FPA’s Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Committee recently held its quarterly two-day meeting in Cincinnati, OH, hosted by Michelman. The regulatory issues most likely to affect the flexible packaging industry and developing comments in response to President Trump’s regulatory relief initiatives dominated the agenda.
One of the issues needing serious discussion and formulating a strategy was the U.S. EPA’s Hazardous Chemical Reporting Advisory Alert. The Alert states that facilities in the plastics industry that use plastic resins are not reporting hazardous chemicals to state and local authorities as required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Following in-depth discussions with resin suppliers and the EPA, it was determined that the Alert applied only to powdered and granulated resins and not pallets that FPA converter members use. The determination was critical to avoid non-compliance citations and fines. The EPA Guidance, published at 75 Fed. Reg. 39852, July 13, 2010, provides additional information on reporting requirements, including when palletized resins, in rare situations, may be reportable under sections 311 and 312. The U.S. EPA, interestingly, has not issued a list of hazardous chemicals subject to this reporting, but rather relies on the definition of hazardous chemical under the OSHA regulations.