EPA RMP Rule Finalized
EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) – Final Rule

EPA’s Risk Management Program “Reset” 

On February 27, 2024, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the newest amendment the newest amendment to the Risk Management Program (RMP) rule, thereby completing the RMP "reset" started in 2022. The latest change to the RMP is promulgated under the Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention (SCCAP) rule and its main objective is to further protect communities from impacts associated with flammable and toxic chemical accidents. Specifically, the SCCAP addresses:

  1. Safer Technologies and Chemical Alternatives

  2. Accident Prevention

  3. Robust Incident Investigations

  4. Third-party Auditing

As of March 11th, 2024, the Final Rule, Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air Act; Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention, has been posted to the Federal Register. In this article, we assess each aspect in the context of new EPA RMP compliance requirements.      

What is the EPA’s Risk Management Program and does it apply to my facility?

Under the EPA’s RMP, an owner or operator of each stationary source (i.e., a facility) that manufactures, uses, stores, or otherwise handles any of the regulated substances above threshold quantities (TQ) shall develop an RMP that: (i) identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident, (ii) outlines prevention strategies, and (iii) establishes emergency response procedures to mitigate unplanned events. There are three prevention program levels (i.e., Program 1, Program 2, and Program 3) within the RMP depending on the complexity of release scenarios and associated risks. The industrial sectors that may be covered include agriculture and food production, chemical and paper manufacturing and distribution, oil and gas, utilities, warehousing/storage, and government operations listed under certain North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Some sectors are more impacted by the Rule, its implementation, and amendments than others.      

What are the latest EPA Risk Management Program changes?

After initial delays in SCAPP rulemaking and public commenting period, EPA settled on the following key aspects impacting Programs 2 and 3. Program 1 requirements are not affected by rule revisions.  

  • Prevention Program 2 - Subpart C

Program 2 applies to processes not eligible for the least onerous Program 1, but not subject to the most complex Program 3. For simplicity, citations are not provided in rule change summaries below. The 2024 SCCAP rule provides specific details.    

  • Process Safety Information: (i) processes documented and designed according to good engineering practices

  • Process Hazard: (i) equipment/monitoring malfunction safeguards including power loss prevention, (ii) natural hazards contribution to severity of incidents, (iii) stationary source siting relative to public receptors and other proximal sources       

  • Operating Procedures: (i) documentation of monitoring equipment removal from service 

  • Facility Compliance: (i) certify Program 2 requirements every 3 years, (ii) means for public notification of information availability within 6 miles of the facility, (iii) date of last compliance audit and any deficiency implementation  

  • 3rd Party Audits: (i) if accidental release(s) occurred or requested by the implementing agency, a 3rd party audit (ii) shall be completed by a qualified, competent, and independent entity or auditing team, (iii) findings/deficiencies to be summarized in a report submitted to  the facility and the Board of Directors, and (iv) reports must be maintained for 5 years       

  • Incident Investigations: (i) incident report due within 12 months, and (ii) must document initiating event(s), contributing factor(s), and root cause(s)  

  • Employee Participation: (i) facility written plan, (ii) plan availability annual notice, (iii) plan training, (iv) unaddressed hazard reporting by employees to facility/agency, and (v) report archiving for 3 years    

  • Prevention Program 3 - Subpart D

The new RMP requirements for Program 3 are similar to Program 2, but with additional stipulations as listed. 

  • Process Safety Information: 

    • Facilities to provide complete and updated process safety information 

  • Process Hazard: 

    • Facilities to implement safer technology and alternatives analysis (STAA), plus risk management measures for NAICS 324 and 325 (refining and chemical manufacturing) consisting of practical inherently safer technology or design (ISTD), as well as passive, active, and procedural measures

    • STAA implementation report to be submitted to governing agency 

    • STAA applies to NAICS 324/325 co-located within 1 mile or with recent accident history, and NAICS 324 with hydrofluoric acid alkylation process

  • Employee Participation: 

    • Employee consultation on process hazard analysis (PHA) and process safety management (PSM)

    • Knowledgeable employee participation in corrective PHA actions, audits, and investigations

    • Knowledgeable employee given authorities to inform continued safe operation or shut down of processes in preventing catastrophic releases             

  • Hot Work:

    • Work details and permit to document fire prevention and protection measures

    • Permit archiving for 3 years  

  • Emergency Response - Subpart E

The main elements required for facility emergency response are codified in Subpart E language, with the following revisions specified under the 2024 SCAAP. The degree of applicability to each facility depends on the pertinent program level.

  • Notifications: 

    • §68.85(b)(3) document appropriate notification and incident data mechanisms to share with local emergency responders

    • §68.85(b)(6) document community and agency incident notification procedures in partnership with local responders

  • Response Plan Elements: 

    • §68.95(a)(1)(i) notifications and response partnerships

    • §68.95(c) provide timely data and information on incident in concert with emergency response plan development and implementation

  • Emergency Exercises:

    • §68.96(b)(1)(i) complete field exercise jointly with local responders by March 15, 2027, and decennially thereafter unless agreed to lesser frequency

    • §68.96(b)(3) tabletop/field exercise report within 90 days of the event     

  • Public Notification - Subpart H

Subpart H had several revisions concerning the information to be made available to local communities.

  • Chemical Hazards: 

    • §68.210(d) upon request from any member of the public residing, working, or spending significant time within 6 miles the facility shall provide: a. information on regulated substance, b. associated safety data sheet(s), c. 5-year accident history, d. emergency response program summary, e. listing of exercises within one year of request, f. local emergency committee contact

    • §68.210(g) information to be provided within 45 days of request

    • §68.210(h) archive requests for 5 years


In all, the new regulatory burden and many changes imposed on the estimated 12,000 RMP facilities will likely lead to challenges in its applicability determination, implementation, and compliance resourcing.   

Compliance Calendar

The new EPA RMP rule revisions have an extended implementation schedule through 2028, with the main provisions coming into effect on March 15,  2027. The final rule published in the Federal Register lists specific compliance dates for the revised RMP program elements.


EPA regularly audits facilities and levies significant fines regarding RMP deficiencies. EPA’s authority to do so is clearly defined in their enforcement policies. Recent non-compliance cases under CAA serve as a reminder of the importance of keeping RMPs up-to-date and maintaining compliance with the rule. 

Curious about how the latest EPA Risk Management Program news impacts you? We can help.

If you have RMP-related questions, concerns, or challenges, drop your information into our contact form and we’ll schedule time to discuss how you can prepare for and manage RMP regulations. Trihydro provides comprehensive RMP development and implementation services, and we can assist in evaluating how the rules impact your organization. We are also available to provide RMP internal and external audit support. Contact us today to get started.


Contact Us

Andrew Pawlisz Headshot
Andrew Pawlisz
Senior Toxicologist, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Andrew is a board-certified toxicologist with over 21 years of experience in risk assessment and evaluation; hazard assessment; and regulatory compliance, including the legacy and reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Andrew specializes in finding practical solutions to regulatory and human health/environmental issues related to toxicants.
Jay Christopher
Jay Christopher
Senior Air Specialist, Englewood, CO

Mr. Christopher has over 45 years of industry environmental experience. Since 1990, Mr. Christopher has primarily focused on air quality issues in the petroleum sector, with results-oriented, hands-on experience in the environmental consulting industry as well as in industry corporate headquarters and facility regulatory settings. He managed the environmental compliance program and environmental professional staff for a major refinery’s downstream businesses. 

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