The Latest On What The EPA Has To Say About Emergency Response And Other RMP Related Topics

US EPA Region 10 just released the May – June edition of their CHEMICAL EMERGENCY PREVENTION & PLANNING NEWSLETTER and you might be interested to hear what they have to say about your Emergency Response Program.  Below are highlights from the newsletter, or click here to view the entire newsletter.

EPA recognizes that, in some cases (particularly for retailers and other small
operations with few employees), it may not be appropriate for employees to
conduct response operations for releases of regulated substances. For example,
it would be inappropriate, and probably unsafe, for an ammonia retailer with only
one full-time employee to expect that a tank fire could be handled without the help
of the local fire department or other emergency responder. EPA does not intend to
force such facilities to develop emergency response capabilities. At the same time,
you are responsible for ensuring effective emergency response to any releases
at your facility. If your local public responders are not capable of providing such
response, you must take steps to ensure that effective response is available (e.g.,
by hiring response contractors).

Non-responding Facilities (§ 68.90(b))

EPA has adopted a policy for non-responding facilities similar to that developed by
OSHA in its Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)
Standard (29 CFR 1910.120), which allows certain facilities to develop an emergency
action plan to ensure employee safety, rather than a full-fledged emergency
response plan. If your employees will not respond to accidental releases of regulated
substances, then you need not comply with the emergency response plan and
program requirements. Instead, you are simply required to coordinate with local
response agencies to ensure that they will be prepared to respond to an emergency
at your facility. This will help to ensure that your community has a strategy for
responding to and mitigating the threat posed by a release of a regulated substance
from your facility. To do so, you must ensure that you have set up a way to notify
emergency responders when there is need for a response.


The US EPA Region 10 also shares in the newsletter the most common Risk Management Program violations in their region:

Process Hazard Analysis § 68.67 (e): The owner or operator shall establish a
system to promptly address the team’s findings and recommendations; assure
that the recommendations are resolved in a timely manner and that the
resolution is documented; document what actions are to be taken; complete
actions as soon as possible; develop a written schedule of when these actions are
to be completed; communicate the actions to operating, maintenance and other
employees whose work assignments are in the process and who may be affected
by the recommendations or actions.

Management § 68.15 (a): The owner or operator of a stationary source with
processes subject to Program 2 or Program 3 shall develop a management system
to oversee the implementation of the risk management program elements.

Documentation § 68.39 :The owner or operator shall maintain the following
records on the offsite consequence analyses for the worst-case scenarios,
alternative release scenarios, estimated quantity release rate, duration of release,
estimated population and environmental receptors potentially affected.

Updates § 68.190 (a): The owner or operator shall review and update the RMP as
specified in paragraph (b) of this section and submit it in the method and format
to the central point specified by EPA as of the date of submission.

Operating procedures § 68.69 (a): The owner or operator shall develop and
implement written operating procedures that provide clear instructions for safely
conducting activities involved in each covered process consistent with the process
safety information and shall address at least the following elements, in paragraphs
(a)(1) to (a)(4).

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