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SOCMA President Delivers Opening Remarks at the 10th Annual Chemical Sector Security Summit

Remarks by Lawrence D. Sloan, President and CEO
Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA)
10th Annual Chemical Sector Security Summit
Alexandria, VA

Good morning and welcome to the tenth Annual Chemical Sector Security Summit hosted jointly by the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. I am pleased to once again open this outstanding forum where, for the past 10 years, the federal government and the private sector have engaged in constructive dialog on chemical infrastructure security. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to join us for what will certainly be informative panel discussions and presentations over the next two days.

This year’s summit sets an historic milestone in this public-private partnership. For 10 straight years, our shared commitment to securing the chemical industry has brought us together. Before there was a CFATS program, there was a security summit. As partners, we have shared best practices and lessons learned. We have networked with one another and asked the tough questions. It has endured through two administrations, with many top officials participating. Secretary Chertoff keynoted the first summit in 2007, followed years later by Secretary Napolitano, and later by Acting Secretary Beers and Deputy Secretary Lute. This year we are honored to have Deputy Secretary Mayorkis with us. Additionally, numerous leaders in chemical security from our industry have played prominent roles, too, such as Tim Scott, Clyde Miller, Beth Turner, Rick Kane, Larry Fitzwater, and Jeff Gage to name just a few. As a result of our success, this summit spawned the first-ever global chemical security summit, which was held earlier this year in Poland, a testament to the importance upon which we all place on partnership to secure the homeland. SOCMA is proud to have served as the private sector co-chair for the past 10 years and thank all of the members of the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council who joined us in 2006 to help create the summit and for their continued support. I would also like to recognize Amy Graydon, who has been one of our closest partners at DHS since the very beginning and has quietly contributed to the success of each of the past 10 summits. Thank you, Amy.

Since last year’s summit, we’ve witnessed many global attacks on key infrastructure: sports stadiums, airports, hotels, tourist attractions, places of entertainment. Each one reminds us that securing our facilities and our assets requires continual daily vigilance. Your commitment to chemical security is commendable and hasn’t been achieved without a price. The result of your dedication, to date, speaks for itself. The chemical supply chain is a complex network of chemical manufacturers, distributors, warehouses, and transporters that carry our chemicals to the end-user customer. A security breach at any point in this chain affects all of us – so it is imperative to work collaboratively with our supply chain partners, both upstream and downstream all the way to the consumer.  It bears repeating that we are all part of the same supply chain.  Though the chemical industry is among the safest of all manufacturing industries, there is always more we can do and actions speak louder than words. This week, be sure to engage in the conversation with DHS and other agency representatives. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from one another’s expertise and perspectives.

In closing, I once again welcome everyone to this year’s 10th annual Chemical Sector Security Summit. Thank you for your attention this morning and enjoy the sessions.

Now I have the pleasure of introducing Bob Kolasky, who is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Infrastructure Protection. In this role, he works closely across all levels of government and with the private sector on the national effort to reduce the risk to the National’s critical infrastructure posed by acts of terrorism and cyberattacks to strengthen national preparedness, timely response, and rapid recovery in the event of an incident. Amongst his areas of focus are public-private partnerships, future year risk and resilience planning for critical infrastructure, threat information sharing, and critical infrastructure innovation.

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