August 31, 2022

EPA Seeks Comments on Risk Management Program Revision

EPA is requesting public comment on the proposed Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention (SCCAP) rule, which was signed on Aug. 18 by EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. According to the agency, the SCCAP rule proposes revisions to EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) that will strengthen the existing program and add new safeguards not addressed in prior RMP rules with the intent to protect vulnerable communities from chemical accidents. Some of the changes proposed by the SCCAP rule include requirements for safer technologies and chemical alternatives, more thorough incident investigations, and third-party auditing.

The facilities affected by the rule are those that use extremely hazardous substances above regulated thresholds. These facilities are required to develop a risk management plan that identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident, the steps the facility is taking to prevent an accident, and the emergency response procedures that should be followed if an accident occurs. According to EPA, approximately 12,000 facilities in the United States are subject to RMP regulations.

The SCCAP proposed rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register. Comments on the rule will be accepted up to 60 days after the date of publication. A prepublication version of the proposed rule, which includes instructions on how to submit comments, is available as a PDF on EPA’s website.

Interested parties can also present information, comments, and views related to the SCCAP proposed rule in a series of three virtual public hearings. These will be held on Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET, on Sept. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. ET, and on Sept. 28 from 5 to 8 p.m. ET. Participants must pre-register by Sept. 22 to participate in any of these hearings. EPA’s website will be updated to include a registration link and more information as the dates of the hearings approach.