The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) lauds passage of H.R. 4007, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Authorization and Accountability Act, by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The bill, which passed by voice vote in the U.S. House of Representatives two weeks ago, will now be considered on the Senate Floor for final passage.
“Today, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs moved the ball one step closer to providing the regulatory certainty that facilities covered by CFATS have needed for many years,” said Bill Allmond, SOCMA vice president of government and public relations. “The fact the bill has come this far in such a short time gives us hope that we will see this multi-year CFATS reauthorization signed into law before the mid-term elections. We commend Senator Carper for his steadfast leadership on the need for longer-term reauthorization.”
The bill’s advancement comes one week after nearly 600 industry stakeholders and representatives from the federal government convened in Baltimore for the 2014 Chemical Sector Security Summit, where attendees addressed strengths and challenges associated with CFATS. The Security Summit is co-funded by SOCMA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
In general, the specialty chemical industry is supportive of CFATS. During last week’s Security Summit, Kate Donahue, president and CEO of Hampford Research Inc., and a member of SOCMA’s Board of Governors, shared with reporters the positive experience her company had with its first CFATS inspection, in spite of a delay caused by last October’s government shutdown. Donahue called on lawmakers to help small companies like hers by restoring stability and predictability to the CFATS program.
“Even under ideal circumstances, it costs companies—especially small businesses like mine—time and money to plan for, pay for, and prepare for compliance with a program like CFATS,” said Donahue.
SOCMA continues to provide stakeholder input about CFATS to the federal government via events like the Chemical Sector Security Summit, comment submissions to the regulatory agencies, and congressional testimony.