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Environmentalists Call For Tighter Chemical And Refinery Safety [AUDIO]

Environmentalists from ‘Greenpeace’ were joined by experts, including former New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator Christie Whitman, in calling for the end to foot-dragging in implementing safer processes at America’s chemical plants.

Flickr User Stan Sorochan

Governor Whitman said she planned to roll out rules for safer chem plant processes, but it was withdrawn by the Bush White House. Whitman says the original plan borne of the 9/11 attacks, included new rules generated on June 11th, 2002, requiring safer processes at dangerous chemical plants. Whitman says the rules would have been fully implemented by the year 2004. She says in the past ten years Washington has taken no action to better protect the public.

Whitman says, “this is an issue that I find just enormously frustrating and very, very troubling.”

Whitman has written current EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, saying the enforcement of Clean Air Act authorities would help mitigate risks posed by dangerous chemical facilities. She says, “just imagine what would happen if a terrorist were to target these facilities.”

She says one overturned truck carrying hazardous material can pose a risk to a whole community.

Also attending the teleconference calling for Washington to act were Bob Bostock, who was Whitman homeland security adviser, and Michael Wright, director of Health, Safety and the Environment for the United Steelworkers. He was part of an international team that traveled to Bhopal, India to investigate the 1964 chemical disaster at Union Carbide.

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