After losing a case in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on its attempt to delay the effective date of the Obama-era final rule strengthening EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) facility accident prevention program, EPA issued a proposed rule last Fall largely scrapping the Obama-era rule’s requirements. However, EPA has not yet issued a final rule, yet it was compelled to comply with the mandate of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that invalidated its attempted delay of the Obama-era rule’s effective date. As a result, in December, EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register that the January 2017 final RMP rule is effective immediately. That notice triggers immediate compliance mandates under the January 2017 RMP rule, even though EPA intends to scrap those requirements.
Among other requirements, facilities will have to coordinate with first responders and conduct stricter process safety reviews. Later deadlines apply for new requirements for third-party audits, incident investigation root cause analysis, enhanced public information sharing, and emergency response exercises.
Although EPA stated its intention to finalize its proposed rule that would scrap most of the requirements of the January 2017 RMP rule, it has not yet acted.
For more information on the RMP rule, contact Steve O’Day.