Compliance » New Regulations for Risk Management Plans Under the Clean Air Act

New Regulations for Risk Management Plans Under the Clean Air Act

April 4, 2024

New Regulations for Risk Management Plans Under the Clean Air Act

According to an article written by Williams Mullen, The Clean Air Act mandates that high-risk facilities, such as those in chemical manufacturing, paper manufacturing, and warehousing, must prepare and implement Risk Management Plans (RMPs), submitted to the EPA every five years if they surpass a certain threshold quantity of regulated substances.

Recent EPA regulations, known as the Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention – Risk Management Program Final Rule, aim to enhance RMP requirements to prevent and prepare for chemical accidents, imposing additional obligations like backup power for monitoring equipment, third-party audits, and employee involvement. According to the article, these regulations must be complied with by specified deadlines, which could pose significant challenges for affected businesses due to potential enforcement penalties and the resource-intensive nature of compliance.

Key updates include amplifying hazard reviews to evaluate standby or backup power, assessing natural hazards’ impact on accidental releases, and incorporating siting evaluations to determine secondary release risks.

Facilities must document declined recommendations and justifications for these hazards in their RMPs, and third-party audits, required at least once every three years for certain facilities, may now be mandated following an accidental release or at an agency’s discretion, with detailed reporting obligations and avenues for internal appeals.

Employee participation is encouraged through the establishment of reporting processes for unaddressed hazards, accidents, or non-compliance, ensuring anonymity and access to relevant RMP information.

Compliance efforts are crucial, requiring a thorough understanding and implementation of the updated requirements before the specified deadlines. Businesses subject to RMP requirements must navigate these additional obligations to avoid penalties and ensure the protection of human health and the environment; and businesses not currently subject to RMP requirements should carefully consider potential implications before increasing chemical quantities, as non-compliance could lead to significant repercussions.

Daily Updates

Sign up for our free daily newsletter for the latest news and business legal developments.

Scroll to Top