Washington DC, Aug 01, 2013– Due to the recent spate of chemical industry related accidents and unfortunate events, the President of the United States today issued an Executive Order to improve safety and security in chemical industry related facilities in the US.
Towards this end, the President has constituted a working group, called the Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group (Working Group) co-chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Secretary of Labor or their designated representatives at the Assistant Secretary level or higher. This working group may also include other nominees from the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Transportation.
Among other things, the Working Group, shall consult with the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and determine what, if any, changes are required to existing memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and processes between EPA and CSB, ATF (Burau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and CSB, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and CSB for timely and full disclosure of information. To the extent appropriate, the Working Group may develop a single model MOU with CSB in lieu of existing agreements.
The order also includes the following
Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Administrator of EPA and the Secretary of Labor shall review the chemical hazards covered by the Risk Management Program (RMP) and the Process Safety Management Standard (PSM) and determine if the RMP or PSM can and should be expanded to address additional regulated substances and types of hazards. In addition, the EPA and the Department of Labor shall develop a plan, including a timeline and resource requirements, to expand, implement, and enforce the RMP and PSM in a manner that addresses the additional regulated substances and types of hazards.
The full text of the Executive Order can be accessed at the White House site here
The Chairman of the US Chemical Safety Board, also issued a statement related to this Executive Order, which can be found here.