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Storage: Hazardous Substances

Volume 473: debated on Friday 14 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department has taken to ensure the security of chemical storage facilities in areas of high population density against terrorist attack. (192520)

I have been asked to reply.

The Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999 place a statutory responsibility on establishments holding significant amounts of specified dangerous substances to take all measures necessary to prevent major accidents and limit their consequences. In addition, the Health and Safety Executive advises local authorities on applications for development around such sites in order to limit the growth of population that could be affected by a major incident.

In addition, specific chemical storage sites receive protective security advice and training from police Counter Terrorism Security Advisers and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). In addition, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced on 14 November 2007, Official Report, column 667 a review of the protective security arrangements in place around hazardous substances. This review is being led by my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Security and Counter-Terrorism (Lord West) and is currently under way.