The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) has announced it welcomes the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Senate that would reauthorize chemical facility security standards, thereby preserving the progress companies across the country have made toward safeguard their facilities against attack.

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), together with Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), introduced the Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act, which would extend the current security standards until October 2015. The legislation is nearly identical to the amended version of a bill (S. 2996) that Collins introduced last Congress, and would create voluntary exercise/training and technical assistance programs. The bill would also establish a best-practices clearinghouse for chemical facility security activities.

In introducing the bill on the Senate floor, Collins referenced SOCMA’s congressional testimony last year, in which the association argued against altering CFATS by mandating Inherently Safer Technology (IST). “Last year, the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates testified that mandatory IST would restrict the production of pharmaceuticals and microelectronics, hobbling these industries,” she said. “The increased cost of a mandatory IST program may force chemical companies to simply transfer their operations overseas, costing American workers thousands of jobs.”

“We appreciate the leadership of Senator Collins in spearheading this legislative effort that would protect facilities against attack without impairing the industry’s ability to remain innovative,” said Bill Allmond, vice president of Government Relations for SOCMA. “SOCMA strongly supports extending the current standards without any significant programmatic changes to allow chemical facilities to fully comply. Without the assurance of a long-term authorization, companies run a risk of investing in costly activities today that might not satisfy regulatory standards tomorrow.”

For more information,