Recent catastrophic chemical facility incidents in the United States prompted President Obama to issue Executive Order (EO) 13650 – Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security on August 1, 2013, to enhance the safety and security of chemical facilities and reduce risks associated with hazardous chemicals to owners and operators, workers, and communities. The EO directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Transportation to identify ways to improve operational coordination with State, local, tribal, and territorial partners; to enhance Federal agency coordination and information sharing; to modernize policies, regulations, and standards to enhance safety and security in chemical facilities; and to work with stakeholders to identify best practices to reduce safety and security risks in the production and storage of potentially harmful chemicals. The EO established a Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group to oversee this effort, which is tri-chaired by the EPA, DOL, and DHS and includes leadership and subject matter experts from each of the above listed Departments and agencies. The Working Group, its member agencies, and the broader community of stakeholders have practices, operations, protocols, and policies that address chemical facility safety and security but all recognize that improvement is necessary and requires a shared commitment from all stakeholders. Emergency responders, in particular, have needs to be addressed and capabilities to be strengthened so that they can better manage threats and hazards in their communities. This report summarizes Working Group progress, focusing on actions to date, findings and lessons learned, challenges, and priority next steps. The issuance of the report is a milestone, not an endpoint. Agencies, in coordination with the broad range of stakeholders, have transitioned to implementation of these priority actions, which will be completed over time. We recognize that the Federal Government must put in place a transparent, inclusive process with the engagement and commitment of all stakeholders. The Working Group recognizes the invaluable contributions of the stakeholder communities that participated in each of the EO information-gathering efforts. This report highlights many of the comments we received, comments that provide context and underscore the findings and next steps. More information on the spectrum of stakeholder comments is available on the EO Webpage https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder.
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