DHS Delays Leave Chemical Facilities Vulnerable

Before then-Senator Barack Obama was president, he warned in a 2006 podcast that chemical plants were a potential target for terrorists.

In an article on the Houston Chronicle website, Monica Hatcher says DHS has identified 6,000 facilities that merit special security measures and defined eight possible attack scenarios, but has only started inspecting a dozen of those facilities.

“Federal officials have known for years that terrorists could use methods as dramatic as an aircraft attack or as mundane as a false shipping order to kill thousands of people and terrorize millions more by attacking chemical plants and refineries in the Houston area and across the nation,” Hatcher writes. “Yet almost a decade after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security has inspected just 12 of the 6,000 facilities that require special security measures.”

Meanwhile, says the article, the American Chemistry Council has launched an aggressive security program for the 3,400 plants of its member companies, which have spent $8 billion in security upgrades since 9/11. Congress passed a law in 2006 requiring DHS to address the problem of nuclear plants – which Obama called “stationary weapons of mass destruction spread all across the country” – but has barely scratched the surface.

To read the Houston Chronicle article click here:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/energy/6943880.html