The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has made enhanced security activities mandatory for its members. The ACC Board approved a new Security Code under Responsible Care that consists of increased specific commitments to further safeguard chemical operations from potential terrorist attacks.
Since September 11, the chemical industry has consulted and/or partnered with the Office of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the FBI, the Defense Department, the Coast Guard, Sandia National Laboratories, state and local governmental authorities, and others to bring the full force of the nation's security expertise together with the industry's scientific, technological and management skills.
Members of ACC have already begun to prioritize their sites and will assess the security at those sites. The prioritization process will be completed by mid-June. Sites will be prioritized into one of four tiers based on risk. Companies will then assess the security at their sites based on this prioritization. They also will assess the security from the supplier to the manufacturer and all the way down to the retailer and customer as well as their cyber networks.
Once companies implement the security measures identified in the assessment, independent third parties will verify that the physical site security measures have been implemented. Companies will have systems in place to assure continuous improvement. When assessing the security of sites, companies will use the methodologies being developed either by the independent Sandia National Laboratories or by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), or an equivalent approach.
The new Code contains a number of important industry obligations, including: commitment by senior leadership to continuous improvement through published policies, provision of sufficient, qualified resources, and established accountability; training and drills for employees, contractors, customers, suppliers, and others; companies are to consider as part of their decision-making process using inherently safer approaches, such as process changes and materials substitution.
Also communications, dialogue and information exchange on appropriate security issues with stakeholders, balanced with safeguards for sensitive information; evaluation, response and reporting of security threats as appropriate, as well as analysis, response, investigation, reporting and corrective action for security incidents; and internal audit and continuous improvement processes.