Skip to content
Star alert
Skip to content


Senator Markey is a leading advocate for port, rail, and aviation security, as well as for enhancing the security of nuclear, chemical, and biological materials, and increased scrutiny of public health protocols.


For more than three decades, Senator Markey has worked to secure nuclear power plants and ensure the public safety in the event of a nuclear disaster. While in the House of Representatives in 1979, before the Three Mile Island accident occurred, Markey introduced legislation providing for a three year moratorium on licensing of new nuclear power plants until a top to bottom safety analysis on nuclear reactors could be performed. In 1986, he chaired hearings on the causes and consequences of the disaster at Chernobyl. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Markey passed a law to strengthen security for nuclear reactors and materials, and a law providing for distribution of potassium iodide to those living within 20 miles of a nuclear reactor, which he continues to urge the Obama administration to implement. And before the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns in Japan, Markey raised concerns about the seismic resiliency of America’s reactors.

Since the devastating events in Japan, Senator Markey has written to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and President Obama for more information on the implications for America’s domestic nuclear industry. He has repeatedly urged the NRC to consider specific domestic policies to ensure increased nuclear safety and introduced legislation to require their implementation.  He also queried the Food and Drug Administration on how the agency is ensuring that contaminated radioactive food or other agricultural products are prevented from entering the domestic food supply.


Senator Markey has been an active, persistent proponent of stronger security safeguards for all chemical plant facilities and transportation infrastructure. 

Everett, Massachusetts is the site of the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) importation terminal in the United States and the only LNG terminal in the country that is located in an urban area. As the author of the 1979 law regulating remote LNG siting, Senator Markey is keenly aware of the dangers posed by a possible terrorist attack on an LNG facility or transportation vessel.

Since 2004, Senator Markey has offered legislation to require the use of cost-effective safer chemicals and processes at chemical facilities in order to reduce the consequences of a terrorist attack. The chemical industry has vigorously opposed these efforts, supporting exemptions for thousands of facilities that contain toxic chemicals from having to comply with even the inadequate law on the books. In the House of Representatives, Markey led negotiations on comprehensive chemical security legislation that closed the loopholes and gave the federal government the tools it needed to keep these facilities safe.