Sunday, January 6, 2013

HR 152 IH Introduced – Hurricane Sandy Relief

Boy did I get this bill wrong in my earlier blog; it is too easy to read into titles. HR 152 introduced last week by Rep. Rogers (R,KY), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee , is actually the “Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013”. This is the second half of the House version of last sessions HR 1 passed by the Senate. HR 41, the FEMA borrowing authority for Sandy relief that passed last Friday was the first part.

As I noted with the Senate version of HR 1 last month, there is nothing in this bill that would address the recovery of security measures at high-risk chemical facilities (or at MTSA covered facilities, or at nuclear facilities, or LNG facilities for that matter) affected by Sandy. In fact, the only security related funding provided by HR 152 was $3,869,000 allocated to the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office for ‘Systems Acquisition’. Presumably this would be used to replace nuclear detection equipment that had been in place at various East Coast ports that was damaged during the storm. Since this is federally owned equipment it must be replaced with funds from Congress.

Of course the big question for privately owned (and State and local government owned) facilities is who pays to replace/repair damaged security equipment? Until it is replaced, who is paying for the additional security personnel to cover for the damaged equipment? The answer is simple, the facility owner, along with all of the other damaged equipment at the facility.

Who benefits from the security equipment at high-risk facilities, particularly chemical facilities? Not so much the owners, but rather the local neighborhoods and communities. They would be the ones actually targeted by a terrorist attack on these facilities. The longer that it takes to get the security re-established at previous levels the longer the communities will be at risk of a potential terrorist attack.

1 comment:

Ben Stewart said...

Excellent job! Thank you for the good ideas!

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