Environmental Health & Safety

Congress Looks To Roll Back EPA Rule Enacted After Blast

By Chemical Processing Staff

Feb 13, 2017

The Republican-led Congress has its sights set on rolling back an Environmental Protection Agency rule enacted after the 2013 West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion, according to an article from KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station. The Obama-era rule reportedly toughens regulations around the handling and storage of dangerous chemicals including strengthening risk management plans, requiring third-party audits when things go wrong and better protecting first responders. Twelve of the 15 people killed in the blast were first responders.

Although Obama called on agencies to respond soon after the accident, the updated risk management rules were not released until the final days of his administration, according to the article, opening them up to rollback. The House reportedly introduced a resolution this month to do just that, filed under the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to block regulations within 60 legislative days of their taking effect. The resolution could also prevent the EPA from reinstating the rule. 

Read the entire article here.