ARLINGTON, Va., July 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In preparation for a Wednesday mark-up of chemical security legislation in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) sent a letter to Committee members urging them to support S. 2996, the Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act.
In the letter, NACD President Chris Jahn wrote, "S. 2996 is common-sense legislation that would allow the CFATS program to be implemented and evaluated before making changes to it. NACD believes that the approach taken under S. 2996 will enhance the security of chemical facilities much more efficiently and effectively than legislation such as H.R. 2868, the House-passed chemical security bill that includes inherently safer technology (IST) and other non-security related mandates."
During Wednesday's mark-up, the Committee is expected to take up H.R. 2868, which would make CFATS permanent, but also make changes to the program such as a requirement for all covered facilities to consider the use of inherently safer technologies (IST) and for the highest risk facilities to implement the ISTs.
NACD strongly opposes both mandatory IST implementation and consideration. The act of conducting IST assessments would be extremely costly for chemical distributors. These assessments will require expertise with IST methods, the likelihood of these methods to reduce risk, and their costs. The majority of NACD members are small businesses that do not have teams of chemical and process safety engineers on staff that would be able to conduct the IST assessments. These companies would be forced to hire consultants, who at rates of hundreds of dollar per hour, would easily drive the costs of the assessments into tens of thousands of dollars per facility.
NACD is urging Committee members to adopt S. 2996, which would extend the authority of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) until October 4, 2015.
NACD was the first chemical trade association to approve new security measures, as part of its management program, Responsible Distribution, and has developed a security vulnerability assessment that specifically addresses security issues relevant to chemical distribution facilities. NACD members have invested millions of dollars and substantial resources to safeguard their facilities and the transportation of their products.
NACD and its 380 member companies are vital to the chemical supply chain providing products to over 750,000 end users. They make a delivery every six seconds while maintaining a safety record that is more than twice as good as the safety standards set by DOT. 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 is a third-party verified management practice. For additional information on our members, their safety record or NACD, visit NACD's website — http://www.nacd.com.
CONTACT: Matt Glaser, +1-703-527-NACD (6223)
SOURCE National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)