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View Diary: Bush administration blocked stronger regulation of fertilizer plants in the wake of 9/11 (67 comments)

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  •  west TX chemical explosion (8+ / 0-)

    It's important for folks to realize now that there is a section of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 that definitely does allow EPA to regulate chemical facility safety, namely the General Duty Clause.   Section 112 r (1), which is quite broad, we disaster prevention proponents designed explicitly as a kind of catch-all authority, explicitly modeled on the OSHA General Duty Clause for worker safety.   The Section covers any extremely hazardous chemical on sites, in any amount and in any form, that could cause harm, EVEN IF the rest of Section 112 r does not include it on the list of covered chemicals that trigger the mandate for a facility Risk Management Program. Some 12,000 chemical facilities are already covered who have chemicals on this list.
    Many EPA fact sheets and guidance documents make this abundantly clear, and EPA has been using this authority recently in several cases.  
    So this is a question of Presidential leadership -- will he act strongly based on the tragic losses of brave but under-trained volunteer West fire fighters who showed up to fight the fire that preceded the huge explosions?  Similar to the greatest industrial disaster in US history, the 1947 blast which killed firefighters from miles around the Texas City port who rushed to the dock to train water on an ammonium nitrate ship fire.

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