The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule that will directly affect Risk Management Programs by amending the Accidental Release Prevention Requirements. After the horrific explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas back in 2013, Executive Order 13650 was issued to establish tasks to aid in the prevention of chemical explosions.
Risk Management Programs work in conjunction with Process Safety Management Standards regarding chemical process safety.
Suggested amendments include:
- All Program 2 or 3 processes would be required to perform a root cause analysis in conjunction with the incident investigation of a catastrophic release or a could have been reasonably released.
- Third-party compliance audit would be required after a reportable release for facilities with Program 2 or 3 processes.
- Additional process hazard analysis elements for Program 3 regulated processes, including paper manufacturing, petroleum and coal products manufacturing and chemicals manufacturing facilities. Safer technology and alternatives analysis would be required.
- Annual coordination with emergency response agencies in the local area regarding potential accidental release substances, as well as periodic notification exercises and field exercises.
- Chemical hazard information be made available to the public by easily accessible means. Additionally, public forums are to be held following an reportable incident.
The overall goal of this new proposed rule is to create a safer environment for host facilities, employees, emergency responders and the community. Public comments are due May 13, 2016.