According to a recent Guardian analysis of data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency and non-profit groups, accidental chemical releases remain a consistent issue across the United Stated through train derailments, truck crashes, pipeline ruptures, or industrial plant leaks and spills.
A report recorded by the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters, showed that in the first seven weeks of 2023 alone, there were more than 30 incidents. Last year the coalition recorded 188 incidents, up from 177 in 2021. The accidental releases of chemicals could pose potential threats to human and environmental health.
While it’s is challenging to determine the exact number if hazardous chemical incidents due to multiple agencies’ involvement in response, the EPA reports that it has performed an average of 235 emergency response actions per year.
Roughly 200 million people, many of whom are people of color or from disadvantages communities, are at regular risk, it’s learnt. While industry representatives suggest that accident rates are declining, worker and community advocates disagree, arguing that incomplete data and delayed reporting misrepresent improvement.