New Map Shows Toxic Chemical Releases, Fires, and Explosions happen every two days in the U.S.

Emissions from these incidents do not have to be reported to the EPA due to loopholes in the law


Zahra Ahmad,, (517) 898-0924

A new map created by the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters on Friday shows 224 fires, explosions, and releases of toxic chemicals have happened in the past year. The map is periodically updated to reflect ongoing incidents.

Since April 2020, more than 475 chemical incidents have occurred. This includes incidents like the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio that caused carcinogenic and toxic contaminations of soil, air, and a river that’s used by millions of people. The coalition’s new map intends to underscore the startling regularity of chemical disasters in the U.S. and motivate the need for stronger preventative policies to better protect workers and fenceline communities from catastrophic, irreversible harm.

Over 175 million Americans live near high-risk chemical facilities that are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In August 2022, the EPA made long-awaited revisions to its Risk Management Program under the Chemical Accident Prevention Rule, intended to prevent chemical disasters and regulate facilities that use or store toxic materials. The draft was a necessary step but does not go far enough to prevent such disasters from happening.

In October 2022, more than 100 environmental and health advocates urged the EPA to do more by strengthening the proposed rule and including key ways to fully satisfy the law and protect workers, fight climate change, and address environmental injustices. Dozens of members of Congress have also called on EPA to pass a stronger rule. Most recently, 27 Congressional members signed a letter urging EPA to act now on the issue.

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