House Bill Important First Step Toward Permanent Chemical Security Regulations

ARLINGTON, Va., March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security approved the "Chemical Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008." ACC continues to be a strong proponent for federal chemical security regulations and our members have set the standard by voluntarily investing more than $5 billion to enhance security through ACC's Responsible Care(R) Security Code.

American Chemistry Council President & CEO Jack N. Gerard issued the following statement:

"The chemical security bill passed by the House Committee on Homeland Security is an important first step toward establishing a permanent federal regulatory framework for chemical security.

"We're pleased to see that the bill reflects many of the security measures already being implemented under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) issued last year by DHS. According to DHS estimates, facilities will need to invest more than $8 billion in additional human, physical and cyber security resources to meet the stringent security requirements under CFATS.

"Our primary concern however is that certain provisions in the bill will divert the focus away from security and instead, place DHS in the position of mandating changes to chemical processes and products. As witnesses pointed out at last week's hearing, these complex decisions should be kept in the hands of industry experts who must consider a host of factors, not just security, when evaluating such changes to avoid unintended consequences.

"We commend Chairman Thompson and the Committee on their efforts to provide a permanent framework for chemical security regulations, an issue that is of critical importance to our members. As this legislation moves forward, ACC remains committed to working with Congress to ensure effective federal regulations are in place to protect the nation's chemical facilities."

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care(R), common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. 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. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

SOURCE American Chemistry Council