If We Tell You, Terrorists Will Kill You

It has been two years since Congress suppressed an overview of the risks to people from chemical plant explosions. Dangerous chemical plants, they argued, were potential terrorist weapons, and if terrorists knew which ones were most dangerous, they would target them. Congress also ordered the Justice Department to produce a report by August 2000 on how to protect chemical plants from terrorists and make them less dangerous. A year after that deadline, the report is nowhere to be seen. Dozens of people have died in the meantime from chemical plant accidents (caused by the plants themselves, not by terrorists). As Environment Writer observes, "Current law makes it illegal for EPA to tell reporters the ten most dangerous plants in the United States, but does not require those plants to screen employees for terrorist background or even to lock their gates at night."