RMP v/s CalARP Title 19

RMP v/s CalARP Title 19

As many professionals within the PSM/RMP industry understand the nuances of personal interpretation by what is considered to many as being a very black and white federal law, there are still certain obstacles one must overcome, should a should be considered a SHALL, are all SHALLs actually required, so on and so forth. This is not including what is considered to be the Mecca of the regulatory world; California. Seeing as how one could arguably state that what California does the rest of the nation soon follows, we attempt to look into what exactly that could mean in the near future. All of this and we must still address that there are slight differences in what the Federal RMP requires and what California’s CalARP or California accidental release prevention program 3 or Level 3 requires. While most of it is identical, there are key differences in areas that may help shed some light on specific elements for those of us who do not live in the golden coast.

CalARP’s program 3 has the following elements that originate from the EPA’s RMP program:

Process safety information, Process Hazard analysis, Operating procedures, Training, Mechanical integrity, Management of Change, Pre-startup safety review, Compliance Audits, Incident Investigation, Employee Participation, Hot Work Permit, and Contractors.

Within the above stated elements there are some changes, noticeable enough, in the following elements; Process Safety Information, Process Hazard Analysis, Management of Change, Pre-Startup Safety Review, Compliance Audits, and Incident Investigation.

The following text will be identifying the differences that are noted in the CalARP requirements, the text will be italicized and underlined to show what the difference is between the EPA and CalArps requirements. While one could argue that a fair portion of the changes are verbiage, most of it provides clarification to help reduce some of the grey areas that can be commonplace with in the PSM/RMP regulations. Again, the differences or additions being a better statement by CalARPs requirements over EPAs requirements are italicized and underlined.

Process Safety Information – CalARP Section 2760.1 – EPAs 68.65

Section 2760.1 (a) The compilation of written process safety information SHALL be maintained and kept up-to-date to enable the owner or operator and the employees involved in operating the process to identify and understand the hazards posed by those processes involving regulated substances. The only difference between CalARP and EPA’s RMP is what can be seen italicized and underlined.

Process Hazard Analysis – CalARP Section 2760.2 – EPAs 68.67

Section 2760.2 (b) states; The owner or operator SHALL work closely with AAs in deciding which PHA methodology is best suited to determine the hazards of the process being analyzed.

Here the CalARP program is calling out for the industry to work hand in hand with the Administering Agency, or AA, to help in deciding which methodology is best suited for the process on which the PHA is being conducted upon.

Section 2760.2 (c) (8) The PHA SHALL include the consideration of external events, including seismic events, if applicable. PHAs completed for other programs where external events were not considered SHALL be updated to include external events.

This entire requirement is unique to the CalARP requirements, while one could argue that this is taken into account in the Stationary source citing [EPA 68.67(c)(5)] again this appears that CalARP is trying to assist the industry in eliminating some of the grey areas that have been pondered by many conducting a PHA of their own.

Section 2760.2 (e) The owner or operator SHALL establish a system to address the teams’ findings and recommendations; assure that the recommendations are resolved and documented; document what actions are to be taken; develop a written schedule of when these actions are to be completed; complete these actions on a timetable agreed upon with the AA, or within two and one-half (2.5) years of performing the PHA, or the next planned turnaround, for those items that require a turnaround; document the final resolution taken to address each recommendation and actual completion date; and communicate the actions to operating maintenance and other employees whose work assignments are in the process and who may be affected by the recommendations or actions. The above timelines SHALL not apply to any process hazard analysis completed prior to January 1, 2015.

This one in particular is interesting in that we have the regulating entity giving us guidance or a timeline for the resolutions successful completion date as opposed to EPAs “resolved in a timely manner” statement. It is also important to notice that CalARP also calls out working with the AA or Administering Agency sometimes referred to as the CUPA or certified Unified Program Agency in establishing an acceptable timeline. This is not the last time we will see this throughout the CalARP requirements.

Section 2760.2 (f) At least every 5 years after the completion of the initial PHA, the PHA SHALL be updated and revalidated by a team meeting the requirements in section (d), to assure that the PHA is consistent with the current process. Notwithstanding section (c), updated and revalidated PHA[s] completed to comply with Section 5189 of Title 8 of CCR are acceptable to meet the requirements of this section.

Management of Change – CalARP 2760.6 – EPA 68.75

2760.6 (e) If a change covered by this section results in a change in the operating procedures or practices required by section 2760.3 (Operating procedures), and/or results in a change in the written procedures to maintain the ongoing integrity of process equipment required by section 2760.5 (Mechanical Integrity), such procedures or practices SHALL be updated prior to start-up of the process.

Here we see CalARP not only calling out the OP or SOP element but also calling out the MI element. While most with a working knowledge of the RMP requirements understands that written procedures are required for the MI element and they arguably go together with Ops, this is useful for those that are new to the RMP requirements. Again, eliminating some of the grey.

Pre-Startup Safety Review – CalARP 2760.7 – EPA 68.77

2760.7 (b) The pre-startup safety review SHALL confirm, as a verification check, independent of the management of change process, that prior to the introduction of regulated substances to a process:

This is another instance of the CalARP requirements attempting to give some clarification or guidance in the PSSR element that what GCAP likes to call a preflight check list is done separate of the MOC to ensure that the change and all of the possible elements that interact with it have been addressed.

Compliance Audits – CalARP 2760.8 – EPA – 68.79

2760.8 (c) A report of the scope, methods used, results, and findings of the audit SHALL be developed. This report, including the results, SHALL be available for AA review.

The EPA asks simply “a report of the findings of the audit SHALL be developed” and as seen above CalARP wants a little more, similar to a math teacher the regulatory agency wants you to show your work. They also require that the report and results be available to the agency for review.

2760.8 (d) The owner or operator SHALL promptly determine and document an appropriate response to each of the findings of the compliance audit. The owner or operator SHALL enter into an agreement with the AA on a timetable for the resolution of these findings. Otherwise responses SHALL be completed one and a half (1.5) years after performing the compliance audit, or the next planned turn around for items requiring a turnaround. These timelines SHALL not apply to any compliance audit completed prior to January 1, 2015. The owner or operator SHALL document the actual completion dates when deficiencies were corrected.     

Similar to Section 2760.2(e) here we see the CalARP program asking the industry to work with the AA on establishing an acceptable timeline to resolve any findings, if not it is to be completed within the timeline given by the element.

Incident Investigation – CalARP 2760.9 – EPA 68.81

2760.9 (d) (2) a description of the incident, including all the data required under 2750.9(b)

2750.9 is CalARPs 5-year accident history and section (b) reads as follows:

Data required: For each accidental release included, the owner or operator SHALL report the following information:

  • Date, time, and approximate duration of the release;
  • Regulated substance(s) released;
  • Estimated quantity released in pounds and, for mixtures containing regulated toxic substances, percentage concentration by weight of the released regulated toxic substance in the liquid mixture;
  • Five or six- digit NAICS code that most closely corresponds to the process;
  • The type of release event and its source;
  • Weather conditions, if known;
  • On-site impacts;
  • Known offsite impacts;
  • Initiating event and contributing factors if known;
  • Whether offsite responders were notified if known; and,
  • Operational or process changes that resulted from investigation of the release and that have been made by the time this information is submitted in accordance with Section 2745.5.

Section 2745.5 is the RMP Five Year accident history component

While in actual number count the CalARP requirement is smaller upon using the reference of Section 2750.9(b) it becomes larger than EPAs requirement. While not all II’s are completed based on chemical releases, the information that CalARP is trying to gather is very good information. In our current lives, big data, I truly believe that there is no useless information, only information for which we do not know yet how to use. All the information can be used to help determine and hopefully prevent system failures not only in one’s own process but in all processes.

2760.9(e) The owner or operator SHALL establish a system to promptly address and resolve the incident report findings and recommendations. The owner or operator SHALL enter into an agreement with the AA on a timetable for resolution of these findings and recommendations. Otherwise these resolutions SHALL be completed no later than one and one half (1.5) years after the completion of the incident investigation or two (2) years after the date of the incident, whichever is the earlier of the two dates, or the next planned turnaround for those items requiring a turnaround. Resolutions and corrective actions with actual completion dates SHALL be documented.

Similar to Section 2760.2 (e) and Section 2760.8 (d) this section is calling for working closely with the AA to determine an acceptable resolution date or within the maximum allowable timeframe.

While these differences may not seem like much on face value upon closer inspection it is fairly easy to see how these chunks of carbon can easily become diamonds given a little time and under the proper conditions.