Wednesday, January 29, 2014

EO 13650 Webinar

I have signed up to receive emails from the EO 13650 Working Group about the actions that the group is taking in support of the President’s Executive Order on Improving Chemical Safety and Security (EO 13650). This has mainly allowed me to get advance notice of various meetings, public listening sessions and webinars on EO 13650. I received one such email notice yesterday about a slightly different webinar, one specifically targeted to residents in New York and New Jersey.

To date these webinars and public listening sessions have been focused on receiving public input on chemical safety and security issues. The ones that I have listened to have been essentially opportunities for various industry and activist organizations to rehash their well established points of view about matters of chemical safety and security. This has been a worthwhile exercise as it has allowed representatives from EPA, OSHA and DHS chances to publicly ask questions to clarify their understanding of these various positions.

This webinar, to be held on February 2nd (more about sign-up details below) will apparently have a slightly different focus. According to the email it is designed to help people who want “to prepare for the in-person listening session in Newark, NJ on February 5th in order to provide comments and feedback on the Executive Order to help improve the safety and security of chemical facilities”.

The webinar is being hosted by the EPA’s Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC), and EPA community outreach organization. It is specifically focused at “Community members and grass roots organizations, including first responders, in the New York/New Jersey area, interested in improving the safety and security of chemical facilities”.

I have signed up for this webinar (though I am certainly not a resident of the NY/NJ area) because of its intent to “provide additional information about the New York and New Jersey areas”. I’m hoping that will include information about the pilot project on interagency cooperation that is being headed by the EPA in Region 2 (The Effective Chemical Risk Management Project, Federal Region 2). There has been very little public information about this project and I’m hoping that it will be discussed in this venue.

The email provides a link for signing up for the webinar - It is a relatively easy sign-up process with a minimum of personal information required. Interestingly I don’t see any information about an OMB approved information collection request for the information being requested. I also have a very low level of concern about the information I provided being shared with Skeo Solutions, the private-sector organization that will apparently be conducting the webinar for TASC.

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