The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a final rule rescinding major amendments to the Clean Air Act §112(r) Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations that were promulgated at the end of the Obama Administration in 2017. The 2017 revisions were promulgated partially in response to a 2013 explosion at a fertilizer company in West Texas, which caused 15 fatalities and injured more than 260 people, and had yet to go fully into effect due to administrative and court challenges and because most of the compliance deadlines had not yet been triggered.
The provisions of the 2017 rule that have been rescinded include requirements:
- To assess theoretically safer technology and alternative analysis of risk management measures targeting process hazards;
- For third-party compliance audits after a reportable RMP accident; and
- To perform root cause analyses after RMP accidents or near misses.