Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin’s article in this paper Nov. 22 – “EPA rolls back the safety requirements adopted after deadly Texas chemical explosion” (Page A7) – just leaves me furious.

By this action, our government fails to protect its people. The rolled-back regulations were put in place after the deadly 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas, where 15 people were killed because explosive compounds were stored in a building close to a school and apartment buildings.

This tragedy was entirely preventable. As a veteran volunteer firefighter of over 25 years, I was aghast at the Texas Legislature’s response shortly after the event, and now this administration’s Environmental Protection Agency’s response. Now, with these actions by the EPA, Texas’ horrible policy of hiding hazardous materials information from emergency personnel and community officials has become our national policy. It’s wrong; it goes against every basic tenet of protecting the public, and it primarily endangers the very people who work to protect us with their lives on the line.

If you are or ever were an emergency worker of any kind, or simply are a U.S. citizen who feels that the interests of industry should never be above the safety and well-being of the public, I hope you will share your outrage at this brazen and selfish act to put the interests of industry above the safety of our people. We as a nation are better than this.

Dwight Swisher


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