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Our Vision: Living Toxic Free

We are working towards a world vision in which everybody is safe from toxins in the environment.

Internationally, we support processes that support a healthy, toxin-free environment. Sustainable agriculture, ending use of toxins in consumer goods like clothes, and an end to the trade in electronic waste are major campaigns for Greenpeace globally and our supporters. In the US, we are focusing on removing threats to communities posed by outdated policies that fail to address common sense safety standards. Greenpeace is demanding that chemical facilities are required to use safer available alternatives to eliminate catastrophic hazards that threaten workers and communities. Right now is a historic opportunity for our government to pass new legislation that protects us all.

The Time is Now for Chemical Security Legislation

Luckily, the Obama administration recognizes something has to be done. Following the West, Texas disaster in 2013, the President issued Executive Order #13650, which directed government agencies to develop policy options that “enhance safety and security of chemical facilities.” On January 3, 2014, those agencies issued a set of policy options, which included  areas of concern that Greenpeace has been urging them to address since 2011.

Greenpeace in partnership with over 100 groups representing labor, environment and environmental justice has been asking the administration for the following :

  • Fully enforcing the 1990 Clean Air Act which obligates all chemical facilities to be designed and operated to prevent catastrophic chemical releases.

  • Ensure the use of safer chemical processes and technology to eliminate these hazards wherever feasible.

  • Modernize the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, including  continual safety improvements.

  • Where safer processes are not available, enhance funding for emergency response, emergency planning, evacuation and possible relocation of impacted communities.

  • Ensure regular inspections of facilities, whistleblower protections for workers, and personnel surety provisions that protect workers’ rights.

Foot dragging on this critical issue has stymied progress for years. But this is a historic moment, one we all must take advantage of. That is why Greenpeace helped create the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters, a diverse coalition of more than 100 environmental justice groups, major unions, public health organizations, environmental groups, and national security experts. We are united in calling for prevention-based policies that require safer chemicals or processes wherever feasible.  

MORE ABOUT THE COALITION TO PREVENT CHEMICAL DISASTERS

There you can find out more about our vision of a world in which communities everywhere are protected from the preventable horror of chemical disasters. You can also find out how you can be involved in the process of framing important legislation, including providing feedback during the ongoing public comment period. The time is now to protect our communities.

 

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