Common Sense on Chemical Security

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Sources quoted in the Sept. 1 front-page story "In War on Terror, Md. Farmer One of Many Skeptical Recruits" confused key facts about the Department of Homeland Security's proposed chemical security regulation.

We seek to improve security at high-risk chemical facilities, not complicate the lives of farmers or household users of propane.

It's also important to emphasize that the threshold quantity for filling out a questionnaire on propane use is only a proposal at this point, and Homeland Security has received public comment from around the country. The threshold quantity for propane and other dangerous chemicals will be determined on the basis of several factors, such as the potential human and economic consequences of an attack and industry safety criteria.

We believe that the majority of agricultural users of propane are unlikely to be affected. Speculation that the rule could affect more than 100,000 propane users is grossly inaccurate.

Setting the appropriate security framework for the chemical sector is a complex undertaking that's been a long time coming. Only the facilities that truly pose significant risk will undergo regulatory scrutiny.

BOB STEPHAN

Assistant Secretary

for Infrastructure Protection

Department of Homeland Security

Washington


© 2007 The Washington Post Company