This story was updated June 13.
US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator E. Scott Pruitt extended the effective date for the agency’s chemical Risk Management Plan amendments by 20 months until Feb. 19, 2019. The additional time will let EPA consider petitions for reconsideration and take further regulatory action, including possibly considering a fresh rule which might revise or rescind the amendments, he said in a June 9 final rule.
“We are seeking additional time to review the program so that we can fully evaluate the public comments raised by multiple petitioners and consider other issues that may benefit from additional public input,” Pruitt said. He originally proposed the extension in April (OGJ Online, Apr. 3, 2017).
Groups that expressed concern about the amendments approved the EPA administrator’s action. “The American Chemistry Council believes [he made] the right and necessary decision to review the problematic changes that could undermine the safety of chemical facilities and communities across the country and threaten the continued success of the underlying program,” an ACC spokesman told OGJ.
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Pres. Chet Thompson also endorsed Pruitt’s decision. “This regulation never received the proper scrutiny, and was rushed through under the Obama administration without regard to the needless and excessive regulatory burdens,” he said.
“Safety is a core value of AFPM’s members, but the rule, as currently written, would have no meaningful impact on safety, and would only increase costs. If advancing worker and public well-being is the goal, then this rule needs significant changes,” Thompson said.
EPA finalized the chemical risk management plan amendments late last year (OGJ Online, Dec. 22, 2016).
Contact Nick Snow at firstname.lastname@example.org.