July 31, 2014 RMP RFI Highlights



Items on OSHA’s RFI Relevant to EPA’s RMP Regulation:
  • Changes to RMP applicability, Threshold Quantities (TQ) and toxic endpoints
    • EPA may add new toxics, flammables, reactive substances (organic peroxides, oxidizers, combustible dust, flammable solids) and explosives to the covered chemical lists in 40 CFR 68.130. EPA may lower the TQ for existing RMP regulated substances and may recalculate the RMP TQs and toxic endpoints using the Acute Exposure Guidance Levels (AEGLs) developed by the National Advisory Committee (NAC) or the Emergency Response Planning Guidelines (ERPGs).
    • EPA may restrict the use of the exemptions from OSHA’s PSM Program to utilize RMP Level 2 program eligibility and modify the list of NAICS codes subject to RMP Program 3, or eliminate the RMP Level 2 program entirely.
  • Addition or changes to RMP Program elements
    • Management System, Mechanical Integrity (MI), and Management of Change (MOC) – EPA may modify these elements, similar to the approach identified in the OSHA PSM RFI.
    • Contractor Safety – EPA may strengthen contractor safety requirements and modify hazard review / Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) requirements to clarify scenarios to be covered, require more frequent revalidation, and specify events that trigger review/update prior to the next revalidation.
    • Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR) – EPA may clarify the scenarios or modifications that trigger a Pre-Startup Review by stating what modifications require a change in Process Safety Information.
    • Incident Investigation – EPA may require root-cause analysis for incidents investigated under 40 CFR 68.81.
    • Compliance Audits – EPA may add requirements for third party audits, a full compliance audit after an incident or near miss, and that all covered processes must receive a full compliance audit every three years, not just a subset of covered processes at the source.
  • Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practice (RAGAGEP)
    • EPA is considering addition of a definition for RAGAGEP to the RMP Standard and requiring sites to evaluate their MI, PHA, and MOC practices against updates to applicable RAGAGEP, not just at initial design/installation.
Additional Items for Which EPA Requested Information:
  • Inherently safer technologies (IST) review – EPA may require use of safer technology and alternatives analysis, such as CCPS IST review.
  • Emergency Response Plan (ERP) – EPA may require emergency drills to test a source’s ERP, including coordination with local and community responders as appropriate.
  • Leak Detection, Testing, and Notification – EPA may require installation of automated detection and monitoring for releases of regulated substances, notification to local responders and surrounding public of an incident, and integration of Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) requirements into RMP.
  • Stationary source siting requirements – EPA may add buffer or setback zone requirements for new covered stationary sources or establish safety criteria for siting of occupied areas within a facility.
  • Facility Response requirements – EPA may require that owners and operators of RMP-regulated facilities act as a responding facility unless the local public responders both have the means, and agree to respond to, releases of regulated substances at the facility. EPA may clarify steps for non-responding facility coordination with local authorities on the development of community emergency response plans.
  • Incident Investigation (II) – EPA may require investigation of near misses, root cause determination for accidents, near misses, and process upsets, and establish specific timeframes for investigations to be completed. EPA may broaden its definition of “catastrophic release” and RMP accident history reporting requirements and require facilities to share accident investigations with the local community.
  • Worst Case Release – EPA may revise the worst case release scenario quantity requirements to reflect the entire quantity in one location or one process as the worst case scenario release quantity and to account for potential cascading effects of separate facilities that are interconnected.
  • Public Access to RMP Information – EPA may increase RMP-regulated facility information available to public and local authorities.
  • RMP Standard Replacement – EPA may replace the current PSM and RMP standards with a “safety case” regulatory model where owner or operators of industrial facilities are required to demonstrate to the regulator that they have reduced risks to a level that is “as low as reasonably practicable” or ALARP.

Additional details about the EPA RMP updates can be found at http://www.trinityconsultants.com/Templates/TrinityConsultants/ News/Article.aspx?id=6171.

Trinity will continue to follow the docket information and agency publications for indications of agency action on their respective RFI topics. For additional information about the PSM and RMP programs, potential changes, and their impacts to your facility, contact Natalie VanLiew, P.E. at nvanliew@trinityconsultants.com or 913-894-4500.