112(r) Prevention of Accidental Releases and General Duty Clause

The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments §112(r) program is designed to prevent accidents and releases through a program of preparedness, response, and prevention. While DAQ does not have delegation of this program, we recognize it is an important tool in protecting lives and the environment by assisting facilities to operate safely.

The General Duty Clause (GDC) of §112(r)(1) establishes that owners and operators of stationary sources producing, processing, and storing extremely hazardous substances have a general duty to identify hazards associated with an accidental release, design and maintain a safe facility, and minimize consequences of any accidental releases that occur.

Additionally, a Risk Management Plan (RMP) is required to be developed and submitted to EPA if a facility has more than a threshold quantity of a regulated substance in a process. The RMP includes an off-site consequence analysis, five-year accident history, prevention plan, and emergency response plan.

EPA inspects facilities that are subject not only to the RMP provisions, but those subject to the broader GDC provisions as well.

The 112(r) and RMP EPA website contains additional information. 

EPA has developed a factsheet on the GDC

EPA Region III developed a GDC Inspection Checklist

Additional Oil and Gas Guidance
EPA Region III developed a GDC guide for unconventional oil and gas drilling facilities.

Kevin Daniel, RMP Coordinator for EPA Region III, presented on the“Clean Air Act, General Duty Clause (GDC)” at the October 9, 2014 WVDEP Oil and Gas Workshop.

A related topic was discussed by Connie Brown, Assistant Area Director of OSHA’s Charleston Area Office, who presented on the “Oil and Gas Industry – Hazards are Always Present” at the May 15, 2014 WVDEP Oil and Gas Workshop.