EPA Warns Facilities: File Updated Risk Management Plans or Face Penalties
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working to ensure that facilities submit updated risk management plans (RMPs) as required by federal law and has levied fines against companies that do not. RMPs, required under the Clean Air Act, contain information assessing plans in place to prevent and respond to accidental releases of hazardous substances from facilities and must be updated at least every five years. About 140 facilities in the area covered by EPA's Region 2 office, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have plans due this year.
In a streamlined enforcement process, EPA's Region 2 office continually identifies facilities that currently have risk management plans in place to see which plans are overdue. Where the agency finds facilities that have not updated their plans on time, it is giving that facility a chance to comply and pay a discounted penalty. This was the case recently for the Kuehne Chemical Company in South Kearny, N.J. As a result of EPA's enforcement efforts, the company updated its plan and paid a $1,400 penalty for late filing. Additional enforcement actions are planned in the coming months.
For assistance is submitting an updated RMP, facilities should contact the RMP Reporting Center at (301) 429-5018. Additionally, EPA has developed a new method for preparing and submitting an RMP that became available on March 13, 2009. The new method is called RMP*eSubmit and information about it and how to set up an RMP*eSubmit account can be found at www.epa.gov/emergencies/rmp.