06 July 2005 22:31 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Wednesday that using a ?xml:namespace>
A report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) indicated at least 105 facilities with substantial amounts of toxic and flammable chemicals are near US communities with populations of 1m or more.
Representative Edward Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts) released the report today and used it to support his claim that US leaders have failed to tackle the threat posed by possible terrorism attacks on chemical facilities.
The report used data supplied by the chemical industry to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA requires chemical facilities to submit risk management plans (RMPs) that determine the “worst case scenario release from a single chemical process, using EPA criteria and guidelines.”
ACC spokesperson Kate McGloon said RMPs were meant to improve emergency response planning and communications in communities with chemical facilities.
“RMP is good data but it was not designed with security issues in mind,” McGloon said.
The RMP data "is not intended to accurately predict the results of any single chemical release, even a worst case one," McGloon said. "Furthermore, the memorandum provides no new information about chemical plant security."
McGloon would not comment on Markey’s statements but said RMP data has been misused in the past.
“We think it has been used to scare people,” she said.
McGloon added the ACC supports the RMP programme and also supports additional legislation to beef up risk-based security programmes for the chemical industry.
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