Chemical Plant Rule Could Be Delayed by 20 Months

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By Christopher J. Cavaiola

On April 3, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule to further delay the effective date of the Risk Management Program (RMP) rule amendments from June 19, 2017 to February 19, 2019.  During the delay, the EPA will likely consider several petitions for reconsideration of the RMP rule amendments and take further regulatory action.

The RMP rule amendments were developed by the Obama administration and were intended to prevent chemical incidents by: addressing and improving accident prevention program elements;, enhancing emergency preparedness requirements; and ensuring Local Emergency Planning Committees, local emergency response officials and the public can access information in a user-friendly format to help them understand the risks at RMP facilities and better prepare for emergencies.

Given the various uncertainties surrounding new and pending regulations, as well as the direction of environmental and regulatory agencies, it is suggested that companies handling hazardous chemicals continue to monitor the status of regulations until further guidance is provided by the Trump administration. If you have any questions about the issues discussed in this post, please contact Connell Foley’s Environmental Law Group.