Defending Manufacturing and Natural Gas Production from the EPA

I led a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the Agency's Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention (SCCAP) rule, which would dramatically reshape the Agency's Risk Management Program (MRP). This rule could negatively affect domestic manufacturing and national security while jeopardizing American innovation. 

Texans are already up against the odds producing and manufacturing critical products in a time of unmanageable economic turmoil. The EPA's new rule will cripple natural gas extraction, power generation, chemical manufacturing, refineries, bulk stations, terminals, and other facilities involved in matters of national security importance. They must walk this rule back. 

Read the full letter here or excerpts below. 

Safety in facilities that utilize hazardous chemicals is a top priority, and our nation’s critical industries have shown an impressive track record in incident prevention and process safety. Since the program began in 1996, RMP reportable incidents have decreased by over 80 percent, proving that existing regulations and voluntary industry efforts are effective in managing risk. These improvements can be attributed to existing performance-based regulatory frameworks, as well as industry-led initiatives to continually improve operating practices and maintain a strong safety culture. Unfortunately, the EPA’s proposed revisions are unlikely to yield improvements.

In the proposed rule, EPA estimated the annual cost of the rule would be $75 million, but the Agency now estimates the annual cost of the rule to exceed $257 million. This large cost difference indicates the scope of new regulatory requirements has been greatly expanded. It is critical that EPA solicit stakeholder input on the changes that have resulted in a significantly higher cost to produce a more technologically feasible and cost-effective policy.

Additionally, we are concerned that EPA’s proposed changes would create significant national security vulnerabilities for American consumers and manufacturers. Currently, regulated industries engage regularly with local, state, and federal stakeholders to communicate emergency response procedures and risk assessments. However, the proposed rule goes far beyond reasonable public disclosures by mandating that facilities share sensitive security information with anyone who works, lives, or even travels in a six- mile radius of that facility.

This policy change would result in requiring companies to expose security vulnerabilities and information on hazardous substances that could be used by malicious actors and undermine incident response. When the EPA proposed similar disclosure requirements in 2017, several agencies highlighted national security concerns. There is no reasonable public benefit to the increased disclosure, and no data to support that expanding access to specific chemical hazard information would result in improved performance for regulated facilities. We urge the EPA to remove these concerning provisions in forthcoming proposals.

It is imperative that RMP regulations are performance-based to support innovation to successfully reduce risks, improve efficiencies, and ensure safe operations. Any changes should be focused on delivering measurable and significant impacts. We fear that the proposal in its current form may have opposite, negative impacts. New, unnecessary, and costly requirements will only worsen regulatory program redundancy and waste. RMP-regulated facilities are already subject to vigorous regulations and reporting requirements from multiple government agencies.

Lastly, finalizing SCCAP as currently drafted would make it more difficult for US companies to innovate and remain competitive. For example, the regulation singles out the refining industry’s use of hydrofluoric acid (HF), a catalyst which is critical for producing lower emissions fuels. If the proposed regulations are implemented, facilities using HF may not be financially capable of accommodating these requirements, ultimately impacting environmental goals while doing nothing to achieve the rule’s intended goal. This could place gasoline capacity at risk and lead to higher prices for American families relying on these innovative refinery products.


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