Combined Agency ‘Working Group’ Tackles Communication, Response in Emergencies

Three U.S. agencies (OSHA, EPA and DHS) are working to create new protocols for communicating and training with local governments and first responders. The groups will convene the Chemical Facility Security and Safety Working Group. This has potential importance to IWLA member companies that handle chemicals and hazardous materials.

Specifically, the group seeks better coordination of communication between state and local governments when there is a serious violation cited. The outcome will be a protocol that addresses the lack of communication and improved coordination on information sharing when a local company is cited for serious violations.

The working group will:

  • Develop appropriate means for sharing information with first responders to enhance safe and effective planning;
  • Develop tools, training, and resources to strengthen emergency response planning;
  • Coordinate with agencies at all levels by working with the other departments (including Justice, Transportation, the FDA, and more) to address incidents involving hazardous materials and their effects;
  • Coordinate information sharing across the agencies and with state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners; and
  • Leverage and facilitate cross-training to raise awareness of other programs.

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