Tuesday, June 13, 2017

CFATS Civil Penalties

Yesterday DHS published a new web page outlining the policy and processes for assessing civil penalties and cease operations orders for the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. The short web page provides links to two documents; the policy document and a fact sheet. The Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) has had (and periodically has used) the authority to issue administrative orders and assess civil penalties. This is the first time that a policy document has been provided outlining the process to be used.

The ten-page policy document should be read carefully by all CFATS covered (and potentially covered) facilities. It outlines the shortcomings that can draw an administrative order, civil penalty assessement, and/or cease and desist order (in accordance with 6 CFR 27.300), the method by which ISCD assesses the amount of the penalty and subsequent negotiations to reduce assessed penalties.

The policy addresses three separate types of situations where the policy may apply:

• Failure to file violations (Top Screen and SVA/SSP);
• SSP/ASP deficiencies and infractions;
• Chemical-Terrorism Vulnerability (CVI) infractions.

Unlike other some regulatory agencies of the Federal government (ie: EPA and OSHA) ISCD has not, does not, and apparently does not plan to publish individual notices of penalty assessments and/or orders issued. This is understandable as it would provide public notice of individual high-risk chemical facilities with less than adequate security measures; surely that would be any serious terrorists top wish list.

BTW: There is not currently any mention of this new web site on the CFATS landing page. I expect that we will see that in the next couple of days.

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