Administration Announced Plan to Improve Safety and Security of Nation's Chemical Facilities
Today, President Obama issued an Executive Order (EO) to help improve the safety and security of our nation's chemical facilities. The EO was issued in response to the ammonium nitrate (AN) explosion at the West Fertilizer facility in West, Texas. A lesson learned from the tragedy was that federal agencies have not done a good job policing their own programs. The EO directs federal agencies to share information, to involve state, local and tribal governments in the information network, and to leverage inspection resources. The private sector will be consulted on a number of the directives. Only one chemical, AN, is called out for special attention. Within 90 days, the EO requires DHS, DOL and DOA to develop a list of potential regulatory and legislative proposals to improve the safe and secure storage, handling and sale of AN. IME has been engaged as a stakeholder to provide best practice recommendations to the interagency Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group. We welcome the opportunity to help ensure that all regulated facilities are aware of their compliance obligations to keep chemicals of interest safe and secure, along with other EO goals to streamline reporting requirements, and to reduce duplicative regulatory efforts.