WASHINGTON – Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced plans to repeal major safety rules for chemical and fertilizer plants, which President Obama’s administration put in place to protect workers and people who live near more than 10,000 facilities across the U.S.
“EPA administrators are supposed to push for safeguards to protect workers and residents from deadly catastrophes, like the one we saw in 2013 when the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 people,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “But this is Scott Pruitt. There apparently is no favor he won’t do for the chemical industry. Repealing safety measures at industry’s behest is just all in a day’s work.”
According to reports by The Hill and Politico Pro, the safeguards Pruitt is seeking to rescind include:
- The requirement that chemical companies must determine the root causes of spills or explosions.
- The requirement that an independent third party investigate spills, explosions and other disasters.
- Requirements that accident investigation teams include experts on the chemical processes involved and those who have experience investigating such incidents.
- Training requirements for supervisors of plant operations.
- The requirement for the plant owner or operators to keep safety information up to date.
- The requirement that plant owners release chemical hazard information to the public upon request.
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