Honor Working People by Making Work Safer

They build our homes, make the products we buy, and package our online orders for delivery. Working men and women built America, and they keep our economic engine running.

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Toxic Chemical Plagues Cleanup Crews Five Years after BP Oil Spill Disaster

Five years ago, an offshore oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The BP oil spill fouled the Gulf with over 172 million gallons of crude oil. The aftermath of the spill is still visible on certain coastlines, and a toxic chemical that BP used to "clean up" the oil is still injuring people and wildlife in the region.

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There Are Big Flaws in Our Main Chemical Safety Law. The Shimkus Bill Won’t Fix Them.

Every day, we are exposed to chemicals in our shampoo, body wash, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, lotion, and much more. We expect our government to ensure that the chemicals in products have been tested and are safe for us and our families.

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FDA’s Insufficient Response to Antibiotics in Food Animals

The Obama administration released the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria on March 27. The plan comes in response to the president's 2014 Executive Order 13676, “Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.”

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Can We Get Serious about Train Safety? Technology Could Reduce 40 Percent of Rail Accidents

Last month, we wrote about the rise in crude oil train accidents and the need to approve federal crude-by-rail safeguards as quickly as possible. These rules, currently under review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, would require thicker walls on oil tankards and impose speed limits on oil trains.

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The Administration's New Fracking Rule Has a Few Catches

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) just released a long-awaited rule that regulates fracking on federal and tribal lands, the first revision to federal fracking standards in almost 30 years. BLM currently manages over 100,000 oil and gas wells – over 90 percent of which are fracked. The rule establishes minimum safeguards that must be followed when drilling occurs on federal or tribal lands.

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Oregon Officials Want to Ban Toxins from Children’s Products. A Federal Bill Could Stop Them.

Leaded gasoline. Lead-based paint chips. Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles. These are a few things parents no longer have to worry about, thanks to government standards and safeguards. But we still have a long way to go in protecting our children from hazardous chemicals. Manufacturers can still use toxins in children’s products – without disclosing them to consumers.

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Are U.S. Oil Refineries Prepared for Climate Change?

It’s been a bad month for oil refineries. The nationwide strike against unsafe working conditions and other unfair labor practices is in its fifth week, with more than 7,000 workers participating.

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UPDATE: President Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

UPDATE (2/25/2015): President Obama followed through on his pledge and vetoed the Keystone XL bill on Tuesday, within hours of the bill arriving at his desk.

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A 300-Foot High Fireball from an Exploding Bakken Oil Train: When Will New Rail Safety Standards Be Approved?

UPDATE (Mar. 25, 2015): Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced legislation today that would create stronger crude-by-rail safeguards than those currently under review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Among other things, the Cantwell-Baldwin bill would require the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to limit the volatile gases in crude oil that is transported by rail. The PHMSA and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) rules currently under review require thicker tank car shells but do not regulate the crude itself, which is highly volatile and can explode during accidents. 

The Cantwell-Baldwin bill would also ban certain classes of older tank cars, immediately removing 37,700 unsafe cars from use. It requires railroad companies to alert state and local emergency response officials when moving crude through communities and significantly increases fines for violations.  

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On Presidents' Day, a train carrying volatile crude oil derailed in Fayette County, West Virginia, igniting several railcars and creating a fireball 300 feet high. While no one was seriously injured, the incident is a stark reminder of the need for stronger safeguards to protect communities near the tracks that transport crude oil.

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