Update Feb. 21, 2020
CSB officially published its Final Rule on reporting of accidental releases on February 21, 2020.
The effective date is March 23, 2020.
Last week, the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announced a new regulation that requires owners or operators of chemical facilities to report on accidental releases.
The new reporting requirement will take effect on March 23, 2020.
Under the new requirement owners or operators of stationary sources covered under the Clean Air Act must report any accidental release that results in a death, serious injury, or substantial property damage to CSB within 8 hours
(CSB's December 2019 proposed rule included a four hour deadline, which was doubled to 8 hours in the Final Rule).
If a release report has already been made to the National Response Center (NRC), the facility can meet its obligation under the new CSB reporting requirement by submitting the NRC identification number immediately after filing the report to NRC.
To see who must report and what must be included, see our coverage of CSB's proposal
or view the pre-publication copy of the Final Rule.
Why DId CSB Create Another Release Reporting Requirement?
Last year a Washington D.C. District Court ordered CSB to produce a new chemical release reporting regulation in early 2020.
The court order
for CSB to create a release reporting requirement stemmed from a lawsuit filed by environmental advocate groups. The suit pointed out that, in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, Congress directed CSB to create reporting requirements concerning accidental chemical releases.
CSB published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in 2009, but never followed through to create the regulation. Instead, CSB relies on existing EPA reporting requirements and its own investigatory jurisdiction to collect information and make recommendations to improve chemical facility security and emergency preparedness.
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