Saturday, September 9, 2023

CRS Reports – Week of 9-2-23 – CFATS Sunset

This week the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report on “The CFATS Sunset and Its Implications for Chemical Security”, looking at the termination of the 15-year-old program just over a month ago. The report is self-described this way:

“This Insight describes potential changes to chemical security in the wake of CFATS expiration and provides analysis of potential longer-term implications for the Chemical Sector’s security posture if CFATS is not reauthorized. It may inform congressional action, whether Congress decides to reinstate CFATS (with or without modifications) or allows the lapse in regulatory authorization to continue indefinitely.”

The discussions about potential changes in security measures absent the CFATS regulations is cursory at best. It only looks at the TSDB vetting process in any depth and that is covered in a single paragraph.

The only ‘outside’ information looked at is a two-year-old GAO report on duplicative chemical security programs. A close reading of that report shows that the CFATS program was a much more comprehensive security program than any of the other programs against which the GAO compared it, as would be expected for a program targeted at high-risk chemical facilities.

This report provides minimal information and does nothing to further the Congressional dialogue about whether or not the CFATS program should be reinstated.

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