Monday, January 19, 2015

First HR 4007 Deadline Passes

Saturday the first deadline for HR 4007 came and went. This marked 30 days since the President signed the bill into law. This means that 6 USC 21 is now the governing law for the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) and the old §550 authorization no longer applies.

Revocation Rule Deadline

As I predicted last month the Secretary missed the deadline to publish a rule revoking those provisions of 6 CFR 27 that are “duplicative of, or conflicts with” {§2107(b)} 6 USC 21. To be fair, I still have not found any specific provisions of the CFATS regulations that fall under this requirement. So it may not have been necessary to issue any revoking language. If that had been the case, it might have been nice for ISCD to issue a statement to that effect.

Grandfathered SSPs

We still have not heard any official (or unofficial for that matter) word from DHS about the status of the Site Security Plans that have been authorized or approved since the President signed HR 4007 into law. You might recall that §2102(c)(3)(B) provides that any facilities with approved site security plans (SSPs) as of the date of the President’s signature on HR 4007 (12-18-14) cannot be required to submit new SSPs just because Title XXI has become law. Plans approved since that date do not have that legal protection.

I don’t expect that the management at ISCD will want to increase the workload of their chemical security inspectors by going back and revisiting the site security plans approved in the last month (not that that will have been a very large number because of the holidays), but legally these site security plans have not been approved under the standards set by the current law. It would be helpful (if not actually legally binding) for the Secretary to publish a notice in the Federal Register laying out the status of SSPs being approved while the new CFATS regulations are being written.

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