Issue Date: October 19, 2009
Lawmakers Extend Chemical Security Plan
House and Senate negotiators have agreed to extend the Department of Homeland Security’s authority to implement and enforce the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) through October 2010. The provision is included in the final fiscal 2010 spending plan for DHS. The department’s authority to regulate security at high-risk chemical facilities expires at the end of this month. Lawmakers are working on separate legislation to give DHS permanent regulatory authority over chemical facilities. The appropriations measure (H.R. 2892) includes $103 million for the coordination and management of the CFATS program, up from $78 million in fiscal 2009. The $25 million increase will enable DHS to expand its chemical facility regulatory staff to 246, up from this year’s staff of 168. The funding bill also provides $32 million to complete design work and begin the construction of a new National Bio & Agro-Defense Facility next year. The current NBAF lab on Plum Island, N.Y., is aging, and the operations are being moved to Manhattan, Kan. Scientists at the facility will conduct research on dangerous animal diseases that could harm the nation’s food supply.
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