Wednesday, June 23, 2010

RMP Inspections - Chemical Safety Inspection Interim Guidance

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released interim guidance on 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, EPA will request that state and local agencies adopt similar procedures under the Risk Management Program.

The interim guidance pertains to inspections conducted by EPA under the Risk Management Program (RMP). The RMP is intended to reduce the risks to surrounding communities that arise from the management, use or storage of certain hazardous chemicals. Under the Clean Air Act, the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions (Section 112(r)) 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 EPA.

EPA expects to issue final guidance on participation of employees and employee representative in RMP inspections later this year.

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