CFATS Compliance

Originally implemented in 2007, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulatory program that addresses security at high-risk chemical facilities. DHS evaluates security risk based on three criteria:  Consequence – anticipated result of a successful attack on a facility Vulnerability – likelihood that an attack would be successful Threat – intent and capability of an adversary attacking the facility  DHS implements the CFATS program through a risk-tiering methodology for subject facilities. The CFATS program consists of first determining if a facility has chemicals of interest (COIs) that exceed the regulatory thresholds (applicability determination). If subject, the facility must prepare a Top-Screen Analysis (TSA), and potentially a Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) and Site Security Plan (SSP). DHS has an Expedited Approval Program to streamline SVAs and SSPs for lower risk facilities and allows facilities to develop Alternative Security Programs (ASP) as long as they meet all the SSP requirements. Trinity assists with CFATS compliance, from applicability determination through DHS Compliance Inspection. Trinity has valuable experience in each critical step of the CFATS program.  Conducting Applicability DeterminationsEvaluating facility chemicals for CFATS applicabilityPreparing threshold calculations for chemicals of interestPreparing non-applicability determinations to document the facility’s compliance statusEvaluating alternatives to opt out of the CFATS reporting requirements  Performing Top-Screen AnalysesPreparing a TSA using DHS’s Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT)Providing CSAT and Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) training guidanceEnsuring reporting consistency with other safety and environmental programs (e.g., RMP, PSM, Tier II, Toxic Release Inventory, etc.), including CFATS implications for these other programs  Preparing Security Vulnerability Assessments using CSATCharacterizing critical assetsAssessing internal, external, and internally-assisted threatsIdentifying potential security vulnerabilities and existing countermeasuresAssessing risk of an attackAnalyzing countermeasures and evaluating additional measures to lower risk  Developing Site Security Plans using CSATAddressing each vulnerability identified in the SVAEvaluating the 18 risk-based performance standards (as applicable) and developing cost-effective strategies for compliance with these standards  Preparing for and assisting with DHS Authorization and Compliance Inspections  Maintaining CFATS ComplianceUpdating existing TSAs, SVAs, and SSPsConducting mock DHS Authorization and Compliance Inspections  For assistance with CFATS applicability determinations or TSA, SVA, and SSP reporting requirements, contact Mr. Jose Orsini at (407) 982-2891 or jorsini@trinityconsultants.com, or Mr. Taylor Wilson at (913) 894-4500 or twilson@trinityconsultants.com.   

 

PSM/RMP Compliance Auditing

Compliance Audit is one of the fourteen required elements of the Process Safety Management (29 CFR 1910.119) and Risk Management Plan (40 CFR 68) Program Level 2 and Program Level 3 programs. The Process Safety Management (PSM) and Risk Management Plan (RMP) programs are intended to be self-governing regulatory programs where facility management personnel monitor internal program performance and audit their PSM and RMP program every three years. The compliance audit is typically conducted by an unbiased third-party but may also be performed in house with appropriate training and expertise. Trinity routinely supports clients in developing and implementing successful compliance audit programs.    The intent of the compliance audit is to internally assess and discover potential gaps in an organization's PSM/RMP program. It reviews PSM/RMP covered operations, documentation, and culture, and compares them against regulatory requirements, recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP), and site-specific written procedures. In short, it's a reality check of how well a facility “walks their talk” with respect to their PSM/RMP programs.   PSM/RMP Compliance Audit Scheduling and Recordkeeping   To ensure a facility stays in compliance with the requirements of the PSM/RMP standards, an appropriate audit schedule is developed from the date when the first PSM/RMP covered chemical exceeds its threshold quantity in the system. From this initial date, the facility must conduct a compliance audit within three years and every three years thereafter.    Staff should allow three to six months prior to the three-year milestone to adequately prepare for a compliance audit, to compile necessary process safety and risk management program information, hold audit project planning meetings, complete the audit, and prepare the final report. Completing the site audit two to four weeks prior to the compliance date should provide the facility the necessary time to safely finalize the audit within compliance.   A facility must keep records of the last two compliance audits on site, including a method of tracking the identified action items and their status, completion dates, and responsible party. The site should be able to demonstrate that all previous compliance audit items were addressed appropriately. Carryover action items from one compliance audit to the next could be perceived by OSHA and/or EPA as compliance violations, up to and including willful violations.   PSM/RMP Compliance Audit Preparation   While there is no one “correct” way to prepare for a compliance audit, Trinity's auditors will help ensure you have a well-planned, successful audit. Some facilities develop a “war room” or a LAN location to gather representative PSM/RMP documents and evidence for easy access to the audit team. A kickoff meeting with the auditor and site team is helpful to review the audit agenda and documents requested for review prior to the onsite work. Pre-audit meetings that discuss the audit procedure and schedule with key audit project stakeholders and affected employees will help cultivate PSM/RMP culture and a team-based approach to auditing.    Ideally all affected employees will have at least fundamental PSM/RMP awareness prior to the audit. Trinity Consultants frequently provides associated training for affected employees.    PSM/RMP Compliance Audit Approach   Trinity Consultants utilizes an optimized auditing approach, using recognized and generally accepted practices at its core. Our approach is a simple three step process that includes aligning with facility planning goals, conducting a qualified representative audit, and delivering a final report with reasonable and clear recommendations that put your facility on a path to compliance success.    We provide detailed metrics identifying key focus areas that are statistically significant to improve a facility's overall safety and compliance score. With our audit results, you will understand how to prioritize your time and resources to improve your PSM/RMP program for greatest improvement. For example, a facility may have several findings in mechanical integrity but few in process safety information.  We will address findings in a manner that maximizes resolution with minimal effort.    Trinity's auditors are respected experts in the industry with decades of PSM/RMP knowledge and experience. Our auditors have varied backgrounds and experience including PSM/RMP management, EHS management, operations, maintenance, and plant management in multiple industries such as chemical refining, oil and gas, power generation, and ammonia refrigeration. We understand that a good auditor understands equipment, operations, and people just as much as the regulations.   Trinity's auditors have supported clients on OSHA and EPA surprise inspections and have successfully worked with regulators to reduce violation status, create abatement plans, and implement recommendations from OSHA violation notices and EPA agreed orders. Trinity Consultants' auditors understand what OSHA and EPA look for and we use this valuable perspective to enhance focus and provide relevant results. We are deeply connected to PSM/RMP goals and see every compliance audit as a fresh opportunity to deliver industry best practices and meaningful results to our clients.   After the Audit: PSM/RMP Continuous Improvement   Trinity Consultants' PSM/RMP experts help build fully-compliant programs from scratch, improve existing programs, and optimize mature, successfully implemented PSM programs. We have performed hundreds of PSM and RMP audits and have represented clients successfully through multiple OSHA and EPA inspections through which we have developed an efficient process for continuous improvement of client programs.    When the audit is complete and the final report is in your hands, it is time to start resolving the findings. Using technology, we document the PSM and RMP rules, combine the rules with real-world tasks, and enable management to track and validate PSM compliance performance on a routine basis. When the next compliance audit cycle occurs, our clients are well informed, ready to audit, and typically perform better on compliance audit score results. Contact us to learn about our continuous improvement methodology.   Successful PSM/RMP Compliance Solutions   If your compliance audit is past due or if you're unsure how to address previous compliance audit recommendations, contact Trinity Consultants at 800 229-6655 or at trinityconsultants.com/ContactUs. We can assist you in developing solutions that avoid or minimize enforcement consequences from lingering audit recommendations. Our compliance auditors will work with you to find an optimal compliance solution and address the potential compliance audit issues.   If your facility is likely to carry over compliance audit recommendations to the next audit, please contact us for assistance. We can often address recommendations utilizing your existing program or by developing a solution for resolution. Carrying over unresolved compliance audit recommendations into the next audit can result in regulatory violations, fines, and a record of non-compliance for the next two audit cycles. A serious compliance situation like this is avoidable; if this situation applies to your facility, please contact us immediately for assistance.  

 

PSM/RMP Mechanical Integrity

What is Mechanical Integrity? OSHA Process Safety Management (29 CFR 1910.119(j)) and EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) Level 3 (40 CFR 68.73) define the Mechanical Integrity (MI) element as a systemized approach utilizing recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP), written procedures, and training to manage the on-going maintenance program and integrity of process equipment. EPA's RMP Program Level 2 Maintenance element (40 CFR 68.56) is almost identical in approach to the MI element and requires the facility to have a written maintenance program. EPA's RMP Program Level 1 does not require MI or maintenance programs, but you may want to consider implementing them as best practices relative to OSHA and EPA General Duty clauses.   How to Start Implementing MI Achieving MI compliance begins with an assessment of the facility's equipment and maintenance records. The following equipment is required to be included in the MI program (29 CFR 1910.119(j)(1)(ii), 40 CFR 68.73(a)):   Pressure vessels and storage tanks Piping systems (including piping components such as valves) Relief and vent systems and devices Emergency shutdown systems Controls (including monitoring devices and sensors, alarms, and interlocks) Pumps Trinity can assist in developing an inventory of existing equipment, spare parts, and components for the covered process and utilizing existing resources to streamline this process. We are fluent in computerized maintenance management software systems (CMMS) such as MP2, Maximo, and SAP and can deliver optimized solutions working within the client environment.   Industry faces major MI enforcement and implementation hurdles to demonstrate that site-specific maintenance procedures, testing, and inspections comply with RAGAGEP for their covered process equipment and instrumentation. We facilitate a thorough review of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) manuals; codes such as API, ASME, IEEE, NFPA, and IIAR; and best practices drawn from industry trade groups and Trinity's experience providing MI services nationwide. We develop a site-specific MI program that meets your current requirements and includes a strategy to maximize efficiency for planned “downtime” for the process. Building unique preventive maintenance schedules that coordinate facility production schedules, learned component duty cycles, and OEM requirements poses a challenge that Trinity is well suited to address.  Our goal is to map existing maintenance procedures, work orders, and PM inspections to the MI standard and provide a document that identifies potential gaps and recommends the best path forward for an effective MI program.  Facility management is required to assure its covered processes are built, maintained, inspected, and tested consistent with design specifications, manufacturer's instructions, and RAGAGEP, and that spare parts are managed accordingly. Trinity's approach results in an MI program designed to satisfy these required assurances for maximized safety benefits and successful agency and internal triennial PSM/RMP compliance audits .   MI Support Services   PSM/RMP Covered Process Boundary Determination and Process Equipment Inventory   Understanding the PSM/RMP applicability boundary at your facility is crucial to properly implementing the MI standard. Common questions involve whether utility systems, such as process air or cooling water, fall under the MI standard, and each case should be evaluated against its location and importance to the covered process. Trinity will review your process operations and facility siting study to assist in determining an accurate, realistic approach for PSM/RMP boundaries.  Additionally, MI cannot be properly implemented without a full inventory of what constitutes the “covered process” equipment and instrumentation. Creating this database can be a daunting challenge, for legacy operations and greenfield construction alike. Our consultants are skilled in efficiently gathering field data and inventorying covered process equipment to identify the equipment that must be addressed in the MI program.  Trinity Consultants can provide data gathering and database management solutions for numerous purposes:  Developing a comprehensive equipment and spare parts inventory for the covered process; Gathering and creating a database for technical data and specifications for covered process equipment; Labeling equipment as PSM/RMP MI in CMMS systems such as MP2, Maximo, or SAP; and Determining non-applicable equipment and documenting its basis for exclusion.   OEM and RAGAGEP Standardization   Greenfield construction, existing operations, and legacy covered process systems all require that the facility owners assure the equipment construction and inspection and testing programs comply with manufacturers' recommendations and code requirements, known as RAGAGEP. These OEM manuals, standards, and best practices must be compiled and identified for each piece of equipment in the covered process. An OSHA or EPA auditor may ask the facility maintenance department for specific PMs and the site's documentation demonstrating that those PMs are following RAGAGEP. Auditors will scrutinize the PM frequency, methodology, and tools, parts, and labor used against their expectations, derived from OEM/Code documents, historical MI implementation, field data, previous audits, and agency publications. Trinity Consultants is experienced in navigating the immense database of RAGAGEP information and providing a roadmap for compliance success.   Maintenance Procedures Technical Writing   The PSM/RMP MI standard requires covered processes to have “written procedures” for maintaining the integrity of process equipment. While many facilities have a CMMS implemented with a dedicated PM or work order system in place that defines routine maintenance tasks and activities, we often find that these work orders do not fully address the MI written procedure requirement. For facilities that do not utilize a CMMS for work orders, there is usually an even larger compliance gap for maintenance procedures. Trinity will provide your facility with the following documents that comply with PSM/RMP requirements: Written MI Administrative Program Written MI Inspection and Testing Procedures that follow RAGAGEP Written MI PM procedures for on-going integrity management Trinity Consultants has developed full written MI programs for a wide range of facilities and we have established industry best practices and standards in our approach.    Trinity Can Help Trinity Consultants leverages its combined environmental, safety, and process engineering experience to create comprehensive and well-managed PSM and RMP maintenance solutions. Our nationwide consulting staff has a generous database of best practices, lessons learned, and OSHA/EPA auditing experience to ensure we continuously add value to your process safety systems. Contact Trinity Consultants today at (800) 229-6655 to start the discussion about your process safety maintenance programs.          

 

RMP/PSM Support

Trinity serves a broad cross-section of industries with Process Safety Management (PSM) and Risk Management Program (RMP) support.  We work with clients to determine whether the facility uses any of the listed chemicals in quantities that exceed program applicability thresholds.  If so, we evaluate options to modify processes in order to opt out of the applicable program or step down to a less rigorous level (in the case of RMP).  Once program applicability is determined, we can assist with the development of the PSM/RMP applicable components - Hazard Assessment, Prevention Program, Emergency Response, and the RMPlan.   RMP Hazard Assessment The primary element of the Hazard Assessment is an off-site consequence analysis to determine the potential impact of “worst case” and “more likely” accidental release scenarios.  The worst-case analysis determines which program level is required under the rule.  Trinity's modeling and regulatory compliance experience is invaluable in helping clients determine the appropriate program level.  Depending upon the results of the worst case analysis, alternative scenario analyses may be required.     The first step in the Hazard Assessment is to identify the appropriate release scenarios based on a facility's process safety information.  An experienced risk assessor then reviews the site's operations and layout.  The scenarios should be selected by balancing the likelihood of an incident, the estimated distance to a predicted endpoint, and effective communication of actual plant risks.  Using realistic, credible analytical methods helps prevent public miscommunication.  Whatever the local concerns and type of hazards, Trinity can assist in the development of scenarios that are representative and reasonable. Prevention Program Development and Review The Prevention Program includes the most technically demanding and labor-intensive elements in a PSM/RMP program.  All of the following elements may be required in a Prevention Program:   Process safety information Process hazard analysis Operating procedures Training Mechanical integrity Management of change Pre-startup review Compliance audits Incident investigation Employee participation Hot work permit Contractor safety Emergency response (PSM) Trade Secrets (PSM only)    Trinity's staff has participated in the development, review, and implementation of all elements of the Prevention Program.  With client staff, Trinity conducts safety reviews and hazards analyses, identifies weaknesses, and makes recommendations.  If a facility has an existing program, Trinity reviews the program to ensure that it meets all legal requirements and is consistent with good engineering and management practices.  Trinity also works with the client to develop an effective, grass-roots accident prevention program if needed.  Risk Management Plan and Community Relations Once the necessary analyses have been performed and programs developed, Trinity can assist with documentation and communication of the plan, which includes completing EPA's checklist, submitting the plan, documenting the assumptions behind the analysis and program development, and communicating the results to the public.  Our experience teaching technical material, along with our experience providing expert testimony, help us communicate complex technical issues, implement public communication programs, and prepare a timely and accurate response to any issues raised as a result of the assessment.   Trinity also helps facilities ensure that they meet their requirements under the General Duty clause to provide employees with an environment that is free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.   Finally, Trinity offers turnkey chemical safety program services for industrial clients in the following areas:   Tracking applicable regulatory developments PSM/RMP applicability determinations Assisting with preparation and implementation of prevention program elements Conducting program audits including required triennial regulatory compliance audits Facilitating Process Hazard Analyses (PHAs) for existing and new operations Conducting off-site consequence analysis (OCA) modeling Preparing the Risk Management Plan, updates and submittals Training personnel on PSM/RMP elements and program execution Assisting clients during agency inspections and meetings   For assistance, please contact Natalie VanLiew at (913) 894-4509 x110 or nvanliew@trinityconsultants.com.  

 

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)

Reporting of toxic chemical releases is integral to regulatory compliance, enhancing company image, as well as being an environmental steward of surrounding communities. Trinity has conducted chemical release estimates for thousands of facilities, some with complex processes involving complicated chemical reactions, physical manipulations, and dozens of waste streams. We utilize many resources to determine the most appropriate release estimation method for each chemical, including information developed by EPA, industry organizations, and equipment manufacturers. We also develop custom chemical release tracking and reporting tools that are consistent with the complexity of the site and the budget of the client. Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA, or Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986) requires submission of the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) report every July 1. Trinity assists with TRI reporting by conducting a chemical-by-chemical threshold determination to confirm reporting applicability, and then assembling the required information to develop media by media release estimates for each chemical considering the variables unique to each site/chemical combination. In addition to TRI reports, Trinity also assists clients with Tier II Chemical Inventory reporting, and emergency release notifications required under CERCLA/EPCRA including continuous release reporting.   More information can be found at the following services pages: Emissions Reporting   Emissions Monitoring  

 

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting

Watch TRI Reporting Webinar Now! Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting Update and Common Errors Learn the latest regulatory updates, best practices and common mistakes made when reporting. This is the one report you want to get right - the first time!       TRI Reporting Overview: Reporting of toxic chemical releases is integral to regulatory compliance, enhancing company image, as well as being an environmental steward of surrounding communities. Trinity has conducted chemical release estimates for thousands of facilities, some with complex processes involving complicated chemical reactions, physical manipulations, and dozens of waste streams. We utilize many resources to determine the most appropriate release estimation method for each chemical, including information developed by EPA, industry organizations, and equipment manufacturers. We also develop custom chemical release tracking and reporting tools that are consistent with the complexity of the site and the budget of the client. Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA, or Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986) requires submission of the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) report every July 1. Trinity assists with TRI reporting by conducting a chemical-by-chemical threshold determination to confirm reporting applicability, and then assembling the required information to develop media by media release estimates for each chemical considering the variables unique to each site/chemical combination. In addition to TRI reports, Trinity also assists clients with Tier II Chemical Inventory reporting, and emergency release notifications required under CERCLA/EPCRA including continuous release reporting.   More information can be found at the following services pages: Emissions Reporting   Emissions Monitoring