Report: Feds failed to inspect chemical plants with high terror risk

Government officials have failed to inspect nearly all of the chemical plants considered to be at high risk for terrorist attacks, according to congressional investigators. 

The Associated Press reports that a year-long investigation by Republican staff on the Senate Homeland Security Committee chronicles delayed government inspections, errors in assessing risks, and industry loopholes in the $595 million terror-prevention program passed in 2006. 

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The report, commissioned by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), called the U.S. prevention effort "a broken program that is not making us measurably safer against the threat of a terrorist attack."

The report pulled much of its findings from internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents. It states that as of June 30, DHS did not conduct security compliance inspections on 3,972 chemical facilities, or roughly 99 percent of the 4,011 facilities considered at high-risk levels for terrorism attacks, according to the AP, which obtained a copy of the report.

Half of the 4,011 high-risk facilities on the DHS watch list are located in 10 states: California, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey.

The warnings come one year after an explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant, with the report identifying threats from the toxic and flammable chemicals released.