The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to temporarily stay the effective date of its Risk Management Program Rule (RMP Rule), which was slated to become effective on March 14, 2017. The RMP Rule is an amendment to the EPA’s Accidental Release Prevention Requirements for Risk Management Program that had been promulgated under Section 112(r)(7) of the Clean Air Act. The RMP Rule was finalized on January 13, 2017, in response to an Executive Order signed by President Obama on August 1, 2013, which had directed EPA to modernize the RMP Program. Among other things, the RMP Rule enhances the emergency preparedness requirements for regulated facilities, broadens public access to information on RMP regulated facilities, and revises accident prevention program elements.
The stay is associated with the EPA’s decision to grant an industry coalition petition requesting administrative reconsideration of the RMP Rule. The EPA agreed to stay the effective date of the RMP Rule while the agency undertakes this reconsideration process. The stay is initially effective for 90 days (i.e., until June 12, 2017), however, the stay could be extended by the EPA for a longer period. The RMP Rule is also facing legal challenges and is the target of Congressional Review Act resolutions introduced in the House and Senate.