The Risk Management Program (RMP) includes a set of facilities under the Emergency Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) that have extremely toxic or flammable hazardous substances used in a single process. Due to the hazardous nature, facilities implement chemical accident prevention methods and partner with local responders and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) to identify the potential effects of a chemical accident, steps the facility is taking to prevent an accident, and plan emergency response procedures should an accident occur.
Local responders and LEPCs coordinating with facilities may provide additional insight on community resources available. Coordination meetings may also identify gaps between facility and community response leading to improved response programs for both entities.
There are 140 112(r) regulated substances, 77 extremely toxic and 63 extremely flammable substances. Facilities using these substances in a single process and where the quantity exceeds the threshold quantity (TQ), must submit a risk management plan to the EPA through RMP*eSubmit. Additionally, since 112(r) TQ quantities far exceed EPCRA’s TPQs, 112(r) facilities are required to submit an annual Tier II report for all substances on site that exceed the EPCRA TPQ and have a SDS.
Facilities above the threshold quantity can find guidance on completing hazard assessments and developing RMPs from the North Carolina Division of Air Quality Chemical Accident Prevention Program.
Facility Program Level Flowchart
RMP facilities fall under different program levels depending on the type of chemical stored and if a chemical release could travel outside the facility boundary. Facilities also have different emergency planning requirements if that are a non-responding versus a responding facility.
Program levels under 40 Code of Federal Regulation Part 68, Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions are listed on the facility’s Environmental Protection Agency Risk Management Plan by process chemical. The program levels are:
• Program Level 1: No significant off-site release within the past 5 years, no off-site consequences.
• Program Level 2: Worst case release has off-site consequences with public receptors.
• Program Level 3: Worst case release has off-site consequences with public receptors and the facility is subject to OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM).
North Carolina is a “delegated authority” state, therefore, all municipal water and wastewater plants that file a risk management plan are automatically Program Level 3, which has the most stringent requirements.
Annual Coordination with Local Responders
The facility must document coordination with local authorities, including: The names of individuals involved and their contact information (phone number, email address, and organizational affiliations); dates of coordination activities; and nature of coordination activities.
Facilities must coordinate at a minimum annually, with increased frequency agreed on by the local responders and the facility. The purpose of the annual coordination is to allow facilities to update and discuss the information being provided to local authorities, and to allow local authorities to provide facilities with updated information on how the source is addressed in the community emergency response plan. The forum for coordination meetings is left up to the discretion of the owner or operator and local response authorities.
The coordination meeting should address changes to hazardous substance source, emergency plans, contact information and any information necessary for developing and implementing the local community emergency response plan.
Facility Response Status
Facilities may be responding or non-responding facilities, meaning they are either equipped with hazardous response teams and equipment or they are not equipped and rely on outside resources such as local responders or have an emergency response and clean-up contractor.
Non-Responding Facility means employees will not respond to accidental releases. The facility is responsible for evacuating employees and coordinating response plans with local emergency responders. The facility must ensure that local responders or hired contractors will be prepared to respond to an emergency at the facility.
Responding Facility means designated employees or responders are properly trained and equipped with personal protection equipment and monitoring devices to respond to accidental releases of a hazardous regulated substances (the facility implements an emergency response program under OSHA’s HAZOPER standard).
A non-responding facility must have an Emergency Action Plan in place while a responding facility must have an Emergency Response Plan in place. All water facilities must have their emergency plans in accordance with America's Water Infrastructure Act.
|Requirement||Emergency Action Plan||Emergency Response Plan|
|Procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency||X|
|Procedures for emergency evacuation, including type of evacuation and exit route assignments||X|
|Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate||X|
|Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation||X|
|Procedures to be followed by employees performing rescue or medical duties||X|
|The name or job title of every employee who may be contacted by employees who need more information about the plan or an explanation of their duties under the plan||X|
|Inform the public and the appropriate Federal, state, and local emergency response agencies about accidental releases||X|
|Document first-aid and emergency medical treatment needed if exposed||X|
|Procedures for emergency response after an accidental release||X|
|Procedures for the use of emergency response equipment and for its inspection, testing, and maintenance||X|
|Training for all employees in relevant procedures||X|
|Procedures to review and update the emergency response plan as appropriate||X|
Emergency Exercise Response Requirements by Program Level
A Risk Management Program facility is required to include the following items depending on their program level, located on the facility EPA RMP Report, Section 1. Registration Information under Process Chemical.
|Requirement||Start Date||Citation||Program 1||Program 2||Program 3|
|Facilities complete annual emergency response coordination with local responders||03/14/2018||§68.10(b)
|Facilities with toxic substances must be included in the community emergency response plan||Chemical onsite||§68.12(b)(3)
|Facilities with flammable substances must coordinate with local fire department(s)||Chemical onsite||§68.12(b)(3)
|Annual Notification Exercises||12/19/2024||§68.96(a)||X||X|
Non-Responding Facility - Will not respond to accidental release
|Emergency Action Plan||Chemical onsite||§1910.38||X||X|
|Appropriate mechanisms are in place to notify emergency responders when there is a need for a response||Chemical onsite||§68.90(b)(3)||X||X|
|Responding Facility - Will respond to accidental release|
|Implement an emergency response program (OSHA’s HAZWOPER standard 29 CFR 1910.120)||Chemical onsite||§68.95
|Emergency Response Exercise Program (written)
Field and Table Top Exercises
|Emergency Response Exercise Program – Report Exercises Completed||12/19/2024||§68.10(f)||X||X|
|Table Top Exercises - Conduct||12/21/2026||§68.96(b)(2)||X||X|
Emergency Response Exercise Program
Written program due December 19, 2023, for responding facilities.
The owner or operator shall consult with local emergency response officials to establish an appropriate exercise type (tabletop, field, full scale, etc.) and appropriate frequency. The Emergency Response Exercise Program Shall Include:
- The exercise type - The exercises are to involve the simulated accidental release of a regulated substance (if a facility has both toxic and flammable regulated substances, it is recommended to exercise scenarios for both substances separately or jointly if it is possible for one process release to impact the other process).
- Frequency - Establish an appropriate frequency for field exercises (annual, 3-year, 5-year, 10-year, etc.).
- Scope – Exercise plan shall involve tests of the source's emergency response plan, including deployment of emergency response personnel and equipment.
- Documentation - Prepare an evaluation report within 90 days of each field and tabletop exercise. The report should include:
- A description of the exercise scenario;
- Names and organizations of each participant;
- An evaluation of the exercise results including lessons learned;
- Recommendations for improvement or revisions to the emergency response exercise program and emergency response program; and
- A schedule to promptly address and resolve recommendations.
Any facility where extremely hazardous substances are present in any quantity, are subject to the General Duty Clause (GDC), CAA Section 112(r)(1). GDC is a performance-based authority recognizing that owner/operators have a general duty and responsibility to prevent and mitigate accidental chemical releases.
Facilities with extremely hazardous substance or risk management program chemicals are required under EPCRA and General Duty to provide information requested by local responders for community emergency planning. See the Emergency Response and Action Plan Reviews under NCEM Risk Management Program Emergency Coordination Checklists.
Public Information Access
Members of the public may obtain copies of RMPs (without the off-site consequence analysis (OCA) information) by requesting them from EPA in writing (including by email). Members of the public may also read, but not copy, the OCA sections of RMPs in Federal Reading Rooms.
For information on Federal Reading Rooms, visit EPA Federal Readings Rooms for Risk Management. North Carolina’s reading rooms are located in Asheville, Greensboro and Raleigh at the United States Department of Justice.
Risk Management Program Resources
NCEM Emergency Response Coordination Under the 112r Risk Management Program – A Summary of coordination requirements between facilities and local responders
NCEM Risk Management Program Emergency Coordination Checklists – Guidance for reviewing facility emergency plans and support during accidental releases
NCEM Emergency Planning and Response – Guides, best practices and templates for emergency planning at hazardous substance facilities
EPA Emergency Response Program – Guidance for facilities and local emergency responders and LEPCs on planning and preparing for a hazardous substance release
EPA RMP Guidance on Public Communication – Guidance for public meetings after an accidental chemical release
EPA's Consolidated List of Lists – Threshold Quantities. Note: RMP facilities may be subject to Section 302 & Section 312 filing requirements
RMP*eSubmit User Manual – How to file
Risk Management Plan (RMP) Rule – Rule explanation
North Carolina Division of Air Quality – Chemical Accident Prevention Program