Regulatory Update Calls for Inherently Safer Technology Mandates Intensify

Last week, USA Today published an article from former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman calling on the agency to use the Clean Air Act to require chemical facilities to adopt inherently safer technology. Click here to access the article. This is not the first time that Ms. Whitman has called for EPA imposed IST mandates. In 2012, she sent a letter to then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging her to take such action.

In a related development, a California interagency task force formed following a 2012 Chevron facility fire that injured six workers and caused thousands to seek medical care recently issued its recommendations for refinery safety. Among the recommendations of the task force is for refineries to be legally required to adopt IST, to periodically review their safety cultures, to review risks posed by process failures, to account for human factors such as fatigue, and to investigate following incidents to determine root causes. The task force called on California to incorporate the recommendations into the state's process safety management rule or accident release prevention program. Click here for a copy of this report.

These latest IST calls come as the White House Chemical Safety and Security Executive Order Working Group is seeking input on IST mandates. NACD has testified several times before the Working Group to express concerns about such measures and will reiterate these concerns in written comments in the coming weeks.

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