Industry Asks for Long-term Regulation of Chemical Plant Security
ACC Supports “Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act” (posted 03/05/10)
ARLINGTON, VA (March 3, 2010) — On behalf of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Timothy J. Scott — Dow's chief security officer and corporate director of emergency services and security — testified today before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. His testimony was given at the oversight hearing, "Chemical Security: Assessing Progress and Charting a Path Forward."
ACC issued the following statement regarding Mr. Scott's testimony:
"Over the past decade, members of the American Chemistry Council have spent more than $8 billion to enhance security at facilities across the nation. And even though ACC's member-companies have our own stringent and aggressive security program, the Responsible Care® Security Code, we continue to be fully supportive of the 'Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards' (CFATS).
"For ACC members, the strong regulatory approach taken by CFATS— one that sets a high bar through performance-based standards and then holds facilities accountable — is not only appropriate but necessary. The program is both comprehensive and demanding, but flexible enough to accommodate the unique needs and capabilities of individual sites.
"Since CFATS became effective in June 2007, the Department of Homeland Security has reviewed nearly 38,000 Top-Screen submissions and has notified more than 7,000 facilities of their high-risk designations and preliminary tiers. As a result, the number of high risk chemical facilities has been reduced by nearly 1000 facilities. According to DHS, this reduction has been due largely to the voluntary material modifications that have lowered or even eliminated the use and storage of hazardous chemicals onsite, thus lowering their risk profile and increasing the safety to our communities. This clearly demonstrates that CFATS is working and should be fully supported.
"We agree that our shared priority is to enhance security at chemical sites nationwide. ACC supports the bi-partisan legislation introduced by Senator Collins (R-ME) to extend CFATS because it would give DHS sufficient time to fully implement the program. The members of ACC and the chemical industry are committed to continuing an aggressive approach to safeguarding America's chemical facilities. It is in this spirit, we are offering our assistance to continue to work with the DHS and members of Congress in support of our shared mission."
ACC represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry, a $689 billion a year high-tech industry and one of the largest and most globally competitive exporting sectors in the U.S. Chemistry companies in the United States directly employ 849,800 people, and indirectly contribute nearly 4.7 million jobs to the economy. These jobs generate $10.5 billion in state and local taxes on personal income and $10.1 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions.
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FYI - Testimony and archived webcast are up on the committee site.
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