Today the President signed an new executive order (number will be published when this goes to the Federal Register, probably next week) addressing the improvement of safety and security at chemical facilities. Most of the plan deals with increasing cooperation and coordination between all levels of government and between all government agencies that have at least some responsibility for chemical safety and security.
There are a couple of specific issues that call for action by the CFATS folks (ISCD/NPPD at DHS). They include:
Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall assess the feasibility of sharing Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) data with SERCs, TEPCs, and LEPCs on a categorical basis. §3(c)
Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall identify a list of chemicals, including poisons and reactive substances, that should be considered for addition to the CFATS Chemicals of Interest list. §6(d)
There are a wide variety of other safety and security actions that will have to be undertaken by the Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group (CFSSWG). That group will be co-chaired by the Secretary of DHS, Secretary of Labor, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; the three groups with primary legal responsibility for chemical safety and security laws. The CFSSWG will also include representatives from the Department of Justice, Agriculture and Transportation.
I’ll have more on this later today.