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SOCMA Welcomes Senate Introduction of Chemical Facility Security Reauthorization Act

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) welcomed the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Senate that would reauthorize chemical facility security standards, allowing chemical companies across the country to continue making important investments to safeguard themselves against a potential terrorist attack.

The legislation, known as the Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act, was introduced today by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), together with Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and would extend the current chemical security standards until 2015.

“One of our nation’s greatest vulnerabilities is the threat of a terrorist attack against a chemical facility,” said Senator Collins, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “The Department of Homeland Security has done a remarkable job developing a comprehensive chemical security program. This industry is vital to our country’s economy and important to advancements and innovations in critical fields such as science, technology, agriculture, medicine, and manufacturing, but it can also be a dangerous threat in the event of a terrorist attack. That is why it is critical that we enable the Department to continue this important work. The legislation passed by the House of Representatives would unwisely bring this progress to a screeching halt.”

“The bipartisan leadership shown by these four senators is precisely what our nation needs when it comes to securing the homeland,” said Bill Allmond, SOCMA’s vice president of government relations and ChemStewards. “We applaud them for ensuring the continuation of the comprehensive Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act Standards. We hope this bill is the start of a new beginning toward a bipartisan solution to a permanent chemical security law."
 
In November, the House of Representatives passed the Chemical and Water Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2868), which included a controversial product substitution mandate in a misguided attempt to safeguard chemical facilities against terrorism. SOCMA has long opposed efforts to impose overreaching standards such as inherently safer technology (IST) on small businesses.
 
For information about SOCMA’s position on IST and to read the Five Things About Chemical Site Security That Nobody is Discussing, visit www.socma.com/ist.

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