Monday, November 9, 2009

DHS CSAT FAQ Page Update – 11-06-09

Last week DHS added responses to five new questions on their extensive CSAT Frequently Asked Questions page. Those questions were: 1268 Am I exempt from registering since I fall under Part 105 of the Maritime Transportation Security Act? 1558 May I continue to work on my SVA while I replace, or after I replace, an existing Top-Screen? 1613 What is the anticipated timeframe for receiving a response to an extension request? 1614 My circumstances have changed from my original Top-Screen submission. What do I base my SVA on – my original submission or the material modifications I have made? 1615 I have resubmitted my Top Screen because of material modifications at my facility. This resulted in a change to my tiering. In this case, what happens to my current SVA? As always, I recommend that site security managers read all new responses as they are posted. There is no telling which might affect the CFATS implementation at a facility without reading the individual answers. New Top Screens With the economic situation being so bad for the chemical industry in general, many facilities are closing, reducing operations, or eliminating product lines; all things that can result in the reduction or elimination COI. This means that DHS has been receiving large numbers of Top Screen resubmitals that might result in lowering of risk level ratings or removal from the list of high-risk chemical facilities. What affect this has on facility SVAs is the basis for four of this week’s new questions. First, DHS makes clear that once an SVA notification letter is sent to a facility the facility is required to complete the SVA for the underlying Top Screen unless or until DHS removes the requirement. If a facility feels that their subsequent Top Screen will result in removal from the high-risk list (if they no longer have COI on-site for example) they should request an extension of the time to file their SVA under the old Top Screen siting the lack of COI and the new Top Screen submission as justification. In the event that the resubmitted Top Screen does not result in a change of tier level the new top screen will almost certainly not result in a change in date for the submission of the SVA previously required. This is the reason that DHS wants facilities to continue working on their current SVAs or SSPs while their new Top Screen is being evaluated. If a new Top Screen does result in a change of preliminary tier rankings, DHS still might not change the due date of a previously ordered SVA. If there were no changes in the list of covered chemicals held at the facility, there will likely be no need to change the SVA submission, so DHS would keep the same date. Similarly, if there was an elimination of a minor (by inventory standards) COI while large scale storage of other COI remain, DHS might not change the SVA date. The later situation might not even change the completion date of an ordered Site Security Plan.

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