U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

Senator Baldwin Calls for Federal Investigations and Swift Action Regarding Hazardous Materials at Wisconsin Barrel Recycling Plants

Chemicals in barrels recycled in Wisconsin neighborhoods may have put workers, families and communities at risk

By - Feb 21st, 2017 01:20 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has called on multiple federal agencies for investigations and swift action regarding whistleblower accounts and media reports of hazardous materials at barrel recycling plants that may have endangered workers and communities in Wisconsin.

Last week, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and was joined by Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) in sending letters to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In her letter to the Department of Justice, Baldwin requested that Attorney General Jeff Sessions provide an update on the status of the Department’s investigation of whistleblower reports and urged swift movement on appropriate actions.

In the letter to the EPA, Baldwin and Moore call for an investigation into the apparent violation of federal environmental protections and ask the agency to determine if there are federal resources available to help workers and the surrounding communities that may have been harmed by hazardous chemicals.

In the letter to the DOT, Baldwin and Moore urge Secretary Chao to investigate the apparent violation of federal law that requires safe transportation of hazardous materials, and to take action to end any imminent threat to workers and the community.

In the letter to the SEC, Baldwin and Moore call on the agency to look into the reported allegations to determine whether the company that owns the recycling plants in question has violated any federal financial securities laws, which require publically-traded companies to inform their shareholders of risks, including risks from environmental hazards. .

In the letter to OSHA, Baldwin and Moore call on the agency to investigate the accounts of a hazardous and unsafe workplace that failed to protect workers from serious short-term hazards and long-term health impacts, and to determine if there are federal resources available to help workers who may have been harmed.

An online version of this release is available here.

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