Protect Hurricane Victims From Chemical Poisoning

Target: Administrator Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Ensure the immediate enforcement of thorough chemical safety regulations that were delayed after Donald Trump took office.

The destructive hurricane in Texas has turned national attention to Houston, where there have been preventable chemical disasters in addition to the devastating effects of the storm itself. Multiple chemical plants, refineries, and other sites have released dangerous toxins into the environment in the wake of the storm, and the Obama-era regulations that used to be in place to help mitigate and effectively address these kinds of accidents have been rolled back by the Trump administration and the EPA.

The EPA said in a statement that their Risk Management Plan rule is in effect to deal with the situation, but the stricter and more thorough amendments to this rule are among the regulations that are under attack by the Trump administration (and notably, many of the politicians behind this attack have accepted donations from the chemical industry). Peter Zalzal of the Environmental Defense Fund stated, “The rules that were delayed were designed to reduce the risk of chemical releases. This kind of situation underscores why we shouldn’t be rolling these rules back.” The more stringent regulations contain updated requirements on accident prevention and on transparency with local authorities and with the public. The rules would have ensured that first responders in an emergency response situation knew what chemicals they might encounter and how to handle them.

Hurricane Harvey exacerbated the already dangerous situation around many of these plants, causing explosions and fires, and forcing many people to be evacuated or hospitalized. However, these regulations are necessary in case of more than just natural disasters. Many chemical sites are located near low-income communities, and according to resident Bryan Parras, “These sites have caused devastation for my family, my friends and my neighbors for years, polluting our air and water with deadly toxins.” Sign below to demand that stricter chemical plant regulations be immediately enforced.


Dear Administrator Pruitt,

For the safety of the environment as well as America’s citizens, it is vital that thorough and stringent safety regulations for chemical plants be immediately implemented. The devastation in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey is not the only evidence of this, but it is a clear illustration of the necessity of rules that will help prevent and mitigate chemical accidents.

People were evacuated, injured, and hospitalized following incidents at more than one of Houston’s plants and refineries, while toxic chemicals were leaked into the surrounding air and water. The EPA must prioritize our environment and safety, and stop seeking to axe or delay chemical safety regulations. I urge you to immediately enforce strict and thorough chemical plant safety regulations.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Blair Pittman

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One Comment

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    stop ignorance! you’re supposed to save them not let them die of poisoning.

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