Tuesday, August 29, 2023

2023 Chemical Sector Security Summit – 8-29-23 – Morning Session

The 2023 Chemical Sector Security Summit opened this morning in Arlington, VA. All of this morning’s sessions were shared online. Jen Easterly (Director CISA) and Kelly Murray (Associate Director for Chemical Security) had an interesting chat about the status of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program (currently terminated) along with a discussion about the importance of reinstating the program. Kelly continued that discussion with her presentation on “State of Chemical Security”.

There was a great deal of information about CFATS and what the termination has meant for CISA, the regulated community, and their surrounding neighbors. Both of these presentations emphasized (repeated a number of times) a couple of statics about the effects that the termination has had in the thirty-days since the Program ceased to exist:

• 160 inspections did not take place (historically 35% of inspections discovered program shortcomings),

• 40 Top Screens were not submitted and evaluated, and

• 300 personnel surety vatting’s per day were not submitted for checks against the Terrorist Screening Database.

As I noted on LinkedIn: “I hope that CISA recorded her presentation and shared it with Congress. She laid out the case for a quick reauthorization of CFATS in great detail.” Kelly did note that the Legislative Liaison folks at CISA were actively in discussions with Congress, but refused to try to forecast what the legislators would do.

This afternoon’s sessions will include:

• Secretary of Homeland Security Remarks,

• Federal and Industry Discussion on the Future of Chemical Security,

• Federal and Industry Response to Supply Chain Disturbances,

• “Wicked Problems” in Chemical Security

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