Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 30, 2005

Chemical security bill now available online

Filed under: Congress and HLS,Infrastructure Protection — by Christian Beckner on December 30, 2005

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?

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1 Comment »

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Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » Blog Archive » Chemical security bill: a preview of the battle ahead

January 9, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

[...] Water Policy Report has a good article (available by subscription or pay-per-article only) that previews the coming legislative skirmish over the Collins-Lieberman chemical security bill. The article posits that the biggest fight is likely to be on the issue of “safer, substitute chemicals”, and the extent to which DHS will have the discretion to mandate or impose their use for chemical plants. The article indicates that at least one senator (Sen. Voinovich) has concerns about the strength of the current language in the bill on this issue; on the other side, environmental groups complain that this language is too weak. As I’ve mentioned previously, I think the current version of the bill strikes a compromise that is fair and most importantly, would finally deal with the problem of chemical security. At this point, perfect is the enemy of the good, and any further delays over such tangential issues will be costly to the nation’s homeland security. [...]

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