Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) Top-Screen

Facilities that possesses any chemicals of interest (COI) listed in Appendix A at or above the specified screening threshold quantities (STQ) are considered chemical facilities of interest and must report their chemical holdings to DHS within 60 days by filing a Top-Screen survey.

The Top-Screen is an online, easy-to-use survey available through the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT).

The Department’s Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) uses the Top-Screen information to determine if the facility presents a high level of security risk and is therefore, subject to CFATS regulation.

Please note that if your facility comes into possession of additional COI listed on Appendix A at or above the STQ, or makes a material modification after submitting the Top-Screen, your facility must complete and submit an updated Top-Screen to DHS within 60 calendar days.

To begin the process of reporting your COI, visit the CFATS Process page.

How to submit a Top-Screen?

The Top-Screen survey is housed in CSAT—a secure, online portal used by covered chemical facilities and DHS to submit and receive CFATS-related applications and documents. CSAT is only accessible to Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) certified individuals.

After completing CVI training, facilities should register for a CSAT user identification and password. DHS will validate a facility's registration and notify the facility on how to access CSAT.

Facilities can then log into CSAT and submit a Top-Screen survey to DHS for review.

Facilities Exempt from CFATS

Certain facilities are exempted from the CFATS regulation by statute if they are:

  • Regulated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act
  • A public water system, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 300
  • A treatment works, as defined in 33 U.S.C. § 1292
  • Owned or operated by the Department of Defense or Department of Energy
  • Subject to regulation by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

An agricultural production facility that uses the COI on crops, feed, land, livestock, or poultry may also be exempt from reporting COI to DHS. Read more in Federal Register Vol. 73, No. 6, page 1640.

The Transportation Security Administration is the lead component within the Department for regulating the security of transportation facilities such as railroads and natural gas pipelines. The Department does not currently require railroad facilities that possess COI that meet or exceed the STQ to complete a Top-Screen.

The CFATS regulation does require the reporting of COI that meet or exceed the STQ found within any rail car that is detached from motive power. However, if the COI is attached to motive power, the COI does not need to be reported. The regulation requires the reporting of threshold quantities of theft/diversion and sabotage COI within any rail car at the facility, whether or not the rail car is attached or detached from motive power.

Covered chemical facilities with a pipeline within their boundaries must also identify the pipeline as an asset and address it, as appropriate, in the facility's Security Vulnerability Assessment/Site Security Plan.

Enhanced Tiering Methodology

In September 2016, CSAT 2.0 was released in conjunction with the CFATS enhanced tiering methodology to improve integration between surveys and to more appropriately identify and tier high-risk chemical facilities.

All chemical facilities of interest and CFATS-covered chemical facilities that previously submitted a Top-Screen to DHS had to resubmit a Top-Screen in CSAT 2.0 to be run through the new tiering engine.

In April of 2017, DHS began sending tiering determination letters to chemical facilities based on the new methodology. Tiering notifications continue as new Top-Screens are processed.

Additional Resources

Contact Information

Visit the CFATS Knowledge Center for an online repository of frequently asked questions, articles, and the latest CFATS program news.

If you have additional questions, please call the CFATS Help Desk at 866-323-2957 Monday through Friday (except federal holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET).

Last Published Date: September 26, 2018

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