Issue Date: February 21, 2011
Congress RestartsSecurity Debate
The current federal program for securing the nation’s chemical facilities against potential terrorist attacks is working well and should be permanently extended without any major modifications, a chemical industry official told a congressional panel on Feb. 11. The Chemical Facility Antiterrorism Standards (CFATS) program established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2007 is “demonstrably achieving its objectives,” Timothy J. Scott, chief security officer of Dow Chemical, said in testimony before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection & Security Technologies. Scott said CFATS, which is a temporary program that must be reauthorized this year, drives facilities to consider all risk-reduction options, including process safety improvements, when developing site-security plans. “These tough regulations are yielding measurable results to manage or in some cases eliminate security risks,” Scott testified. “It’s important that we don’t lose this momentum.” Rep. Daniel E. Lungren (R-Calif.), subcommittee chairman, said the best way to bolster security at chemical facilities is to allow DHS to fully implement CFATS before any significant program changes are enacted. “We’re not looking at a complete overhaul,” he said.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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