The Environmental Protection Agency intends to better streamline its emergency procedures and save money by retracting another Obama-era rule to the Risk Management Program.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt signed the Proposed Risk Management Program Reconsideration Rule on Thursday, a proposal that would save the agency $88 million a year while improving emergency preparedness and assessment of potential security risks. With these changes, the EPA aims to correct risks with new information disclosure requirements and address concerns about unneeded regulations and regulatory costs.
“Accident prevention is a top priority at EPA, and this proposed rule will ensure proper emergency planning and continue the trend of fewer significant accidents involving chemicals,” Pruitt stated Thursday. “The rule proposes to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, address the concerns of stakeholders and emergency responders on the ground, and save Americans roughly $88 million a year.”
Numerous industry associations, believing the Obama-era rules were too onerous, have praised the EPA’s move.
“The EPA’s Risk Management Plan Rule as proposed under the Obama Administration would have imposed significant new costs on industry without identifying or quantifying the safety benefits to be achieved through new requirements. NACD saw the Trump Administration’s delay last year in implementing this rule as a positive sign that these concerns would be addressed going forward,” said Eric Byer, National Association of Chemical Distributors president, in a statement released Thursday. “We believe that with EPA’s release today of a new proposed RMP rule, many of the concerns have been eliminated or addressed in a way that makes common sense. We look forward to reviewing the proposal in its entirety and submitting comments to the agency this summer.”
However, not everyone is approving.
Andrew Rosenberg — the Union of Concerned Sciences Center for Science and Democracy director — heavily criticized Pruitt’s latest moves. Rosenberg said Thursday that the proposal is a “giant step backward” on chemical public safety in a blog post for the UCS.
The agency is accepting public comments on the proposed changes before a public hearing in on June 14.
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