A Clear Shot at Chemical Plant Security

By Lawrence, Marta | Security Management, July 2006 | Go to article overview

A Clear Shot at Chemical Plant Security


Lawrence, Marta, Security Management


TRAVELING UP A RIVER after a day deep-sea photographing in the Gulf of Mexico, Neal Langerman, principal scientist with Advanced Chemical Safety and an officer of the division of chemical health and safety of the American Chemical Society, snapped a photo of a very large chemical plant. It occurred to Langerman that if he were a terrorist, armed with a shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenade and not a camera, he could cause significant damage while floating safely off shore.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"An attack on a chemical facility, while it won't have the morbidity and mortality that other kinds of incidents will have, it will really terrify people. That's what it's all about," says Langerman. The impact from such an attack, he says, would probably be very localized, but it would instill great fear in the public.

As one of the 17 industries identified as critical infrastructure, the chemical industry's assets are viewed as terrorist targets. But unlike nuclear and drinking water facilities, the chemical industry is generally not subject to any federal security requirements.

A Government Accountability Office report that evaluated a draft of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) Chemical Sector-Specific Plan notes that "DHS has relied primarily on the voluntary participation of the private sector to address facility security. As a result, DHS cannot ensure that all high-risk facilities are assessing their vulnerability to terrorist attacks and taking corrective actions, where necessary."

Self-regulation isn't necessarily bad, says Daniel J. Ostergaard, former executive director of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and a partner at Phoenix Strategies, a consulting and development firm in Washington, D.C. "No one knows better than the industry how best to protect itself," he says.

And, indeed, industry groups have proactively pushed for better security among their own members. As the GAO points out, three leading chemical associations--the American Chemistry Council, the National Association of Chemical Distributors, and the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association--require vulnerability assessments, risk mitigation plans, and third-party verification of security enhancements as a qualification of membership. Nonetheless, GAO auditors maintain that "additional legislation is needed to give DHS the authority to require security improvements at these facilities."

To that end, Senator Susan M. Collins (R-ME), who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, has introduced a bill, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2005, that seeks to impose better security regulation on the industry. The legislation sets criteria for designating chemical sources and facilities and directs DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff to set up a tiered risk-based system that "enables a chemical source to develop appropriate site-specific measures to meet the security performance standards established for the applicable tier."

According to a representative from Collins's office, the bill is a priority for the senator, but as this issue went to press, the bill had not come before the Senate for a vote. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Clear Shot at Chemical Plant Security
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.