Toxic Alert System

Chemical fires, explosions, and rogue toxics releases are too common in the Houston area. Currently, decisions about alerting the public are made 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 better overall emergency response and a central public notification system, such as what already exists for severe weather or missing people.

800,000 children live or go to school within chemical danger zones.

What We're Doing

Preventing disasters
We work in partnership with groups such as the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters to strengthen federal rules and local practices to prevent chemical disasters from happening in the first place. The EPA’s Risk Management Plan Rule or RMP is a key lever in this work as it outlines requirements for chemical-producing facilities for the prevention and mitigation of risks that could lead to a disaster. 

Planning better responses 
When a chemical disaster happens, time is of the essence for the people who work at the facility, for emergency responders, and for fenceline community members. 

That’s why 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. 

We also work with local emergency preparedness groups and entities to improve regional responses to disasters. One example is Project BREATH where we assist County departments and offices in developing a more efficient communications system to support emergency response to chemical incidents.