The strategy of changing chemical processes at industrial facilities so they use less hazardous materials, and pose less of a threat from terrorism and accidents, gained little traction in the Bush administration after 9/11.
But a number of organizations continue to push the idea. A report released Nov. 19, 2008, by the advocacy group Center for American Progress provides considerable detail on 303 facilities in 41 states that the group considers among the most hazardous, and the most suitable for changing chemicals and procedures. The group's calculations show that the facilities threaten about 110 million people, or one-third of the US population.
The information is easy to localize for your audience since the report contains details such as the facility's name, parent company, city, state, chemical processes used, threatened population, and Congressional district, along with a map that helps to quickly spot anything near your area.
There are many other hazardous chemicals and facilities beyond the ones evaluated in the report, and some of the substitute chemicals suggested pose their own hazards. Nonetheless, the report provides a starting point for covering this issue.
- "Chemical Security 101: What You Don't Have Can't Leak, or Be Blown Up By Terrorists," by Paul Orum, 202-507-3211; and Reece Rushing.
- Other report contacts: