Monday, July 30, 2007

Someone is looking for plant information

There is a report on that should make people stop and think. It is about some reported calls to chemical companies in the Midwest asking questions about plant safety. The caller supposedly claims to be with the Center for Chemical Process Safety and is asking for this information as part of a survey. According to Alex Nussbaum, the reporter for the story, the CCPS is not conducting any such survey.


It appears that at least three facilities received these calls and in turn reported them to the authorities. There is no way of telling how many other facilities were called, but I would assume that DHS has been making some phone calls to try to determine if anyone else has been approached. According to Elvin Montero, a spokesman for the Chemistry Council of New Jersey, DHS has been making notifications to industry associations.


While there is nothing on the CCPS or DHS web site about this matter, it would behoove everyone in the chemical industry to be aware of the potential for this type of data gathering ‘attack’. While it may be nothing more than someone trying to get some business intelligence, it could just as easily be someone gathering intelligence for a potential attack. Any such contact should be reported to the authorities. Section 27.230(a)(16) of the new CFATS regulation requires that facilities have procedures in place to: “Identify, investigate, report, and maintain records of significant security incidents and suspicious activities in or near the site.” This type of incident would certainly fall under the intent of this section.


rocksabound said...

It is interesting to me (an outsider, not connected with the chemical industry --- and not a "terrorist" either --- though a [retired] tekkie, who just STUMBLED onto this BLOG) to get a little bit of a sense of some of the machinations that are growing up out of the whole current mass psychosis that seems to have afflicted this entire nation.

My God --- how do intelligent people manage to get caught up in such fundamentally UNproductive (though I'm sure quite "LUCRATIVE"!) endeavors?? All of this "defense" against any possible sort of hostile eventuality must waste ENDLESS hours of the time, effort, and energies of many very highly intelligent (and potentially genuinely PRODUCTIVE) people WITHOUT ADDING A PENNY TO ANY "BOTTOM LINE"!

"We" are somehow supposed to prevent attacks by endlessly inventing ever more intricate "codes", layers of "regulations", and obstacle courses of "hoops" for people to jump through??! Folks, I think that you are simply DELUDING each other and yourselves!

Anyone who is actually HONEST about the whole business must add the COSTS of all the nonsense in which you are engaged in to the overall totals for the "War on Terrorism" as a whole. And when one does that, it is clear that the REAL effectiveness of the attacks on this society go FAR beyond our few thousands of dead on "9/11", and in "our" subsequent "initiative" in Iraq. For the MOST part, the enemies who are out to damage this country are REALLY succeeding BY INVEIGLING "US" TO "DO THE JOB" OURSELVES!

I submit that it would be FAR CHEAPER to MAKE OUR PEACE with "the enemy", and to seriously undertake to do things that would actually address and ALLEVIATE the VERY REAL grievances that actually MOTIVATE the catastrophic possibilities against which you folks defend.

chemplantsec said...


You are correct, these precautions will cost the chemical companies and their customers some amount of money and yes, converting the current enemies to friends (or at least non-enemies) would certainly be a preferable solution. I nominate the person who comes up with a way to do that for all of the Nobel prizes for the next 20 years. In the mean time we need to keep our powder dry.

A close reading of the regulations and discussions in the industry should make it clear, however, that these actions cannot just be aimed at the current 'Jihadist radicals', they are directed at anyone that may try to do a community harm by attacking a chemical facility that may be part of that community. There are many that think that these regulations are long over due as an additional measure to keep innocent civilians protected from the dangerous chemicals upon which our society depends. One determined nut case could, at many facilities let loose a chemical storm that would make Bhopal pale in comparisson.

The exercise will, hopefully be a waste of time; just as you hope that the fire insurance you buy for house will be a waste of money. As a society, we have to take precautions to protect us against reasonable eventualities. Unfortunately, since 9-11-2001 we have realized that we are not immune to the types of terrorist attack that much of the world has been dealing with for quite some time.

Patrick J. Coyle
Chemical Facility Security News

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