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Chemical Facility Security: Working Towards Multi-Year CFATS Reauthorization

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Created by Congress in 2006, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) authorizes DHS to determine whether chemical facilities present “a high level of security risk” because of a potential terrorist attack that could result in adverse consequences for human health, national security, or economic assets.[1]

In January 2019, Congress approved legislation that would extend CFATS in its current form for another 15 months, as it was set to expire that same month. However, given the upcoming presidential and congressional elections in 2020, industry and lawmakers need to make progress this year on securing a longer-term reauthorization in order to avoid election-year politics that could bog down the legislative process.[2]

While there is no meaningful opposition to the CFATS, there is also no shortage of stakeholder opinions on how the program can be improved.[1]

A number of industry groups and legislators are working to obtain a multi-year reauthorization of the CFATS program prior to its April 2020 expiration in order to provide industry with the certainty needed to make long-term facility security investments and enable DHS to run the CFATS program efficiently; to ensure the CFATS program properly protects against security threats at NACD member facilities; and to establish a CFATS Recognition Program, an alternative compliance option to reward participation in industry stewardship programs that further enhance chemical security, like Responsible Distribution.[2]

Calls to expand the program cite potential inclusion of water treatment and maritime facilities and requiring clear protections against cybersecurity threats.

Read more:

1. CFATS Revisions: Congress Works on New Chemical Security Amendments EHS Daily Advisor

2. NACD and Member Companies are Vital to the Chemical Supply Chain PCI Magazine

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