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Trump Can’t Delay Protections From Chemical Plant Hazards

Statement of Adrian Shelley, Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office

Note: Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Clean Air Act forbids the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from delaying enforcement of the Chemical Disaster Rule. The EPA’s action “makes a mockery of the statute,” the court wrote.

Today’s ruling keeps in place much-needed chemical safety protections and is yet another repudiation of President Donald Trump’s deregulatory agenda. Trump’s attempt to delay the safety rule under the guise of “reconsideration” was just another attempt to place corporate profits above people’s lives.

In Houston and other cities across the country, low-income and minority communities often are located right next to dangerous industrial facilities. People live in fear of the next accident. The Chemical Disaster Rule provides commonsense protections such as third-party audits and information sharing with the public. These measures will help protect people from chemical disasters.

In the administration, the deck was stacked in the industry’s favor, with 146 officials with ties to the chemical and petrochemical industries and its allies spread throughout the White House agencies. This decision sends the clear signal that the rule of law can trump corruption.

Today’s ruling is a victory for public safety and a blow to Trump’s corrupt corporate agenda.