Senate\’s misnamed Chemical Security Act will provide little security, is opposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and will empower environmental groups to harass citizens.

WASHINGTON – Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) is planning to attach to the Homeland Security bill a provision that gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the power to regulate all chemicals used by corporations or individuals, including farmers, in the fear that these chemicals could be used against the citizens in a terrorist attack.

Environmental groups such as Greenpeace have been lobbying hard to pass S. 1602, The Chemical Security Act, giving the EPA sweeping new powers to regulate private use of cleaning agents to common fertilizers. The EPA opposes the legislation.

"The Chemical Security Act is a bizarre example of a power grab by special interests using homeland security as a guise to advance a totally unrelated agenda," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington. "An agency established to regulate environmental concerns has nothing to do with protecting Americans from terrorism. With more power, however, the unforeseen consequences could be huge."

Corzine\’s bill threatens basic property rights by expanding the EPA\’s power of eminent domain to seize private property. It would hand the EPA additional power to regulate American agriculture by giving it power to fine farmers for their methods of storing fertilizers and pesticides. The bill threatens America\’s job base by regulating any company that produces or uses chemicals, compelling them to take any action deemed "necessary" for security.

"Public officials need to draw a line between homeland security and unrelated riders that give even more power to the federal government," Norquist continued. "Chemical companies already cooperate with the Pentagon and FBI on homeland security, and the job of security belongs to security experts, not a regulatory agency – the EPA doesn\’t want this power, nor should it. Security legislation should be judged by its merits, not a national security scare."