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GAO Findings On Chemical Plant Security On Target

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thompson Says GAO's Findings On The Need For More Stringent Security At Our Nation's Chemical Plants Are Right On Target

February 27, 2006 - Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement regarding the GAO's report entitled "DHS Is Taking Steps to Enhance Security at Chemical Facilities, but Additional Authority Is Needed."

"The GAO's findings are right on target. The Department of Homeland Security has worked hard in the past years to develop standards and recommendations for security practices at chemical plants and other critical infrastructure sites. However, because the Department does not have any authority to assure that those security recommendations were followed, they had to rely on the voluntary compliance of the chemical industry. While some facilities have implemented stringent security measures, too many have not. GAO recommended, and the Department concurred, that Congress should grant the Department the authority to require the industry to implement and maintain appropriate security practices.

"Now it is time for Congress to step up and deliver. Senators Collins and Lieberman have introduced S. 2145 that would grant the Department this needed authority. I am eager to continue the bipartisan effort in the House and begin working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance similar legislation that will enable the Department to close this security gap."

ENDS

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