New Rule Regulates Chemical Storage Facilities and Operators
On January 19, 2008, facilities must comply with Appendix A and all provisions of 6 CFR Part 27 of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Interim Final Rule that sets guidelines for security provisions and threat classifications of certain industrial chemical storage facilities.
The rule, which falls under the Security Appropriations Act of 2007, requires that qualifying storage facilities make assessments of chemical stock and issue Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs) based on those materials identified in the rule and then to provide Site Security Plans (SSPs) explaining how those materials will be secured. The rule allows DHS to enforce these guidelines through the issuance Orders Assessing Civil Penalty and Orders for the Cessation of Operations.
DHS has also developed a tier system that categorizes the risk level for given chemicals covered by the Rule. Tier designations identify those chemical facilities that pose the greatest risk to national security and are based on an assessment of the:
- threat of a terrorist attack on a facility,
- vulnerability of a facility to a terrorist attack, and
- consequences of an attack on a facility.
To accurately assess these issues, DHS now requires that all operators and managers of chemical facilities that fall under the new rule submit results of a Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT), which is comprised of a Facility Registration Questionnaire, a Consequence Screening Questionnaire (Top-Screen), and a SVA and SSP.
Affects on Contractors
In spite of the temporary nature of construction projects and the fact that contractors may be responsible for the security of a site only for brief periods of time, this rule may affect contractors. Any entity that is responsible for the security of a chemical storage site that falls under this rule must comply. This means that contractors storing the chemicals of concern or working at these facilities are responsible for the security of that facility during their contract they will have to submit CSAT test results.
For questions on the requirements of this rule, contact the Homeland Security Help Desk (866) 323-2957.
For more information, click here to view the DHS’s website.
The official rule published in the Federal Register can be found here as a pdf.
An appendix of the chemicals that falls under the Rule can be found here as a pdf
For information on the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT), click here.
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