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Sen. Schumer: Run Background Checks on Utility Workers

Sen. Chuck Schumer

Major utility plants should run background checks on employees to help prevent security threats, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Sunday.

Reuters reports Schumer plans to introduce legislation next month requiring major utilities and critical infrastructure plants to run FBI background checks on workers with access to sensitive areas within utilities.

Schumer cited a recent report from the Department of Homeland Security. The report found sabotage by disgruntled employees at electric, gas and water facilities was a significant threat to national security.

Schumer said the report shows al-Qaida is recruiting extremists to work in utility plants.

“Power plants and utilities present a tempting and potentially catastrophic target to extremists who are bent on wreaking havoc on the United States,” Schumer said. “Thorough background checks on all workers with access to the most sensitive areas of these operations are a must.”

Schumer plans to introduce the legislation when Congress reconvenes after Labor Day.

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