Monday, July 13, 2015

ISCD Updates CFATS Knowledge Center

Today the DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) updated the CFATS Knowledge Center adding 18 new Frequently Asked Questions and answers (FAQ # 1736 thru 1753). It also provided a link in the Documentation Section for the July 2015 CFATS Fact Sheet that I have already described.

The 18 new FAQ’s are:

1753 Does DHS provide any assistance to Expedited Approval Program (EAP) facilities?
1752 Who can certify a facility’s Expedited Approval Program Site Security Plan (EAP SSP)?
1751 If my facility has been issued a “letter of acceptance” through the Expedited Approval Program (EAP), but then DHS discovers that the measures in the Site Security Plan (SSP) insufficiently meet the risk-based performance standards (RBPS) on compliance inspection, what happens?
1750 What happens after I submit my Expedited Approval Program Site Security Plan (EAP SSP)?
1749 What is a “certification” in the Expedited Approval Program (EAP)?
1748 I have an approved Site Security Plan (SSP) for my covered chemical facility. Do I have to make any immediate changes to my facility’s SSP due to the passage of the CFATS Act of 2014?
1747 Will inspections for expedited approval facilities differ from inspections for other facilities?
1746 My facility is a tier 3 or 4 and has received a final tiering letter. What is the deadline to submit my Expedited Approval Program Site Security Plan (EAP SSP)?
1745 If a facility has submitted an Alternate Security Plan (ASP) in lieu of a Site Security Plan (SSP), but does not have an approval, can it still be part of the Expedited Approval Program?
1744 How will DHS notify me if I have a facially deficient Site Security Plan under the Expedited Approval Program?
1743 What happens if the Expedited Approval Program Site Security Plan for my facility is deemed facially deficient?
1742 What criteria does DHS use to determine if a Site Security Plan submitted through the Expedited Approval Program is facially deficient?
1741 I have some security measures in my Expedited Approval Program Site Security Plan that do not meet the specific requirements in the measures outlined in the Guidance for the Expedited Approval Program. Do I have material deviations? What do I do?
1740 What is an excluded facility under Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)?
1739 What is the difference between the risk based performance standards (RBPS) Guidance Document and the DHS Guidance for the Expedited Approval Program?
1738 What is the difference between the Expedited Approval Program and the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program?
1737 What is a Covered Chemical Facility?
1736 What is a chemical facility of interest?

I think that the links provided above will be working tomorrow. There was a long period when the links were transitory, but that appears to have been fixed. If the links are not working you will have to use the search tool provided at the top of the CFATS Knowledge Center; just enter the FAQ number.


All but three of the new FAQs are directly related to the Expedited Approval Program. Readers of this blog who have been following my EAF postings since the 18th of December will not find much new here, but the facts are a more authoritative source of the information.

There is one significant new piece of information that I haven’t seen before in FAQ # 1743. In responding to the question: “What happens if the Expedited Approval Program Site Security Plan for my facility is deemed facially deficient?” the response explains that the facility will have to re-enter the site security plan approval process. It then goes on to explain:

“If the facility had previously submitted an SSP or ASP before entering the EAP, the facility will re-enter the regular CFATS program at the stage at which it left the process, unless it specifically requests to begin again.”

The FAQ response does not explain how the facility would go about accomplishing the “specifically requests” process, but I would certainly suspect that it would include writing a letter to the ISCD Director.


The three FAQs that do not refer back to the EAP are all definition related questions that refer to new terminology used by CFATS because of the CFATS Act of 2014 (I have been referring to it by HR 4007). All of the definitions provided in the FAQ are taken directly from 6 USC 621. Those new terms are:

Excluded facility (FAQ 1740);
Covered chemical facility (FAQ 1737); and
Chemical facility of interest (FAQ 1736)

The definitions are almost identical to similar terms that have been in use in the CFATS program for some time. For example the term ‘excluded facility’ has almost an identical definition as the previously used ‘exempted facility’ that was taken from the old §550 language.

There is an interesting interpretive detail difference, however in the language in FAQ 1740 and the old (and still present) FAQ 1393. That older FAQ addressed the situation where only part of a facility was exempted under either the MTSA, Public Water System or NRC exemptions. I would assume that ISCD will get around to making that distinction in FAQ 1740. To be fair Congress missed that issue in both the original CFATS authorization and the CFATS Act of 2015.

EAF SSP Submission Follow-up

There have been some questions raised about the EAP submission procedure that I described in my post on Friday. I am trying to get some clarification from ISCD. As soon as I know something I will share it with my readers.

No comments:

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