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In Mapistry’s most recent webinar, our team got together to discuss some common challenges industrial facilities face when tracking data. We pulled in our own subject matter experts to dig into regulatory drivers and options for technology solutions. Our familiarity with different regulations can help provide context for why certain policies exist and how they may apply to you. Read on to learn the practical steps, controls, and systems you need to build a more risk-resilient data capture program…

Why do paper records and manual data entry fall short? 

There is a regulatory and cultural demand for more information, and this data needs to be accessible. When there is an issue, facilities are not only sharply fined, but also need to deploy a team of consultants on-site in order to solve the problem; this is both timely and costly. Courtney Wilson, our Director of Compliance Solutions at Mapistry, said that these problems are either due to a lack of understanding or a miscommunication – both of which can be easily solved. It begins by asking the right questions.  In addition to avoiding noncompliance, the goal of the Mapistry Platform is to log data, track information, and then set metrics for improvement. Mapistry proactively mitigates disruption through capturing data and then tracks compliance to spot trends and stop problems quickly. 

Better data management with Mapistry 

In this webinar, we focused on the use cases of hazardous waste, SPCC Plans, and air emissions/TRI reporting; however, this is only the start of journeying into a data-driven EHS program.  Due to increased remote work and regulatory pressure, there is a need to ensure the complete and timely logging of critical air, water, and waste data. Our Product Manager at Mapistry, Amber Smith, explained how her team thinks about data management; her regulatory expertise is critical in developing software with easy-to-follow calculations and customizable dashboards, which allow teams to spot trends before problems occur.  Understanding the increasingly complex regulatory policies is becoming more and more important; EHS leaders need to know where their facilities fit within these regulations. Our Manager of Solutions Engineering at Mapistry, Julia Ballou, dove into some of the regulatory challenges and how they apply to certain facilities. In doing so, she provided more context for how software benefits facilities and shared some specific use cases. 

Hazardous Waste Generator Status 

The first question facilities must ask is ‘what generator status do we fall under’. This will point us in the direction of the necessary requirements. It can be a challenging question because it differs for various facilities throughout the year. A facility’s status can change due to construction projects or accidental releases, which makes data capture and visibility extremely important.  Mapistry allows you to log data in real-time, and also provides simplified calculations, including a total sum with rolling calculations and an option for unit conversions. EHS leads are able to filter the dashboard to easily view what has been logged. With the calendar widget, teams have full visibility of what has been completed, what is upcoming, or what has been missed via the dashboard and email updates.

SPCC Plan Type: Oil Spill Prevention 

Facilities may be unsure if the SPCC requirements apply to them. The critical question to ask here is how much oil and oil based products are stored on a day-to-day basis. If a facility is exceeding 1,320 gallons, they’ll need an SPCC plan; if it’s over 10,000 gallons, that plan will need to be certified by a P.E. With logs, the facility can record the types of oil on site, track tanks and drums, and set a sum calculation to get the total volume. Our logs also show information where and when the spill occurred, which helps facilities quickly document the spill and reduce the risk of sharp fines.  For teams that are in Tier 1, Mapistry helps you self-certify by developing and documenting standard best practices around oil handling. Mapistry experts recommend updating this information annually or when changes occur to the total oil on site, like adding or removing a tank. SPCC inventories are required for annual HMBPs (Hazardous Material Business/Management Plans), so documenting oil on-site can be used by multiple departments. 

Release/Emission (Air, TRI Reporting) 

As demonstrated with SPCC plans, the recorded data can be used cross-functionally across reporting tiers. The same concept applies for air reporting.  Certain industries can fall under the category of a TRI facility and their reports need to be made available to the public, so it is very important to understand whether your facility falls within this listing. There are over 770 individually listed chemicals in the Toxic Release Inventory, and the regulatory lines often overlap between local and federal. The data logged for air emissions may be used in local/district permits, but can also be used in federal reporting requirements. If your facility experiences any accidental releases, Mapistry can help support multiple environmental reports.  The TRI forms are extremely time consuming: for instance, it can take up to 36 hours to process a form for ONE chemical (and this is IF the data is readily available). At Mapistry, we understand the importance of streamlining this process. Our intimate knowledge with release and emissions requirements allows us to build software tools that provide the information needed to streamline reporting.  The ability to gather information from Mapistry and easily plug it into the reports saves time. Additionally, the logged information helps with team turnover to show historical data and see if anything has changed; it highlights what needs to be reported and helps teams set aside time to complete TRI reports. Our dashboards also include the ability to set alerts when facilities have reached a limit or threshold so that teams can view potential exceedances and plan accordingly. 

Beginning the Data-Driven EHS Journey 

As discussed in this webinar, there are many useful applications of logging and analyzing data – but the list goes on – like logging data for vehicle miles traveled, generator run-times, and water power usage. Teams can use this data to see how it stacks up against sustainability reporting requirements. Information can also be used for employee training and safety requirements or tracking the losses from a water basin to see how it changes from season to season and year to year.  We believe all industrial sites can use a data system to visualize information – and Mapistry can help support the transition into the software space! If you are curious about how technology could help support your site, feel free to give us a call or request a complimentary demo.    

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