EPA Delayed Chemical Safety Rule After Industry Complaints

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration delayed an Obama-era rule that would have tightened safety requirements for companies that store large quantities of dangerous chemicals such as the chemical plant near Houston that exploded early Thursday.

The Environmental Protection Agency rule would have required chemical plants – including the now-destroyed Arkema Inc. plant outside Houston – to make public the types and quantities of chemicals stored on site. The rule was developed after a 2013 explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt prevented the safety rule from taking effect until 2019 to allow the agency time to reconsider industry objections. Companies said the rule could make it easier for terrorists and other criminals to target refineries and chemical plants.

Environmental groups and 11 states are fighting the delay in court.

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