EPA Loosens Chemical Safety Rules Put In Place After West Fertilizer Plant Explosion

The rules came from the Obama administration after the explosion killed 15 people in 2013.

By Mose BucheleNovember 22, 2019 7:09 am, , , ,

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday the end of safety rules established during the Obama administration that regulated how companies store certain dangerous chemicals. The rules were created in response to a 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in Central Texas.

Under the rules, businesses that stored certain chemicals on-site had to let nearby communities know. They were also required to keep up with best practices, and get a third-party audit if an accident happened. But the Trump administration called the rules too burdensome on industry, and said sharing the location of chemicals raised security concerns.

“It’s disappointing. I think that politicians have very short memories – not only with what happened back in 2013,” says Tommy Mushka, the mayor of the Texas town of West where that fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 people.

Since the explosion in West, there have been many other fires and explosions at chemical plants and storage facilities, including one in Crosby, Texas, this year that killed one person and injured two.