Friday, February 5, 2016

ISCD Publishes February 2016 CFATS Update

This morning the DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) published their latest update about the CFATS program site security plan (SSP) implementation. As can be seen in the table below there is a continued, if slowing, improvement in the number of authorized and approved SSPs and the compliance inspection rate is increasing. We did see a slight decline in the rate of facilities exiting coverage under the CFATS program.

December 2015
February 2016
Covered Facilities
Authorized SSPs
Approved SSPs
Compliance Inspections

This monthly report is becoming more and more meaningless as the program ages. We have almost 10% more authorized SSPs than there are covered facilities and there is no indication if this is due to duplicate SSPs for the same facility or if the facilities that have been leaving have had authorized SSPs that are still being counted. We also have no way of knowing how many more SSPs that ISCD has left to authorize.

The slowdown in the rate of SSP approvals is a matter of concern. Since there are not explanatory details provided in this update, we cannot tell if the remaining (mainly Tier IV) facilities are having a harder time getting their SSPs approved, or if the declining approval rate is due to limited availability of Chemical Security Inspectors because of the competing compliance inspections. I had expected to see a surge in approved SSPs over the last six months because of the Congressionally mandated Expedited Approval Program, but the monthly numbers seem to indicate that the voluntary program is being under-utilized by Tier IV facilities.

ISCD continues to fail to use this monthly report to communicate real program information with the regulated community. For instance, there has been no mention of the implementation of the personnel surety program which has apparently died since it was approved by OMB back in August. There are a number of other overdue ISCD programs that have apparently been given up for dead, including the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program and the ending of the temporary exemption for Top Screen submissions given to agriculture facilities back in 2007.

BTW: The bad link for the EPA’s RMP*Comp program that I reported back in December is still returning a ‘Page Not Found’ error message. It is really good to see that the President’s Executive Order on chemical facility safety and security has done such a good job at ensuring cooperative exchanges of information between DHS and EPA.

Maybe it is time that Congress take another look at the CFATS program implementation.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */