Section 14. (A) Within 4 years from the designation of a higher hazard substance, the council may designate by regulation user segments, which it considers to be priorities for achieving toxics use reduction. The designations shall be based on recommendations from the office, in consultation with the institute and the department. User segments shall include similar production units in all facilities regardless of threshold amounts. Important considerations for identifying priority user segments shall include:-
(1) the potential for current and future toxics use reduction and the technical and economic feasibility of such reduction;
(2) amounts of the higher hazard substance used by the user segment in the production units of concern;
(3) amounts of toxic or hazardous substances disposed of, discharged, or released to water, land, air or workplaces within facilities;
(4) the need for improvement by the user segment in its toxics use reduction efforts; and
(5) the social, health, and economic benefits and costs to the commonwealth, its political subdivisions, workers, and large quantity and small quantity toxics users.
Consideration shall be given to the adequacy of the state's resources to effectively implement the prioritization of a user segment under subsections (D), (E) and (F).
(B) The council may designate no more than 3 priority user segments in any calendar year. There shall be at no time more than 15 priority user segments.
(C) A priority designation shall expire upon the date 5 years after designation. Priority designation may be renewed in the manner set forth in subsection (A). Upon expiration of a priority designation, a toxics user in the user segment shall no longer be treated as being within a priority user segment for purposes of this chapter, except that applicable performance standards issued for the user segment or a specific toxics user shall remain in effect.
(D) Results of prioritization include:-
(1) The department may refer toxics users in priority user segments to the office for assistance in achieving toxics use reduction;
(2) Facilities with fewer than the equivalent of 10 full-time employees shall be required to report and plan on the priority production unit consistent with the requirements of sections 10 and 11;
(3) The department may require toxics users to submit additional toxic chemical use and byproduct information in order to determine expected efficiency or achievable progress in toxics use reduction within the user segment.
(E) Facilities within a priority user segment may apply for toxics use reduction waivers pursuant to section 17.
(F) The department, working with the office and the institute, may set performance standards for priority user segments pursuant to section 15.