Frequently Asked Questions about the TCPA Program
What is Risk Management?
Risk management plans (RMPs) are designed to protect the community around a site by preventing catastrophic accidental releases of the most hazardous substances used in industrial processes. The RMP includes many common-sense provisions that are part of accepted engineering practice: standard operating procedures, safety reviews, preventative maintenance, operator training, accident investigation, risk assessment, emergency response, and management of change. The RMP is a written plan that summarizes the implementation of the risk management program and contains elements such as an executive summary, registration information, an off-site consequence analysis, the five-year accident history, prevention program information, emergency response program information, a certification, information on persons involved with the risk management program, a profile of the neighborhood, insurance carrier data, and characterization of the EHS inventory.
Who must prepare a Risk Management Plan?
Owners and operators of facilities that use, store, manufacture or handle threshold quantities of EHS's are required to prepare and submit RMP's for their covered processes. Threshold quantities are listed in the TCPA regulation, available from our download page.
How do I submit a Risk Management Plan?
Risk Management Plans must be submitted to both the NJDEP-TCPA Program and the USEPA.
About New Jersey Requirements: New Jersey TCPA requires additional information beyond what USEPA requires. To address this, Risk Management Plan submittals to the NJDEP-TCPA must be made using two software packages, RMP*Submit 2004 and the New Jersey RMP Submission program. These can be downloaded from the TCPA Downloads web page. The RMP*Submit 2004 User Manual and additional guidance are also available there.
Owners and operators input data about their facility and risk management activities into both the RMP*Submit 2004 software and the New Jersey RMP Submission program. The two software packages work together, and both are needed to complete the registration process. Once data entry is completed, the information is saved onto a CD-ROM or diskette as an ACII text file for submission to the NJDEP-TCPA program.
About the Federal Requirements: The USEPA has developed an on-line system called RMP*eSubmit that must be used for the federal submittal. To learn more about Risk Management Plan submittals to the USEPA, please go to the USEPA Office of Emergency Management website using the link on our TCPA Links web page.
Where can I learn about changes made during the 2009 Rule Readoption and Amendments?
Two documents have been prepared by the Bureau to assist the regulated community in applying the readopted rule. Our Notes from the 2009 Public Workshop and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document both contain useful information. Additional guidance and the rule itself are available from our TCPA Downloads web page.
Where can I learn about the Inherently Safer Technology Review requirements?
The Bureau has prepared an IST Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document with specific information on this topic. Additional information is also available from our TCPA Downloads web page.
Questions About Specific Situations
Q – I have a storage area of shipping containers. Each container holds more than the threshold quantity of an extraordinarily hazardous substance (EHS). A single container is removed from storage and connected to process equipment where the EHS is consumed. Am I allowed to consider the storage area and the process equipment to be a single covered process?
A – Yes, but only if the two areas together meet USEPA’s definition of a covered process. Under USEPA’s definition of "process," separated vessels at two locations may be one process if regulated substances could be released at both locations during a single release event, including an event that is external to both vessels. The owner/operator should be able to document the basis for the decision that individual vessels at separate locations do or do not constitute a single process.
Q – If a container holding a threshold quantity is moved from a covered process storage area to process equipment where it is consumed, is the EHS counted as inventory in both processes?
A – Yes, N.J.A.C. 7:31 requires registration based on the maximum quantity of the EHS present at each covered process.
Q – How should an owner/operator with a covered process that qualifies for Program 1 status under the federal program register that process with DEP and EPA?
A – Since New Jersey did not incorporate Program 1 requirements into the TCPA rule, the owner/operator must submit two versions of the RMP for this covered process: one to EPA claiming Program 1 status and a second to DEP claiming Program 3 status. All facilities subject to the rules in New Jersey must implement Program 3 requirements.
Q – My facility has substances that fall into two categories:
Substances that are not regulated by USEPA but are regulated by TCPA, for example because the New Jersey threshold is lower; and
Substances that are regulated by both USEPA and TCPA.
How do I register with the USEPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection?
A – You must submit two risk management plans: One plan for USEPA for all federally regulated substances, and a second plan for the New Jersey DEP for those substances regulated by TCPA.
Additional information is available from the USEPA Office of Emergency Management. You can access their web site from our TCPA Links page.