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WASHINGTON, May 26, 2011— Statement of U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Elizabeth Hitchcock on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s passage today of H.R. 908, legislation that would extend a flawed temporary chemical security law until 2018.
“Nearly ten years after the September 11 attacks, it is unacceptable that millions of Americans are still living under the threat of chemical disaster. The Department of Homeland Security has repeatedly asked Congress for the authority to require the highest risk chemical plants to convert to safer alternatives to eliminate or reduce the consequences of a terrorist attack. We are dismayed that the Committee’s vote today allows the threats to public safety and security posed by these facilities to persist.”
In 2009, the House of Representatives adopted H.R. 2868, which would have allowed the Department of Homeland Security and Environmental Protection Agency to require the use of safer chemical processes to prevent chemical disasters by terrorism or accidents, but the Senate failed to act on the legislation.
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