Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Renewal Bill Sets Benchmarks for U.S. Chemical-Security Initiative Renewal Bill Sets Benchmarks for U.S. Chemical-Security Initiative

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Global Security Newswire

Renewal Bill Sets Benchmarks for U.S. Chemical-Security Initiative

Smoke rises from a 2011 fire at a chemical processing plant in Waxahachie, Texas. U.S. House legislation introduced last Thursday would extend a Homeland Security Department chemical-security program for two years and establish new requirements for the initiative.(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

photo of Diane Barnes
February 10, 2014

A U.S. bill introduced late last week would renew the Homeland Security Department’s chemical-security initiative for two years and set benchmarks for the effort.

The legislation offered by Representative Patrick Meehan (R-Penn.) would allow for "automatic re-approval" of alternative security plans under the Chemical Facility Antiterrorism Standards initiative, which aims to reduce the risk of sabotage at sites handling potentially dangerous chemicals. The proposal also would allow the Homeland Security secretary to permit outside audits and compliance checks of chemical sites, according to a House Homeland Security Committee press release.

The program has faced criticism from lawmakers in recent years for its slow assessment of site-protection plans, as well as a multitude of other management issues.

 

The new legislation would seek to prevent facilities from falling "off the grid" of oversight by requiring the Homeland Security Department to implement a "workable" system for categorizing relative levels of risk for catastrophe posed by various sites, the committee statement says. It adds that the bill directs the department to take related steps with input from agencies and private entities at state and local levels.

The Homeland Security Secretary would have to "confirm progress" on the matter within 18 months, the press release says.

"This bipartisan legislation takes meaningful, prudent steps toward strengthening the security of our chemical facilities and it sends a message to both industry and the Obama administration that Congress is serious about addressing the vulnerability of our chemical sector to terrorist attack," Meehan said in released remarks. He chairs the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.

The bill's backers include House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), as well as Representatives Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Gene Green (D-Texas). Its other co-sponsors are Representatives Peter King (R-N.Y.), who chairs the homeland security panel's Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee, and Candice Miller (R-Mich.), who chairs the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee.

The Homeland Security Committee has introduced legislation in the past to re-authorize the chemical-security initiative, but the proposals did not advance in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which shares jurisdiction over the program.

This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

Job Board
Search Jobs
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Product Manager - Chemical Development and Supply - Tulsa, OK
American Society of Civil Engineers | Tulsa, OK
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Business Development Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus