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Risk Management Plan

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Agricultural establishments that store, handle, or use certain toxic or flammable chemicals above threshold amounts must develop and implement a program to prevent accidental releases of those chemicals.

The examples below illustrate common chemicals and thresholds used in ag operations that will subject you to EPA's Risk Management Program requirements:

These examples do not cover all the circumstances that may require you to comply with the Risk Management Program. Be sure to check Appendix A: 40 CFR 68 (PDF) (55 pp, 516K) for a list of chemicals covered by the law, and then consult Chapter 1: General Applicability from EPA's General Guidance for Risk Management Programs to determine how the requirements apply to your establishment.

EPA Supports myRMP

EPA notified The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) of its support for the Web-based myRMP program, developed cooperatively by TFI and the Asmark Institute designed to assist agricultural retailers conduct required updates to risk management plans. EPA is recommending that retailers nationwide use myRMP. The program was launched Aug. 13, 2007 and is available for use by retailers across the country.

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Important Information for 2004

New amendments to the Risk Management Plan (RMP) program were published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2004. For information on the five year update requirement, amendments to the rule, and information on how to submit your RMP, please consult the RMP Information page.

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Your Risk Management Program

As a farmer, you may be using hazardous chemicals that pose a risk to the surrounding community should an accident occur. The Risk Management Program rule requires businesses that hold greater than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance to implement a "risk management program," a regular program of activities designed to prevent an accidental chemical release and mitigate any releases that may occur.

Many of the baseline requirements of this rule -- such as evaluating the dangers associated with your operations and determining how to make them safer -- are activities that conscientious businesses already undertake using established industry codes and standards (such as NFPA-58), so you may already be in compliance with parts of this new regulation.

To fully comply, you will need to implement a risk management program for the chemicals of concern on your establishment, and submit a summary report called the Risk Management Plan (RMP) to EPA. How much you will need to do in your program will depend upon the level of risk that your operations pose to nearby communities, and whether or not you have a history of significant accidental releases.

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Submitting a Written Plan

A written summary of your program -- called a "Risk Management Plan (RMP) " -- must be submitted to EPA by the date on which a threshold quantity of a regulated substance is present in a process at your facility. To determine if you need to implement a Risk Management Program and submit a Risk Management Plan, consult Chapter 1: General Applicability from EPA's General Guidance for Risk Management Programs. Risk Management Plans will be made available to state and local officials involved in planning for and responding to chemical emergencies, and to the public (the sections of the Risk Management Plan containing "Offsite Consequence Analysis" information are available to the public only in Federal reading rooms). In this way, police, firefighters, and the people who live and work near your establishment can be assured that you are taking steps to prevent accidents involving chemicals that could cause a risk to the community.

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General Clean Air Act Requirements

Even if you determine that you do not have a process that requires a formal risk management program, remember that you still must adhere to the "general duty clause" of the Clean Air Act [Section 112(r)(1)]. This clause, which went into effect in 1990, makes the owners and operators of facilities that have extremely hazardous substances responsible for ensuring that the chemicals are managed safely.

The statute says that owners and operators have a general duty to identify the possible hazards of the chemicals at their facility, do what is necessary to prevent the releases of those chemicals, and take steps that will limit the harmful effects of any accidental releases. Facilities can make sure they are working towards fulfilling their General Duty Clause obligations by:

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Help From EPA

For additional information on the Risk Management Program listed chemicals and Risk Management Plan (RMP) requirements, you can:

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This page is sponsored by EPA's Ag Center. Ag Center logo

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