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Inherently safer technology implementation— risk reduction and risk shifting


  • This article was originally presented at the 8th Global Congress on Process Safety, Houston, TX, April 1–4, 20122. (for correspondence)


On March 25, 2008, the State of New Jersey adopted rules requiring facilities regulated under the Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act (TCPA) Program to perform Inherently Safer Technology (IST) reviews. From August 2008 through January 2010, 85 active facilities performed IST reviews and submitted their findings to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. (The IST review reports are on file in the Department's Bureau of Release Prevention and are available for review by the public, except for those that are confidential). This article will analyze the risk reduction measures that resulted from the IST reviews including an evaluation of the risk reduction to the surrounding community to determine whether facilities derived any positive benefit and whether there was the potential for shifting the risks to another location. This analysis was conducted by tabulating the IST measures listed by facilities as implemented or scheduled by type of IST. Also, the IST review reports were studied to determine if any risk shifting occurred. This analysis showed that, although the rules did not require implementation of any IST measures, 45 facilities chose to implement some IST measures. A total of 205 IST measures were implemented. Two facilities eliminated the use of the hazardous substance that subjected them to the TCPA program without shifting the risk. This analysis demonstrates that facilities can make decisions to implement IST risk reduction measures in a regulatory system in which implementation is not required and that IST review is a valuable risk management tool that can positively affect facilities and the surrounding communities. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog 32: 12–16, 2013