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Safety concerns with regulating the chemical industry

        The Department of Homeland Security has just released its rules on reporting stockpiling of toxic chemicals, and true to form, the Bush administration has imitated the fox in the henhouse.  The new rules allow, for example, unregulated storage of up to 2500 pounds of chlorine:  one of the most deadly chemicals in regular use.  A company does not even have to report the theft of 450 pounds of chlorine, even though it could be more deadly than  ten times that quantity of high explosive.    Chlorine has been used against civilians by insurgents in Iraq.  [Think of the disaster in Bhopal, for example, and then imagine if it was designed to achieve maximum mortality by the architects of 9/11.]  The Department had proposed more stringent rules in April, however, they have been watered-down since by the Administration's corporate allies who provide what cerebral power is exercised by this Administration.  A Greenpeace spokesman attributed the tepid and unsafe rules to the usual pattern of former industry executives now serving in the federal government as regulators----who refuse to regulate.

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