2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

On March 21, 2024, EPA announced issuance of a final rule requiring industrial facilities to prepare and submit to EPA facility response plans. In its news release, EPA said the rule is “to ensure facilities are prepared to respond to a worst-case discharge of hazardous substances.”

Plan Requirements
In its Rule Summary, EPA defines “worst-case discharge” as “the largest foreseeable discharge in adverse weather conditions, including extreme weather conditions due to climate change.” The plans must include “hazard evaluation, personnel roles and responsibilities, response actions, and drills and exercises.” Regulated facilities must submit their plans within 36 months of the rule’s effective date.

Threshold Quantities and Proximity to Navigable Water
The rule will apply to facilities where quantities of hazardous substances meet or exceed threshold quantities and that are “located within a 0.5-mile radius of navigable water or conveyance to navigable water, and that meets one or more substantial harm criteria.” EPA estimates that the rule will cover approximately 5,400 facilities; it also allows EPA regions to require response plans from other facilities on a case-by-case basis.

To see the news release https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-requires-industrial-facilities-enhance-preparation-chemical-discharges-water

To see the Rule Summary https://www.epa.gov/hazardous-substance-spills-planning-regulations/final-rulemaking-clean-water-act-hazardous