News ID: 220048
Published: 0652 GMT August 18, 2018

US court orders Trump administration to enforce chemical safety rule

US court orders Trump administration to enforce chemical safety rule

A US federal appeals court ordered the US President Donald Trump administration to immediately implement an Obama-era chemical safety rule introduced in response to a 2013 explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas that killed 15 people.

The DC Circuit Court ruling was the latest to counter efforts under Trump, a Republican, to delay environmental regulations introduced by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, according to Reuters.

The court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Chemical Disaster Rule, saying the agency did not have authority to delay the rule for 20 months.

The EPA cannot delay the rule ‘by invoking general rulemaking authority under a different statutory provision’, of federal clean air law, the court said in the ruling.

“EPA’s action was arbitrary and capricious in any event,” the ruling by two judges on the court said.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, was a member of the panel but did not partake in the ruling.

In February, a federal court ruled that the EPA could not delay a regulation limiting methane emissions from oil and gas installations and this week a federal judge reinstated the Waters of the US rule, which the Trump administration had delayed.

A week before Trump took office, the EPA issued the chemical safety rule, which required industries to take steps to prevent disasters. Those included more analysis of safety technology, third-party audits, incident investigation analyses and stricter emergency preparedness.

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