House Panel Approves Chemical Security Bill | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 26 | p. 22 | Concentrates
Issue Date: June 27, 2011

House Panel Approves Chemical Security Bill

Department: Government & Policy

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security last week approved by a bipartisan 26-5 vote legislation that would extend the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to ensure that the nation’s chemical facilities are safeguarded against terrorist attacks. The bill (H.R. 901) would give DHS seven additional years to fully implement the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, which began in 2007. Industry supports the existing CFATS regime and has been urging Congress to pass a multiyear extension. Calvin M. Dooley, president and CEO of the trade group American Chemistry Council, says the committee’s vote “builds on the growing bipartisan support in Congress for legislation that recognizes the strength of the chemical security regulations already in place.” However, the environmental group Greenpeace criticized the committee for not giving DHS authority to require safer technologies at high-risk facilities. “Republicans have hijacked chemical security and left Americans at risk of a poison gas disaster,” Greenpeace Legislative Director Rick Hind says. “A terrorist attack or accident at one of these high-risk chemical facilities could release poison gases that can kill or injure thousands of people in minutes.”

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