Have you ever watched somebody shake a can of soda, and then get ready to crack open the top? You know it’s going to explode, but you don’t know when, or how bad it will be. That’s what it’s like living near a chemical plant. Except the consequences can be deadly. As a lifelong resident of Kanawha County, West Virginia — an area that has been home to dozens of industrial facilities making everything from pesticides to plastics — I know this uncertain feeling all too well. For the past several decades, I’ve listened to emergency sirens go off in my community, indicating that we need to shelter in place, while virtually no information is shared about what happened or how dangerous it might be. The Environmental Protection Agency can help protect millions of people who live near industrial facilities — but only if it works now to strengthen an important federal chemical policy.