Monday, July 1, 2013

CFATS Knowledge Center Update – 07-01-13

Yesterday the folks at ISCD updated their CFATS Knowledge Center web site by adding two new frequently asked questions and their responses. Both questions/responses deal with the appropriate method of handling when a covered facility makes material modifications to its operations or site.

The ‘Latest News’ section of the page notes that the “Department has clarified and updated responses to two FAQs”; FAQ 1614 and 1663. This is not quite accurate since neither FAQ show up in the “CFATS Knowledge Center Issues” copied from the site on 6-24-13, the date of the previous FAQ revision. It would have been more appropriate to describe the situation as DHS has clarified the requirements for dealing with Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVA) and Site Security Plans (SSP) when the facility has made material modifications to their operations or site by adding two new FAQ and their responses.

SVA or SSP Requirements Continue

When a facility makes a material modification while it has either an SVA or SSP deadline pending, it should continue preparing the appropriate documents as if no material modifications had been made. Within 60-days of making the material modification {as outlined in 6 CFR §27.210(d)} the facility must submit a revised Top Screen and ISCD will determine if modifications need to be made to either the SVA or the SSP. The new notification letter will provide the facility with a new deadline for making the indicated changes.

Removing COI

For a couple of years now ISCD has been promising to provide guidance on what a facility needs to do to document the removal of a DHS chemical of interest (COI) from a facility. Since over 3,000 facilities have removed, reduced or modified COI holdings according to the latest (June 2013) CFATS Fact Sheet, it is about time for this guidance to be made available.

According to both of today’s new FAQ responses, “, the facility should provide supporting documentation to the Department, to include the following, as applicable:

• “Reason for the revised Top-Screen submission;
• “Description of removal of COI(s) (e.g., sold to customers, used in process, returned to vendor);
• “Receiving location(s) of COI(s);
• “Documentation for permanent change of process;
• “Documentation supporting closure/sale/end of lease;
• “Invoices/bills of lading/inventory control forms: Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)/product labels, planned future inventory of COI(s);
• “Substitute chemical and/or process;
• “Description of management controls for future quantities of COI(s); and,
• “Vendor information.

Both responses state that such information should be provided to the CFATS Help Desk (866) 323-2957, Fax (866) 731-2728, EMAIL: csat@dhs.gov. There should be a friendly reminder here that the submitted data should be protected and transmitted as Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI). It would be nice if there were a CSAT tool for making this submission so that the facility would not find it necessary to email or snail mail CVI material.


BTW: I have complained of late about ISCD making changes to FAQs and their responses and not providing clear notification that such changes have been made. I would like to reiterate that ISCD has made such notification in this case.

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