RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF NEW REFINERY WORKER SAFETY REGULATIONS

 

WHEREAS explosions and fires resulting from major releases of toxic and flammable substances claimed the lives of thirteen workers in two of Washington’s petroleum refineries in 1998 and 2010; and

WHEREAS major releases of hazardous substances at the state’s five petroleum refineries not only kill and injure refinery workers, but can also harm residents and businesses in nearby communities and damage the natural environment; and

WHEREAS the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board’s investigation of the 2010 incident found that the incident could have been avoided and recommended substantial changes to Washington State’s Process Safety Management regulations administered by the state’s Department of Labor and Industries and further recommended that the State provide for a well-funded, well-trained staff for enforcement of these regulations; and

WHEREAS the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has acknowledged that its current regulations for petrochemical refineries are outdated and do not reflect current industry practices and has begun a process to promulgate new regulations, Process Safety Requirements for Petroleum Refineries.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Skagit County Democratic Party supports revised practical, meaningful and legally enforceable Process Safety Management regulations for petroleum refineries that include:

  • Modern engineering and management practices;
  • Strong worker collaboration rights;
  • Documentation of all safety decisions;
  • Procedures to learn from near misses; and
  • Clear timelines to implement corrective actions,

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor and State Legislature provide for all necessary monies and resources to ensure effective and timely compliance and enforcement of the Process Safety Management regulations for petroleum refineries.

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution will be forwarded to Jay Inslee, Governor, Washington State; Andy Billig, Senate Democratic Leader, Washington State; Laurie Jinkins, Speaker of the House, Washington State; Liz Lovelett, 40th LD Senator, Washington State; Debra Lekanoff and Jeff Morris, 40th LD Representatives, Washington State; Dave Paul, 10th LD Representative, Washington State, and to the Washington State Democrats Central Committee and Resolution Committee.

Passed at the Skagit County Democrats E-board Meeting

Date:  September 14, 2019

Jeff Mount, Chair of the Skagit County Democrats