June 26, 2023
US Senator and Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI), and Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tom Carper (D-DE), and James Lankford (R-OK) have introduced S. 2178, a five-year reauthorization of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.
The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) both look forward to this.
Originating in 2007, CFATS is the nation's first regulatory program focused specifically on security at high-risk chemical facilities. Managed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the CFATS program identifies and regulates high-risk facilities to ensure security measures are in place to reduce the risk that certain dangerous chemicals are weaponized by terrorists.
Under CFATS, a chemical facility is any establishment or individual that possesses or plans to possess any of the more than 300 chemicals of interest (COI) in Appendix A at or above the listed screening threshold quantity (STQ) and concentration. These facilities must report their chemicals to CISA via an online survey, known as a Top-Screen. CISA uses the Top-Screen information a facility submits to determine if the facility is considered high-risk and must develop a security plan.
“Since 2007, the CFATS program has protected high-risk chemical facilities against security threats. These facilities are critical in the manufacturing, storage, transportation, use, and delivery of essential chemicals used in nearly every U.S. industry, including agriculture, energy, electronics, paint and coatings, water treatment, health care and pharmaceuticals, and more," said NACD President and CEO Eric R. Byer in a statement.
“CFATS can continue only with Congressional reauthorization, which will provide the chemical distribution industry with the support to make long-term facility security investments and enable the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to efficiently run the program.
“We’re pleased to see the Senate take the first step in ensuring CFATS is extended for another five years, and we thank Chairman Peters for sponsoring S. 2178 and Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) for cosponsoring the bill. It is critical that this program’s mission continues in order to protect against security threats at high-risk chemical facilities throughout the nation," he continued.
ACC members also support CFATS because it is critical to the security of our industry and the nation.
ACC President and CEO Chris to Chris Jahn said that the ACC commends Peters and his colleagues for their commitment to national security and to protecting the chemical industry.
"CFATS has helped industry and the federal government enhance security for chemical facilities, workers and communities and has proven to be a practical and effective regulatory program. ACC and its members support stability for the CFATS program, and we urge Congress to act quickly to prevent these important safeguards from expiring," he added.
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