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Chemical Disaster Prevention Program

The people most at risk from chemical disasters are communities of color and low-income communities.

Across the United States, over 12,000 high-risk chemical facilities put 39% of the US population (124 million people) who live within three miles of these sites at constant risk of a chemical disaster. The full vulnerability zones for these industrial and commercial sites can extend up to twenty-five miles in radius. Many communities of color and low-income communities face disproportionate risk from these facilities, and often face other health hazards as well, such as high levels of toxic pollution, and higher rates of hospitalization and mortality from COVID-19. 

But commonsense solutions exist that can prevent chemical disasters and protect workers and communities at the fenceline.  

The EPA’s Risk Management Plan, or RMP, Rule regulates these 12,000 high-risk chemical facilities nationwide and is currently being updated. In January, 2022, 70 elected officials from 16 states and territories urged EPA Administrator Michael Regan to strengthen this rule by requiring facilities to better prepare for climate change impacts, bolster their emergency response measures, use safer chemicals and processes, and more. 

 

Recent Reports & Resources

  • Unprepared for Disaster: Chemical Hazards in the Wake of Hurricane Ida. In this 2021 report, we profile three facilities in Louisiana that put communities at risk by releasing toxic chemicals into the environment after being hit with high winds and flooding from Hurricane Ida. We recommend several ways the EPA could meaningfully update its Risk Management Program to prevent chemical disasters from happening in the first place. 

 

  • Life at the Fenceline. Our research shows that people on the fenceline live under the threat of chemical disasters, have limited access to healthy food, and experience higher rates of cancer and respiratory illness.

 

  • Who’s In Danger? Our research shows that the people most at risk from chemical disasters are communities of color and low-income communities. 

 

  • The Louisville Charter is our roadmap for transforming the chemical industry, endorsed by over 120 organizations. Safer chemicals and processes exist. We must phase out the production of chemicals that put communities in danger and contribute to climate change - and take immediate action to strengthen and restore communities that have have borne the brunt of legacy and ongoing contamination by the chemical industry. 

The Manchester neighborhood in Houston, Texas

The Chemical Disaster Prevention Campaign coordinators:

richard-moore
Richard Moore

Los Jardines Institute
ljinewmexico@gmail.com

michele-roberts
Michele Roberts

Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform
mroberts@comingcleaninc.org

 

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To learn more or get involved with Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform

 

Visit ej4all.org for detailed information and resources.

 

 

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