Pruitt seeks more time to review EPA risk management program changes

A proposed rule to further delay the effective date of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Management Program (RMP) Amendments was signed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The rule will give the agency more time to complete its reconsideration of the amendments covering accidental chemical releases, which were issued on Jan. 17.

A proposed rule to further delay the effective date of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Management Program (RMP) Amendments was signed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The rule will give the agency more time to complete its reconsideration of the amendments covering accidental chemical releases, which were issued on Jan. 17.

The proposed rule, which appeared in the Apr. 3 Federal Register, would make the amendments go into effect on Feb. 19, 2019. Comments on it must be received by May 19. EPA also will hold a public hearing on the proposed in Washington on Apr. 19.

“We want to prevent regulation created for the sake of regulation by the previous administration,” Pruitt said. “Any expansion of the RMP program should make chemical facilities safer, without compromising our national security. Any new RMP requirements also should be developed in accordance with the explicit mandate granted to EPA by Congress.”

Pruitt’s proposal to further delay the amendments’ effective date will give EPA time to evaluate multiple petitioners’ objections and consider other issues that may benefit from additional public input, the agency said. It also will use the time to ensure that all of the RMP Amendments’ provisions are in accordance with the explicit mandate Congress granted EPA under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

US Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) introduced Congressional Review Act legislation in early February to revoke EPA’s amended risk management programs rule amendments that became final on Jan. 13 and was scheduled to go into effect on Mar. 14 (OGJ Online, Feb. 2, 2017).

He introduced the bill after the American Petroleum Institute, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, US Chamber of Commerce, and 18 other business groups asked leaders of the 115th Congress the previous month to use the CRA to disapprove EPA’s final risk management practices rule amendments (OGJ Online, Jan. 26, 2017).

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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