Wednesday, May 2, 2018

DHS Completely Revamps Chemical Security Website – 5-2-18

Today the DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ICSD, actually they get the blame, but were probably not responsible for the change) completely revamped their Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) web site. The link to the previous CFATS landing page now takes you to a generic DHS chemical security web page. To get to the CFATS program information previously provided at that site you have to start with the new CFATS web page.

CFATS Landing Page

The landing page is quite a bit simpler than the previous page with not nearly as many informative links. It contains two minor sections near the top of the page. The first in the upper left corner is a linked listing of other major pages on the site. This section reappears on each of the linked pages. Those pages include:

CFATS Monthly Update (new info to be discussed in a separate blog);
CFATS Process (overview of CFATS processes with numerous links);
CFATS Resources (links to all of the manuals, guidance docs and many flyers)’
CFATS Risk-Based Performance Standards (RBPS) (overview of RBPS with links to guidance document and RBPS flyers);
Appendix A: Chemicals of Interest (COI overview with links to COI list, rule and some flyers);
Reporting a CFATS Violation (essentially the same as the previous version); and
Chemical Security Laws and Regulations (more on this in a separate blog post)

The second minor section is the announcement section which the ISCD will apparently be using to make general announcements about the operation of the CFATS program.

Below these minor sections are three expandable sections that contain a few tidbits of information, but not near as many links as the old landing page sections:

CFATS Overview;
CFATS Act of 2014; and
CFATS Monthly Statistics.

Chemical Security Landing Page

This new page provides links to three entirely new web sites (besides the obligatory link to the CFATS landing page):

Ammonium Nitrate Security Program (revamp of earlier pages);
Chemical Sector Security Events (more later in the post); and
Chemical Sector Resources (expansion of an earlier set of pages).

I will be addressing the first and last sites in separate blog posts.

CFATS Knowledge Center

The CFATS Knowledge Center page maintains the same URL and appearance that it had under the older web site. There is not a link to it, however, on the CFATS landing page, and only two of the main pages contain the link. The Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) search tools remain the same.


I am getting to be an old fogey and do not really appreciate change for change sake. The old CFATS landing page was an old friend and reliable tool that I with which I was well familiar and had a fairly involved plan for periodic monitoring of it parts for changes.

Having said that, the new site does appear to be cleaner and crisper in it appearance. The landing page is not going to be as helpful as the earlier version, but the new CFATS Process page will take up most of the slack in that regard. Unfortunately, we will have to keep checking the less helpful landing page for the announcement section.

My only real complaint about the new landing page is that it does not include a link to the FAQ’s at the CFATS Knowledge Center nor does it have contact information for the CFATS Help Desk. Two very important resources, they should be on every page.

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