Monday, June 29, 2009

DHS Law and Regulations Web Page Update 06-26-09

On Friday, June 26th DHS updated the Chemical Security portion of the Law and Regulations web page. The new page adds a link that was missing from an earlier version of the page and adds sections for two new publications. Authorization Link Section 550 of the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007 Public Law 109-295 provided the authorization for the establishment of the CFATS regulations. That authorization was amended by §534 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, for FY 2008. The earlier version of this page described a .PDF file combining the two sections into a single §550 but did not provide a link to that document. That link is now available on the page. New Sections There is now a section describing the final version of the Risk-Based Performance Standards (RBPS) Guidance document following the section on the Draft RBPS Guidance document. Additionally, there is now a section addressing the CFATS Personnel Surety Information Collection Request that was published earlier this month. Missing Information These changes help to make this web page a more complete collection of information on the laws and regulations that affect Chemical Security. There are two areas that should be added to this section to make it a true ‘one-stop shop’ for chemical security information; ammonium nitrate rules and freight rail security rules. DHS is in the process of developing the rules for regulating the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate under the authority provided by §563 of Subtitle J of the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 110-161). An ammonium nitrate section on this page could include a link to the authorizing language and a copy of the ANPRM that was published on October 29th of last year. While the ammonium nitrate regulations will be administered by the same people in DHS that administer the CFATS regulations, the freight rail security rules {49 CFR §1580.101 thru §1580.107}are administered by TSA. That may explain why they are not included on this page. In my opinion, this makes it even more necessary for these regulations to be referenced on this page because they do impose significant chemical security obligations on chemical facilities that would typically be expected to use this page. Besides, the TSA web site is poorly organized and seldom updated.

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