Bay Area City Fined for Not Updating Risk Management Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined the City of Benicia, Calif., $3,250 for failing to update and resubmit a federal risk management plan for its water treatment plant, in violation of the nation’s Clean Air Act. According to EPA, the Bay Area community failed to:

  • analyze and report one worst-case release scenario;
  • establish a process hazard analyses procedure to update and revalidate the PHA every five years;
  • establish and implement written procedures to maintain the on-going integrity of the process equipment, consistent with good engineering practices;
  • certify compliance with the provisions of the prevention program at least every three years;
  • review and update the risk management plan and submit it to EPA for a five-year update.

"Facilities and communities such as Benicia must provide timely and accurate risk management plan information to the EPA," said Daniel Meer, associate director for the Pacific Southwest region's Superfund program. "The plans provide important emergency preparedness and response information and help to ensure that industries are doing their part in preventing chemical accidents."

EPA noted that when properly implemented, risk management plans help prevent chemical releases and minimize their potential impacts at facilities that store large amounts of hazardous substances and flammable chemicals. Facilities are required to update and resubmit their risk management plan at least once every five years; the plans are used by EPA to assess chemical risks to surrounding communities and to prepare for emergency responses. For information on the Clean Air Act/risk management plan requirements, visit EPA’s Chemical Emergency Prevention and Preparedness Web site at www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/rmp/index.htm.

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