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By Lee Vail

Both OSHA’s Process Safety Management (“PSM”) and EPA’s Chemical Accident Prevention regulations are regulatory programs developed to address process safety in the “Process Industry.” A “Process” is defined broadly and includes any activity that uses, stores, manufactures, handles or moves hazardous chemicals. Since the definition is broad, it includes much more than refineries and chemical plants, and unless exempt, includes any facility with an inventory of hazardous chemicals above an established threshold.

PSM, which was promulgated in 1992 under authority of the Section 304 of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), is administrated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. PSM regulations are codified at 29 CFR 1910.119. In addition to other requirements, the EPA’s Chemical Accident Prevention regulations (colloquially referred to as the Risk Management Program or “RMP”) require the development of a Risk Management Plan (confusingly also abbreviated as “RMP”). RMP (the program) was promulgated in 1996 under Section 114(r) of the CAA and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (“EPCRA”) by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). RMP regulations are codified at 40 CFR Part 68. Although different regulations developed by different agencies under separate authority, these programs contain a lot of overlap.

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