Risk Management Planning Rule Amendments on the Horizon

Facilities subject to EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) facility safety program should keep an eye out for expected amendments to the governing rules, expected to be published in March by EPA.  EPA is completing its Small Business Advocacy Review of potential costs to small businesses.  In a presentation in November to an industry group, EPA described its plans for the amendments, which include provisions enhancing requirements for facility audits, new requirements for consideration of safer processes, new standards to increase disclosure of facility data to first responders and the public, and provisions addressing root cause analysis after accidents or near misses.  The expected facility audit amendments would require facilities that have had accidents to utilize a third party auditor rather than conducting a self-audit.  The expected rule would also require that records of root cause reviews be maintained at the facility for 5 years.  It would also require that facilities practice their emergency response plans every 5 years and invite local officials to participate.  Table top reviews of the response plans would be required for all other years.  The planned amendments are in response to an Executive Order issued by President Obama after the explosion in April 2013 of the fertilizer facility in West, Texas that killed 13 people and injured hundreds.

For more information on EPA’s risk management program under the Clean Air Act, contact Steve O’Day.

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