2012 Chemical Sector Security Summit

Last week I was able to attend the 2012 Chemical Sector Security Summit (Summit) in Baltimore, Maryland. The Summit, which is co-funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), is one of the largest annual gatherings of chemical security professionals. 

In her opening remarks, Suzanne Spaulding, Deputy Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), DHS, discussed some of the current cyber security risks facing industry, stressing the need for industry to take a holistic approach to security that includes both cyber and physical protective measures. She noted that DHS is here as a partner to industry, and cooperation and collaboration is essential to ensuring a safe and secure homeland.

Rand Beers, Under Secretary, NPPD, DHS delivered the keynote address. He again emphasized the importance of taking a “team approach” to homeland security, specifically through information sharing and collaboration among local, state, federal, and private entities. He reviewed some of the successful DHS information sharing programs such as the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) and State and local Fusion Centers.

Under Secretary Beers then provided a brief update on the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. While acknowledging the program has faced challenges over the last year, he noted the progress that has been made since we learned of the internal Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) memo earlier this year.  As of July, over 60% of the remedial action plan items listed in the memo are now complete and Authorization Inspections recommenced on July 16.

He continued by welcoming David Wulf as the new Director of ISCD and Caitlin Durkovich as the new Assistant Secretary of NPPD. He noted their leadership experience and expertise and expressed confidence in their ability to move CFATS along efficiently.  

Under Secretary Beers indicated that it is difficult to predict the direction Congress will take with CFATS in 2013 but emphasized that DHS wants permanent authorizing CFATS legislation. He closed by stressing the importance of the public-private partnership and his belief that if we all work together, we have the tools and leadership to get the job done.

I’m looking forward to sharing more information from Summit in the coming weeks, so visit the blog regularly for new posts.

You can learn more about CFATS inspections by downloading the white paper: Surviving the CFATS Site Security Plan -Tips for Inspection & Resubmission.

Ryan Loughin is Director of Petro, Chemical & Energy Solutions for Tyco Integrated Security. He and his team have led many petrochemical security projects in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Loughin has more than 14 years of experience in petrochemical and energy security and provides security education and services to CFATS (Chemical-Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards) and MTSA (Maritime Transportation Security Act) -affected companies. Loughin is a member of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), American Chemistry Council (ACC), Energy Security Council (ESC) and American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Loughin has worked with hundreds of MTSA and CFATS affected sites and has also provided guidance on many ACC Responsible Care Security Code projects.

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