Biden admin advances two-pronged clampdown on toxic air pollution

By Sean Reilly | 02/16/2024 01:35 PM EST

In Trump-era reversals, EPA is moving forward on two major air rules that will tighten regulations for a range of industrial sources.

Smoke rises from a chemical plant owned by Arkema Inc. in Crosby, Texas, on Sept. 1, 2017.

Smoke rises from a chemical plant owned by Arkema in Crosby, Texas, on Sept. 1, 2017. EPA is expected to release a rule soon on accidental chemical releases. KTRK via AP

The Biden administration is advancing two major rules to limit toxic air pollution from refineries, coal-fired power plants and other industrial operations.

EPA, well behind schedule, is now expected to soon make public a final rule strengthening safeguards intended to prevent accidental, albeit potentially disastrous, chemical releases from thousands of chemical plants, farm supply distributorships and other facilities around the country.

While the draft version issued in August 2022 reinstated some Obama-era provisions later rolled back under former President Donald Trump, it additionally underscored the need to address the heightened risks posed by the effects of climate change.
the draft version


Other requirements contained in the draft included mandating an outside compliance audit whenever a plant has two reportable accidents within five years, involving employees in resolving audit and accident investigation findings, and mandating “safer technologies and alternatives” analyses for facilities with high accident rates.