Issue Date: September 12, 2011
Senate Panel Extends Security Program
The Department of Homeland Security would be authorized to continue implementing and enforcing the Chemical Facility Antiterrorism Standards (CFATS) program for another year under a bill approved last week by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The measure was included in a DHS spending package for fiscal 2012, which begins on Oct. 1, 2011. Without an extension, funding for CFATS would run out next month. The program, which DHS launched in 2007, requires chemical facilities to develop security plans and implement protective measures to guard against a potential terrorist attack. Authorization for CFATS, which was originally set to expire in October 2010, has been continued through a series of short-term extensions. Chemical industry officials have been urging Congress to pass a multiyear renewal. “Some 5,000 chemical facilities across the country are still waiting on Washington to reauthorize the program on a long-term basis,” says Lawrence D. Sloan, president of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates. “Short-term extensions are not the answer and should not be the fallback plan.” The House of Representatives approved a one-year extension of CFATS in June as part of its fiscal 2012 DHS appropriations bill (H.R. 2017).
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