Chemical plant security in Houston
| 04.20.2006 | 09:08:29 | Views: 3242 | ID:
April 20 '06: Congress is considering new legislation which would involve the federal government in chemical plant security, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday. "In the Houston area, where sprawling chemical facilities along the Ship Channel are intermingled with parks and private homes," the Chronicle reported, "plant security would seem to have special relevance ... According to one congressional report, Texas is home to as many as 29 high-risk plants near population centers of 1 million or more ... and many are along the Ship Channel."
The legislation would require a listing of the 15,000 chemical plants in the country according to their risk to neighboring communities. Those facilities that do not meet government requirements could be shut down by the Department of Homeland Security.Dennis Storemski the director of Houston's Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security told the Chronicle, "It is absolutely critical for petrochemical plants to be safe and secure. Federal security standards for the industry would be another way to ensure adequate protection for the neighboring communities." For their part, since the attacks on September 11, the chemical industry has increased safety measures and regulations. The American Chemistry Council established a Responsible Care Security Code, according to the Chronicle, "which requires its 130 member companies to assess security risks and take protective steps. The organization says its companies have spent more than $2 billion on security since the terrorist attacks."
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