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EHS Regulatory Questions

New Jersey DEP Air Programs

Do I need an air permit?
Any equipment or source operation that may emit one or more air contaminants, except carbon dioxide (CO2), directly or indirectly into the outdoor air and belongs to one of the categories listed below, is a significant source, unless it is exempted from being a significant source pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.2(c)(d)(e)(f).  


What is a general permit?
NJDEP has established a list of specific equipment for which expedited permitting is available.  If the piece of equipment matches the requirements, permits are available as soon as the fee is paid (which can be done online via credit card).  General permits (or GPs) are available for the following equipment types:

How do I renew an air permit?
All permits issued by NJDEP have a 5-year lifespan.  Within a few months of the expiration of your permit, the DEP will mail to your facility a renewal invoice.  Once this invoice is paid, a permit is considered “renewed”.


How do I cancel an air permit?
If the permitted source is removed or sufficiently dismantled (i.e., "rendered inoperable") prior to its renewal period, then a permit termination form, signed by the facility's Responsible Official, should be sent to the appropriate regional enforcement office, stating the reason for cancellation along with the permit activity number and the Facility ID.


What is 'RADIUS'?
RADIUS is a software program utilized by the NJDEP for the submission of air permit applications, modifications/ammendments, as well as emission statements.


What is a 'HAP'?
A HAP, or Hazardous Air Pollutant, is a toxic chemical that has lasting detrimental effects on humans and/or the environment.  Emissions of any HAP above the reporting threshold requires the facility to report that HAP on the relevant air permit.  

Do I need to complete an Emission Statement?
The New Jersey DEP requires emission data from all facilities that emit or have the potential to emit greater than or equal to the following thresholds:

  • 5 tons per year (TPY) of Lead

  • 10 TPY of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)

  • 25 TPY of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

  • 100 TPY of any of the following - CO, NH3, PM2.5, PM10, SO2, or TSP


Would applying for a new air permit trigger a "red flag" or place my facility under more scrutiny from the DEP enforcement group?
No.  The permitting group and the enforcement group are independent of each other and applications submitted to the permitting group are not specifically put in front of enforcement.  Ongoing issues, ongoing enforcement actions, or other unique circumstances at a site may affect this general policy; however, if an air permit issue exists, it is clearly advisable to proactively address it.


What is a netting analysis?
A netting analysis is a calculation conducted in order to determine if the maximum allowable emissions stated in a permit application would result in a net emission increase or significant net emission increase of certain air contaminants.

How do I know if my facility needs to complete a netting analysis?
If your facility is a Title V facility as defined by N.J.A.C. 7:27- 22 and has an operating permit modification that will require an emission increase or if your facility is applying for a general operating permit, then a netting analysis is required. 

Is there a standardized method to complete a netting analysis?
Yes, the DEP has an electronic Netting Analysis Tool (eNAT), which is a Microsoft Excel based spreadsheet with instructions and easy to follow layout in order to perform the calculation. 

Does Baron have experience with Title V air permits and the subsequent requirements?
Yes, we have multiple clients who rely on our services to navigate the requirements of their Title V permits.  We are happy to provide references upon request.

SPCC and DPCC Programs

Do I need a U.S. EPA SPCC Plan?
If your facility has greater than 1,320 gallons of combined aboveground storage capacity (in containers or tanks of 55 gallons or more) or greater than 42,000 gallons of underground storage capacity then it requires an Spill, Preventon, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan.  


What is the New Jersey 'DPCC' program?
Unlike the Federal U.S. EPA SPCC program that focuses on oil and petroleum products, the New Jersey DPCC program (Discharge Prevention, Containment, and Countermeasure) focuses on all "hazardous substances" and not just oils.  New Jersey DEP provides the listing of DPCC regulated substances within Appendix A of N.J.A.C. 7:1E.

Does the DPCC program apply to my facility?
This program applies to a facility that has either: a storage capacity of 20,000 gallons or more of hazardous substances other than pertroleum or petroleum products; or a storage capacity of 200,000 gallons or more for hazardous substances including petroleum and non-petroleum products. 


Are synthetic oils included in SPCC?
Yes.  As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR 112), the SPCC definition of oil means "oil of any kind or in any form, including but not limited to fats, oils, or greases of animal, fish, or marine mammal origin; vegetable oils, including oils from seeds, nuts, fruits, or kernels; and, other oils and greases, including petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, synthetic oils, mineral oils, oil refuse, or oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil."  [Excerpt of the SPCC rule.]


Do I need to complete a monthly inspection for the month I complete the annual inspection?
Yes.  The regulations for both programs require that there be 12 monthly inspections and one, supplemental annual inspection.


STI SP001 vs API 653?
The Steel Tank Institute (STI) SP001 and the American Petroleum Institute (API) 653 are two industry standards for performing tank integrity tests as required for both the SPCC and DPCC programs.  Of the two, API is typically more intensive and the requirements include increased level of internal inspections.


EPCRA & Right to Know Programs

What is a CRTK (Community Right to Know) or Tier II report?
Community Right to Know is the collection, process, and dissemination of chemical inventories for the public, emergency planners, and first responders to determine the chemical hazards in a community.  In NJ, this report is known as the Community Right to Know or cRTK.  In most other states, it is called a Tier II report.


Do I need to complete a U.S. EPA TRI report?
Yes, if all three of the following criteria are met: 

1. If you are in a covered TRI industry sector

2. If you have ten or more full time equivalent employees (equivalent of 20,000 hours)

3. If you manufacture or process more than 25,000 lbs. of a TRI-listed chemical, or otherwise use 10,000 lbs. of a listed chemical in a given year.


Do I need to complete a NJDEP RPPR report?
In New Jersey, if a facility is required to complete a TRI report for any one chemical, then it must also complete an RPPR report for any TRI-listed chemical that is manufactured, imported, processed or otherwise used (or some combination thereof) in excess of 10,000 lbs.


What is a Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan Summary?
The P2 plan summary is a 5 year outline of goals, set by a facility, to reduce the use and releases of those substances reported under the TRI requirements.  It defines each process at the facility with which a TRI reportable substance is associated, and identifies hazardous substance usage, pollution prevention options, technical and economic feasibility, and five-year numerical goals for pollution prevention for each chemical.  There is no penalty for failing to reach any set goals, and there is no minimum reduction required.


If I submit a TRI Form A, am I still required to submit an RPPR report and P2 plan summary?

A facility that submits a Form A is still required to submit an RPPR report and P2 Plan summary for all hazardous substances manufactured/processed/otherwise used over the reporting threshold.  The only exception applies to the submittal of P2 Plans: If the sum of hazardous substances generated as non-product output (NPO) and shipped in product is 500 lbs. or less, those substances are required to be reported in Section B of the RPPR but are exempt from P2 Planning.

What are PFAS?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFAS can be found in food packaging, firefighting foams, stain/grease repellent products, and a wide range of industrial processes.

What do we know about PFAS?

Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans.

When did PFAS become reportable within the EPA's TRI program?
Section 7321(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA) added 172 PFAS to the TRI List of Reportable Chemicals, with a 100-pound "manufacturing, processing, and otherwise used" reporting threshold that became effective on January 1, 2020.

Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA)

What is ISRA?
The Industrial Site Recovery Act or ISRA is a program that requires owners of facilities with certain industrial classifications to investigate and remediate any potential environmental contamination prior to property transfers when the business ceases operations or is sold.  The NAICS codes that are subject to this program can be found in N.J.A.C. 7:26B, Appendix C.


What events trigger the ISRA program?
Any time a facility/business with a regulated NAICS code ceases operations or is sold to an outside entity, a General Information Notice (GIN) must be submitted to the NJDEP identifying entry into the ISRA Program.  The ISRA regulations list 15 triggers that require a GIN to be submitted within 5 days of the triggering occurrence. 


What is a General Information Notice (GIN)?
The General information notice, or GIN is the form that must be submitted to the NJDEP within 5 days of an ISRA triggering event.  The GIN form begins the ISRA process for a facility or business and contains information such as site location,, NAICS code, date and type of trigger, date of eventual transaction or closure and other pertinent information.

If my site is closing what are the potential steps of a full ISRA process?
The first item to be completed as part of the ISRA process is the submittal of the GIN form to the NJDEP.  Following this submittal, a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) Retention form must be submitted detailing who the LSRP is that will be completing the subsequent ISRA work.  Following this, a Preliminary Assessment Report (PAR) must be completed by the LSRP, identifying all Areas of Concern at the facility and assessing the potential for negatively impacting the environment. As deemed necessary by the LSRP, a Site Investigation Report is completed that would include sampling of one or more of the Areas of Concern from the PAR.  If any samples are above permissible limits, Site Remediation would follow.

Waste Management Programs

Is my facility a large quantity generator of hazardous waste?
If your facility generates 1,000 kilograms or more of hazardous waste (HW) per month, more than 1 kilogram of acutely hazardous waste per month, or more than 100 kilograms of acute spill residue or soil per month, it is considered a Large Quantity Generator (LQG).

How do I qualify as a Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG)?
If your facility generates no more than 220 lbs. of hazardous waste and less than 2.2 lbs. of acute hazardous waste in one month, it is considered to be a Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG). There are three requirements that must be met for a facility to remain a VSQG:

  • Identify all generated hazardous waste

  • Store no more than 2,200 lbs of hazardous waste on site.

  • Ensure delivery of hazardous waste to an off-site treatment or disposal facility that is state or federally regulated to manage, treat, store, dispose, use or reuse hazardous waste.

Do I need to file a hazardous waste report?
LQG facilities must file a biennial hazardous waste report by March 1st of even numbered years for the previous calendar year.  


What is universal waste?
There are 5 types of Universal Waste:  batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, lamps, and aerosol cans. 


Is my facility a large quantity handler of universal waste?
If your facility accumulates 5,000 kg or more of universal waste onsite, then it is considered a Large Quantity Handler of universal waste.

How do I label and store universal waste?
Universal waste needs to be placed in an appropriate container and labeled as is shown below:

  • Fluorescent light bulbs are stored into a closed box and labeled “Used light bulbs” along with the date the first light bulb was placed into the box.  The box must be sent for recycling within one year of the date.

  • Used oil must be stored in a closed container.  The container should be labeled “Used oil” and dated with the first day that oil was placed in the container. The container must be sent for recycling within one year of the date.

  • Batteries must be placed into a leak proof container and labeled “Used batteries” along with the date the first battery was placed in the box.  The batteries must be sent for recycling within one year of the date.  Alkaline batteries are not considered universal waste and may be disposed in general facility trash. 

Stormwater Programs

Does my facility qualify for the NJ 5G2 General Stormwater Permit?
This general permit is available to regulated industrial facilities that have eliminated or can eliminate within 6 months of authorization, all exposure of industrial materials or activities to stormwater discharges (rainfall and snowmelt waters).  Exposure may be eliminated by covering the materials or activities or by moving materials or activities indoors.

What is an Individual Stormwater Permit?
If your facility is not capable of eliminating exposure of materials and/or activities to stormwater discharges then an Individual Stormwater Permit should be obtained.  Individual Permits can be obtained according to industry type and require a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SPPP) as well as a drainage control plan.  These plans can also require stormwater sampling at strategic locations.

When do I need to submit an Annual Certification for Stormwater?
The Annual Certification, which includes confirmation that the facility has completed its annual inspection and annual training is due in the quarter that is assigned via the NJDEP on the Authorization to Discharge.

Do I need to complete a monthly inspection the same month I complete the annual inspection?
Yes.  The regulations require that there be 12 monthly inspections completed as well as a supplemental annual inspection.  


Does my facility qualify for a No Exposure Certification?
If one or more of the following requirements can be met and is verified by the DEP then a facility is eligible for a No Exposure Certification:

  • If the entire facility is paved and all stormwater from the site is discharged to a combined sewer (carrying sanitary and storm waterwater to a municipal treatment plant.

  • If the facility has an existing NJPDES permit authorizing discharge of all of its stormwater to groundwater and or surface waters.

  • All industrial materials are stored and/or all industrial activites are performed (with limited exceptions) inside a permanent building or permanent structure that is anchored to a permanent foundation and that is completely roofed and walled.

  • All industrial activity has ceased and no "Significant Material" remains exposed to stormwater.

  • The business is in category viii (SIC Code 40-45 (except 4221-4225) and 5171) and is not involved in vehicle maintenance, equipment cleaning operations, or airport deicing operations

  • Other circumstances not listed above but that, upon request, receive departmental approval).

Environmental, Health & Safety Training Programs

Is annual Hazard Communication training required by OSHA?
In accordance with the training component of the Hazard Communication standard found at 29CFR1910.1200(h)(1), training is required upon employment and any time chemicals are changed or added to the workplace.  It is Baron’s recommendation that all employers train on an annual basis.

What training is needed for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SPPP)?
The SWPPP team members will receive training on their permit requirements, possible source materials at the workplace, what best management practices (BMPs) are covered in the plan, and what type of inspections are required. There will also be general training about what stormwater pollution is and how to minimize exposure. 

If my facility has DPCC, SPCC, and SPPP plans, does my facility need training for each program?
Each program does require its own specific, annual refresher training.  However, Baron is able to combine the trainings for each program into one training session to make it more convenient for the facility.  

Safety Programs

What are the most frequent OSHA violations?
Historically, the most common OSHA violations are Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.501) followed by Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200) and Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134).  This list is published by OSHA to allow for employers to identify and fix hazards before they result in injuries.

What are the maximum civil penalties that can be imposed by OSHA?
OSHA penalties are based on the severity of the violation including if the violation has resulted in an injury or if it is a repeat violation.  Below summarizes the maximum civil penalties OSHA may impose.​

  • Penalty Maximum for OSHA category of "Serious": $16,131 per violation

  • Penalty Maximum for OSHA category of "Other-Than-Serious": $16,131 per violation

  • Penalty Maximum for OSHA category of "Failure to Abate": $16,131 per day beyond the abatement date

  • Penalty Maximum for OSHA category of "Willful or Repeat": $161,323 per violation

It should be noted that in 2023 OSHA initiated an Instance-by-Instance Citation policy that allows citations for each employee exposed to the violation.  As an example, if you have a Serious Violation for respiratory protection and there are 20 employees participating in the program, a citation for 20 (employees) x $16,131 (citation/violation) = $322,620 may be issued.

What is meant by a “Willful” violation?
OSHA defines a Willful Violation as a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with the regulatory requirement or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.  An example would be an employer who is notified of a serious safety risk but does nothing about it.

How often do I have to train my employees?
Training cadence is program-dependent.  Note that when an OSHA standard requires training be “conducted at least annually”, it is interpreted to mean employees must be retrained every 12 months.​ 

An OSHA inspector comes to my facility, what should I do?
If an OSHA Compliance Officer comes to your facility, ask for their credentials and the reason for their visit.  Employers must consent to the inspection.  

Baron has senior EHS professionals that are experienced with interacting with regulatory personnel during inspections, walk-throughs, and hearings.  As part of Baron’s Long-Term Support Services, Baron would provide onsite support in the event of a regulatory inspection.

How do I determine if an injury or illness is work related?
In accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1904, work-related classification considers whether the injury or illness was “either caused by or contributed to the resulting condition, or significantly aggravated a pre-existing” condition. Documenting an employee’s work activities and exposures to workplace hazards is essential to properly classify an injury or illness.

How often should our H&S Program be reviewed/updated?
H&S Programs should be evaluated on an annual basis as a best practice, and whenever a change in process, equipment, or materials is implemented.  In addition, if a serious injury or incident occurs, the associated program should be evaluated and improvements should be identified to prevent recurrence.

What is a hazard assessment?
A hazard assessment is a way to determine what hazards are present in a workplace. If hazards are present or likely to be present, and cannot be engineered out of a process, a personal protective equipment (PPE) program must be developed.  Possible hazards in a workplace include, but are not limited to: excessive noise, extreme heat/cold, chemicals, and/or possible impacts such as falling objects, operating tools or machinery. A list of PPE that may be appropriate for certain situations can be found in 29 CFR Part 1910.132. 


When must OSHA be notified of an accident or illness to an employee?
An employer is required to contact OSHA within 8 hours of being notified of an employee death that may be work related.  If an employee suffers an inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye in a work related incident, the employer must contact OSHA within 24 hours.  OSHA may be contacted by calling the local office, the OSHA central toll-free phone number at (800) 321-6742 or by filling out an electronic form located on OSHA’s web site  Reporting is required on weekends and holidays.

Industrial Hygiene

What is Industrial Hygiene and what does Baron Environmental provide?
The Industrial Hygiene profession focuses on anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, preventing, and controlling a wide variety of hazards to human health and safety in the workplace. 


Our Baron Industrial Hygiene Professionals develop hazard exposure assessments for workplace environments, and deliver practical solutions to address identified hazards, protecting the safety and well-being of employees. Among the Industrial Hygiene services we provide are:​

  • Exposure risk assessments

  • Industrial Hygiene program development for construction and general industry

  • Personal and area noise monitoring, development of Hearing Conservation Programs, PPE selection, and training

  • Personal and area air monitoring

  • Indoor Air Quality Assessments

  • Respirator hazard analyses, program development, respirator selection, fit testing, and training

  • Personal Protective Equipment certified evaluations, program development, PPE selection, and training

  • Ergonomic assessments

  • Safety Data Sheet Authoring for intermediates and finished products

  • X-ray compliance with registration, radiation program development, and training

  • Chemical-Specific OSHA Standards (e.g., Formaldehyde) compliance assistance and program development

When is respiratory protection necessary?

If a facility is experiencing contaminated or oxygen deficient air and engineering controls cannot combat these issues, then respiratory protection is required. Additionally, a respiratory protection written program is required when respirators are used in the workplace. 

When is a hearing conversation program necessary?
When employees are exposed to noise at or above the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit of 85 dB.   Employees covered by a hearing conservation program must receive annual training and be provided with a baseline and annual audiogram.  They are also required to wear hearing protection in the work area when a Time Weighted Average (TWA) of 90 dB or above is recorded. 


What is the difference between the OSHA PEL and ACGIH TLV data?
OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) and ACGIH’s Threshold Limit Values are both 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) limits for employee exposure to certain chemical compounds within the workplace.  OSHA’s PELs which are published at 29CFR1910.1000 Table Z1 (see them here) are based on recommendations that were made by ACGIH in 1968 although a few have been updated more recently.  ACGIH’s TLVs are an estimate of the known toxicity in humans or animals and are reviewed on a frequent basis.  With one notable exception (methylene chloride), TLVs are all equal to or lower than PELs.  OSHA PELs have regulatory status as they are published and enforced by OSHA.

Miscellaneous NJDEP Questions

What are the most frequently cited violations from the NJDEP?
The most frequently cited violation from NJDEP over the past five years has been failure of Stage II vapor recovery systems on dispensing systems at fuel stations.  The most frequently cited violations at industrial facilities are as follows (in order from most cited to least):​

  • Exceeding a specific air emission limit (typically during a stack test);

  • Various issues around stack testing for air emissions;

  • Violation of a facility specific operating condition found in an air permit;

  • Failing to label or date hazardous waste containers appropriately;

  • Violations of requirements associated with the operation of a control device such as a scrubber, baghouse, oxidizer etc.;

  • Failing to conduct required DPCC inspections;

  • Violations of conducting required air monitoring as specified by an air permit(s);

  • Failing to submit (or not submitting in a timely manner) annual reports in the air program such as Emission Statements or Annual Batch or Pilot Plant reports.

  • Failing to follow labeling and storage requirements for universal waste.


What is the NJDEP Stewardship initiative?
This is a recognition program established by the Compliance & Enforcement group that is designed to encourage facilities to improve environmental performance.  Enforcement officers will review a questionnaire at each compliance evaluation to determine if a facility is eligible.  There is no penalty for a facility that is not participating or ineligible.

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