Pursuant to the risk management program regulations under 40 CFR §68.10(b), Program 1 eligibility requires that the process has not had an accidental release of a regulated substance that led to off-site death, injury, or response and restoration activities at an environmental receptor within five years prior to the risk management plan submission. Additionally, as part of the hazard assessment required under §68.42(a), sources are required to document all accidental releases from covered processes that resulted in deaths, injuries, or significant property damage on site, or known off-site deaths, injuries, evacuations, sheltering in place, property damage, or environmental damage. Why are there differences in the accident history elements required for determining Program 1 eligibility and the hazard assessment, and do Program 1 processes need to do five-year accident histories?
There are differences in the two accident histories because they serve different purposes. The purpose of the Program 1 eligibility criterion (§68.10(b)(1)) is simply to ensure that the process in question has had no releases of a regulated substance that resulted in off-site impacts; on-site impacts are not relevant for this criterion. In addition to meeting the accident history criterion, Program 1 sources must be located such that there are no public receptors within the distance to a toxic or flammable endpoint. The accident history acts as a confirmation that releases from Program 1 processes do not have the potential for off-site impact.
The five-year accident history under §68.42, required as part of the hazard assessment, provides data on all serious accidental releases from covered processes at the stationary source. Since releases with on-site impacts indicate safety problems that could lead to future releases with off-site impacts, EPA requires these accidents to be reported in the five-year accident history for all program levels. Therefore, it is possible for a process to be eligible for Program 1 and still have experienced a release that must be reported in the accident history for the source.
Additional information on the applicability of program levels and five-year accident history requirements can be found in Chapters 2 and 3, respectively, of the General Guidance on Risk Management Programs for Chemical Accident Prevention (40 CFR Part 68) (EPA550-B-04-001). The General Guidance on Risk Management Programs for Chemical Accident Prevention (40 CFR Part 68) (EPA550-B-04-001) can be found at: