ARLINGTON, VA - On March 6, 2008, the House Committee on Homeland Security approved the Chemical Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008. American Chemistry Council President and CEO Jack N. Gerard issued the following statement regarding the proposed regulations:

“The chemical security bill passed by the House Committee on Homeland Security is an important first step toward establishing a permanent federal regulatory framework for chemical security.

“We’re pleased to see that the bill reflects many of the security measures already being implemented under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) issued last year by DHS. According to DHS estimates, facilities will need to invest more than $8 billion in additional human, physical and cyber-security resources to meet the stringent security requirements under CFATS.

“Our primary concern, however, is that certain provisions in the bill will divert the focus away from security and instead place DHS in the position of mandating changes to chemical processes and products. As witnesses pointed out at last week’s hearing, these complex decisions should be kept in the hands of industry experts who must consider a host of factors, not just security, when evaluating such changes to avoid unintended consequences.

“We commend Chairman Thompson and the committee on their efforts to provide a permanent framework for chemical security regulations, an issue that is of critical importance to our members. As this legislation moves forward, ACC remains committed to working with Congress to ensure effective federal regulations are in place to protect the nation’s chemical facilities.”