Friday, April 1, 2016

ISCD Publishes April 2016 CFATS Update

Today the DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) published the April 2016 CFATS Fact Sheet. This updates information about implementation of site security plans (SSPs) at the high-risk chemical companies in the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. The update shows continued improvement in approvals of SSPs and a sharp increase in the number of facilities at which ISCD has conducted compliance inspections.

The rate in increase in the number of SSP authorizations (the first stage of ISCD actions on proposed SSPs) has greatly dropped off. Since the number of authorized SSPs already exceeds the number of facilities still in the CFATS program, it is difficult to tell how many facilities that are new to the program have yet to have their SSP authorized or how many facilities are having to go back and start over on the SSP process because of changes in the type and amounts of chemicals of interest that have been introduced into facilities with previously authorized (or even approved or inspected) SSPs.

With over 20% of the covered facilities now having undergone compliance inspections of their site security plan, ISCD continues to ignore calls for publishing compliance data on the inspections conducted to date. The last public data on compliance inspection results now comes from a year ago via a GAO report to Congress on the CFATS program. That report showed only 83 compliance inspections having been done and nearly half of the inspected facilities were deficient in implementing agreed upon security measures. Because of the lack inspection information provided by ISCD it is unclear if the inspected facilities are have performed any better than the earlier facilities.

At this point it is not clear whether or not the CFATS program remains on the Congressional target list. The passage of the Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014 just over 16 months ago took a lot of pressure off of the program as Congress made an effort to correct some of the more obvious shortcomings of their previous effort at authorizing the chemical facility security program.

1 comment:

George Dionne said...

Great post! Thank you for sharing. Hope to hear more from you.

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