Six Senate Democrats are backing legislation that they say would set tougher security requirements for chemical plants than the Dept. of Homeland Security has endorsed.

But Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Com-mittee Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine) says the Democrats’ bill, which Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) introduced March 30, “would impose costly, intrusive and burdensome mandates....” Collins introduced her own chemical security bill Dec. 19.

DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff has said Congress should pass a chemical security measure. He recommends that the bill set performance standards and suggests having private companies check whether chemical producers adhere to requirements contained in that new legislation.