No CFATS Coverage
The bill did not address the effects of Sandy on the security of high-risk chemical facilities in the covered area as I suggested in an earlier blog posting. I am disappointed that the Senate was not interested in the continuing security of the CFATS covered facilities in the area, but I am not surprised. After all there were more important things like the agreement between the US and Palau for the response to the 2010 Super Typhoon Bopha (SA 3344; which failed by the way by a vote of 52 – 43, 60 being required to pass).
Well, maybe this will be taken up when the House considers the Senate action on HR1, though the bill did not make the long list of bills on today’s agenda for the House. So maybe we will have to start all over again in the 113th Congress.
In any case I have developed some suggested language to either be added to a comprehensive CFATS bill (yep, we’ll soon be talking about that again) or to a Sandy Relief bill lacking that. Actually, it will probably have a better chance of passing on a Sandy related bill than on a CFATS bill. The language below would be in the form of an amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
§21XX; Natural Disasters Affecting CFATS Covered Facilities
(a) In the event that the President declares a natural disaster in any political subdivision of the United States (eg: county, borough, parish, or tribal area) that contains a facility covered by the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (the Director), will dispatch appropriate Chemical Facility Security Inspector (CFSI) teams to assess the effect of that natural disaster on the security of covered facilities in the declared disaster area. Those teams will:
(I) Visit each covered facility in the area as soon as safely practicable;
(II) For Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities in the declared natural disaster area, the CFSI Commander will determine if there is an immediate need for additional security personnel to prevent unauthorized access to the covered facility. Any such needs will be immediately communicated to the Responsible Federal Official for that disaster area as well as to the Director;
(III) Conduct an assessment of the damage to existing site security measures resulting from the natural disaster;
(IV)For facilities without an approved site security plan:
(A) Meet with the owner/operator of the facility;
(B) Determine the damage to currently existing critical security infrastructure at the facility;
(C) Determine the repairs necessitated by that damage that would allow the facility to deter, detect and delay intruders to the standards required by existing risk based performance standards (RBPS) applicable to the tier level, or interim tier level assigned to that facility;
(D) In consultation with the owner/operator prepare a report on the expected costs to effect the repairs outlined in (C) above;
(V) For facilities with an approved site security plan:
(A) Meet with the owner/operator of the facility;
(B) Determine the damage to the current security measures described in the approved site security plan;
(C) Determine the repairs necessitated by that damage to return those security measures to the standards required by existing risk based performance standards (RBPS) applicable for the tier level assigned to that facility;
(D) Of the repairs determined in (C) above determine which repairs would be required to allow the facility to deter, detect and delay intruders to the standards required by existing RBPS for the tier level assigned to that facility
(E) In consultation with the owner/operator prepare a report:
(i) On the expected costs required to effect repairs outlined in (D) above; and
(ii) On the expected costs required to effect repairs outlined in (C) above less the cost determined in (i);
(VI) All reports required (IV) and (V) will be submitted to the Director within 1 week of CFSI being allowed into the declared disaster area;
(b) Within two weeks of CFSI being allowed into the declared disaster area the Director will compile and forward reports to:
(I) The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommending that disaster recovery grants be awarded to covered facilities for the costs reported in (a)(IV)(D) and (a)(V)(E)(i);
(II) The Administrator of the Small Business Administration recommending that no cost disaster recovery loans be provided to covered facilities for the costs reported in (a)(V)(E)(ii); and
(III) Copies of both reports will be forwarded to the Homeland Security Committees in the House and Senate along with a summary of any recommendations made in (a)(II);
(c) Within one year of CFSI being allowed into the declared disaster area the Director will:
(I) Ensure that each facility inspected in (a) has been re-inspected to ensure that the required repairs have been made; and
(II) Report to the Homeland Security Committees in the House and Senate on the status of the repairs at covered facilities in the declared disaster area.
Basically the bill would require Chemical Facility Inspectors to check all covered facilities in the disaster area. The ISCD Director would recommend grants for fixing damaged security measures directly affecting Deter, Detect, and Delay to the appropriate tier level standards set forth in the RBPS Guidance document. Facilities with approved site security plans would have their other security related repairs recommended for no cost loans from the Small Business Administration. The actual awarding of those grants or loans would be determined by the appropriate Administrators.
Remember, the whole purpose of the CFATS program it to protect the communities surrounding these high-risk chemical facilities. The companies have had to pay the cost of getting their facility security measures up to the minimum standards established. They shouldn’t have to pay for the costs of re-establishing those security measures after a natural disaster. And it is in the best interests of the Nation that the necessary repairs are done in a timely manner.