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Risk Management and Chemical Accident Prevention

Under the authority of section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act, the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions require facilities that produce, handle, process, distribute, or store certain chemicals to develop a Risk Management Program, prepare a Risk Management Plan (RMP), and submit the RMP to EPA. Covered facilities were initially required to comply with the rule in 1999, and the rule has been amended on several occasions since then, most recently in 2004.

RMP Requirements

When Congress passed the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, it required EPA to publish regulations and guidance for chemical accident prevention at facilities using extremely hazardous substances. The Risk Management Plan Rule (RMP Rule) was written to implement Section 112(r) of these amendments. The rule, which built upon existing industry codes and standards, requires companies of all sizes that use certain flammable and toxic substances to develop a Risk Management Program, which includes a(n):

By June 21, 1999, a summary of the facility's risk management program (known as a "Risk Management Plan" or "RMP") was to be submitted to EPA, which will make the information publicly available. The plans must be revised and resubmitted every five years.

The Risk Management Program is about reducing chemical risk at the local level. This information helps local fire, police, and emergency response personnel (who must prepare for and respond to chemical accidents), and is useful to citizens in understanding the chemical hazards in communities. EPA anticipates that making the RMPs available to the public stimulates communication between industry and the public to improve accident prevention and emergency response practices at the local level.

The regulation includes a List of Regulated Substances under section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act, including their synonyms and threshold quantities (in pounds) to help assess if a process is subject to the RMP rule or the general duty clause. States who have taken delegation of the Clean Air Act, Section 112(r) program may have additional requirements for the federally listed chemicals, and/or additional listed chemicals.

Interim Guidance for EPA Employees and Employee Representatives in CAA Section 112(r) On-site Compliance Evaluations

EPA staff who are conducting on-site compliance evaluations at RMP facilities should offer facility employees and employee representatives the opportunity to participate in any such evaluations. The Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) and the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) have issued updated guidance to implement this CAA section 112(r) statutory requirement.

Guidance for Conducting Risk Management Program Inspections under Clean Air Act Section 112(r) (PDF) (84 pp, 505K, about PDF)

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