Sunday, February 24, 2008

DHS Web Site Update

It has been over a month since I last reported on changes to the DHS web site. That isn’t because there haven’t been changes; the changes were just too small to worry about. That has changed. Here in the last week there have been two changes worth talking about and one from January that I just discovered recently.


Top Screen Manual Change


In an earlier blog (see “Top Screen User’s Guide: Release COI”) I mentioned that neither the Top Screen User’s Guide nor the Top Screen Questions publications showed the fuels that had to be reported in the Release Flammables portion of the Top Screen. Well, sometime in January DHS published a new version (ver 1.4, January 2008) of the Top Screen Questions booklet with those fuels listed.


I missed this change for the same reason that it is easy to miss many changes on their site; DHS doesn’t tell you what changes on their site. On most pages you can tell that something has changed by the changes in the ‘last reviewed/modified’ date on the bottom of the page; then you have to search out the change. The new manual was probably added on one of those days when they changed the note about extended ‘CSAT Helpline’ hours.  


The listed fuels that have to be reported in the Top Screen (if other flammable COI are present at greater than STQ amounts) are:


Bunker Fuel



Home Heating Oil

JP A (jet fuel)

JP 5 (jet fuel)

JP 8 (jet fuel)




If anyone at DHS is listening, I think they should have included Ethanol and Gasohol in their fuels list. Especially with Ethanol becoming such a wide spread fuel. There are lots of large producers and fuel blenders that are potential targets. Maybe when they update the current manual (it has a 02-29-08 expiration date) they can include this.


Link to Chemical Security Regulations


DHS added another link to the Critical Infrastructure: Chemical Security web page. This is a good page to bookmark for entry into the CFATS portion of the DHS web site. The new link takes you to the portion of the Laws and Regulations web page providing links to various laws and regulations that pertain to CFATS. Some of the links on that page include:


Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007 H.R.5441 Sec.550 (Public Law 109-295) 

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS).

Interim Final Rule: Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS).

Appendix A to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard, Final Rule.

This is a valuable link and helps make navigation of the DHS site much easier. They could add a link to the 2008 budget bill section requiring new regulations for ammonium nitrate and modifying the rules on federal preemption by CFATS. If DHS wants to make their site even better they might include a reference page for the various ‘fact sheets’ that they have on their site. Then they could include a link to that page on the CI:CS page.


2008 Chemical Sector Security Summit


DHS finally removed the link to the 2007 Chemical Sector Security Summit page and replaced it with one for the 2008 Chemical Sector Security Summit. There is currently very little information on the page and the links on the page were not working today. Here is what is known:


2008 Summit
July 21 - 23, 2008
Bethesda, MD
Tentative Location


The 2008 Chemical Sector Security Summit, co-sponsored by the Chemical Sector Coordinating Council and the Department of Homeland Security, will offer presentations on chemical security standards, maritime security transportation regulations, security assessments and best practices.

Last years summit included both Secretary Chertoff and Assistant Secretary Stephan as featured speakers. There was some DHS led training on the then newly released Final Rule for CFATS, along with a variety of workshops and breakout sessions on various topics. With 350industry attendees last year’s summit was a good opportunity for networking and discussing security matters with a wide variety of industry professionals.

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