Group urges security enforcement for chemical sites
Mar 23, 2006 12:38 PM
The time has come for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to receive new authority to set and enforce federal risk-based security standards at all of America’s chemical facilities, according to the DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and American Chemistry Council (ACC) representatives.
“ACC members set the bar for private sector security programs through our Responsible Care Security Code, investing nearly $3 billion since 9-11 enhancing security at more than 2000 facilities,” said Jack N Gerard, ACC president and chief executive officer. "But we don’t represent everyone. It’s time to give DHS the regulatory authority that will ensure the entire chemical sector, a critical part of our national infrastructure, is protected from terrorist attack.”
The group discussed the issue at a forum March 21 hosted by George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute and ACC.
"I want to challenge Congress to take the steps this year to enact a sensible bill that will allow us to complete the process across the entire spectrum of this sector of getting the chemical plant sector where it needs to be in terms of national security,” Chertoff said.
He identified three elements that should be part of any legislation: prioritizing and managing the highest risks; not micromanaging the private sector and allowing companies to identify the best ways to achieve performance standards; and rewarding those who have taken steps on a voluntary basis and not penalizing good corporate citizens.
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