CSB Final Rule on Reporting Chemical Releases

The Chemical Safety Board has issued a long-anticipated final rule that requires owners or operators of chemical facilities to report to the agency within eight hours certain information regarding incidental releases of hazardous chemicals resulting in death, serious injury or substantial property damage.

According to a prepublication version of the rule posted on CSB’s website Feb. 5, chemical facility officials will be required to include in their reports the following information:

  • Location information and facility identifier;
  • Approximate time of the release;
  • A brief description of the release;
  • An indication whether a fire, explosion, fatality, serious injury or property damage has occurred;
  • The name of the material or materials involved; and
  • Whether the release has resulted in an evacuation order affecting members of the general public.

Interim Executive Authority, Kristen Kulinowski, said in a statement, “The CSB anticipates that these reports will provide the agency with key information important to the CSB in prompt deployment decisions.”

CSB states in the prepublication rule that it will disclose initial incident information once a year.

Additionally, because the agency lacks enforcement authority, CSB “retains discretion” to forward suspected violations to the Environmental Protection Agency administrator “for appropriate enforcement action.”

The final rule is set to go into effect on March 23, 2020.

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