Chemical Facility Dangers

The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infastructure Protection and Cybersecurity will meet tomorrow to discuss the proposed Chemical Facility Security Act (H.R. 1562). This legislation aims to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate certain chemical substances and manufacturers as being vulnerable to use in a terrorist attack or subject to attack.

The Center for American Progress, recently released a report, "Preventing Toxic Terrorism: How Some Chemical Facilities Are Removing Danger to American Communities," which notes that more than 38 million Americans are substantially safer because of recent safety and security improvements at over 280 chemical facilities in 47 states. The report also shows that millions more Americans can be taken out of harm’s way if similar improvements are made at other facilities.

On June 28, Center for American Progress senior fellow Philip J. Crowley emphasized to the House Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection and Cybersecurity that hazardous chemical facilities without adequate protection can become weapons of mass destruction. In order to diminish this risk, the government must rapidly accelerate the pace of change 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.

The Chemical Facility Security Act takes important steps towards ensuring the safety of Americans against the dangers of hazardous chemicals and the vulnerability of the facilities that manufacture and store them. We urge the House Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infastructure Protection and Cybersecurity to consider today the reports and testimony that it has heard from the Center for American Progress on this issue and take steps necessary to safeguarding America.

Read Philip J. Crowley's testimonies to Congress on this subject:

For details on the Center’s chemical safety proposals, see:

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