A DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Chemical Accident Prevention

Act 1127 of the 1992 Regular Legislative Session directed the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to develop regulations to prevent accidental releases of chemicals to the air and to minimize consequences of such releases. To meet this directive, DEQ adopted the Chemical Accident Prevention Regulations ( LAC 33:III.Chapter 59) on November 20, 1996. The goals of the regulations are to focus on chemicals that pose a significant hazard to the community, prevent accidental releases, and minimize offsite consequences of such releases. This rule, which adopted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation 40 CFR 68 by reference, required all stationary sources with any of the listed regulated substance(s) above the threshold quantity to submit a Risk Management Plan (RMP) by June 21, 1999 or the date on which the regulated chemical is first present at the facility. The complexity of the RMP will depend on the type of facility, its history and its potential for an environmental or a health impact. On November 20, 1997, DEQ amended this regulation to require the up-front registration requirements for all stationary sources that are subject to the Chemical Accident Prevention Program. All facilities subject to the rule and those facilities previously registered, were required to register or re-register by January 31, 1998.

If your company is classified as a small business and you think your company may be affected by this program, assistance may be obtained from DEQ's Small Business Assistance Office

Fuel Issues

On 11/29/99 Governor Foster signed into law Act 839 which removes users of LP Gases who are permitted through the Louisiana Liquefied Petroleum Gas Commission from DEQ's Chemical Accident Prevention Program. This means that DEQ does not regulate them and they will not pay fees to DEQ for this program. Users of LPG in an agricultural process are also exempted.

Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act (Public Law No. 106-40) was signed into law on 8/5/99 and states that flammable fuels used as fuel at the facility or held for sale as fuel at a retail facility are not covered by the RMP program. However, flammable fuels used as a feedstock or held for sale as fuel at a wholesale facility are still covered. A retail facility is a facility at which more than one-half of the income is obtained from direct sales to end users or at which more than one-half of the fuel sold, by volume, is sold through a cylinder exchange program. See EPA'sF.A.Q.'s on this law.

EPA and the National Propane Gas Association plan to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit which prompted the judicial stay on RMP submittal. On April 27,1999 the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted a stay which put on hold the June 21, 1999 RMP submittal deadline for users of propane. This was in response to the Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act (Public Law No. 106-40).

EPA provided a comprehensive RMP guidance for larger propane storage or distribution facilities.  This guidance assumes that propane is the only regulated substance stored at the facility.  It includes information to help determine if propane storage containers have to be considered "co-located".   EPA RMP Guidance document for propane. (PDF)

OSHA PSM Applicability

Introduction

The Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHC's) standard, 29 CFR 1910.119 is intended to prevent or minimize the consequences of a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive HHC's from a process. A process is any activity or combination of activities including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling or the on-site movement of HHC's. A process includes any group of vessels which are interconnected and separate vessels which are located such that a HHC could be involved in a potential release.

Application

The standard applies to a process which contains a threshold quantity or greater amount of a toxic or reactive HHC as specified in 1910.119, Appendix A. Also, it applies to 10,000 pounds or greater amounts of flammable liquids and gases and to the process activity of manufacturing explosives and pyrotechnics. "Process" means any activity involving a highly hazardous chemical including any use, storage, manufacturing, handling, or the on-site movement of such chemicals, or combination of these activities. For purposes of this definition, any group of vessels which are interconnected and separate vessels which are located such that a highly hazardous chemical could be involved in a potential release shall be considered a single process.

Exceptions

The standard does not apply to:

  • Retail facilities: A retail facility is defined as a site specific establishment which otherwise would be subject to the PSM Standard, at which more than half of the income is obtained from direct sales to end users.
  • Normally unoccupied remote facilities: "Normally unoccupied remote facility" means a facility which is operated, maintained or serviced by employees who visit the facility only periodically to check its operation and to perform necessary operating or maintenance tasks. No employees are permanently stationed at the facility. Facilities meeting this definition are not contiguous with, and must be geographically remote from all other buildings, processes or persons.
  • Oil or gas well drilling or servicing activities.
  • Hydrocarbon fuels used solely for work place consumption as a fuel are not covered, if such fuels are not part of a process containing another HHC covered by the standard.
  • Atmospheric tank storage and associated transfer of flammable liquids which are kept below their normal boiling point without benefit of chilling or refrigeration are not covered by the PSM standard unless the atmospheric tank is connected to a process or is sited in close proximity to a covered process such that an incident in a covered process could involve the atmospheric tank. "Atmospheric tank" means a storage tank which has been designed to operate at pressures from atmospheric through 0.5 p.s.i.g. (pounds per square inch gauge, 3.45 Kpa).

OSHA's PSM website

Chemical Accident Prevention Program

DEQ Chemical Accident Prevention Program is responsible for implementing LAC 33.III.Ch.59 in the state of Louisiana. These regulations incorporate by reference the Federal Risk Management Program (40 CFR Part 68). The Chemical Accident Prevention staff is responsible for overseeing applicability of regulations to facilities, registration of facilities, public outreach, and auditing facilities to ensure full compliance. They also verify that all facilities subject to the Risk Management Program in Louisiana are properly registered with DEQ as required by law.

DEQ Chemical Accident Prevention staff are available to discuss, with the regulated community or any appropriate party, aspects of audit approaches, rule interpretation and audit preparation; the staff may be contacted at 225-219-LDEQ or Toll Free at 1-866-896-LDEQ. Inspectors are in the field 3-4 days each week conducting facility audits so please call ahead so that an agreeable time can be established.

Federal Guidance for Auditing Risk Management Plans/Programs under the Clean Air Act 112(r) can be found on EPA's Website. 

State Accident Prevention Law

The regulations pertaining to the Chemical Accident Prevention Program are found in the Louisiana Administrative Code (LAC) 33:III. Chapter 59. To view these regulations visit the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality web site at 33v03.doc.

The State of Louisiana adopted by incorporation the federal Chemical Accident Prevention regulations. A copy of the Federal regulations may be viewed at the Federal web site,  2004 CFR Title 40, Volume 2.

If there are any questions after reviewing the regulations, you may contact the Department's Chemical Accident Prevention Program Section at 225-219-LDEQ or Toll Free at 1-866-896-LDEQ.