Tuesday, March 16, 2010

HR 4842 Introduction – DHS S&T Authorization Bill

On Monday, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D, NY), Chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, introduced HR 4842, the Homeland Security Science and Technology Authorization Act of 2010. Chairman Thompson (D, MS) and the ranking member on the subcommittee, Rep. Lungren (R, CA) are co-sponsors of HR 4842. This bill would authorize the DHS S&T Directorate for FY2011 and FY2012. There are a number of provisions of this bill that will be of interest to the chemical security community. Cybersecurity R&D Section 404 of this bill calls for the S&T Directorate to conduct and support a variety cybersecurity research and development efforts. The bill would authorize the appropriation of $75 million in both FY 2011 and FY 2012 for such R&D efforts to “prevent, detect, and respond to acts of terrorism and other large-scale disruptions to information infrastructure” {§404(d)}. One of the specified efforts would be to assist “the development and support of technologies to reduce vulnerabilities in process control systems” {§404(b)(5)}. Section 405 would require the S&T Directorate to work with the National Research Council to conduct a study of incentives to encourage to private sector to increase its efforts in the field of cybersecurity. One of the areas the bill directs to be included in the study is the evaluation of the use of regulations that would impose “under threat of civil penalty best practices on system operators of critical infrastructure” {§405(b)(3)}. Chemical Security R&D Section 409 would establish requirements for R&D to be conducted by the S&T directorate in the areas of chemical and biological threats research. Specifically for chemical security the Directorate would be tasked to “develop technology to reduce the Nation’s vulnerability to chemical warfare agents and commonly used toxic industrial chemicals” {§409(d)}. Included in this would be the establishment of the Chemical Security Analysis Center. The CSAC would be tasked with “conducting risk and vulnerability assessments based on chemical threat properties” {§409(d)(1)}. Additionally the Directorate would be required to work to “foster a coordinated approach to returning a chemically contaminated area to a normal condition, and to foster analysis of contaminated areas both before and after the restoration process” {§409(d)(3)} Mark-up Hearing

The Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology has a hearing scheduled for today at 2:00 pm EDT to markup this bill.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */