Texas Chemical Plant and Citizens Right-to-Know under SARA Tier III

After the reporting by Matt Dempsey in the Houston Chronicle about the chemical explosions at Arkema I went to review the the federal regulations that are supposed to protect citizens’ right to know about what is in their environment. It was reported that the Arkema CEO, Rich Rowe refused to answer to what chemicals are stored on site and could potentially be released. I found this hard to believe because I know there are federal regulations that  are written specifically to protect people, wildlife and the environment.

In 1980 the Comprehensive Environmental Response, and Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), better know as Superfund, was enacted. It was expanded and reauthorized in 1986. This reauthorization is called Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization (SARA). Title III of SARA (SARA III) is the  Emergency Response and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

These amendements to CERCLA came after the worst chemical release accident in history  that happened on December 2, 1984. The loss of life is said to be as low a 3,800 and as high as 16,000. The Union Carbide Pesticide plant in Bhopal, India that was later taken over by Dow Chemical. Read about the Bhopal incident here at The Atlantic.

The federal regulations under CERCLA and SARA III guide the planning and response. There should be a planning and response on these levels:

  1. Federal
  2. State
  3. Local

There are sections within several different federal regulations that contain a list of chemicals regulated.

Definitions Of Regulated Materials

Extremely Hazardous Substances (as defined by SARA Title III)

An extremely hazardous substance (EHS) is any substance regulated under SARA Title III, Sections 302–304. The EHSs are listed in Appendices A and B of Title 40, Part 355 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). View List of Extremely Hazardous Substances here.

Hazardous Chemicals (as defined by OSHA)

As defined by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), hazardous chemicals have the meaning given in Title 29, Section 1910.1200(c) of the CFR. It is any substance for which a facility must maintain a material safety data sheet (MSDS) under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Hazard Communication Standard/Employee Right-to-Know regulations, but does not include the following: (1) any food, food additive, color additive, drug, or cosmetic regulated by the Food and Drug Administra- tion; (2) any substance present as a solid in any manufactured item to the extent exposure to the substance does not occur under normal conditions of use; (3) any substance used for personal, family, or household purposes, or is present in the same form and concentration as a product packaged for dis- tribution and use by the general public; (4) any substance used in a research laboratory or a hospital or other medical facility under the direct supervision of a technically qualified individual; or (5) any substance used in routine agricul- tural operations or fertilizer held for sale by a retailer to the ultimate customer.

Hazardous Substances (as defined by CERCLA)

A hazardous substance is a substance subject to reporting requirements un- der the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and listed in Title 40, Part 302.4 of the CFR. CERCLA Hazardous Substances List

Hazardous Waste
(as defined by RCRA)

As defined by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), hazard- ous waste is a solid waste, or combination of solid wastes which, because of quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may (a) cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible or incapacitating reversible illness; or (b) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improp- erly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed. RCRA Hazardous Wastes List


Definitions Of Regulated Materials

Toxic Chemicals

Toxic chemicals are chemicals or chemical categories regulated under Section 313 of EPCRA. Toxic chemicals are listed in Title 40, Part 372.65 of the CFR. To obtain a list of toxic chemicals, see List of Lists below.

List of Lists

U.S. EPA has consolidated a number of the lists described above into one document known as the List of Lists. This document contains the lists of extremely hazardous substances, hazardous substances (as defined by CERCLA), Clean Air Act Section 112(r) substances, and toxic chemicals.
EPA List of Lists

The federal regulations determine what the state and local regulations or emergency planning commissions are required to do dependent on the type of facility. That is why I am perplexed by what may be happening in Houston. These are federal laws and the state of Texas doesn’t have the authority to ignore them.

My point is there are laws that require businesses and companies to ensure the safety of citizens and emergency responders. That means something is wonky with the CEO at Arkema Pesticide plant or something is wonky on the reporting in the Houston Chronicle. I kind of doubt that the reporter is lying so how is this company skirting these federal laws, if indeed this company is doing that.





Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, Water/Climate/Environmental

Psych 101…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Caregiver PTSD

I needed to look up PTSD for caregivers and found this in NYTs. I use to joke about PTCGD (post traumatic caregiver disorder) but I don’t joke about it anymore. However, once again, this article focuses on the sweet side and is not close to what me and my brother are beginning to experience. NYT Caregiver Trauma Lingers.

This blog post, Caregiver Space comes closer to what me and my brother are feeling. I told my brother this morning that I wish mom was more normal. I would LOVE to take her to a senior day center for a few hours a week. I would LOVE to take her out of the house if we did nothing but ride around and look at things. But she is not normal. Never has been normal. Ever. I figured that out when I was 4 or 5. She is a woman of extremes. Extreme volatility. Extreme compassion. I love my mom and have always wished I could help her be happy, feel loved, feel worthy. I failed. It is up to her to overcome her psychological pain and past.  She is two months shy of 88 so I do not believe she will get peace while still alive. Therefore, all around her will suffer if we are not strong enough to grasp her pain and let her own it, and also, be strong enough to protect ourselves with patience and forgiveness. My brother and I are bearing her burden. It has to stop. Each of us must protect ourselves and we must protect mom. It it time to do all of the prep work, which there is a lot, to consider placing her in a home.

Leave a comment

Filed under Caregivers

Marjorie Farabee and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins discuss slaughter of donkeys in Australia to make Chinese fad drug ejiao, (Wed. 3/8/17) on Wild Horse & Burro Radio

This should be interesting. What is it about Asian culture and drugs there require slaughter of animals? Of course, we Americans are still testing on Beagles so we’re not a lot better.

Straight from the Horse's Heart


Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, March 8, 2017

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen Live (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

Wild donkeys in the Top End of Australia ABC Rural: Matt Brann

Our guests tonight will be Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins, who is a member of Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary, and has been investigating the ejiao issue in Australia.

Donkey skins are used to produce a fad health and beauty tonic sold as a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)…

View original post 211 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

What Ever Happened to all the Old Racist Whites from those Civil Rights Photos?


What ever happened to those white folks from those old photos?

A few months ago from this day of publishing, I had an interesting discussion with a white guy at work.  The subject of riots came up.  Pretty much, he attempted to place a mass association of “riots” to Black Lives Matter protesters.  Fascinated with his thoughts (which severely lacked critical thinking), I throw him a critical thinking question:

“Do you think that Black Live Matter protesters, command riots?”

I had to repeat the question because he was in total shock, as if he walked from a train wreck, because he didn’t expect to engage in critical thinking.

detroit_race_riots Do you think MLK changed this white man’s bigoted social ideology?  Any of them?

He answered no, which was smart; they do not command riots to occur.  It’s a bit stupid to suggest such.  While he did concede the point that BLM…

View original post 1,164 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Republicans Stealing Your Land

One the first day of the new session the House of representatives passed, House Res. 5, a new rule (look at page 35) that makes the conveyance of federal lands easier. Congress hasn’t worked this fast and furious in the last eight years. “Previously, when Congress wanted to transfer public lands managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or other federal agency, the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’ research arm, calculated the cost to the U.S. Treasury by computing what revenues the lands provide over 10 years, such as grazing fees or oil and gas royalties. Under House rules, before a bill approving a transfer could be adopted, budget cuts would have to be made in other federal programs equal to the value of that land. The rules change eliminates that budgetary barrier to land transfer bills”(High Country News).

Now enter Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz (R) who introduced a bill that identifies 3.3 million acres across 10 states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming  to be ‘disposed of‘. The purpose stated is to reduce the federal deficit (The Wilderness Society). As of 1/27/2017, the text of the bill has not been received. Check here to see how your representative voted. For those in Oklahoma, I can assure you that Jim Bridenstien (918.935.3222) voted yes, and Markwayne Mullin, Mr. Native American by card only (NABCO) (918.423.5951) voted yea for the bill. Markwayne Mullin has previously said he wanted all Indian lands to be privatized. Call them and voice your disapproval.

Noxom Resevoir

These public lands are of value not only to us humans, but to all wildlife. Our wildlife are losing suitable habitat at the rate of  My guess is they want to drain, dredge, drill and mine our wilderness. Habitat loss is the primary threat to the survival our wildlife in the United States (National Wildlife Federation). We are currently living in the sixth great extinction and habitat loss to agriculture, development, mining and oil and gas drilling is at an all time high. Not only is climate change warming up and changing the landscape, but human activity is adversely impacting the fragmented wildlands we have remaining. The worst thing that could happen for our wildlands, which is much of the land in federal status, and the wildlife that survive only because it’s in quasi protected by the federal status is to transfer  that land to states.


This land is our land. This land is the wildlife’s land, habitat and home. If we do not want our federal lands drained, dredged, mined and drilled until the forests are denuded and the streams run red with mining waste we must fight them. We must stop them. Start calling your representatives. And march. And protest. Raise your voice-Raise your fist. This is our land and they are stealing it.

~D.Y. Wiley


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Feds Deny Approval of Construction of the DAPL on Lands that Border Lake Oahe [corrected headline]

We must unite to ensure our tribal sovereignty is legally adhered to and we must continue to fight to protect our water and ecosystems.

Turtle Talk

Here is the United States’ press release:


WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“We appreciate the District Court’s opinion on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.  However, important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.  Therefore, the Department of the Army, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior will take the following steps.

“The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on…

View original post 349 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized