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Homeland Security

Critical Infrastructure: Chemical Security

Cover of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism StandardsThe Department continues to strengthen security at the Nation’s high-risk chemical facilities through the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.

CFATS Has Made Our Nation and Communities More Secure

The CFATS program identifies and regulates high-risk chemical facilities to ensure they have security measures in place to reduce the risks associated with these chemicals.

Initially authorized by Congress in 2007, the program uses a dynamic multi-tiered risk assessment process and requires facilities identified as high-risk to meet and maintain performance-based security standards appropriate to the facilities and the risks they pose. DHS chemical security inspectors work in all 50 states to help ensure facilities have security measures in place to meet CFATS requirements.

CFATS Act of 2014

On December 18, 2014, the President signed into law the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014 (“the CFATS Act of 2014”), which recodifies and reauthorizes the CFATS program for four years.

This new legislation lays the foundation for the continued maturation of the CFATS program, adding new provisions while preserving most of the existing regulations. Significantly, it establishes an expedited approval program, which requires DHS to publish guidance setting forth specific security measures, which chemical facilities in Tiers 3 and 4 can use to implement an approved site security plan more quickly.

The Department expects the guidance to be issued in the summer of 2015.

A copy of the codified CFATS Act of 2014 can be found online at the House of Representatives' Website.

Securing High-Risk Chemical Facilities

CFATS is the first DHS regulatory program focused specifically on security at high-risk chemical facilities. DHS determines a facility’s initial risk profile by requiring facilities in possession of specific quantities of specific chemicals of interest to complete a preliminary risk assessment, known as a Top-Screen.

Facilities initially determined by DHS to be high-risk must complete and submit a Security Vulnerability Assessment. If DHS makes a final determination that a facility is high-risk, the facility must submit a Site Security Plan for DHS approval or an Alternative Security Program that includes security measures to meet applicable risk-based performance standards established by DHS.

Last Published Date: March 4, 2015
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