Frequent Questions

What is the definition of fuel for the purposes of the fuel exclusion for the risk management program?

A flammable substance listed in 40 CFR §68.130 is excluded from the risk management program regulations when it is used as a fuel or held for sale as a fuel at a retail facility (§68.126). What is the definition of fuel for the purposes of this exclusion?

The two prongs of the limitation on EPA’s authority to list flammable substances (i.e., use as a fuel or held for sale as a fuel by a retail facility) largely follow the OSHA exemptions relating to fuel. EPA therefore looks to OSHA precedent and coordinates with OSHA in interpreting and applying the limitations to the extent they parallel OSHA’s exemptions. For example, the Clean Air Act does not define the term “fuel,” but OSHA has given ‘‘fuel’’ its ordinary meaning in applying the PSM fuel-related exemptions. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1990) defines fuel as “a material used to produce heat or power by burning.” EPA uses this common definition of the term when deciding whether the exclusion at §68.126 applies to a process.

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