Thanks to YOU and thousands of activists all over the country, critical chemical security legislation was voted out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee without any weakening amendments! Now, the legislation is on its way to the full House for a vote and we need your support once again.
For the first time since the Sept. 11th attacks we have a chance to pass legislation to ensure that the highest risk chemical plants user safer chemical processes. This will not only make them less attractive terrorist targets it will eliminate the risk of disastrous chemical accidents. As President Obama once said, "these plants are stationary weapons of mass destruction spread all across the country."
By converting them to safer chemical processes we will protect millions of Americans now at risk and enhance the job security and safety of people working at these plants.
Please take a minute today and send your Representative a message: Prevent chemical disasters pass "The Chemical and Water Security Act of 2009" (H.R. 2868) today!
According to a Congressional Research Service review of EPA data, 100 U.S. chemical plants each put 1 million or more people at risk. In 2004 the Homeland Security Council projected that an attack on a chemical facility would kill 17,500 people, seriously injure 10,000 more people and send an additional 100,000 people to the hospital.
The good news is that most of these hazards are preventable. Since 1999, more than 287 chemical facilities have switched to safer and more secure chemicals or processes, eliminating risks to more than 38 million Americans. Cost effective safer technologies are used in a wide variety of facilities including water treatment plants, power plants, oil refineries and other manufacturers. Many high-risk facilities, however, have yet to adopt safer chemical processes.
I urge you to support Chemical Security Legislation along with any strengthening amendments that ensure that the resulting program will:
1) Reduce the consequences of an attack through the use of available, cost-effective safer and more secure chemicals and processes
2) Include all categories of facilities such as water treatment plants
3) Involve plant employees in developing plant security programs, including participation in workplace investigations, and protect employees from excessive background checks
4) Allow citizen petitions to enhance enforcement at chemical facilities and citizen suits to ensure government accountable
5) Allow states to set more protective security standards