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The EPA on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, released interim guidance that could make a lot of chemical plant managers nervous, requesting that employees take part in the agency's chemical safety inspections process. Under the interim guidance, EPA inspectors will offer employees and employee representatives the opportunity to participate in chemical safety inspections. In addition, the agency will request that state and local agencies adopt similar procedures under the Risk Management Program.
The interim guidance pertains to inspections conducted by the EPA under the agency's Risk Management Program (RMP). Owners and operators of covered facilities must develop a risk management plan, which includes facility plans for the prevention and response to chemical accidents. Under the Clean Air Act, the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions require facilities that produce, handle, process, distribute, or store certain chemicals to develop a Risk Management Program, prepare a risk management plan, and submit the plan to the EPA.
The agency expects to issue final guidance on participation of employees and employee representative in RMP inspections later this year.
More information on EPA's interim guidance and RMP is available at the agency's website at www.epa.gov/oem/content/rmp/index.htm
More information on the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions: www.epa.gov/oem/content/lawsregs/rmpover.htm
SOURCE: EPA Press Release