If your company is in the five boroughs of New York City and stores chemicals and hazardous substances, read on. The Right-to-Know Program was developed to protect both the public and city employees (including emergency responders) from exposure to potentially dangerous substances in the event of an accident or fire. Since many businesses use and store chemicals, it can be a bit tricky to know your legal obligations.
Here is an overview of several business categories, along with typically used, reportable chemicals, to help clear up any confusion:
- Utilities, industrial or commercial enterprises must report electrical equipment that contains dielectric fluids.
- Commercial buildings, businesses, hotels and nursing homes must report paints, solvents or other cleaning products that contain regulated substances.
- Auto body shops and automobile service stations must report regulated substances if they are handled, used, processed or stored onsite.
- Material supply stores must report regulated substances if they are sold in non-consumer packaging.
- Dry cleaners must report DF2000, perchloroethylene and spot remover.
- Funeral homes must report any flammable or carcinogenic substances.
Note that reporting is mandated only if a substance is present at or above official Threshold Reporting Quantity (TRQ) levels. The substance need only be present at that level one time during the prior year to require reporting. (Filings are always due before March 1 for the preceding year.)
Additional criteria to consider:
- Substances and substances with ingredients that appear on the NYC hazardous substances list or the physical and health hazards special list are required to be reported.
- The “at or above TRQ levels” standard applies to both pure substances and those present as an ingredient in mixtures.
- To report mixtures, you must include the mixture name and chemical abstract services (CAS) number, if there is one, plus the names, CAS numbers and concentrations (by weight %) of each hazardous substance within the mixture. You only need to include the hazardous ingredients that meet or exceed TRQs for that mixture.
If you think your company may need to submit an RTK filing, Walden Associates is here to help. We have completed hundreds of filings for clients large and small—from auto dealerships to nursing homes to large utilities—and we’d be happy to assist you as well. Safety is in everyone’s best interest!