SOCMA Renews Call for Long-term CFATS

The chemical manufacturers' group is seeking a three- to five-year reauthorization of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards.

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), in a statement to a key House Homeland Security Subcommittee, called for swift congressional action to pass a three-to-five year authorization of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) that will expire March 4.

The hearing, held before the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, included witnesses from Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the chemical manufacturing industry, and academia who spoke on the effectiveness of the current standards, the status of their implementation, and legislative recommendations for Congress. Timothy Scott, chief security officer for SOCMA member company Dow Chemical, was among the witnesses.

“The need for annual reauthorization of the program has created uncertainty for the chemical industry, which is making large financial investments in tools and technology in order to comply with the current CFATS standards,” SOCMA President Lawrence D. Sloan wrote. “Without the assurance of a long-term authorization of chemical security regulations, companies run a risk of investing in costly activities today that might not satisfy regulatory standards tomorrow.”

Sloan cited the importance of implementing the program from start to finish, which would provide both DHS and chemical companies the ability to assess the overall efficacy of CFATS, identify its areas of strength and weakness, and subsequently make (or recommend to Congress) any necessary improvements. He additionally reiterated SOCMA’s steadfast opposition to provisions included in House-passed legislation from the 111th Congress that would have required chemical facilities to use “inherently safer technologies” in their processes.

On April 13, SOCMA members will directly take their message to Congress and discuss their position with lawmakers and their staff during SOCMA Connect’s 4th Annual Washington Fly-in.

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