American Chemistry MattersA Blog of the American Chemistry Council

American Chemistry Matters

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Safeguarding chemical facilities: Our round-the-clock responsibility, every day of the year

Responsible Care® companies do not stand down from their commitments to safety and security, even in the case of a partial government shutdown.

Despite the recent government furloughs, ACC members continue to enforce protections for facilities, communities and the nearly 800,000 men and women who come to work every day for our industry.

ACC’s Responsible Care Process Safety Code and the Responsible Care Security Code are two “always-on,” world-class industry initiatives through which our member companies commit to continuous action and improvement in safety and security performance. These programs help companies to identify practices to safeguard their facilities, their products in the value chain and their cyber infrastructures.

Thanks to ongoing initiatives like these, Responsible Care companies have reduced the number of incidents that resulted in a product spill, fire, explosion or injury by 58 percent since 1995. We’re proud of our record, but the work is never done.  The goal is zero accidents, injuries or harm to human health and the environment from chemical products and operations.  We will continue to work toward this goal, vigilantly, every single day.

Through Responsible Care, ACC members also work with local emergency responders and communities to coordinate response plans and improve industry performance.

For example, earlier this year ACC hosted a Chemical Sector Emergency Response Table Top Exercise, a first-of-its-kind disaster response drill, modeled after Superstorm Sandy. The exercise facilitated a collaborative discussion among stakeholders to help create an effective chemical sector response to an emerging all-hazards threat, such as a natural disaster. Through the exercise, chemical sector representatives were able to identify the major strengths of current public-private sector protocols, as well as areas needing further improvement.

The findings that came out of the exercise served as the basis for the development of the new “Playbook for an Effective All-Hazards Chemical Sector Response,” released last week by ACC and our partners at the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council (CSCC). The Playbook draws on lessons learned from previous emergency response situations and outlines the roles and responsibilities shared by industry and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure a well-coordinated response to an all-hazards emergency.

In addition to industry-sponsored programs like Responsible Care, we continue to believe the best way to advance chemical security is through public-private partnerships and a strong commitment to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulatory program.  ACC and its member companies have also committed to work with the Administration to implement the Executive Order on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.

So, while the government may have shut down, the chemical industry is up and running and staying true to its commitment to protect the security and safety of its employees and communities.

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