CFATS and Executive Order 13650

CFATS and Executive Order 13650

On August 1, 2013, the Executive Order on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (EO 13650) directed the federal government to improve the safety and security of chemical facilities and reduce the risks of hazardous chemicals to workers and communities. The EO established a Federal Interagency Working Group to:

  • Improve operational coordination with state, local, and partners
  • Enhance Federal agency coordination and information sharing
  • Modernize policies, regulations and standards
  • Work with stakeholders to identify best practices

Tri-chaired by the DHS Infrastructure Security Division, Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, the Working Group coordinated with State and local governments, first responders, chemical facility owners/operators, and community stakeholders to accomplish these goals.

Infrastructure Protection (IP) Gateway

Information systems play a vital role in allowing Federal, State, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT), and private sector partners identify, analyze, and manage risk to protect the Nation. The IP Gateway is a centrally-managed repository of data and capabilities that allows stakeholders to easily access, search, retrieve, visualize, analyze, and export critical infrastructure data from multiple sources.

DHS shares certain Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) data elements with authorized Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) agencies on a geospatial map to help these stakeholders identify regulated and unregulated chemical facilities located in their communities and what chemicals are housed. This information can be used support planning, preparedness, and prevention activities and to develop a contingency plan to address risks.

IP Gateway uses three layers of information protection to ensure data stakeholders share is not exposed: Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII); Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI); and For Official Use Only (FOUO). Level of authorized access is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

CFATS data is available in a FOUO and a CVI layer with an established “need-to-know”. FOUO access allows users to view information on any chemical facility that has filed a Top-Screen (such as name and geospatial information) within their respective jurisdictions, whereas CVI access includes additional information, such as a facility’s risk-based tier.

Actions Taken by DHS

Since the establishment of the CFATS program in 2007, DHS has engaged with industry to identify and regulate high-risk chemical facilities to ensure they have security measures in place to reduce the risks associated with the possession of chemicals of interest (COI). CFATS played a significant role in reducing the number of facilities storing threshold quantities of COI by working with these facilities to eliminate, reduce, or modify their holdings of certain COI.

Under this EO, DHS:

  • Conducts Compliance Assistance Visits (CAVs) to assist CFATS-regulated facilities in understanding and meeting the program’s risk-based security standards. A facility can request a CAV at any point in the CFATS process.
  • Shares certain CFATS elements on IP Gateway with authorized Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) agencies to help strengthen community preparedness and response.
  • Solicited feedback through a CFATS Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on potential modification of the CFATS regulations to address ammonium nitrate and an ANPRM on potential updates to the list of chemicals of interest (COI) and other aspects of the CFATS regulation
  • Improved the methodology used to identify and assign risk tiers to high-risk chemical facilities by having external experts from industry and government review the process
  • Developed a guidance for the CFATS Risk-Based Performance Standards
  • Worked with EPA to identify and notify potentially noncompliant facilities that possessed threshold quantities of CFATS COI


DHS IP Gateway Digital Library

DHS PCII Program

EPA’s webpage on Executive Order 13650

OSHA’s webpage on Executive Order 13650

Report on Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment

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