25 June 2002 19:45 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a draft strategic plan to address homeland security, including the protection of the nation's chemical plants, an official said Tuesday.
The plan, which will be "folded into a bigger government-wide document" for review by the White House, has four main security goals, according to Claudia McMurray, chief of staff for EPA Deputy Administrator Linda Fisher.
McMurray told the Air & Waste Management Association's annual conference that the goals include: protecting critical infrastructure, such as facilities that manufacture or store toxic chemicals; improving EPA's emergency preparedness and response capabilities; improving information gathering and sharing; and, protecting EPA personnel and infrastructure in the event of a terrorist attack.
The agency is working to protect critical infrastructure by "supporting increased security" at entities such as chemical plants and drinking water facilities, McMurray said.
She said the EPA is drawing on the expertise and assistance of both public and private partners, and plans to provide "technical support to industry" as companies implement measures to enhance security.
The EPA is expected to soon release a set of principles for chemical plants to assess vulnerabilities to terrorist or other criminal acts. The agency has not said whether the principles will be issued as mandatory regulations or voluntary guidance.
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