ACC Encouraged by Congressional Effort to Make Chemical Security Regulations Permanent

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing today on the "Chemical Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008." ACC supported legislation granting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to issue federal chemical security regulations, and worked closely with Congress and DHS to ensure that effective rules were issued in 2007 covering all of the nation's chemical facilities.

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

"We're encouraged by the efforts of Chairman Thompson and the Committee to make permanent the chemical security regulations issued by DHS last year. The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) implement a smart and aggressive approach to both securing and protecting the economic viability of this essential part of the nation's infrastructure.

"These risked based performance standards can serve as an effective and valuable blueprint for Congress as it moves forward to make the federal chemical security program permanent. Under the direction of DHS, more than 30,000 facilities that use or store chemicals are moving swiftly by investing significant resources to meet the stringent requirements of CFATS.

"DHS estimates it will cost facilities more than $8 billion in additional enhancements to meet these stringent requirements over the next eight years. To date, ACC members have set the standard by investing more than $5 billion to enhance security through ACC's Responsible Care(R) Security Code.

"While we share the same goal of establishing permanent chemical security regulations, we need to be sure the draft legislation being considered by the Committee will not undermine the important work that is already underway. We look forward to working with the Committee and Congress as they continue their oversight of this critical program."

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