Friday, February 26, 2010

U.S. Senate to Hold Chemical Security Hearing

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs will hold a hearing at 9:30am ET on March 3, 2010, to discuss chemical security issues and concerns. The hearing, titled "Chemical Security: Assessing Progress and Charting a Path Forward," will consist of testimony from members of two separate panels. Discussion during the first panel will include testimony from The Honorable Rand Beers, Under Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) National Protection and Programs Directorate; Sue Armstrong, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for DHS's Office of Infrastructure Protection; and The Honorable Peter S. Silva, Assistant Administrator for Water at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The second panel will consist of a representative from the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW); a representative of the American Chemistry Council; and one from the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA). The Senate has not held a hearing on chemical security since July 2005, when it held a 2-panel hearing regarding security at chemical facilities.

The hearing will come one month after Senators Collins, Pryor, Landrieu, and Voinovich introduced S. 2996, the Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act of 2010, which would authorize an extension for the existing Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) until October 4, 2015. In November, the House of Representatives passed a similar bill, H.R. 2868, which includes provisions collectively for chemical facility security, drinking water facility security, and security at waste water treatment works. S. 2996 and H.R. 2868 would have to be reconciled before either version could become law.

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