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Congresswoman Clarke Protects Security of Chemical Facilities

vBrooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on a vote by the Committee on Homeland Security to approve amendments she proposed to improve safety at chemical facilities, several of which are located near Brooklyn.

The amendments to a bill that will renew the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards affirm that chemical facilities under the supervision of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must comply with whistleblower protection regulations and require private contractors who inspect chemical facilities to coordinate their activities with auditors and inspectors from DHS and to notify DHS of any issues of non-compliance within twenty-four hours. Congresswoman Clarke has also proposed requiring DHS to confirm that it has received information about problems with security and to protect the identity of the whistleblower, as well as prohibiting retaliation toward whistleblowers.

“Our security as a nation depends on our ability to identify threats to chemical facilities, particular where potentially harmful chemicals are stored,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “I believe the Department of Homeland should have access to any information about threats to security, and that includes information from whistleblowers who are in a position to notice problems that could otherwise have been ignored. We must protect ourselves from the risk of a terrorist attack or an accident at these facilities.” 

There are more than 12,000 chemical facilities in the United States, several of which are located in New Jersey, across the harbor from Brooklyn.

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.