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Chemical Management


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The Chemical Management Program was designed to ensure that Montgomery College activities involving the use of chemical materials be performed in a way to protect students, faculty, staff, and the general public from chemical hazards, and to ensure activities are conducted in accordance with federal, state and local environmental regulations.

This program is also designed to insure that all personnel receive adequate environmental and occupational safety training, and are aware of the proper handling and storage procedures for managing chemical materials at Montgomery College.

In order to comply with overlapping requirements related to chemical management and to improve information available to emergency responders during chemical incidents, chemical inventories are required in all areas where chemicals are being stored and or used.  The  Public Health & Environmental Safety (PHES) Office has partnered with SDSPro a third party Online Chemical Inventory and SDS Management System.  Staff and Faculty ordering and storing chemicals must maintain an accurate inventory and submit it to our office. This allows for the assessment of potential regulatory requirements that in some cases are based on aggregate threshold quantities on campus (e.g., CFATS, EPA list of lists,  SARA Title III tier reporting). Please email  Public Health & Environmental Safety if you need to request login credentials to manage your chemical inventory. 

Montgomery College endeavors to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations including those set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). Noncompliance with Federal and/or State statutes and their associated regulations can result in significant penalties and fines to the College and may hold employees liable. Applicable statues include, but are not limited to, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Air Act (CAA), and the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), also known as Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Title III, provides an infrastructure at the state and local levels to plan for chemical emergencies. Facilities that store, use, or release certain chemicals, may be subject to various reporting requirements under EPCRA. Reported information is then made publicly available so that interested parties may become informed about potentially dangerous chemicals in their community.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) protects human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal, conserves energy and natural resources, reduces the amount of waste generated, and ensures that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner. ( window)

The Clean Air Act (CAA) restricts the types and amounts of pollutants that may be released into the air and requires permits for large, and sometimes small, polluters.

The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law that protects our nation’s waters, including lakes, rivers, aquifers and coastal areas.

Ordering Chemicals

  • Check Chemical Inventory before ordering:
    • Verify chemical is not available
    • For Hazardous Materials, ensure amount of material ordered will not exceed the allowed storage quantity limit (check EPA's List of lists (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) and Department of Homeland Security Chemicals of Interest List (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) )
  • Determine if special handling precautions will be required:
    • Storage space is available for the quantity ordered
    • Work area is equipped with proper engineering controls (i.e. flammable cabinets, fume hoods, etc.) and safety equipment required to work with chemical
    • Proper PPE is available to users
  • Order only what is needed to do the work currently planned; for regularly stocked materials, order what will be needed for a six month period.

Receiving Chemicals

  • Facilities personnel receiving and transporting chemicals to campuses and  mailroom staff must receive DOT Hazmat General Awareness Training.
  • Inspect packages upon receipt, Do Not Accept LEAKING packages.
  • If transporting chemicals from receiving to storage location, faculty and staff must follow Montgomery College's Chemical Transportation and Handling Guide (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) .

Donated Chemicals

Donated chemicals must be approved by the area Dean and the  Public Health & Environmental Safety (PHES) office prior to receipt of donated materials. If donated materials are approved, they must be added to the area inventory and their respective SDS added to the SDS binder, notify PHES. It is the policy of the College to permit employees to bring chemicals or other hazardous materials acquired elsewhere on campus without following proper approvals.

Chemical Inventory Management

  • As required by OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200, a SDS must be on hand for every hazardous chemical in your workplace. The name and manufacturer on the SDS must match the product label.
  • An online chemical inventory is maintained on the online Chemical Inventory and SDS management system SDSPro, if you need access to the inventory online  please send a request to  Public Health & Environmental Safety. Inventories are kept in each campus by and room locations.  
  • All chemicals must be reported in the college's online inventory this includes, paints, cleaning agents, fuels, oils, etc. Hazardous and non-hazardous items must be included in the inventory.
  • A current inventory is important to ensure quantity limits for chemical storage are not exceeded.
  • Regularly review chemicals in the inventory to ensure use of older chemicals first, deplete existing stock before ordering more, identify unwanted or expired chemicals for disposal.

New Online Chemical Inventory System is Live

SDS Lookup



  • Always review a chemical's MSDS/SDS for proper storage procedures.
  • Ensure all containers of hazardous chemicals are properly labeled with the identity of the hazardous chemical(s) and appropriate hazard warnings.
  • Segregate all incompatible chemicals for proper storage of chemicals by hazard class. Tip: Store like chemicals together and away from other groups of chemicals that might cause reactions if mixed. ( See Chemical Compatibility Chart) (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)
  • Do not store glass chemical containers on the floor (without secondary containment) or window ledges.
  • Avoid storing all chemicals above shoulder height. Large containers (1 gal or larger), liquids, and corrosive materials should be stored no higher than eye level.
  • Chemical storage areas should be well lit, appropriately ventilated and kept away from aisles, exits, and heat.
  • Flammable (in excess of 10 gals) must be stored in a flammable storage cabinet.
  • Laboratory refrigerators must never be used to store food.
  • Appropriate spill control, clean-up and emergency equipment must be available wherever chemicals are stored.
  • All chemical storage areas and cabinets should be inspected at least annually and any unwanted or expired chemicals should be removed.

Tip: Use first in, first out system (oldest chemicals first); to avoid degradation of older chemicals and their containers.

  • Reduce clutter
    • Limit amount of combustible in storage areas, especially by unpacking and removing cardboard shipping boxes.
    • Don't overcrowd, stack containers, or place them close to or over hanging edges of counters/shelving.
    • Do not place materials on the floor where they can become a trip hazard.
    • Keep drawers and cabinet doors closed when not in use.
  • Store compatible containers upright, with labels facing out, replace any torn or illegible labels.
  • Keep access to emergency equipment, electrical panels and egress routes clear at all times.
  • NIH Chemical Segregation Chart (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)

Safety in the Classroom

Faculty Responsibility

Faculty are responsible for training students to work safely and:

  • Ensure students understand the potential health and physical hazards of the chemicals and equipment used
  • Explain proper and safe procedures for handling the hazardous substances used
  • Provide appropriate equipment to allow laboratory workers to work safely
  • Report all incidents, near misses, and potential chemical exposures to the Lab Manager who in turn reports incidents to the  Public Health & Environmental Safety