Air Alliance Houston joined dozens of community members and organizations across the country in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen federal chemical risk management and safety measures at a public listening session hosted by the Agency on Thursday, July 8. The session was the second in a series of two public meetings by the EPA on considering changes to the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule, also known as the ‘Chemical Disaster Rule.’
AAH has been calling for years for stronger federal protections — as a member of the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters and through litigation, most recently in a pending lawsuit led by Earthjustice opposing the Trump Administration’s rollback of the core prevention measures of the 2017 Chemical Disaster Rule, which requires facilities to strengthen their risk management and safety measures.
In her testimony given at the July 8 Public Listening Session, AAH’s Executive Director Bakeyah Nelson reminded that, tragically, industrial hazards are a part of the daily threat of living in the Houston region and that it is communities of color and working-class neighborhoods who bear the brunt of the health and safety risks. With climate change increasing the frequency and intensity of storms, emergency preparedness plans must be strengthened, she emphasized.
AAH urges the EPA to implement the recommendations in the Preventing Double Disasters report.