The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has introduced a new interim final rule that imposes comprehensive security regulations for chemical facilities.
New Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released an interim final rule that imposes comprehensive security regulations for chemical facilities. This rule establishes risk-based performance standards for the security of these facilities. It requires covered facilities to prepare Security Vulnerability Assessments, and to develop and implement Site Security Plans.
Facilities that manufacture, use, store or distribute any chemicals on the Proposed Appendix A: DHS Chemicals of Interest list at or above the thresholds must complete and submit the screening process. The following types of facilities must also complete the screening process:
Chemical manufacturing, storage and distribution facilities
Liquefied natural gas storage facilities
The DHS Chemical Security Assessment process is used to determine what chemical facilities meet the criteria for high-risk chemical facilities. Facilities that meet this criteria are required to conduct a security vulnerability assessment and implement a Site Security Plan. The Site Security Plan describes security measures already in place, as well as those that the facility plans to implement, in order to comply with this rule.
Facilities designated as high risk must have Site Security Plans for DHS review and approval. DHS will consult or visit with facilities to ensure that the security measures address the security vulnerabilities identified. DHS is planning to conduct inspections to verify Site Security Plans are properly implemented.
When Are Surveys Due?
Initial Screens are due within 60 calendar days of the effective date of the final “Appendix A: DHS Chemicals of Interest” or within 60 calendar days of coming into possession of any such Chemical of Interest. Failure to complete a Screen within the timeframe provided may result in civil penalties, a Department of Homeland Security audit and inspection, or an order to cease operations.
The release of the final Appendix – A chemical list is now in final review.
EES is available to assist you in conducting the Site Screen and implementing a Site Security Plan. Companies are encouraged to start the screening process as soon as possible to ensure they meet this short turnaround time. Contact us for more information.
This article was written by Bernard Silverstein, CIH – an EES Associate.
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