email from BlueGreen Alliance. We need to remember that all these chemicals floating around through our air, and pipelines are manufactured somewhere, including in Chester County, and the risks to the public and first responders must be minimized.
The EPA finalized a new Chemical Disaster Rule in January 2017, four years after an industrial explosion in West, Texas, killed 13 firefighters and two residents and leveled much of the town. The rule included new requirements for companies to prevent chemical releases, fires, and explosions, and required that companies work with first responders to improve emergency preparedness and coordination. Millions of Americans live close enough to an industrial facility to be affected by a chemical disaster.
The EPA put the new rule on hold last year, and now the agency is proposing to gut the rule, eliminating basic provisions that would protect workers and the communities around these facilities.
Tell the EPA to stop playing with fire. We need a strong Chemical Disaster Rule that will better protect millions of American workers and communities.
Roughly 177 million Americans live close enough to an industrial facility to be affected by a chemical accident, and that risk falls disproportionately on low-income and minority communities. One-in-three schoolchildren attend a school in the vulnerability zone for an industrial chemical accident, meaning they are potentially in the path of a lethal industrial chemical release. Workers are at greatest risk of injury or death, alongside first responders, who often have to put their lives on the line responding to the industrial fires, explosions, and chemical releases that continue to occur 150 times each year across the nation.
The EPA has shown that serious chemical accidents can be prevented if companies implement updated safety precautions. Submit your comment to the EPA today supporting a strong Chemical Disaster Rule.
The Chemical Disaster Rule will protect millions of residents and workers and must be implemented in its January 2017 form, not weakened or delayed as proposed by the administration.
Help make sure they get the message. Send your comment now.
Dr. Mike Wilson
National Director for Occupational and Environmental Health