Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program Authorization and Accountability Act of 2014by Representative Gene Green
Posted on 2014-12-11
GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Senate
amendments to H.R. 4007, the Protecting and Securing Chemical
Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act.
I am an original co-sponsor of this important legislation which will finally authorize the CFATS program in federal code and not through the appropriations process.
Last October, during the government shutdown, the American people saw that without authorization of the CFATS program, there were no legally binding regulations in place to protect our nation's chemical facilities from criminal and terrorist attacks once appropriations expired.
I have the honor of representing north and east Harris County and the Houston Ship Channel, at the heart of our nation's petro-chemical industry. The expiration of the CFATS program puts the safety my constituents who work in and live in the communities that surround these facilities in danger and it [[Page H9060]] is obligation, as the people's elected representatives, to do everything we can to protect them from harm's way.
This measure passed the House in July by voice vote.
I backed the House-version of this measure because the bill will solve the personnel surety issue by allowing workers who have TWIC or HME cards to have access to chemical facilities without having to get another federal credential.
This is important to my constituents who already have TWIC cards and work in our petrochemical plants and drive the trucks to deliver raw materials and products they produce.
I am supportive of some of the changes the Senate made to this legislation. In particular, I am supportive of measures that will add greater worker participation into plant security plans and provide greater whistleblower protections for plant employees who want to report unsafe conditions at a plant.
I do have some concerns with allowing smaller facilities to self- certify, as added in by the Senate, because even smaller facilities, as we have unfortunately seen in Texas in recent years, can be dangerous and the American people deserve full assurance that facilities near them are safe.
Nonetheless, the underlining legislation is still sound and needs to be enacted. I urge my colleagues to join DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, and impacted stakeholders and vote in support of the Senate amendments to H.R. 4007.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Meehan) that the House suspend the rules and concur in the Senate amendment to the bill, H.R. 4007.
The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the Senate amendment was concurred in.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.