Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 2, 2007

DHS Publishes “Chemicals of Interest” and New Industry Regs

Filed under: Chemical Security — by Jonah Czerwinski on November 2, 2007

DHS today released an additional appendix to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). Section 550 of the DHS Appropriations Act of 2007 gives DHS the authority to regulate high risk chemical facilities. At risk facilities fall into one of three main categories:
• chemical manufacturing, storage and distribution facilities;
• petroleum refineries, and
• liquefied natural gas storage (peak shaving) facilities.

The CFATS is part of the growing library of what DHS calls Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI). Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information includes the following according to DHS documentation:

• Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVA);
• Site Security Plans (SSP);
• Documents relating to the Department’s review and approval of SVAs and SSPs, including Letters of Authorization, Letters of Approval, and responses to them;
• Written notices and other documents developed to comply with the interim final rule;
• Alternative Security Programs;
• Documents related to inspections and audits;
• Notices of deficiency;
• Records of training, exercises, and drills;
• Incidents and security breaches;
• Maintenance, calibration and testing of security equipment;
• Objections and appeals;
• Records required to be created and maintained by regulated facilities;
• Sensitive portions of orders, notices, or letters;
• Information developed pursuant to the Top-Screen process; and
• Other information designated as Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information by the Secretary.

Appendix A lists about 300 “chemicals of interest,” including common ones such as chlorine, propane, and anhydrous ammonia.  Possession of certain levels of these chemicals requires the submission of what DHS calls a “Top-Screen.” This is an online questionnaire that chemical facility owners and operators submit to DHS, which it uses to determine whether the facility presents a high level of security risk. The Top-Screen is part of the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT). More about it can be found here.

Three security concerns dictate whether a certain type and quantity of chemicals require a facility to complete the Top-Screen. They are:

• Release: quantities of toxic, flammable, or explosive chemicals that have the potential to create significant adverse consequences for human life or health if intentionally released or detonated.
• Theft or Diversion: chemicals that have the potential, if stolen or diverted, to be used as weapons or easily converted into weapons, in order to create significant adverse consequences for human life or health.
• Sabotage or Contamination: chemicals that, if mixed with other readily available materials, have the potential to create significant adverse consequences for human health or life.

Update:
Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Bob Stephan will host a pen and pad media briefing on the release of Appendix A of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards at 2PM today at CBP Headquarters in the Commissioner’s Large Conference Room located at:
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
OPEN PRESS

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1 Comment »

Comment by Cocerned Citizen

January 22, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

This is the greatest program since our government was created!! Our government is keeping us safe in our own backyards!!!! Thank you God.

Bless Our Government.

CC

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