A status report to President Obama released last week details the “federal action plan” to further minimize chemical facility safety and security risks in response to an executive order issued last August. The “priority actions” to improve chemical facility safety and security outlined in the report are organized into five areas: strengthening community planning and preparedness, enhancing federal operational coordination, improving data management, modernizing policies and regulation, and incorporating stakeholder feedback and developing best practices.
In addition to these short- and long-term priority actions, the report summarizes the progress of the Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group, including information on actions to date, current findings and lessons learned, and challenges.
According to the report, actions the Working Group has implemented since the release of the executive order include:
- meeting with first responders to identify and discuss potential methods to increase their preparedness and to share lessons learned
- engaging the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) to improve coordination, information sharing, and collaboration between CSB, EPA, and OSHA
- contacting 49 state agribusiness associations to identify potentially noncompliant facilities and to raise awareness about chemical facility security regulations
- publishing a chemical advisory on the safe storage, handling, and management of ammonium nitrate
- expanding EPA inspector training and guidance to include advanced process safety training courses on key areas such as petroleum refineries, ammonia refrigeration systems, and mechanical integrity
To learn more, view the full report, “Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment.”