28 June 2004 19:31 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--An election-year advocacy group that includes former ?xml:namespace>
The group, Environment2004, which includes former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Carol Browner, issued a report today charging that the Bush administration’s environmental record has put national security at risk and weakened
In its 90-page report, the group took aim at the administration for relying on voluntary efforts by the US chemical industry to secure its facilities. The White House, said the report, has failed to set federal standards, document security efforts or enforce measures to secure vulnerable chemical plants.?xml:namespace>
“Despite evidence from the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] that al-Qaeda could be planning to target chemical facilities,” the Environment2004 report said, “the Bush administration blocked the EPA from implementing a plan to evaluate safety procedure
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and other chemical industry trade groups have argued that security incentives through industry-run programs such as “Responsible Care” have adequately secured the most vulnerable chemical facilities.
Neither the ACC nor the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) could be reached for immediate comment on the Environment2004 allegations.
The Environment2004 group cited a General Accounting Office (GAO) report in 2003 that warned that a terrorist attack at any one of more than 100
Further, Environment2004 criticizes the administration for thwarting a bill introduced by Senator Jon Corzine (Democrat-New Jersey) that would require some 15 000 chemical plants to submit detailed security assessment
The Corzine bill has never been allowed by Republican leaders to reach the Senate floor for a final vote. Environment2004 charges that the bill was killed a
Environment2004 also noted that Fred Webber, former ACC president and a major Bush campaign contributor, was instrumental in recruiting more than 25 chemical industry executives to participate in Bush fundraisers.
The accusations come as the US chemical industry gathers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania today and tomorrow for its second annual Chemical Security Summit.
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