Engineering News

Federal Regulations Raise the Bar for Security for All of the Nation's Essential Chemical Facilities
Tuesday July 24, 12:46 pm ET

ARLINGTON, Va., July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewwire/ -- The effort to safeguard the nation's "high-risk" chemical facilities continues to move forward as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implements comprehensive federal regulations. Only a month into the new program, DHS personnel have already begun visiting a cross section of chemical facilities and working with these companies to accelerate the implementation of the new requirements.

"While our members continue to build on the more than $4.4 billion they have already invested upgrading security as part of the ACC's Responsible Care® Security Code, the new security regulations will raise the bar for protecting all of the nation's chemical facilities," said Jack N. Gerard, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council.

For the first time, a federal agency is authorized to enforce national risk-based security regulations utilizing nineteen categories of performance standards to ensure that chemical facilities assess vulnerabilities and implement detailed plans to address them. Equally important, DHS has clear authority to inspect these facilities and apply strong penalties, including facility shutdowns, for those that fail to act.

While DHS has not yet finalized "Appendix A" to the rules, which will determine exactly which facilities they cover, many ACC member companies are not waiting and instead are registering with DHS, gathering data and completing the DHS screening process at their facilities. And ACC is actively reaching out to explain the new requirements to hundreds of companies in and outside of its membership, sponsoring its own "Chemsecure" workshop in April and co-sponsoring a second workshop, the "Chemical Sector Security Summit," last month.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $635 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

Source: American Chemistry Council

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