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The primary differences between EPA’s risk management plan rule and OSHA’s process safety management standard are the result of the different statutory requirements for the two rules. The CAA requires EPA to include several elements in its regulation that are not mandated for OSHA. For example, EPA’s rule includes a hazard assessment, an emergency response program with certain elements, registration, and the submittal and auditing of the RMP. The only other element not included in the OSHA standard is the requirement for the owner or operator of a facility to define its management system and name the person or position responsible for the program.
EPA considers the management requirement critical to ensuring that the risk management program elements are integrated with each other on an ongoing basis. EPA expects that this requirement will create no additional burden for facilities because the proposed section would only require facilities to verify the name or names of people or positions responsible for implementing the program.
EPA’s proposed hazard assessment includes an offsite consequence analysis and a five-year accident history, as required by the CAA. Under the OSHA standard, facilities are required to develop an onsite consequence analysis. Most of the information needed to define accidental release scenarios will be derived from the process hazard analysis, which would be the same under the two rules.
An additional difference under the EPA rule requires the use of air dispersion models to analyze the distances chemical releases might migrate and the need to document the areas potentially affected by the releases. EPA’s hazard assessment also must include a five-year release history, which would overlap to some degree with a requirement in the OSHA’s process hazard analysis.
There is also a difference in how process hazard analysis (PHA) is phased in. Under the PSM standard, PHA is phased in over a given period of time and must be complete by May 26, 1997. Under the RMP rule, PHA must be complete for all covered processes 3 years from the date of publication of the final rule.
EPA’s proposed emergency response provisions respond to the language in the CAA and are somewhat different from the OSHA requirement. Under the OSHA standard, facilities must comply with one of two existing OSHA standards. Facilities that are currently in compliance with OSHA’s Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard (29 CFR 1910.120) are likely to be in substantial compliance with EPA’s proposed rule.
OSHA’s emergency action plan regulation (29 CFR 1910.38(a)) basically requires an evacuation plan. The CAA requires EPA’s emergency response program to include “specific actions to be take in response to an accident release of a regulated substance so as to protect human health and the environment” (CAA section 112(r)(7) (B)(ii)).
Therefore, facilities that currently have only an emergency action plan require under 29 CFR 1910.138(a) would need to develop a more extensive emergency response plan that details how the facility would respond to a release to limit offsite consequences. EPA is also suggesting that facilities conduct drills and exercises to test their plans. Without such exercises, a facility will not be certain that a plan can be implemented properly during an emergency.
All facilities covered by the EPA rule need to coordinate their plans with a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), which is not required by the OSHA standard. EPA considers this coordination essential to protect the public. Many facilities are already coordinating their plans with the LEPC plans and with local emergency responders. Therefore, EPA does not anticipate that this requirement will add substantially to the burden for most facilities.
The final differences between the two rules are the proposed requirements for registration, submission, and auditing of the RMP; the CAA Amendment, section 112(r)(7)(B)(iii), mandates these requirements. The information in the RMP would be derived from the documentation required elsewhere under the EPA proposed rule or OSHA’s standard. Consequently, EPA expects that the RMP will not add substantially to the burden of complying with the rules.