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US EPA seeks to remove several proposals made after fertilizer blast

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering removing several proposals it made following an explosion of a fertilizer distribution centre in West, Texas.

These proposals were made to the EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP), which outlined the steps that chemical plants needed to take to prevent spills and similar accidents. The EPA issued the proposals in January 2017 in response to the West explosion in 2013, which killed 15 and injured more than 200.

The EPA has repeatedly delayed the implementation of the proposals. A coalition of trade groups that included the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) filed a petition that asked the EPA to reconsider the proposals.

The Chemical Safety Advocacy Group (CSAG) also filed a petition.

On Thursday, the EPA said it could rescind several of the proposals it made back in January 2017.

Many of these proposals relate to companies analysing safer technology for their chemical plants and investigating accidents. Others involve requirements for companies to investigate accidents and to share chemica-hazard information.

The other changes that the EPA wants to make can be found here.

The regulator is considering the changes to save money. It said about 12,500 plants have filed RMPs with the EPA. Rescinding the proposals could save these plants $88m/year, the EPA said. Most of the savings would come from the safer-technology proposals.

The EPA wants to keep other proposals it made in January 2017, specifically those that cover chemical plants coordinating with firefighters and other emergency-response teams.

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