Sunday, February 24, 2008

DHS Appearances Before Congress

The House Homeland Security Committee will be busy this coming week. Four separate hearings, three of which may deal with issues affecting chemical facilities. The fourth hearing deals with border issues. The hearings that may deal with chemical issues are:


2/26/08            “Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008”

2/26/08            “Homeland Security Intelligence at a Crossroads:  the Office of Intelligence and Analysis’ Vision for 2008”

2/28/08            “The Cyber Initiative”


“Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008”  

This is the committee’s third meeting on this subject (see: “House Committee Held Hearings on CFATS Implementation” “Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008 Markup”). The following people are currently scheduled to testify:


Mr. Robert B. Stephan, Assistant Secretary, DHS

David C. Pulham, Ph.D. Director of Compliance, Siegfried (USA)

Mr. Kevin Wattier, Long Beach Water


As of this Friday morning (02-22-08) this bill had still not been officially filed. This means that it can not be found on Currently the only place that I have been able to find a copy of the bill to be discussed is on the Committee’s web site.


“Homeland Security Intelligence at a Crossroads”


This hearing was originally scheduled for 1/14/08 but was postponed. DHS had posted Under Secretary Charles E. Allen’s testimony on their web site, but it was subsequently pulled. Fortunately I copied the testimony before it was removed from the web site and have already written my blog about his testimony (see: “Budget Testimony from DHS Intelligence and Analysis Under Secretary”).


As in the originally scheduled hearing, Secretary Allen is the only person scheduled to testify.


“The Cyber Initiative”


According to an email from Chairman Thompson: “The Full Committee will examine details of the Administration’s new ‘Cyber Initiative’, including trusted Internet connections, the expansion of EINSTEIN to monitor Federal agencies, privacy implications of collecting information, cyber counter-intelligence, and the goal of the Initiative to address cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.” Of particular interest to those of us looking at chemical facility security is the part dealing with cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.


The following people have been asked to testify:


Robert Jamison, Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate, DHS

Scott Charbo, Dep. Under Secretary for National Protection & Programs Directorate, DHS

Karen Evans, Administrator for Electronic Government & Information Technology, OMB

            Shawn Henry, Deputy Assistant Director of the Cyber Division, FBI

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