324. Would a facility be required to report on the Section 313 chemicals in an air conditioning unit that cools a mine’s process operation or production room in which employees must work? In other words, because the air conditioning unit is being used in a production process, could the personal use exemption for employee comfort still apply for these activities?
No. The ‘use exemption for personal uses by employees or other persons’ was intended to apply to such incidental uses of toxic chemicals that may take place at a facility simply because of personal needs. The types of incidental chemical uses intended to be eligible for this exemption include foods, drugs, cosmetics, or other personal items containing toxic chemicals, including supplies of such products within the facility such as in a facility operated cafeteria, store, or infirmary. The use of chemicals to promote process-related activities, including employee access to such process-related areas that would not otherwise be possible, is not incidental to the process, and therefore, must be considered toward threshold and release and other waste management calculations.