House committee conducts hearings on CFAT
October 5, 2009

Municipal water and wastewater treatment plants have a particular interest in the application, enforcement, and ongoing revision of the proposed Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009, which would require site security plans and vulnerability assessments, employee background checks, and other measures intended to enhance safety around sites where hazardous chemicals are stored and used. Water plants use a range of hazardous chemicals -- perhaps most prominently, chlorine -- but there are concerns within the industry about at least two potential problems. First, many interested parties would prefer to see a single government agency overseeing security at water and wastewater plants alike; some of the proposals would split the duties between the EPA and the Department of Homeland Security. Second, the overall cost of some of the proposals could be prohibitive for small plants that are unlikely to be meaningful risks to the public at large, but if expensive new measures are required, they may be forced to shut down. This would, in turn, expose the public to a definite and real threat of environmental contamination, as opposed to the uncertain and indeterminate risk of a terrorist act. Plants serving small communities often face higher relative costs for compliance with regulations, including those for security. A House subcommittee hearing on the matter drew comments from several invited guests.

We can help you with chlorination tablets for those sites where chemical security prevents the use of gas chlorination. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

October 2009
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last revised October 2009