The EPA is proposing the Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention (SCCAP) rule to enhance its Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations. This rule aims to better protect vulnerable communities living near facilities with high accident rates and introduces new provisions not previously addressed. The key proposed changes include:

Prevention Program (Subparts C and D):

  • Emphasizing natural hazards, including those related to climate change and loss of power, in hazard reviews and process hazard analyses
  • Stressing the importance of facility siting in hazard reviews
  • Requiring a safer technologies and alternatives analysis (STAA) for specific processes
  • Mandating a formal root cause analysis after RMP-reportable accidents
  • Requiring third-party compliance audits under certain conditions
  • Enhancing employee participation in various aspects

Emergency Response (Subpart E):

  • Requiring non-responding facilities to develop procedures for informing the public about accidental releases
  • Implementing specific requirements for emergency response exercises

Information Availability (Subpart H, § 68.210):

  • Requiring facilities to provide chemical hazard information to residents within 6 miles of the facility upon request

Other Technical Clarifications: 

  • Minor regulatory edits in various subparts

The proposed compliance dates for these changes vary but generally fall within three to four years after the final rule’s effective date. The estimated annual cost of implementing the SCCAP rule is approximately $77 million.

EPA seeks to enhance safety, advance process safety, and promote transparency in chemical accident prevention by working closely with communities, environmental justice advocates, and other stakeholders during the public comment process.