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Pruitt Stays EPA’s Chemical Storage Rule

EPARiskManagement

Under orders of Administrator Scott Pruitt, the EPA has stayed a controversial rule that was to have taken effect on Tuesday in a move to prevent explosions and accidents at refineries and chemical plants.

The former Oklahoma Attorney General decided to reconsider the Risk Management Program which was fought by Sen. Jim Inhofe and others. Pruitt said the RMP rule will be stayed for at least 90 days from the March 14 effective date.

It’s the rule that required public disclosure of chemicals stored at commercial and industrial sites. Sen. Inhofe argued the requirement would make such information easily available in the hands of terrorists. However, the Senate and the House have yet to move on Inhofe’s Congressional Review Act resolution against the rule.

The EPA updated the Risk Management Program in January following the disaster in West, Texas when a fertilizer plant blast killed 15 people.

On Monday, Pruitt’s agency also responded in court to the lawsuits challenging the Obama-era power plant rule. Pruitt did not object to combining two lawsuits challenging denial of petitions to reconsider all or parts of the carbon rule with the primary Clean Power Plan lawsuit. Some see it as a move that could delay a final decision on all 14 such lawsuits.

The EPA also urged the courts to consolidate all 14 suits to avoid overlapping claims.