Research/studies Chemical Manufacturing

New poll shows bipartisan support for stronger chemical safety measures

chemical barrels

Photo: endopack/iStock/Thinkstock

Washington – A majority of likely voters support potential Environmental Protection Agency policies that would require employers to use safer chemicals and processes, according to the results of a new survey.

The survey was conducted by Lake Research Partners on behalf of several environmental and worker interest groups, including Greenpeace and the United Steelworkers. Of nearly 800 people who self-identified as “likely voters,” 79 percent said they support requirements for safer alternatives and processes when they are found to be effective, available and affordable. When broken down among party lines, support was expressed by 88 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents and 70 percent of Republicans.

“Voters believe that past chemical releases and explosions that have caused death and injury are a good reason to set stricter safety standards,” an Oct. 8 memorandum explaining the survey results states.

EPA and OSHA are in the midst of modernizing their chemical process safety standards pursuant to an Executive Order issued after the deadly West, Texas fertilizer explosion in 2013. To date, neither agency has completed promulgating new rules, a fact the interest groups criticized.

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