The EPA finalized the long-awaited amendments to its RMP Rule on December 21, 2016 and the Rule was published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017.
The revisions will be effective 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register (FR) and facilities will have 1 to 4 years to implement the required changes.
EPA explained in a news release that, “This rule will help prevent chemical accidents, such as the explosion in West Texas in 2013, and their devastating effects.”
The news release went on to say that most facilities are operated safely, but “in the last 10 years more than 1,500 accidents were reported by facilities covered by the RMP Rule. These accidents are responsible for causing nearly 60 deaths; some 17,000 people being injured or seeking medical treatment; almost 500,000 people being evacuated or sheltered-in-place; and more than $2 billion in property damages.”
EPA indicates that these amendments are intended to:
The Final Rule (available here) with commentary and history is long at 111 pages. The first 103 pages provide discussion, both pros and cons, regarding the proposed legislation, and EPA’s reasoning for adopting its final amendments. Pages 4696 through 4705 outline the changes and provide the new language of the regulation.
A summary of the major changes is available on our RMP Amendment webpage.
There is some speculation over the internet that because of opposition from the regulated community and the new presidential administration, these amendments may not be implemented or they may be rescinded in their entirety.