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At EJHA, we stand for environmental justice for all!

Dollar General to phase out 11 more substances by next year

May 27, 2022

Major US discount store Dollar General has updated its chemicals policy, adding 11 substances to its restricted substances list (RSL) and applying this to more product brands that it owns and sells in its outlets. The company said, in an 18 May statement, that it has added the following substances to its RSL: 1-bromopropane; asbestos;1,4-dioxane; hexabromocyclodecanes (HBCD); octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4); lead and its compounds; cadmium and its compounds; bisphenol A (BPA); diethyl phthalate (DEP); dibutyl phthalate (DBP); and tetrachloroethylene (Perc).   The update follows the company’s commitment in 2019 to phase out eight ‘high priority chemicals’ from its own label cleaning and beauty products by 31 December this year, including formaldehyde, butylparaben and trichloroethylene. The company said it is "on target" to do so.  In April, US non-profits the Campaign for Healthier Solutions and the Ecology Center Healthy Stuff Lab said they found at least one chemical of concern in 53% of consumer products tested from five major discount retailers, including Dollar General.   Read More

Faith leaders call on EPA to strengthen chemical disaster rule

May 10, 2022

Over 100 faith leaders and organizations sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan today, urging the agency to strengthen and expand its Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule, which is intended to prevent chemical disasters at high-risk facilities nationwide and is currently being updated. Chemical releases, fires, and explosions are shockingly common in the United States. In just ten years, there have been over 1,500 reported chemical releases or explosions at facilities regulated under the RMP rule, causing 17,000 reported injuries and 59 reported deaths. But deadly chemical incidents could be prevented if RMP facilities were required to transition to safer processes, faith leaders state in the letter. Their calls echo those of health professionals, security experts, and members of Congress who have also demanded meaningful reforms to the RMP rule in recent months. Read More

EPA Proposal Too Tepid to Address Dangerous Chemical Spills

May 6, 2022

Thirty years after it was first required to do so, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally proposed a rule to fill part of a gaping hole in the regulations meant to protect our nation’s waters from chemical spills. As the saying goes, better late than never – except that in this case, EPA’s delay has had severe consequences. For example, Hurricane Harvey, which struck Houston’s dense zone of flood-susceptible facilities storing hazardous substances, caused numerous facilities to release harmful chemicals, harming first responders, the surrounding community, and the environment. A few years earlier, a leak at a chemical storage facility along the Elk River in West Virginia left 300,000 people without drinking water for days. It didn’t need to be this way. Since 1972, the Clean Water Act has required EPA to issue regulations requiring industrial facilities that store toxic chemicals near water bodies to take measures to prevent chemical spills. After decades of inaction by EPA, NRDC, the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA), and People Concerned About Chemical Safety sued. Although EPA agreed to issue the required regulations, it unlawfully abdicated its responsibility.  Read More

EPA faces pressure to tighten chemical disaster rules

April 26, 2022

Pressure is mounting on EPA to strengthen oversight of chemical facilities to better prepare them for disaster risks at the sites. Experts, former agency leaders and lawmakers are calling on EPA to tighten loopholes and beef up its risk management plan, or RMP, which instructs certain facilities to develop contingency plans in case of a crisis. Those sites, which handle high-risk chemicals, are vulnerable to climate impacts and other events that can imperil their surrounding communities and environment. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said last month that the agency plans to update the RMP and issue a new rule by this September. Now, EPA is seeing an uptick in calls for the regulations to address a range of concerns, stemming from environmental justice to national security. Read More

 

The Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform is a national network of grassroots Environmental and Economic Justice organizations and advocates in communities that are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals from legacy contamination, ongoing exposure to polluting facilities and health-harming chemicals in household products. EJHA supports a just transition towards safer chemicals and a pollution-free economy that leaves no community or worker behind. The EJHA network model features leadership of, by, and for Environmental Justice groups with support from additional allied groups and individual experts.

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