Advancing the Goals of Chemical Safety and Security
IME joined with other industry organizations on a letter to the President recommending three special actions to improve chemical safety and security. The recommendations are consistent with the goals of the President’s EO 13650, “Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security,” which was issues following several industrial accidents last year.
- Work with industry and others to ensure that emergency responders have the information they need to protect communities where chemicals are stored.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 was intended to improve the availability of chemical information to members of the local community and to aid emergency first responders, but in far too many instances this has not proved to be the case.
- Improve regulatory effectiveness and operational coordination.
Better coordination, including compliance assistant and enforcement, if necessary, is needed among federal agencies, facilities, and first responders to ensure that “outlier” facilities are identified and brought into compliance. Rather than additional regulations, additional resources and training should be provided for inspectors having regulatory oversight of the chemical industry.
- Leverage private sector industry programs.
Private sector initiatives can improve or supplement the federal management of chemical safety and security risks. These initiatives should be leveraged to accomplish safety and security federal goals.
The President is awaiting final recommendations on chemical safety and security from an interagency working group established by EO 13650 at the end of May.