Regulatory Puzzle

OSHA, HMTA, & Other Federal Laws

This Tour provides a brief review of: OSHA, HMTA, FFDCA, CDTA the ESA, and NEPA.   Plus - at the end - there is an even briefer mention of other laws that might be of interest.
OSHA - The Occupational Safety and Health Act.

A full review of OSHA requirements is beyond the scope of this manual. However, there are three OSHA requirements that particularly dovetail with environmental regulations:

  1. Hazard Communication Standard (Worker Right-to-Know)
  2. Process Safety Management Standard
  3. Hazardous waste operations and emergency response rule

1.  Hazard Communication Standard (Worker Right-to-Know)

Law:  OSHA Section 6
Regulation:  29 CFR 1910.1200

The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is intended to insure that workers are informed about workplace chemical hazards.  You are required to develop a hazards communication program that includes: identifying hazardous chemicals used, labeling containers, maintaining an information site for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), and training  workers in chemical safety.  The MSDS must also be made available to customers.

2.  Process Safety Management Standard

Law:  OSHA Sections 6; CAA Section 304
Regulation:  29 CFR 1910.119

The process safety management (PSM) standard is designed to prevent or minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable and explosive chemicals. The PSM rule requires employers subject to the rule to have an emergency action plan which specifies the procedures for reporting fires and emergencies.

3.  Hazardous waste operations and emergency response rule

Law:  OSHA Sections 6; SARA Sections 126
Regulation:  29 CFR 1910.120

This rule is intended to limit the possibility of employee exposure to safety or health hazards as a result of hazardous waste operations. The rule covers, among other things, emergency response operations for releases or threat of releases. Covered employers must develop an emergency response plan which includes emergency alerting and response procedures.

HMTA - The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act

A full review of HMTA requirements is beyond the scope of this manual. 

Law: HMTA, 42 USC 1801-1812
Regulation:  49 CFR 171-180

Under the HMTA, chemical manufacturers and transporters must comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations covering shipment preparation, packaging, labeling, handling, loading and unloading, routing, emergency and security planning, incident notifications, and liability insurance.  Covered substances include RCRA hazardous materials, as well as additional materials designated by DOT.

FFDCA - The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

A full review of FFDCA requirements is beyond the scope of this manual.

Law: FFDCA, 21 USC 321 to 394
Regulation: CFR Title 21

The FFDCA is the basic food and drug law in the U.S.  The law is administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is intended to assure that foods are pure and wholesome, safe to eat, and produced under sanitary conditions; that drugs and devices are safe and effective for their intended uses; that cosmetics are safe and made from appropriate ingredients; and that labeling and packaging is truthful, informative, and not deceptive.   Under the FFDCA, chemicals that are food additives; food packaging materials; colorants in food, drugs, or cosmetics; or drugs must be determined to be safe by the FDA prior to approval.

CDTA- Chemical Diversion and Trafficking Act

Law: FCSA, 21 USC 802
Regulation: CFR Title 21, 1310 and 1313

The Chemical Diversion and Trafficking Act (CDTA) was enacted in 1988 as Subtitle A of the Anti-Drug Abuse Amendments of 1988 (codified as amendments to the Federal Controlled Substances Act). CDTA establishes record-keeping and reporting requirements and authorizes enforcement activities for domestic and international transactions in designated precursor and essential chemicals. Chemicals may be added or deleted under standard Federal rule making procedures. CDTA applies to any individual or legal entity that manufactures, distributes domestically, imports, or exports any of the listed chemicals. The Act makes the unauthorized trade in these listed chemicals equivalent to trafficking in illegal drugs. Each chemical has been assigned a threshold amount, by volume or weight, or a threshold number of monthly transactions. Once the threshold has been reached or exceeded, regulated individuals and entities must comply with Federal record keeping, reporting, and identification requirements.

ESA - The Endangered Species Act

A full review of ESA requirements is beyond the scope of this manual. 

Law: ESA Section 9
Regulation:  50 CFR 17, 50 CFR 222

Under the ESA, it is unlawful for any person to "take" an endangered or threatened species of fish or wildlife. A "taking" can include habitat modification which injures or kills members of an endangered species.

NEPA - The National Environmental Policy Act

A full review of NEPA requirements is beyond the scope of this manual.

Law: NEPA Section 102
Regulation: 40 CFR 1500-1508

NEPA requires that federal agencies prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) of proposed actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. In principle, it is the federal agency that must comply with NEPA. However, issuance of a permit or license by a federal agency can potentially be an action significantly affecting the environment. Thus in practice a private corporation might become involved in gathering evidence or preparing an EIS as a result of the permit or licensing requests it makes.

It should be noted that several states have state-level NEPA requirements. Again, although these mini-NEPAs are in principle applied to state agencies, in practice a private company may become involved in preparation of the state-level EIS for action related to obtaining a construction or other permit.

What ELSE?

We've tried to focus on the key laws that will affect your operations.  A few  additional federal laws that should only rarely be relevant are as follows (see the Background link for details):

  • Atomic Energy Act (radioactive waste)
  • Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (ocean dumping)
  • Noise Control Act
  • Various additional wildlife and conservation laws
  • Various historic and cultural resources laws


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