Lawrence D. Sloan, president and CEO of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), issued the following statement regarding the one-year anniversary (April 17) of the tragic events at the West Fertilizer Plant in West, TX that killed 15 people:
“On the one-year anniversary of the explosion and tragic loss of life in West, TX, SOCMA remains strongly committed to helping ensure government and industry stakeholders take appropriate steps to prevent future such accidents. Process and workplace safety are taken seriously within the specialty chemical manufacturing industry. SOCMA members are required to implement a rigorous and accountable risk management program — ChemStewards — at each facility and, with a 99 percent compliance rate, our members demonstrate their commitment to responsible product stewardship.
“An important yet unfortunate fact about this accident is that it was most likely preventable. We must ensure that laws requiring state and local emergency response planning are working and being enforced as Congress intended and, if not, why. These laws leverage the power of local communities rather than rely on an over-extended cadre of federal agencies. Understanding how they failed the community of West, TX, must be a top priority, and then finding the correct methods to improve them.”
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