INSIDE VIEW: Congress Deserves Credit on Chemical Security

11 May 2011 00:14  [Source: ICIS news]

Editor’s note: This article is an opinion piece and the views expressed are those of the author and do not represent those of ICIS.

By Cal Dooley
President and CEO
American Chemistry Council

We witnessed a remarkable national security achievement with the demise of Osama bin Laden. The men and women in our intelligence services and military deserve tremendous credit for their tireless effort and commitment. 

Despite all of their courage, our men and women in the military and intelligence services can’t be expected do it all alone. Protecting our communities demands a collective effort from every corner of our nation.

The business of chemistry is a vital part of our economy and central to our way of life.  Our nation depends on chemicals every day to form the building blocks and processes necessary for safe drinking water, a plentiful food supply, life-saving medicines and clean energy.

In recognition of their critical role and the need to protect their employees and communities, the members of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) have made security a top priority.  They have invested more than $8.4bn since 9/11 to enhance security at their facilities through ACC’s Responsible Care® Security Code. 

 They also helped lead the charge in Congress to establish a comprehensive federal chemical security program, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).  While more work is needed to fully implement the programme, thousands of chemical facilities have enacted a wide range of security measures under CFATS. 

ACC is working with Congress to extend this law so that we can continue to enhance chemical security under this ground-breaking regulatory programme.  Thanks to the leadership of Senator Susan Collins and Congressmen Gene Green, Tim Murphy, Dan Lungren and John Shimkus, we’re making significant progress to ensure the nation can continue to benefit from CFATS.

This week, chemical security professionals are meeting in New Orleans at ACC’s ChemSecure conference to discuss how they can work together to make CFATS and other regulations even more successful.  They will also discuss important cyber security programmes like “The Roadmap to Securing Control Systems in the Chemical Sector,” which go beyond current regulatory requirements. 

It’s unlikely that CFATS or ChemSecure will generate headlines or capture the attention of the American public.  However, it will advance the effort to secure chemical facilities, which should give everyone some peace of mind. 

All of this is being accomplished thanks to the hard work of those in industry, Congress and the Administration who are serious about chemical security.  They share a common goal of working together to keep our country safe and secure.  They also understand that chemicals are the foundation for America’s economy, innovation, and our way of life.  With this goal squarely in mind, ACC and its members are committed to doing their part.

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