EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) rule “requires facilities that use extremely hazardous substances to develop a Risk Management Plan which: identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident, identifies steps the facility is taking to prevent an accident, and spells out emergency response procedures should an accident occur.”

These facilities must submit their Risk Management Plans and accident histories to the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) on a regular basis.

The agency stores the RMP records in what it has referred to as the “RMP National Database.”

The EPA has previously released versions of that database via FOIA and provides some access via physical reading rooms but, to the best of our knowledge, there is no current source of direct public access to the records.

Indeed, the agency itself has publicly lamented this situation, writing that the current “barriers [to accessing the RMP data] do not appropriately facilitate community right-to-know or equitable distribution of knowledge on fenceline community risks to those most affected by potential releases,” and that “current, publicly available information on the risk management plan national database is insufficient for informing communities about RMP-regulated facilities.”

For many years, information drawn from the database was available via the Center for Effective Government’s Right to Know Network, later adopted by the Houston Chronicle and Reynolds Journalism Institute, but those resources are no longer operational.

Our FOIA request 📄 to the EPA seeks all records in the RMP National Database (with the exception of the “Off-Site Consequence Analysis” records deemed non-disclosable by 40 CFR Part 1400), plus all relevant database documentation.

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