On March 1, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention Rule (SCCAP Rule), amending the Risk Management Program (RMP) “to further protect vulnerable communities from chemical accidents, especially those living near facilities in industry sectors with high accident rates.” The rule implements sweeping amendments to the RPM. It reflects the culmination of three public hearings, many comments on EPA’s proposed rule issued in August 2022, and the efforts of many spanning administrations going back to President Obama. EPA notes that the final rule includes new safeguards such as identifying inherently safer technologies and chemical alternatives, requiring implementation of safeguard measures in certain cases, more thorough incident investigations, and third-party auditing. EPA states that these updates “should benefit nearby communities by reducing the frequency of chemical releases and their adverse effects.” EPA has posted a pre-publication version of the final rule. The final rule will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. For more information, please read the full memorandum.

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