Legislative Update: First 2011 Chemical Security Hearing to be Held on Friday
On Friday, February 11, the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, chaired by Representative Dan Lungren (R-CA) will hold the first chemical security hearing of the 112th Congress, “Preventing Chemical Terrorism: Building A Foundation of Security At Our Nation’s Chemical Facilities.” Witnesses will include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Dow Chemical, a chemical engineer, and a representative of a water company that adopted “inherently safer technologies” (IST). DHS’s current authority to regulate chemical facilities is set to expire on March 4, which is the expiration date for the continuing resolution (CR) funding the entire federal government. It is expected that the CR and the DHS chemical security authority will be extended. NACD has long-advocated a permanent reauthorization of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) with no changes to the program such as mandatory consideration and implementation of ISTs. There is more support for this approach in the 112th Congress than in the past. Friday’s hearing will set the stage for the 2011 debate.