Biden Administration Must Act to Protect Americans From Chemical Disasters
Last week, a group of national security and environmental experts — including former EPA administrator and New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, former OSHA head David Michaels, and retired Army generals Russel Honoré and Randy Manner — wrote to Biden EPA director Michael Regan calling on the administration to issue a strong rule this year to protect Americans from disasters that could result if a chemical plant in this country faces accident, natural disaster, or deliberate attack.
I signed and transmitted to EPA the new letter, which has more details about the need for responsible rules; I have long been involved in advocacy on this issue. There are hundreds of potentially at-risk chemical facilities in the U.S., many of them with 100,000 or more people in “vulnerability zones” surrounding them. It’s long past time to protect workers and community members from these risks and the reckless intransigence of the chemical industry.
Kathleen Salyer, Director of EPA’s Office of Emergency Management responded to our letter today, stating that “EPA will consider the points made in your letter,” and that, “The EPA is considering improvements to the rule to better address the impacts of climate change on facility safety and protect communities from chemical accidents, especially vulnerable and overburdened communities living near RMP facilities.”