The EPA has finalized a rule amending its Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations to reduce the likelihood of accidental releases at chemical facilities. The amendments are an action item in response to President Obama’s Executive Order, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security. The President issued the order following the explosion at the West Texas fertilizer facility in 2013 that killed 12 emergency responders and 3 members of the public; injured more than 260 people; damaged or destroyed 150 buildings; and incurred losses totaling an estimated $230 million. The new rule requires certain facilities to do a root cause analysis of incidents involving catastrophic release or “near miss” catastrophic release. Further, some companies will have to coordinate with local emergency responders with respect to regulated substances present on site. All facilities will now be required to provide basic information about chemical hazards to the public upon request.
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