Proposed Revisions to the Risk Management Program Regulations Reply

On March 14, 2016, EPA published its proposed amendments to the Risk Management Program regulations in response to Executive Order 13650. The proposed revisions include several changes to the accident prevention program requirements including more extensive Process Hazard Analysis requirements, third party audits and root cause analysis during accident investigations, enhancements of the emergency preparedness requirements, increased public availability of chemical information and related streamlining of risk management plans.

Several proposed revisions are only applicable in the event that an accident, or near miss, occurs at the facility that meets the definitions in the regulation for reportable accidents. However, the proposed changes to the emergency preparedness requirements will affect all Program 2 and Program 3 facilities.

Under the proposed revisions, all Program 2 and Program 3 facilities will be required to conduct annual emergency response coordination in which the owner or operator must work with local emergency planning and response organizations to ensure resources and capabilities are in place to respond to an accidental release. All Program 2 and Program 3 facilities will also be required to conduct an annual notification exercise in which the mechanisms for notifying first responders will be executed and verified. Additional emergency response preparedness provisions are proposed for facilities that are “self-responders”. Along with the required coordination and notification described above, these facilities must also conduct annual tabletop exercises and a field exercise once every five years. The exercises must be coordinated with local emergency response officials.

These revisions are in response to repeated findings during accident investigations that indicated coordination of emergency response actions was inadequate and contributed to the severity of the accident. EPA believes that the proposed revisions will enhance and improve coordination between regulated sources and first responders such that the effects of accidents will be reduced.

For more information about the proposed rule, refer to https://www.epa.gov/rmp/proposed-changes-risk-management-program-rmp-rule .

If you have questions about the Risk Management Program or Risk Management Plans, please contact Chris Walton at 508-970-0033 ext. 139  or  cwalton@capaccio.com  or Christine Silverman at 508-970-0033 ext. 127 or csilverman@capaccio.com

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