There appears to be some push back against a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives concerning Houston’s air quality initiatives that strives to delay the rule. This may be taken out of context, but here’s a direct quote from a letter obtained by the Houston Public Media:
“The American Chemistry Council’s Anna Burhop welcomed the House of Representatives’ advancing a bill that would delay federal ozone rules. “From a business perspective, you don’t want to go ahead and jump into reformulating all of your products, or putting really expensive controls on your plants, when you don’t know whether that’s necessary or not,” she said.”
This statement ignores the many years of increased regulation that have pointed the direction of pollution management to manufacturers since the publication of Carson’s Silent Spring. It’s way past time to implement better hazardous substance controls to ensure a cleaner, safer environment. Complaining about costs is disingenuous; are the costs to do business more important than the health costs of nearby residents?
Facilities that handle, manage, produce and release hazardous materials must do so in a responsible way. It’s because they haven’t that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations are in place. As knowledge grows concerning the properties of those substances, regulations become stricter. As explosions, accidental releases, and spills occur as a result of lax hazmat management, regulations become stricter. The point of the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is to review such incidents and help develop better controls, which they have done admirably.
If manufacturers don’t like regulations, they can do a better job of implementing controls to reduce emissions. Houston often looks like 1970’s Los Angeles now – a toxic soup that California imposed additional regulations to eliminate.