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EPA Puts Risk Management Program Rule on Hold
This January, the much anticipated final RMP amendments were published in the Federal Register. According to the EPA, these amendments are intended to:
- Prevent catastrophic accidents by improving accident prevention program requirements
- Enhance emergency preparedness to ensure coordination between facilities and local communities
- Improve information access to help the public understand the risks at RMP facilities
- Improve third-party audits at RMP facilities
As Kestrel indicated in a recent article when the final RMP amendments were published, RMP faces an uncertain future under the Trump Administration. It is not clear at this point whether the final RMP rule will actually be implemented as published—or at all.
We are seeing the first wave of that uncertainty demonstrated. EPA received a petition dated February 28, 2017, from the RMP Coalition requesting a reconsideration and request for a stay for the RMP rule amendments. After a proceeding for reconsideration on March 13, 2017, EPA’s Administrator signed a final rule that provides a three-month (90-day) administrative stay of the effective date of the RMP rule amendments, delaying the effective date of the final rule to June 19, 2017. This stay is intended to allow the EPA to revisit these important issues and consider alternative approaches.