SOCMA Welcomes Extension of Chemical Security Rules

Newly introduced Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act does not include a requirement for inherently safer technologies.

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) welcomed the introduction of legislation that would reauthorize chemical facility security standards, thereby preserving the progress companies across the country have made toward safeguarding their facilities against attack.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), with Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), introduced the Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act, which would extend the current security standards until October 2015. The legislation is nearly identical to the amended version of a bill (S. 2996) Collins introduced last Congress and would create voluntary exercise/training and technical assistance programs. The bill would establish a best-practices clearinghouse for chemical facility security activities.

In introducing the bill on the Senate floor, Collins referenced SOCMA’s congressional testimony last year in which the association argued against altering CFATS by mandating Inherently Safer Technology (IST).

“We appreciate the leadership of Senator Collins in spearheading this legislative effort that would protect facilities against attack without impairing the industry’s ability to remain innovative,” said SOCMA Vice President of Government Relations Bill Allmond.

“SOCMA strongly supports extending the current standards without any significant programmatic changes to allow chemical facilities to fully comply,” said Allmond. “Without the assurance of a long-term authorization, companies run a risk of investing in costly activities today that might not satisfy regulatory standards tomorrow.”

SOCMA will work to rally congressional support for the bill and encourage its swift passage in the Senate. On April 13, SOCMA members will directly take their message to Capitol Hill and discuss their position with lawmakers and their staff during SOCMA Connect’s fourth Annual Washington Fly-in.

Source: SOCMA