444154 EPA's Effort to Expand Risk Management Program Requirements - Necessary Improvements in Chemical Safety or a Failure to Implement and Enforce Existing Regulations

Tuesday, April 12, 2016: 9:05 AM
Grand Ballroom BC (Hilton Americas - Houston)
Matthew Paulson, Bracewell LLP, Austin, TX

In the wake of the 2013 West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, President Obama directed various federal agencies, including EPA, to develop an aggressive action plan focused on improving chemical safety and security.  Subsequently, the Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group was formed, and in June 2014 the group issued a report entitled Actions to Improve Chemical Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment.  In addition to making recommendations affecting nearly every aspect of chemical safety, the report proposed revising EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) to add new substances, incorporating lessons learned from advancements in industry practices, and mandating changes to root cause and process hazard analyses, among other recommendations.  In response to the Working Group’s recommendations, in July 2014 EPA issued a Request for Information (RFI) related to potential revisions to the RMP regulations covering numerous areas, including additions to the regulated substance list and RMP elements, and mandating new management of change, facility siting, emergency response and incident investigation requirements, amount other potential changes.  The presentation will provide an overview of EPA’s RFI, industry comments on the RFI, and EPA’s subsequent proposed rule.  We will then address the development of industry comments on EPA’s proposal, associated legal issues, and potential rule challenges.

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