The North Carolina Chemical Accident Prevention Program focuses on facilities with large quantities of hazardous chemicals to prevent catastrophic chemical accidents, reduce risk to communities, and minimize the consequences of releases that do occur. This is accomplished by evaluating chemical hazards, expanding industry accident prevention programs, and coordinating facility and community emergency response programs.
To promote measures to prevent accidental chemical releases and reduce the impact of releases to the environment and public health through safety programs, emergency preparedness and public access to chemical information.
Congress established provisions in Section 112(r) of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments for the prevention of accidental chemical releases. As mandated, EPA published its final regulation under Title 40 Part 68 of the Code of Federal Regulations, titled "Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions." The North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) incorporated the federal regulation as amended under 15A NCAC 2D. 2100, "Risk Management Program."
This regulation mandates that facilities with more than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance in a single process must develop a Risk Management Program that includes a hazard assessment, an accident prevention program and an emergency response program. It also requires that owners or operators of subject facilities submit a summary of their program called a risk management plan (RMP), detailing these program elements to the Environmental Protection Agency.
As of 2012, there were 314 processes subject to the rule in North Carolina. Of those, water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plants make up the largest category at about 27 percent. Other prominent industries potentially subject to the rule include but are not limited to merchant wholesalers, chemical and product manufacturers, and the agricultural industry.
The Division of Air Quality implements the program through a multi-agency effort. In order to support the mission of the program, Memorandum of Agreements (MOA's) have been established with partner agencies. The purpose of the MOA's is to set forth the principles of the working relationship between agencies.
PROGRAM SUMMARY REPORTS
The following annual summary reports were generated in order to help satisfy grant commitments as outlined in Section 105 of the Clean Air Act:
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