The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is warning facilities that use hazardous substances to submit updated Risk Management Plans as required by federal law. The agency has begun to levy fines against facilities that are not in compliance.
RMPs contain information assessing plans in place to prevent and respond to accidental releases of hazardous substances from facilities and must be updated at least every five years.
Under the authority of section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act, the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions require facilities that produce, handle, process, distribute, or store certain chemicals to develop a Risk Management Program, prepare a Risk Management Plan (RMP), and submit the RMP to EPA. Covered facilities were initially required to comply with the rule in 1999, and the rule has been amended on several occasions since then, most recently in 2004.
About 140 facilities in EPA's Region 2 office alone have plans due this year. That region includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For assistance is submitting an updated RMP, facilities should contact the RMP Reporting Center at (301) 429-5018.
Additionally, effective March 13, EPA has a new online method for preparing and submitting an RMP. Information about RMP*eSubmit, including how to set up an account, can be found at www.epa.gov/emergencies/rmp.
EPA also recently updated several RMP guidance documents, including its General Risk Management Plan Guidance . These are available with other information at http://www.epa.gov/oem/guidance.htm#rmpguidance.