Wednesday, April 4, 2018

ISCD Updates CFATS Monthly Update Page – 04-03-18

Yesterday the DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) updated the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Monthly Update web page. This page provides a summary of ISCD activities and CFATS facility status over the previous month. The data presented continues to show progress on the implementation of the CFATS program.

The table below shows the reported ISCD activities over the last two months. The ‘to Date’ lines show the numbers for the activity since the program was started in 2007. The ‘Month’ lines show numbers for the same activity in the indicated month.

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

The numbers continue to reflect the maturation of the CFATS program. As more of the new facilities from the CSAT 2.0 implementation submit their site security plan (SSP) and have it authorized, we will continue to see increases in the monthly rate of authorization inspections and a decline in the compliance assistance inspections. And as more facilities have their SSP approved we will see an increase in the number of compliance inspections.

The table below shows the status of the facilities in the CFATS program over the last two months. Tiered facilities are those that have had their submitted Top Screen reviewed by ISCD and have been notified that they are covered facilities under the CFATS program and have been assigned their risk-based Tier ranking. The Authorized and Approved facilities refer to the status of the facility’s SSP. Approved facilities are in the compliance phase of the program where they will receive periodic compliance inspections by ISCD to ensure that the facility is in compliance with its negotiated SSP standards.

CFATS Facility Status

The decline in the number of Tiered facilities is to be expected as the facility begin to move through the SSP submission and approval process. We may see minor periodic upticks in that number as ISCD continues its facility outreach program to identify chemical facilities that may be required to submit Top Screens.

I continue to be concerned about the resumption in the decline in the number of covered facilities. On one hand, the facility risk reduction efforts necessary for leaving the CFATS program means that the risks of a successful terrorist attack on that facility are diminished; which is certainly a good thing. The potential downsides are that the facility risk reduction comes at the cost of increasing the risks to another facility (for example having a larger inventory of chemicals of interest at a supplier location instead of at the using facility) and/or by increasing the transportation risk by increasing the number of shipments of COI.

For a variety of reasons ISCD has not provided the regulated community with any kind of information about the ‘successful’ risk reduction efforts at the facilities that have departed the program. I am hoping that this will be one of the issues that Congress will address during its process of re-authorizing the CFATS program; either during hearings where David Wulf is testifying or in the various reports that Congress is sure to request (almost certainly already have requested) from both the DHS Inspector General and the Government Accounting Office.

No comments:

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