Contact: Scott Openshaw (202) 249-6504
WASHINGTON (Aug. 2, 2013) — The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement today regarding President Obama's Executive Order on Improving Chemical Safety and Security:
“The President’s executive order provides an opportunity for ACC and our members to continue working in close partnership with the White House, the interagency working group, DHS, OSHA, EPA and other regulators and stakeholders to identify existing industry programs and best practices that can help ensure and improve upon our position as a leader in the manufacturing sector when it comes to safety and security.”
ACC and its members have sought to build upon the overall industry’s safety and security performance through Responsible Care®, the chemical industry’s world-class environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative. Under the Responsible Care Process Safety Code and Security Code, ACC member companies must identify, assess and prioritize safety risks and ensure that all employees have the required knowledge, expertise, tools and training to address these potential risks in their operations.
Responsible Care companies have reduced injury and illness rates at their facilities by 79 percent since 1990. They have a worker injury rate five times lower than the U.S. manufacturing sector as a whole and nearly three times better than the business of chemistry overall. Responsible Care companies also have reduced the number of incidents that resulted in a product spill, fire, explosion or injury by 58 percent since 1995. Responsible Care is mandatory for ACC members and partner companies, including chemical transporters, distributors, warehouses, logistics planners and others along the supply chain.
ACC members also work with emergency responders and communities to coordinate response plans and to continually improve industry performance. And, the U.S. business of chemistry led the charge to pass legislation creating the DHS Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), comprehensive federal security regulations for high-risk chemical facilities. ACC and its members are working closely with DHS to improve CFATS to make it even more efficient and productive.
“We fully support the role of the government in overseeing safety and security through the numerous federal programs in place that regulate the operation of chemical facilities, and we believe that agencies should have the appropriate tools to effectively train its field inspectors, educate the regulated community and enforce existing regulations. And just as important, we believe companies have an obligation to understand their legal and regulatory obligations and take action to comply.”
“While the Executive Order does not create new federal authority, it does set forth an excellent opportunity to identify best practices, reduce any unnecessary regulatory duplication and strengthen cooperation and collaboration between government and the private sector to enhance safety and security.
“Safety and security continue to be top priorities for ACC and our members, and we are committed to working with the Administration on sensible approaches that protect our employees and communities, as well as promote innovation, job growth and a strong economy.”