Chemical fires, explosions, and rogue toxics releases are too common in the Houston area. A Houston Chronicle investigationshowed there’s a major chemical incident in the region on average every six weeks. Currently, decisions about alerting the public are taken by a patchwork of local agencies, which may release conflicting information or fail to notify the public at all. Each new chemical incident highlights the need for a central system that would notify the public in emergencies, such that already exists for severe weather or missing children. Without one in place, communities are left in the dark regarding actions to take in an emergency.
What we’re doing
We are advocating for the implementation of a toxic chemical alert system that would rapidly notify communities about threats to their health and safety during chemical disasters. Such a system was first proposed to lawmakers in 2017; however, the bill was unsuccessful.