NPRA: Do no harm
Jul 13, 2005 11:19 AM
Great care must be taken to do no harm in crafting any new federal security legislation that applies to refiners and petrochemical manufacturers, according to information from the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA).
Bob Slaughter, NPRA president, told a Senate committee July 13 that The existing security system put in place by refiners and petrochemical manufacturers is working well.
"Our industries have conducted security vulnerability assessments, prepared and implemented facility security plans, worked closely with key federal agencies and state and local law enforcement offices to exchange critical infrastructure information, held joint training excises simulating actual terrorist attacks, and have developed education programs featuring federal and state government officials with security expertise,” he said, speaking before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
NPRA is concerned that creating new chemical security legislation could negatively impact the industry’s relationship with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other security agencies which allows for informal exchanges vital to maintaining facility security.
Slaughter recommended that the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) be used as the model or template for any new security legislation.
“A MTSA-type regulatory program would include clear performance-based requirements, security vulnerability assessments, facility security plans, exercises, documentation, reporting procedures, audits, and protection for Sensitive Security Information,” he said.
NPRA also recommends:
•Federal legislation should continue existing Coast Guard jurisdiction over facility security, and authorize DHS to promulgate MTSA-type security requirements for chemical facilities not regulated by the Coast Guard.
•The legislation should avoid overlapping jurisdiction with other federal agencies by giving this federal program preemption over other federal or state programs.
•In those cases where facilities are only partially covered by MTSA, they should be given the option of submitting security plans to the Coast Guard where logistically appropriate.
•New legislation recognize and credit companies for the security programs already implemented.
•If background checks of employees and contract employees are required, NPRA urges the committee to direct DHS to define specific criteria for denying workers access to a facility. Companies conducting background checks should also be authorized to access and utilize government resources and databases.
•Federal legislation should require that DHS develop a risk-based approach to regulate chemicals and facilities.
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