The BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Kim Glas on today’s ruling:
“The court made the right call today by tossing out the EPA’s unwise delay of this important rule. The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment; the decision to delay the rule was in direct conflict with that mission. There are 150 major industrial chemical releases, fires and explosions each year in the United States that endanger—and sometimes kill—workers, and threaten the safety of millions of residents, including the one-in-three schoolchildren who attend a school in the vulnerability zone of a hazardous facility.
“The EPA has found that companies can prevent these catastrophes by investing in well-recognized safety measures, and yet EPA leadership acted to delay the rule that would have required companies to do so. By striking down the EPA leadership’s delay of the Chemical Disaster Rule, the court will help prevent these disasters, protecting the lives of workers, first responders, and millions of Americans who live in the shadow of hazardous industrial facilities.
“However, while we applaud today’s ruling overturning the delay of the rule, we remain concerned by the EPA’s ongoing efforts to weaken the rule by removing its most meaningful provisions, including those that require companies to invest in prevention measures; train and coordinate with first responders; and inform communities of industrial hazards. The Chemical Disaster Rule will improve public safety and must be pushed forward in its original form, not weakened as the administration has proposed.”