Environmental Permitting

Four RMP Documentation Violations to Avoid

Four RMP Documentation Violations to Avoid

1) Failure to include all the required documentation for the alternative release scenarios for the chemical pipe leak and natural gasoline vapor cloud fire as required by 40 CFR 68.39(b).

40 CFR 68.39(b) establishes the offsite consequences analysis documentation requirements for alternative release scenarios that include a description of the scenarios identified as well as the assumptions and parameters used, and the rationale for selecting the scenarios. The assumptions should include use of any administrative controls and mitigation that were assumed to limit the quantity that could be released and required documentation must include the effect of the controls and mitigation on both the quantity and rate of the release.

In addition, documentation must include:

  • Estimated quantity released, release rate and duration,
  • Methodology used to determine distance to endpoints, and
  • Data used to estimate all potentially affected populations and environmental receptors.

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2) Failure to include documentation for the safety systems (detectors, emergency shutoff valves, interlocks, etc.) for the chemical and natural gasoline processes as required by 40 CFR 68.65(d).

40 CFR 68.65(d) applies to the equipment in use in a covered process and requires written documentation of:

  • Materials of construction,
  • Piping and instrument diagrams (P&ID’s),
  • Electrical classification,
  • Relief system design and design basis,
  • Ventilation system design,
  • Design codes and standards employed,
  • Material and energy balances for processes built after June 21, 1999, and
  • Safety systems (e.g., interlocks, detection or suppression systems).

In addition, owners/operators must document that equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. If existing equipment was designed and constructed according to codes, standards or practices that are no longer in general use, the owner/operator must determine and document that the equipment is designed, maintained, inspected, tested, and operating in a safe manner.

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3) Failure to maintain documentation that each employee involved in operating the chemical process had received and understood required training as required by 40 CFR 68.71(c) for Prevention Program 3 facilities.

40 CFR 68.71(c) states, “The owner or operator shall ascertain that each employee involved in operating a process has received and understood the training required by this paragraph. The owner or operator shall prepare a record which contains the identity of the employee, the date of training, and the means used to verify that the employee understood the training.”  Both Program 2 and 3 facilities that are also in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Process Safety Management training requirements do not need additional training for RMP compliance. However, while RMP Prevention Program 2 facilities do not have a documentation requirement for training, OSHA does require training documentation, as defined in 29 CFR 1910.119(g)(3).

4) Failure to meet the requirements of 40 CFR 68.75 for written procedures for managing changes to process chemicals, technology, equipment, and procedures, and changes to stationary sources that affect a covered process for Prevention Program 3 facilities.

40 CFR 68.75 requires the establishment and implementation of written procedures to manage changes (except “replacements in kind”) to process chemicals, technology, equipment, and procedures as well as changes to stationary sources that affect a covered process. These procedures must assure the following are addressed prior to any change:

  • Technical basis for the proposed change,
  • Impact of change on safety and health,
  • Modifications to operating procedures,
  • Necessary time period for the change, and
  • Authorization requirements for the proposed change.

Other requirements that may also involve documentation include informing and training employees/contractors whose job tasks are impacted by the change. In addition, if a covered change  results in changes to process safety information (as defined in Section 68.65) or operating procedures (as defined in Section 68.69), that information must also be updated.


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