EPA Rolls Out Its 48th Deregulation Since Trump Took Office
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) risk management program (RMP) has undergone changes which deleted what officials determined to be “unnecessary regulatory burdens” on chemical plants, according to The Hill.
“Accident prevention is a top priority of the EPA and this rule promotes improved coordination between chemical facilities and emergency responders, reduces unnecessary regulatory burdens, and addresses security risks associated with previous amendments to the RMP rule,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement on Thursday.
Thursday’s proposal would eliminate or ease some major pieces of the chemical disaster rule, which was enacted in the wake of the 2013 fertilizer explosion in West, Texas, which killed 15 people.
Requirements that plant owners consider safer alternatives to various technologies, get third-party audits to check for compliance with accident prevention rules, conduct “root cause” analyses after incidents and disclose certain information to the community about operations were among the pieces addressed in the new proposal.
However, supporters of regulation argue that millions of Americans live near hazardous chemical facilities, and low-income communities are the most at risk to chemical disasters.
“There is no excuse for exposing families and children to preventable chemical disasters,” Earthjustice Attorney Emma Cheuse said in a statement. “We will continue working with people in the most affected communities to defend public safety and to oppose Trump’s dangerous rollback of the Chemical Disaster Rule.”
The EPA hailed Thursday’s finalized rule as its 48th deregulatory action since Trump took office.