23 April 2003 20:27 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--The US Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) may play a role in implementing final legislation for anti-terrorism security measures at chemical plants, CSB officials said here.
CSB chief operating officer Charles Jeffress told CNI that the CSB might be called upon to help implement wide-ranging anti-terrorism measures targeted for chemicals production and storage sites in two bills now working their way through Congress.
Depending on which bill prevails on the Hill, Jeffress noted that CSB could be called upon to provide technical assistance to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if lawmakers designate EPA as the lead agency in implementing congressionally mandated anti-terrorism measures.
One bill pending in Congress would make EPA the chief implementing agency. The other measure, favoured by the chemical industry and the White House, would pick the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement the site security plan.
If EPA is chosen by Congress to do the job, Jeffress said CSB would likely play a small role in helping to shape the regulations.
But CSB’s larger role would come, he said, in providing technical assistance to those chemical firms and others who have difficulty meeting the new site security rules.
Such an expanded role would be beyond the staff strength of the CSB’s 40-person office in Washington, Jeffress said. If the site security role falls to CSB, he said, "I would ask for additional resources."
Jeffress said that pending completion of the legislation, he could not estimate how many additional staff personnel the CSB might need for such a role.
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