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EPA Region 8 RMP Enforcement Directed At Water Treatment Plants and Facilities that Store and Use Anhydrous Ammonia

Water treatment facilities that store and use chlorine for disinfection, as well as businesses that use and store anhydrous ammonia, continue to face enforcement from EPA Region 8 in Denver, Colorado, as well as other EPA regional offices.

On July 26, 2012, four different companies settled alleged violations of EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations under section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act, 40 CFR Part 68, which are designed to prevent and minimize chemical accidents involving extremely hazardous substances.

The Ashley Valley Water Treatment Plant and the Duchesne Valley Treatment Plant, both in Utah, resolved allegations regarding the storage and management of chlorine, an RMP-regulated toxic substance when stored in quantities that exceed 2,500 lbs.

Yuma Ethanol LLC, in Yuma, Colorado, and Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, settled similar allegations associated with the use and storage of anhydrous ammonia, which triggers RMP requirements when stored in excess of 10,000 lbs. Anhydrous ammonia is frequently used as a refrigerant in distribution and warehousing operations and also as a common agricultural fertilizer sold by farm-supply companies and cooperatives.

If your business uses or stores chlorine or anhydrous ammonia, you will want to ensure that your operations satisfy the requirements. Mr. Brought frequently presents on topics associated with chemical accident prevention and preparation including EPA’s RMP Program, OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) Program, and OSHA’s general duty clause. A copy of Mr. Brought’s 2011 presentation on the Clean Air Act 112(r) RMP Enforcement to the Kansas City Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association can be found here.