WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), Ranking Member of the House Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee, today applauded the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee’s (HSGAC) approval of a three-year extension of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) by a unanimous vote.

CFATS requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to regulate security practices for chemical facilities to make them less susceptible to terrorist attack. The Senate Committee’s measure included identical provisions previously introduced by Dent.

“I am pleased the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee decided to extend the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards,” Dent explained. “This extension will undoubtedly improve the security at American chemical facilities without jeopardizing American jobs.”

Dent introduced bills to extend the CFATS program in each of the last two years -- H.R. 2477, the Chemical Facility Security Authorization Act of 2009 and H.R. 5186, the Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act of 2010. HSGAC Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman (CT) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (ME) incorporated provisions in these proposals into the bill approved by their Committee yesterday.

“I have long advocated for improved security at out nation’s chemical facilities and believe the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) is the correct approach to achieving this goal,” Dent added. “Over the past three years the Department of Homeland Security has come a long way in implementing critical measures designed to reduce the vulnerabilities of these sites. Extending this program will allow DHS to continue to make progress in securing chemical facilities.”

The Homeland Security Appropriations Act for FY 2007 authorized the DHS to establish security standards at chemical facilities. DHS ultimately developed the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, which would expire on October 4, 2010 without being extended by Congress.