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Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards: Facility Inspections

On April 9, 2007, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). Congress authorized this interim final rule (IFR) under Section 550 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007, directing the Department to identify, assess, and ensure effective security at high-risk chemical facilities.

Accordingly, the Department requires all chemical facilities to comply with regulatory requirements as detailed in 6CFR27 (CFATS). The process includes completing a screening process or Top-Screen for potentially dangerous materials, identifying vulnerabilities through a security vulnerability assessment (SVA), and developing a site security plan (SSP).

Through these implementations, the Department will determine whether or not facilities are high-risk. The acceptable layering of measures used to meet risk based performance standards (RBPS) will vary according to risk-based tiers ranging from tier 1, which contains the highest-risk of covered facilities, to tier 4, which contains the lowest-risk of covered facilities.

For facilities that are determined to be high-risk, the Department requires each of the facilities to comply with regulatory measures, including developing and implementing an SSP, which describes security measures (both physical and procedural). 

In order to ensure compliance with the site security plan (SSP), the Department will conduct inspections and/or audits at each of the tiered facilities. The Department will inspect high-risk facilities at regular intervals with tier-1 facilities being inspected first and more frequently. Inspectors from the Department may also inspect a facility at any time based on new information or security concerns. Depending on particular circumstances, the Department will provide facilities with a minimum of 24 hours advance notice for compliance inspections, unless specific security concerns or exigent circumstances demand immediate attention.

Facilities that have successfully implemented their approved SSPs and have passed an inspection will be considered as compliant with the required performance standards.

The Department of Homeland Security is committed to meeting the letter and spirit of CFATS to enhance and ensure the security of the nation's chemical industry, a vital component of the nation's critical infrastructure. Inspections of high-risk chemical facilities will help the Department ensure compliance and promote the highest security for the people.

For more information on CFATS, please refer to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards.

Last Published Date: July 27, 2012
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