On Aug. 1, 2013, President Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, to improve the safety and security of chemical facilities and reduce the risks of hazardous chemicals to facility workers and operators, communities and responders. Chemicals and the facilities that manufacture, store, distribute and use them are essential to our economy and livelihood, but the handling and storage of chemicals can present a risk that must be addressed.
The Working Group (comprised of the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency) is pleased to share with you a copy of the status report to the president, entitled Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment (PDF). This report summarizes the Working Group’s progress, focusing on actions to date, findings and lessons learned, challenges, and short and long-term priority actions. These priority actions are captured in a consolidated action plan, based on the information collected by the Working Group and focused on five specific thematic areas:
- Strengthen Community Planning and Preparedness
- Enhance Federal Operational Coordination
- Improve Data Management
- Modernize Policies and Regulation
- Incorporate Stakeholder Feedback and Develop Best Practices
DHS has attached a fact sheet that provides an overview of the report and invites you to read its blog for more information.
The Working Group wants to underscore that they see this report as a milestone, not an endpoint. It will now be transitioning to implementation of the priority actions identified in the action plan, an effort that will be completed over time and require the collective efforts of all of us with a stake in chemical facility safety and security: communities, first responders, and industry, alongside local, state and federal government.
Safety and security are a shared commitment. As actions in this report are pursued, the Working Group recognizes that the Federal Government must put in place a transparent, inclusive process that continues to engage all stakeholders. They appreciate the input that has brought them to this point, and ask us to commit to being a part of this effort as they continue to make progress.