Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 9, 2006

Chemical security bill: a preview of the battle ahead

Filed under: Congress and HLS,Infrastructure Protection — by Christian Beckner on January 9, 2006

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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2 Comments »

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Comment by J.

January 10, 2006 @ 8:13 am

Interesting – I’ll have to look at this one closer. I do think the argument for “safer substitute chemicals” is a false one, since many chemicals are picked because of specific properties or as specific precursors for good reasons and cannot be readily substituted with others. I do agree that chemical plants should have a good security plan, but am unsure whether pushing Big Brother at them is going to be successful or just make a big mess of bureaucracy.

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Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » Blog Archive » US News on the chemical security bill

January 16, 2006 @ 11:49 am

[…] The full bill can be found here. And my previous posts on the bill are found here, here, here, and here. […]

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