Post 9/11 Chemical Security
American Chemistry Council (ACC) President and CEO Jack N. Gerard issued the following statement: “The terrorist attacks of 9/11 led to a paradigm shift in the way our nation views security. Since that fateful day, ACC members have taken aggressive steps toward further securing their communities, facilities and products against terrorist attacks.
“After 9/11, our members didn’t wait for an act of Congress. They immediately took up the task of identifying new vulnerabilities and implementing security plans to address them under our Responsible Care Security Code, mandatory for all members. In the five years since the Code was implemented, our member companies have invested nearly $3 billion to enhance security. However, while ACC members are industry leaders in the charge to improve security, the federal government must play its role to be sure other chemical facilities take the same types of aggressive steps we’ve taken voluntarily to protect this critical part of our national infrastructure.
“With strong leadership and determination, Congress could pass a significant chemical security bill this month, but the outcome is far from certain. We call on Congress to act, and we want everyone to know where we stand. The following assessment details our positions, our actions to date and our goals for the future.”
ACC urges Congress to pass comprehensive, federal chemical security legislation and will continue to support and expand the public and private partnerships that are essential to maintain and enhance chemical sector security.
ACC is a leading member of the industry’s Chemical Sector Coordinating Council and active partner with DHS in implementing the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) through coordinated, cutting-edge activities like the city-by-city comprehensive review program and the Homeland Security Information Network. ACC works with the Coast Guard in implementing the MTSA for member facilities on our nation’s waterways and harbors.
Chemical manufacturers and other industry partners support Transportation Community Awareness Emergency Response (TRANSCAER), the national outreach effort that helps communities prepare for and respond to a possible hazardous material transportation incident.
One hundred percent of ACC member facilities are in compliance with the mandatory Responsible Care Security Code that includes thirteen management practices addressing facility, supply chain and cyber security. Member companies have made a three billion dollar investment in security enhancement since 9/11. The Chemical Industry is a 550 billion dollar economic engine, a crucial part of the nation’s infrastructure that must be protected.
Without waiting for an act of Congress, ACC’s members are in the vanguard of securing 2000+ chemical facilities and adopted the mandatory Responsible Care Security Code. This code enforces members to prioritize facilities, assess vulnerabilities using methodologies developed by Sandia National Lab or the Center for Chemical Process Safety, implement security enhancements, as well as verify physical enhancements through local officials or other third parties.
ACC members vow to enhance security through altering facility security, transportation security and information and cyber security. A few facility enhancements include controlling vehicular and pedestrian access to sites, protecting the perimeter using physical barriers, access control, electronic surveillance and patrols, and ensuring backup for critical chemical process systems.
Transportation security enhancements include increasing inspections, tracking product shipments, restricting access and using tamper-resistant seals, packaging and shipping devices. Information and cyber security enhancements have also been altered, including properly disposing of sensitive documents and analyzing data flow to name a few.
The threat of terrorism is now part of the business landscape, and ACC members know they must increase security performance to prevent terrorists from harming our country or using our products or facilities to harm others. ACC will continue to work closely with Congress to pass comprehensive chemical security legislation, but with or without legislation, ACC will not retreat from our commitment to security and our ongoing coordination efforts with DHS.