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On Aug. 1, 2013, President Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, to improve the safety and security of chemical facilities and reduce the risks of hazardous chemicals to facility workers and operators, communities and responders. Chemicals and the facilities that manufacture, store, distribute and use them are essential to our economy and livelihood, but the handling and storage of chemicals can present a risk that must be addressed.

The Working Group (comprised of the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency) is pleased to share with you a copy of the status report to the president, entitled Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment (PDF). This report summarizes the Working Group’s progress, focusing on actions to date, findings and lessons learned, challenges, and short and long-term priority actions. These priority actions are captured in a consolidated action plan, based on the information collected by the Working Group and focused on five specific thematic areas:  

  • Strengthen Community Planning and Preparedness
  • Enhance Federal Operational Coordination 
  • Improve Data Management 
  • Modernize Policies and Regulation
  • Incorporate Stakeholder Feedback and Develop Best Practices

DHS has attached a fact sheet that provides an overview of the report and invites you to read its blog for more information.  

The Working Group wants to underscore that they see this report as a milestone, not an endpoint. It will now be transitioning to implementation of the priority actions identified in the action plan, an effort that will be completed over time and require the collective efforts of all of us with a stake in chemical facility safety and security: communities, first responders, and industry, alongside local, state and federal government.

Safety and security are a shared commitment. As actions in this report are pursued, the Working Group recognizes that the Federal Government must put in place a transparent, inclusive process that continues to engage all stakeholders. They appreciate the input that has brought them to this point, and ask us to commit to being a part of this effort as they continue to make progress.

If you have any questions or comments regarding Executive Order 13650 or this report, please visit https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder for more information, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ruth Ziolkowski, long-time inspirational leader of Crazy Horse Memorial, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 21 with members of her family at her side.

Ruth Ross was born on June 26, 1926, in Hartford, Conn. She grew up in West Hartford, Conn., where she first met the sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski. She came to the Black Hills of South Dakota in June 1947 to help Korczak create a memorial to honor the North American Indian.

Ruth and Korczak married on Thanksgiving 1950. Together they had 10 children, many of whom have made the Crazy Horse dream their life’s work. Ruth served as the chief executive officer of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation since her husband’s passing on Oct. 20, 1982. Ruth was preceded in death by Korczak and their daughter Anne, who passed away on May 6, 2011.

With foresight and vision, Ruth had worked with the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Board of Directors in preparing for succession of leadership. A three-member executive management team is in place to lead the continued growth and development of the nonprofit foundation.

There will be a public viewing at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, May 26 in the studio of the original log home built by Ruth and her sculptor husband Korczak in 1948. Admission fees will be waived during this time. The home is open year round to visitors of the Memorial and contains art, antiques and heirlooms. 

A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 27 at the memorial. Guests are encouraged to come early. Services are open to friends and the public and admission fees will be waived  from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the event.

For more information, visit the Crazy Horse Memorial website.

The deadline to submit an abstract of your recent research or work has been extended to Tuesday, May 27. This is your chance to share your techniques, strategies and research with your peers and industry leaders at the world’s largest conference on explosives engineering.

Click here to read the requirements and upload your 200 to 400 word abstract online. If your abstract is selected, you will have the opportunity to present your findings at the 41st Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique.

The Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique is the largest gathering of its kind involving field blasters, manufacturers of explosives-related products, educators and researchers. The conference provides a forum for the discussion of practical and technical information as well as presentation of the latest discoveries in the commercial explosives industry worldwide. ISEE members and non-members are invited to submit ideas for papers to be presented at the Conference. Presented papers will be published in the conference proceedings.

Click here to submit your abstract today.

Did you have a recent breakthrough on a project? Submit your findings for a chance to present your work at the world’s largest conference on explosives engineering. To submit your 200 to 400 word abstract, visit the 41st Annual Conference page. The submission deadline is May 15, 2014. 

The Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique is the world’s largest conference on explosives engineering. Nearly 1,600 industry leaders, manufacturers and government officials from around the globe are expected to be in attendance Feb. 1-4, 2015, in New Orleans, La.

During the 2013 Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique in Fort Worth, Texas, the ISEE Board of Directors unanimously voted to fill a vacant seat on the Board by appointing a student director for 2014. Because of the success of this appointment, the ISEE board would like to continue its efforts to have student representation. 

The 2015 appointment will run concurrently with the presiding ISEE President’s term, but for a one-year period, and will consist of a selected member of a student chapter of the ISEE. The selected student director must have approval and support from his or her student chapter and Institution prior to applying for the position.

The deadline to apply is June 15, 2014.

 Download the Requirements Sheet (DOC)