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Completed Actions: Modernizing Policies and Regulations

Gathered Public Input on Policy Revisions

  • The Working Group issued a Solicitation of Public Input on Options for Policy, Regulation, and Standards Modernization in January 2014 and collected stakeholder input through a docket and public meetings.

Requested Public Input for OSHA Rulemaking

  • OSHA published a Request For Information in the Federal Register on December 9, 2013, to begin the process of information collection needed to update the agency's PSM standard and other related chemical standards and to determine whether these standards can, and should, be expanded to address additional regulated substances and types of hazards.

Initiated Small Business Advocacy Review Panel for PSM Rulemaking

  • OSHA is convening a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel (SBAR Panel) in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The SBAR Panel identifies individuals who are representative of affected small entities, termed Small Entity Representatives (SERs). This process enables OSHA to obtain advice and recommendations from SERs about the potential impacts of a rule (PSM) as outlined in the SER Background Document that may minimize those impacts while meeting the objectives of the OSH Act.
  • PSM SBREFA webpage

Formed the Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners Alliance

  • In February 2015 the Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners (FSHP) Alliance was formally signed. The Participants of the FSHP intend to specifically emphasize the safe storage and handling of fertilizers (ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia), as well as the sharing of emergency response information between the agribusiness communities and first responders, and understand the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The Alliances' goals include raising awareness of OSHA/EPA rulemaking and enforcement activities, and stakeholder outreach and communication.

OSHA Seeks Public Comment on PSM Guidance Documents

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) committed to developing three guidance documents for specific process safety management (PSM) covered industries. They are:
    • Process Safety Management Explosive and Pyrotechnics Manufacturing Guidelines for Compliance
    • Process Safety Management Small Business Guidelines for Compliance
    • Process Safety Management Storage Facilities Guidelines for Compliance
  • In order to ensure that these products provide useful and accurate information, OSHA is opening docket OSHA-2016-0021 to allow submission of comments. Any interested party may submit comments, through September 30th, 2016 Extension. All such comments can be submitted to OSHA’s docket OSHA-2016-0021 via the government's e-regulatory portal, www.regulations.gov. (direct link: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=OSHA-2016-0021)

Clarified Existing OSHA Requirements

Published Ammonium Nitrate Safety Advisory 

  • In June 2015 EPA, OSHA, and ATF published a revision of the Chemical Advisory: Safe Storage, Handling and Management of Ammonium Nitrate, originally published in 2013. EPA, OSHA and ATF are worked with external stakeholders to update the Chemical Advisory. The advisory provides facilities, local communities, and first responders with information on the hazards of ammonium nitrate, how to manage these hazards, and appropriate steps for community emergency planning and proper emergency response.

Published Safer Technology and Alternatives Alert

  • In June 2015 EPA and OSHA published the Chemical Safety Alert: Safer Technology and Alternatives. The alert explains the concepts and principles of safer technologies and alternatives, and gives brief examples of the integration of safer technologies into facility risk management activities. Sources of information on process hazard analysis and inherently safer approaches to process safety are provided. This alert is only intended to introduce safer technology concepts and general approaches; a future guidance product will offer more practical details and examples.

Published LPG Advisory

  • EPA published Interim Chemical Accident Prevention Advisory Design of LPG Installations at Natural Gas Processing Plants in January 2014.  This advisory provided natural gas processing plants with awareness of the applicable standards and codes for safe design of these facilities.

Expanded EPA Inspector Training and Guidance

  • EPA expanded its inspector training curriculum to include advanced process safety training courses in several key areas, including petroleum refineries, ammonia refrigeration systems, mechanical integrity codes and standards, root cause investigation, and human error prevention.  EPA also published revised guidance for RMP inspectors to ensure employee representatives participate in all RMP inspections.

Conducted CAVs

  • In FY 2014, DHS conducted over 100 CAVs to assist CFATS- regulated facilities in understanding and responding to their CFATS regulatory requirements, such as how to complete a Top-Screen, SVA, or SSP.  CFATS inspectors conducted over 1,400 CAVs since the program's inception.  Additionally, in FY 2014, DHS participated in 500 outreach events.

Requested Public Input for EPA Rulemaking

  • EPA published a Request For Information in the Federal Register on July 31, 2014, to begin the process of information collection needed to update the agency's RMP regulations and related programs. The Agency asks for information and data on specific regulatory elements and process safety management approaches, the public and environmental health and safety risks they address, and the costs and burdens they may entail. The EPA will use the information received in response to this RFI to inform what action, if any, it may take.
  • Issued RMP Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Published CFATS Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

  • DHS published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), August 18, 2014, as a step towards maturing the CFATS program and to identify ways to make the program more effective in achieving its regulatory objectives. This ANPRM provides an opportunity for the Department to hear and consider, during the development of an updated CFATS regulation, the views of regulated industry and other interested members of the public on their recommendations for program modifications.
  • DHS received 61 submissions with multiple comments

Improved CFATS Risk Tiers

  • DHS developed an integrated plan with timeframes and milestones for improving the CFATS tiering model. At the end of 2014 DHS established a CFATS Risk Methodology External Expert Group with representatives from Federal Departments, the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council (SCC), and the Oil & Natural Gas SCC. Feedback from these meetings is being incorporated into the tiering methodology.

Protecting and Securing of Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Act

  • In December 2014, the President signed into law the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014, establishing a multi-year authorization for the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.
  • The Act authorizes the program for four years, which minimizes uncertainty and provides stability to the program, giving industry the confidence needed to plan for and invest in CFATS-related security measures.

Published Root Cause Analysis Fact Sheet

  • In October 2016, OSHA and EPA published Fact Sheet: The Importance of Root Cause Analysis During Incident Investigation. OSHA and EPA urge employers to conduct a root cause analysis following an incident or near miss at a facility. By conducting a root cause analysis and addressing root causes, an employer may be able to substantially or completely prevent the same or a similar incident from recurring.

OSHA Published Metrics Fact Sheet

  • In October 2016, OSHA published Fact Sheet: The Use of Metrics in Process Safety Management (PSM) Facilities. This document provides employers with examples metrics that are tracked by facilities that are enrolled in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Because VPP sites have achieved a high standard of safety excellence, tracking these metrics can make a positive contribution to the effectiveness of an employer’s process safety management program. Therefore, employers may want to use this information to determine whether it would be helpful to begin tracking one or more of these metrics for their own facilities.

Process Safety Management and Risk Management Plan Comparison Tool

  • During stakeholder outreach as part of EO 13650 and during OSHA’s PSM SBREFA (Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act), OSHA and EPA received multiple comments from stakeholders expressing confusion on the applicability and overlap between OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) standard and EPA's Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulation. Many of the requirements in RMP Programs are identical to PSM’s requirements. The overlap in coverage between the two standards is close but not complete. In October 2016, OSHA and EPA published the Process Safety Management and Risk Management Plan Comparison Tool to help facilities understand their requirements when they are covered by both regulations.

Executive Order 13650 Regulatory Programs Overview

  • In October 2016, the Working Group published Executive Order 13650 Regulatory Programs Overview. The purpose of this overview is to increase awareness of select federal regulatory programs among state regulators, facilities, stakeholders, and other non-Working Group federal agencies.

Substance Registry Services (SRS)

  • A milestone under the Executive Order requires the development of a checklist of Federal Regulations in coordination with industry associations that stakeholders can use to determine regulations applicable to their facilities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Environmental Information developed a Substance Registry Services (SRS) Search and Retrieve function available through the SRS public interface web page. SRS is a registry or catalog of the substances identified by a federal environmental statute or that are tracked or regulated by any program at EPA including state regulations. The SRS catalog also provides other federal regulatory information as well as sources of information pertaining to a selected substance. Executive Order stakeholders can find detailed instructions on the Chemical Substance Checklist Instructions.


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