The explosion in West, Texas, prompted President Obama

Should EPA's Risk Management Program Regs List High Explosives?

The agency published a request for information about possible revisions to its RMP regulations on July 31, as required under Executive Order 13650.

Eight months after OSHA asked for comments about potential changes to its Process Safety Management standard and related standards, EPA has followed suit by requesting comments about possible revisions to its Risk Management Program regulations. Both actions were taken in response to President Obama's executive order 13650, which directed the departments of Labor, Homeland Security, and also EPA to work with several other federal agencies on ways to improve chemical facilities' safety and security. The April 2013 explosion of ammonium nitrate at a fertilizer facility in West, Texas, prompted the executive order.

EPA's request for information was published July 31. The deadline for comments is Oct. 29, 2014.

"Chemical safety and security are a shared commitment among government, industry, public interest groups and communities," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "We are reaching out to all these partners to ask for their suggestions and comments to help us improve the Risk Management Program, and in turn improve safety and security of chemical facilities."

EPA noted that its request for information "closely coordinates with the potential changes to OSHA’s PSM program for accident prevention measures." It addresses potentially updating the list of RMP regulated substances and adjusting threshold quantities and toxic endpoints based on Acute Exposure Guideline Level (AEGL) toxicity values. EPA is seeking comments on using inherently safer technology, process safety metrics, automated monitoring of releases, emergency drills, stop work authority, and addressing facility siting risks.

Among the key questions is whether EPA should reconsider listing explosives on the RMP list. EPA listed high explosives on the RMP list in 1994 but removed them on Jan. 6, 1998, in a settlement of litigation with the Institute of Makers of Explosions, which had challenged the listing, claiming that MSHA, OSHA, and ATF already regulated them sufficiently.

Product Showcase

  • SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit

    The SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit is a single-use spot test designed for use in screening for cannabis compounds in any sample type or on any surface. The test is capable of identifying the presumed presence of cannabinoids in very small quantities, with a level of detection as little as 6 μg in mass. Learn more about the SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit and the rest of SwabTek surface drug testing solutions through the webinar titled "Everything You Want To Know About Surface Testing" Read More

  • SECUPRO MARTEGO

    FOR HIGHEST DEMANDS. A cutting tool in which function and design go hand in hand. Meet the SECUPRO MARTEGO, our prize-winning squeeze-grip safety knife with fully automatic retractable blade for safety. • Ergonomically friendly trigger mechanism to engage the blade • Durable body made of aluminum • Safer alternative to fixed blade utility knives for general cutting tasks • 9 mm Cutting depth • Easy, tool free blade change Dimensions: L 6.10" L x 0.71" W x 1.91" H Weight: 3.70 oz Cutting Depth: 9 mm Read More

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi gas detector that runs continuously for three years without being recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Its durability enables the detector to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, hence earning it an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as the GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. Read More

Featured