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Proposed Amendments to Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District Regulation 5.15, Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions

Posted: December 17th, 2020

Authors: All4 Staff 

On November 23, 2020, the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (LMAPCD) issued a Preliminary Regulatory Impact Assessment (PRIA) for proposed amendments to LMAPCD Regulation 5.15, Chemical Accident Prevent Provisions.

LMAPCD Regulation 5.15 establishes authority for delegated administration and local implementation of the federal Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulations promulgated at 40 CFR Part 68 per Section 112(r) requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. LMAPCD administers its RMP program through its Industrial Compliance Section and in collaboration with the Louisville Metro Emergency Management Agency (Metro EMA).  It is worth noting that combined, LMAPCD and Metro EMA have less than two individuals working fulltime to implement the RMP program.

LMAPCD Regulation 5.15 has not been revised since 2001; however, in this proposed rulemaking, LMAPCD is proposing to incorporate various minor amendments made to the federal RMP regulations in 2001 and 2004 in order to retain delegated authority for local RMP program administration. More significantly, LMAPCD is proposing to incorporate provisions from U.S. EPA’s 2017 RMP Amendments Rule that have since been rescinded and replaced by the 2019 RMP Reconsideration Rule. In response to comments from its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking period (May 27 to August 25, 2020), LMAPCD stated it did not seek a formal recommendation from Metro EMA for potential rulemaking nor is it proposing to add personnel or resources to implement the new amendments under consideration.  LMAPCD’s basis for these decisions is due to the large number of RMP facilities per capita in the city of Louisville. For counties containing medium to larger cities, Louisville ranks 26th in the nation; and for chemical manufacturing plants specifically [North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) 325], Louisville ranks fourth nationally. LMAPCD also believes these amendments will address Environmental Justice concerns since the majority of these RMP facilities “are clustered within the urban core of the Louisville area and in close proximity to predominantly minority neighborhoods, particularly in west Louisville.

The most impactful proposed changes to LMAPCD Regulation 5.15 include the following rescinded provisions from the 2017 RMP Amendments Rule:

  • Requires a third-party audit following an RMP reportable accident.
  • Requires an incident investigation root cause analysis following a catastrophic release or near miss.
  • Requires a Safer Technologies and Alternatives Analysis (STAA) for every new process including reevaluation every five years as part of the facilities process hazard analysis (PHA) required under the federal RMP regulations.

The proposed amendments listed above will directly apply to facilities in NAICS codes 322 (paper manufacturing); 324 (petroleum and coal products manufacturing); and 325 (chemical manufacturing). 19 facilities within Jefferson County, KY, fall under these codes, nine of which are chemical manufacturing plants. In its PRIA, LMAPCD estimates additional annual costs for regulated sources of approximately $35,000 per year (per facility subject to proposed amendments).

Drafts of the proposed amendments were reviewed and approved for release by the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control Board Strategy Committee on December 9, 2020. A 60-day formal public comment period was opened on December 11, 2020 and a public hearing will be held at the regularly scheduled monthly Air Pollution Control Board meeting on January 20, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

Although LMAPCD has explained why they intend to apply more stringent requirements to certain industries, the proposed amendments to Regulation 5.15 do not align with current federal RMP regulations, will increase the regulatory burden on impacted facilities, and will be unique to only facilities located in Jefferson County, KY. If your facility is located in Jefferson County, KY and falls under one of the affected industry types, we recommend following this activity closely and participating in the rulemaking process.

ALL4 will continue to monitor these proposed amendments throughout the rulemaking process.  If you have any questions about the proposed amendments to Regulation 5.15, please contact us.


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