"Why Chemical Plants Are Vulnerable To Terrorism"

"Federal officials have known for years that terrorists could use methods as dramatic as an aircraft attack or as mundane as a false shipping order to kill thousands of people and terrorize millions more by attacking chemical plants and refineries in the Houston area and across the nation.

Yet almost a decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Department of Homeland Security has inspected just 12 of the 6,000 facilities that require special security measures.

'That really shocks me,' said U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, whose district covers much of the industrial and chemical complex near the Houston Ship Channel.

Green said the fact that inspections were barely under way wasn't mentioned during recent discussions on the matter in the House, which last fall passed a bill that would enhance the current security law to cover even more facilities.

The Senate now is debating the issue."

Monica Hatcher reports for the Houston Chronicle April 5, 2010.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010