U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) has announced he is co-sponsoring legislation to improve security at sites where agricultural chemicals are manufactured, distributed and stored.

The Agricultural Business Security Act of 2005, introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), would provide tax credits to agriculture retailers, distributors, manufacturers, formulators or aerial applicators of agricultural pesticides or fertilizers as an incentive for them to make security improvements where agricultural pesticides or fertilizers are stored.

The pesticides and fertilizers that are used by farmers and agricultural businesses every day can be misused as agents for manufacturing illegal drugs such as methamphetamine. Certain chemicals can also be used to develop explosive devices, making these agribusiness sites a potential target for foreign and domestic terrorists.

“In order to protect our nation from those who would harm us, we must remain vigilant and heighten our awareness of our everyday surroundings,” Isakson said. “This legislation gives an incentive to our agriculture community to implement costly security measures that will make our nation a safer place.”

The security tax credit cannot exceed $100,000 per facility, per year and no eligible agricultural business can receive more than $2 million in security tax credits in any taxable year.

Qualified chemical security expenditures include:

• Employee security training and background checks.

• Elimination and prevention of access to controls of specified agricultural chemicals stored at a facility.

• Tagging, locking tank valves, and chemical additives to prevent the theft of specified agricultural chemicals or to render such chemicals unfit for illegal use.

• Protection of the perimeter of specified agricultural chemicals, installation of security lighting, cameras, recording equipment and intrusion detection sensors.

• Implementing measures to increase computer or computer network security.

• Conducting security vulnerability assessments.

• Implementing a site security plan.

• Other measures provided for by regulation.