Monday, September 14, 2015

DHS Updates Chemical Sector Training Website

Last week the DHS Chemical Sector-Specific Agency updated their Chemical Sector Training web page. It has been a long time since there has been any chemical sector specific training listed on this page and that has not changed with the latest update.

The update added the following sections to the page:

Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Training and Awareness
Critical Infrastructure Learning Series
Find Additional Training Opportunities                               
Exercise Planning

The IED training section provides a link to the Office of Bombing Prevention’s fact sheet on Counter IED Training and Awareness. This 2013 document is a nice glossy advert that essentially says contact for more information.

The learning series section takes you to a separate web page of the same name that is supposed to provide updated information on the various webinars available from DHS. Not many of those happening and the only one currently listed that is of specific interest to the chemical sector (an update on the CFATS program) takes one to an Adobe Meetings link that never connects to the content.

NOTE: There is a cute ‘Emails Update’ link on this page that is supposed to sign you up for email notification every time that the page is updated, but I have not received any such updates in about two years now. Another dead end DHS innovation.

The additional training section provides a link to the “Find Training Opportunities” web page. This is a waste of time if you are looking for chemical sector specific training or even just chemical security related training as the only ‘chemical’ link brings you back to the page I’m reviewing here.

The Exercise Planning section has a link that takes you to a FEMA Exercise Planning page. It provides some good information on the value of table top exercises, how to set them up and run such exercises. This is good general information but nothing of any specifics to the chemical sector. The one link (after driving through the various pages) that is specifically about a ‘chemical spill’ [.zip file] does contain information for an exercise about responding to a chlorine railcar ‘explosion’, but it deals with this from a community perspective rather than a facility perspective.

It is a shame really. Fourteen years after 9/11 made counter-terrorism part of our culture and eight years after the formation of the CFATS program, there is still no training available from DHS about protecting chemical facilities from terrorist attacks. The one ‘security awareness’ program that had been developed has been removed from the DHS site without explanation.

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