Volume 87 Issue 40 | p. 31 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 5, 2009

Industry Wants Changes In Chemical Security Bill

Department: Government & Policy | Collection: Homeland Security
Keywords: security standards, H.R. 2868

A coalition of 27 business groups is urging House lawmakers in a Sept. 28 letter to drop several controversial provisions from pending legislation that would establish new security standards for thousands of chemical facilities across the U.S. The coalition, which includes petrochemical manufacturers, chemical distributors, and fertilizer producers, wants the House Energy & Commerce Committee to delete provisions in H.R. 2868 that would allow citizens to file lawsuits against facilities for noncompliance; require facilities to switch to safer technologies; and allow state and local governments to adopt security standards that are more stringent than federal law. The groups warn in the letter to the committee that the citizen-suit measure would encourage litigation and invite the disclosure of sensitive information, such as the types and amounts of chemicals stored at a facility. The safer technology mandate is unnecessary, the coalition adds, because the current federal program for regulating chemical security already gives companies “powerful incentives to implement enhanced security measures, improve processes, and substitute safer chemicals.” The coalition also says security should be regulated solely by the federal government so that businesses are not subject to “a patchwork of differing and possibly conflicting regulations.”

 
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