Chemical plant safety is once again in the limelight due to some high profile and very public catastrophes. On January 3, 2014, a federal working group created by the Obama administration’s Executive Order (EO) 13650 issued a set of preliminary options intended to improve chemical plant safety and security. This is a priority topic commanding considerable attention and readers should be aware of and engaged in these developments. This column explains why.
A little over a year ago, the world was riveted by a major explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer warehouse. Fifteen people were killed and 160 injured in one of the worst chemical facility disasters in history.
In response to the blast, President Obama signed EO 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security. The EO established the Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group. The EO tasks the working group with considering options to improve and modernize key policies, regulations and standards to enhance the safety and security of chemical facilities.