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Road to Risk Rule Likely to Lengthen

Monday, October 6, 2014

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Facing a deadline, the American Coatings Association is asking federal regulators for more time to produce information on the industry’s risk-management plans for chemical releases.

Calling an Environmental Protection Agency Request for Information "expansive and complex," the paint and coating makers have requested three additional months to submit comments and data.

At issue is EPA's RFI on Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act, Section 112(r)(7), published July 31 in the Federal Register.

Chemical Plant
U.S. Department of Labor

EPA has issued a Request for Information on Accidental Release Prevention as part of the 2013 Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.

ACA asked the EPA on Sept. 23 to extend the looming deadline of Oct. 29 back to Jan. 27, 2015.

Improving Chemical Safety and Security

The RFI involves proposed modernizations to the Risk Management Programs (RMP) under the Clean Air Act. The RFI is part of President Obama’s Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, signed in August 2013.

That order directed the federal government to:

  • Improve operational coordination with state and local partners;
  • Enhance federal agency coordination and information sharing;
  • Modernize policies, regulations and standards; and
  • Work with stakeholders to identify best practices.

Rulemaking Looms

While not a proposed rule, the EPA's new RFI "reflects the options EPA is strongly considering for rulemaking, which EPA hopes to begin in the summer of 2015," ACA told its members Tuesday (Sept. 30).

The Executive Order "could have a substantial impact on a number of industries, so ACA believes it is important to be involved at this early stage...," the association said.

©iStock / dem10

The Executive Order on Chemical Safety "could have a substantial impact on a number of industries," the American Coatings Association warns its members.

ACA notes that OSHA also recently issued an RFI on Process Safety Management modernization, for which it also granted an extension.

'Inadequate and Impractical"

ACA has told the EPA that the Accidental Release RFI is "expansive and complex" and the comment deadline "inadequate and impractical." The request will require "extensive technical evaluation and quantitative analyses," the association said.

The RFI "asks for detailed information on costs and economic impacts, including quantitative benefits, costs, compliance costs, and offsets to costs, as well as specific information about any technical feasibility issues or implementation challenges associated with the various proposals," ACA says.

The questions span "19 topics with more than 100 options and over 380 inquiries, some consisting of multiple-part questions."

Contact ACA’s Javaneh Nekoomaram, David Darling or Allen Irish for more information.


Tagged categories: Accidents; American Coatings Association (ACA); Clean Air Act; Coatings manufacturers; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Good Technical Practice; Government; North America; Regulations

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