By Lawrence P. Halprin, a Partner, and Javaneh S. Nekoomaram, an Associate, with Keller and Heckman LLP in the firm’s Washington, DC office.
Summary: One of the most significant final actions taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) under the Obama Administration was the promulgation of its highly controversial 2017 amendments to the Risk Management Plan (“RMP”) Regulation. The 2017 Amendments represented a comprehensive overhaul of and new direction for the RMP Regulation. One aspect of this new direction, which received far less attention than it should have, was an unprecedented requirement that the owner or operator of a facility that experienced a reportable chemical release hold a public meeting to discuss the release within 90 days of the event. This requirement affronts the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights of the entities and individuals subject to the RMP Regulation.