Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) president and CEO Lawrence D. Sloan issued a letter to U.S. Senate lawmakers urging them to pass legislation providing a multiyear extension of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.
The bill, H.R. 4007, already passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year with bipartisan support. The same bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs last month and awaits consideration on the Senate floor.
In the letter, Sloan reminds senators that the specialty chemical industry needs the regulatory certainty a long-term CFATS extension provides. “Regulated manufacturers are investing millions of dollars in capital and personnel resources to ensure their facilities are safe against terrorist attacks,” Sloan said. “Passage of H.R. 4007 will ensure that these expenditures today will be relevant for the purposes of complying with the CFATS program tomorrow.”
More than 80 percent of SOCMA member companies are considered small businesses. Like many American small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the money spent on regulatory compliance can add up quickly and lead to a large impact on how that company allocates its resources.
SOCMA remains at the forefront of the battle for long-term CFATS authorization, having participated in numerous congressional hearings and collaborating directly with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on measuring the effectiveness of the program as well as identifying ways to improve.
There is clear evidence that the CFATS program is driving facilities to reduce inherent hazards. Since the program was launched in 2007, more than 3000 facilities have changed processes or inventories that have enabled them to screen out of the program. SOCMA remains hopeful the Senate will use its final days in session to pass H.R. 4007.
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