Earlier this week, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on draft legislation that would make the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards regulation – that went into effect in June 2007 and is set to sunset in October 2009 – permanent.

Representatives of the chemistry industry expressed concern about the bill’s inclusion of the inherently safer technologies (IST) concept.

Let’s not mix H2O with Na here. Safety and security are mutually exclusive objectives that require different approaches. The IST concept does not belong in the CFATS regulation, and DHS should have no business in overseeing chemical safety standards.

After watching the hearing on this topic, the Chemical Industry and DHS must spend more time educating the members of Congress and staffs on exactly what the difference are.