Further Improvements Needed on Chemical Security Regulations

Although the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made great progress in chemical security with the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, there is still plenty of room for improvement, according to Timothy J. Scott, Chief Security Officer and Corporate Director Emergency Services and Security at The Dow Chemical Company.

Scott testified before the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy on March 14, 2013 on behalf of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and stated that chemical security remains at the top of the priority list for the ACC. The Council supports federal regulation on chemical security and the improvements that the DHS has made on the CFATS, and the ACC continues to make significant investments in security measures to safeguard their facilities.

The DHS and ACC are working together to develop an Alternative Security Program (ASP) Guidance Document and Template, which will help to enhance the process for submitting security plans. However, Scott said that more transparency would help improve the CFATS program even more, especially when it comes to factors related to a covered facility’s risk-based tier status.

“The ASP initiative is an excellent example of how an effective public/private security partnership can create smart regulatory solutions that will benefit both the regulated community and DHS, while ensuring the security and safety of our infrastructure, our workers and our communities,” said Scott.

“Eventually we hope that Congress will provide DHS permanent statutory authority for the CFATS program, thus providing regulatory certainty and operational stability that is necessary for capital investments to be appropriately planned and budgeted,” said Scott. “These improvements will also ensure that long-term security decisions can be made without concern as to whether the regulatory landscape under the CFATS program will be altered.”