BP has a new CEO today.
A few days ago, BP signed a Consent Decree with the Department of Justice and agreed to pay $13 million for various Risk Management Plan violations under the Clean Air Act at its Texas City refinery. If you recall, there was a major incident at that refinery back in March of 2005 where 15 people were killed.
Thus far, BP has paid $137 million in fines which includes $50.61 million to OSHA for Failure to Abate violations under OSHA’s Process Safety Management standards. It has also spent $1.4 billion in corrective action. The OSHA fine is the largest fine in OSHA’s history.
BP conducted many internal environmental and safety audits before the March 2005 incident. Many safety and environmental issues were raised but little or no action was taken – according to the Chemical Safety Board investigators.
An expensive lesson learned?
Posted in air pollution, attorneys, audits, chemical accidents, compliance, Emergency response, EPA enforcement, OSHA
Tagged BP, Norman Wei, OSHA fines, PSM, RMP
Under the Clean Air Act, if you are required to file a Risk Management Plan (RMP), you are also required to update your plan every 5 years. EPA has started to warn companies to update their plans or face penalties.
For example, in a streamlined enforcement process, EPA’s Region 2 office continually identifies facilities that currently have risk management plans in place to see which plans are overdue. Where the Agency finds facilities that have not updated their plans on time, EPA is giving that facility a chance to comply and pay a discounted penalty. This was the case recently for the Kuehne Chemical Company in South Kearny, New Jersey. As a result of EPA’s enforcement efforts, the company updated its plan and paid a $1,400 penalty for late filing. Additional enforcement actions are planned in the coming months.
For assistance in submitting an updated RMP, facilities should contact the RMP Reporting Center at 301-429-5018. Additionally, EPA has developed a new method for preparing and submitted your RMP which became available on March 13, 2009. The new method is called RMP*eSubmit and information about RMP*eSubmit and how to set up an RMP*eSubmit account can be found here.