Assessing Chemical Security

Philip J. Crowley, senior fellow and director of national defense and homeland security at the Center for American Progress, will testify Thursday before the House Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection and Cybersecurity on the need for a comprehensive approach to chemical security planning for the proposed Chemical Security Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (H.R.4999).

The Center has done extensive research in this critical arena and has presented specific policy suggestions to make America's infrastructure, including chemical facilities, more secure. Specifically, the Center has detailed how the adoption of inherently safer practices can reduce the risk of terrorism for millions of Americans. This requires risk elimination in addition to better physical security and risk mitigation.

Crowley will highlight the results of the Center's recent national chemical facility survey, which shows that risk assessments and security plans must take into account the manufacture, use, physical security, storage and transportation of dangerous substances. Where more secure alternatives — whether technologies, processes, or other steps — already exist, we have an obligation to remove as many chemical facilities and communities as possible from the terrorism target list.

As a former Air Force officer and National Security Council staff member and current security analyst, Crowley will emphasize that we must accelerate the pace of change in order to measurably reduce the risk of catastrophic terrorism to our society and economy. The government has the responsibility to achieve this goal by setting strong safety and security standards, identifying better alternatives, requiring needed security assessments and reporting, and creating incentives for the private sector and cities and states to take action.

Read Philip Crowley's testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:

For further information on the Center's research and analysis in this arena, please see the following link:

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.