WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This morning, Jennifer Gibson, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) presented comments on behalf of the Association in response to the White House Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security at a public listening session.
In her comments, Ms. Gibson emphasized three points from the perspective of effective chemical regulation: the necessity of clear regulations, the importance of consistent regulations, and third, agencies must be willing to engage in compliance assistance, rather than just hard enforcement.
First, regulatory requirements and expectations must be clear and easily understood by chemical facilities. Gibson commented, "This facilitates implementation, promotes effective training of current and new employees, and leads to safer facilities." Gibson went on to express NACD's concerns about mandated inherently safer technologies, and the increased risk involved if these ISTs are undefined or unclear.
Gibson also underscored the necessity of consistent enforcement of regulations. She again referenced concern about subjective interpretation by inspectors. "NACD members want to do the right thing, but this becomes difficult if satisfactory compliance depends on a facility's location in a particular region or who the individual inspector is," Gibson stated.
Lastly, Ms. Gibson lauded the agencies for offering excellent regulatory guidance documents and materials, but advocated for broader outreach and awareness of these resources, saying "I encourage the agencies to commit to industry outreach to make the regulated community aware of these tools. Trade associations like NACD can help with these efforts in reaching our members, particularly small companies who do not have dedicated regulatory staff."
In addition, Gibson stated, "Everyone shares the objective of making sure that chemical facilities and their communities are safe and secure. A regulatory system that is clear, consistent, and collaborative will go a long way in achieving this goal."
NACD and its over 400 member companies are vital to the chemical supply chain providing products to over 750,000 end users. They make a delivery every eight seconds while maintaining a safety record that is more than twice as good as all manufacturing combined. NACD members are leaders in health, safety, security, and environmental performance through implementation of Responsible Distribution, established in 1991 as a condition of membership and a third-party verified management practice. For additional information on its members, their safety record or NACD, visit NACD at www.nacd.com.
Contact: Lucinda Schofer
SOURCE National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)