Federal Working Group Makes Progress to Improve Chemical Facility Safety, Security
A fact sheet (PDF) released in June outlines the progress made by a working group of federal agencies to improve chemical facility safety and security in the U.S. during the past year. The Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group was established by an executive order issued in August 2013 and charged with identifying possible improvements to risk management practices and developing potential regulatory and legislative proposals to improve the storage, handling, and sale of ammonium nitrate. According to the latest fact sheet, the following actions have been implemented since the release of the executive order:
- OSHA held two public meetings to gather stakeholder input for developing a new emergency response and preparedness standard
- EPA and OSHA issued a joint chemical safety alert that provides examples of the integration of safer technologies into facility risk management activities
- EPA, OSHA, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) have updated and reissued the chemical advisory on safe storage, handling, and management of ammonium nitrate, incorporating stakeholder comments and concerns and the latest practices in ammonium nitrate safety
- OSHA is in the process of developing regional and local emphasis programs to more effectively enforce standards for the safe storage of ammonium nitrate
The fact sheet updates a May 2014 status report to President Obama, which described the group’s short- and long-term priority actions, lessons learned, and challenges.
More information on the action plan to improve chemical safety and security is available on the OSHA website.