Bill Failure Jeopardizes Chemical Industry Security

July 28, 2023
Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program expires

Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Gary Peters (D-MI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced a bill on June 27, 2023, to extend the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. That bill was not passed, and the program expired yesterday.

Earlier this year, Chemical Processing reported that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which manages CFATS, noted that terrorists are more likely to use industrial and other commercially available chemicals, many of which are found in facilities across the United States. Facilities regulated by CFATS must report what chemicals they store to CISA and if deemed high-risk, the facility then develops a plan to address three main security issues: release, theft or diversion, and sabotage. As of May 2023, CFATS covered approximately 3,200 facilities. 

The American Chemistry Council was quick to speak out on the ramifications of the bill’s failure stating, “The Senate failed us by adjourning without acting to keep CFATS in place.

“The loss of CFATS creates immediate risks and problems by limiting the ability to vet personnel, increasing exposure to cyber threats, and opening the door to a patchwork of federal and state regulations. Congress must get back to work immediately to reinstate CFATS to help keep our industry and America safe.”

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