Chemical Security Workshop DHS Panel: CFATS Inspections Process & Ammonium Nitrate Program Updates
We were pleased to have Carlos Vasquez, District Commander, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD), and Paul Sanders, Inspector, ISCD, as panelists from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the Joint Chemical Security Regulatory Workshop with the Chemical Industry Council of California (CICC).
Mr. Sanders opened the discussion by providing a brief overview of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program and then a more detailed review of the CFATS Site Security Plan (SSP) approval and inspection process. He explained that the SSP is first reviewed at DHS Headquarters, and if it appears to meet the applicable RBPSs, the facility receives a Letter of Authorization and an Authorization Inspection (AI) is scheduled. If the SSP does not meet the applicable RBPSs, the facility is provided with a letter identifying deficiencies in the SSP.
After a facility receives a Letter of Authorization, Inspectors, such as Mr. Sanders, visit the facility to conduct an AI. AIs typically last about one week and involve two or more Inspectors, and facilities should be prepared to demonstrate all security elements described in the SSP. Following the AI, DHS issues the facility a Letter of Approval or, if deficiencies were identified, a notice identifying those deficiencies. The first AI was conducted during the summer of 2010, and as of June 2011, five AIs have been completed. However, as of today, no Letters of Approval have been issued.
Mr. Vasquez then provided a status update on DHS’s Ammonium Nitrate program and the recently published Ammonium Nitrate Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which I have previously discussed on the blog. After reviewing the basic requirements of the proposed rule, he provided a summary of DHS’s expected path forward with the program. He explained that once the NPRM comment period closes on December 1, 2011, DHS will review and respond to comments, modify the rule as appropriate, hire, train, and deploy Ammonium Nitrate Inspectors and Headquarters personnel, submit a final rule for publication, and then begin registration, enforcement and inspections.
Finally, Mr. Vasquez noted that DHS will be holding public listening sessions regarding the Ammonium Nitrate program in areas of the highest Ammonium Nitrate usage, and information about these sessions will be published in the Federal Register.
Stay tuned for additional information discussed on the Chemical Workshop panels.
~ Ryan Loughlin
Copyright © ADT Security Services, Inc. 2011 - All Rights Reserved. Legal Disclaimer - Some of the individuals posting to this site, including the moderators, work for ADT Security Services, Inc. Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of ADT Security Services, Inc. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by ADT Security Services, Inc. or any other party. This site is available to the public. No information you consider confidential should be posted to this site. By posting you agree to be solely responsible for the content of all information you contribute, link to, or otherwise upload to the Website and release ADT Security Services, Inc. from any liability related to your use of the Website. You also grant to ADT Security Services, Inc. a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free and fully-paid, transferable (including rights to sublicense) right to exercise all copyright, publicity, and moral rights with respect to any original content you provide. The comments are moderated. Comments will appear as soon as they are approved by the moderator.