In April, the Department of Homeland Security finalized temporary regulations intended to protect Americans from more than 15,000 chemical plants storing dangerous quantities of acutely toxic chemicals like hydrochloric acid or chlorine gas. A single accident or deliberate release of these toxics could kill or seriously injure thousands.
Unfortunately, these regulations are far too weak and were adopted at a stiff price - they headed off stronger, comprehensive chemical security legislation aimed at protecting communities in the danger zones around these plants.
For more than five years, the chemical industry and its allies have derailed chemical security bills, winning weak regulations after backroom negotiations that preserve a dangerous status quo.
Above all, the new regulations ignore the most effective way to make chemical plants safer and more secure, which is to replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives where feasible. Fortunately, Congress already has a blueprint to establish a more protective program.
U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Groups) are looking for firefighters, medical personnel, law enforcement and health professionals to sign our coalition letter. You can also help by forwarding this message to any first responders you know.