Tell the EPA: Stop Rollbacks of the Chemical Disaster Rule

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Subject: Stop Rollbacks of the Chemical Disaster Rule, Docket EPA-HQ-OEM-2015-0725

Dear EPA Administrator Wheeler:

I’m writing to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s rollbacks of the Chemical Disaster Rule. Each year, an average of 150 fires, leaks, explosions and other incidents occur at chemical plants. The Chemical Disaster Rule helps protect workers and communities, yet the EPA is proposing to repeal all of the disaster prevention measures. The EPA should keep and implement the full Chemical Disaster Rule.

Along the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Harvey proved how devastating it can be when natural disasters impact chemical facilities. The EPA should be working to prevent catastrophic incidents, especially as the risk for extreme weather events is on the rise.

The EPA claims that the chemical industry will save $88 million/year through these repeals – a tiny amount for the industry. But when a chemical disaster happens again – and it will – a single event can cause at least $220 million in harm. The cost of doing business should include the cost of operating safely.

The EPA must not weaken or delay emergency response requirements, nor should it deny chemical hazard information to exposed communities. Make companies use safer, less hazardous chemicals and put into place more robust preparation, planning and incident review.