Pruitt cuts safety measures that protect workers in chemical plants

After a deadly explosion killed 15 people and injured dozens more at a Texas fertilizer plant in 2013, President Obama instituted new safety policies for chemical manufacturers to prevent another disaster. Unfortunately, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has just rolled them back. The measures had required more analyses of the safety technology at chemical plants, third-party audits, more thorough investigations into incidents, and stricter emergency preparedness. The United Steelworkers Union spoke out against the decision to get rid of them: “USW members work in dangerous facilities that house huge quantities of hazardous chemicals,” the group said. “We are strongly opposed to this deregulation that endangers workers and their communities.” The EPA is responsible for chemical plant safety under the Clean Air Act. But after hearing complaints from chemical and energy groups about the cost of these protections, Pruitt is instead choosing to put a price on workers' lives.

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