Printreg Archive
Re: RMP UPDATE - Propane

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Date: Mon May 03 1999 - 12:05:17 CDT

From: Michele S. Raines

Carole Macko at the USEPA manages a listserver on RMP activities. She sent
the attached email last week. Printech and Printreg subscribers interested
in this issue can contact Carole (see her email below) to be added to the

Michele S. Raines
Eastman Kodak Company
1100 Ridgeway Avenue
Rochester, NY 14652-6255

Phone: 716-722-4748
Fax: 716-722-3173
---------------------- Forwarded by Michele S. Raines/595236/EKC on
05/03/99 01:01 PM --------------------------- on 04/29/99 12:30:46 PM

cc: (bcc: Michele S. Raines/595236/EKC)
Subject: propane & RMP breaking news

At 12 noon today, EPA released a statement providing more information on the
court-ordered stay for propane and what it means to the RMP-regulated universe.
Please pass along this information to others so they can keep updated during
what is, admittedly, a confusing time. Notice that I have attached a copy of the
court ruling at the end of this document. As always, I will keep you informed
of any new developments in the RMP program as we approach June 21.

 (See inline files: Propreg.wpd, Court.wpd)

Content-Disposition: inline; filename="Propreg.wpd"

Statement to EPA Regions and State/Local Implementing Agencies

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 processes. (See attached copy of the Court's stay/order.)

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).


Content-Disposition: inline; filename="Court.wpd"

United States Court of Appeals
For the District of Columbia Circuit

No 96-1279

Chlorine Institute, Inc. Petitioner v. Environmental Protection Agency, Respondent

The Fertilizer Institute, et al., Intervenors

Consolidated with 96-1284, 96-1287, 96-1288, 96-1289, 96-1290

BEFORE: Williams, Sentelle, and Tatel*, Circuit Judges


        Upon consideration of the motion for a partial stay or, in the alternative, for
expedited consideration of petition for review, the opposition thereto, and the reply; and
the motion to defer entering a normal briefing schedule pending administrative
consideration, the opposition thereto, and the reply, it is

        ORDERED that the motion for a stay be granted. The June 21, 1999 effective
date of the final rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, titled "Accidental
Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs Under Clean Air Act
Section 112(r)(7),"61 Fed. Reg. 31668 (June 20, 1996), "RMP Rule") as applied to
propane facilities having more than 10,000 pounds of propane in process, is stayed
pending further order of the court. Petitioner has satisfied the stringent standards
required for a stay pending court review. See Washington Metropolitan Area Transit
Commission v. Holiday Tours, Inc., 559 F .2d 841, 843 (D.C. Cir. 1977); D.C. Circuit
Handbook of Practice and Internal Procedures 60-61 (1997). It is

        FURTHER ORDERED that the motion to defer the entry of a briefing schedule
until June 1 be granted. The EPA is directed to notify the court within 7 days of its
decision reconsidering whether a certain exemption from its RMP Rule is warranted.
Upon notification by the EPA of its decision, the court will enter a briefing schedule.

        The Clerk is directed to schedule this case for oral argument early in the court's
fall, 1999 Term.

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