Target: US Environmental Protection Agency
Goal: Demand that chemical reports be audited
The federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act states that all private and public facilities must issue an inventory listing all the potentially hazardous chemicals on their property. The inventory is known as a Tier II report. It’s supposed to be made public so nearby citizens and first responders can properly prepare for emergencies. Sign this petition if you agree that these inventories should be audited, since incorrect information can put first responders at risk.
Not every facility in the United States properly and accurately fills out their Tier II reports. Some of them misidentify substances, others fail to report hazardous substances all together. These reports aren’t being audited, which means first responders are being sent into perilous situations without all the information needed to keep themselves safe. In 2006, the Carhartt Inc. clothing company did not report that one of its plants was storing chlorine on its premises. Two fire fighters were exposed to and burned by the chemical while attempting to shut a leaky valve without the necessary safety gear.
A water-treatment in Valley City, North Dakota did not submit its Tier II report this year. When state officials were notified, it turned out the facility had many toxic and explosive materials on its premises,” including ammonium hydroxide, chlorine, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, sodium permanganate, hydrochloric acid and phosphoric acid.”
The worst Tier II accident would probably be the explosion of a fertilizer plant last April in Texas. 40 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded after the plant caught fire, killing eleven first responders who may have been able to avoid the blast if they had been shown a properly filled Tier II report.
The federal regulators who oversee the Tier II system make no effort to verify the data. The only time Tier II files are reviewed is when a complaint is filed and when the facility is visited. The Tier II reports need to be reviewed, checked, and distributed to first responders. Please sign here if you agree that the Tier II system is flawed as it is.
Dear Greg Sturgell of Safety, Health, and Environmental Compliance,
The EPA’s Tier II system is flawed in the sense that accidents are still happening due to a lack of review. Some facilities have gone years without reporting what explosive and hazardous chemicals they keep on their premises. This has resulted in the injury and death of firemen and nearby residents. The files need to be checked. Any inaccuracies can threaten lives, and they do.
If the EPA needs more funds or more manpower in order to successfully audit the acceptance and accuracy of the Tier II reports, please ask for more funds and more manpower. Many people in this economy are looking for jobs, if people is what you need, and lobbyists can persuade members of Congress to devote more funds to the EPA if a well thought out argument for them is presented.
Every correctly filed Tier II report is an injury prevented.
Thank you for your time.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: BotMultichillT via Wiki Commons