How To Reach C&ENACS Membership Number
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September 30, 2002
Volume 80, Number 39
CENEAR 80 39 p. 8
ISSN 0009-2347


GOVERNMENT

EPA BACKS SECURITY BILL
Whitman says White House wants stand-alone chemical plant legislation

JEFF JOHNSON

Although the Bush Administration is concerned about terrorists attacking chemical plants, it opposes including provisions addressing this problem in legislation to create a Cabinet-level Homeland Security Department, EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman told a Senate hearing last week.

Instead, she said, the Administration favors stand-alone site security legislation because it does not want enactment of the homeland security bill delayed.

Whitman told C&EN that such legislation could be similar to a security plan put forward by the American Chemistry Council . That plan is too narrow, however, since it covers only ACC members, or about 7% of some 15,000 facilities that are large chemical users and makers, she said.

But Whitman also told C&EN that any Administration bill would recognize a member’s compliance with ACC’s security plan as sufficient.

Whitman expressed her views at the hearing in response to questions from Sen. Jon S. Corzine (D-N.J.), author of a security bill now on the Senate floor. It, too, requires chemical companies to make plants secure but also calls for risk reduction efforts. The bill is opposed by ACC and some senators (C&EN, Sept. 23, page 15). But Corzine said he still intends to offer his bill as an amendment to the homeland bill or other legislation.

Although Whitman said that EPA has been working with senators on legislation, staff of Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), leader of the opposition to Corzine’s bill, say they’ve yet to see Administration bill language.

Meanwhile, the homeland security bill remains blocked on the Senate floor over provisions that would allow the President to restrict union membership for security reasons. Senators have filed some 90 amendments that may be brought to the floor if the impasse is broken.



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Copyright © 2002 American Chemical Society



 
Related Stories
Senate Debates Plant Security
[C&EN, Sept. 23, 2002]

Homeland Security
[C&EN, Sept. 9, 2002]

CHEMICAL SITE SECURITY PLAN
[C&EN, Aug. 12, 2002]

SEVENTH CODE
[C&EN, Apr. 22, 2002]

SENATE PANEL OKS SECURITY BILL
[C&EN, Jul. 29, 2002]

ANTITERRORISM AT THE PLANT GATE
[C&EN, Nov. 26, 2001]

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