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US President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Aug. 1 forming a federal interagency chemical safety and security working group in response to recent accidents. The president’s action came as witnesses told a US House subcommittee that chemical firms and regulatory agencies already are trying to improve safety and security in the chemical workplace and surrounding communities.
He ordered the formation of a chemical safety and security working group co-chaired by US Department of Homeland Security Sec. Janet A. Napolitano, Department of Labor Sec. Thomas E. Perez, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, or their immediate deputies. The working group will include leaders or top deputies from the US Departments of Justice, Agriculture, and Transportation, and consult with other federal agencies and departments. It will meet at least quarterly.
Obama’s order also identified the need to enhance federal regulatory coordination; improve communications with state, tribal, and local governments; enhance information collection and sharing; modernize policies, standards, and regulations, and identify best practices.
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