Chemical facilities across the country research, produce, process, and store chemicals that help support our food, medicine, energy, and fuels. However, if they fall into the wrong hands, many of the important chemicals used at these facilities could present security risks. DHS is committed to working with public and private sector partners to build preparedness for accidents and instances where these products could be used with malicious intent.
Last week, representatives from international, public and private sector participated in the 2012 Chemical Sector Security Summit in Baltimore to discuss ways to improve security at chemical facilities. At the meeting, I spoke about the importance of the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, which works to secure high-risk chemical facilities through risk-based performance standards.
Since the inception of CFATS, more than 1,800 facilities have removed chemicals of interest, and more than 900 other facilities have reduced their holdings of chemicals of interest to levels resulting in the facilities no longer being considered high-risk. These actions have helped reduce the number of high-risk chemical facilities located throughout the nation.
Implementing a program of the size and scope of CFATS is no small task. We’re working every day to make it more effective and efficient. Collaborating across government and industry, we will continue to improve security at the nation’s chemical facilities in order to safeguard our communities.
For more information on chemical security, visit www.dhs.gov/chemicalsecurity.