For those who are fans of chemical security (and who isn’t?), last week was a good week. The House finally passed a bill (H.R. 4007) reauthorizing the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. The bill keeps the program going for 3 years at a time (instead of the year-by-year reauthorization process it has been enduring), but that aside, the legislation institutes a program largely unchanged from its current form.
I’m on board with doing a top screen, with encouraging the most vulnerable facilities to step up security, and with reporting back to the Department on security progress. However, more than anything, I’m delighted lawmakers did not include any provisions to force facility owner/operators to adopt so-called “Inherently Safer Technologies” or expand the program to include currently excluded sectors, such as water.
Indeed, given all of the challenges DHS has had with the administration and implementation of CFATS, Congress did them a mercy by providing them with a 3-year extension without adding any new bells and whistles.