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PT Notes

Amendments to EPA's RMP Rule - Stationary Source Siting

PT Notes is a series of topical technical notes on process safety provided periodically by Primatech for your benefit. Please feel free to provide feedback.

EPA has proposed several amendments relating to hazard evaluation for Program 2 and 3 RMP-regulated processes. This PT Note addresses:

  • Emphasizing that stationary source siting should be addressed in hazard reviews and PHAs, and explicitly defining the stationary source siting requirement as inclusive of the placement of processes, equipment, buildings within the facility, and hazards posed by proximate facilities, and accidental release consequences posed by proximity to the public and public receptors.

Further details are provided below.

The location of stationary sources, and the location and configuration of regulated processes and equipment within a source, can significantly affect the severity of an accidental release. Siting of processes and equipment within a stationary source can impact the surrounding community not only through the proximity of the accidental release to offsite receptors adjacent to the facility boundary (e.g., people, infrastructure, environmental resources), but also by the increased likelihood of subsequent ''knock-on' releases from other nearby processes compromised by the initial release.

EPA is proposing to emphasize the intent of the required siting evaluation to ensure that emphasis is placed on the importance of all aspects of a proper facility siting evaluation because accidents involving issues of siting continue to happen.

EPA believes that many matters outlined in previous comments about the current stationary source siting provision, while not explicitly addressed within the current regulatory text, are implicit and mandatory. Therefore, at this time, rather than propose additional requirements, EPA is only choosing to make more explicit what is required to be addressed in a stationary source siting evaluation to ensure that siting evaluations properly account for hazards resulting from the location of processes, equipment, building, and proximate facilities, and their effects on the surrounding community. In addition to providing some detail on what is intended by the Program 3 regulatory text on stationary source siting, EPA is also proposing to revise language to Program 2 hazard evaluations to ensure that all RMP facilities with the potential to cause offsite consequences to public receptors account for these hazards.

EPA is proposing to define stationary source siting evaluation as inclusive of the placement of processes, equipment, buildings, and hazards posed by proximate facilities, and accidental release consequences posed by proximity to the public and public receptors. The proposed amendments would make more explicit the requirement that hazard evaluations for processes under both Program 2 (hazard review) and Program 3 (PHA) need to address the matters in the siting evaluation.

EPA’s proposed revised definition of “stationary source” is: 

  • Any buildings, structures, equipment, installations, or substance-emitting stationary activities which belong to the same industrial group, which are located on one or more contiguous properties, which are under the control of the same person (or persons under common control), and from which an accidental release may occur. The term stationary source does not apply to transportation, including storage incident to transportation, of any regulated substance or any other extremely hazardous substance under the provisions of this part. A stationary source includes transportation containers used for storage not incident to transportation and transportation containers connected to equipment at a stationary source for loading or unloading. A transportation container is in storage incident to transportation as long as it is attached to the motive power that delivered it to the site (e.g., a truck or locomotive); however, railyards and other stationary sources actively engaged in transloading activities may store regulated substances up to 48 hours total in a disconnected transportation container without counting the regulated substances contained in that transportation container toward the regulatory threshold. Transportation includes, but is not limited to, transportation subject to oversight or regulation under 49 CFR part 192, 193, or 195, or a State natural gas or hazardous liquid program for which the State has in effect a certification to DOT under 49 U.S.C. 60105. A stationary source does not include naturally occurring hydrocarbon reservoirs. Properties shall not be considered contiguous solely because of a railroad or pipeline right-of-way.

EPA is soliciting comments on the proposed amendments and has posed questions regarding them.

If you would like further information, please click here.

To comment on this PT Note, click here.

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