Friday, February 2, 2018

ISCD Updates Monthly Update Page – 02-02-18

Today the DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) updated the data on the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Monthly Update page. The new data for January 2018 shows the continued progress being made implementing the CFATS program.

Facility Status

The table below shows the facility status at the end of the month of January. As I predicted last month, we have now seen our first decline in the number of covered facilities since the implementation of CSAT 2.0 in October of 2016. Remember, facilities have every incentive to take actions to reduce/eliminate their use or inventories of DHS chemicals of interest (COI) so as to avoid being covered by the costly CFATS program.

CFATS Facility Status

We should continue to see a decline in the number of tiered facilities now that the CSAT 2.0 implementation has essentially been completed. It is unlikely to ever drop to zero as the ISCD outreach plan continues to identify new potential facilities and changes in the chemical industries brings new facilities into the possession of COI. I suspect that in the coming months we will see the increase in the number of Authorized facilities begin to level off and eventually start to drop as more facilities complete the site security plan approval process.

ISCD Activities

The table below shows the activities that the chemical security inspectors have undertaken in support of the CFATS program.

CFATS Activities
Authorization Inspections to Date
Authorization Inspections Month
Compliances Inspections to Date
Compliances Inspections Month
Compliance Assistance Visits to Date
Compliance Assistance Visits Month

Once a facility receives administrative approval of their submitted site security plan (SSP) and receive their ‘Authorization Letter’ they have to pass an Authorization Inspection to receive final approval of their SSP. The Authorization Inspection checks to ensure that the facilities have all of the security measures in place that they have described in their authorized SSP. Compliance Inspections, on the other hand, is a periodic check of the facility’s compliance with the terms of their SSP, including the scheduled implementation of their ‘pending security measures’.

The comparison of the ‘to Date’ data and the January data shows a much closer match that we have been seeing. The four-inspection difference on reported numbers for authorization inspections and one-inspection difference for compliance inspections could certainly fall within the ‘glitch in the system’ that ISCD reports on the page. The not so subtle difference between the delta on ‘to Date’ Compliance Assistance Visits of 74 and the reported 122 conducted during the month of January is less easy to accept. Since this is more of a manpower utilization issue than a actual compliance issue, I’ll leave this to the DHS IG to question if they feel it is appropriate.

I will mention this, however. ISCD provides the following explanation for the Compliance Assistance Inspection:

“This metric shows the number of Compliance Assistance Visits completed. ISCD offers CAVs to CFATS-covered facilities and facilities of interest so that the facilities have an in-depth knowledge of how to meet the requirements of the CFATS regulation. These visits can perform various functions, such as assisting with determining COI reporting requirements, submitting or resubmitting a Top-Screen, developing an SSP or ASP, editing a SSP based on a change in security posture or tiering, or assistance with complying with any other part of the regulation.”

I would like to think that the “complying with any other part of the regulation” would include inspections when a facility reports that they have either reduced their COI inventory below the Screening Quantity Threshold or removed the COI entirely from the facility. All other things being equal, the reduction/removal of the COI would be a prerequisite from removal of a facility from the CFATS program.

No comments:

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