Environmental Permitting

How to Avoid RMP

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You must have more than a threshold amount of a listed substance in process at your facility for the Risk Management Program requirements of the Clean Air Act Section 112(r) to apply. If your facility’s source is close to the threshold for a particular substance, you may be able to limit the use or storage of that listed chemical. Then, the process that uses the listed substance would no longer be considered an applicable process.

Options include:

  • Reengineering a process in order to use less or none of the listed substance;
  • Moving a tank so that it would no longer be affected by a release from another process; and
  • Reducing the size of a tank before a risk management plan (RMP) is required.


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If these options are too expensive or infeasible, you may be able to write an enforceable limit into a permit, like a Title V operating permit, that would limit the amount of a listed substance to below a threshold amount. Not all states will be open to this type of suggestion. If this option is taken, make sure proper terms are included so the limit is practicably enforceable.

Terms that merely limit a substance to a certain amount are not practicably enforceable unless reporting and appropriate recordkeeping are included (e.g., daily or weekly uses recorded, all additions accounted for with receipts, a logbook measuring the volume of the substance in the tank, or some type of record that can be used to prove the source did not exceed the threshold limit).

In taking these actions, you may avoid having to prepare an RMP, but you will likely remain subject to the General Duty Clause, which means knowing the chemical hazards at your facility, maintaining a safe facility, and minimizing the consequences of any accidents that do occur.


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Check with your state

Some states have programs with additional chemicals or lower thresholds than the federal program, so be sure to check your state requirements.