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The New York Times

Toxics Campaign Director Carli Jensen wrote a letter to the editor calling for stronger chemical plant safety regulations.
By
Carli Jensen

Read the full letter here: 

To the Editor:

Some of the reasons for the chemical explosion in Tianjin were unique to the rules and practices of that country. But our own rules and practices have allowed a continuing pattern of chemical incidents to devastate communities across the United States.

There have been more than 420 chemical incidents — explosions, fires and leaks — in the United States since the deadly April 17, 2013, fertilizer plant explosion that prompted President Obama to issue an calling on his agencies to better protect Americans. And if history is our guide, there will be more incidents to come.

The Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to propose a new rule this month in response to the president’s directive. Will it protect the 100 million Americans who live in the shadow of dangerous chemical plants? Will it require plants to switch to safer chemicals and technology where feasible?

We can only wait and see if the lessons from Tianjin will push the E.P.A. to issue a truly protective rule.

CARLI JENSEN

Toxics Campaign Director, Travel Buddy

Washington

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