Saturday, March 6, 2021

Comments on CFATS Explosive Chemicals ANPRM – 3-6-21

On January 6th, CISA published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for “Removal of Certain Explosive Chemicals From the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards”. This is part of a series of blog posts about the public comments submitted in response to that ANPRM. The earlier posts in the series were:

Comments on CFATS Explosive Chemicals ANPRM – 1-30-21

Comments on CFATS Explosive Chemicals ANPRM – 2-14-21

Comments on CFATS Explosive Chemicals ANPRM – 2-20-21

Comments on CFATS Explosive Chemicals ANPRM – 2-27-21

This week there were 43 new comments submitted. The letter writing campaign that I described in the previous post continued this week with seven more entries from employees of Owen Oil Tools and 30 submissions from employees of Hill Top Energy. And comments from three apparently unrelated companies used the same form letter for their submissions.

This week’s non-duplicative comments came from:

The Fertilizer Institute,


The American Coatings Association (ACA),

Ammonium Nitrate

The Fertilizer Institute supported the removal of “Ammonium nitrate, with more than 0.2 percent combustible substances, including any organic substances calculated as carbon, to the exclusion of any other added substance” from the Appendix A list of DHS chemical of interest. This is the form of ammonium nitrate that is a Division 1.1 explosive and would be included in the proposed rulemaking. They also specifically supported the retention of the ‘other’ form of ammonium nitrate on the list of COI.

Explosives vs Precursors

Noting the missing security requirements (see my blog post) in the ATF regulations, an anonymous commentor noted that the more dangerous explosives will be less tightly regulated than the less directly dangerous precursors that will remain covered under the CFATS program.

Other COI Should Be Removed

The American Coatings Association supports the removal of the Division 1.1 explosives and suggests that additional chemicals should also be removed or more closely defined. Specifically they would like to see ‘aluminum paste’ removed from the definition of ‘aluminum powder’ and ‘desensitized nitrocellulose’ differentiated from ‘nitrocellulose’.

End of Comment Period

Monday, March 8th, is the close of the comment period on this ANPRM. Since this is very early in the rulemaking process, comments received a few days late will probably receive full consideration by CISA.

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