Assessment of the Incentives Created by Public Disclosure of Off-Site Consequence Analysis Information for Reduction in the Risk of Accidental Releases [open pdf - 455KB]
"Under the Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act, the President delegated to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the task of assessing the incentives for reduction in accidental chemical releases created by public disclosure of off-site consequence analysis information. This document reports the results of EPA's assessment. In the wake of the chemical tragedy in Bhopal, India, and a series of large chemical accidents in the U.S. in the late 1980s, Congress added new provisions to the Clean Air Act for the prevention of accidental chemical releases. In particular, Congress directed EPA to require facilities that pose the greatest risk of harm to the public and the environment as a result of an accidental chemical release prepare and submit risk management plans (RMPs). An RMP must describe the facility's chemical accident prevention program, emergency response program, and off-site consequence analysis (OCA). The OCA must evaluate the potential for hypothetical worst-case and alternative accidental release scenarios to harm the public and environment around the facility. Congress mandated that RMPs be available to state and local governments and the public. […]This assessment finds that convenient public access to OCA information has the power to reduce real impact associated with chemical accidents. America needs to be further educated about chemical risks. Dissemination of OCA information could make an important contribution to a public dialogue about risk reduction and protection of lives. This public dialogue among community members, emergency planners and responders, and facilities at the local level is key to risk reduction."
United States Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/