A chemical explosion at the port in Beirut killed at least 135 people, according to the Associated Press.

The Beirut blast exposes the lessons that haven't been learned from previous chemical disasters

August 5th, 2020

A chemical explosion at the port in Beirut killed at least 135 people, according to the Associated Press.

The deadly explosions in West, Texas, in 2013 and now in Beirut had commonalities. "Both blasts involved massive stockpiles of ammonium nitrate, a common but highly explosive chemical," reports AP News' Ellen Knickmeyer, "and swift allegations that negligence and weak government oversight were to blame."

“We don’t seem to learn," a former volunteer first responder who helped with the disaster in West tells her.

Not only do we not learn, Dr. Elena Craft, senior director of climate and health with Environmental Defense Fund, explains, the Trump administration's EPA has worked to weaken the protections that have been put into place to prevent disasters like these from happening again.

She cites the Chemical Disaster Rule, implemented by the Obama administration's EPA after West that was gutted the fall before. “It’s always been sort of the constant story," she says. "It gets to be accepted business in Texas.”

Read the entire article here ...

Take Action

  1. Look back at Houston's year of chemical disasters
  2. Learn more about the Trump administration's environmental rollbacks
  3. Read the Houston Chronicle's editorial after the Watson explosion in 2020

Share this article


STAY UP TO DATE


The quality of our newsletter is considered satisfactory and poses little or no risk.


  SUBSCRIBE