EPA Revives Obama-era RMP Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published the “Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention Rule” to strengthen regulations under the Risk Management Program (RMP), a program that requires certain chemical facilities – including chemical warehouses – to take action to prevent chemical accidents. The rule effectively revives and enhances controversial provisions from an Obama-era regulation that was later removed by the Trump administration.
The proposed rule would require consideration of safer technologies for certain facilities with high accident rates, require third-party audits for facilities with a bad track record of accidents, and require a formal root cause analysis incident investigation when facilities have had an RMP-portable accident. According to an EPA press release, the rule would also advance “greater employee participation and opportunity for decision-making in facility accident prevention requirements” and promote “environmental justice through increased availability of information for fenceline communities.”
Currently, EPA regulates approximately 12,000 RMP facilities throughout the country including chemical warehouses, water and wastewater treatment facilities, food and beverage manufacturers, and other chemical facilities.
Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted by October 28, 2022. Public hearings to present information, comments, and views on the proposed rule will be held virtually from September 26-28, 2022.
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