The final rule is based on extensive outreach, including Executive Order listening sessions, the solicitation of public comment through the “Request for Information” (RFI) and the Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM), the SBAR panel, and a public hearing.
Between November 2013 and January 2014, nine Executive Order 13650 Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security listening sessions and webinars were held, which were led by EPA, DHS, and OSHA. On July 31, 2014, EPA published the RFI that solicited comments and information from the public regarding potential changes to the Risk Management Program regulations (79 FR 44604).
While developing the proposed rule, EPA convened a SBAR panel, consisting of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA, and solicited advice and recommendations from Small Entity Representatives (SERs) that potentially would be subject to the rule’s requirements. Prior to convening the SBAR panel, EPA invited SBA, OMB, and 32 potentially affected small entity representatives to a conference call and solicited comments from them on preliminary information sent to them. EPA shared the small entities’ written comments with the SBAR Panel as part of the Panel’s convening document. After the SBAR Panel was convened, the Panel distributed additional information to the SERs for their review and comment and in preparation for another outreach meeting. The Panel received written comments from the SERs in response to the discussions at this meeting and the outreach materials.
EPA again solicited input from the public in the NPRM published on March 14, 2016 (81 FR 13637).
Over the course of two years of outreach, EPA received a total of 61,555 public comments on the proposed rule. Several public comments were the result of various mass mail campaigns and contained numerous copies of letters or petition signatures. EPA held a public hearing on March 29, 2016, to provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed action.