- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
“A terrorist attack could expose more than one million people to a cloud of toxic chemicals,” Corzine said in reintroducing the bill in January. “In spite of this enormous risk, we have no federal security standards in place for chemical plants. Congress and the administration need to act swiftly to close this homeland security gap.”
Corzine’s bill would require EPA to work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to identify high-priority chemical plants based on the volume and toxicity of chemicals that the plants produce or store and their proximity to population centers. EPA and DHS would then develop regulations to require these “high-priority” chemical plants to conduct vulnerability assessments and to implement response plans that include security improvements and safer technologies. EPA and DHS would review the assessments and plans to ensure that they meet the new federal standards.
In the 107th Congress, the bill was passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee by a 19-0 vote last July 25. See corzine.senate.gov/press_office/.
In a related matter, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Center for Chemical Process Safety has published guidance for chemical facilities, “Guidelines for Analyzing and Managing the Security Vulnerabilities at Fixed Chemical Sites.” See www.aiche.org/ccpssecurity/.