On January 9th and 10th a working group of federal agencies will be in Los Angeles to hear your ideas on how we can prevent disasters at U.S. chemical facilities.
Following the April 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, President Obama issued Executive Order #13650 “Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security”. According to EPA data, there are more than 470 U.S. chemical facilities that each put 100,000 or more people at risk of injury or death from a sudden poison gas release. (Map: blue dots represent chemical facilities of concern in the LA area. Source: Center for Effective Government)
In Los Angeles, like many other areas of the country, a disproportionate number of these sites are right next to low-income communities of color. We must protect communities from catastrophic releases of extremely hazardous chemicals where they are manufactured, transported, and stored.
According to Obama’s Executive Order, a working group of EPA, OSHA, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must develop “guidance, outreach, standards and regulations” and “enhance safety and security in chemical facilities.” In addition, the Executive Order requires agencies to engage stakeholder conversations, including “labor organizations representing affected workers, environmental and community groups” to identify best practices, “including through the use of safer alternatives…”If you cannot make one of the listening sessions, please submit an official comment to OSHA today. For more information, read the offical call for comments from the public at the OSHA website. You can also learm more about specific facilities in California from The Right-To-Know Network.Our voices are needed urgently to make sure this review includes prevention-based policies so that our health and environment can be protected. See the registration links for the January 9th and 10th sessions below. Contact Martha Arguello, [email protected] if you have any questions.
Listening Sessions on Chemical Facility Safety and Security
Thursday, January 9, 2014 – Evening In-Person Meeting and Teleconference Time: 5pm – 6pm Registration, 6pm – 8pm Session Location: Mount St. Mary’s College, Doheny Campus, Donohue Center, 10 Chester Place, Los Angeles, CA 90007-2598 Register: In-Person Registration Link | Teleconference Registration Link
Friday, January 10, 2014 – Daytime In-Person Meeting and Teleconference Time: 8am – 9am Registration, 9am – 2pm Session Location: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), James West Alumni Center (JWAC), 325 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095 Register: In-Person Registration Link | Teleconference Registration Link
Announcement text from the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Agencies: Please save-the-date(s) to join us for the Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (Executive Order 13650 (EO)) public listening session opportunities in January 2014. During each of the listening sessions, the Working Group will share an overview of the various sections of the EO and the progress made to date on each. In particular, we are interested in hearing from the stakeholders described in the EO: chemical producers, chemical storage companies, agricultural supply companies, State and local regulators, chemical critical infrastructure owners and operators, first responders, labor organizations representing affected workers, environmental and community groups, and consensus standards organizations. Attendees will have opportunities to provide individual input on the process and the specific areas in the EO. These areas include improving operational coordination with States, Tribes, and local partners; enhanced information collection and sharing; modernizing regulations, guidance, and policies; and identifying best practices in chemical facility safety and security. The EO Working Group anticipates having evening hours for several of the locations. Additional details and registration information for January sessions will be provided shortly. For more information on EO 13650, please visit https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/index.html or email [email protected]