Facility Response Plan

March 25, 2024

EPA alert


EPA is issuing a new Clean Water Act (CWA) rule that requires certain facilities to prepare and implement facility response plans (FRP) that address the storage and worst-case discharge of hazardous substances (HSs).

According to the EPA, the facility response plan requirements apply to facilities that could reasonably be expected to cause substantial environmental harm based on their location. These include facilities with a maximum onsite quantity of a CWA hazardous substance that meets or exceeds threshold quantities, located within a 0.5-mile radius of navigable water or conveyance to navigable water, and meets one or more substantial harm criteria.

From EPA’s site: See CWA Hazardous Substance Facility Response Plan Applicability.

Facilities may be identified as posing substantial harm either through a self-identification process or a process whereby EPA Regional Administrators may assess facilities on a case-by-case basis and, if appropriate, require a facility to develop a response plan based on, among other things, concerns related to potential impacts of a worst-case discharge on communities with environmental justice concerns.

The CWA hazardous substance FRP requirements apply to facilities that:

  • Have a maximum onsite quantity of any CWA hazardous substance that meets or exceeds 1,000 times the Reportable Quantity (see 40 CFR 117.3); and
  • Are within 0.5-mile of navigable water or a conveyance to navigable water; and 
  • Meet one or more of the following substantial harm criteria: 
    • Ability to cause injury to fish, wildlife and sensitive environments.
    • Ability to adversely impact a public water system.
    • Ability to cause injury to public receptors.
    • Has had a reportable discharge of a CWA hazardous substance above the Reportable Quantity within the last five years that reached navigable water. 

EPA estimates that the rule will impact 12,618 facilities, including 7,264 estimated for rule familiarization and the Substantial Harm Certification Form, and 5,354 facilities further developing and maintaining FRPs under the final rule.

Facilities will be required to submit FRPs to the EPA within three years of the new rule’s effective date.

Here is the link for the EPA webpage: https://www.epa.gov/hazardous-substance-spills-planning-regulations/final-rulemaking-clean-water-act-hazardous

And here is the link for the pre-publication of the Federal Register notice for the new rule:  https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2024-03/cwa-hs-frp-final-rule-pre-publication_.pdf

If you’d like more information pertaining to your facility’s CWA compliance, please contact for a compliance expert.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am