Fed Report Details Progress on Workplace Chemicals

Fed Report Details Progress on Workplace Chemicals lily/Fotolia

It has been about 10 months since President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13650, which calls for improved safety and security at chemical facilities.

Since then a working group made up of federal regulatory representatives and others with a stake in the industry has come up with a plan. On June 6, details of a status report sent to the president [PDF] were unveiled on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Work in Progress blog.

The report focuses on five themes:

  • Strengthen Community Planning and Preparedness: Efforts are underway to increase first responder readiness and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to upgrade technology to provide more accurate information to emergency personnel and the public.
  • Enhance Federal Operational Coordination: A pilot program has been initiated in the New York-New Jersey area to collect and assess best practices and develop novel solutions for safety and security problems.
  • Improve Data Management: Various policies are being updated and data is being shared in an effort to locate potentially noncompliant facilities.
  • Modernize Policies and Regulation: The EPA expanded its inspector training curriculum and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted more than 100 compliance assistance visits.
  • Incorporate Stakeholder Feedback and Develop Best Practices: An online repository has been launched so that those involved in chemical facility safety and security can submit and access best practices.