Chem Plant Defense, For Real

Y'know, I'm beginning to like this Chertoff guy...

Voluntary efforts to protect chemical plants from terrorist attacks are inadequate, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has concluded, and Congress should adopt federal standards to do so...chemplant.jpgThe department envisions a federally enforced scale of protective steps, with the greatest security restrictions imposed on plants deemed the most vulnerable to attack, and on those where a release of chemicals would pose the greatest danger to surrounding communities. [This is similar to Chertoff's seemingly common-sense approach to homeland security overall -- ed.]Senator Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who is chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee... said Tuesday that the department's decision was a shift for the Bush administration."For the first time," Ms. Collins said, "the administration is stating clearly before Congress that current laws are not adequate to the task of improving security of chemical plants. Federal legislation is needed..."After the Sept. 11 attacks, Tom Ridge, as homeland security adviser to President Bush, and Christine Todd Whitman, then administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, pushed for chemical plant safety rules. But the effort stalled, Ms. Whitman has said, after industry objections.Instead, the industry, led by the American Chemistry Council, set up a voluntary system that encouraged plant owners to conduct self-assessments and take steps to eliminate vulnerabilities: installing security cameras, fences, barriers or other means of controlling access.But only 1,100 or so of the 15,000 plants with large amounts of dangerous chemicals participated in the voluntary program, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
Show Full Article

Related Topics


Most Popular Military News

Fox News - Military and Technology