ACC voices concerns over report related to 'Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security' executive order, says recommendations could create duplicative requirements and that working group should instead strengthen, improve existing requirements
June 9, 2014
– The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement today regarding the release of the report sent to the White House by an interagency Working Group as part of Executive Order 13650, “Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security”:
“We value the hard work that went into generating these important recommendations and have appreciated the opportunity to participate throughout the process to offer our views for enhancing safety and security. Nothing is more important to ACC and our members than the safety and security of our facilities, employees and communities.
“This commitment is clearly demonstrated through ACC’s Responsible Care® program, which is the chemical industry’s comprehensive environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative, and is mandatory for membership in ACC. The Responsible Care program is designed for continuous improvement and has already contributed to one of the strongest safety records in U.S. manufacturing.
“We believe the goals of the Responsible Care program are very much in line with the goals of the President’s Executive Order, which is why we continue to urge the Working Group to leverage industry programs to help address some of the future challenges outlined in the report.
“ACC, along with other industry groups, recently advised the Working Group to pursue options that would improve regulatory coordination and information sharing, and we’re encouraged that these concepts have been incorporated into this proposal.
“We are concerned, however, with the recommendations regarding the promotion of safer alternatives, which we believe could have the potential for creating an unnecessary layer of duplicative requirements that would only serve to create confusion for the regulated community and stretch agency resources—time and money that could be put to better use.
“Furthermore, we are concerned that the report calls for the development of new requirements as a means to modernizing EPA and OSHA standards. We believe that the Working Group should consider such measures as strengthening regulatory oversight through improved enforcement, outreach and compliance assistance to support existing regulatory requirements."
“As we have done throughout the development of this report, we will continue to work with the Administration on constructive approaches that protect our employees and communities, as well as promote innovation, job growth and a strong economy.”