Blue Ribbon Commission on Chemical Facility Security Proposed

By Sherry Harowitz

In the wake of the April 17 explosion of the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) call for the formation of a blue ribbon commission on chemical facility security to "take a fresh look at this important issue and determine what should be done to secure these facilities."  In a letter to the President, the pair note that the facility never submitted information about the risks of its chemicals to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as required under the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). But more concerning, they note, "Incredibly, senior staff from DHS told us after the explosion that even if DHS had reviewed the facility, no action would have been taken that could have prevented the explosion or reduced its consequences."

Earlier in the week, Reuters reported that Senator Barbara Boxer()D-CA) has announced plans to hold a hearing on the causes of the explosion, which killed at least 15 and injured many more. 

This month's print edition of Security Management has an article on progress and problems in CFATS implementation.


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