Press Release

12.11.14

Congress Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Reinforce Protection and Security of Chemical Facilities

Media Contact: Lauren Claffey; April Ward (202) 226-8477

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Senate amendment to H.R. 4007, the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act – bipartisan legislation to reinforce the protection and security of chemical facilities from terrorist attacks.

Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security: “Terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, its affiliates and ISIS are increasingly active or inspiring violent Islamist extremists here at home. To guard against terrorist attacks, DHS’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program sets guidelines to protect the highest risk chemical facilities. The bill passed by Congress today makes fundamental improvements to the CFATS program and provides the stability and certainty both the department and industry have been calling for. I thank Rep. Meehan for his leadership on this legislation and I urge the president to sign this important bill into law.”

Rep. Patrick Meehan, chairman of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies: “This bill is a major breakthrough. Congress has provided smart, binding guidelines to improve the operation of program, measure progress, and enhance security. As a result, our firefighters and emergency workers will be safer when they respond to incidents at facilities like the one that exploded in West, Texas. I’m grateful to Chairman McCaul and Ranking Members Thompson and Clarke for their hard work and leadership on this issue.”

Specifically, the House concurred in the Senate amendment to H.R. 4007 to extend the authorization of the program from three years to four years to provide certainty for DHS and industry partners. In addition, the bill expedites the approval process of site security plans for low risk chemical facilities, establishes whistle blower protections and clarifies the emergency shutdown authorities. The bipartisan bill was introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Meehan and co-sponsored by Chairman McCaul.

H.R. 4007, as amended by the Senate, passed the House by voice vote and will be sent to the president for his signature.

Full text of the bill as amended is available HERE.

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