Monday, August 20, 2007

Colonel Sanders and Jim Perdue -- Terrorist Targets

Forget about foxes guarding the henhouse. Uncle Sam is about to order chicken farmers to have anti-terrorist security on a par with chemical plants and nuclear power stations.

A new order from the Department of Homeland Security could classify chicken houses as prime terrorist targets -- requiring expensive security measures.

The rule says any place with more than 7,500 pounds of propane gas -- about 1,785 gallons -- stored on the premises is a potential target for terrorists. Chicken houses are usually built in pairs -- each house equipped with at least a 1,000 gallon propane tank to heat it.

So about 50,000 chicken houses meet the standard to make them tighten security. From the Delmarva Daily Times:

U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Tom Carper, D-Del., have co-authored a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff demanding answers for what they describe as a waste of government time and money.

Filling out the paperwork alone requires 25-30 hours -- longer if your chicken farm doesn't have high speed Internet. There's a $25,000 per day fine for delays in getting your chicken scratchings on Uncle Sam's forms back to Washington.

Propane is used to heat large facilities in rural parts of the country where there are no natural gas lines. So the rule could end up affecting campgrounds, grain elevators, and nursing homes among it's unintended consequences. (

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