27 June 2002 19:49 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--Senator Diane Feinstein (Democrat-California) may introduce chemical plant security legislation that would incorporate more input from industry than a pending bill that is strongly opposed by chemical manufacturers, CNI learned Thursday.
Congressional sources say a chemical plant security bill developed with industry input would have a greater chance of succeeding than the proposal by Senator John Corzine (Democrat-New Jersey).
The Corzine bill, which is supported by environmentalists, would require facilities that manufacture, store or use toxic substances to adopt inherently safer technologies to reduce hazards - such as switching to less toxic chemicals - and to then take steps to strengthen security.
Sources say Democratic leaders are concerned the Corzine bill will likely go nowhere and they would like to find an alternative measure more sensitive to industry's concerns.
A Feinstein staffer confirmed the senator is weighing the possibility of drafting chemical security legislation and said more information would be available soon.
Feinstein would be in a position to move such a bill as chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on technology, terrorism and governmental information.
The chemical industry has said that legislative requirements are unnecessary because it has moved aggressively on its own to address security concerns. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) recently added a security code to its Responsible Care program, which makes enhanced security a requirement for its 180 member companies.
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