September 28, 2022

Biden EPA Is Failing To Protect Americans From Chemical Disasters

Biden EPA Is Failing To Protect Americans From Chemical Disasters

This 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 — along with this author, sent a letter 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.

We had sent as similar letter to Regan in April, in advance of the EPA’s issuance of a proposed chemical safety rule, which would replace a weak, chemical industry wishlist rule issued under the Trump administration. Unfortunately, the new Biden EPA rule, while a significant improvement over Trump’s, is, as we say in the letter, “not nearly strong enough to protect Americans from chemical disasters.”

The new letter has more details about the urgent 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.