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Public Statements

Preventing Future Disasters

Floor Speech

Location: Unknown


Mr. BARROW. Madam Speaker, this weekend marks the first anniversary of the combustible dust explosion at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in Savannah, Georgia.

What we learned in my community since this disaster hit is that the experts have known about this problem for decades. The private sector has developed standards that effectively deal with this problem, but the public sector hasn't responded. The trouble is not enough people know about the problem, much less the solutions, and those who do know about the solutions aren't required to adopt them.

The only standards that are mandatory really are not designed with this problem in the first place, and so they aren't working. The result is we have good standards that are not mandatory and inadequate standards that are mandatory. It ought to be the other way around.

Today I am reintroducing legislation we passed in the last Congress, legislation that will take such upside-down policy and flip it right side up.

On the anniversary of this latest disaster, our thoughts and prayers go out to the folks who are still suffering from their losses and injuries. But our work to fix what is broken with our regulatory system should continue until we have done everything that we reasonably can to prevent any such disasters from ever happening again.


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