The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) has called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to uphold revisions made in 2019 to the Risk Management Plan (RMP) Rulemaking, which has the support of specialty and batch chemical manufacturers. The RMP rule is designed to prevent accidental releases at facilities manufacturing specific chemicals and requires plants that use extremely hazardous substances to develop a plan to identify the potential effects and emergency response procedures should an accident occur.

“The specialty chemical industry is dedicated to working closely with EPA on RMP,” said Robert Helminiak, vice president of Legal & Government Relations. “SOCMA and our member companies have a significant stake in this issue and want to ensure it is properly shaped, specifically in relation to Safer Technologies and Alternatives Analyses/Inherently Safer Technology, third-party audits and information disclosures.”

During recent testimony, Helminiak outlined three areas under consideration by EPA that are of importance to specialty and batch chemical manufacturers:

  • Safer Technologies and Alternatives Analyses/Inherently Safer Technology—The requirement is duplicative, according to Helminiak, as industry continues to adopt inherently safer processes and technologies without EPA mandate. Many procedures in the batch and specialty chemical industry are governed by FDA, EPA, or customer specifications, and the manufacturer is not free to alter them.
  • Third-Party Audits—EPA’s resources would be more effectively deployed through implementation of existing audit requirements.
  • Information Disclosure—The requirement for information-sharing imposes significant security risks. SOCMA members have long provided Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) and the public with the information necessary to understand the processes and hazards at facilities and prepare for and respond to releases, as required by the original RMP rule, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and the Hazardous Communication Standard.

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