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USEPA Proposes Revisions to its Risk Management Program

EPAThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) proposes to revise its Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations to improve chemical process safety, assist local emergency authorities in planning for and responding to accidents, and improve public awareness of chemical hazards at regulated sources. “Chemicals are a necessary part of our everyday lives; however, as we have too often seen they can cause loss of life, injury and significant property damage,” said Mathy Stanislaus, USEPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management. “It is these dangers that we are working to prevent and minimize as we propose revisions to the RMP, such as improving our prevention program requirements, ensuring coordination with first responders, and ensuring that accident planning protects local communities that need to evacuate or shelter-in-place during an accident.”

USEPA says more than 1,500 accidents were reported by RMP facilities in the past 10 years. The accidents caused nearly 60 deaths, injured 17,000 people, and cost more than $2 billion in property damages. The RMP or Accidental Release Prevention regulations under section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) require covered facilities to develop and implement a risk management program. The proposed revisions to USEPA’s RMP regulations are included as a key action item under President Barack Obama’s Executive Order (EO) 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security. 

The proposed revisions include several changes to the accident prevention program requirements, including:

  • An additional requirement for the process hazard analysis (PHA) required for Program 3 processes
  • Enhancements to the emergency preparedness requirements
  • Increased public availability of chemical hazard information
  • Several other changes to certain regulatory definitions and data elements submitted in the RMPs
Public comments on the RMP revisions will be accepted via the Federal Register through May 13, 2016.
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