Here are the facts:
Dow along with other chemical companies is working hard to avoid having to switch to inherently safer chemicals and technologies that would actually keep us safe, preferring instead to build more fences and hire more guards. Since 9/11 Congress has failed to regulate the chemical industry to neutralize the impact of a terrorist attack on (or an accident at) a chemical plant that could kill thousands of people in minutes. After a House committee finally moved strong legislation this summer, the chemical industry has engineered a back room deal in Congress. Late Mon. night they added a loophole ridden amendment, endorsed by DOW CHEMICAL, to the annual funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security.
See also: Dow tries to portray Bhopal victims as terrorists
Now here’s the bullshit:
Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News, September 30, 2006
As Congress works to ensure the safety of the nation’s chemical facilities, it is considering forcing closure for those which don’t comply with yet-to-be-determined security measures.
Local chemical giant Dow Chemical isn’t worried — in fact, officials agree that strict safety standards should be applied across the industry.
“We support legislation that would support a very strict risk-based standard,” said Adam Muellerwise, Dow spokesman on chemical security.
Muellerwise said the company considers itself a leader in security improvements since 9-11, which today are not mandated or regulated.
“We’ve spend hundreds of millions of dollars, and our job is not done,” Muellerwise said.
The elements of security are inside plants, outside, along roads and railways where products and raw materials are transported, at ports where they are shipped and in cyberspace.
Along with working to keep its plants safe from intrusion – the company has implemented new entry and exit procedures since Sept. 11, 2001 — Dow also has tightened its human resources screenings since then, and has implemented new technology safeguards.
Inside plants Dow has been conducting vulnerability assessments and implementing changes where weaknesses are found.
“We will continue to address any vulnerability. It’s something we need to continue to engage in,” Muellerwise said.
Some changes are visible, including the closure of some gates at Dow’s Michigan Operations plant, but others are not, and they’re intended not to be, Muellerwise said. But Dow has taken important steps such as reducing the volume of sensitive chemicals stored on site. It also has been changing processes and using alternate manufacturing materials when it can. In some places, temperatures where sensitive materials are stored have been lowered.
Along with local plant-related identifications, Dow also has been working to find ways to further safe-guard its land transport operations. In August, the company announced a collaboration with Union Pacific and Union Tank Car Company. The goal is to develop a new, more secure rail car.
“As a supplier of tank cars to the chemical industry, we are fully aware that safety, security, and environmental concerns regarding hazardous materials require the timely introduction of innovative solutions,” said Rich Sobilo, director of engineering of Union Tank Car.
For more information on Dow’s security efforts, visit www.dow.com/security