Sen. Inhofe Introduces Homeland Security Legislation to Protect Nuclear and Wastewater Facilities
May 12, 2003

“These bills are part of broad effort to bolster the nation’s defenses against terrorism”-Sen. James Inhofe

 

Text of bill: “Wastewater Treatment Works Security Act of 2003”

 

 

Text of bill: “Nuclear Infrastructure Security Act of 2003”

 

Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, today introduced the Nuclear Infrastructure Security Act of 2003 and the Wastewater Treatment Works Security Act of 2003, legislation that will enhance and strengthen security at nuclear and wastewater treatment facilities.

 

“A critical element of this committee’s jurisdiction is homeland security,” Inhofe said. “In addition to chemical security legislation introduced last week, these bills are an important part of the broad, concerted effort to bolster the nation’s defenses against terrorism. They represent significant steps in addressing the various security needs at nuclear and wastewater treatment facilities.”

 

“I look forward to working with the Bush Administration and my colleagues on the committee and in the full Senate, to finish work on these bills as quickly as possible,” Inhofe said.

 

Among other things, the Nuclear Infrastructure Security Act of 2003 includes provisions that would:

 

· Require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, to conduct an examination of the security, preparedness, and response for designated nuclear facilities; including the determination of responsibility (either federal, state, or local) to deal with a variety of threats (including an act by an enemy of the state); and hiring and training standards for guards.

· Enhances Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts to provide for a comprehensive and integrated plan for critical infrastructure protection.

· Improves fingerprinting/background checks for all individuals who have access to a nuclear facility.

· Provides additional authority to track and protect radioactive material that could be used for dirty bombs.

 

The Wastewater Treatment Works Security Act of 2003, which is similar to legislation passed 413 to 2 by the House of Representatives last week, would empower the Environmental Protection Agency to:

 

· Provide $200 million in grants to states, municipalities, inter-municipal, or interstate agencies to conduct a vulnerability assessment of publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities and to implement security enhancements to reduce vulnerabilities to terrorist attack.

·Provide technical guidance and assistance to small (serves fewer than 20,000 individuals) publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities.

 

 

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