NACD Opposes Inherently Safer Technologies (IST) in Joint Industry Letter to White House

Jan 24, 2014, 09:39 ET from National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, NACD and twelve other associations sent a letter to President Obama and the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.  In the letter, the associations commended the IWG for its important work, but took exception to a portion of its recent report which focused on "safer alternatives".  The letter stated, "We believe opportunities exist to further improve safety and security and will continue to offer our expertise to assist the Working Group, but we strongly oppose any proposal that will create a federal requirement to assess or implement so-called Inherently Safer Technologies (IST)."


The associations asserted that "Inherently safer approaches to manufacturing processes have been and will continue to be considered by facilities as a matter of course, and the facility operators—not the government—are in the best position to understand the full ramifications of implementing IST."  For NACD members, mandatory IST consideration and implementation would be burdensome and costly and would likely result in risk-shifting rather than risk reduction.

Many regulations already on the books require operators to examine their operations and make them as safe and secure as possible.  "To attempt to overlay an IST requirement would negatively impact all of these various safety and security programs and create an impossible bureaucratic burden," stated the Associations.

It was recommended that addressing shortfalls through options that improve coordination between government agencies and enhanced outreach as well as opportunities to better implement existing regulatory programs would create a safer and more secure regulatory environment. 

Finally, NACD and the twelve other associations reiterated their willingness to work with the IWG to improve the effectiveness of the current regulatory programs.

NACD and its over 420 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 our members, their safety record or NACD, visit NACD at

Contact: Caitlin O'Donnell

SOURCE National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)