Audits and Analyses

EPA RMP, OSHA PSM, and CalARP Three-Year Compliance Audits

Compliance Audit Requirements

  • Certify evaluation of compliance (3 years)
  • The audit shall be conducted by at least one person knowledgeable in the process
  • Document findings in a written report
  • Promptly address the findings and document the correction of deficiencies
  • Retain two most recent audit reports

Common Industry Questions

“The regulator visited my facility and audited me. He/she already told me what my violations were.”

An audit by a regulator or outside agency does not count towards your Three-Year Compliance Audit.  The regulator also often does not have time to evaluate all aspects and requirements of the program.  The facility is expected to be participating in the Program Life Cycle in which the effectiveness of the regulatory programs is constantly being evaluated and improved.  Furthermore, the facility must have a report of the findings to demonstrate this.

“I did an update and submitted.”

The document submitted to the EPA and/or to your CUPA summarizes the program requirements, provides recent dates of activity, and certifies that the facility maintains the complete program documentation onsite.  Unless there is a separate report kept onsite that documents an in-depth evaluation, the update and submittal documents do not count towards the Three-Year Compliance Audit requirements.

Risk Management Professionals’ Services

An effective Compliance Audit is reliant on:

  • Mastery knowledge of the regulations and requirements
  • Industry application of the Program Requirements to the covered process
  • Experience and knowledge of common breakdowns in Program implementation for the covered process
  • Ability to work with personnel to develop reasonable solutions to deficiencies that are the easiest and most efficient to fold into the day-to-day operations of the covered process.

Risk Management Professionals specializes in the development of Regulatory Programs for a wide variety of industrial applications and utilizes this knowledge to provide high-value compliance audits to our clients.  RMP is committed to providing high-quality compliance audits that serve both the interests of the facility, and the safety of the public and employees.

RMP/PSM/CalARP Gap Analysis

What is an RMP/PSM/CalARP Gap Analysis?

EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP), Cal/OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) and the California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Programs require that facilities containing more than the listed threshold quantities shall implement steps and procedures to prevent the potential for accidental releases. As part of these requirements, facilities must verify that the Prevention Program Elements, including procedures, training, maintenance, etc., are being adequately implemented and applicable codes and standards are being followed. A Gap Analysis is a way to analyze current operating conditions and engineering practices of the implemented program in order to identify gaps and areas in need of improvement in regards to compliance with RMP/PSM/CalARP standards. A Gap Analysis provides a means to identify and correct gaps between desired levels and actual levels of compliance and, unlike Compliance Audits, they are not required to be a part of the program binder, and therefore, are not subject to regulatory inspection. Similar to Compliance Audits, Gap Analyses review a facility’s current prevention program in order to achieve the following:

  • comply with applicable portions of the RMP/PSM/CalARP program regulations;
  • identify deficiencies in program documentation or implementation; and
  • suggest methods or improvements that might be implemented to assist the facility with addressing documentation requirements and appropriate implementation.

How are Gap Analyses different than Compliance Audits?

A Gap Analysis does not fulfill the triennial Compliance Audit requirement outlined in RMP/PSM/CalARP regulations.  The Gap Analysis is NOT meant to satisfy any regulatory requirements and is not intended to exempt the facility from any applicable regulatory requirements. Gap Analyses are voluntarily conducted to identify and correct gaps in the RMP/PSM/CalARP program. They are more of a high-level overview in nature and can be beneficial if the auditors are seasoned as they can impart their experience of common best practices at similar facilities. An advantage of Gap Analyses is that they may be conducted offsite, whereas Compliance Audits are usually performed onsite to verify personnel awareness of program requirements. This cuts travel costs and lessens meeting time for personnel, decreasing the total cost of a Gap Analysis when compared to a Compliance Audit.  Furthermore, as Gap Analyses are internal documents that are not part of the RMP/PSM/CalARP regulations, they are not subject to regulatory inspection.

Can Gap Analyses be performed on facilities outside of California to verify compliance with other state regulations?

Yes, Risk Management Professionals offers Gap Analysis services to ensure facilities are compliant with New Jersey’s Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act (TCPA) Program and Nevada’s Chemical Accident Prevention Program (CAPP). It should be noted that Gap Analyses can be performed on any EPA RMP federally regulated facility as well as those subject to OSHA’s PSM Program; however, conducting a Gap Analysis does not necessarily satisfy any regulatory requirements, it serves as a tool to identify potential gaps within a facility’s compliance, prior to any regulatory compliance reviews.

RAGAGEP Gap Analysis for Ammonia Facilities

OSHA first introduced the concept of Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (RAGAGEP) in their PSM standard, CFR 1910.119. Engineers and operators need to make every effort to follow established good engineering practices when designing and maintaining process equipment. A RAGAGEP Gap Analysis analyzes the as-built process conditions and suggests potential additional mitigation measures based on current applicable industry best practices, codes and standards for the covered process to improve facility safety. The RAGAGEP Gap Analysis is meant to:

  • verify that the existing RAGAGEP standards employed at the facility follow applicable industry guidelines;
  • verify adequacy of implementation (e.g. maintenance program, safety features, etc.);
  • identify industry best practices (e.g., latest RAGAGEP codes & standards, recommended practices employed at similar facilities);
  • compare the existing system and design in place at the facility with RAGAGEP standards, including International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Petroleum Institute (API), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM), etc.

RAGAGEP Gap Analyses do not directly satisfy regulatory requirements, unless it is used to satisfy the RAGAGEP portion of the PSI section requirements outlined in the CalARP/RMP/PSM regulations, in which case it would be subject to regulatory scrutiny at the discretion of the regulating agency.