Senate Homeland Security Committee OKs CFATS Extension

Legislation that would extend existing chemical security standards on July 28 won bipartisan support in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Following a markup, lawmakers voted unanimously to approve an amendment from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009 (H.R. 2868), according to a press release from the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) .

The group commended the committee’s endorsement of the amendment, which would extend the existing Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) to Oct. 4, 2013 and give chemical facilities and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) time to more fully implement the regulation.

“The chemical industry is well along in implementing the current chemical security regulations, which are rigorous, enforceable and protective of the American public,” said SOCMA President and Chief Executive Officer Lawrence D. Sloan. “We look forward to working with the Senate to move towards permanent reauthorization of chemical security regulations.”

SOCMA said the amended bill would:

  • create voluntary exercise and training programs to improve collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders;
  • establish a voluntary technical assistance program;
  • create a chemical facility security best practices clearinghouse; and
  • establish an advisory board to advise DHS on implementation and the voluntary technical assistance program.