Fed Agencies Propose Tougher Chemical Safety After Disaster In Texas

"A federal working group released a report Friday that details how the government can improve chemical plant safety and security, more than a year after the deadly explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant.

The proposals were submitted to President Barack Obama, who directed federal agencies to suggest changes after the April 2013 explosion, which killed 15 and injured several hundred others. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security, and related agencies submitted potential proposals to the administration in January. Friday's report builds on those suggestions and proposes actions that would improve community preparedness, improve data management, and update federal policies and regulations.

The report lays out timelines for implementing the proposals, and includes specific ways to improve handling of ammonium nitrate, the chemical that caused the Texas blast. There are short-term suggestions, to be undertaken in the next year, and longer-term term solutions, to be implemented by the end of 2016."

Kate Sheppard reports for the Huffington Post June 6, 2014.

Monday, June 9, 2014