WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dan Crenshaw filed a Congressional Review Act Joint Resolution to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest Risk Management Program Rule, which requires burdensome reporting requirements on facilities working with and housing hazardous substances.

The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to hold a vote to revoke a regulatory rule if the Joint Resolution is filed within 60 days of it becoming final.

“Yet again, EPA is creating a costly “solution” for a problem that doesn’t exist,” said Congressman Crenshaw. “This is the first step toward their ultimate goal of eliminating the use hydrofluoric acid, which is used to make everything from gasoline to pesticides, and even pharmaceuticals. Why? Because the radical environmentalists of this administration believe modern science and civilization are a scourge, not a benefit.” 

The EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) is designed to prevent the accidental release of certain hazardous substances into the ambient air. The RMP regulations require facilities that use “extremely hazardous substances,” such as industrial operations, agriculture supply distributors, water treatment plants, and food and beverage manufacturers, to develop plans to prevent and respond to chemical accidents, identify the range of consequences that could occur from an accidental chemical release, and provide information to the EPA and first responders so they can respond in the event of chemical emergencies from an accident.  These RMP plans then must be submitted to EPA.

The facilities that fall under the RMP have shown an impressive track record in incident prevention and process safety. Since the program began in 1996, RMP reportable incidents have decreased by over 80 percent, proving that existing regulations and voluntary industry efforts are effective in managing risk. These improvements can be attributed to existing performance-based regulatory frameworks, and industry-led initiatives to continually improve operating practices and maintain a strong safety culture.

In addition to being unnecessary, the final rule will significantly increase compliance costs for these facilities. In its initial proposal, EPA estimated the annual cost of the rule to be $75 million, but the Agency now estimates the annual cost of the rule to exceed $257 million. This large cost difference is due to the scope of new regulatory requirements that have been greatly expanded.

This Rule:

  • Applies to almost all 12,000 facilities required to file Clean Air Act risk management plans including major industrial operations, agriculture supply distributors, water treatment plants, and food and beverage manufacturers and almost 1,500 facilities will be forced to undertake costly compliance measures, that require dangerous plant shutdowns and startups.  
  • Discourages refineries from using Hydrofluoric Acid during the production of gasoline, which will lead to significant increases in production costs.
    • Currently there are over 40 U.S. refineries that use Hydrofluoric Acid in the production of gasoline. These refineries represent roughly 40-50% of domestic gasoline refining capacity. Refineries could face up to between $200-850 million in replacement costs, depending on the size of the unit. If all existing HF alkylation unit capacity is replaced, the total installation costs for the 40+ refineries that use HF units would be between $15-41 billion.
  • Requires facilities to share detailed information about which chemicals and hazards that are present at each facility. This means that common sense protections that were put in place in the wake of September 11th have been removed, raising major concerns that this information could be weaponized by radical environmental organizations as a way of targeting facilities through public pressure and legal attacks.

What they are saying:

“Congressman Crenshaw’s resolution to save the Risk Management Program (RMP) from problematic changes is a good example of why the Congressional Review Act is so important. Over the objections of many stakeholders, EPA chose to discard an approach that has helped decrease chemical related incidents by nearly 80%. Rather than taking a targeted and data-driven approach to enhancing safety, EPA made sweeping changes that remove important safeguards on sensitive chemical information and impose unworkable mandates on facilities that provide vital contributions to critical sectors, including food production, water purification and energy production.” -Ryan Jackson, Vice President of Federal Affairs, American Chemistry Council

“Safety is our industry’s top priority and EPA’s existing Risk Management Plan, along with industry-led initiatives, have enabled continuous improvements to further protect employees, local communities and the environment. The EPA has failed to demonstrate a need for its rigid approach in this new rule, which could have adverse impacts to workers and consumers alike by undermining our flexibility to determine how best to make operations safer.  We support Rep. Crenshaw’s efforts to overturn these costly and misguided changes and urge Congress to pass this resolution.” – American Petroleum Institute

 “The safety of employees, community neighbors, and the environment is the top priority for every AFPM member company. Unfortunately, EPA’s latest RMP regulation features more red tape, major compliance burdens, and barriers to U.S. fuel and petrochemical manufacturing than actionable steps to improve safety performance. The regulation is a litany of costs without clear, demonstrable benefits.

“While we are concerned about the provisions in this rule directed at petrochemical facilities and refineries, we are especially troubled by the provisions targeting refineries that utilize hydrofluoric acid (HF) to produce essential octane for today’s more efficient vehicle fleet despite AFPM members’ long records of safely managing HF operations. We appreciate Representative Crenshaw’s stand for better policy in this space and strongly urge Congress to adopt his resolution to overturn EPA’s misguided RMP revision.” – Leslie Bellas, AFPM Vice President, Regulatory Affairs