Video Commemorates West, Texas Chemical Disaster, Highlights President Obama’s Record on Chemical Facility Safety
Washington DC – The Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters launched a new YouTube video today which calls on Americans to contact the White House and demand robust chemical plant safety measures. On October 31, three federal agencies are required to take the first step to make chemical facilities safer by producing new policy recommendations for safeguarding chemical facilities for the President following an Executive Order he signed in August. These federal agencies—the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)—are the primary agencies tasked in the Executive Order with safeguarding our nation’s thousands of chemical facilities.
Last week, it was announced that the operators of the fertilizer plant which exploded on April 17 face a $118,300 fine from OSHA.With 100 million Americans at risk of illness, injury or death from potential chemical disasters like the one which killed 15 people in West, Texas, new regulations are long overdue.
The new video features actual footage of chemical disasters and excerpts of President Obama speaking at the West, Texas memorial in April, as well as his and then-Senator Biden’s 2006 testimony in the US Senate calling for new disaster prevention requirements. A summary of Obama, Biden and the administration’s support of identical disaster prevention requirements is also available online.
The video is being released a week after the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters released a new national poll showing that a majority of likely voters believes “the federal government should require chemical facilities to use safer chemicals and processes” when they are effective, available, and affordable. 55% of voters agreed and only 7% opposed the idea of new safety requirements.
Since the explosion in West, Texas, ten major chemical disasters have taken place, causing additional needless injuries and deaths. Every day, millions of people live and work in the shadow of 12,440 high-risk chemical plants that store and use highly hazardous chemicals with the potential to kill or injure thousands of workers and community residents; 89 of these facilities put more than one million people at risk.Safer, cost-effective chemicals and processes are widely available, and over 500 chemical facilities have already switched—but the highest risk facilities have remained unchanged. .
To contact members of the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters, please contact Nick Sifuentes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-200-5321. Please note that community residents, firefighters, and chemical safety and security experts are available for in-depth interviews.
The Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters comprises more than 100 health, labor, environment, environmental justice, public health and public interest organizations who are calling on the Obama Administration to Improve chemical facility safety and security and require chemical facilities to use safer chemicals and processes where available and affordable. For more information, visit http://preventchemicaldisasters.org.