ACC to Congress: Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Need Tweaking
American Chemistry Council Vice President of Federal Affairs Marty Durbin testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security during a legislative hearing Tuesday on the "Chemical Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009." ACC member companies fully recognize that more work needs to be done to continue protecting the nation's chemical sector, Durbin said, adding that Congress must take action to make the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) permanent before they expire this October.
The ongoing implementation of CFATS legislation is vital toward establishing permanent chemical security regulations and protecting the economic viability of companies engaged in the business of chemistry, Durbin said.
"Security has long been a priority for our members and the chemical sector. To date, our members have invested $7.7 billion on facility security enhancements under ACC's Responsible Care Security Code®, a commitment that began long before Congress passed legislation in 2006. The effectiveness of the program has been broadly recognized as the gold standard for the industry and served as the model for state and local programs in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York," Durbin said. "While we share the goal of establishing permanent chemical security regulations, we are concerned several provisions in the legislation as introduced could undermine the important work that is already underway. While we have strong views on these issues, we appreciate the willingness of both the House Homeland Security and the Energy & Commerce Committee to seek our input and consider our viewpoint. We have had constructive discussions and remain hopeful that our concerns can be addressed as the legislative process progresses."
ACC (www.americanchemistry.com) said it represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry, applying the science to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier, and safer. The business of chemistry is a $635 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. ACC noted chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development and that safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members. The council and its members have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure, it said.