Tuesday, May 5, 2015

ISCD Publishes Latest CFATS Update – 05-01-15

This afternoon the folks at ISCD published their latest CFATS Update showing the current status of site security plans and the number of facilities covered under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. As we have seen over the last year or so, there has been a continued steady increase in the number of facilities that have had their site security plans authorized and approved.

Current SSP Statistics

ISCS is still not including in this update either an accounting of the number or status of facilities that have undergone a CFATS compliance inspection; the next step in the CFATS process. With less than 300 facilities yet to receive SSP authorization (and many of these may not have yet reached the point in the CFATS process where they have even submitted SSPs for review) I would expect more attention to have been applied to the compliance inspection portion of the program.

Covered Facilities

We are continuing to see a steady decline in the number of facilities that are still covered under the CFATS program. This month I have changed the graph to only show the data since January 2014 since there was a significant change (acceleration) in the rate of decline starting at that point (I described this in an earlier post).

I did a simple statistical analysis of the data provided in the chart above looking at the rate of change. Using the simple linear analysis tools in MS Excel® I determined the equation for that rate of decline and the R2 value for that regression.

y = -63.025x + 4353
where: y = the number of covered facilities and
                      x = the number of months since January 2014

The R2 value for this data set is R² = 0.9867. My statistics professor from a couple of decades ago considered an R2 of > 0.99 to indicate a significant correlation between the two sets of data; this is pretty close. If this correlation continues (a BIG IF; no cause and effect relationship has been established) we could expect there to be no facilities in the CFATS program after sometime in the middle of October 2019.

This is, of course, a pretty silly application of statistical analysis, but since we have no statistical data from ISCD on the reasons for removal from the CFATS program we are reduced to playing these types of analytical games.

Expedited Approval Facility Process

With more than 91% of the currently covered facilities having an authorized site security plan under the current CFATS program, it would seem that there is much less need for the Expedited Approval Facility (EAF) process required by HR 4007. Depending on the actual content of the EAF requirements to be published next month by ISCD it might be easier for facilities with authorized SSPs to continue in the current approval process than change their existing plans to conform to the EAF plan.

A quick reminder hear, HR 4007 specifically provides ISCD with the authority {§2102(c)(4)(B)(ii)} to publish the EAF plan requirements without going through the publish and comment process required for a normal change in regulations. The deadline for the publication of the EAF guidance document is June 16th and Tier 3 and 4 facilities without an approved SSP have 30 days (July 16th) to decide if they want to use the EAF process instead of the standard SSP approval process.

While I suspect that there has been some discussion with industry about the EAF process there have been no public statement from DHS about how this program will work. I’m pretty sure that some of the procedural details are still being worked out.

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