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.

Download Center

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Incident Investigations Guide

    If your organization has experienced an incident resulting in a fatality, injury, illness, environmental exposure, property damage, or even a quality issue, it’s important to perform an incident investigation to determine how this happened and learn what you can do to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of performing an incident investigation.

  • Lone Worker Guide

    Lone workers exist in every industry and include individuals such as contractors, self-employed people, and those who work off-site or outside normal hours. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies, inadequate rest and breaks, physical violence, and more. To learn more about lone worker risks and solutions, download this informative guide.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Download the guide to learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • The Basics of Incident Investigations Webinar

    Without a proper incident investigation, it becomes difficult to take preventative measures and implement corrective actions. Watch this on-demand webinar for a step-by-step process of a basic incident investigation, how to document your incident investigation findings and analyze incident data, and more. 

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2022

    October 2022

    Featuring:

    • FACILITY SAFETY
      Here's Why Constant Bending Can Be Troublesome
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      How Artificial Intelligence in Revolutionizing Jobs
    • PPE: RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
      Choosing the Right Respiratory Protection
    • WINTER HAZARDS
      Managing Cold Stress with the Proper PPE
    View This Issue