EPA has several programs in place to reduce the risks associated with hazardous chemicals. With the President’s Executive Order on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, we plan to expand our efforts under our Risk Management Program and our Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Community Right-to-Know programs to ensure chemical facility safety.
Our goals in the Executive Order are to:
- Leverage the stakeholder network already in place with trade associations, environmental organizations, industry, and labor unions to identify best practices;
- Improve coordination with and provide assistance to state and local partners;
- Enhance data sharing and coordination among federal agencies; and
- Modernize policies, regulations, and standards.
I want to ensure that we’re involving the right folks and get the necessary stakeholder feedback. We’ve already begun outreach efforts to these stakeholders by hosting calls with industry, first responders, state and local officials, environmentalist organizations, environmental justice groups, tribes, unions and others. I’ve asked these key stakeholders to email to me any and all ideas to improve current programs. I welcome any feedback; please email me if you want to contribute. Your involvement is crucial throughout this process.
As we continue our outreach through calls, listening sessions, and meetings, I encourage interested stakeholders to become active participants to ensure community safety and to support our first responders in planning for and responding to chemical emergencies.
In addition to these efforts, we have initiated a pilot program with other federal partners, EPA Region 2, New York and New Jersey to identify best practices and expand nationwide a successful program of sharing information and conducting joint planning. The goal of the pilot program is to develop a unified federal approach for identifying and responding to risks at chemical facilities.
I look forward to collaborative involvement to achieve the most important goal: improving the safety of chemical facilities.
Mathy Stanislaus is the Assistant Administrator in EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER), leading the Agency’s land cleanup, solid waste and emergency response programs. Mr. Stanislaus is a chemical engineer and environmental lawyer with over 20 years of experience in the environmental field in the private and public sectors. He received his law degree from Chicago Kent Law School and Chemical Engineering Degree from City College of New York.