Understanding CFATS and Its Impact upon My Business
This white paper discusses the importance of understanding the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) for better implementation of process to achieve chemical security in facilities that handle, store or distribute high risk chemicals. It suggests specific strategies as to how collaboration with government agencies and technological support can help in mitigating chemical security risks, and thereby attain compliance with homeland security regulations. The white paper establishes that an integrated approach helps streamline CFATS compliance, manage security risks and reduce overall operating costs.
As a part of the nation's critical infrastructure security, the processing of chemical, its storage, distribution and transportation are issues of significant importance and much misunderstanding. The Congress has mandated specific guidelines and methodologies to assist high risk chemical facilities to assess, plan and implement a designated level of security. Interestingly, the scope of chemical security not only includes traditional chemical facilities such as chemical plants, electrical generating facilities and refineries, but has expanded to cover agricultural retailers, semiconductor manufacturers and liquefied petroleum facilities that produce, handle, or store high risk chemicals at or above a specified quantity. While chemical safety has long been a concern in the United States spurring legislative proposals from time to time, the events of September 11, 2011 triggered a nationwide re-evaluation of the security of industrial facilities that use hazardous chemicals in quantities that could potentially harm in devastating proportions in the event of a terrorist-caused chemical release. Organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) help private sector facilities in achieving process improvement for secure use and storage of high risk chemical.
The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), effective 8 June 2007, under the DHS refers to a set of comprehensive federal security regulations for chemical facilities considered to pose high risk to vulnerable populations in the event of a terrorist attack. The 113th Congress extended the authority of CFATS to regulate chemical facilities through 15 January 2014. As opposed to the mistaken impression of CFATS as a chemical facility regulation, it is, in fact, a regulation that covers facilities that use chemicals in the U.S. CFATS defines security requirements for facilities that produce, process, store or distribute specific quantities of approximately 322 chemicals that DHS has identified as being extremely dangerous. These chemicals, often referred to as Chemicals of Interest (COIs), include common industrial substances such as chlorine, propane, and anhydrous ammonia, as well as chemicals used in specialized facilities. The DHS considers each chemical in the context of three threats: release; theft or...