Chemistry Council: Congress Must Not Delay Chemical Security Regulations

March 27, 2007
In one week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is obligated to issue landmark rules governing the security of chemical facilities and the president of the chemical industry's largest association is urging Congress to support the rules and stop debating amendments.

According to American Chemistry Council (ACC) President and CEO Jack N. Gerard, his group “led the charge for federal chemical security legislation, and after more than 5 years, Congress finally passed legislation last October granting DHS the authority to regulate chemical security.”

He pointed out that DHS was given only 6 months to issue rules and is within one week of completing this rulemaking.

“Changing the underlying statute this late in the game can only derail this process and frustrate the goal of securing all of the nation's high-risk chemical facilities. Congress should support these regulations, not undermine the DHS rules before they are even implemented,” Gerard insisted.

“If Congress meddles with the law, chemical facilities that are already implementing stringent security measures will be left in limbo about their regulatory obligations,” he added. “The nation will again question why Congress continues to debate this issue instead of allowing DHS to do its job and enhance security at chemical facilities.”

Like other nationally identified critical infrastructure, such as airlines and nuclear plants, Gerard said chemical facilities need a uniform security strategy that crosses state borders and improves protection.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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