House Rep. Charles Dent (R-PA) has introduced a new House bill H.R. 5186, the Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act of 2010. The bill, which would continue CFATS legislation as is through 2015, has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and to the Committee on Homeland Security.
The new bill also includes the following three provisions:
Establish a Chemical Security Training program -It would set up a voluntary broad-based training program to increase awareness, performance and management and planning using a variety of methods. It includes standardized performance measures and incorporates educating people in neighborhoods around chemical facilities to observe and report security risks.
Develop a voluntary Chemical Exercise program -This would set up a program for periodic, voluntary joint security exercises at chemical facilities to evaluate capabilities to prevent, prepare for, mitigate against, respond and recover from acts of terrorism, natural disasters andother emergencies at chemical facilities.
Authorization of appropriations - Provides funding for the provisions in the bill.
These are the same provisions found in the Senate bill S.2996 of the same name introduced in February by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who sits on Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Remember, in November 2009 the House passed H.R. 2868, the Chemical and Water Security Act of 2009. This legislation would make CFATS permanent and contains a provision for IST (Inherently Safer Technologies). It would also require water and waste water treatment facilities to submit to a security regime similar to that of CFATS. The legislation has also been sent to the Senate.
The Dent bill (H.R. 5186) is a companion bill to the Senate bill (S. 2996). Companion bills allow for simultaneous consideration of the measure in both houses. Although the Dent bill has not received much attention in the media, it has received attention from bloggers. It probably has gone unnoticed because there are so many other things on the front burner for Congress including fall elections. Most industry watchers believe no vote will take place on any of these bills during this congressional session. For now, we will all have to wait and see.
Ryan Loughin is Director of Petrochemical & Energy Solutions for the Advanced Integration division of ADT- www.adtbusiness.com/petrochem. He provides security education to CFATS and MTSA-affected companies and is a member of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Associates (SOCMA), Energy Security Council (ESC) and American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Loughin has also completed multiple levels of CVI Authorized User training (Chemical-Terrorism Vulnerability Information) which was authored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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