Critical Infrastructure Analysis Of The Chemical Sector Business Essay

The chemical sector has long been one of the most of import assets to the American manner of life. It is comprised of installations which use, shop, industry, or procedure and distribute chemicals ( Suburban Emergency Management Project, 2008 ) . It is a critical constituent to the United States economic system and is “ presently the state ‘s top exporter accounting for 10 cents out of every dollar ” ( John, Sullivant, 2007, p. 380 ) . The chemical industry besides employs about 1 million people and earns the United States up to $ 700 billion dollars in gross per twelvemonth ( Sullivant, 2007, p. 380 ) As one of the states “ most advanced ” sectors of critical national substructure, “ it earns one out of every seven patents issued in the U.S.

” ( Sullivant, 2006, p. 380 ) . This sort of inventiveness is what enables the United States to be a top leader in international chemical production ( Sullivant, 2006, p.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

380 ) .The Chemical sector is incorporated literally into every facet of the consumer industry, whether it is basic inorganic chemicals and fertilisers, petrochemicals, fossil fuels, industrial gases, pharmaceuticals, particular chemicals and other consumer merchandises ( Sullivant, 2006, p. 380 ) . In order to understand the substructure of the chemical sector a figure factors must be examined: hazard degree of the chemical being produced, location of chemical production, location of storage and usage, and the location of chemical distribution. The chemical sector “ supply concatenation ” must besides be evaluated.Inorganic chemicals and fertilisers are “ produced and purchased in big volumes as trade good chemicals and may trust on natural gas or rough oil as a feedstock ” ( BSCT, 2006, p. 20 ) .

They are by and large non toxic ; nevertheless, there are little mixtures of chemicals which are caustic ( e.g. acids ) and toxic ( e.g.chlorine ) and are harmful to worlds ( BCST, 2006 ) . These chemicals are produced, stored, and distributed chiefly in the Midwest and southern provinces ( BCST, 2006 ) .Petrochemicals are considered to be really toxic and extremely flammable and can “ organize explosive vapour clouds upon release ” ( BCST, 2006, p. 20 ) .

Many petrochemical and dodo fuel fabrication installations “ are located along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, but important installings are besides found in the industrial countries of the East Coast, Midwest, and California ” ( BSCT, 2006, p. 20 ) . That being said the location of storage and use of these chemicals are countrywide ( BSCT, 2006 ) .Industrial gases are produced and used for a figure of things ( e.

g. electronics and nutrient industries etc. ) ( BCST, 2006 ) . Industrial gases are merely risky depending “ on the chemical under consideration and the measure in which it is being used ” ( BSCT, 2006, p.

21 ) . Nitrogen is an illustration of a risky chemical because it is an “ asphyxiant that displaces O ” ( BSCT, 2006, p. 21 ) . Most industrial gases are produced, stored, and distributed along the Gulf Coast ( BSCT, 2006 ) .Pharmaceutical chemicals include both prescription and non prescription drugs, every bit good as diagnostic substances, vaccinums, vitamins, and readyings for both human and veterinary utilizations ” ( BSCT, 2006, p. 22 ) . When measuring the possible jeopardies of pharmaceutical chemicals, the production processes “ can imply the coevals of combustible dust every bit good as usage of toxic industrial chemicals in comparatively little measures ” ( BSCT, 2006, p.

22 ) .The production and distribution of pharmaceutical chemicals takes topographic point all over the United States ( BSCT, 2006 ) .Chemicals used for other consumer merchandises include but are non limited to “ lather, detergents, bleaches, pigments, dissolvers, gums, toothpaste, shampoos, cosmetics, skin attention merchandises, aromas, and Colognes intended for direct consumer usage ” ( BSCT, 2006, p. 23 ) . Chemicals used in consumer merchandises “ may be toxic, caustic, or flammable ; many have speedy skin-bonding features ; or their packaging may be pressurized ” ( BSCT, 2006, p. 23 ) . These chemicals are produced throughout the United States and “ are used widely and are normally found in families and retail mercantile establishments countrywide ” ( BSCT, 2006, p. 23 ) .

Harmonizing to the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology ( 2006 ) the chemical sectors “ supply concatenation ” can be broken down into a series of “ nodes, links, and tracts ” ( p. 25 ) . A installation that green goods ‘s, shops or consumes the chemical is categorized as a node ( BSCT, 2006, p. 25 ) . The nexus is characterized as the manner of transit for the chemical “ ( e.g.

route, rail, flatboat, or grapevine ) ” ( BSCT, 2006, p. 25 ) . The BSCT ( 2006 ) characterizes the “ pathway as the sequence of nodes and links by which the chemical is produced, transported, and transformed from its initial beginning to its ultimate consumer ” ( p. 25 ) . The nodes, links, and tracts are a critical constituent to the substructure of the chemical sector because if one is disrupted so a Domino consequence is initiated and all other constituents are affected.


Despite being the top Canis familiaris, the chemical sector still remains one of the most vulnerable sectors of critical national substructure in the United States. After the 9/11 onslaughts at that place was a demand for all facets of the chemical sector to be re-examined.

Thousands of chemical installations were being re-evaluated to find exposures in their security protocols. As of today, there are no ordinances which mandate chemical installations to carry on exposure appraisals or take the appropriate security steps to protect their substructures and assets from an onslaught. However, “ Congress enacted statute law that requires the Department of Homeland Security ( DHS ) to analyse exposures and suggest security sweetenings for “ critical substructure ” ( Schierow, 2006, p.

2 ) . Additionally, it is required that chemical installations which “ supply drinking H2O or are located in ports ” behavior exposure appraisals to find critical substructure resiliency ( Schierow, 2006, p. 2 ) .Prior to 9/11 a survey was conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ( ATSDR ) which concluded that chemical installation security was below criterion ( Schierow, 2004 ) . Likewise, interviews conducted by research workers determined that chemical installation security forces were non confident in their ability to “ discourage sabotage by employees ” ( Schierow, 2004, p.

14 ) . What is even more alarming is non one of the security forces thought it would be necessary to carry on “ simple background cheques for cardinal employees such as chemical procedure operators ” ( Schierow, 2004, p. 14 ) . As stated by Ian Siperco ( 2006 ) “ chemical installations continue to endure from serious lacks in installation security and basic exposure analyses despite holding been universally assigned a bad appellation by legislators ” ( p. 5 ) . The chemical sector has besides been dubbed by many in the security field as “ the individual greatest danger of a possible terrorist onslaught in our state today ” ( Dana Shea, 2006, p.

4 ) .There are several exposures which have been discovered in the chemical sector. The substructure of the chemical sector requires “ significant installation and equipment investing ” ( BCST, 2006, p. 24 ) . Likewise a figure of chemical makers require particular equipment ; if for some ground the equipment was damaged or destroyed it could non be readily replaced ( BCST, 2006, p.

24 ) . If it is chemical installation which specializes in cardinal chemical merchandises and is a individual provider so this would hold a important impact on non merely the chemical supply concatenation but on the consumer industry.The deficiency of security at chemical fabrication sites is potentially the most of import exposure to the chemical sector. As celebrated earlier, there seems to be a dreamy attitude by chemical installations and their security directors in respects to site security. This could be due to a figure of grounds.

Since a bulk of the chemical sector is in private owned many chemical fabrication installations will non do betterments to their installations because of the costs they would incur if they were to make so. The chemical industry has non been faced with an onslaught on the chemical sector substructure hence ; they have no ground to set up new security steps ( Stephen Flynn & A ; Daniel Prieto, 2006, p. 18 ) .

Additionally, there seems to be a general consensus among chemical makers that if they were to put in upgrading security protocols at their installations they would be placed at a disadvantage both competitively and financially ( Flynn & A ; Prieto, 2006 ) .The chemical sector is besides vulnerable due to the geographic location of many chemical workss. Although chemical installations are spread out all over the United States, a bulk of chemical workss are clustered together ( e.g. petrochemicals in the Gulf Coast ) doing them vulnerable to a big scale terrorist onslaught ( BSCT, 2006, p. 25 ) . Likewise, many chemical installations are located in urban countries which are to a great extent populated ( Flynn & A ; Prieto, 2006 ) .

An onslaught in one of these big urban countries would ensue in mass casualties and 1000000s if non one million millions in substructure harm.


It is clear that the menace is existent, many experts in the intelligence field “ fear these installations are at hazard of a potentially ruinous terrorist onslaught ” ( Shea, 2006, p. 4 ) .

Therefore, it has been classified as being “ one of the highest precedence critical substructure sectors ” by the Department of Homeland Security ( Shea, 2006, p. 4 ) . To analyse menaces toward the chemical sector it involves placing the beginnings behind a menace ( Paul Baybutt, 2003 ) . Terrorist menaces against chemical installations can be categorized as “ direct onslaughts on installations or chemicals on site, or attempts to utilize concern contacts, facilties, and stuffs ( e.

g. missive caput, telephones, computing machines ect. ) to derive entree to potentially harm stuffs ” ( Schierow, 2004, p. 5 ) . That being said, a terrorist could infiltrate the installation as an employee or they could move from the exterior either “ entirely or in coaction with others ” ( Schierow, 2004, p. 5 ) .Terrorist see chemical installations as an “ attractive mark ” because they believe that “ these installations themselves can be turned into arms of mass devastation ” ( Flynn & A ; Prieto, 2006, p.

28 ) . This realisation is dismaying, harmonizing to Sullivant ( 2006 ) “ there are some 60,000 installations that industry, usage, or store risky chemicals in measures that could potentially set big Numberss of Americans at hazard of hurt or decease in the event of a chemical release ” ( p. 380 ) . Likewise, there are “ over 15,000 installations in assorted industries produce, use, or hive away one or more of the identified 140 toxic and flammable chemicals that pose the greatest hazard to human wellness and environment ” as stated by the EPA ( Sullivant, 2006, p. 380 ) .One must besides see menaces that are non needfully terrorist related. Harmonizing to the American Chemistry Council et at. ( 2001 ) other menaces that need to be addressed include “ intruders perpetrating hooliganism or scene fires for merriment and inadvertent break of chilling systems for the electronic equipment suites which control the release of risky chemicals ” ( p.

12 ) . Additionally, it is imperative that security forces examine the “ creative activity of destructive risky conditions through alterations of fail-safe mechanisms or fiddling with valves ” ( ACC, 2001, p. 12 ) .

What has been done to better chemical sector substructure

Since the 9/11 onslaughts at that place has been betterments in bettering the resiliency of the chemical sectors substructure. Harmonizing to Bruce Martin and Jessica Tierney ( 2005 ) “ the first National Strategy for Homeland Security was issued in July of 2002, which identified the chemical industry as one of the critical substructure sector that must be protected ” ( p. 1 ) . In 2003, The National Strategy for the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Key Assets was released by the White House ( Schierow, 2006, p. 24 ) . This papers focuses on the federal authoritiess coaction with the private sector to procure critical substructure ( Schierow, 2006, p. 24 ) . Specifically the federal authorities is taking to “ guarantee supply to downstream users of chemical merchandises, to protect and guarantee quality of chemical reserves, and to cut down the hazards of malicous usage of inherently risky chemicals ” ( Schierow, 2006, p.

25 ) . That same twelvemonth the “ President launched Liberty Shield, a surveillance plan to supply extra security for potentially threatened installations in the critical substructure ” ( Schierow, 2006, p. 25 ) . This plan focused chiefly on the chemical sector ( Schierow, 2006 ) .The most of import achievement the federal authorities has made is the “ Homeland Security Presidential Directive ( HSPD ) 7, ” issued by the President in December of 2003 ( Schierow, 2006, p. 26 ) . This directing gives the DHS complete authorization over “ the security of chemical installations ” and the duty of “ protecting critical substructure for the chemical sector ” ( Schierow, 2006, p. 26 ) .

The DHS is besides required by the directive to “ carry on or ease exposure appraisals of the chemical sector and promote hazard direction schemes to protect against and extenuate the effects of onslaughts ” ( Schierow, 2006, p. 26 ) .In recent old ages at that place have been “ several provinces and local bureaus that have begun taking stairss to beef up the security of industrial installations, including chemical workss, within their legal powers ” ( Bruce & A ; Tierney, 2005, p. 10 ) .

In New Jersey “ the attempt to carry on exposure appraisals and implement security programs at chemical installations is based to a great extent on best patterns counsel developed by the Chemical Council of New Jersey ” ( Bruce & A ; Tierney, 2005, p. 11 ) .The private sectors have besides made some attempts to better the substructure of the chemical sector. Shortly after 9/11, the American Chemistry Council, the Chlorine Institute, Inc. , and the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Associate issued the Site Security Guidelines for the U.S. Chemical Industry ( ACC et al. , 2001 ) .

This usher focuses on the security at chemical works sites ( ACC, 2001 ) . Based on hazard appraisal this usher will “ assist directors at single installations make determinations on appropriate security steps ” ( ACC et al. , 2001, p.

5 ) . Harmonizing to ACC et Al. ( 2001 ) security direction in footings of critical substructure resiliency should dwell of: “ hazard appraisal and bar schemes, periodic appraisal of the security program for physical security, including entree control, margin protection, invasion sensing, security officers, ongoing testing and care, and backup systems ” ( p. 6 ) .

Additionally, to better CI resiliency it is of import to be more cautious during the engaging procedure of new employees, so as to cut down the hazard of an employee undermining the installation ( ACC et al. , 2001 ) .The ACC approved “ a Security Code of Management Practices ( the Responsible Care Security Code ) in 2002, which is a compulsory plan that addresses site, transit, and cyber security ” in chemical installations ( Bruce & A ; Tierney, 2005, p. 5 ) . This plan requires chemical companies to “ carry on comprehensive security exposure appraisals of their installations, implement security sweetenings, and obtain independent confirmation that those sweetenings have been made ” ( Bruce & A ; Tierney, 2005, p. 5 ) .In April of 2007, “ the DHS produced the “ Interim Final Rule ” which established, among other things, risk-based public presentation criterions for the security of the state ‘s chemical installations ” ( SEMP, 2008 ) . As stated by the DHS the regulation “ requires covered chemical installations to fix Security Vulnerability Assessments ( SVAs ) that identify installation security exposures ” ( SEMP, 2008 ) .

It besides “ requires covered chemical installations to develop and implement Site Security Plans ( SSPs ) that identify steps that satisfy the identified risk-based public presentation criterions ” ( SEMP, 2008 ) . Likewise, the regulation “ contains commissariats for reviews, audits, and recordkeeping ” ( SEMP, 2008 ) . This regulation besides protects “ information that constitutes Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information, and provides the DHS with “ authorization to oblige conformity through the issue of orders, including orders measuring civil punishments and orders to discontinue operations ” ( SEMP, 2008 ) .In 2008, “ the chemical industry worked with the Department of Homeland Security ( DHS ) , every bit good as province and local authoritiess, to place and rectify the exposures in their ain substructure ” ( Toffler Associates, 2008, p. 12 ) .

Harmonizing to Toffler Associates ( 2008 ) the terminal consequence “ enabled DHS to supply the chemical industry with more information on how different compounds could be used elsewhere ” ( p. 12 ) . Likewise, “ 4 degrees of enfranchisement based on the type of installation and degree of hazard so that concerns with lower hazard factors are non over-regulated ” were developed ( Toffler Associates, 2008, p. 12 ) . Additionally, assessment “ enabled each chemical works to plan its ain protection program ” ( Toffler Associates, 2008, p. 12 ) . Furthermore, “ with each unique program, it becomes progressively hard for an enemy to foretell security steps when doing their ain programs ” ( Toffler Associates, 2008, p. 12 ) .

Merely late the Occupation Safety and Health Organization ( OHSA ) “ launched its National Emphasis Program ( NEP ) for the chemical sector with an initial focal point on installations in New England, the Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest ” ( Kara Sissell, 2010, p. 1 ) . Harmonizing to Sissell ( 2010 ) , “ OSHA will concentrate on inspecting installations that use Cl and ammonium hydroxide ” ( p. 1 ) .

The end of this plan is to guarantee that installations are following “ OSHA ‘s procedure safety direction criterions ” ( Sissell, 2010, p. 1 ) .

Description of instance survey: detonation at chemical works

Air Gas East is a chemical installation located in Salem, New Hampshire which specializes in the production of inorganic gases, specifically chlorine gas. Chlorine gas is really unsafe and people can be exposed by inhaling the toxicant gas and through tegument and oculus contact. On the forenoon of August 03, 2010 at about 8:23 ante meridiem an detonation occurred at the Air Gas East chemical installation.

The detonation took topographic point in constructing C-1, one of the constructions which house the armored combat vehicles of liquid Cl. The warning bell merely sounded for about 10 seconds go forthing employees no clip to evacuate. At about 8:32 ante meridiem, there was another detonation in constructing C-4 which besides houses big measures of Cl liquid. The initial detonation killed 92 employees and injured 103.

The 2nd detonation resulted in 209 human deaths and 321 injured. Due to the high volume of employee casualties the installation is unable to efficaciously put to death their exigency response program.Once Cl is depressurized the liquid rapidly transforms to gas. That forenoon there had been wind gusts up to 15 stat mis per hr, the gas rapidly spread to nearby communities within proceedingss of the detonation. There was non adequate clip to warn those who live in the countries environing the works.

Approximately 2162 people in nearby communities affected by the detonation. There are 682 human deaths and 1480 injured. Local and province governments are the first to react to the scene ; nevertheless they are non decently equipped to manage such a big graduated table incidentaˆ¦After an probe by the Department of Homeland Security and the American Chemistry Council it was determined that both detonations were the act of a terrorist.

Witness statements taken from two security guards that twenty-four hours described a white public-service corporation new wave with two work forces claiming to be linemans entered the premises of the chemical installation. Both work forces displayed badges with what appeared to be “ legitimate ” certificates. The work forces were given entree to the chemical installation. The probe besides revealed that one of the system control suites which monitor surveillance for all the Cl storage installations had been sabotaged prior to the detonations.


To find what went incorrect in this state of affairs, several factors must be examined. What sort of security cheque did the security guards behavior when leting the two work forces entree to a extremely unsafe chemical installation? Were the two work forces being monitored either by a guard nowadays or through video surveillance? Why were they non approached by security forces prior to come ining the system control room? How did they pull off to works explosives in two of the four Cl storage installations without being seen? It is clear that the security protocols at Air Gas East are slack. If these issues were addressed in an effectual and efficient mode than it would greatly better the resiliency of this chemical installation.


The chemical installations security forces should hold had more prudent security protocols sing those who are allowed entree to the installation. If an outside person ( s ) are at that place to carry on care on the installation so at that place needs to be preliminary background cheques conducted on each individual who is trying to derive entree to the installation. This should be done at least two hebdomads in progress. The security guards at the forepart gate are the chemical installations first line of defence to interlopers.The security guards responsible for the installations interior should hold been more argus-eyed about where the two work forces were traveling. If they were “ truly ” at that place to carry on care in the installation so they should hold been escorted to the appropriate location. Their activities should hold been monitored by both picture surveillance and a security guard throughout the continuance of their visit.


To efficaciously extenuate the effects which resulted in this catastrophe one can implement one of three attacks: “ cut down exposure by addition security, cut down effects through sensing and response, and cut down exposure and effect through inherently safer engineerings ” ( BCST, 2006, p. 50 ) . The installations existent clip surveillance systems must be enhanced ( BCST, 2006, p. 50 ) . If this is done so it could “ lend to early sensing and response to a chemical event ” ( BCST, 2006, p.

50 ) . Another attack to bettering critical substructure resiliency would be to better the designs of the storage armored combat vehicles to be more immune to terrorist onslaughts. There should besides be betterments made to the substructure of the chemical installation as whole, non merely to forestall the risky stuffs from being released but to protect the persons who operate and work in the installation.

In respects to the federal authorities ‘s engagement in bettering critical substructure resiliency in the chemical sector, supplying revenue enhancement inducements to the chemical installation would assist actuate them to seek out better security steps for their installation ( Flynn & A ; Prieto, 2006, p. 38 ) . Additionally, these “ federal revenue enhancement policies could enable companies to put greater sums of redundancy and recoverability of such systems, doing the American economic system and society more resilient to terrorist onslaughts ” ( Flynn & A ; Prieto, 2006, p.

39 ) .From a physical security base point, the chemical installation could put in the “ dad up bitts ” used in roadways ( Berger, Spring 2007, p. 7 ) . This would forestall the menace from deriving entree to the installations parking batch. In add-on to building stronger fencings around the margin of the installation, seting “ tall, thick thorny shrubs ” are besides a good hindrance ( Berger, Spring 2007, p. 7 ) .

Installing “ better locks on doors and relocating sensitive chemical procedures within the installation ” are besides effectual in indurating physical security of the chemical installation ( Schierow, 2004, p. 30 ) . Establishing “ entry dismaies and propinquity dismaies ” are besides an of import countermeasure in seeking to discourage menaces to the installation ( Berger, Spring 2007, p. 7 ) . Although these recommendations would better the critical substructure resiliency, they are merely effectual if they are implemented. It is the duty of the chemical installation to take these recommendations into consideration and implement them consequently.

Even though there has been betterments in the coaction between the private sector and the federal authorities. There needs to be more of a focal point placed on communicating attempts. For illustration, were these two work forces being surveillanced by federal, province or local governments prior to the onslaughts on the chemical installation? Did intelligence indicate that this chemical installation was of involvement to the two work forces? If so, so why was n’t this information shared with the chemical installations security forces. This kind of information would hold been really helpful in implementing more rigorous security steps in the yearss prior to the onslaught.


If there was a successful terrorist onslaught against the chemical sector it would be really damaging to both the U.S. economic system and the lives of the American people. An onslaught on a major chemical installation could ensue in the deficit of cardinal stuffs, such as chemicals used for pharmaceuticals.

Likewise, the DHS provinces that an onslaught could ensue in the release of toxic, flammable or explosive stuffs ( Monica Hatcher, 2010 ) . The DHS has aslo determined that any chemical stuffs or equipment taken from a chemical installation could potentially be “ used as arms or converted to arms ” ( Hatcher, 2010 ) . Futhermore, the DHS has made clear that if a chemical installation has been breached the chemical stuffs could be “ sabotaged or contaminated ” with other “ chemicals that can be lifelessly if mixed ” ( Hatcher, 2010 ) . It would ensue in non merely mass casualties, but it would interrupt basic substructure and society as whole ( Scott Berger, 2007, p. 62 ) .

Although there have been great paces made by both the private sector and the federal authorities more still needs to be done. As celebrated earlier, the federal authorities demands to supply inducements to in private owned chemical installations to promote them to better the security of their substructures. Additionally bettering communicating attempts between both the private sector and the federal authorities would besides better critical substructure resiliency. Sharing intelligence could forestall the possibility of a potentially ruinous catastrophe.Because the chemical sector is such an built-in portion of the United States economic system and the American manner of life it is of import that chemical substructures be assessed on a uninterrupted footing. Vulnerability appraisals need to be conducted frequently.

By making so it allows chemical security forces to develop better attacks to chemical hazard direction. It besides helps better chemical substructure resiliency in a figure of ways. It is my hope that in the following 10 old ages that the chemical sector will be better federally regulated. Presently there are no federal ordinances necessitating chemical installations to carry on these exposure appraisals. However, I hope that the bulk of the private sector will recognize the importance of this issue and take into consideration the many recommendations given by both the federal authorities and other bureaus that are invested in the safety and length of service of this sector.


I'm Ruth!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out