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
The Manchester neighborhood in Houston, Texas