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Risk Management Plan (RMP) Delay Rule Vacatur

Overview

On August 17, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court issued its decision vacating a June 2017 EPA rulemaking.

  • The June 2017 rule delayed the effective date of the January 2017 Risk Management Program regulatory requirements (known as the RMP Amendments rule).
  • The purpose of the delay was to provide time to consider petitions for reconsideration of the RMP Amendments rule and take further regulatory action which included proposing a rule to revise or rescind these amendments.

On September 21, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court issued its mandate which makes the 2017 RMP Amendments rule now effective.

RMP Amendments Compliance Information

EPA will provide additional information on the impacts of this court decision as soon as it is available.

History

RMP Amendments Rule

On January 13, 2017, EPA finalized amendments to the Accidental Release Prevention Requirements for Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act, Section 112(r)(7). The amendments were intended to modify:

  • accident prevention program elements;
  • emergency preparedness requirements; and
  • provisions related to sharing information with the public and local emergency planners/responders.

For more information on the RMP Amendments rule, please see: Final Amendments to the Risk Management Program (RMP) Rule.

Final Rule (82 FR 4594)(112 pp, 792 K, About PDF)

RMP Reconsideration Petitions

EPA received multiple petitions to reconsider and stay the RMP rule amendments (112 pp, 792 K, About PDF), published January 13, 2017. For more information on the RMP petitions, please see: Final Amendments to the Risk Management Program (RMP) Rule History.

RMP Delay Rule

On June 14, 2017, the EPA published a final rule to further delay the effective date of the RMP rule amendments until February 19, 2019.  EPA is conducting a reconsideration proceeding to review objections raised by petitioners to the final RMP Amendments rule. The purpose of the delay was to:

  • provide time to consider petitions for reconsideration of the RMP Amendments rule and
  • take further regulatory action which included proposing a rule to revise or rescind these amendments.

Final Rule (82 FR 27133)(12 pp, 323 K, About PDF)

RMP Delay Rule Litigation

In July 2017, various parties filed a petition for judicial review of the Delay Rule (Air Alliance Houston et al. v. EPA et al., No. 17-1155 (DC Cir.)). On August 17, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision in the Air Alliance Houston case, vacating the June 2017 EPA regulation (82 FR 27133, June 14, 2017) that delayed the effective date of the final RMP Amendments rule.

On September 21, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court issued its mandate which makes the 2017 RMP Amendments rule now effective. EPA will provide additional information on the impacts of this court decision as soon as it is available.

RMP Reconsideration Rule

On May 30, 2018, EPA proposed changes to the final RMP Amendments rule issued on January 13, 2017. EPA is proposing to rescind amendments relating to:

  • safer technology and alternatives analyses,
  • third-party audits,
  • incident investigations,
  • information availability, and
  • several other minor regulatory changes.

EPA is also proposing to modify amendments relating to local emergency coordination, emergency exercises, public meetings, and to change the compliance dates for these provisions. EPA is proposing these changes to address:

  • potential security risks associated with new information disclosure requirements introduced in the final Amendments rule,
  • reasonableness of regulatory costs compared to benefits of the rule
  • concerns about maintaining consistency with the OSHA PSM standard,
  • any impacts of the finding by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF) that the West Fertilizer incident was caused by arson, and
  • other issues.

For more information on this reconsideration, please see: RMP Reconsideration Rule.

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