Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Facilities possessing certain amounts of hazardous chemicals have been the target of safety and security efforts since prior to September 11, 2001. The sudden release of hazardous chemicals from facilities storing large quantities might potentially harm large numbers of persons living or working near the facility. Congress has debated whether such facilities should be regulated for security purposes to reduce the risk that they pose. The 109th Congress passed legislation in 2006 providing the Department of Homeland Security DHS statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes. This statutory authority expires in October 2010. Advocacy groups, stakeholders, and policymakers have called for congressional attention to reauthorization of this authority, though they disagree about the preferred option. Congress is faced with a decision to extend the existing authority, revise the existing authority to resolve contentious issues, or allow this authority to lapse. This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and the regulation implementing this authority. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security. The report identifies policy options that might resolve components of these issues. Finally, legislation introduced in the 111th Congress is discussed.
- Government and Political Science
- Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Processing
- Civil Defense
- Sociology and Law