transcript  TURA Program Orientation

[Rachel Massey] I'm Rachel Massey. I'm on the staff at the Toxics Use Reduction Institute. And so, for starters, we just wanted to briefly review the goals that were written into the original law.

So, there are six of them. The first was a statewide goal of reducing toxic waste generated by 50 percent, using toxics use reduction as the means of meeting that goal. And that goal was actually achieved in the early years of the program.

The other five goals that were written into the original law are all ongoing goals that we keep referring back to over time. So, the next one is to sustain, safeguard, and promote the competitive advantage of Massachusetts businesses. Next, there's a goal of promoting reductions in the production and use of toxic and hazardous substances. This is, you know, for anybody who works in the TURA program, this is a core value that we keep going back to. Next is to enhance and strengthen the enforcement of existing environmental laws and regulations. And then there's another goal of establishing toxics use reduction as the preferred means for achieving compliance with other federal or state laws. And finally, there was a goal of promoting coordination and cooperation among state departments and agencies working on toxics related issues. And that goal is embodied in the formation of the Administrative Council, which brings together agency heads or their designees from all the state agencies that are working in some way on toxics.

And then just briefly, I think this is familiar probably to everyone here, there are certain core principles of toxic use reduction, and the key is that we're always thinking about ways to reduce toxics at the source. and looking for opportunities to eliminate or reduce hazard. So, this is a primary prevention approach. We're not looking to clean up toxic chemical pollution at the end of pipe. We're not looking to diagnose and treat environmental diseases. We're looking to, you know, go up upstream to the, to the origin and find ways to prevent pollution and prevent preventable disease. And this little inverted triangle shows the different ways that you can deal with toxic wastes. And at the top is source reduction, and so that's, you know, that's where toxics use reduction belongs. And then just, very briefly, about the TURA Program: So, who reports under TURA? Well, TURA applies to businesses that operate in certain SIC codes, and that use more than a specified threshold of toxic chemicals- -- which in most cases is either 25,000 pounds if they're manufacturing or processing the chemical, or 10,000 pounds if they're otherwise using the chemical. There are also lower thresholds in some cases, as we'll discuss. It applies to facilities that have 10 or more full-time employee equivalents. And the current filing universe is in the range between 400 and 500 facilities. Businesses that are subject to TURA are required to do three things: they have to report on their chemical use each year, they have to pay an annual fee, and then they have to conduct toxic use reduction planning every two years. And that planning element is really a key core of the program. And just as a reminder, I think everyone knows this, but, you know, the focus is on planning, and there are no chemical bans under TURA.

This slide just shows you a little snapshot of the sectors that are covered under TURA. This is from 2017, and you can just see in this pie chart that chemical manufacturing is, you know, one of the relatively large slices. and then fabricated metal product manufacturing is another. And then, you know, there are lots of other sectors here -- there's paper manufacturing, food manufacturing, plastics and rubber products manufacturing, and lots of other things. And, you know, again, as we get into more depth over subsequent meetings, we may be talking in more depth about about these sector breakdowns.

Okay, and now I'm passing it off to Liz.

[Liz Harriman] All right, thanks, Rachel.

So, this is just another quick image, so, it's an overview of reporting by filers over the history of the program, from 1990 to 2018. The green bar in the back shows the number of Form S's. So, that's how many chemical reports have been filed by all filers in that year. You'll note there's a drop-off in 2006 with more than some 400 Form S's, and that was due to the amendments. I'll mention that in a minute. The maroon bar in the middle is the number of filers each year, and then the gray bar in the front is the number of different chemicals reported in any given year.

So, TURA through the years. If we were all in the room together, then I'd look around and try to see, you know, who's been here since the early days of the program, but because we're we're remote we'll just move right through this and try to put everybody on an even footing. So, since the beginning, TURA has been about continuous improvement and stakeholder input. We've done program evaluations. We've had one major set of legislative changes. And I'm just going to go through a quick review of some of those major efforts.

So, the bill passed in 1989. It was implemented and the first reports were due for 1990. In 1997, TURI did a program evaluation. We had consultants do a survey. One of the major results of that effort was documentation of the overall economic impact of the TURA program from 1990 to 1997, which showed a 14 million dollar savings as a result of implementing tur practices in industry. And that did not include any of the human health and ecological benefits or benefits to non-TURA firms, or other sort of difficult-to-monetize benefits.

Then in 1998 and '99, there was a Pollution Prevention Blue Ribbon Panel put in place by the Secretary of EEA. And that panel was charged with examining the state government's ability to promote pollution prevention and to examine TURA's role. And that put together a large stakeholder group, and the final report envisioned a new statute to promote and reward continuous environmental improvement to improve existing regs, to promote pollution prevention and resource conservation, and also a non-regulatory initiative to encourage improved environmental performance. There were differences of opinion on the panel, and there was a minority report submitted by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts. One of the things they noted was an objection to the mandatory use and byproduct right-to-know data reporting. So I just -- as that panel noted, there was a big movement around this time for -- to begin having voluntary programs that encourage businesses to adopt business practices that improve environmental performance. There was a big focus on environmental management systems. And this was throughout industry and the federal and state governments. So, Massachusetts also got involved in that.

And in 2003, EEA launched an Environmental Stewardship Program, which offered a suite of benefits in exchange for commitments and participation in the program. It did engage some companies, but it didn't really take off. Shortly after that, the legislature began talking about updating the TURA act, and so there were bills filed to revamp and strengthen TURA, and that was the starting point for deliberations on updating TURA. Senator Resor at the time convened a stakeholder working group, and the result was the 2006 amendments.

So, I'm just going to give some highlights from the 2006 amendments. It was a fairly major effort to update the program and to address some issues that, you know, had either accumulated over time or that had been identified.

So, some of those were about streamlining reporting and planning -- trying to get as much alignment with the federal TRI as possible. So, things like exempting toxics and fuel oil, except where it's used to produce electricity. We eliminated the automatic 10,000 pound threshold and that reduced some 400 Form S's in that next reporting year. So, that was a provision in the original law where, if you hit either threshold -- for manufacturing/processed, or otherwise used -- then you had to report all listed chemicals that you used over 10,000 pounds. We also  -- there were some other provisions. For example, we eliminated the BRI, the byproduct reduction index and the emissions reduction index from the production unit-level reporting, and made some other changes there. The escalating late fee was eliminate,  replaced with a flat $1000 late fee. And also, there was a provision put in place, as had been discussed at the Blue Ribbon Panel, around resource conservation. So, facilities felt like they weren't necessarily getting the benefit every two years after they've done a number of planning cycles. And so a provision was put in place where, every other planning cycle, companies could do resource conservation planning around energy, water, materials, or other toxics -- other chemicals and materials, oe they could integrate their TUR planning into their environmental management system. And so those planning options began in 2008. And also, the Advisory Committee, which had waned a little bit, was restructured and reinvigorated, and it's been going strong ever since.

So,another effort that had begun in 1999 was the Science Advisory Board's work to categorize the chemical list. To try to say, you know, these chemicals aren't all exactly the same -- some of them are much more hazardous than others. And so they used an expert judgment method, and they had gone through and identified a list of more hazardous substances and less hazardous substances out of that entire list. But their work didn't have any regulatory implications  -- it was just guidance for the program and for companies. And so the 2006 amendments put in place the authority to categorize the list into Higher Hazard and Lower Hazard Substances, as many as 10 per year. And the Higher Hazard have lower reporting thresholds, of a thousand pounds, and the Lower Hazard chemicals do not have any per chemical fee. So, that sort of a made a regulatory obligation out of the Higher and Lower Hazard Chemicals, whereas before that had just been a guidance effort. There were some other provisions around the chemical list. We were charged with reviewing the CERCLA list of chemicals and seeing whether they should remain on the list. The sab did a very extensive review of of the many chemicals that were on that list, and then the end result was that the council delisted a few, but decided to leave most of them on, even though a good number of them were not being reported.

Also, we updated the Priority User Segment and tied that back to the Higher Hazard Substance categorization, thinking that that would make that provision more useful. As most of you know, that has not been used since that provision was put in place. It also authorized the Administrative Council to go through and review the fee structure and consider making changes. So, the program and the Advisory Committee did that process. There was a study completed in 2014, regulations were proposed, but those changes were never adopted.S

So, now we're back to 2008 and we're going to do another program evaluation, and I'm going to shift it back to Rachel, who was in charge of that.

[Rachel Massey] Okay, so yeah, very briefly, there have been two kind-of large-scale program assessments. This is in addition to the assessment that we do every year where we're looking at the data that are coming in and talking with filers and planners. So, these are cases where we, you know, took a step back, did a larger survey. And as Liz mentioned, there was this first assessment that focused on the years 1990-97. It included an assessment of the economic benefits of the program as a whole, and found that there were, you know, net economic benefits from the program even if you didn't take into account any of the health and environmental impacts. And there was a filer survey and it just, you know, pulled out one interesting item from that survey. They looked at what elements of the TUR planning process were considered most valuable, and the materials accounting element was rated the most valuable component of planning.

And then in 2008-2009, we did another round of a program assessment with a survey. We, you know, gathered information on benefits of planning, implementation challenges that people were running into, either with planning or with their efforts to implement options that they had come up with in their plans. We also looked at changes in facilities and planning experiences over time. That was looking at the experience of facilities prior to the 2006 amendments being implemented, because when we were doing the survey, there hadn't been time yet for them to actually experience a full cycle with the new planning provisions. And then, we also gathered information on what factors make planning cycles most useful. So, some of the things that came out from those interviews included that it's sometimes useful to shift the planning perspective periodically; that additional regulatory motivators can make an important difference -- for example, when, you know, regulatory restrictions were adopted in Europe and those had an impact on certain Massachusetts companies, that gave some extra impetus to their TUR work. Also, the length of time devoted to planning was found to make a difference. You know, it stands to reason, if you put more time, invest more time into something, you can get more substantial results. And then just continuing with some of the selected results from that survey -- a little more than half of the facilities reported that they experienced increased management attention to environmental practices as a result of the planning process. Also, a little more than half said that they had improved worker health and safety as a result of planning. 41 percent said that they experienced financial savings as a result of planning. And then there were other responses that came from smaller numbers of facilities, but were also interesting. So, about 10 of the facilities said that they experienced improved worker/management relations, and about a dozen facilities said that they were able to retain a product line as a result of TUR planning.

So, okay, so now just moving on to other useful things to know about the program. As Liz mentioned, the 2006 amendments created the authority to designate Higher and Lower Hazard Substances. Specifically, that authority is to designate up to 10 per year. So, this slide just shows you the list of Higher Hazard Substances that have been designated to date. The program has not gotten anywhere near that 10-per-year pace. It's been, you know, a couple in the first year, a couple in the next year. There was one year where there were maybe four. But we've done a lot of research on each chemical to underlie that designation, and then also made investments in services and additional research to help facilities address those chemicals once they've been designated.

And this is the corresponding list of Lower Hazard Substances.

And once a substance has been designated as a Higher Hazard Substance, we also try to look at trends and the use of that. I mean, we're looking at trends in the use of all these chemicals anyway, but we're taking kind of a more magnifying-glass look after these designations. So, the the Higher Hazard Substance designation lowers the reporting threshold to a thousand pounds per year, down from that 25,000 or 10,000 pound threshold. And so it can bring in additional facilities that were not previously reporting the chemical. So, you see in this example for trichloroethylene, the blue bar shows a a somewhat of a decline over time. And this is for the period 2008 to 2018, 2008 being the first year that TCE was reportable as a Higher-Hazard Substance. And the results have been variable depending on, you know, which Higher Hazard Substance you look at. Some of them have had kind of dramatic declines after designation, some of them have not.

Okay, so you  -- I think you all know that facilities within the TURA universe have accomplished all sorts of very impressive things. And many of you on Zoom have been involved in those accomplishments, so thank you for that. I'm just going to share a few examples.

So for both the 20th and 25th anniversaries of the TURA program, we took the opportunity to honor some of the facilities that had particularly interesting or impressive accomplishments. And the, you know, these facilities came to us through different routes. Some of them had worked closely with OTA, some of them had worked closely with TURA or received TURI grant. Some had worked with both entities. In one case, it was a facility ended up being honored after a MassDEP employee pointed out that their plan was particularly impressive. And we -- there are a couple of places where we've written up the case studies of those facilities, and I've just shown one such publication on this slide. We have a little report on competitiveness impacts of toxic use reduction and resource conservation.

So now I'll just go through a few slides to share just some selected examples. The first one we've got here is in the semi-conductor manufacturing sector, Analog Devices. So, Analog Devices reduced their energy use substantially, and they also achieved really dramatic reductions in their water consumption, as well as reduction of their use of sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. And as you can see in the little quotation on this slide, they really found that applying the TURA framework got them into a process that led them to be able to better meet their customers' needs for green products. It also led to a series of additional recognitions, so it was kind of the start of a of a virtuous cycle for them, I believe.

Okay, our next example is from the paints and coatings sector. So we've got here Stainless Steel Coatings. Bob Audlee, who's on the Advisory Committee, is the TUR champion at this small business, and they've reduced their use of xylene and hexavalent chromium, and they've achieved savings as well as reducing their hazardous waste generation.

And I also want to mention, we didn't put in a another slide for this sector, but also in the paints and coating sector there's also Franklin Paint, which was also recognized as a 25th anniversary honoree, and I think Larry Boise, who is the the leader and TUR champion at Franklin Paint is on the Zoom right now. I can't actually see everybody at the moment, but anyway, so, thank you, Larry. They've had really impressive accomplishments -- reduced their use of a number of toxic chemicals while at the same time improving their paint quality and increasing their total production of paint.

Okay, so then there's the the metal finishing and plating sector. So, here we've got the example of Independent Plating. They reduced their use of toxic chemicals by more than 500,000 pounds, including cyanide compounds, hexavalent chromium compounds, and a complete elimination of hydrofluoric acid. They received a TURI grant that allowed them to switch from hexavalent chromium to the much safer trivalent chromium option on several of their production lines.

And I'll also mention again, just in this sector, another business that was honored for the 25th anniversary was Columbia Manufacturing. And they, the way they did -- their TUR was to put in a modern and efficient plating line, which allowed them to recover and use like 98 percent of their plating chemistries. So that led to a really significant reduction in their use and release of toxic chemicals, and also led to very substantial savings. And they're one of the businesses that have frequently credited the TURA program with the fact that they've been able to stay in business over time.

So, in the biotech sector, an example is Chemgenes Corporation, a small biotech company. They worked with OTA to reduce their use of chloroform and hexane. They achieved some substantial annual savings and also reduced their solid waste generation, and they received a TURI incentive grant to help them further reduce their their use of hexane and ethyl acetate.

And then, I think you know, many of you are also aware of our work with small businesses. So often these are businesses that are small enough that they are not required to report under TURA, and these are businesses where we can make a really big difference in some cases by providing grants or technical assistance or both. So, the example of dry cleaning. These are -- we've worked with a quite a large number now of small, family-owned dry cleaners. All of them have shifted over to 100 percent professional wet cleaning, which means that they've completely eliminated the toxic solvent perchloroethylene, and they've all achieved savings in their operating costs as well.

In addition, we didn't put a slide in about these, but in addition to the dry cleaners, another small business sector that we've that we've done work with is the auto repair sector.

And finally, our last slide in this theme just shows a few recent recipients of industry grants. So again, just to give you a sense of some of the things that are happening currently, we've worked with a soup processor to optimize their use of cleaning chemicals. We've worked with a fiber optic cable facility to help them research and test alternatives to hydrogen fluoride. A liquid formulating and packaging facility helping them increase their efficiency. And we've worked with a thermal solutions manufacturer to help them find a way to eliminate their use of trichloroethylene. So, yeah, just a just a little sampling of the many activities of TURA filers.

Okay, back to Tiffany.

[Tiffany Skogstrom] Thanks, Rachel.

So now we're going to give an overview of the TURA program structure. So, TURA is implemented by three partnering agencies. The first is MassDEP, and they're the regulatory arm, so they do enforcement. And then there's TURI, or the Toxic Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell, and they do research and grants. And then there's OTA, or the Office of Technical Assistance, and we provide free and confidential technical assistance to Massachusetts toxics users.

So, MassDEP writes the regulations based on the environmental legislation and the policies and procedures that support the regulations. They also inspect regulated facilities to make sure that they're in compliance, and they issue enforcement for non-compliance. They provide outreach and education on regulatory programs. They certify toxic use reduction planners. And they evaluate program successes to provide analysis for program improvements.

And the Office of Technical Assistance, we're a non-regulatory agency within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The staff are chemists, engineers, and public health professionals, who have industry background and understand regulations, understand the industry's bottom line, and can make recommendations on changes that they know can be implemented. We are unusual in that we provide confidential, on-site technical assistance, so everything that we see is between us and that business. And all of our services are free of charge to any Massachusetts toxics user.

For TURI, they're the Toxic Use Reduction Institute. They provide education and training that's available to anyone. They provide grants to both large and small businesses, and also municipalities and regional governments and community organizations that are working on toxic use reduction. They have demonstration sites where they can -- where companies can actually show off their wares to give other companies ideas on toxic use reduction. They have laboratory and library services that are available, and they facilitate work groups for industry sectors. They also do chemical policy analysis and run the Science Advisory Board.

And this is a Google Map that I had an intern put together for fiscal year 2019, of where the TURA program has been working all over the state. We'll be doing another one for fiscal year 2020, just to give you a visual of where the TURA program is is active.

And TURA has boards and committees, and there's many members on today, which is extremely pleasing. So, the Science Advisory Board is managed by TURI, and that consists of scientists, scientific experts that are appointed by the governor. And they make science-based recommendations and advice. And then we have the Advisory Committee, and that's managed by the Executive Director of the Administrative Council, which is me, Tiffany Skogstrom. And members are appointed by the secretary, and that's a multi-stakeholder group. And then there's the administrative council, that is chaired by the Secretary or their designee. The designee is Dan Sieger, and that is the TURA governing body.

So the Administrative Council is composed of state secretaries and commissioners or their designees, so we have DEP represented, Department of Public Health, Labor, Economic Affairs, all state agencies that are sitting together at the Administrative Council, and they rely on input from the Advisory Committee and program agencies, and they vote on chemical listings and designations and provide input on Massachusetts toxics policy.

And then we have the Advisory Committee, which are stakeholder -- which is a stakeholder group with representation from the regulated community, labor, health, and environmental groups and others. And they advise the Administrative Council and the TURA Program on policy issues, and they reflect perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders.

And then the Science Advisory Board is composed of scientific experts, and they advise on the addition and deletion of chemicals from the TURA list and categorization, and they provide scientific or technical advice on TURA-related issues.