"The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reviewed climate change risks at facilities that make, use, handle, or store hazardous substances.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk Management Plan (RMP) Rule requires such facilities to develop and implement a risk management program to detect and prevent or minimize the consequences of an accidental release. These facilities, known as RMP facilities, include chemical manufacturers and water treatment plants.
Federal data on flooding, storm surge, wildfire, and sea level rise indicate that over 3,200 of the 10,420 facilities GAO analyzed, or about 31 percent, are located in areas with these natural hazards. Climate change may make some natural hazards more frequent or intense. In turn, these hazards can lead to the accidental release of harmful chemicals. Flooding may inundate tanks and pipelines, leading to corrosion, severance of pipe connections, and rupture. Wildfires may lead to power outages, which could affect the safe operations of RMP facilities. Although projections vary by state and region, on average, GAO’s report notes that the annual area burned by lightning-ignited wildfire is expected to increase by at least 30 percent by 2060."