Printreg Archive
Re: RMP UPDATE - Propane

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Date: Thu Apr 29 1999 - 13:07:18 CDT

Subject: Statement on Propane

Below is a statement on propane that changes the last
statement I sent for propane. I will send out more information
as it becomes available.
Statement on Propane

On April 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals granted a stay of
the RMP rule as it applies to facilities having more than
10,000 pounds of propane in a process, pending further
action by the court. While the Court's stay is in effect,
facilities will not have to file RMPs for their propane

This is not a final ruling on the case; the litigation between
EPA and industry continues. The Court is scheduling the
case for oral argument early in its fall 1999 term.

Two important points need to be made: 1) If a process at a
facility includes propane as well as other listed chemicals
over the threshold, the facility still must report that process
and consider the impact of the propane on hazard analysis
and accident prevention. "In a process" means one or more
tanks (vessels or piping) that are interconnected or located
close enough together that a release from one could result
in a release from neighboring tanks ( "collocation"). 2)
Propane is still an issue for general duty clause compliance.

In addition to the Court's judicial stay, EPA intends to
issue an interim administrative stay of the effective date of
the RMP rule as it applies to flammable hydrocarbon fuels,
including propane, butane, ethane, propylene, and methane
(natural gas), stored in quantities no greater than 67,000
pounds (the maximum amount in an 18,000 gallon tank) in
a process. EPA will issue a proposed rule shortly and a
final rule in the fall to establish this exemption. Based on
available information, EPA believes that fuels exempted
under this provision would be used in circumstances that do
not pose a significant off-site risk. EPA continues to
believe that fuels in excess of this threshold present a risk
to American communities. The Court was aware of EPA's
proposed action, and consistent with the Court's order, we
will notify the Court when we take this action.

In addition to this judicial action, there have been two
recent Congressional initiatives. On April 26, Senator
Inhofe introduced a bill to exempt flammable fuels from
RMP. On March 25, Congressman Blunt and eight other
Representatives introduced a bill (referred to Commerce
Committee) to prohibit RMP listing of liquefied petroleum
gas (mostly propane).

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