Distributors oppose changes in US security rules

13 March 2008 22:02  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS news)--Congress should allow the current chemical plant security rules to be fully implemented and evaluated before making changes, the president of a US distributors group said on Thursday.

NACD supports pending legislation to make permanent the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) existing but temporary authority to implement the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), said National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) president Chris Jahn.

However, changes to the programme included in a new reauthorisation bill are premature and Congress should allow the CFATS to be fully implemented and evaluated before revising requirements, Jahn said.

“Let’s not change rules in the middle of the game,” Jahn told ICIS Chemical Business. “The law hasn’t even been fully implemented yet,” he added.

It may be a number of years before everyone is on the same page regarding chemical security, Jahn said, but NACD members need to prepare for potential regulation.

The association has been establishing partnerships with other industry groups, as well as DHS, to ease this process. “Every channel or opportunity we have, we use…to reach our members,” said Jahn.

Meanwhile, NACD has been putting together its own security vulnerability assessment for chemical companies rated from Tier 1 (the highest risk) to Tier 4 (the lowest) under CFATS. The assessment will be specifically designed for chemical distribution as opposed to manufacturing.

A draft of the assessment has been sent to the New York City-based Center for Chemical Process Safety for review, and if approved, it will be reviewed by DHS.

By: Ivan Lerner
+1 713 525 2653

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