As I have previously reported, the 112th Congress has put forth several bills that would provide long-term authority for the Chemical-Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. These include S. 473, H.R. 901, and H.R. 908, which would extend CFATS for between three (S. 473) and seven (H.R. 901/908) years. However, despite these proposed measures, this year CFATS has repeatedly being extended for only months at a time through ad hoc appropriations bills.
As the 112th Congressional session comes to a close, the House and Senate must work together to pass one of these proposed bills before the end of the year. Doing so would give companies with sites subject to CFATS the ability to plan and budget for security projects necessary to comply with the program. Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) previously issued a report warning major utilities and critical infrastructure operators, such as chemical plants and oil refineries about “violent extremists” that have obtained insider positions and pose a viable security threat. Having some predictability about CFATS will provide these companies – and their senior leadership – with the confidence to continue implementing the security measures that are essential to prevent terrorist activities at our nation’s chemical facilities.
We understand that time is of the essence, and therefore ADT Commercial Security and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) are together calling on Congress to vote on chemical security legislation. The legislation is well-supported by both political parties, and we expect it to be easily approved. I will keep you appraised as the year draws to a close.
Ryan Loughin is Director of Petrochemical & Energy Solutions for the Advanced Integration division of ADT- www.adtbusiness.com/petrochem. He provides security education to CFATS and MTSA-affected companies and is a member of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Associates (SOCMA), Energy Security Council (ESC) and American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Loughin has also completed multiple levels of CVI Authorized User training (Chemical- Terrorism Vulnerability Information) which was authored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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