for Accidental Releases” (under CAA section 112(r)): Regulated toxic and flammable substances and threshold quantities required under section 112(r) of the CAA are listed in Tables 1, 2, 3, and 4 of 40 CFR 68.130.
  4. EPA regulation, 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart Dc, “Standards of Performance for Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units.” 
  5. EPA regulation, 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F, under authority of CAA, “Recycling and Emissions Reduction”: Maintain, service, repair, and dispose of appliances without releasing class I or class II substances used as a refrigerant.
  6. EO 13148 GREENING THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH LEADERSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT:  including the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. 11001-11050) (EPCRA), the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 13101-13109) (PPA), the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q) (CAA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code.
  7. Class I Ozone-Depleting Substances: The Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, 2002

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