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Chemical plants seen as terror targets

The federal government has designated 4,425 U.S. chemical plants as being at “high risk” of security breach.

Chemical plants seen as terror targets

Concerns that terrorists could exploit chemical plants led the government to designate 4,425 facilities as “high risk.” High-risk plants make, store or use significant enough amounts of hazardous chemicals to warrant special federal security plans.

But the Department of Homeland Security has approved or conditionally approved new plans for just 73 of these facilities, and inspected and approved implementation for only two.

DHS estimates it needs seven years to inspect and approve them all. But congressional authority for DHS to oversee plant security expires in March 2013 unless Congress votes to fund an extension.

Check out our infographic for more on security at U.S. chemical plants. Read “What Do Others Say?” for more views, then add to the discussion below. How real is the concern surrounding these plants? Is it worth spending the money to secure them? 

What do others say?

  • : National Journal: “DHS drops plan to screen chemical plant workers for terrorist ties” More

  • : Heritage Foundation: “Congress to evaluate flawed chemical security program” More

  • : National Academy of Sciences: “Terrorism and the chemical infrastructure, protecting people and reducing vulnerabilities” More

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