STATEMENT OF THE INSTITUTE OF MAKERS OF EXPLOSIVES ON H.R. 1710, Title lll, Section 305, and Title V (Relating To Taggants In Explosives) BEFORE THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES JUNE 13, 1995 Institute of Makers of Explosives 1120 19th Street, N.W., Suite 310 Washington, D.C. 20036-3605 (202) 429-9280 FAX (202) 293-2420 OUTLINE OF STATEMENT I . Introduction Il. Description of Institute of Makers of Explosives Ill. Description of Commercial Explosives Industry and Regulations IV. IME's Position on HR 1710 A. Overview B. Study v. Reasonable Regulation V. Identification Taggants A. Safety of Taggants B. Environmental Concerns with Taggants C. Feasibility of Taggants D. Effectiveness of Taggants E. Cost of Taggants F. Tagging in Switzerland Vl. Detection Markers Vll. Permitting of Purchasers of Explosives Vlll . Conclusion I. INTRODUCTION TO INSTITUTE OF MAKERS OF EXPLOSIVES Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Committee, I am Christopher Ronay, the President of the Institute of Makers of Explosives (I ME), and I am accompanied by members of I ME's Board of Governors, Mr. David True, Vice President of Austin Powder Company of Cleveland, Ohio, and Mr. Paul Rydlund, Vice President of El Dora do Chemical Company of St. Louis, Mo. We appreciate the opportunity to present testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on H.R. 1710, the Comprehensive Antiterrorism Act of 1995 and, in particular, on the sections related to tagging explosives. My statement will be brief and to the point. It is more fully amplified in I ME's written statement which I understand will be made a part of the record. Following my short statement, Mr. True, Mr. Rydlund, and myself will be happy to respond to your questions. Prior to my joining the IME last fall, l was Chief of the FBI Explosives Unit. l spent 18 years of my career with that unit and during that time have been personally involved with the bombing investigations under the Bureau's jurisdiction, including the bombing of Pan Am 103, the World Trade Center in New York, and the UNABOM investigation. Prior to my FBI career I was a Captain in the United States Army, commanding an Explosives Ordnance Disposal Detachment As you can see, my professional career has been dedicated to assuring the public safety and the safe use of explosives. I joined IME because of the long tradition of cooperation between law enforcement and the explosives industry. From my own experience, l know that IME and this industry are dedicated to preventing explosives from being used by criminals and terrorists. Il. DESCRIPTION OF THE INSTITUTE OF MAKERS OF EXPLOSIVES IME is the safety association of the commercial explosives industry in the United States and Canada. IME was founded in 1913 to provide technically accurate information and recommendations concerning explosive materials and to serve as a source of reliable data about their use. The primary concern of IME is the safety and protection of employees, users, the public and the environment in the manufacture, transportation, storage, handling, use and disposal of explosive materials used in blasting and other essential operations. The member companies of IME and their 60-odd subsidiaries and affiliates produce about 90% of the 4.1 billion pounds of commercial explosives consumed annually in the United States in connection with quarrying, mining, construction, demolition, and oil and gas exploration. IME has a long record of promoting safety in the manufacture, transportation, storage, handling and use of the explosive products manufactured by its members. It has an equally long record of cooperating with federal, state and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Our industry's recommendations are today embedded in the regulations of federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Office of Surface Mining (OSM), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as the regulations of over thirty states. We also are proud, as an industry, that we have been called upon to assist law enforcement agencies in their efforts to investigate bombing incidents and that we have been able to respond promptly and effectively. As manufacturers of explosive materials, we have a special responsibility to ensure that our products are safe for their intended use. We are committed to doing everything possible to prevent the criminal use of our products and to assuring the safe handling by those who legitimately are in contact with them. We are also committed to working with government bodies in developing new technologies to safeguard the public. Ill. DESCRIPTION OF COMMERCIAL EXPLOSIVES INDUSTRY AND REGULATIONS CONTROLLING ITS ACTIVITIES A brief description of the commercial explosives industry is appropriate. Members of the commercial explosives industry are involved in the manufacture, distribution and use of a wide variety of explosives products. The manufactured explosive materials are shipped to agents and distributors who, in turn, sell these products to the end users. Commerce in explosive materials is carried out within an aggressive, long-standing regulatory scheme enacted by Congress and administered by a number of state and federal regulatory agencies. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) requires all participants in the interstate commerce of explosives to have a license or permit to manufacture, sell, distribute, store, use or otherwise handle explosive materials. Currently, about 10,000 individuals and firms possess licenses or permits issued by BATF for these purposes. Manufacturers of commercial explosives represent approximately 10 percent of this total and distributors, importers, and consumers engaged in the sale, distribution, storage, and use of explosive materials make up the remaining 90 percent. These BATF requirements do not apply to intrastate purchases of explosives. BATF also has extensive regulations related to the storage of explosives. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the transportation of all explosive materials. The Occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the safety and health of employees engaged in the manufacturing and handling of explosives. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Office of Surface Mining govern the use of explosives in mining activities and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) controls all environmental aspects of commercial explosives and their use. Commercial explosives are used by a diverse group of industries with operations of varying sizes. Generally, the 4.1 billion pounds of commercial explosives produced in the United States can be broadly divided into the following industrial use categories: ù About 65 percent of all the total annual tonnage of commercial explosives is used in coal mining, both open pit and underground. The coal mining users of commercial explosives range from large publicly-owned corporations to small independent operations. Explosive materials are used primarily for blasting the coal overburden to allow access to the coal seam. With the use of commercial explosives, the coal industry produced approximately 1 billion tons of coal in 1992 ù Approximately 15 percent of explosive materials are used annually in quarrying and nonmetal mining. ù Approximately 10 percent of explosive materials are used annually in metal mining. ù Approximately 7 percent of explosive materials are used annually by the construction industry for buildings, roads, and pipelines. ù The remaining 3 percent of commercial explosives are used in a variety of ways including oil and gas exploration, agricultural uses (e.g. clearing land, removal of stumps, and dislodging of boulders), and specialty functions such as fusing metals together. Commercial explosives include a wide variety of explosive products that are put to many industrial, agricultural and residential uses affecting a broad cross section of individuals in this country. Several thousand different products/formulations are offered to the users of explosives. Because commercial explosives are used in construction, mining, oil exploration, and agriculture, regulatory programs potentially affect the safety of workers in many different workplace settings. They also can affect the costs of housing, fuel, energy, and a myriad of other products and services that are dependent on the use of commercial explosives. IV. Overview of I ME's Position on HR 1710 Domestic and international terrorism, such as the recent bombing of a federal building and day care center in Oklahoma City, raise concerns of what can be done legislatively to prevent these horrific events. IME has long offered its expertise and assistance to law enforcement and to Capitol Hill to move forward on rational and effective legislative initiatives. That is our intent in testifying today and offering our views on HR 1710. A. Overview--With regard to HR 1710, I ME's position on legislative initiatives under consideration is as follows. 1. IME supports a comprehensive licensing/permitting requirement for purchasers of explosives, such as that required in HR 488 sponsored by Congressman Quinn. HR 488, currently not a part of HR 1710, would expand the current requirements for permitting interstate purchases of explosives to include intrastate purchases of explosives. 2. IME supports Title V of HR 1710 related to the Convention on the marking of plastic explosives. 3. IME supports Section 305 of Title lll requiring a study of tagging of explosive materials, rendering explosive materials inert, and imposing controls for precursor chemicals of explosives. B. Study v. Reasonable Regulation President Clinton and Congress have proposed that the government conduct a comprehensive study of placing taggants in explosives. President Clinton has also proposed that BATF regulatorily require that taggants be placed in explosives. IME believes a study is necessary before any conclusion can be drawn as to whether BATF should begin regulatory proceedings to require placing taggants in explosives. There are good reasons, which are detailed in this statement, for our position. The only major and comprehensive study on taggants was completed by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) in 1980. OTA, in its report entitled "Taggants in Explosives" noted the limitations of the project, primarily "the preliminary nature of the taggant research." The report noted "Additional information is required on all aspects of the analysis--technical efficacy, safety, cost and utility." Over the last fifteen years new information and new technologies have been developed. It is important to evaluate all of this information as well as to address concerns that are, to the best of our knowledge, unresolved. More specifically, with regard to the study of placing taggants in explosives, IME believes it is essential that the study address the following concerns prior to legislatively mandating a regulatory requirement for placing taggants in explosives: Safety--There are safety concerns with placing taggants in explosive materials during the manufacturing process and with the legitimate use of the tagged explosives during mining operations. For example, it was recently concluded that the taggants destabilized TNT during a melt/pour operation for making cast boosters. Environment--No one has evaluated the environmental effects of introducing over two million pounds of the plastic/metal chips (taggants) into the environment every year, or the effects of disposal of greatly increased amounts of hazardous waste resulting from leftover batches of tagged explosives. Feasibility--Use of explosives containing taggants during mining operations will result in the contamination of the raw materials, such as silica, sand and salt and, in some cases, render it useless for production of end products. For example UNIMIN Corp. has written its Congressional delegation regarding the "devastating impact" on the American manufacturing of semi-conductors by placing taggants in explosives. Law Enforcement Effectiveness--Very few criminal bombings, one to three percent, are made of commercial high explosives. Homemade explosives were the choice of criminals bombing the world trade center, the federal building in Oklahoma City, and those planning to bomb the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City. In 1993, only 36 bombings of 2,364, involved commercial high explosives. A number of those 36 bombings were solved and traced to the manufacturer through evidence left at the scene. Obviously, tags would have been relevant in only a handful of cases. In these cases, the tags would have to be found by investigators, which, in a devastating bombing such as in Oklahoma City, is most unlikely. If a taggant is found, the investigator is led to the manufacturer and to a listing of the purchasers of that batch. Criminals are not likely to legally purchase the commercial explosive. It is more likely to have been stolen from a storage magazine. One does not need a taggant to obtain a list of commercial explosive thefts, as those are required to be reported to the BATF. Furthermore, if taggants were required in explosives many crime scenes would contain multiple taggants (those from new building materials and construction sites) thus the taggant from the criminal bomb would not be distinguishable from those taggants resulting from legitimate use of explosives such as in the making of concrete, mortar and brick. Cost--Our nations financial resources are limited. Congress has struggled with the federal budget and recognized the impacts of increased cost of regulation on business, jobs and competitiveness, both abroad and at home. The placement of taggants in explosives, the record keeping, the cleaning of pipes and gears between each batch of explosives, the cost of disposing of excess hazardous waste at the end of each batch would be very expensive and would raise the cost of mining operations and other commercial operations. Furthermore, cost estimates are needed regarding the impact on small business, which may be forced to shut down, and on trade, domestic and international. The mining industry would be severely impacted. IME can assure the committee of its full participation in any study and that, provided the Report is sound, thorough and objective, we will work with the Congress and the agency to address its conclusions. The remainder of our testimony will expand further on these issues as well as I ME's position on legislative issues. V. IDENTIFICATION TAGGANTS Section 305 of HR 1710 would require the Attorney-General, in consultation with other interested parties with expertise, including the private sector, to conduct a study on (1) placing identification and detection taggants in explosive materials; (2) whether materials commonly used to manufacture explosives can be rendered inert; and (3) whether controls can be placed on certain precursor chemicals used to manufacture explosive materials. The Attorney-General would be required to report the results of this study to Congress within 6 months after the effective date of the legislation. IME's comments are directed only towards the proposed study of identification taggants. Identification taggants are microscopic chips of metal and nine layers of different colors of plastic. Each batch of chips is assigned a code based on the color scheme . The theory is that each batch of chips can be easily placed in a batch of explosives; that law enforcement will, timely, find a taggant at a bomb scene (if a commercially manufactured explosive is used); that the color code will identify the manufacturer and the recorded purchasers; and that the information will lead to the criminal. There are many problems with this theory. IME believes that a study is needed to examine the following: the unresolved safety issues raised by placing identification in explosive materials; the impact on the environment; the technical feasibility of adding taggants during manufacture; the effectiveness of taggants as a law enforcement device and whether taggants would enable law enforcement agencies to apprehend bombing suspects more quickly and efficiently than they do at present; whether tagging explosives is feasible for intended lawful mining use; and whether the high cost of this proposal is justified by the minimal benefits to law enforcement. IME believes that these issues are unresolved, at best, and that the study should be designed to require that these issues be thoroughly evaluated. I ME's concerns about each of these issues is explained in more detail below. A. Safety of Taggants The manufacture of explosives is a very sensitive process that must be done with 100% safety or the result can be an explosion that kills and injures workers and demolishes the facility. Any change in the explosives formula, and particularly the addition of any new substance, can destabilize the mixture, setting off reactions that create a severe safety hazard. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) requires that any change in the formula for a "permissible" (an explosive used underground) must be retested and reap proved before it is used in actual blasting. Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prohibits workers from carrying any loose items into a manufacturing facility because of the fear of foreign items getting into the explosives mixture. July 25, 1979, there was an explosion in GOEX's cast booster plant in Camden, Arkansas, which GOEX believes was caused by the taggants. GOEX subsequently filed suit in Federal Court against The Aerospace Corporation and the 3M Company, which, at that time, was the owner of the taggant. Prior to the trial, the parties reached a settlement agreement with GOEX resolving the dispute (Aerospace paid an undisclosed sum to GOEX), with each party neither admitting or denying the adverse parties' allegations. In 1993-94 the Austin Powder Company, Cleveland, Ohio, conducted a compatibility study by incorporating taggants into cast boosters. It was concluded that the taggants destabilized the TNT resulting in an unsafe manufacturing condition. Recently the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology confirmed this result (see attachment A). In 1980, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) assessed the question of whether the addition of taggants to explosives might create a safety hazard. OTA concluded a full-scale qualification program is necessary before taggants can be added to all explosive materials and that: * The addition of 3M (now manufactured by Micro trace, Inc.) identification taggants to .... and one variety of booster material produces a chemical reaction at elevated temperatures and high taggant concentrations * There is little evidence regarding the safety of detection taggants, or of the combination of identification taggants, as testing has only recently been initiated and no results have yet been reported. OTA also concluded "Additional information is required on all aspects of the analysis--technical efficacy, safety, cost, and utility." MSHA has recently raised concerns with placing taggants in permissible, explosives placed deep into the earth and then discharged. The concern is that the plastic/metal chip would not be entirely burned up during the blast and that these chips would be expelled, potentially igniting coal dust/gasses, and causing a second explosion endangering the work site. Furthermore, long-term production compatibility and the affects on stability and shelf life testing has not been performed. Such testing is essential to any thorough evaluation of the potential hazards of adding an identification taggant to explosives. In 1980, the OTA stated: The lack of dab on long-term effects in terms of safety, stability and performance, especially in products such as gels and slurries, is particularly important. As a result of this uncertainty, not even preliminary indications of safety are possible at this time, much less the demonstrations necessary before a tagging proposal could be safely implemented. (OTA, Tagging in Explosives, p.6) Even the company now manufacturing the taggant, Micro trace, Inc., will not attest to the safety of placing taggants in explosives. In fact, they would insist on the following disclaimer: "MICRO TRACE shall not be liable for any injury, loss or damage, direct or consequential, arising out of the use or the inability to use the product. Before using, user shall determine the suitability of the product for his intended use, and user assumes all risk and liability whatsoever in connection therewith." As this disclaimer implicitly recognizes, manufacturing and using explosives are extremely dangerous activities. These activities require 100 percent safety 100 percent of the time. B. Environmental Impact Whenever a new material is added to a product, the environmental impacts of that addition should be analyzed. One direct impact of adding taggants will be an increase in the volume of explosive waste, with a commensurate increase in the safety, cost, and technology concerns associated with waste disposal. This increase will occur as a result of being unable to reuse waste product that, except for the need to preserve the integrity of the taggant code, could otherwise be reused e.g. product obtained when cleaning out machinery between taggant batches, damaged packages etc. Additionally, taggants are made from a combination of plastic and metal, neither of which is biodegradable. If added to explosives, the widespread use of these products will spread these taggants throughout the environment. Over time, taggant particles will inevitably accumulate in areas where explosives, are used e.g. mine sites, construction sites, and quarries.. We have no information with which to evaluate the effects of introducing these materials into the environment. We do not know whether metal will leach out, affect plant life, or end up in the food C. Feasibility of Taggants The impact on adding taggants to explosives would have a tremendous effect on related industries. One example is explained in a letter sent to Senators Helms, Fair cloth, Dodd and Lie Berman from UNIMIN Corp. Which has a quartz operation in North Carolina. UNIMIN states that placing taggants in commercial explosives would devastate their business. (The letter is Attachment B.) UNIMIN uses high purity silica to produce semiconductors. If the explosives used in blasting for silica-containing ore contained taggants, the raw material would be contaminated with the taggants. UNIMIN uses the most advanced technology in the industry to remove nearly all forms of contaminants from the silica products. The slightest impurity can result in defective silicon chips. The contamination of silica with taggants would make the product unsuitable for use in the production of semiconductors and provide foreign competitors with an enormous opportunity to make inroads into Unimin's market share. The company strongly opposes the requirement for taggants in explosives. I have attached similar letters related to sand used in glass manufacturing (see Attachment C) and to salt (see Attachment D). It is likely many industries are in a similar situation. D. Effectiveness For Law Enforcement Purposes In theory, taggants provide a utility to law enforcement. This is just not the case. In the first place, commercially manufactured explosives, such as dynamites, water gels, slurries, ANFO and blasting agents, are used in only 1 %-3% of the bombing incidents that occur each year in the United States. The remaining 97% to 99% consist of homemade mixtures and commercial powders. In the overwhelming number of incidents, therefore, taggants would not have been involved. The tragic criminal bombings at Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center, involved homemade explosives which would not have contained taggants. For example, in 1993, the last year for which figures are publicly available, the BATF reported that approximately 2,364 bombing incidents, including the World Trade Center bombing, were perpetrated in the United States. Of these incidents, approximately, 714 (30%) were caused by devices using flammable liquids; 626 (26%) by devices using black and smokeless powders; 565 (24%) by devices using broadly defined chemicals; 303 (13%) by devices using fireworks powders; 32 (2%) by match heads; and 31 (1%) by devices using dynamites and water gels or high explosives. The remaining incidents, approximately 4%, were caused by military, blasting agents and other unidentified explosives. In the 1 %-3% of bombings that did involve commercial high explosives, there are many forensic clues that help identify the manufacturer. The industry works closely with the BATF and the FBI to assist in identifying the product used, the manufacturer, and if possible, the likely purchasers of the explosives. For example, the companies provide law enforcement with samples of their products for forensic work and assist with the analysis as needed. The industry maintains detailed records of products sold and provides that information to law enforcement when requested. Furthermore, the BATF requires the reporting of all thefts of commercial explosives. Any taggant, if found, would be unlikely to provide additional or, timely, information that would lead to the criminal. The tag only identifies the purchaser of a specific batch of product. Another problem which draws the utility of taggants into question, is the likely difficulty of actually finding any taggants after a blast of any magnitude. Investigators, using fluorescent lights and magnets in the dark will have to scour through tons of debris containing countless particles of metal and fluorescent materials looking for a chip the approximate size of a grain of sand. Additionally, if taggants are mandated in explosives, the resulting raw materials used in building and road construction will contain tags. Thus, a new building will contain many different tags confusing the investigation of the future bombings. It has been asserted by some proponents of tagging that an identification tagging program would permit tracing a particular explosive, just as a firearm can be traced by a serial number, or a truck by the serial number on its axle. This assertion is not correct, of course. A batch, or lot, of explosives can consist of hundreds or even thousands of explosive items. For example, a 20,000 pound batch of dynamite packed in 1-1/4" x 8" cartridges or sticks, a popular size, would be packaged in approximately 40,000 cartridges which would in turn be packed in 400 fifty-pound cases. The same taggant would be in each of the 40,000 cartridges. Therefore, if the identification taggant survived the detonation atmosphere, its recovery would not identify a particular cartridge. The recovery would simply identify all the legal purchasers of the dynamite comprising the entire 20,000 pound batch which could be distributed over large geographic areas. There are many ways to circumvent a tagging program, and a bomber with only minimal grasp of the issue would be able to do so. Terrorists arid professional criminals, the primary targets of a tagging program, are precisely the groups most capable of defeating its intent by: ù Stealing the explosives, ù Purchasing explosives using false identification; ù Making explosives from many untagged, unregulated and commonly available materials such as ammonium nitrate fertilizer; * Removing the taggants, which with the 3M taggant can be accomplished with relative ease in some explosives using an ultraviolet light and a simple magnet. The industry shares in the universal concern that bombing suspects should be apprehended promptly. It is notable, however, that in the two most recent terrorist bombing incidents, i.e. the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City, suspects were apprehended promptly, without help from taggants. Taggants would not have reduced the time it took to make an arrest, or produced any significant improvements in an already laudable law enforcement performance. E. Cost Effectiveness The costs to society of placing taggants in explosives depend on many things, none of which have been adequately estimated: ù The cost of buying a batch of taggants (from a company monopolizing the market); ù safety testing all explosive formulations to which taggants are added; ù changes in the manufacturing process (e.g. converting the existing process to accommodate batch manufacturing; performing OSHA process safety management analyses on changed manufacturing processes and products; additional clean-up operations necessitated by contamination concerns; reduced productivity due to lost time; the hiring of additional employees); ù the size of the batch in which taggants are to be placed, and the taggant concentration; ù lost production due to the inability to rework damaged or off-spec explosives or explosives reclaimed during maintenance; ù record keeping by manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers; ù the environmental costs associated with the inability to rework explosives which thus become hazardous waste; ù costs to secondary industries, such as silica miners who will be required to remove taggants from their mined product to ensure that their product will be suitable for its intended use e.g. semiconductor chip manufacture; ù law enforcement and government costs connected with the administration of the program; market distortions due to product losses, shifts to products without taggants, and the pressures placed on smaller businesses by the generally higher costs they would have to pay for taggants; ù product liability costs associated with the introduction of foreign matter into explosives,*the percentage of taggants required in a pound of explosives; ù costs of shutting down a manufacturing plant for cleaning before starting a new batch; The 1980 Office of Technology Assessment report on "Taggants in Explosives", which is fifteen years out of date, evaluated some of these elements but acknowledged that the OTA data was very limited. In addition, the OTA Report did not estimate many of the cost elements listed above such as cost of shutting down the plant between batches to clean out pipes and gears, or the costs associated with disposing of the leftover explosives waste following each new batch of explosives. Furthermore, the OTA Report is out of date on the costs of tags; the differences in costs for large business versus small business; and the manufacturing processes used today. Data from the companies themselves show an average of eight changes per day of running a different product through the same machine. How often would the government have the companies change tags for different batches? The costs could be astronomical. Confidential data show that small companies forced to buy tags in small quantities at the higher prices would most likely go out of business. Companies engaged in international commerce would be forced to manufacture overseas or beyond our borders to avoid the costs of taggants. A commonly used 1993 cost estimate for buying the identification taggant for explosives was $0.09, which equates to roughly $400 million. This figure does not include any other of the cost factors cited above. Even so, this figure is significant when one considers the 1993 costs of various explosives: ù Cost of bulk ammonium nitrate-fuel oil (ANFO) blasting agent at use site --- about $.10 per pound. ù Cost of bagged ANFO blasting agent at use site --- about 12› per pound. ù Cost of bulk blend blasting agents at use site --- 20› to 25› per pound. Cost of packaged blend blasting agents at plant --- 20› to 27› per pound. ù Cost of Class A (UN Division 1.1) dynamites, emulsions, water gels and slurries at plant -- less than 90› per pound The direct and indirect costs of an identification tagging program would vary enormously depending on the scope of the program implemented. During the original pilot program referred to in the OTA study, BATF proposed a taggant concentration of 0.05% taggants, by weight, per pound of explosives and a batch size of 9920,000 pounds . IME received information from sources, including BATF personnel, that BATF wanted to increase the taggant concentration to facilitate taggant recovery at bombing scenes and lower the batch size to 10,000 pounds to facilitate tracing legitimate users. IME has not asked its members to conduct current cost analyses because specific details of a tagging program involving both an identification taggant and a detection taggant have not been outlined. Nevertheless, the cost of taggants must be focused considered, particularly in light of the minimal benefit to law enforcement. A thorough study is needed before these kinds of devastating impacts are imposed on legitimate businesses in this country or we will once again be exporting jobs and market share overseas.. F. Tagging in Switzerland Proponents of tagging explosives have cited the Swiss experience as proof that tagging works. This is mixing apples and oranges. IME believes the Swiss experience should be a part of the study on tagging but we do not believe that it can be cited as proof that a U.S. program is feasible since their program is vastly different than any under consideration in the United States.. The Swiss do not use the Micro trace taggant in all of their products. In fact, there are only three manufacturers of explosives in Switzerland and they use the Micro trace taggant in only a handful of explosives. Furthermore, they put a very low concentration of taggants in each batch of explosives and change tags only twice a year. Additionally, they do not clean out their manufacturing equipment between batches. Thus, some of each batch is contaminated with tags from the previous batch. The Swiss program simply permits law enforcement to identify one of the Swiss manufacturers and a family or group of explosive products produced by that manufacturer. European competitors of the Swiss believe the program was implemented not as a law enforcement tool but as a non tariff barrier to protect Swiss manufacturers from outside competition, a belief that seems consistent with the Swiss decision not to require taggants in all products manufactured or imported. The Swiss manufacturing experience similarly has no relevance in this country. In 1994, they produced about 6.6 million pounds of explosives compared to a U.S. consumption of about 4 billion pounds. In the U.S., unlike Switzerland, there are forty to fifty manufacturers with multiple product lines, and discussion has focused on requiring all 4 billion pounds of explosives to be tagged in 10,000-20,000 pound batches. Thus, each time a batch of the requisite size is manufactured, the process would be stopped so that the machinery could be cleaned to make way for the next batch. Given the law enforcement purpose of the taggants, it may be assumed that the manufacturers will be required to prevent the cross contamination of batches with the codes of another batch. Switzerland does not appear to have confronted the technical problems likely to be involved in converting continuous stream manufacturing to a batch process, or in converting an existing batch process to the particular batch pound limits. The Swiss program is more modest in scope and the industry is so different that it provides few if any insights into the manufacturing difficulties likely to be encountered in the U.S. The Swiss program has also been lauded by taggant proponents for its effectiveness as a law enforcement tool. Taggants are alleged to have helped solve 566 bombing incidents. This information is grossly misleading as these figures include all criminal incidents involving explosives over a ten year period, including explosive thefts, non commercial explosives and undetonated bombs. Swiss Federal Institute figures verify 236 explosive attacks from 1984 through 1993. Of these, 60 involved marked material of which 28 were solved. It is not known to IME whether any taggant actually has been found at a bomb site and aided law enforcement in apprehending a criminal. One of the Swiss manufacturers told me he was not aware that Swiss law enforcement had ever found a taggant at a detonated bomb site. V. DETECTION TAGGANTS Title V of H.R.1710 implements the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives by requiring all plastic explosives manufactured in, or imported into, the United States to contain a so called "detection" taggant. A detection taggant is a chemical additive which odorizes the plastic and sheet explosives so they can be detected by sensitive machines at airports and other security points. IME supports this provision. In fact, IME worked with government officials to assist in identifying a feasible and safe additive for use in U.S. plastic explosives. IME also supports the study required in section 305 of HR 1710 related to detection taggants. Vl. Permitting HR 1710 does not contain a provision requiring intrastate purchasers of explosives obtain a permit from the BATF before being authorized to purchase high explosives. IME would urge the Committee to incorporate such a provision as is currently in HR 488, a bill sponsored by Congressman Quinn (R-NY). Current law requires interstate purchasers of high explosives to obtain a permit from the BATF before purchasing high explosives. The Quinn bill would expand the current law in two ways: 1) intrastate purchasers of high explosives would be required to obtain a BATF permit in order to purchase high explosives; and 2) permit tees would be required to submit a fingerprint and a photo ID with each application. IME believes such a law would aid in keeping commercial explosives out of the hands of criminals. D. CONCLUSION Throughout its history, IME and its member companies have worked cooperatively with law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to develop extensive regulations governing the manufacture, transportation, storage and use of commercial explosives in a safe manner. We have worked with law enforcement investigators to assist in identifying the type of bomb and to trace a commercially manufactured bomb back to a manufacturer and to purchasers. We have worked with law enforcement to develop feasible detection taggants for plastic explosives. Based on this experience, we recommend: ù adoption of Title V of HR 1710 which implements the Convention on the Marking of Explosives, an international agreement. * Adoption of Section 305 of Title lll of HR 1710 requiring a thorough and comprehensive study of tagging explosives, rendering certain explosives inert, and controls ofn precursor chemical. * Amendment of HR 1710 to incorporate the provisions of HR 488, requiring permits for intrastate purchasers of high explosives. IME appreciate this opportunity to present our views and would be happy to respond to any questions.