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

.

 

 

Risk Management Program (RMP) Inspection Checklists Reply

Below, please find links to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA’s) RMP Program Level 2 and RMP Program Level 3 Inspection Checklists.

 

http://www.capaccio.com/assets/handouts/events/ModifiedRMP Program Level 2 Process Checklist.pdf

http://www.capaccio.com/assets/handouts/events/ModfiiedRMP Program Level 3 Process Checklist.pdf

Facilities that are covered by the RMP regulations are required to implement an RMP and submit a description of the program to EPA. Additionally, RMP audits covering the items in these checklists are required every three years.

For more information or assistance with your RMP program, please contact Christine Silverman at csilverman@capaccio.com or by calling 508-970-0033 ext. 127.

Handling Extremely Hazardous Chemicals – A Discussion of the General Duty Clause Reply

In the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, Congress enacted Section 112(r)(1), also known as the General Duty Clause (GDC), which makes the owners and operators of facilities that use listed or other extremely hazardous substances responsible for ensuring that their chemicals are managed safely. The General Duty Clause applies to any facility producing, processing, handling, or storing extremely hazardous substances (i.e., any chemicals listed in 40 CFR Part 68, or any other chemicals which may be considered extremely hazardous).

Although the GDC appears in the Chemical Accident Prevention Program (aka Risk Management Plan (RMP)) regulations, it does not compel subject facilities to prepare and implement an RMP. Instead, facilities subject to the GDC (i.e.  any facility with extremely hazardous substances) are required to:

  • Identify and understand the hazards associated with the extremely hazardous substances used (hazard assessment)
  • Design and maintain a safe facility (prevention program)
  • Minimize the consequences of accidental releases that do occur (emergency response program)

Without specific regulatory requirements to follow, many facilities find it difficult to know if they have satisfied their obligations under the GDC. To demonstrate due diligence we recommend  the following:

  • Conduct a hazard analysis / review using experience, analytical methods such as HAZOP, or creative methods such as what-if brainstorming
  • Identify the consequences of the release identified in the hazard analysis / review
  • Adopt best industry practices, codes or consensus standards
  • Understand the unique site situations that may require specific accident prevention techniques
  • Apply lessons learned from accidents and incidents in similar operations
  • Develop an emergency response plan
  • Develop standard operating procedures, training programs, management of change procedures, an incident investigation program, self-audits involving a third party, and a preventative maintenance program
  • Identify at-risk receptors in the event of a maximum possible release and alternative release scenarios identified in the hazard analysis/review
  • Coordinate interaction needed between facility management, employees, and local response agencies

If you have questions on the GDC or the RMP program, consider attending our free webinar on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Please register  on our website at http://www.capaccio.com.

For more information on this topic, you may also contact Christine Silverman at 508.970.0033 ext. 127  or csilverman@capaccio.com.

EPA Seeks Small Business Input on Modifications to RMP Rule Reply

On June 19, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a formal request for input on modernizing the Risk Management Plan (RMP) Rule.  The EPA is seeking input from small business, governments, and not-for-profit organizations to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel. This panel will focus on the Agency’s development of a rule that proposes to modify the current RMP regulation to reduce the likelihood of accidental releases of toxic and flammable substances at chemical facilities, and improve emergency response when those releases occur. This aligns with Executive Order 13650 entitled Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (EO 13650) that President Obama signed on August 1, 2013. EO 13650 directs the federal government to carry out a number of tasks whose overall aim is to prevent chemical accidents. These tasks include: improving operational coordination with state and local partners; enhancing Federal agency coordination and information sharing; modernizing policies, regulations and standards; and working with stakeholders to identify best practices.

The panel will include federal representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA. The panel members ask a selected group of SERs to provide advice and recommendations on behalf of their company, community, or organization to inform the panel members about the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities.

EPA seeks self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs.

Self-nominations may be submitted through the link below and must be received by July 3, 2015. Nominate yourself as a SER: http://www.epa.gov/rfa/risk-management-plan.html

For more information on the RMP Rule, please contact Chris Walton, PE, BCEE, at 508-970-0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com.