Prevent Deadly Chemical Disasters

A 2005 train derailment in Graniteville, SC unleashed chlorine gas, sodium hydroxide and cresol into the surrounding environment.

Target: President Barack Obama, President of the United States of America

Goal: Use the Clean Air Act to prevent chemical disasters in the United States.

Toxic chemicals housed in the 3,433 chemical facilities within the U.S. are an explosive keg waiting to poison the 134 million residents living around them. In fact, one out 10 children are at risk of toxic chemical poisoning in the U.S. should a chemical disaster occur.

The facilities are not the only thing that poses a risk to Americans. Trains transporting kegs of toxic chemicals have derailed in the past, spilling poisonous liquids and gasses into the environment. Some of the chemical facilities have accidentally released toxic chemicals into the air, and we all know what happened the first week of August when the EPA “accidentally” dumped waste water into the Colorado River.

Chlorine, a toxin used in chemical warfare known to cause pulmonary edema and severe skin and eye irritation, is just one chemical stored in and transported from these facilities. Numerous others also pose a significant threat to the health and safety of Americans. Oddly, there’s no need to continue to store, ship and use these chemicals, yet Congress continues to block efforts to enact legislation requiring safer chemical processes. Unless the changes occur in its own backyard, that is.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Washington D.C. stopped using chlorine gas at its waste water treatment plant to protect locals from a potential chemical disaster should D.C. be attacked again. This leaves one to question why Congress hasn’t enacted this safety legislation for all U.S. chemical and waste water plants.

President Obama must push the EPA to utilize its authority under the Clean Air Act and force safer chemical processes. Sign to demand that action be taken to reduce the risk of a deadly chemical disaster in the United States.


Dear President Obama,

I would like to begin by saying thank you for your exhaustive stance on preventing chemical disasters in the United States. It remains incomprehensible that you are continually met with congressional resistance on this issue, and this is now a time-sensitive problem as your administration winds down.

After the April 2013 West Texas chemical disaster, you took matters into your own hands and issued an executive order mandating the modernization of safety regulations for chemical storage facilities. As you so accurately stated during your tenure as a U.S. Senator, chemical storage facilities and plants are “stationary weapons of mass destruction.” Washington D.C. certainly agreed with your stance when it revamped its waste water treatment facility after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

You know and I know that safer chemical processes are not only widely available but also affordable, so Congress’ resistance and the EPA’s pending of implementing new procedures is mind-boggling and senselessly places the American people at risk. Now is the time for action.

Please encourage the EPA to use its authority under the Clean Air Act to enforce safer chemical processes on all U.S. chemical facilities. If you don’t take action now, and the next President of the United States does not agree with your stance, Americans will remain at tragic risk of a deadly chemical disaster. Please do not end your administration without resolving this crucial issue.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Environmental Protection Agency

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