ARLINGTON, Va., April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 90 members of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) are heading to Capitol Hill today to urge Congressional representatives and regulatory officials to support antiterrorism programs that keep our nation secure and to implement reforms that will help countless American businesses who rely on freight rail to remain competitive in today's business world.
"Reauthorizing the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program and implementing meaningful freight rail reform are issues that must not go unaddressed," said NACD President Eric R. Byer. "Chemical distributors have a vital and significant impact on the U.S. economy, providing 70,000 high-quality jobs and generating $42 billion in economic output each year. It's essential that Congress hears directly from us about the policy issues impacting our industry."
Policy-makers and other influencers will be on-site to discuss issues that are important to the industry. Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman will provide an outlook on the upcoming November elections, and Congressman John Katko (R-NY), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Affairs and House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, will share insights on chemical security legislation and an overview of the current political landscape.
NACD members will also sit down with regulators to share their experiences and the real-world impacts of regulatory policy on small businesses. They will meet with Steven Cook of the Environmental Protection Agency, Rebecca Buckner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Vanessa Allen Sutherland of the Chemical Safety Board.
On Capitol Hill, attendees will advocate for the reauthorization of CFATS prior to its January 19, 2019 expiration. The program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and identifies and regulates high-risk chemical facilities to ensure security measures are in place to reduce the risks associated with their chemicals. CFATS has made our nation more secure, and NACD wants to ensure the continued viability of the CFATS program without interruption and to promote a smooth reauthorization process leading up to the midterm elections.
Attendees will also advocate for freight rail reform. Poor delivery service, failure to provide notice of fee changes, and inadequate customer service practices hurt companies that rely on rail to transport product. In addition, consolidation in the industry has meant many customers lack access to competitive rates, often resulting in shippers being held captive to their railroad. The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is one of the only agencies with federal oversight, and NACD members will encourage Congress to nominate and confirm additional STB members and a permanent chair as soon as possible.
NACD and its over 440 member companies are vital to the chemical supply chain providing products to over 750,000 end users. NACD members are leaders in health, safety, security, and environmental performance through implementation of Responsible Distribution, established in 1991 as a condition of membership and a third-party verified management practice. For more information, visit www.NACD.com.