The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) adopted new regulations (40 CFR part 1604) for reporting releases of hazardous materials, effective March 23, 2020. Under the new regulation, businesses must report any spills or releases that result in a death, serious injury, or substantial property damage to CSB within 8 hours. For those who have been following this issue, this is a change from the proposed regulation, which required reporting within 4 hours. Where applicable, multiple owners or operators may provide a consolidated report to CSB, as long as all reporting requirements are met. This initial report can be revised as needed for a 30 day period following the release. See https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/21/2020-02418/accidental-release-reporting for more information.
What needs to be reported
The report should contain the following:
If a report has already been made to the National Response Center (NRC) due to 40 CFR 302.6 reporting requirements and additional report does not need to be made to the CSB. Instead the CSB reporting requirement may be satisfied by submitting the NRC identification number to the CSB within 30 minutes of submitting a report to the NRC.
Why are these requirements needed
The CSB was required to create accidental release reporting requirements as part of Clean Air Act A(CAA) amendments in 1990. Initial rulemaking was started, but never completed and instead, CSB has relied on existing EPA release reporting requirements for notification. The current rulemaking originates from a recent lawsuit from environmental groups that led to a court order for the CSB to create a new release reporting regulation by 2020.
Note that the CSB reporting requirements apply to spills or releases that result in a death, serious injury, or substantial property damage and state or local regulators may have lower thresholds for release reporting or require notification for spills that do not need to be reported to the CSB or NRC.
If you have any questions about this, or any other environmental or workplace safety requirements, please contact us at [email protected].
– James Kapin, MPH, CIH, CSP
Director of EM Services