November 18, 2016 Articles

Federal Law Requires Facilities to Fortify Against Climate-Change Risks

Federal law provides a mechanism to act to ensure adequate protection for vulnerable communities before a catastrophic spill occurs.

By Allan Kanner, Elizabeth B. Petersen, and Allison S. Brouk – November 18, 2016

While there remains dispute over the exact cause and cure for climate change, the reality of increased severe-weather events, sea-level rise, and intensified storm surges associated with increased levels of greenhouse-gas emissions has been acknowledged by the scientific community, the U.S. government, and members of the oil and gas industry for a number of years. Severe-weather events often result in discharges of oil and other hazardous substances from refineries, storage terminals, and other facilities handling hazardous wastes directly into the environment due to insufficient containment and preventative measures as well as bypasses of existing treatment, storage, and disposal mechanisms not updated to modern standards despite known risks of increased likelihood of these events.

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