Please join the Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (Executive Order 13650 (EO)) public listening session.
Government agencies are interested in hearing from the stakeholders described in the EO: chemical producers, chemical storage companies, agricultural supply companies, State and local regulators, chemical critical infrastructure owners and operators, first responders, labor organizations representing affected workers, environmental and community groups, and consensus standards organizations.
Attendees will have an opportunity to provide individual input on the process and the specific areas in the EO. These areas include improving operational coordination with States, Tribes, and local partners; enhanced information collection and sharing; modernizing regulations, guidance, and policies; and identifying best practices in chemical facility safety and security.
The Executive Order Working Group The Executive Order Working Group co-chaired by EPA, OSHA, DHS in collaboration with DOJ, USDA and DOT will share an overview of the various sections of the EO and the progress made to date, along with regulatory proposals that will impact retail operations.
Below are ARA’s Listening Session Discussion Points for White House Executive Order 13650: Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security. Please feel free to voice your opinion on proposals and ideas offered by the administration.
ARA Listening Session Discussion Points for White House Executive Order 13650: Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security
- Farmer Supply Retailers are scattered throughout all 50 states and range in size from local family-held businesses and farmer cooperatives to larger companies with hundreds of retail outlets across the USA.
- Retailers play an important role feeding the world.
- We provide farmers with essential crop input products (seed, fertilizer, crop protection products, fuel etc.).
- Our industry is heavily regulated by federal agencies such as DHS, EPA, OSHA, DOT; we understand the importance of the safe storage, handling, transportation and security of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) and Anhydrous Ammonia.
- We are saddened by the tragic incident that took place on April 17 at the fertilizer facility in West, Texas and we will continue to work together on common sense solutions to prevent or mitigate tragedies like West from happening again.
- Our employees live and work in the local community. Protecting our employees, first responders and their neighbors is a top priority.
- We are here to discuss potential solutions to prevent future tragedies while allowing our industry to protect their freedom to operate a viable business.
An Industry Increasing Safety:
- We have communicated with and engaged employees, business partners and the community to foster a greater understanding of Environmental Health Safety and Security (EHS&S) matters regarding fertilizers.
- We are in the process of setting up a framework for a management system called Responsible Ag that will help facilities establish foundational EHS&S performance practices.
- We’ve also begun efforts to strengthen ongoing partnerships between the agricultural industry, local first responders and LEPCs.
Proposals for Regulations:
- Regulations need to be practical, economically feasible and not outweigh the perceived benefits. We need to ensure that existing regulations are workable and easily understood by the regulated community and local first responders.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- The EO should support long-term/permanent authorization of existing risked-based, tiered approach program that increases security. As we have witnessed by the government shutdown, CFATS legally disappeared.
AN Registration Form:
- Support a simple AN registration Program registration program for solid, straight AN fertilizer, which does not include mixtures or broad base of nitrogen fertilizer products (at least when first launching program).
- The Program should be modeled after Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) programs administered by states or state AN registration program – both are familiar with the ag industry including farmers.
Outreach with Industry:
- Regulation alone is not the solution.
- Outreach is an integral part of putting facilities like West on NOTICE that facilities need to protect their assets and comply with the law(s).
- Facilities can’t comply with regulations if they don’t know who and what to comply with.
- Easy, simple ways of communication works best, as well as fast and effective campaigns.
- We are requesting that OSHA and other government stakeholders set up an Alliance Program structure for outreach for the agricultural supply community.
- Under previous Alliance programs, stakeholders are able to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers on safe handling procedures. We find this is a great model moving forward in addition to creating joint webpages.