Pruitt on Thursday signed changes to proposed Obama-era safety rules that would affect 12,500 U.S. chemical plants, refineries and other facilities.
The safety rules were prompted by a 2013 explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that killed 15 people.
Pruitt’s changes eliminate some requirements for safety training and investigations after an accident.
Eric Schaeffer with the Environmental Integrity Project says the changes also would make it harder for people living near facilities to get basic information about chemical risks.
Pruitt says the revised rules improve emergency planning and reduce regulation. Alex Formuzis of the Environmental Working Group calls it a “hollowing out” of the safety upgrades.