EPA: Proposed Changes to Rule on Risk Management Program Will Boost Process Safety
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing changes to its Risk Management Program (RMP) rule, claiming the new requirements would improve chemical process safety and keep first responders safer.
Announced on 25 February, the changes come after 2 years of outreach to communities, first responders, local governments, and industry stakeholders.
The RMP rule would require:
- Employers to use safer technologies and alternatives in process hazard assessment
- Third-party audits and root-cause analysis to identify areas where safety improvements can be made at facilities
- Coordination between facilities and local emergency response agencies in emergency planning and preparedness
- Certain facilities to conduct emergency response exercises with local responders
“This proposal is a step in the right direction,” Mathy Stanislaus, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management, wrote in a blog post. “We want to build on the success of leaders in the chemical industry by enhancing their operations to prevent accidents, and we want to make sure that communities are fully prepared for a chemical plant accident, so that first responders, workers, and neighboring community members are protected.”