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VI Joins Call for Additional Input on Changes to Risk Management Program

Dec 2016

VI joined the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and a diverse group of public and private entities calling on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to allow additional time to develop an EPA proposal to amend the Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations under the Clean Air Act.  EPA first proposed changes to RMP on March 14, 2016 in response to a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas on April 17, 2013.  It was later determined that the explosion was a result of arson.

According to EPA, the proposed changes to the RMP “seek to improve chemical process safety, assist local emergency authorities in planning for and responding to accidents, and improve public awareness of chemical hazards at regulated sources.”  More specifically, “the proposed revisions include several changes to the accident prevention program requirements including an additional analysis of safer technology and alternatives for the process hazard analysis for some Program 3 processes, third-party audits and incident investigation root cause analysis for Program 2 and Program 3 processes, enhancements to the emergency preparedness requirements, increased public availability of chemical hazard information, and several other changes to certain regulatory definitions and data elements submitted in risk management plans.”

Business and industry groups have expressed concern that EPA has not adequately evaluated the costs and benefits of the proposed rule.  Additionally, there is concern that the proposal would force companies to distribute potentially security-sensitive information to the public through websites or other means that would increase security risks.  VI and NAM requested OMB allow additional time, input, and discussion on the proposed rule and called on the agency to send the rule back to EPA for re-proposal.

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