The EPA’s RMP covers approximately 12,000 commercial and industrial facilities that use or store large amounts of specific, highly toxic or highly flammable chemicals. The RMP is the nation’s primary defense against catastrophic industrial chemical releases, fires, and explosions. The RMP rule is meant to save lives—the lives of our workers, fenceline communities, and first responders. The EPA estimates that 177 million people in the United States live close enough to an industrial facility to be harmed by a chemical release, fire, or explosion. That is more than half the U.S. population and what’s more, that risk falls disproportionately on low-income and communities of color.
Workers too are threatened by chemical disasters while at work and also at home if they live in a fenceline community. Workers are also the first line of defense, when a chemical disaster occurs, resulting in higher injury rates than the surrounding community due to the lack of protections in process safety.v Process safety, done well, creates systems of inherently safer technologies that minimize risk of exposure and chemical disaster. When industry claims that worker injury rates are decreasing they are referring only to personal safety metrics rather than process safety which addresses the major hazards.
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