Original Date: 05/01/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Hazardous Materials Management Program
In the past, Northrop Grumman Defensive Systems Division’s (DSD’s) method for managing hazardous materials met basic regulatory requirements, but had limited capabilities and minimal employee accessability. This method was also labor-intensive, requiring manual tracking and reporting of various data sources (e.g., procurement records, inventory receipt and distribution records, individual usage records, internal waste disposal records) to obtain a mass-balance of hazardous materials. Although some Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) were available on-line, only a limited number of workstations had access to this information. To resolve these issues, Northrop Grumman DSD established the Hazardous Materials Management Program (HMMP).
The HMMP utilizes the Hazardous Materials Manager (HMM), a searchable database and display software package, which provides an integrated and systematic approach to managing hazardous materials activities (e.g., acquisition, day-to-day handling, final disposal, regulatory reporting requirements). The HMM is continuously updated and offers on-line accessibility for employees through network computers. Among the information available are MSDS images; digested hazardous information (e.g., carcinogen, mutagen); environmental reporting requirements (e.g., Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act [SARA], National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazardous air pollutants); specific chemical composition and percentages; and pollution prevention (P2) data. The HMMP also uses a paperless inventory tracking system that integrates with the storage tracking automated retrieval system (STARS), the company’s current method for inventorying its storeroom and production operations.
Additionally, the HMMP provides users with a more cohesive set of tools and information. All site environmental and safety command media that deal with hazardous materials integrate with the HMM, as well as the chemical labeling system used to transfer information to secondary containers when repackaging hazardous materials. The command media which document the HMMP (e.g., chemical hazard communication training; flammable and combustible liquids safety; industrial waste management; P2; spill contingency plan) are readily available throughout the facility via the Intranet website.
The HMMP also captures chemical usage information from the site chemical inventory system, enabling Northrop Grumman DSD to quickly and accurately generate environmental reports. Most importantly, the HMMP allows users to monitor the chemical usage necessary to comply with air permit restrictions and achieve significant P2 efforts. These achievements already include elimination of Class I ozone depleting substances from all manufacturing processes; exemption from SARA reporting in 1997 through 1999; and significant reductions in hazardous waste. Since implementing the HMMP, Northrop Grumman DSD reduced its hazardous waste generation from 492.1 tons in 1989 to 19.8 tons in 1998, a reduction of 96%. In 1999, the company further reduced this figure to 8.2 tons, another 59% reduction compared to the previous year.
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