Ohio CRO Rules Affects Owners, Operator and Lenders Of Tier 2 Reporting Sites

Written By: Caltha LLP | Published On: 24th August 2016 | Category: Due Diligence, EPCRA, Hazardous Materials, Waste | RSS Feed

The Ohio Cessation of Regulated Operations (CRO) program was first created in 1996 and places requirements for notifications if facilities cease or temporarily cease operations where hazardous materials are used or stored.

How is subject to CRO rules?
All facilities in Ohio that use or store hazardous materials which are reportable under EPCRA Tier 2 reports. It is estimated that more than 7,000 facilities are potentially subject to CRO rules.

What does Cessation of Regulated Operations mean?
“Cessation of Regulated Operations” means the discontinuation or termination of regulated operations or the finalizing of any transaction or proceeding through which those operations are discontinued.

What are Regulated Operations?
“Regulated Operations” means the production, use, storage or handling of regulated substances, including Extremely hazardous substances (EHS), Hazardous substances, Flammable substances; or Petroleum.

What are facilities required to do?
Within 30 days from the CRO you must:
• Submit a notice of CRO on a form prescribed by the director to Ohio EPA, Local Emergency Planning Committee (LPEC) and local fire departments where the facility is located;
• Designate a contact person;
• Secure and post warning signs around areas that contain or are contaminated with a regulated substance; and
• Maintain security and warning signs

Within 90 days of the CRO you must:
• Submit to the Ohio EPA the most recent emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form submitted to the SERC;
• Submit to the Ohio EPA a current OSHA hazardous chemical list or SDS for each chemical at the facility required to be on file with the SERC;
• Submit to the Ohio EPA a list of every stationary tank, vat, electrical transformer and vessel that will remain at the facility that contains or is contaminated with a regulated substance prior to or at the time of cessation;
• Drain and remove all regulated substances from each stationary tank, vat, electrical transformer and vessel and from all piping;
• Lawfully dispose, sell or transfer the regulated substances off-site;
• Lawfully transfer off-site all debris, non-stationary equipment, furnishings, containers, motor vehicles and rolling stock that contain or are contaminated with a regulated substance; and
• Certify that the actions required in the previous three items have been completed.

After you submit the certification, Ohio EPA must conduct an inspection to determine compliance with the CRO rules.

If I am a lender or security holder, what must I do?
The holder of first mortgage and a fiduciary of a reporting facility both have specific statutory duties under Ohio law. No later than 15 days after the first mortgage holder receives a notice of abandonment and within 60 days after the fiduciary receives a notice of cessation of regulated operations, the holder and fiduciary are required to do the following if the operator fails to take the required steps under the CRO program.
• Secure and post warning signs around areas that contain or are contaminated with regulated substances;
• Maintain security and warning signs; and
• Submit a notice of abandonment to Ohio EPA, the LEPC and the local fire department.

Thirty days before filing the release of the mortgage and/or releasing all rights to the facility and ending security and warning measure, you must notify Ohio EPA, the LEPC and the local fire department where the facility is located.

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