Preventing disaster: Three chemical incidents within two weeks show urgent need for stronger federal safety requirements
Coming Clean, Inc.
Number of pages
This report profiles three chemical incidents that occurred within two weeks this January, and recommends specific safety measures that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should require in order to prevent future chemical disasters. Toxic chemical leaks, fires, and explosions are shockingly common in the U.S. More than 140 harmful incidents occur every year, on average. Nationally, the costs and consequences of these often preventable incidents are dramatic: in just one decade, incidents at facilities that use or store hazardous chemicals caused over $2 billion in property damage, as well as the injury, death, shelter in place, or evacuation of half a million people.
Preventing Disaster offers actionable recommendations the EPA should include in its final rule that could prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, including:
Requiring all RMP facilities to consider, document, and implement safer chemicals and technologies;
Expanding the Risk Management Program to cover ammonium nitrate and other hazardous chemicals which remain excluded in the proposed rule;
Requiring RMP facilities to not only consider the risks posed by natural hazards, as proposed in the draft rule, but to take meaningful steps to prepare for those risks, such as implementing backup power for chemical production and storage processes.