Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 14, 2005

House HSC tackles ammonium nitrate security

Filed under: Congress and HLS,Infrastructure Protection — by Christian Beckner on December 14, 2005

Per the House HSC Dems’ website, the committee today unanimously passed a bill, H.R. 3197, to enhance and control the security of ammonium nitrate, the fertilizer used to make the explosives in the attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. The press release about the passage of the bill is here. The Senate version of the bill, S. 1141, is pending.

The passage of this bill into law will represent a very positive example of public-private sector cooperation on homeland security. The Fertilizer Institute stepped forward to devise a responsible approaching to controlling trade in ammonium nitrate while ensuring that farmers still have legal access, and Congress is now in the process of passing this plan. The Institute’s testimony about the bill is here.

It will be important, however, for law enforcement officials and industry to remain vigilant after the passage of the bill. Even with new regulations in place, risks will remain. Terrorists and their sympathizers might try to form legitimate front companies to buy ammonium nitrate. They might try to buy it from unscrupulous middlemen. They might steal it, or smuggle it into the country. The passage and implementation of the bill will have a strong value both in terms of prevention and deterrence, but threats posed by ammonium nitrate as an explosive will not disappear.

ps. For international comparison, Australia is in the process of implementing a similar law this year, largely in response to the 2002 bombings in Bali.

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Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » HLS in DC, June 12-16, 2006

June 9, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

[…] 6/12: Information Assurance Symposium includes remarks on information sharing and homeland security. Westin Arlington. 7:45am. 6/12: National Commission on Energy Policy briefing to release a white paper on “Siting Critical Energy Infrastructure: An Overview of Needs and Challenges.” Rayburn 2123, 10am. 6/12: Women in International Security luncheon on “Health, Security, and Globalization: A Dangerous Nexus?” with Margaret Hamburg from NTI. 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, 12 noon. 6/12: Briefing on “port security and cargo screening technologies” with Sen. Lincoln Chafee, former DHS official Elaine Dezenski et al. Russell 188, 12 noon. 6/13: Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on “Counterterrorism: The Changing Face of Terror” with State Dept. counterterrorism coordinator Henry Crumpton, NCTC director Adm. John Scott Redd, et al. Dirksen 419, 9:30am. 6/13: House T&I Committee hearing on “Current Issues in Rail Transporation of Hazardous Materials.” Rayburn 2167, 10am. 6/13: Center for American Progress event on “The Role of Congress in Effective Intelligence.” 1333 H St NW, 10th floor, 12 noon. 6/14: Senate HSGAC markup of S. 2145, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2005, and other committee business. Dirksen 342, 10am. 6/14: House Homeland Security Committee markup of HR 3197 (on ammonium nitrate security), HR 4941 (on science & technology), and HR4942 (on international R&D cooperation). Cannon 311, 10am. 6/14: House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Hurricane Katrina’s Aftermath.” Cannon 311, 11am. 6/14: House T&I Committee hearing on the Coast Guard’s Deepwater Implementation. Rayburn 2167, 1pm. 6/14: House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “TSA’s Office of Intelligence: Progress and Challenges.” Cannon 311, 2pm. 6/15-6/16: 8th Annual Biodetection Technologies Conference hosted by the Knowledge Foundation. Omni Shoreham Hotel. 6/15: The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) breakfast with DHS Under Secretary George Foresman. Army & Navy Club, 901 17th St NW, 8am. 6/15: Homeland Defense Journal conference on “Managing Today’s Threats to Homeland Security” with Fran Townsend as a keynote speaker. Renaissance Hotel, DC, 8:30am. 6/15: DHS Privacy Office workshop on “Operationalizing Privacy: Compliance Frameworks & Privacy Impact Assessments.” GSA Building, 7th & D St SW, 8:30am. 6/15: House Government Reform Committee hearing on “Regional Insecurity: DHS Grants to the National Capital Area.” Rayburn 2154, 10am. 6/15: Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the FY 2007 Coast Guard budget with Adm. Thad Allen. Dirksen 562, 10:30am. 6/15: Sea Grant Association event on “Enhancing Community Resilience to Natural Disasters through Science-based Planning, Mitigation, and Education.” Rayburn 2325, 12 noon. 6/16: House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the SAFE Truckers Act. Cannon 311, 10am. […]

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