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Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental AffairsIntroducedJanuary 23rd, 2013
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Secure Chemical Facilities Act
A bill to enhance the security of chemical facilities and for other purposes.
Secure Chemical Facilities Act - Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to set forth provisions for the regulation of security practices at chemical facilities. Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate: (1) any chemical substance as a substance of concern and establish and adjust the threshold quantity for each such substance after considering the potential extent of death, injury, and serious adverse effects that could result from a chemical facility terrorist incident; and (2) a chemical facility as a covered chemical facility if the Secretary determines such facility is a sufficient security risk (e.g., a likely target of a chemical facility terrorist incident and close to large population centers). Directs the Secretary to: (1) maintain a list of covered chemical facilities that are of sufficient security risk; (2) assign each covered facility to one of four risk-based tiers; (3) establish standards and procedures for security vulnerability assessments and site security plans; (4) require each facility owner or operator to submit and, once approved, to implement such an assessment and plan; and (5) establish risk-based chemical security performance standards for site security plans. Permits the Secretary, under specified circumstances, to: (1) accept an alternate security program submitted by the owner or operator of the facility, (2) conduct facility security inspections, and (3) obtain access to and copy records necessary for reviewing or analyzing a security vulnerability assessment or site security plan. Requires the Secretary to: (1) share threat information with owners, operators, or security officers of a covered chemical facility and with relevant state and local government authorities in a timely manner; and (2) disapprove a security vulnerability assessment or site security plan if the Secretary determines that such assessment or security plan does not comply with the requirements of this Act. Establishes whistleblower protections for employees of a covered chemical facility who report safety violations. Establishes in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) an Office of Chemical Facility Security. Authorizes civil actions by individuals alleging violations of this Act. Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish a notification system to report, via telephonic and Internet-based means, a suspected security deficiency or suspected noncompliance with the requirements of this Act; and (2) assess the emergency response resources that would be required to feasibly respond to a worst-case chemical facility terrorist incident.