According to a survey by The Economist, consumers believe that brands have a responsibility to prioritize environmentally-friendly practices. Unfortunately, many companies still take a reactive, rather than proactive, approach to environmental management. A Risk Management Plan is a crucial step toward a proactive approach – but what is a Risk Management Plan? Read on to find out more about this helpful tool.
What Is a Risk Management Plan?
The Basics of Risk Management Plans
A Risk Management Plan, or RMP, is a document required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to plan for the possibility of an environmentally hazardous chemical accident. The EPA’s Risk Management Plan rule requires facilities that use designated hazardous chemical substances (those listed as regulated Toxic or Flammable Substances for Accidental Release Prevention) to develop an RMP identifying the following components:
- Any potential effects of a chemical accident, should one occur
- An outline of the steps the facility is taking to prevent an accident
- The facility’s pre-planned emergency response procedures in the case of an accident
Why Are RMPs Helpful?
First, RMPs are an example of ongoing industry environmental accountability. As mentioned above, customers want to see that major brands are taking steps to avoid environmental hazards, and a publicly available RMP is an important part of that accountability.
In terms of immediate crisis response, RMPs can also be invaluable to emergency responders should a chemical emergency occur. Consider this example: A pharmaceutical production facility experiences a chemical spill, but the facility does not have an updated RMP on file. Emergency responders will be forced to waste time inquiring with facility managers, testing chemicals involved in the spill, and creating a remediation plan after the spill. Without an updated RMP, the chemicals will have more time to wreak environmental havoc, entering waterways and compromising the surrounding area. Outlining an emergency response plan in advance allows businesses to save precious time during an emergency response, preventing catastrophic environmental damage.
Is My Facility Required to Submit an RMP?
Per the EPA, facilities are required to submit an RMP if they work with designated hazardous chemical substances. These substances are listed as regulated Toxic or Flammable Substances for Accidental Release Prevention by the EPA. That includes items that appear on the List of Regulated Substances under section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act. Some states may have additional chemicals beyond the federal list. Ultimately, organizations should consult both federal and local regulations to determine RMP requirements.
Our Risk Management Services
At Environmental Works, we’re proud to provide comprehensive environmental management services. That includes environmental risk assessments and RMPs, both of which drive environmental regulatory decisions. EWI’s experts have the experience and knowledge to assist clients with a number of environmental planning strategies to cultivate a more proactive approach:
- Oil spill (SPCC) plans
- Facility response plans
- Contingency plans
- Risk Management Plan
- Stormwater pollution prevention plans
- Emission inventories
- Tier II
- Toxic release inventory reports
- TSCA inventory reports
So, what is a Risk Management Plan? These plans, also known as RMPs, are an important step for facilities that work with potentially harmful chemicals. By outlining an emergency response plan, as well as a facility’s designated preventative steps, an RMP serves as an invaluable resource in proactive environmental management.
Do you have questions about your organization’s environmental Risk Management Plan? When you’re ready, you can contact EWI online or call 877-827-9500 for more information. We have in-house experts ready to help walk you through the specifics of your organization’s planning needs. Our team can work with you to ensure ongoing environmental responsibility and compliance, particularly as it pertains to best practices surrounding Risk Management Plans.