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ACC's Durbin Tells Congress America Needs Permanent Chemical Facility Security Regulations

June 17, 2009
Marty Durbin, American Chemistry Council (ACC) vice president of federal affairs, testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security during a legislative hearing Tuesday on the “Chemical Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009.” ACC member companies fully recognize that more work needs to be done to continue protecting the nation’s chemical sector. More Congressional action is needed to make the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) permanent before they expire in October.

Durbin issued the following statement:

“We believe the ongoing implementation of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) demonstrates a smart and aggressive approach to both securing and protecting the economic viability of this essential part of the nation’s infrastructure. The legislation being considered by this committee represents an important step toward establishing permanent chemical security regulations.

“Security has long been a priority for our members and the chemical sector. To date, our members have invested $7.7 billion on facility security enhancements under ACC’s Responsible Care Security Code, a commitment that began long before Congress passed legislation in 2006. The effectiveness of the program has been broadly recognized as the gold standard for the industry and served as the model for state and local programs in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York.

“While we share the goal of establishing permanent chemical security regulations, we are concerned several provisions in the legislation as introduced could undermine the important work that is already underway. While we have strong views on these issues, we appreciate the willingness of both the House Homeland Security and the Energy & Commerce Committee to seek our input and consider our viewpoint. We have had constructive discussions and remain hopeful that our concerns can be addressed as the legislative process progresses.”