Tag: Chemical facility anti-terrorism standards

Regulation

Greenpeace and allies again attack Koch Industries

Last week saw the release of two reports criticizing Koch Industries for its opposition to heavy-handed regulation of the chemical industry. Greenpeace released a report with highly charged words in its title: "Toxic Koch: Keeping Americans at Risk of a Poison Gas Disaster." Other articles commenting on this were highly sensational, such as this example: "Do the Koch Brothers Want a Toxic Disaster?" Koch Industries has responded to these articles in a response on KochFacts.com website. Among many facts, we can see that Koch companies have received 386 safety awards and 28 environmental awards just since President Obama took office. Much of the Greenpeace report criticized Koch for its opposition to H.R. 2868, the Chemical and Water Security Act of 2009. Koch and most of the chemical...
Regulation

Chemical security legislation update

The United States Congress is considering legislation to improve the safety of chemical plants. While a noble goal, this regulation has the potential to actually decrease chemical plant safety while increasing costs and destroying jobs at the same time. Currently the proposed legislation is in a senate committee. The following summary of chemical security legislation reports that Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, may introduce a new bill on this topic. Debate over Chemical Plant Security Moves to the Senate By Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., April 21, 2010 Following the House’s passage of a chemical plant security bill last November, the Senate has begun to turn its attention to the issue, with subcommittee hearings held in March and multiple bills either proposed or ...
Regulation

Chemical safety bill testimony heard

This week the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs heard testimony on S.2996, titled "Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act of 2010." This bill would extend the effective date of current chemical security regulations until 2015. In the House of Representatives, a bill has passed that contains provisions for Inherently Safer Technology (IST). The Senate bill does not contain these provisions. IST regulations seek to force companies to replace existing methods and raw materials with those deemed to be safer. But the legislation may not produce its intended effect. Stephen Poorman of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates stated in his written testimony: "Inherent safety is a superficially simple but truthfully ve...
Regulation

Citizen lawsuits won’t enhance chemical safety

Legislation currently under consideration in Congress will allow citizens to sue the Department of Homeland Security if they believe that chemical plants are not in compliance with new regulations. The new regulations -- IST, or Inherently Safer Technology -- are troubling enough, in that they may actually work against their stated goal of safety. Allowing citizens to bring lawsuits based on these regulations will create many problems. In a Washington Times piece, two Washington lawmakers explain the risks and dangers that this law will bring about: "... civil lawsuits would necessitate DHS diverting its limited resources from its core mission -- protecting American lives from terrorists." "... civil lawsuits, and the discovery process involved, could very well lead to the publi...
Regulation

Chemical plant security should be based on technology, not politics

As Congress considers legislation that would force our nation's chemical plants to make expensive changes in their processes and technologies, we need to make sure that we don't cripple our economy just to appease a small group of environmental activists -- all in the name of purportedly greater safety. That's the danger we face from IST, or Inherently Safer Technology. What could be wrong with a law that contains such a noble goal as safety? It has to do with the complexity of a modern industrial economy providing the backdrop on which unintended consequences develop. A recent article in The Hill explains: IST is governed by the laws of physics and engineering, not the laws of politics and emotion. A reduction in hazard will result in a reduction in risk if, and only if, that hazard...
Regulation

Chemical security bill passes committee

On Tuesday, the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee passed H.R. 2868, the "Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009." This bill contains provisions for Inherently Safer Technology (IST). These regulations seek to force companies to replace existing methods and raw materials with those deemed to be safer. But the legislation may not produce its intended effect. Congressional testimony found that this could actually increase risk to the businesses that the bill intends to protect. The problem, as with much government regulation, lies in the unintended consequences. The article Inherently Safer Technology (IST) not always that explains how these regulations can work to increase the real danger that Americans might face. In this exa...
Regulation

Good news on chemical security

There's been some good news from Congress recently about Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, or CFATS. The National Association of Manufacturers reports: The Senate last week passed H.R. 2892, the Department of Homeland Security's appropriations bill, which included a one-year extension of department’s authority over security for chemical facilities potentially threatened by terrorist attacks. This one-year extension helps continue the progress that the agency and chemical industry have made in implementing safety and security regulations adopted in 2007, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards. (CFATS). The House has also passed a one-year extension, and the approach is far superior to the permanent legislation passed by the House Homeland Security Committee, H....
Regulation

Inherently Safer Technology (IST) not always that

Currently Congress is considering new regulations for chemical plants -- Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards or CFATS -- that will, if enacted, require substitution of technologies believed to be less vulnerable to terrorist attack. These regulations would affect facilities in addition to those we usually picture when thinking of chemical plants. The Wichita water treatment plant, for example, could be affected. The problem is that chemical manufacturing and processing is a complicated matter, and mandates that force the use of one chemical instead of another can have consequences that lead to less safety. An example of this may be found in the study Petroleum Refiners & Inherently Safer Technology: The Realities of Hydrofluoric and Sulfuric Acid. (I recommend reading the ...
Regulation

Homeland Security may impose new regulations on agriculture

At the Kansas Meadowlark, there's some video about Chemical facility anti-terrorism standards. The video is from recent Congressional hearings, and is valuable for its explanation of Inherently Safer Technologies, or IST. Click on Homeland Security may impose new regulations on agriculture for the video and commentary.
Politics

Articles of interest

Chemical security, national health care, global warming cost, school order. Extending security standards better decision A letter in the Montgomery Advertiser makes the case for extending the present Chemical facility anti-terrorism standards. Legislation is under consideration that would give government the ability to regulate processes and technologies. "Although we believe CFATS should be reauthorized and made permanent, we do not support current draft legislation that replaces CFATS and extends the power of the DHS to dictate how a product is made. Decisions pertaining to feedstocks, processes and products should be left to the engineers and safety experts at local facilities." The Stealth Single-Payer Agenda George F. Will's column explains that while President Obama a...
Regulation

In the world of chemical security, the real world

A post on a blog sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers explains a few of the problems with the proposed Chemical facility anti-terrorism standards legislation now making its way through Congress. One of the issues mentioned in the post In the World of Chemical Security, the Real World is the threat of excessive litigation: "But there are problems with the proposals, as he makes clear. He cites the 'private right of action,' i.e., encouraging litigation against companies as a parallel regulatory process." Unlike environmental statutes, CFATS is not a series of prescriptive statutory measures with which compliance is mandatory, like emission standards or discharge limitations, and therefore it is much more difficult for an outsider -- whether it be a citizen or judg...
Regulation

Current chemical security regulations should be reauthorized

Currently two committees in the United States House of Representatives are considering legislation that would harm a vital American industry. This industry is already regulated, and the regulations have accomplished their goal. As explained by the Texas Chemical Council: The current chemical security regulations are enforced by the Department of Homeland Security, which has clear authority to inspect facilities and apply strong penalties for non-compliance. Since the regulations have been in place, not one incident as a result of terrorism has occurred. These regulations have been effective. Removing the sunset date and making the chemical security regulations permanent would provide the certainty needed to both protect citizens and support our nation’s economic recovery. The bill...
Regulation

Chemical security act would harm business, farmers

The Kansas Meadowlark contributes coverage about a chemical security law that promises to overburden an important American industry. Even the family farm is at risk. That's the operative word -- risk. As has been reported, Congressional testimony found that the legislation could actually increase risk to the businesses that the bill intends to protect. An important point of this article is the involvement of the left-wing Center for American Progress. Coverage of this issue on this blog is available by clicking on Chemical facility anti-terrorism standards. To read the coverage at the Kansas Meadowlark, click on Do we want Homeland Security telling businesses how to run their businesses? Telling farmers how to farm?
Regulation

Chemical security act could affect Wichita water rates

The United States Congress is considering legislation that aims to increase the security of America's chemical industry to terrorism threats. The legislation, if passed, would require chemical companies to substitute government-mandated processes and technology for their current processes. The post Chemical security law goes beyond protection explains more about this legislation. Even places that we might not consider to be "chemical plants" could fall under this act. The Center for American Progress -- described by Wikipedia as "a liberal political policy research and advocacy organization," an understatement if there ever was one -- has produced a report titled Chemical Security 101: What You Don’t Have Can’t Leak, or Be Blown Up by Terrorists. The Wichita Water Treatment Plant ...
Politics

Let representatives know about Chemical Facility Antiterrorism Act

As reported in this website, Congress is considering legislation that threatens to harm the American economy, while at the same time accomplishing little or none of its stated goals. Articles like Chemical Facility Security Authorization Act threatens American economy give more detail. It's important to let your elected representatives in Washington know how harmful this proposed law will be to a vital American industry. An easy way to let them know is by clicking on this link: Ask Your Legislator to Oppose the Chemical Facility Antiterrorism Act. This will take you to a form where you fill in your name and address. The site will determine who are your representatives and show you the letter it has created. Then, you can choose to have the site send it for you, or you can print i...
Politics

Chemical facilities act would increase cost, not safety

Update: Let your elected representatives in Washington know about this legislation. Send them a message by clicking here. As reported earlier, the United States Congress is considering legislation -- the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards -- that will increase regulation on chemical plants and facilities. Even the Wichita Water Works is on a list of facilities that would possibly be required to undergo expensive modifications if this new law passes. (See Chemical security law goes beyond protection) The proposed legislation, however, would extend government control into another of our nation’s most important industries. It would require companies to change their manufacturing processes and substitute products in the name of safety. But the legislation may not produce its i...
Environment

Chemical Facility Security Authorization Act threatens American economy

Update: Let your elected representatives in Washington know about this legislation. Send them a message by clicking here. Earlier this week I reported on legislation being considered by Congress that would, under the lofty goal of national security, impose a huge burden on the American chemical industry. (Chemical security law goes beyond protection) Our agricultural industries need to be concerned, too. The article Homeland Security To Regulate Farm and Ranch Inputs? details some of the harm that excessive government interference will cause. For example, the legislation "proposes to mandate the government to take a large measure of control over products and processes in the chemical industry, much like it has taken over leadership, compensation and control functions at some banks...
Politics

Chemical security law goes beyond protection

Congress is about to consider legislation that, on the surface, seems like it implements an important goal. Its name -- Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards -- suggests something that no one could oppose. The proposed legislation, however, would extend government control into another of our nation's most important industries. It would require companies to change their manufacturing processes and substitute products in the name of safety. But the legislation may not produce its intended effect. As the letter below states: "Congressional testimony found that this could actually increase risk to the businesses that the bill intends to protect." If you need to know just how bad this bill is, consider that the Center for American Progress, founded by Herbert M. Sandler and Marion O....
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