The Senate voted 84-6 on July 9 to include a provision in the fiscal year 2010 appropriations bill to extend the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), which is set to expire in three months.
“As we have argued for the past several months, Congress needs to address the October 2009 CFATS deadline expeditiously,” said Bill Allmond, vice president of government relations and ChemStewards. “Because the House appears, so far, to be more interested in passing controversial amendments like inherently safer technology (IST) to the existing regulations rather than make the rules permanent, this extension is the most responsible action.”
Allmond said that the extension will give Congress the time necessary to more carefully consider provisions like IST and citizen suits preferred by the House. SOCMA opposes these provisions outright and urges the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which will consider legislation later this month, to take the Senate’s lead and simply pass a bill extending CFATS for one year.
The Senate action comes on the heels of a public announcement at the Chemical Sector Security Summit earlier this month when a senior staffer for Senator Joseph Lieberman, Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, stated that reauthorization of CFATS was unlikely this year.
For more information about SOCMA’s position on chemical security, please visit www.socma.com/ist.