EPA Proposes Changes to the 2017 Risk Management Program Amendments

In the May 30, 2018 Federal Register, EPA released a proposed rule that would modify the amendments it finalized on January 13, 2017. EPA proposed rescinding the amendments relating to safer technology and alternatives analyses, third-party audits, incident investigations, information availability, and several other minor changes. EPA also proposed modifying amendments relating to local emergency coordination and emergency exercises, and to change the compliance dates of certain provisions.

Public comments will be accepted through June 29, 2018.

EPA’s proposed rule addresses issues raised in three petitions for reconsideration of EPA’s final rule published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017 which amended the chemical accident prevention requirements in 40 CFR part 68. EPA’s new proposed rule intends to rescind almost all of the requirements added to the accident prevention provisions program for Program 2 and 3 processes. This includes the requirements for third-party compliance audits, safety technology and alternatives analysis for facilities with Program 3 regulated processes with NAICS codes 322, 324, and 325. EPA also proposed removing the text “for each covered process” from the compliance audit provisions in §§ 68.58 and 68.79.

EPA also proposed removing the requirement for conducting root cause analysis for incident investigations; for the incident investigation report to have added data elements; and for investigating any incident resulting in catastrophic releases that also results in the affected process being decommissioned or destroyed. Additionally, for § 68.60, there would be a five year record retention requirement. Program 2 processes would not be required to establish an incident investigation team with at least one person knowledgeable about the process and others with experience to investigate an incident.

Regarding training requirements, EPA would rescind the employee training requirements that apply to supervisors responsible for process operations and some minor wording changes. The owner or operator would not be required to keep process safety information up-to-date and would not need the process hazard analysis to address the findings from all incident investigations and other potential failure scenarios. EPA would maintain the change from material safety data sheet to safety data sheet.

In the alternative, EPA proposed rescinding all of the changes to Subparts C and D, except for the requirement for the hazard review to include findings from incident investigations, the requirement for Program 2 processes to establish an incident investigation team, training requirements for supervisors responsible for process operations and minor wording changes, and the change from material safety data sheet to safety data sheet.

The compliance dates would be one year after the effective date of a final rule for the emergency coordination provisions; two years after the effective date for the public meeting provisions; four years after the effective date for the emergency exercise provisions; and five years after the effective date for incorporating new subpart G data elements into a facility’s risk management plan.

Source:

EPA, Proposed Rule, Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air Act, 83 FR 24850, May 30, 2018