Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Substitute Language for HR 4007

Yesterday the House Homeland Security Committee posted a link to the substitute language for HR 4007 that the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee will consider at their HR 4007 markup hearing tomorrow. A number of relatively minor changes are made but amendment in the form of a substitute does increase the length of the authorization period and includes authorization of spending for the CFATS program.
The substitute language revises §7 extending the termination date from 2 years to 3 years after the bill becomes law. This provides a little more time for Congress to prepare a permanent comprehensive

CFATS bill. Section 9 has been added to the bill providing spending authorization for the CFATS program. The spending level is set at $87,436,000. This is up from the $81,000,000  included in the FY 2014 spending bill passed in January. The additional money may be intended to fund the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program.

Ammonium Nitrate Security Program
Section 10 would be added to the bill by this substitute language, addressing the long overdue ammonium nitrate security program. It amends 6 USC 488a adding language to subsection (a) that clarifies the activities covered by the ANSP.

Substitute language is also provided for §488a(f) that adds transportation activities to the exempted from coverage of the ANSP. It adds a specific exemption for transportation activities regulated under 49 USC Chapter 51, Transportation of Hazardous Materials, or 49 USC 114(d) which provides for TSA responsibility for all transportation related security issues.

Personnel Surety
The substitute re-writes §2(d)(3) to make it clear that DHS may not require facilities to submit any information to ISCD that have been vetted for terrorist ties under “any Federal screening program that periodically vets individuals against the terrorist screening database” {§2(d)(3)(A)},

Information Sharing

Section 3 adds a paragraph related to information sharing with first responders, at least that is the title of the paragraph. It actually requires the Secretary to provide, via the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), “such information as is necessary to help ensure that first responders are properly prepared and provided with the situational awareness needed to respond to incidents at covered chemical facilities” {§3(c)}. It does not actually require sharing this information with local first responders. It requires that the information be provided to State, local and regional fusion centers. There are no requirements to push that information actual first responders.

Not Covered

This revised language does not address the two issues that have been responsible for the failure of Congress to be able to pass and CFATS related legislation since the §550 language was included in the FY 2007 DHS spending bill. Those two topics are the use of inherently safer technology and worker participation. Those topics do not need to be addressed to pass in the Republican controlled House, but will have to be included to be considered by the Democratic controlled Senate.

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