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Daily News Blog

21
Aug

Take Action: Stop Trump Administration Rollbacks of Disaster Prevention Plans for Chemical Plant Accidents

Pesticide plant Crosby, TX flooded during Harvey and 50,000 pounds of chemical exploded and caught fire.

(Beyond Pesticides, August 21, 2018) Please comment by Thursday, August 23, midnight. The Trump Administration is proposing to weaken or repeal virtually all of the modest improvements to the Risk Management Plan (RMP) adopted in January 2017. While this proposal has broad implications for communities near pesticide manufacturing plants, according to Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, “EPA itself admits that the proposed rollback will disproportionately endanger communities of color and low-income communities. . .”

“EPA concludes that there is evidence that risks from RMP facilities fall on minority and low-income populations, to a significantly greater degree than those risks affect other populations. Therefore, EPA believes that this action may have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, low-income populations and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 12898 [Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations].” (EPA, Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs Under the Clean Air Act, 83 FR 24881, 40 CFR Part 68 [EPA–HQ–OEM–2015–0725; FRL–9975–20– OLEM], RIN 2050–AG95.)

Tell the Trump Administration to reject the proposal to rollback disaster prevention plans for chemical plant accidents (see suggested comment below)

As has become more evident with the experience after many storms in recent memory —Katrina (2005), Ike (2008), Irene (2011), Isaac (2012), Sandy (2012), and Harvey, Irma, José, and Maria (all in 2017)— a significant threat to human health accompanies such events. Processing and storage facilities for petroleum products, pesticides, and other chemicals can be compromised by floodwaters, resulting in explosions and fires at damaged chemical facilities that can add airborne contaminant exposure, in addition to the release of toxicants into waters and soil.

If pesticides, petroleum derivatives, and other chemicals cannot be safeguarded at the point of production in the event of increasingly strong storms and other potential natural disasters, federal and state agencies must accommodate for these events in the risk calculations that inform the regulation of these compounds’ storage, use, and emergency mitigation. Current regulations are weak at best and must be improved and strengthened.

Tell the Trump Administration to reject the proposal to rollback disaster prevention plans for chemical plant accidents (see suggested comment below)

Suggested comment:

The proposed Risk Management Plan (RMP) Amendments reduce protections from chemical plant accidents with disproportionate impact on people of color and low-income communities. The rollback, if adopted, will directly subvert the goals and commitments of Executive Order 12898 [Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations]. As stated by the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform,

  • Rather than serving to “improve on-the-ground results for overburdened communities through reduced impacts,” the action will increase hazards and impacts in these communities, as documented in EPA’s Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the action;
  • Instead of “institutionaliz(ing) environmental justice [EJ] integration in EPA decision-making,” the action will proceed without addressing EJ issues or providing for meaningful involvement of affected communities;
  • Rather than strengthening the agency’s ability “to take action on environmental justice and cumulative impacts,” the action will eliminate regulatory elements and tools that would have helped address these impacts;
  • Instead of “deepen(ing) environmental justice practice within EPA programs to improve the health and environment of overburdened communities,” the action will ignore EJ consideration requirements and worsened the health and environment of EJ communities by the agency’s own hand;
  • Rather than “work(ing) with partners to expand our positive impact within overburdened communities,” the action will create negative impacts and has been developed while the agency refuses to respond to EJ community requests for meaningful involvement.

We urge you to reject the proposed changes to the RMP. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

Sincerely,

———-

Note on posting in Regulations.gov –the method federal agencies use to collect public comments. These types of action are not “one-click” because the federal government only receives your comment through the regulations.gov webpage. That is why we are providing language that you can cut-and-paste onto the federal government’s regulations.gov webpage. Signing your name to a petition is not as effective as your individual comments cut-and-pasted on the regulations.gov webpage.

Not sure how to do this? Follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the text you want (use the suggested text above). Place your cursor before the first word in the text, then press and hold down the left mouse button and, without releasing the button, move the cursor to the end of the comments).
  2. Copy the selected text by selecting the Ctrl and C keys simultaneously.
  3. Click on this link to open a new tab and in that tab, place your cursor in the “Comments” box.
  4. Paste the comments you copied by selecting the Ctrl and V keys simultaneously.
  5. Personalize your comments before entering your contact information and selecting “Continue.”

Thank you for taking action!

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  • Archives

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