Chemical Facility Security Bill: Hearing Tuesday, Mark Up Thursday

By June 17, 2009Regulations

The House Committee on Homeland Security on Tuesday held a hearing on H.R. 2868, the Chemical Facility Antiterrorism Act of 2009. (Earlier post.)

On Thursday, the full committee marks up the legislation, getting it ready for passage. That’s expeditious.

We notice that this year’s version of the bill includes new language establishing a private right of action, i.e., inviting “citizen suits” to run parallel to or even supersede regulatory compliance. The Department of Homeland Security has its concerns, as noted in the prepared statement of Philip Reitinger, deputy under secretary:

The Department has significant concerns with the citizen suit provision being contemplated under some legislative proposals.The Department is concerned about the potential for disclosure of sensitive or classified information in such proceedings. Similarly, the Department urges that it retain discretion in determining the manner and extent to which information about the reasons for placing a facility in a given tier is divulged, as those reasons may involve classified information.

For more on the “citizen suit” provision see our post over at Point of, “Private suits against chemical manufacturers prevent terrorism, how?


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