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Risk Management and Decision Processes Center

Research Project Title:
Cooperative Study with EPA on Approaches to Reducing Losses from LP-HC Chemical Process Accidents

PI/Project Contact:
Isadore (Irv) Rosenthal

Other faculty involved:
Michael Elliott
Paul Kleindorfer
Robert A. Lowe

Project description:

This project started in 1990 and receives research inputs and financial support from EPA.

Underlying Themes Guiding the Proposed Work:

1. Developing informational and management based regulatory strategies and other so-called market-based approaches to substitute for or reinforce traditional "command and control" regulation. This movement toward public-private partnerships and performance-based regulation will guide our work on accident epidemiology and on third-party inspections and insurance for reducing future losses from chemical accidents.
2. Understanding the vulnerability of different sectors of the chemical industry through the integration of risk assessment and risk management strategies. In particular, this work is focused on the evaluation of data on various categories of risk collected through the RMP process and related databases, as well as near-miss studies, as a contributing element in designing more effective programs for managing chemical risks.
3. Integrating risk management with site security, given the heightened concern since September 11th with the effects of disruptions caused by purposeful agents, e.g., terrorists, on facilities with potential for catastrophic failure. Chemical facilities are one of the critical infrastructures in the Department of Homeland Security's overall program

Based on the above broad themes, the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center is working in the following areas:

1. Accident Epidemiology and Related Data Quality Assurance Activities
2. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the RMP Rule in promoting Accident Reduction, Community Preparedness and Process Safety
3. Role of Risk Management Planning under the RMP Rule and its integration with site security system


Relevant Publications:

"Accident Epidemiology and the RMP Rule: Learning from a Decade of Accident History Data for the U.S. Chemical Industry," Paul Kleindorfer, Robert A. Lowe, Isadore (Irv) Rosenthal, Rongwei Fu, James Belke, Michael Elliott, Armando Santiago, Yanlin Wang. December 18, 2007

"Linking OII and RMP Info Data: Does Everyday Safety Prevent Catastrophic Loss?" Michael R. Elliot, Paul Kleindorfer, Joseph DuBois, Yanlin Wang, Isadore Rosenthal, 2007

"Predicting and Confirming the Effectiveness of Systems for Managing Low-Probability Chemical Process Risks, Rosenthal, Irv, Paul R. Kleindorfer, and Michael R. Elliot "Process Safety Progress, Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2006