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EPA Strengthens Safeguards on Chemical Facilities to Include Requirements Urged by Rep. Barragán

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     

1 March 2024

Contact: Kevin McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new safeguards and rules to improve the safety of nearly 12,000 chemical plants operating under the Risk Management Program (RMP). EPA included a number of new amendments to its final rule to improve protections for workers, first responders, and communities living near the facilities that were requested in a letter led Representative Barragán and Senator Cory Booker last year.

“Communities of color and low-income communities disproportionately live in worst-case-scenario areas for a chemical disaster, including those surrounding oil refineries and liquified petroleum gas facilities. EPA’s final Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention Rule is a significant step forward for the safety of these frontline communities, like Carson and Wilmington, to ensure chemical facilities adopt safer technologies and processes, improve their resilience to climate change, and are more accountable to the public. I will continue to work to reduce the number of dangerous, polluting facilities located in environmental justice communities, and strengthen safety and pollution standards for chemical facilities in our backyard.”

EPA’s amendments to its original rule, many of which were requested by Congresswoman Barragán and Senator Booker, include:

  • Requiring analysis of safer technologies and alternatives, and in some cases, implementation of reliable safeguard measures for certain facilities in industry sectors with high accident rates. 
  • Advancing employee participation, training, and opportunities for employee decision-making in facility accident prevention.
  • Requiring third-party compliance audits and root cause analysis incident investigation for facilities that have had a prior accident. 
  • Enhancing facility planning and preparedness efforts to strengthen emergency response by ensuring chemical release information is timely shared with local responders and a community notification system is in place to warn the community of any impending release. 
  • Emphasizing the requirement for regulated facilities to evaluate risks of natural hazards and climate change, including any associated loss of power.
  • Increased transparency by providing access to RMP facility information for communities nearby. 


Congressmember Nanette Barragán represents California’s 44th District.  She sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and works on environmental justice and healthcare issues.  She is also Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).