The Collins-Lieberman chemical security bill that was introduced on Dec. 19 finally appeared on the Internet today. I’ve just finished reading through it, and it’s a well-written and thoughtful bill, taking into account the complete cycle of security for chemical plants – not just initial validation, but also efforts to maintain security and develop local response capabilities for chemical plant attacks or other incidents. It strikes an appropriate balance between the real need for security and unduly burdensome regulation.
The only concern I have is the timeline for implementation. The bill gives DHS a full year to write the regulations for chemical plant security; and then gives the industry another year to comply. So if the bill passes in, say, May 2006, we could be talking about May 2008 before compliance really emerges on an industry-wide basis. Do we have this luxury of time?