06 July 2005 19:02 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--At least 105 facilities with substantial amounts of toxic and flammable chemicals are near US communities with populations of 1m people or more, according to a US congressional report released on Wednesday.
The report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) was released by Representative Edward Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts), who contends ?xml:namespace>
The report used data supplied by the chemical industry to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The CRS report said the EPA requires chemical facilities to submit risk management plans (RMPs) that determine the “worst-case scenario release from a single chemical process, using EPA criteria and guidelines.”
The CRS report said facilities also are required to estimate the population potentially at risk within a circle surrounding the facility.
“Since the population potentially affected under an EPA worst-case scenario release is calculated in a circle around the facility, it is unlikely that this entire population would be affected by any single chemical release, even if it is a result of a worst-case accident,” the CRS report said. “In the event of an actual catastrophic chemical release, meteorlogic effects will determine the direction of the release, and therefore those potentially affected, and the effects on the health of those individuals affected would vary, depending on many factors.”
According to the CRS report, 23 states have chemical facilities with substantial amounts of one or more of 140 toxic and flammable chemicals in or near communities of 1m people or more.
Citing the CRS data, Marke charged that the Bush Administration has paid only lip service to upgrading security regulations for the chemical industry.
“The Bush Administration needs to understand that the threat is not theoretical,” Markey said in a statement. “There are night clubs in
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