EPA, OSHA and ATF have issued a chemical advisory that provides information on the hazards of ammonium nitrate (AN) storage, handling and management. This action supports the goals of President Obama's August 2013 executive order on "Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security." The advisory provides lessons learned for facility owners and operators, emergency planners and first responders from recent incidents, including the explosion in West, Texas, involving AN in order to prevent similar incidents.
The advisory takes steps now to reduce the risks associated with AN to workers, first responders and communities. It is part of an ongoing coordinated federal government effort to improve chemical safety with regards to AN and includes information on ensuring proper building design, storage containers and fire protection at their locations; learning from other accidents; and knowing and understanding the hazards that exist when developing their emergency response plans.
Earlier this month, President Obama directed the federal government to improve operational coordination with state and local partners; enhance federal agency coordination and information sharing; modernize policies, regulations and standards; and work with stakeholders to identify best practices to improve chemical safety.
President Obama established the Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group. To this end, this advisory was developed by working group members and was facilitated by the working group process.
View the advisory and more information on EPA's risk management program: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/rmp/index.htm.
View President Obama's Executive Order: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/01/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-security.
By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block
Read more at Corporate Environmental Lawyer Blog by Jenner & Block LLP.
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