Monday, June 6, 2011

DHS Publishes Plan for Review of Regulations

Today the Department of Homeland Security published a notice in the Federal Register noting the public availability of their Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations and requesting public comments on that plan. This plan outlines how the Department expects to comply with Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”.

In general, the Department is going to focus its review effort on the regulations written and maintained by the six operational components of DHS with regulatory responsibilities. Those components are:

• Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
• Coast Guard (USCG or Coast Guard)
• U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
• Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
• U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
• Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Public Comment Support Plan

DHS had requested public comments on items to be include in this plan back in March. DHS set up an IdeaScale web page to accept such comments as well accepting comments on the website. Readers of this blog will be interested in the comments received on the CFATS program. Those comments addressed:

• Overlapping jurisdictions covering chemical facility security;

• Application of CFATS to research laboratories;

• Application of CFATS to gasoline; and

• Reducing the burden associated with Chemical-Terrorism Vulnerability Information
The Preliminary Plan addresses the first three comments by stating:

“During the CFATS rulemaking in 2007, commenters raised similar issues, and DHS considered them in the final rule. Regarding the gasoline related issues, DHS issued a Federal Register notice in January 2010, seeking additional comment on several gasoline-related issues; comments received in response to that notice are currently under review. DHS is continuing to review these retrospective review focused comments more closely to determine the appropriateness and scope of retrospective review of the CFATS regulation.”
DHS noted that the CVI issue is being addressed under a separate Executive Order; EO 13556, “Controlled Unclassified Information”.

Regulations to be Reviewed

The Preliminary plan provides three appendixes that list the regulations that are currently covered in the review process. Appendix A lists recently published regulations and Information Collection Requests (ICRs) that DHS is taking credit for having completed this review process. Appendix B lists the regulations and ICRs currently under review for a variety of reasons. Appendix C lists the regulations and ICRs that are candidates for the retrospective review process covered in this Preliminary Plan.

The CFATS regulations are listed in Appendix C.

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