Hurricanes and the Chemical Industry: Houston Chronicle Explores the Hazards We’re Facing

The New York Times discussed yesterday how prepared the chemical industry is for natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey. Today the Houston Chronicle picks up on that theme today, focusing on the other end of that problem — how the hundreds of chemical facilities in the Gulf that shut down in response to Harvey can start…

Times: Arkema Incident “Raised Doubts” About Chemical Industry’s Preparedness.

I have a feeling we ain’t seen nothing yet about the effects of Hurricane Harvey on the chemical industry in the Gulf States — and those who live near chemical facilities.  Although the loss of control over chemicals at the Crosby Arkema chemical plant seems to have fallen out of the news in favor of…

Post-Harvey Chemical Plant Start-Ups: Something Wicked This Way Comes

The Department of Labor yesterday announced a number of initiatives to address the impact of Hurricane Harvey. Among those was an announcement that OSHA will cease conducting programmed enforcement actions in the affected areas to avoid disrupting recovery operations. This makes sense, sort of. “Programmed inspections” are “optional,” to the extent they are not legally…

Harvey Update: Flooded Chemical Plant Explodes. Trump Policies Increase Future Risk

Cable news and newspapers across the country are headlining the continuing explosions at the  Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, that was flooded by Hurricane Harvey.  The plant was evacuated after power failed and several containers full of volatile chemicals that required cooling threatened to explode when power was lost and the generators failed. At…

BREAKING: Chemical Safety Board Survives

Good news! The House Appropriations Committee released its FY 2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations budget bill today and it fully funds the Chemical Safety Board. The Trump administration had recommended that the Board be eliminated. The sub-committee will vote on the bill tomorrow House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen stated that “This legislation responsibly supports the…

Save The Chemical Safety Board: Call Your Representatives NOW

The House Appropriations Committee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will hold a mark-up on Wednesday, July 12 on the FY 2018 budget which includes the budget for the Chemical Safety Board. You may remember that the President’s proposed budget calls for the elimination of the CSB. A mark-up is where they take the proposed bill and…

Time To Act: Save Worker Training Grants, Health & Safety Research

If you haven’t yet done so, it’s time to do so. And if you have done so, do it again: Contact your legislators about passing a budget that will protect workers.  The House Appropriations Sub-Committee that deals with OSHA, MSHA and NIOSH is scheduled to mark up the FY 2018 Appropriations Bill on Thursday, July…

If CSB Swims with the Fishes; American People Suffer the Consequences

America, we have a problem. And it promises to get worse. 2 Killed in Explosion at West Virginia Industrial Plant Insurance Journal, May 30, 2017 Residents Shaken By Oil Tank Explosion CBS, May 26, 207 Chemical reaction forces evacuation of Waco industrial plant May 12, 2017 Officials Blame Mechanical Failure For Explosion at Dow Plant Chem.Info-Mar…