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Chemical Security & Drinking Water Security Legislation Advances in House

<-- Chemical Terrorism and Security

Source: U.S. Pirg

For Immediate Release: 2009-10-21
Contact: Liz Hitchcock, Public Health Advocate (202) 461-3826, Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.: Chemical Security Legislation Advances in House

Statement of Elizabeth Hitchcock, Public Health Advocate

WASHINGTON, October 21ó The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 2868, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Bennie Thompson, Rep. Henry Waxman, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee and Rep. Edward Markey, by a vote of 29-18, and passed H.R. 3258, the Drinking Water System Security Act, introduced by Reps. Markey and Waxman, on a voice vote.

U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Liz Hitchcock had the following statement:

"Itís great news that the Energy and Commerce Committee voted today to advance comprehensive chemical security legislation. We applaud Chairman Waxman and Rep. Markey for their leadership in protecting Americaís communities from dangerous chemical plants.

"Together, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009 and the Drinking Water System Security Act take a common sense approach to the deficiencies in chemical plant safety and security, long identified by experts as a national security lapse. We applaud the Committee for resisting efforts to gut the billsí requirement that the most dangerous facilities implement feasible and cost-effective safer alternatives.

"One hundred facilities endanger more than a million people in the event of an accident or attack; more than 7000 facilities endanger thousands. Safer and cost-effective alternatives are already in use for many of the most dangerous chemicals. We should not tolerate unnecessary risk to millions of Americans when we know that we can do better, and we should not tolerate further delay in passing this already long overdue protection for Americaís communities.

"The American public deserves a chemical security law that protects communities by replacing dangerous chemical operations with feasible safer technologies, integrates employee participation in safety and security initiatives, and protects the ability of state and local governments to implement more stringent health, safety and security requirements.

"We look forward to working with the sponsors and the Obama Administration to further improve this legislation as it moves forward in Congress, and urge the Speaker to bring the bills to the floor as soon as possible."

# # #

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization.

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Related Articles, Reports and Resources

Congress Deliberating HR 2868 - the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009.

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Chemical Security & Drinking Water Security Legislation Advances in House.

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ToxicRisk.com is a map-based website that enables users to investigate facilities listed in the EPA Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), number of schools within 1 mile and within 5 miles of the facility, plus links to a database about the toxic history of the facility.

A First Look At The 600K Report: Commercial Chemical Incidents In The United States, 1987 - 1996.

Chemical Plants Are Feared as Targets: Concerns grow that terrorists might hit toxic inventories.

<-- Chemical Terrorism and Security

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