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November 1998 - Monthly Update on RMP Electronic Submission

Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (CEPPO)

November 1998 - Monthly Update on RMP Electronic Submission: Below is a note from Jim Makris, Director, Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office to the Accident Prevention Subcommittee on the recent EPA decision not to post RMP OCA data on the Internet.

Date: 11/5/98 5:53pm (via e-mail)

Subject: EPA Decision on OCA Data

Dear Accident Prevention Subcommittee Member:

Thank you for all your support and assistance as we worked through the Internet security issue. I am now writing to let you know that we have made a decision. We will continue to receive the RMP data electronically (RMP*Submit) and will make available on the Internet most of the RMP data including the registration data, accident history, prevention and emergency response data. However, the off-site consequence analysis (OCA) data will not be posted on the Internet.

This has been an extremely difficult issue for all of us. I am grateful to you for your persistence and patience in working through this with me for the past year and a half. Although I have struggled with this decision, I believe this is the right decision to make today. I believe the process has worked to find the most appropriate balance for now between the benefits of community right-to-know and the risks of terrorism.

I want to clarify that the OCA data will be publicly available, it just will not be on the Internet. Our next challenge is to work with all stakeholders to determine how the public will get easy access to the complete RMP information, including OCA, at the local level. Beginning today, EPA will work with the RMP Implementation Workgroup to identify ways that the public can gain easy access to RMP data of interest to them.

Although a decision has been made concerning RMP data, the broader issue of what information gets put on the Internet and how is it protected will continue to be debated. We will work with the FBI to identify new technologies that would allow for secure Internet distribution of OCA data and we will evaluate whether this proposal is meeting stakeholder needs. We will also work with stakeholders to ensure adequate security is in place at chemical facilities that may be vulnerable to criminal or terrorist attacks. We will keep you informed of any new developments.

I have decided not to hold a conference call as a follow-up to the September 9th meeting. If you would like a conference call to discuss this decision or would like to speak with me personally, please give me a call.

Jim Makris


Maintained by the Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (CEPPO), Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


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