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EPA Issues Proposed Rule to Revise the RMP Standard

The EPA Office of Land and Emergency Management has released its proposed rule to revise the Risk Management Plan (RMP) requirements. The proposed rule is titled "Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention". A summary of the proposed rule and a link for additional information is provided below.

New (added) Requirements:

Natural hazards and power loss are to be included as hazards for Programs 2 & 3 PHAs – and - Requires a justification in the RMP when hazard evaluation recommendations are not adopted.

Employee participation would be required in developing Stop Work Authority policies, resolving PHA and incident investigation recommendations, and allow for anonymous reporting of incidents.

Community Notification of RMP Accidents would require non-responding RMP facilities to develop procedures for informing the public about accidental releases; Requiring release notification data be provided to local responders; and Ensure a community notification system is in place for notification of RMP-reportable accidents.

Enhanced Information Availability would require covered facilities to provide chemical hazard information upon request to residents living with 6 miles of the facility.

Changes / Incremental Requirements to Existing RMP:

Facility Siting: Provide justification in the RMP for when facility siting recommendations are not adopted.

Safer technologies and alternatives analysis (STAA): Require STAA to be considered when one covered facility is within 1 mile to another covered facility. Require a justification in the RMP when STAA recommendations are not adopted. Increased access to this information promotes transparency and gives more opportunities for the public to be involved.

Root cause analysis: Requires a formal root cause analysis incident investigation when facilities have had an RMP-reportable accident.

Third-party compliance audits: Require the next scheduled compliance audit be a third-party audit when a covered facility experiences two RMP-reportable accidents within five years – or - experiences one RMP-reportable accident within five years by a Program 3 facility within one mile of another RMP regulated facility. If/when finalized, it would also require a justification in the RMP when third-party compliance audit recommendations are not adopted.

Emergency Response Exercises: Requires a 10-year frequency for field exercises unless local responders indicate that frequency is infeasible. Also requires mandatory scope and reporting requirements for emergency response exercises.

Other new or revised requirements:

  • Require Program 3 process safety information be kept up to date

  • Make Program 2 and Program 3 requirements consistent for recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP)

  • Retain hot work permits for five years

  • Further define/clarification on the ‘storage incident to transportation’ term and the retail exemption

    • Revise Storage Incident to Transportation: “A container is considered to be in transportation as long as it is attached to the motive power (e.g., truck or locomotive) that delivered it to the site”. Further, “If the tank car is detached from the motive power, and therefore no longer in transportation, the contents of the tank car must be considered in the threshold determination”. There is a proposed time limit of 48 hours before contents would be included in threshold quantity calculations. (i.e., 48 hr “grace period”).

    • Revise “Retail Facility” to be one in which more than one-half of the “annual” income “in the previous calendar year” is obtained from direct sales to end users or at which more than one-half of the fuel sold over that period, by volume, is sold through a cylinder exchange program.

  • Require RAGAGEP review in process hazard analyses

    • Clarify that PHAs must include an analysis of the most recently promulgated RAGAGEP in order to identify any gaps between practices related to the facility’s design, maintenance, and operation and the most current version of RAGAGEP.


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