Regulatory Programs

OSHA Process Safety Management and EPA Risk Management Plans

OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM)

In 1992, the OSHA standard “Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals” was issued in the Federal Register. This standard is more commonly referred to as “PSM”. The standard was developed to give requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals to help assure safe and healthful workplaces. Risk Management Professionals is dedicated to work with facility staff to have a comprehensive plan. The PSM contains fourteen elements, which are titled:

  • Process Safety Information (PSI)
  • Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
  • Operating Procedures (OP)
  • Employee Participation
  • Training
  • Contractors
  • Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR)
  • Mechanical Integrity (MI)
  • Hot Work Permit
  • Management Of Change (MOC)
  • Incident Investigation
  • Emergency Planning & Response
  • Compliance Audit
  • Trade Secrets

EPA Risk Management Plans (RMP)

In June of 1996 in accordance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the EPA issued the “Risk Management Program for Chemical Accidental Release Prevention.” This program is commonly referred to as “RMP”. The goal of this regulation is to protect workers and the public from the effects of an accidental release of highly hazardous chemicals. Risk Management Professionals has spent the last fifteen years working with facilites all over the Country developing and maintaining compliant RMP’s. The RMP has the following major elements:

  • Hazard Assessment and Offsite Consequence Analysis
  • An Integrated Prevention Program (Consistent with the 14 PSM elements)
  • A 5-Year Release History for the Facility
  • An Overall Management System to Supervise the Program Elements

RMP’s exposure to a large spectrum of industrial applications allows the introduction of lessons learned and industry insights to be folded into the RMP/PSM Programs. This allows for the most efficient and user friendly application of the regulations.

Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS)

As an extension to Risk Management Professionals’ widespread experience in the refining industry, we have provided specialty services for offshore facilities in order to address their specific needs. Risk Management Professionals (RMP) also has extensive experience working with industry and regulatory agencies in high-profile situations.

In September 2010, offshore facilities were provided with a one-year implementation deadline by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE, formally the Minerals Management Service, or MMS) to implement a variation of API RP 75: SEMP as part of their Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS). Risk Management Professionals is well qualified to implement SEMS or conduct the necessary third party audits.

Upon the formal dissolution of BOEMRE/MMS, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) was created in October 2011 to oversee the implementation and enforcement of SEMS. The final rule for SEMS II was entered into the Federal Register in April 2013.

RMP has developed and assisted in the execution of safety management programs and detailed assessments in accordance with the Safety & Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) standard. We have supported our clients with small and large scale changes to process, operations, or personnel, as well as platform startup, and presented these efforts to effectively communicate the safety and environmental issues at hand, and a plan of action for resolution.

  • New SEMS Program Creation
  • Transformation of an Existing SEMP to Meet Current SEMS Requirements
  • SEMS Gap Audits
  • Third Party Verification of Your SEMS Program
  • Practical Application of all SEMS Elements
    • Safety & Environmental Information Analysis
    • Management of Change
    • Operating Procedures
    • Safe Work Practices
    • Training
    • Mechanical Integrity
    • Pre-Startup Reviews
    • Emergency Response and Control
    • Investigation of Incidents
    • Program Audits
    • Practical Approaches to Records and Documentation

Additionally, RMP offers services which assist facilities in meeting internal requirements or generally accepted practices. RMP engineers are specifically adept at providing the following services:

  • Hazards and Operability (HAZOP) Studies
  • Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA)
  • Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA)
  • Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) and Safety Lifecycle Management
  • Safety Integrity Level (SIL) Verification


See our free webinars, including our acclaimed Offshore Facility SEMS Series, as well as the paper written by Steven Maher entitled “Paradigm Shift in the Regulatory Application of Safety Management Systems to Offshore Facilities”, which was published in Process Safety Progress and presented at the Global Congress on Process Safety.

Risk Management Professionals was also one of the instructors at a March 2015 BSEE-Sponsored Course entitled “Process Safety Management Through the Lens of SEMS”.

Employee training is a key element is the successful implementation of safety management systems, such as the EPA Risk Management Plan (RMP),  OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) and California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Programs. An effective training program allows for the communication of potential hazards to employees and equips those that work in and around a process with knowledge of safe work practices for operation and maintenance.

Risk Management Professionals can provide training sessions that include a review of required safety management program elements, as well as practical examples of how such elements can be applied. The sessions are led by a member of the engineering team who has regulatory expertise and implementation knowledge of RMP/PSM Programs and their state-specific equivalents. Training sessions can be delivered in both English and Spanish. They can also be carried out either in-person or via web conferencing services, depending on the client’s preference and budget.

California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Programs

In the state of California, the passing of AB 1889 led to the California Accidental Release Prevention (CalARP) Program. The intent was to “provide a program for the prevention of accidental releases of regulated substances adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to the Clean Air Act”. This regulation requires facilities that handle regulated substances in quantities that exceed the listed threshold quantity to prepare and submit a CalARP Program. Please see our Commonly Regulated Chemicals’ Threshold Quantities Table for additional information.

Although in many ways an extension of the Federal EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) Program with some additional requirements (such as seismic analysis and interaction with the local Administering Agency), the threshold quantities for the CalARP regulated substances are lower. Additionally, CalARP covers more chemicals than the Federal EPA’s RMP regulation. Therefore facilities that are not required to comply with the Federal EPA’s RMP may still be required to develop a CalARP Program upon request of the local Administering Agency. The Commonly Regulated Chemicals’ Threshold Quantities Table details common chemical thresholds to determine CalARP Program applicability.

Depending on the complexity of the process, impact to the community and history of accidental releases, the CalARP Program defines three different program levels, ranging from 1 to 3 and varying in program elements that a facility may have to implement. Risk Management Professionals has been on the cutting edge of developing CalARP Programs at all levels and has established fundamental working relationships with numerous Administering Agencies (CUPA).

Risk Management Professionals has been developing, updating, auditing and assisting with onsite implementation of the CalARP Program since its inception in 1999. This has provided us with valuable insights into the expectations that the various CUPAs throughout the state have for each industry-specific CalARP Program. Furthermore, we have insights on how to coordinate and involve the CUPA as required by regulations and best practices.

Some of Risk Management Professionals clients include Water/Wastewater Treatment Plants, Plating, Fertilizer Companies, Etching, Ammonia Refrigeration, Power Generation, and Petrochemical.

Nevada Chemical Accident Prevention Program (CAPP)

In the state of Nevada, the implementation of NRS 459.380 in 1991 led to the Nevada Chemical Accident Prevention Program (CAPP) by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). The intent is to:

  1. Protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of Nevada from the effects of the improper handling of hazardous chemicals at the point where they are produced, used or stored in Nevada or where explosives are manufactured for sale;
  2. Ensure that employees of the State of Nevada who are required to work with hazardous chemicals or explosives are guaranteed a safe and healthful working environment;
  3. Protect Nevada’s natural resources by preventing and mitigating accidental or unexpected releases of hazardous chemicals into the environment; and
  4. Ensure the safe and adequate handling of hazardous chemicals produced, used, stored or handled; and explosives that are manufactured for sale in Nevada.

Although in many ways an extension of the Federal EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) Program with some additional requirements (such as interaction with the local Administering Agency), the threshold quantities for the CAPP-regulated substances are lower. Therefore, facilities that are not required to comply with the Federal EPA’s RMP may still be required to comply with CAPP upon request by the local Administering Agency. The table below details common chemical thresholds to determine CAPP applicability.

Risk Management Professionals has helped many clients develop, update, audit and implementation of CAPP and has established fundamental working relationships with CAPP Regulators. This has provided us with valuable industry-specific insights into the regulator’s expectations for CAPP compliance. Furthermore, RMP has insights on how to coordinate and involve the regulators as required by regulations and best practices.

CAPP Chemical Thresholds
Common Regulated SubstanceThreshold Amount
Anhydrous Ammonia5,000 pounds
Ammonia Solutions (conc. 20% to 44%)20,000 pounds
Ammonia Solutions (conc. > 44%)10,000 pounds
Chlorine1,500 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide1,000 pounds
Boron Trichloride2,500 pounds
Nitric Acid (94.5% or greater by weight)500 pounds

General Duty Clause Audits

The general duty provisions are used in inspections only where the standards applicable to a particular hazard cannot be identified. If a hazard is recognized in part by a process that is not covered by a standard, it is eligible to be cited under the General Duty Clause. The goal of this regulation is contingent on the agency enforcing it. Both OSHA and the EPA have relevant recommendations for the general duty clause. The General Duty Clause of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Act states:

  • 29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(a)1: Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”
  • 29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(a)2: Each employer shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this act.
  • 29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(b): Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.

RMP’s exposure to a large variety of industrial applications allows the capability to introduce the experience and industry insights to be included in a General Duty Audit. A webinar was given on December 5, 2017 to provide some information on the General Duty Clause and guidelines to meeting the requirements. To determine whether your facility is required to comply with the General Duty Clause, please do not hesitate to contact us.