Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 27, 2005

New York Times on chemical plant security

Filed under: Congress and HLS,Infrastructure Protection — by Christian Beckner on December 27, 2005

The New York Times weighs in today on the issue of chemical plant security:

It is hard to believe, but more than four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress has still not acted to make chemical plants, one of the nation’s greatest terrorist vulnerabilities, safer. Last week, Senators Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, unveiled a bipartisan chemical plant security bill. We hope that parts of the bill will be improved as it works its way through Congress, though even in its current form the bill would be a significant step.

Also, this story in Chemical & Engineering News provides the first industry perspective on the bill. Look for this issue to be a key point of contention as the bill moves forward:

In a notable change from an earlier draft of the legislation circulated by Collins’ staff, the bill would allow governors to establish more stringent security standards for chemical plants in their states.

I’m still waiting for the full bill to show up on Thomas. Why does it take 8 days (and counting) to get a bill posted for the public to see?

Update (12/30): The bill is now up at the link above.

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1 Comment »

29

Comment by Wade Whitlock

December 29, 2005 @ 8:46 am

Among other things, the Clean Air Act, as amended 1990 Section 112(r) required a Risk Management Program. Part of which included a risk or hazard assessment to determine where problems could occur. OSHA has required the same under Process Safety Management.

Now, why haven’t these requirements (two Laws and two regulations 40 CFR and 29 CFR) been enforced? This goes back to a due date of 1996. So much for security concerns by the Feds. Also, note that the Republican Congress has weakened the Clean Air Act with regard to highly explosive fuels in Public Law 106-40. If you want to read nonsense on a parr with setting pi equal to 3 or repealing the law of gravity, read this one!

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