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Update from the Union of Concerned Scientists
Union of Concerned Scientists: Science for a healthy planet and safer world

Urge your senators to ensure that self-driving cars are safe, clean, and equitably accessible.

Tell the EPA: Do Not Gut the Chemical Safety Rule.

Proposed changes to the Risk Management Plan sacrifice the health and safety of communities, first responders, and workers. Let the EPA know that rolling back these protections is unacceptable.


The EPA needs your expert voice on chemical facility safety

Dear NOBCChE member,

In 2013, after a catastrophic event at a fertilizer factory in West, Texas, killed 15 people, including 12 first responders, and injured more than 260 people, the federal government ordered an update to the Risk Management Plan (RMP).  After more than three years of rulemaking, comments from industry, state, and local governments, members of the public (including many scientists and technical experts), environmental justice communities, and public interest organizations yielded a strong, science-based rule.

But the new rule was never fully implemented, and people's lives continue to be at risk. Moreover, after more than a year of delaying implementation, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is now proposing to rollback the updated rule. Chemistry and chemical engineering experts and experts-in-training have a critical role to play in responding to these proposed changes.  

This science-based rule is a pivotal safeguard for communities living nearby facilities, emergency personnel tasked with responding to incidents, and facility workers. And communities of color and low-income communities that more often live near these facilities are disproportionately affected. If the EPA rollback goes unchallenged, we'll lose critical rules, such as requirements that:

  • the most dangerous facilities undertake assessments of safer technologies to limit the severity of incidents;

  • an "incident analysis" include determining the "root cause" of the incident to avoid such incidents in the future;

  • qualified, independent third-party audits be conducted when a facility has an incident to ensure the cause of the incident is addressed; and

  • facilities provide the public, emergency planners, and first-responders with essential information needed to safely respond to an accident.

Use your expert voice to call on the EPA to implement these common-sense measures, so the technical information is accessible to all who are impacted.

Take Action


Jessica Thomas
Outreach Coordinator
Center for Science and Democracy
Union of Concerned Scientists

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